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Graphite Design Tour AD GT: Editor Review

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Pros: Extremely smooth, and stable. The mix of blue, white and silver looks awesome.

Cons: Costs as much as most new drivers — $380.

Bottom Line: The Tour AD-GT shaft is a great extension of the Tour AD line, providing all of the smoothness Graphite Design is known for in a profile that’s slightly softer than the company’s low-launch, low-spin Tour AD BB shaft. That makes it great for players who need more spin, or as a fairway wood shaft for players who enjoy the BB in their driver.

Overview

With the addition of the GT, Graphite Design’s premium line of Tour AD Shafts now comes in four different profiles.

The company’s best-known shaft, the Tour AD DI, is the orange-and-white model that has been used for several years by Tiger Woods. The company’s next most-popular shaft, the Tour AD BB, is the company’s lowest-launching, lowest-spinning shaft.

Graphite Design’s Tour AD DJ is a slightly spinnier version of the DI. That means it’s a good fairway wood shaft for golfer’s who like the feel of the DI in their driver, and also works for golfers who don’t spin the ball enough with the DI.

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The GT has the same relationship to the BB. But while it’s slightly softer than the BB, it’s slightly stiffer than the DJ, providing a lower trajectory with less spin.

According to Graphite Design, the GT has a mid-trajectory, while maintaining an optimal amount of spin.

The GT is available in five different flexes, from R2 to X, and four different weights, from 50 to 80 grams. Like the rest of the Tour AD line, the GT sells for around $380.

The Review

I’ve been a fan of Graphite Design shafts for a very long time. Years ago, I loved the company’s “Tour AD Quattro Tech” shaft so much that no matter the driver head I was playing, that pretty green shaft would be in it.

Through the years, I’ve experimented with pretty much every high-end shaft made, from prototypes to retail, and have always come back to a Graphite Design shaft in my driver. There’s something about the feel that has always worked well for me.

IMG_7944

Recently I’ve been playing the Graphite Design Tour AD DI. I’ve loved everything about it and have actually had it in play for the last three years.

Although I did a little experimenting with the Tour AD DJ and BB, I always went back to the DI. It wasn’t so much the ball flight changes or spin differences between the shafts, as I found them minimal for myself. My confidence in the DI had grown so much and I had come to build so much trust in it, it was hard for me to make a complete change. Yet when the Tour AD GT came out, like the DJ and BB, I had to give it a try.

Performance

I was really pleased with the smoothness of the shaft through the impact area. It was slightly more tip stiff than the DI, but in no way had a boardy feeling. My clubmaker built it exactly to the same CPM’s that I had in my other Miura SIT 460 driver with the DI, so I was comparing apples to apple. And the differences were genuinely noticeable

I found the trajectory to be a tad lower with the GT —  about 1 degree on a launch monitor — but I was still able to get quite a bit of carry with it. What I particularly enjoyed about the GT was that no matter how hard I swung, the shaft never felt overpowered. I’ve never been one to believe the torque numbers that shaft companies specify, but according to the Graphite Design website, the GT 6X that I tested has 3.1 degrees of torque in a 46 inch shaft (I tested it at 45.5 inches).

IMG_7936

The past months of testing have also proven to me the workability of the GT. Although I have a Tour AD DI set up identically in a Miura SIT 460, I’ve found the ability to control my trajectory a bit more simpler in the GT over the DI.

Spin numbers have also been great with the GT — about 200 to 300 rpms lower and very consistent — and the extra yards I’ve been getting out of my driver have been extremely pleasing.

Looks and Feel

The GT has the familiar AD paint job in a lustrous blue color with white rings, and the blue fades to a silver blue towards the butt. I can’t lie, as ridiculous as it may sound, one of the features that immediately grabbed me wanting to try it was the color. I love the looks of the shaft!

