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Shaft Test: Graphite Design’s new Tour AD-TP versus the famous Tour AD-DI

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With a similar profile to the company’s famous Tour AD-DI shaft, and a few new technologies for a slightly different ball flight, Graphite Design’s new Tour AD-TP shaft will surely entice a legion of high-spin golfers.

The new shafts are made for a mid launch and low spin rates, according to Graphite Design’s website, while the Tour AD-DI shafts are made for mid/high to high launch angles and low to low/mid spin rates. Certainly, they are in the same wheelhouse, but for anyone looking to create a slightly more penetrating ball flight with lower launch and lower spin, the new shaft could be their winning ticket.

Tour_AD_TP_Hero

To accomplish its performance, the AD-TP shafts are made with a faster taper rate from the lower-mid section to the tip of the shaft, and use an all-new graphite material from Toray Industries called T1100G carbon fiber pre-preg. They also use Toray’s Nanoalloy technology in the tip section, which was first introduced in Graphite Design’s Tour AD-DI. It help golfers gain more control of the club face by resisting torque. Read more about the Tour AD-TP shaft’s tech here.

Here’s the bend profile of the Tour AD-TP shafts, according to Graphite Design’s website:

GraphiteDesignTourADshafts

And here’s how the Tour AD-TP shafts stack up versus the other Tour AD shafts:

Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 12.13.37 PM

As you can see, the Tour AD-TP (top row) compared to the Tour AD-DI (bottom row) will have a firmer mid and butt section, but will also have the familiar stiff tip section.

Personally, I’ve tested just about every new mainstream driver shaft that’s come out in the past three years, and I just haven’t been able to find something that matches my swing like the Tour AD-DI. As a golfer who fights a nasty hook and too much spin, it’s the stiffness and stability of the tip of the shaft that makes me comfortable enough to “go at it.” I’m also a Mets fan, so I like the orange color.

Tour_AD-DI_ORange

But for whatever reason, my golfing brain finds other shafts to load and unload way differently, either forcing me to flip or block drives, leading to tragic results. So although I often test the latest and greatest golf shafts for you, the GolfWRX readers, I’ve all but given up on other shafts making it into my gamer driver. Yes, other shafts have given me “more optimal” numbers in a Trackman environment, but there’s nothing optimal about feeling like you’re going to duck hook the ball off the planet with OB stakes left.

When Graphite Design announced a new shaft with a similar profile that’s made to create a slightly more penetrating trajectory, however, I’ll admit I was excited to try it. Let’s see how the numbers played out.

The Numbers

AD_TP_DI_7X

I tested my Tour AD-DI gamer shaft (45.5 inches, tipped 1 inch) against a Tour AD-TP shaft (45.5 inches, untipped) and a Tour AD-TP shaft (45.5 inches, tipped 1 inch) in a TaylorMade M1 460 head (10.5 degrees) set to neutral. Yes, I have a bit more swing speed in the tank than displayed below, but it’s also late October and I don’t want to have a blown out back all winter. I conducted my testing at the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland on TrackMan 4 using premium golf balls.

GDDriverShafts20162_arrows

GraphiteDesignTourADTP:DI

Magenta = Tour AD-TP (tipped 1 inch)

Observations

— Shots with the un-tipped shaft trended to the right. It felt like the face was opening on the downswing and I couldn’t turn my shots over. The data solidifies for me that performance matches my feel, and that I do indeed need a tipped shaft.

— The AD-DI shaft had the highest spin (2953 rpm), highest landing angle, most height (122.1 feet) and launched the highest (13.7 degrees).

— The AD-TP (tipped 1 inch) carried 4.9 yards shorter than the Tour AD-DI, but went 3.7 yards longer in total. This shows how much more penetrating the ball flight with a AD-TP shaft can be.

— Spin rate dropped from 2953 rpm with the Tour AD-DI (tipped 1 inch) to 2460 rpm with the AD-TP (tipped 1 inch).

— With nearly identical clubhead speed, ball speed and smash factors, it’s clear the Tour AD-TP was offering better numbers and tighter dispersion for me.

The Takeaway

Accuracy_and_Distance

The Graphite Design Tour AD-TP shaft is currently selling for $500 at retail. Based on the improvement I saw in my numbers, I would say that the new shaft is worth the value for my swing. The profile and new materials are a match for me in regards to ball flight characteristics and feel. I would describe the feel as “smooth-stiff, with a stable tip.”

Of course, it’s important to undergo a proper fitting, as you saw that the un-tipped version of the Tour AD-GP shaft was giving me fits. But, if you’re like me and struggle with high spin rates and inconsistency, the Tour AD-TP shaft may help you find more accuracy… and a bit more distance, too.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Golfandpuff

    Nov 21, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Confidence is worth a ton…so if the shoe fits….

    Bottom line find one for a song and play it!

  2. Mike

    Oct 31, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Andrew, the author of this review, comments about hitting duck hooks because that is his miss when he uses a shaft that doesn’t “fit” his swing style. It is the same issue I fight. The fact he has peppered the right side of the grid would be comforting for him. All in all, Andrew fits the new TP shaft pretty well.

