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The 8 hottest driver shafts of 2018 on the PGA Tour

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Driver shafts, especially in professional golf, are very similar to putters. As with changing putters to make more putts, golfers change out driver shafts semi-regularly looking for more distance or more fairways, but preferably both. And much like with putters, when another player switches to a new driver shaft and finds success, other golfers take notice. Every year it seems there is a “hot” driver shaft that players gravitate toward; in recent years, the Aldila Rogue comes to mind.

We wanted to figure out what the “hot” driver shaft is of 2018. To do so, we investigated the top-50 golfers in the Official World Golf Rankings as of July 25 to figure out what driver shaft they were using. Below are the results.

Note: To qualify for the “hottest shafts” of 2018, the exact shaft model must have been used by more than one golfer in the top-50 of the OWGR. Order was determined by number of top-50 players using the shaft, and ties were broken by combined ranking of players using that shaft.

8) Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec

 

Shaft is used by: Matt Kuchar (No. 26 in the OWGR) and Daniel Berger (No. 40)

Fujikura says: “The Atmos Tour Spec line is geared towards the performance golfer looking to keep the ball flighted down with low spin… Atmos is a true tour flighted line of shafts with a simple color coding – red as the higher launching, blue as mid launch, black as the lowest launch – similarities include keeping the handle flexes the same for feel, but adjusting mid and tip sections for launch and spin to achieve your desired ball flight.”

Read GolfWRX member reviews of the Atmos Tour Spec shafts here

7) Graphite Design Tour AD-BB

Shaft is used by: Xander Schauffele (No. 18) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (No. 39)

Graphite Design says: “The Tour AD BB ‘Blue Bullet’ wood shaft model is designed to promote a low/mid launch angle and lower ball spin. The Tour AD BB design features an increase in stiffness from the tip to the mid-section resulting in a higher kick point for lower launch angles.”

Learn more about the Graphite Design Tour AD-BB shaft here

6) Aldila NV 2KXV Green

Shaft is used by: Rickie Fowler (No. 9) and Kevin Kisner (No. 25)

Aldila says: “Aldila has created NexGen Micro Laminate Technology – new, even thinner high performance carbon fibers combined with today’s advanced fiber resin technology…. The 2KNV provides for even better feel and performance. Available in the Green design for those seeking a lower ball flight, the Blue design for those seeking a mid ball flight, and the Orange design for those seeking a higher ball flight.”

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Aldila NV 2KXV Green shaft

5) Project X HZRDUS Black

Shaft is used by: Dustin Johnson (No. 1) — although he’s been switching off and on between a Project X HZRDUS Black and a Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution 2.0 Tour Spec — and Rafael Cabrera Bello (No. 29)

Project X says: “The shaft features increased stiffness along the full length of the golf shaft, which allows golfers to put more power behind the ball. HZRDUS Black is a low spinning and low launching shaft that is available in models for both woods and hybrids.”

Read more about DJ’s Project X HZRDUS here

4) Graphite Design Tour AD-IZ

Shaft is used by: Jordan Spieth (No. 8) and Webb Simpson (No. 21)

Graphite Design says: “The new Tour AD IZ shaft has a firm stiffness starting at the handle, and medium center section and a firm+ tip profile to promote a high launch angle and low ball spin rates. The new Tour AD IZ also utilizes Torayca T1100G carbon-fiber pre-preg with Nanoalloy technology in the tip section of the shaft for additional shaft stability, exceptional feel and precise ball control.”

Read more about the Graphite Design Tour AD-IZ shaft here

3) Mitsubishi Kuro Kage

Shaft is used by: Rory McIlroy (No. 7) and Tommy Fleetwood (No. 11)

Mitsubishi says: “This series of shafts feature two key technologies: Low Resin Content pre-preg and Titanium Nickel (TiNi) Wire. After first using TiNi Wire in our ultra-light products, we wanted to see how it would perform in heavier, tour-weighted shafts. Kuro Kage fiber plus wire equals power.”