Each time I use the GT I’ve been pretty astounded by the smoothness of it. I’ve tested a few other drivers currently on the market with their stock shafts but my current set up has worked so beautifully, I have no reason to even think of a new experiment.IMG_7945

The Takeaway

Graphite Design has produced another super shaft with the Tour AD GT. Its feel, workability and playability have been astounding. Even the looks of it, which initially grabbed my attention, are sweet!

Anyone who’s played and liked Graphite Design shafts in the past will immediately find a familiar smoothness in the GT, however, it’s bumped up a few notches. The GT is a true tribute to the Graphite Design ideals of never letting a shaft hit the market that doesn’t excel in feel.

If you get a chance to try a friend’s driver with a GT or if your clubmaker stocks them, do yourself a favor and give it a swing. I highly recommend it as one of the best new shafts of the year.

Build Specs for Graphite Design Tour AD GT 6X

Club head: Miura SIT Driver (9 degrees, D3 swing weight)

Cut weight: 67.5 grams

Length: 45.5 inches (Installed untipped)

CPM: 268

Installed at Aloha Golf Center, Graphite Design specialist in the State of Hawaii.

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Reid's been an avid golfer for more than 40 years. During that time, he's amassed quite a putter collection and has become one of GolfWRX's leading equipment nuts. Reid tries all the latest equipment in hopes of finding the latest and greatest of them all to add to his bag. He was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii where the courses are green and the golf is great!

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Uther Supply golf towels

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Product: Uther Supply golf towels

Pitch: Via Uther: “Uther cart towels use the highest quality material and construction which have been tested to perform season after season…Uther’s unique blend of moisturize wicking, soft microfiber is 3x more absorbent than cotton and 5x more durable…Waffle pattern to easily remove even the most stubborn dirt in club grooves and golf ball dimples…Uther is the creator of the fashionable golf towel. Features unique sublimated prints and designs that make a fun accessory for both men and women golf bags.”

Our take on Uther Supply golf towels

Most golfers have a “logo” towel hanging on their bag today. Typically you’ll see the name of a course the golfer has visited, or an OEM name. Uther Supply towels, however, are different. Uther (pronounced “other”) Supply Founder Dan Erdman described his inspiration for this unique line of golf towels in an interview with GolfWRX a few years back:

“When you work in the back shop and storage facility, you handle a lot of golf bags. I just noticed rows and rows of bags that all look the same and I thought it made a lot of sense to inject some personality into it. You know, people go crazy for how all the pros personalize their wedges and their bags. They buy towels and bag tags from courses like TPC Sawgrass and Pebble Beach to personalize their stuff, but in the end it all kind of blends together… I thought we could really add something to the marketplace.”

They have certainly succeeded in creating a new type of towel in the marketplace. We used them over several rounds of golf, in various conditions to put them to the test.

Meant to be shown off, Uther golf towel designs are creative and clever, with some of the most popular being the “Happy Gilmore inspired” Cart Towel and “90s coffee cup” Tour Towel. There of course, are many others to choose from.

Of course, let’s not forget that the primary function of a towel is to clean your golf equipment. That might seem easy but we at WRX have ordered some custom towels from other manufacturers in the past and were disappointed in the performance. Uther’s towels, however, succeed in both form and function. They’re stylish, but they also are an excellent functional towel. You’re like to be impressed at how light they are as well. These aren’t bath towels, but rather high-quality microfiber blends that Uther says are 3x more absorbent than cotton.

As far as cons, if we’re nitpicking, you may need to find a larger carabiner clip for some golf bags if you want to hang your towel in a more prominent place. These are made to show off, after all.

Prices range from $28-$35 USD and are available for purchase at uthersupply.com, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy in the US and Golf Town in Canada.

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Air Jordan ADG golf shoes

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Product: Air Jordan ADG golf shoes (available at Dick’s and Golf Galaxy). 

Pitch: Via Jordan: “Jump up the leaderboard in the Nike Men’s Air Jordan ADG Golf Shoes. Famed for its incredible comfort and lightweight feel, the ADG features a Zoom Air unit for responsive cushioning and an integrated lacing system for a secure, supportive fit. The Integrated Traction pattern offers you enhanced grip on every terrain and the signature Jumpman logos give you extra style on the course.”