  3. Matt

    Oct 30, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Some shafts get progressively weaker to the tip (Rogue, AD-DI), many increase stiffness into the tip (most other GD tour AD models, Kuro Kage) To assume all shafts need to be tipped just seems uninformed. Tipping off stiffness in a shaft like a AD-BB is just going to lower the kick point and give you a softer tip; exact opposite of tipping a AD-DI.

  4. Jack

    Oct 30, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Wow the author tried really hard to say this is better. The chart looks pretty much the same for all three shafts as far as landing zone. Just one leftward (I’m guess more of a hook) shot skewed the oval left. Unless he’s a left hander, none of his shots were hooks, rather either push or slices. Strange for him to say that he’s fighting a hook when he didn’t hit any.

    The real difference does seem to be one offering more roll and one more carry due to launch angle changes I’m guessing due to the stiffer mid and butt sections. Worth it? The argument seems a bit thin.

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Whats in the Bag

Jhonattan Vegas WITB 2020

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  • Equipment accurate as of 1/14/20

Driver: TaylorMade M6 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Black 9 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade M6 Rocket 3 (14 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Black 9 TX

Irons: Mizuno MP-20 HMB (3), Mizuno MP-4 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 7.0

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (52-12F, 56-14F), TaylorMade Hi-Toe (60-09 LB)
Shafts: Project X 7.0

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo DB5
Grip: Lamkin Deep-Etched Paddle

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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What GolfWRXers are saying about TaylorMade’s SIM fairway woods

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In our forums, WRXer Hotdocta created a thread to discuss the new SIM fairway woods and wants to hear from fellow members who have experienced them. Plenty of WRXers give their thoughts on the 2020 additions from TaylorMade, with the vast majority mightily impressed with what they have seen.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • DNice26: “I bought the 5 wood based on reports the Sim is silly long and low spin, and after my first round today, it absolutely delivered. The 5 wood isn’t too big, and I found it to flight excellently off the tee and off the fairway. It set me up today for birdies on all the par 5s. I have mine shafted with an 80X diamana blue, and it is fantastic.”
  • JoeFrigo: “The SIM is the hottest 3w I have ever hit. Had the m6 all last year and absolutely loved it. I said all last year it was the best fairway I’ve ever played….the SIM is even better. I love the profile at address, and there are times the SIM 3w gets within 1mph of my driver ball speed. I honestly went back to PGA store for playability and grabbed the 5w instead because the face is so hot. I had about 5 launch monitor sessions and 1 round on the course and was killing it, but gaps were way off now. Decided id wait and get more course time with it, but then the Coronavirus came.”
  • tyusg: “The SIM fairways are extremely hot off the face. Was hitting off the trackman at my work, and was reaching smash factors of 1.51 and 1.52. The shape of them do remind me of the M6, a little bigger, and a pretty deep face. But the V Steel tech they put back in I believe is why the smash was so high. Even on off center hits, the ball speed was pretty much all there still.”
  • Polly509109: “I have hit both SIM ti/ SIM Max. They were both very good. Tried all the Mavrik 3W offerings and SIM fit my swing better. Switched from TS3 fairway. Into the SIM ti with my old shaft from the Titleist. 82X Diamana Whiteboard. Don’t have any numbers for you, not really a launch monitor guy. But was getting 255-269 carry and 275-288 overall with the stock Diamana 75S shaft when I was fitted. 104-108 ss. Don’t know what kinda monitor.”

Entire Thread: “TaylorMade’s SIM fairway woods”

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What GolfWRXers have bought since ‘lockdown’

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In our forums, our members have been discussing their golfing purchases since lockdown began in many areas of the world. WRXer ‘lvmike’ created the thread and has purchased a Ping putter as well as a TaylorMade driver and our members have been getting involved with plenty of WRXers investing in new equipment from clubs to hitting mats and beyond.

Here are a few posts from the thread but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • JoeFrigo: “Other than a mat and net, unfortunately, I haven’t bought any clubs…courses are closed here so I can’t hit anything anyways. I’m now really looking into a personal launch monitor since ill have a month at least of no range time. But the temptation is strong for more clubs! particularly putters since I can do that in my basement green.”
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  • pgetzen: “Bought a Stitch SL1 bag and two Cleveland RTX4 wedges on the Walmart deal, as well as 3 knit headcovers.”
  • 1PuttTutt: “Full basement simulator setup, including hitting mat, screen/enclosure, mevo+ launch monitor, projector, gaming laptop, etc. Unfortunately only the hitting mat has arrived so far, but I was able to set up some blankets and padding so I can hit balls in the basement. I also bought four dozen balls and a pushcart. I was thinking the pushcart was a genius idea, being that courses would limit to one person per cart, and courses would run out. But then they shut courses down before I could use it.”
  • uglande: “Two Vokey SM8 wedges and a Scotty Special Select putter. I’m wearing out my basement carpet with all of this chipping and putting, so my short game should be good to go when we’re released again to the outdoors. I also bought some sweet Titleist black leather (noir) head covers.”
  • Kye123: “Me, my dad and my little bro bought a Swingcaddie S300 and an industrial net from a fishing company… was going great until my little bro sailed a 60 straight into the conservatory two houses down, wedges are now banned.”

Entire Thread: “What have you purchased since ‘lockdown’?

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