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Review of the VA Composites Raijin

vashafts VA Composites Raijin

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#1 Roadking_6

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 12:16 PM

Bit of backstory…….I was fit in February into an Oban Tour Limited/Callaway Epic SZ. I couldn’t stomach the $1000 price tag at the time so I just decided to go with a stock offering and would find what I wanted elsewhere. I have played all the Kiyoshi line in the past and really liked them all. So I started doing my homework and studying.

I found out about a new up and coming company called VA Composites, owned and run by Victor Afable, which some of you may know as a founder at Oban. I thought the graphics looked sweet but wanted to know more about the company. So I fired off an email to Victor though the website and I will say this. Victor is one of the most down to earth and coolest people I have ever talked to.

So I send him over my Trackman report from my fitting and a few swing videos. We talk about shafts I have liked in the past, what I liked about them and didn’t like, etc. Over the course of the next few months, we shared emails and just talked golf gear as I liked to do. I ended up settling in on a shaft and really wasn’t happy. Victor then reached out to tell me about a new prototype that was coming. But during this time I had been working hard on swing changes. Sent him some more info, new swing vid’s and more numbers and eventually Victor told me the Raijin may actually be what I was after. I needed a new driver shaft and 2 iron shaft. He eventually broke my will and I ended up pulling the trigger. Raijin 74x and the 84 hybrid shaft for the 2 iron.

I loved the graphics and your clubs have to look good to play good came to mind. So they checked the boxes in the looks department. But would they live up to the hype in my mind. I was playing a Kuro Kage Dual Core 60TX (the XT Profile) and thought it was fantastic. Maybe just a tad lighter than I would prefer. So I was set to move on to the 70TX but figured I would try something new in between purchases.

The Raijin is probably the most solid performing shaft I have come across. It feels like an Oban White (in my mind) and is just really smooth. Not too much kick, not too boardy, just right in between. It launches about the same, maybe a hair lower and spins less than the White for me. I am typically a low launch high spin player because of my negative AoA. Good numbers for me are around 10* of launch and 2600 or so spin. It’s about the best I can hope for given my swing. I am working to improve that, but for the sake of testing, no shaft is going to give me 15* and 2000rpm’s.

So I tipped this up for my M1, and was ready to go. Took it to the range to go head to head with the Epic SZ with the Kuro Kage DC XT. In terms of performance, Ballflight was very similar, spin seemed about the same. No ballooning that I see with some shafts in either. Distance, maybe a hair longer with the SZ but the thing that stood out to me was the ability to find the fairway with the M1. My first 3 times out on course, I went 11 for 14 (only missed just off the fairway) and nothing OB or crazy wild I have been getting with the Epic. SO I pulled the Epic adapter and threw it in the M1. Even got a 9.5 M2 to test with them. Going over all the possible combinations, I need the 10.5 degree of the M1 so I went with that. Back and forth on the range and on course with the KK DC and the Raijin. They both felt great, but the Raijin offered me that little extra control I need. Raijin is firmly in the bag.

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Found out there is a VA Composites Distributor close by, and reached out to Jeff Jackson at Granville Golfland near Columbus Ohio. Jeff is an incredible guy and has some really nice facilities. I was hoping he would be able to have a little more free time just to chat with but ended up having a lesson to give and left me to do my thing. From what I understand, Jeff is a legend in the world of club building and fitting. Hope I can get back down soon even if it's just to talk shop with someone with that much experience. I highly reccomend the facilities at Granville Golfland if you are in the Columbus area. Really awesome day for me (living in my town, there is nothing and nowhere to test so just having the trackman to myself to get numbers and free range of the demo heads/shafts was like a wet dream for me). They had trackman available and a few different weights and flexes of the VA shafts. I wanted to put these shafts through the ringer. I tried all the VA shafts in the Epic, M1, M2, G400, G400 LST along with some other shafts in the fitting carts.