Our take on Air Jordan ADG golf shoes

Confined to the feet of Keegan Bradley for years, the iconic sneaker brand seems to have proof of concept in the golf space, as evidenced by the growing roster of tour players (Pat Perez, Harold Varner III), and numerous retail offerings.

We got to test one of said retail offerings: the just-released spikeless Air Jordan ADG. Now, the Jordan style may not be for every golfer (can’t imagine them catching on in Tuesday morning senior leagues across the nation), but if you like the look of Js on the court or street, you’ll love the look of these. Indeed, you’ll probably love the look of all Jordan offerings for the fairway, as the company has done an excellent job of bringing its aesthetic to golf, rather than the opposite (if that makes sense…tacking the Jumpman logo on a pair of saddle shoes was never going to work).

So, appearance wise, the elephant print leather upper and other signature brand elements look great (and the translucent sole is an awesome touch). However, when it comes to golf shoes, particularly of the spikeless variety, we’re always concerned about stability during the swing (both in terms of contact with the ground and within the shoe internally) and appropriate support/comfort for the five-plus mile trek that is a round of golf.

On both of the aforementioned fronts, these shoes are superb. You can feel the comfort and support the instant your heel hits the Jumpan Golf logo on the insole, and the shoes do everything you’d ask a spikeless shoe to do on course. Highly recommended; we look forward to seeing what his Airness’ cordwainers come up with next.

A look at the white colorway, via Jordan, below. 

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Callaway Golf Apparel

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Callaway apparel?

Yes, apparel, seriously.

Go ahead you can admit it, as will I. When you think of Callaway what generally comes to mind is hard goods golf gear, things like Epic Flash drivers and Chrome Soft balls. Personally I never really thought too hard about their apparel before, BUT one encounter with the lineup and I can assure you that when you think of Callaway you will think of shirts and apparel being as high on your must-try list as Apex Irons.

In the golf apparel game, there are a lot of players. From boutique brands geared towards the extreme high end to more “value” offerings that hit the mark on price but have almost no chance of holding up over a full season of use. To gain traction and find your “zone” as an apparel company you have to separate yourself, whether it be through distinctive cuts, patterns & designs, fabrics, quality, or finding the right ways & places to distribute. For Callaway Golf Apparel whatever combination of these they are doing, they are doing it very right! From quality to distribution, they are crushing it. Seriously!

How much are they “crushing it” you might ask… How about to the tune of over 690 percent year over year. Yes, that’s NOT a TYPO – 690 percent! Thanks to a glowing Q1 report (something you can easily access since they are a publicly traded company) Callaway’s apparel is leaps and bounds ahead of where they used to be for a number of reasons:

  • High-quality fabrics
  • Great cuts
  • Attention to detail

Since this is a spotlight on the apparel, I’m going to focus on my favorite pieces in the line – the polos. As I have said before there are a few things I look for in a nice golf shirt; overall fit (this dad bod has still gotta look good on the course), style choices, and quality fabric — I’d rather spend a bit more money for a classically tailored well-made shirt than something that is inexpensive but won’t last five cycles through the wash.

The highlights for these shirts are in the variety of options, the quality fit, and little extra details that allow these to be placed alongside some of the most recognized brands in off-course retail and pro shops around the country. Sleeve length is perfect and comfortable — no need for the old shoulder hike before every shot. The fabrics have stretch but not too much that the shirt feels flimsy, which a big no-no for me. Flimsy fabrics and poor seems are the typical issue with very value friendly brands but there’s none of that here! The collars don’t have stays but the way they are designed, cut, and reinforced keeps them looking firm and right where they should be.

Last but not least, Callaway’s full lineup of apparel has a huge selection of sizes for both men and women to make sure no matter your measurements you can find the outfits that fit your shape so you can feel comfortable on and off the course. If you don’t have access to a retailer you can shop their website.

 

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