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Kuro Kage here

2) Project X HZRDUS T1100 

Shaft is used by: Henrik Stenson (No. 17), Phil Mickelson (No. 22) and Charl Schwartzel (No. 48)

Project X says: “The new HZRDUS T1100 is the lowest spinning and lowest launching shaft in the HZRDUS family. HZRDUS T1100 uses T1100G fiber, the strongest fiber available, to build a shaft with an extra stiff tip section that is also counter-balanced. With a bend profile that is stiff throughout, HZRDUS T1100 is the ultimate spin killer for the game’s most aggressive tempo players.”

GolfWRX Members review the Project X T1100 here

1) Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange

Shaft is used by: Justin Rose (No. 2), Alex Noren (No. 12), Sergio Garcia (No. 20), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (No. 31), Ian Poulter (No. 32), Charley Hoffman (No. 34), Haotong Li (No. 42) and Tiger Woods (No. 50)

Mitsubishi says: “Tensei CK Pro Orange expands the Tensei CK Series – which features a multi-material design that incorporates more performance-oriented materials than we’ve ever used in a shaft. This first of its kind bend profile for MCA Golf uses a counter-balanced design along with an extreme tip-stiff design to provided added versatility for the stronger player. The Tensei CK Pro Orange incorporates the same Carbon Fiber/DuPont Kevlar (CK) weave found in the butt-section of all Tensei CK shafts – providing enhanced stability and maximum feel in this highly versatile design. This series also incorporates High Modulus, premium 40-Ton hybrid pre-preg infused with tungsten powder in targeted positions throughout the shaft. A tip-section reinforced with MR70 – Mitsubishi Chemical’s strongest carbon fiber to date, delivers lower torque, and delivers tour preferred control and stability.”

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Tensei Orange shaft in our forums

Other driver shafts used by the top-50 golfers in the OWGR

  • Accra Concept Series (Brian Harman)
  • Accra Tour Zx 465 M5 (Tony Finau)
  • Accra Proto (Pat Perez)
  • Accra Tour-Z RPG (Gary Woodland)
  • Aldila Rogue Silver 130 (Kevin Chappell)
  • Aldila Rogue (Patrick Reed)
  • Alidila Tour Green (Jon Rahm)
  • Fujikura SIX (Branden Grace)
  • Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution (Kyle Stanley)
  • Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution IV (Marc Leishman)
  • Grafalloy Bi-Matrix (Bubba Watson)
  • Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8TX (Hideki Matsuyama)
  • Graphite Design Tour AD Quattro Tech (Satoshi Kodaira)
  • Graphite Design Tour AD-GP (Kevin Na)
  • Mitsubishi Diamana D+ (Brooks Koepka
  • Mitsubishi Diamana White D+ (Luke List)
  • Mitsubishi Diamana BF (Justin Thomas)
  • Mitsubishi Diamana Blue (Zach Johnson)
  • Mitsubishi Diamana White LEX D+ (Paul Casey)
  • Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S-Series (Patrick Cantlay)
  • Mitsubishi Fubuki K (Tyrrell Hatton)
  • Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue (Ross Fisher)
  • Project X Even Flow (Louis Oosthuizen)
  • Project X HZRDUS Smoke (Bryson DeChambeau)
  • TPT (Jason Day)
  • UST Mamiya Elements Chrome Prototype (Cameron Smith)
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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Paul

    Aug 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Doesn’t seem to matter what shaft Woods uses. He still can’t hit a fairway.

    • ogo

      Aug 22, 2018 at 12:01 am

      I predict he will soon be playing a Seven Dreamer autoclave cured graphite shaft because all oven cured shafts are too soggy and floppy in the tip section causing Tiger driving problems.

  2. Kanko

    Jul 29, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Notice ZERO Seven Dreamers shafts lol where’s that Seven Dreamers idiot? Hopefully got BANNED

    • walterg

      Aug 5, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      WRX moderators doing their utmost to delete any comments that disturb the gearheaded neanerthals that love their WITB gonadal symbols of manliness.

  3. Diamondback Billiards

    Jul 28, 2018 at 11:01 am

    These golf equipment is the best but it is still up to the player who knows his talent in being top golfer.