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A new contender arose from all this hitting. I have a hotmelted M1 and love the feel and the sound. But I play my driver at 45.5. At 45.5”, and 208g head, my swingweight is E2. It’s fine I thought. I like the heavy. The first thing I noticed on trackman was my swingspeed was 5 mph slower with my M1 over a stock M1 or M2. I went from 115mph avg to 120mph just by taking a standard weight head. So I decided I was going to try to pick up a lighter head and the lighter shaft and see if it helped. Its clear I need the 75+g weight class just for the control. Extra SS doesn’t mean much if you can’t control it. G400 LST, I was not as impressed as I thought I would be. I prefer the look of the M1/M2 at address and the Epic I can’t keep the left out of play, so my search was narrowed to the M1/M2.

In the end, the M2 came out victorious and have a new head being delivered today. But the Raijin is no doubt the best shaft on the market (that I have hit) for me. Yes I know my numbers aren’t “perfect” by wrx standards, but they are good for me. I just want something I can hit and feels great, and my ball doesn’t balloon. If I launch it at 10* and get 2700 revs, It’s ok if I am keeping it in play. My biggest flaw in my game is driver control. Can I hit over 300, yep. Have I had rounds where I hit 2 fairways or less…..sure have. Have I had rounds I hit 5+ balls OB off the tee, done that too. I can easily break 80 most places around me with a 3 iron off the tee. But I refuse to put the big dog away. It used to be a strength when I played competitively, and after 10 years away from golf, trying to find that timing has been a struggle.

With the Raijin, I have had some really solid rounds where my game is firing on all cylinders. I think it’s giving me the best chance of consistency which I love. My swing is manageable and I am getting really good numbers for me. I am as long or longer than my avg (good drives) and this thing looks and feels amazing. I can honestly say I haven’t been this happy with my driver since the OG GBB that I played in 1998-2001.

I cannot say enough good things about this shaft. I have a trackman report but I am a NOOB to using trackman alone and deleting the outlier shots that were terribly mistruck. I was attempting to hit different types of shots as well so I know it may look like my dispersion is all over the place ( I am on the wild side at times) but this was a pretty solid ballstriking day for me). Here are a couple snaps of the screen when I felt like I caught a couple. This is M2/Raijin 74X. Yes my smash should be better, my lauch is low, and my spin is high. I know I am not a perfect golfer. Far from it. But I love testing gear, trying new things and this checks all the boxes out of how I want my equipment to perform. And I like my gear to look good. And the graphics on these are amazing. It turns heads and get questions all the time about what it is.

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If anybody has any questions, comments, thoughts, etc, I love talking gear. Feel free to ask here, PM, whatever. Just thought more people should be aware of this awesome shaft. Can't wait to see what else is in store from VA Shafts.


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#2 Puttersaurus Rex

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 12:23 PM

Nice write up!
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#3 mokedaddy

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 12:40 PM

Great write up.  I just put a 74 in an m2 this morning.   I can't wait to try it out vs all the other stuff I have.
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#4 Roadking_6

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 12:45 PM

 Puttersaurus Rex, on 18 August 2017 - 12:23 PM, said:

Nice write up!
Thanks man! I love this club and am extremely happy. Just wanted to get others in the know.

 mokedaddy, on 18 August 2017 - 12:40 PM, said:

Great write up.  I just put a 74 in an m2 this morning.   I can't wait to try it out vs all the other stuff I have.
I did a ton of research on this before I pulled the trigger. The problem is that VA is so new and they only have one profile, the Raijin for the time being (new stuff is on the horizon though). So there wasn't a ton of info to go on. Just basically emails back and forth and a few odds and ends threads mostly asking questions. I ended up just going with my gut and ordered and I couldn't be more pleasantly surprised. This combo in the M2 is money. Would love to hear your thoughts once you get a chance to test it out.

The M1 head is on it's way out and my M2 just arrived today and will get a nice round in tomorrow.

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#5 mokedaddy

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 01:06 PM

I have such a problem that I installed it in a 2016 m2 head to go against a gd bb6, mt7, di 7, mitsu bf60 and an og whiteboard.  Then I decided I needed a 2017 m2 to test against so that is now on the way too.  It will be a busy week but I will definitely keep you posted.

