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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.

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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).

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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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Apparel Reviews

On the course? Off the course? Adidas’ new adicross line has you covered

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Furthering golfwear’s trend toward the more casual and versatile in a big way, Adidas today unveiled a new line extension: Adicross.

Urban inspired. Decidedly non-traditional. The Adicross line (styled “adicross”) leverages Adidas’ clothing and footwear styles from other arenas and reimagines them for wear on the fairway. Available December 1, the line brings Anorak jackets, henleys, hoodies, joggers, and even an Oxford to the golf course.

And before you clutch your saddle shoes in terror, remember, this is a line extension targeting a particular segment of the golfing population, not a total change of course for the entire Adidas Golf brand. If you’re wondering who represents the segment in question, think Erik Anders Lang: filmmaker, irrepressible golf enthusiast, and host of Skratch TV’s Adventures in Golf.

Lang hosted a launch event in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District warehouse space where he sat down with Adidas execs and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for a chat about the new line. He praised the performance aspects of the five-pocket pant and the footwear styles, in particular.

As for golf’s top-ranked player, regarding the Adicross line, DJ told us the line is much more in keeping with stuff he’d actually wear than the baggy shirts and khakis that were the uniform of golf when he started out on tour.

“This is a line that I’ll wear all the time,” Johnson said. “I can wear it to the course and then go meet some buddies for lunch, and I’m not a walking poster for golf.”

From the Stretch-Woven Oxford, to the jogger pant, to the Adicross Bounce footwear, every item Dustin Johnson wears in picture below is intended for both on- and off-course wear.

“Adicross is the lifestyle brand that golfers everywhere have been waiting for,” said the world No. 1. “This is something that I’ll wear when I’m traveling to a tournament, practicing at home, or even headed to the gym.”

The aforementioned versatility of the Adicross line is very much a function of the materials: No-show sweat wicking technology, nylon-spandex blends (featured in the five-pocket pant and short), Primeknit (featured in Icon Polo and Jacket). These are clothes that are ready to wear to the office, but stretch, are light enough, and offer enough comfort to play 18 holes in.

“We wanted to challenge ourselves to design a line that would aid in helping athletes in their game, their life and in their world,” said Chad Alasantro, senior designer, men’s apparel at adidas Golf. “adicross is a perfect blend of hidden technology, fused with a creative aesthetic.”

 

The Adicross line also boldly brings street-inspired footwear to the golf course, retooling Adidas’ ultrapopular Bounce design to support the foot and grip the turf during the golf swing (and resist water during dew-sweeping early morning rounds)

“Adicross was designed as a result of the feedback we were hearing from our core consumer,” said Dylan Moore, Creative Director, Adidas Golf. “Like everyone else, golfers live in a complex, busy world with many diverse interests. They expect more from less and demand performance out of what they wear.”

The centerpiece Bounce features an ergonomic fit, offset wrapped saddle with multiple eyelet rows for customizable lacing, and a non-marking adiwear rubber spikeless outsole that features 181 strategically-placed lugs for a green-friendly grip.

The Bounce will be released in January, and additional styles will follow in February.

Regarding said “additional styles,” you can spot a few in this promo video. 

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Accessory Reviews

Choose Your Tartan: Enter now to win a Sunfish Tartan headcover

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Sunfish, well known for its stylish headcover designs, is offering up free Tartan-style headcovers to five GolfWRX Members. All you have to do to apply is become a GolfWRX member, if you’re not already, and then reply in the forum thread with your favorite the Tartan pattern.

TartanPatternsSunfish

The five winners will receive a free headcover in the pattern that they select. Winners will be selected on Friday, so don’t wait.

Click here to enter into the giveaway and pick your favorite style.

Reminder: Commenting on this post WILL NOT enter you into the giveaway.

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Equipment

Member Reviews: Callaway Steelhead XR Fairway Woods

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One of the many benefits of being a GolfWRX Forum Member is exclusive access to Giveaways and Testing Threads. In this Testing Thread, we selected six members to test a Callaway Steelhead XR fairway wood built to their specs.