  4. Jack House

    Jul 28, 2018 at 1:15 am

    Whats the best shaft for an regular player… 80 MPH swing speed…. tough to fit between Regular and Senior flex//

    • joro

      Jul 28, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Give the Mitsubishi Tensei Blue in reg. That is what I use at 79, it is a soft R and a very good accurate shaft.

  5. Leftshot

    Jul 28, 2018 at 12:12 am

    What a disappointment. The subject line of the email I got from Golf WRX was: ” The 8 Hottest Driver Shafts of 2018″. To then find out this was just an incident count of the top 50 pro golfers was a real letdown. Most of us couldn’t find a golfer more dissimilar to us than the top pro golfers. Thus the obvious reaction: Who cares? Maybe 1% of us have a swing similar enough to the top 50 professionals.

  6. Donald

    Jul 27, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    I only buy and play tour proven equipment because I can afford the best. Stiff shafts are the best. I bag PXGs too.

  7. Doug lamb

    Jul 27, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Exactly!!

  8. Shaft Shack

    Jul 27, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Demo these great shafts and more at ShaftShack.com!

  9. Funkaholic

    Jul 27, 2018 at 11:06 am

    I am still gaming my Diamana ‘Ahina 70 x5ct x in my driver 3w and 19* rescue, I have yet to find a reason to change.

  10. Travis

    Jul 27, 2018 at 7:03 am

    The Tour AD-IZ has more usage that what was listed above. Last I checked Keegan Bradley was using it and he’s been at the top of ballstriking and total driving categories for a good while.

  11. Eric

    Jul 26, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    I would love to see this with fairway woods. I am not sure you could narrow it down but it may be even more diverse.

    • phil

      Jul 27, 2018 at 1:17 am

      I would love to see that too. I love my fairway woods. I love my hybrids too.

  12. Harv

    Jul 26, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    These are super expensive shafts… to pay off the pros to use them….

  13. millennial82

    Jul 26, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    saw Tiger using the tensei white.. got it.. love it.. now he changed to orange and whites not even on the this list… kind of hurts my heart…

    • millennial82

      Jul 26, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      great post by the way GOLFWRX. Thank you!

    • Aaron

      Jul 27, 2018 at 11:50 pm

      Lamest reason to ever buy any shaft. Use what fits you.

  14. PushFade

    Jul 26, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Not bigger money than they’d earn from winning a tournament. Winning tournaments = bigger endorsements deals. Your statement is not only untrue, your premise is flawed.

  15. Francis

    Jul 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Doesn’t Rory use the Tensei Orange as well?

    • Curt

      Jul 26, 2018 at 6:11 pm

      Yes he was and I thought I saw he switched for the British.

  16. Francis

    Jul 26, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    …Okay, Donald

  17. jc

    Jul 26, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    I sure don’t know a shaft that starts out even lower than my standard ping shaft…I want something that takes off like a patriot missle going after a scud.

  18. Michael Baker

    Jul 26, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    GREAT article – SUPER comprehensive and interesting….

    Not sure about DJ in the HZRDUS black though. He used it recently but I believe he’s back in Fujikura Speeder DJ this week?

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Whats in the Bag

Kevin Na’s winning WITB: 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge

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Driver: Callaway GBB Epic (9 degrees)


Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD GP 6-TX

3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 70 TX

Hybrid: PXG 0317 X Gen 2 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 95X

Irons: Callaway Rogue Pro (4), Callaway Apex Pro 16 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 Wedges (50, 54 degrees), Vokey Design prototype (’18) (60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey Toulon Madison

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Equipment

The top-5 longest drivers on the PGA Tour and their driver/shaft combos

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Let’s take a look at what the PGA Tour’s biggest bombers thus far in 2018-2019 are using to launch their rockets.