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#6 Roadking_6

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 01:13 PM

 mokedaddy, on 18 August 2017 - 01:06 PM, said:

I have such a problem that I installed it in a 2016 m2 head to go against a gd bb6, mt7, di 7, mitsu bf60 and an og whiteboard.  Then I decided I needed a 2017 m2 to test against so that is now on the way too.  It will be a busy week but I will definitely keep you posted.
Ha I had a 2017 M1 and had 2 shafts to test, so I grabbed a 2017 M2 :)

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#7 Roadking_6

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 06:19 AM

Not sure why this got moved from equipment to WRX techs??? It took me a while to find where this thread got buried/hidden.

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#8 mokedaddy

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 07:16 AM

 Roadking_6, on 21 August 2017 - 06:19 AM, said:

Not sure why this got moved from equipment to WRX techs??? It took me a while to find where this thread got buried/hidden.

For some reason they seem to put all shaft threads in club techs.

I got to hit the raijin yesterday.  Felt absolutely great even though it's a couple grams heavier than anything else I've used in driver.  May need to loft up a tiny bit.  Definitely felt more like the tour ltd vs the purple from the oban line.  Will need some more testing but I'm liking it so far.
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#9 trhode

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 07:31 AM

I took the Raijin 64 Four out for a spin last Monday.  All I can say is WOW!  I didn't hit it very well in the studio, so I was a bit hesitant to put it in the bag.  But, I took it to the range the morning of my last round and was killing it!  Had been playing a Paderson Blue 972 D30 for a couple of months, then recently put in an ATMOS Blue 6S.  I like the ATMOS, but if I didn't put a good swing on it, I had no idea where is was going.  The Raijin was a straight bomber for me.  I only missed one drive, but the miss was just a slight right push and very playable.  Unfortunately, I just went through a hernia surgery and won't be swinging any clubs for about a month.  I can't wait to get the SLAY in next month!

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#10 Roadking_6

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 12:57 PM

 trhode, on 21 August 2017 - 07:31 AM, said:

I took the Raijin 64 Four out for a spin last Monday.  All I can say is WOW!  I didn't hit it very well in the studio, so I was a bit hesitant to put it in the bag.  But, I took it to the range the morning of my last round and was killing it!  Had been playing a Paderson Blue 972 D30 for a couple of months, then recently put in an ATMOS Blue 6S.  I like the ATMOS, but if I didn't put a good swing on it, I had no idea where is was going.  The Raijin was a straight bomber for me.  I only missed one drive, but the miss was just a slight right push and very playable.  Unfortunately, I just went through a hernia surgery and won't be swinging any clubs for about a month.  I can't wait to get the SLAY in next month!
Yeah I am definitely amped to see some reviews of the slay. May order blindly. From what I understand, it's a low spinner but with a touch higher launch. Don't know if I want to mess with the Raijin though.

I do know this, the MPH4 2 Iron with the Raijin hybrid shaft is the most consistent club in my bag. 250-260yrd bullets off the tee. I am still fighting the driver (my own personal swing flaws) but I am grooving every other club in the bag. Shot a solid 76-76 this weekend. Seven 3-putts the first day (severely tricked up and fast greens on an unfamiliar course) and day 2 very slow greens and just couldn't get the putts to drop. When I do square the face of the driver, it's long and feels fantastic. I have some issues with my swing and am going the Stenson route and hit my safety club (the 2 iron) at the moment. I only hit driver a few times this weekend and most were actually really good. Couple high blocks but playing more position golf and if I could make a few putts, the game is coming around.


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#11 mokedaddy

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 12:24 PM

I wish I would have gotten my hands on a 64.  I really like the shaft but it's just a bit too heavy.  I could really feel it on the back 9.  It will probably be on the bst soon.
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#12 Roadking_6

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 08:51 AM

 mokedaddy, on 26 August 2017 - 12:24 PM, said:

I wish I would have gotten my hands on a 64.  I really like the shaft but it's just a bit too heavy.  I could really feel it on the back 9.  It will probably be on the bst soon.
They are much heavier than the weight designation on the shaft.

The 74 Five I have is actually 81g. The 64 Five is 69g so it really boils down to finding the right weight  for the shaft you want, not strictly basing it on the weight number you are used to seeing written on your shaft.