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The Steelhead XR has a club face made of steel for that familiar Steelhead feel. The crowns are made from J-36 carbon fiber to lower center of gravity and move it more forward; that will help it produce lower spin like the original designs that sold 2.3 million units. According to Callaway, the crowns weigh just 6 grams — that’s 20 grams lighter than Callaway’s XR ’16 fairway wood crowns.

Full Tech Story: Callaway upgrades a classic, introduces Steelhead XR fairway woods

The Steelhead XR fairways also have a Hyper Speed Face Cup that produces more ball speed across the face, and Speed Step technology, or the raised portions on the crown, that were first introduced in Callaway XR ’16 metalwoods. They improve aerodynamics to help golfers produce higher swing speeds.

Each member completed a detailed analysis and rating of the club. You can see the full reviews here. Below, we pull quotes from the reviews to give you a feel for what this choice group of WRXers had to say. The responses have been minimally edited for brevity and style. Thanks to all of those involved in the testing!

lutomrSC

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR (13.5 degrees)
  • Shaft Tested: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65X

“I like almost everything about how this club looks. The color combination of the dark blue against the steel face gives a nice contract. I really like how the carbon fiber looks under the blue paint.”

“At times the ball appeared to have a little too much spin and would tend to climb to a height that would be above my current gamer off the tee. It would tend to go further because of the stronger loft, however, usually about 5-7 yards. Perhaps a different shaft could help the spin, but it would need testing. The Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65 Graphite X-flex is a great stock option. It has a good feel and a weight that I prefer, and I think it can keep up with higher swing speeds without issue.”

SDickenson642

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)
  • Shaft Tested: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65X

“The appearance of the Steelhead is amazing. The shape is perfect for my eye, as I prefer a smaller profile down by the ball in fairway woods. The face is pretty deep compared to my [Cobra] Fly-Z+ I’ve been playing for three years now. The sound is amazing off the head. I never had the privilege of playing the original Steelhead fairways, but it does remind me of the original woods I played as a kid, which I think where Tommy Armour 845’s.”

“With the deeper face of the Steelhead XR, I thought I would have issues launching the ball from the deck on par 5s, but I did not see any issue. Turf interaction with the Steelhead was great. I was able to try multiple lies from the fairway, rough, and even a bunker. From the fairway I could easily control it and actually get the ball up in the air enough and with enough spin to hold greens.”

MillerLowLife

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)

“The top of this club looks awesome at address. I really liked the look of the crown that is a dark blue and shows the carbon fiber underneath. That, coupled with the silver steel face, makes it easy to frame the ball. This is a steel club so the sound and feel will be a sharper metal sound that’s accustomed to the old Steelheads. Has great swing weight and feel. Felt really easy to hit this in the tee box, fairway, or rough.”

“I really enjoyed the versatility of the 4+ with the shorter playing length, heavier swing weight, and flatter lie angle. For me, it felt like a bomber off the tee box, but it was still something I could use to get me out of less-than-ideal lies outside of the fairway —  something I wouldn’t think about with my current gamer.”

Hackster

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)

“This club is all business. Longer than my 3-wood, flies higher and able to work the ball left and right. On the tee, the ball jumps forward when it hits fairway. Does not lose much distance on off-center hits.”

“Long off the fairway, just put on cruise control and fire away. I struggle in the rough with any fairway wood, so not much to compare to — that’s what hybrids are for. Love this club. Had concerns where it would fit in the bag, but easily able to replace my 14.5-degree 3-wood with the 4+. Much more versatile than my current 3-wood and longer.”

drifliboy

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 3+ (13.5 degrees)

“This club with the lower loft of the 3+ worked well for me off the tee. It was close to my driver on distance. It seemed to launch quickly and then maintain its height. It did not balloon for me. It also really seemed to want to go straight, a couple of times shots almost seemed to correct a little in the air, particularly if I had pushed it. This club at this loft is pretty much a driver replacement for me.”

“If you are looking for a very classy fairway wood that is solid, long, with some forgiveness and doesn’t look like it was developed by a “mad” scientist, this club should be on your short list. It works well off the tee and turf. Please test and get fitted for the right loft and flex. I think this club provides most golfers with very good options that should be considered if they are looking to upgrade any of their woods.”

Discussion: Read the full responses here.

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