1. Cameron Champ

Average drive: 315.6 yards


Driver: Ping G400 Max (9 degrees @ 7.9)


Shaft: Fujikura Pro 63 TS (44.75 inches, tipped 1.5 inches)

T2. Luke List

Average drive: 314.4 yards
Driver: TaylorMade M6 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana White D+ 80TX

T2. Rory McIlroy

Average drive: 314.4 yards


Driver: TaylorMade M5 (9 degrees)


Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK White 70TX

4. Tony Finau

Average drive: 311.5 yards


Driver: Ping G410 Plus (9 degrees @ 8)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana RF 70-TX (45.25 inches, tipped 1 inch)

5. Wyndham Clark

Average drive: 311.4 yards


Driver: PXG 0811 XF GEN2 (10 degrees)


Shaft: Accra Prototype (45.25 inches)

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight Review: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

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Product: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

Pitch: The TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3 is a stronger-lofted version of the standard TaylorMade M5 3-wood. The Rocket is 14 degrees. The standard M5 is 15.

Our take on the TaylorMade M5 Rocket 3

“WOW, you really hit that 3-wood like a rocket!”

” Not like a rocket… an actual Rocket!”

The beloved 3-wood. A favorite club of both average golfers and pros alike, a club that many will hold onto well after what some might consider their “best before” date. But with new options and improved technology, these old faithfuls are getting the boot quicker for a lot of reasons including the ability to better dial in a fit and help minimizing misses.

Since making a club faster off the middle is becoming more and more difficult thanks to the limits set forth but the USGA, OEMs are changing the way we think about clubs and putting a greater focus on decreasing dispersion and optimizing misses. TaylorMade is doing this with TwistFace, which was originally introduced in drivers a generation ago, and has now been included in the M5 and M6 fairway woods.

I got to spend some time with the knowledgeable crew at TaylorMade Canada in their new indoor facility just north of Toronto (lets call it Kingdom North) In that time, we went through a driver fitting, and then to the new M5 fairway woods to try and replace one of my oldest faithfuls: a 14-degree SLDR Tour Spoon. To say I have a unique ability to elevate a fairway wood is something that even my fitter was a little surprised by. My numbers with my cranked down to 12 degree (measured) fairway off the deck were good but could be improved. I can hit it both ways (as much as a 6-handicap can actually claim that) but my trusted go-to shot is a slight fade with some heel bias contact because of my swing. I am willing to sacrifice some distance but usually hit it where I want.

What I saw at the end of the fitting was a club that produced longer shots along with a tighter dispersion without having to make or to try and make any changes to my swing. The final fit was a 14-degree “Rocket” M5 fairway set to 12 degrees. It beat out my SLDR by a total of nine yards, which is an increase of just over a total of three percent, including an additional six yards of carry.

To say I was honestly surprised would be an understatement. The SLDR TS is a club that the first time I hit it I went WHOA! Low spin, workable, looks exactly how I want that club to look (small and compact). You can see from the numbers below when it works it works.

Why does TwistFace work?

Let’s explain and get a little deep in the technology weeds for a second. Bulge and roll is not a new concept. In fact, it would be a lie to claim that all OEMs haven’t done something similar to this is the past or played with these two variables to help golfers hit better shots. Fact: Every OEM optimizes the bulge and roll on their clubs to increase speed and maximize performance. Tom Wishon actually had a line of woods at one point that went the other way had VERY limited roll from the top tine to the sole. With this design, more loft on the bottom of the head helped players who miss low or need help elevating the ball off the deck increase launch and spin. It worked. Cobra also has what it calls E9 technology to tweak bulge and roll to help maximize the speed and forgiveness of their woods. It also works.

What makes TaylorMade’s TwistFace different is that it is the most aggressive iteration of this bulge and roll tweaking yet, and by introducing it into the fairway woods and hybrids, it’s proving to be a winner — even for this now-proven wrong skeptic.

At the end of the day, the M5 Ti “Rocket” was a measurable improvement over my previous 3-wood. Now it would be disingenuous to say “if you aren’t using TwistFace in your fairway woods you’re not maximized,” but if you are someone that struggles with fairway wood dispersion and looking to find some extra distance for taking on par-5s, taking a look at the new M5 and M6 fairway woods as part of your next fitting should be very high on your list.

 

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