The Big Review – Grafalloy C-Note 85 and 105 Hybrid Shaft Review
Grafalloy are far better known for their fairway and driver shafts like the Prolaunch and Epic than for hybrid shafts but the C-Note and C-Lite from their Tour Concept department have enjoyed a small but devoted following, both among the better players and on Tour. With the relaunch of these shafts – the C-Lite has morphed into the C-Note 85 and the C-Note has become the C-Note 105 and with new graphics for both – Bag Chatter took them out for a spin.
With the high volume of usage that Grafalloy enjoys across other areas of shaft usage it is a little strange that amongst hybrids, Grafalloy seem to lag a little behind the more popular brands like Aldila, UST and Matrix. These revamped versions look to move away from the somewhat gaudy versions previously and re-emphasize the quality.
Grafalloy say that these shafts incorporate proprietary Tri-Material Torque Control (TTC) consisting of three unique high modulus fibers. This creates a torsional profile providing unmatched accuracy and premium feel. The low torque designs produces a penetrating ball flight with incredible control with the C-Note 85 offering a high trajectory and the C-Note 105 offering a low trajectory.
The new graphics are a huge improvement on the previous version which had the green and white graphics of a 100 dollar bill – a nice play on the name. I actually liked the slightly groan-worthy motto “In Grafalloy We Trust” but the overall appearance was just a little too much more most players. The shafts are now predominately black with a band of small dollar signs on the butt end – much nicer and much less distracting at address.
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Both shafts are very solid – in fact the 105 is like Grafalloy’s venerable (and somewhat rebar like) Blue shaft made into a hybrid – and play very much to flex. If you are looking to try them out, make sure that you test the flex you normally use as well as the flex below. Because of this you might be forgiven for thinking that they would lose some level of feel but in fact both are more lively than you think, with the 85 unsurprisingly feeling more alive than the 105. While the bend points on the two shafts are perceptibly different, the sensation is that both feel fairly butt soft/tip stiff but with no lack of tightness or loss of head location through the swing.
Grafalloy say that the 85 is the higher launching of the two version and this was exactly what we found in our testing. The flight is not super high by any stretch of the imagination but it wasn’t a struggle to get the ball to land softly on the green with this shaft. It also seems to have a natural ball flight that is a high soft draw. For all that it feels equally fade-able, the combination of weight and kick point seemed to favour this trajectory and with the low spin that this shaft generates, the ball will canter along the fairway a generate some serious distance.
The 105 is exceptionally low launching and is almost impossible to over-power. Because the shaft feels so dense, the temptation is to over-swing and give the ball a real lash. A hitters dream, it can cope with the most enthusiastic swing without losing its composure but over-swinging is a temptation that must be resisted as the heavier shaft will drag you out of position if you are not careful. As a control shaft for someone with the tendency to get a little snatchy through the swing, the 105 is hard to beat.
Both shafts are equally capable from the tee or from the deck, whether or not you take a divot. Because of the low launch, the 105 version needs a fast swing to get the most out of the shaft but both are remorselessly accurate and give a very penetrating trajectory.
As any guess would have it, of course the C-Note name refers to the shaft’s weight with the heavier version weighing in at just over 100g. For many people this would be too heavy but for faster swingers looking for a viable replacement for steel shafts it is perfect as it allows the golfer to gain the benefits of a graphite shaft in their hybrid but without losing that solidity and accuracy that comes with a steel shaft. Comparing the two, the 105 is more of a hitters shaft with the 85 more of a swingers shaft and there are obvious differences in trajectory but both offer unique profiles for golfer’s looking for something extra in their hybrids.
Further information can be found at www.tttourconcept.com/