If the weights are the same (74=81g and 64=69g) I may try out the 64 in the slay. I think I get better control with the 80g though. Helps keep my tempo in check.

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#13 mokedaddy

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 08:57 AM

Yeah I was aware of that when I grabbed it.  He just happened to only have the 74 four which was 79 grams uncut.  I definitely don't have the swing speed for the five.  My sweet spot seems to be high 60s low 70s depending on length and headweight.

I would love to try a 64 four but for now I have a mt 7 and bb 6 I'm getting along with really well.
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#14 Morry

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 08:44 AM

Softer butt and stiff mid and tip - this Raijin is the holy grail for me
tested and order a 64 stiff for a Fusion replacing an Atmos red and a Velyx 688 rome
cannot wait to get it in the bag

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#15 Roadking_6

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 08:50 AM

 Morry, on 01 September 2017 - 08:44 AM, said:

Softer butt and stiff mid and tip - this Raijin is the holy grail for me
tested and order a 64 stiff for a Fusion replacing an Atmos red and a Velyx 688 rome
cannot wait to get it in the bag
I am still really loving mine. Please give some feedback once you get it in the bag. This is one of the best shafts I have ever hit and excited for more things to come from VA


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#16 phatchrisrules

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 09:20 AM

 Roadking_6, on 21 August 2017 - 12:57 PM, said:

Seven 3-putts the first day (severely tricked up and fast greens on an unfamiliar course) and day 2 very slow greens and just couldn't get the putts to drop.

Sounds like you need a new putter rather than a new shaft!  Kidding aside, nice review.  I haven't heard of these guys before I'll give them a look.
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#17 cz13X4

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 03:10 PM

 Morry, on 01 September 2017 - 08:44 AM, said:

Softer butt and stiff mid and tip - this Raijin is the holy grail for me
tested and order a 64 stiff for a Fusion replacing an Atmos red and a Velyx 688 rome


cannot wait to get it in the bag

Can you compare to the rome? I have a raijin hybrid....never hit a veylix

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#18 Morry

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 05:18 PM

as soon as i get it in i will !

anyone compare this to a Hz yellow?

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#19 Roadking_6

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 06:55 AM

My new VA Composites SLAY is on the Truck for Scheduled for Delivery today.

Can't wait to hit this against the Raijin!

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#20 jcg132

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 08:17 AM

I play the Oban Devotion in my driver and love it, most accurate driver shaft I have played. Have you hit the Devotion and can you compare it to the VA?

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#21 Roadking_6

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 08:36 AM

View Postjcg132, on 28 September 2017 - 08:17 AM, said:

I play the Oban Devotion in my driver and love it, most accurate driver shaft I have played. Have you hit the Devotion and can you compare it to the VA?
Haven't hit the Devo.

I have owned the Kiyoshi Black, white, purple, gold, and Tour Limited in a few different flexes and weights. I was fit into the Tour Limited early this Spring. But the Raijin is very similar feeling to the White IMO. I get better numbers with the Raijin, and just feels super solid. Purple kicks a lot, black was a little boardy. Didn't care for the Gold, though I had that in a fairway. Tour Limited was awesome and gave me great numbers, but the Raijin Feel is my favorite along with the White. I just did not get great numbers with the White for some reason.

From what I have talked to Victor about, he said the new Slay is based on the Tour Limited Profile. Here is a link discussing the Raijin/Proto (now named SLAY) and this VA Fitter Member TRhode said the Slay will be an almost identical profile to the Oban Devo. Take that for what it's worth. He says the Devo and Tour limited are basically the same.

http://www.golfwrx.c.../#entry15779060

When I asked Victor directly, he said based on my fitting numbers, the SLAY is going to be my new best friend. Although this was a completely blind purchase so I won't know until I get to hit it hopefully this weekend.

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#22 swgolf12

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 09:17 AM

I'm going to guess based upon SS and Ball speed you were hitting range balls?
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#23 Roadking_6

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 09:28 AM

View Postswgolf12, on 28 September 2017 - 09:17 AM, said:

I'm going to guess based upon SS and Ball speed you were hitting range balls?
Yeah it's all I got man haha. Living in Rural Ohio, we don't have many options. We don't even have a single course/store that sells clubs within an hour of me. Right in the Middle of Cleveland and Columbus so I gotta take the 1 hour drive either way just to test. I just know based on the numbers on TM, I can see differences. I can see jumps from one product to the next. It's not perfect, but I had to really hunt and scour to even find a place within 2 hours to find a Trackman.  I really base all my evaluation on What I see with my eyes anyway, I just know WRX wants data so I figured I would do my best with what I got

I really care about it where it counts, on course. I am getting a flight that I like to see, able to more consistently find the fairway, love the feel of the Raijin and overall consistency has improved.

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#24 sparkz

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 05:22 PM

View PostRoadking_6, on 28 September 2017 - 06:55 AM, said:

My new VA Composites SLAY is on the Truck for Scheduled for Delivery today.

Can't wait to hit this against the Raijin!

Any update on the Slay vs. Raijin? I was fit into the Slay 65 Four yesterday and absolutely loved it.

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#25 Roadking_6

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 07:42 AM

View Postsparkz, on 09 November 2017 - 05:22 PM, said:

View PostRoadking_6, on 28 September 2017 - 06:55 AM, said:

My new VA Composites SLAY is on the Truck for Scheduled for Delivery today.

Can't wait to hit this against the Raijin!

Any update on the Slay vs. Raijin? I was fit into the Slay 65 Four yesterday and absolutely loved it.
SLAY was a good shaft, but couldn't hang with the Raijin.....It ultimately spun too much

The Raijin went back into play, and I also picked up a few others to test out.....
Kuro Kage Dual Core 70TX
Kuro Kage Dual Core 80TX
Tensei ProOrange 70TX
VA Composites Raijin Black Proto

So I have tested the Pro Orange, and 80TX and those are out......The 80TX has gone to the Rapture Fairway and it's a monster so far and really not into counterbalanced shafts so the orange was out. It was D0 at 45.25" and just didn't feel like tinkering with headweight to try to dial it in so I just ended up selling it.  

Currently testing the KK DC 70TX vs the Raijin Black Proto....Hit them both yesterday outside and it's kind of a toss up right now...both really solid for me. Will spend a little more time outside and in the sim with them to test getting ready for next season


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#26 trhode

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 07:58 AM

The Slay is a much softer tip profile vs the Raijin.

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#27 Dscvrr St Louis

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 08:49 AM

Love the 74 04 in the Fairway!! I tend to draw the 3 wood and the Raijin is a bit right oriented for me, so works great.  74 04 is also solid in the driver, but I play a slight left to right baby fade and it can get right on me a touch, but when swinging well is very solid there!!

Slay was good, but Raijin was better for me overall.
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#28 hurricanes7

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 08:55 AM

what else should we look forward to from Raijin? i have an oban purple in my driver and oban gold in my 3 wood and love both. probably need to demo a hybrid shaft
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#29 Roadking_6

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 09:02 AM

View Posthurricanes7, on 13 November 2017 - 08:55 AM, said:

what else should we look forward to from Raijin? i have an oban purple in my driver and oban gold in my 3 wood and love both. probably need to demo a hybrid shaft
The Hybrid is the shining star IMO.....I have it in my MP H4 2 iron...tipped it 1" and it's so so good. I have stopped looking at driving irons and that is a spot that I always like to buy and try different options. Gives me perfect flight

Also the new shaft coming is the Raijin Black for the guys that need low/low.....

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#30 Morry

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 10:25 AM

View PostDscvrr St Louis, on 13 November 2017 - 08:49 AM, said:

Love the 74 04 in the Fairway!! I tend to draw the 3 wood and the Raijin is a bit right oriented for me, so works great.  74 04 is also solid in the driver, but I play a slight left to right baby fade and it can get right on me a touch, but when swinging well is very solid there!!

Slay was good, but Raijin was better for me overall.
i Love and game the Rome as well .....thinking this Raijin will be a great alternative?
can you elaborate on why you like them both a little?
appreciated


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