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For those who are wondering if the upgrade shafts in the R11 TP are the real deal…….


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#1 nelmodigi

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:32 PM

…….I believe I have the honest answer.  But first indulge me as I give a brief background as to how/why I even cared to know.  I was in the market for a new driver.  I was seriously looking at the R9 SuperDeep as I liked the performance, look, etc., but wanted to try the new offerings.  I tried the Callaway Razr Hawk Tour, Mizuno MP630 (Fast Track and non-FastTrack), TaylorMade R9 SuperTri, R9 SuperDeep, R11 TP and non-TP, Superfast 2.0 TP, and Titleist 910 D3.  Even hit the new Nike VR Pro Tour w/Project X (surprisingly, not bad).

Anyhow, over the last couple of weeks, hitting hundreds of balls on launch monitors and even squeezed out an outdoor range session during a Detroit area Demo Day (when the temp climbed out of the cave), the R11 won me over.  Once I made that decision, the question became of whether to go TP or not.  $100 upgrade to the TP gives you an “upgraded shaft”, .335 tip, and the TP crest on the head cover and shaft (and supposedly a different COG location, but I don’t buy it because of the MWT).  Anyhow, the shaft is most important for this added charge and just because it’s an upgrade from the stock shaft doesn’t mean it still isn’t junk.  Not a good deal if the shaft is not authentic.

So I scoured the net, including this site, and saw conflicting reports that got me nothing substantial.  All I was able to gather was that there is a lot of fan boyism (both for and against TaylorMade).  So I took matters into my own hands and emailed TaylorMade.  This is the question and response:

Question:  

I would like to know if the Mitsubishi Diamana 'ahina, Ka'ili, and Fubuki Alpha are the same as the aftermarket shafts from Mitsubishi Rayon, or have they been modified.  I know that the Fujikura Blur TP 65 is not the same as the aftermarket Blur (close, but modified a bit).  This is for the R11 TP driver, by the way.  Thanks.

Reply:

Thanks for the email. All TP shafts are the real deal Blur 65 and Diamana alike.  The only difference is our graphics on the shaft. Thank you again and thanks for playing TaylorMade!
Best regards,
Rob
TaylorMade - adidas Golf

Figured I would get that response.  Notice how I called out the Blur TP 65?  I based this on the fact that the specs on the TM site are off vs. the Fuji site.  That and the fact that the shaft is made in Vietnam.  So I called TM and basically asked the same question in the email.  Same reply.  Asked what’s up w/the specs (especially the difference in torque rating).  He stated that there is no industry standard for torque, stiffness, or other ratings, so different outfits will yield different results.  Okay, I can respect that and I know that bit to be true.

Asked why some shafts had an additional charge and was advised that the most expensive shafts have the additional charges, whereas the lesser priced options are no charge.  Looking at the list, it seems about right.  The $199 and below shafts are no charge, whereas the more expensive get the hit.  The exception is the Blur which retails at $299, but is no additional charge after the initial $100 TP charge.  Reason is that since it is the standard TP shaft, Fuji cut a deal w/TM.  Makes sense.  I’m in the automotive world and you’d be surprised how much things cost at retail vs. wholesale.

Okay, I got TM’s side, but that’s not good enough.  So I emailed Mitsubishi (as I was most interested in their Diamana and Fubuki lines).  Here is the question and response:

Question:  
Is the Diamana 'ahina in the TaylorMade R11 the real thing or is it a "made for" shaft? Additionally, are the rest of the Mitsubishi shafts for the TaylorMade R11 (i.e., Ka'ili and the Fubuki Alpha) authentic or modified versions?
Thank You.

Reply:

2011/02/22 12:38   From: MRC
Thank you for your email. Any time you purchase a custom upgrade with your driver purchase, you will be getting the actual structure. The stock shafts are the only ones modified based on the request of the specific OEM they are sold to. Take care

MRC-Golf
Customer Support

Okay, a bit surprised here.  But what does “actual structure” mean?  Are they hiding behind something?  So I called them, too.  Asked the question (and I was really drilling this guy) and I was told in no uncertain terms that all of the Mitsubishi shafts through TM were 100% authentic and legit – not made fors or modified in anyway other than the paint, and possibly where they are made.  So I asked him about that, and he stated that almost all of the Japanese golf companies have factories outside of Japan and are making more and more of their products (this I already knew) outside of Japan, including MRC.  Since the materials, tooling, and processes are exactly the same as in Japan, it doesn’t negate their authenticity.  It possibly can w/forged iron heads because of the added human contact.  With shafts, however, there should be no difference.  I asked him if where they were made would make a difference from an “authenticity” standpoint and he said it shouldn’t as it will play the same.  Went on to say that pretty soon, almost all of the high end shafts, regardless of manufacturer, will be made outside of Japan, even the non-OEM painted aftermarket ones.  Again, my background in the automotive world can substantiate this.  For years, Japanese cars were better than American cars because of their superior processes (and materials in terms of components) -- Not because they were Japanese.  

Asked him about the “actual structure” statement.  It means that because of the difference in paint that TM or another OEM requires, it may not have the same glossy finish that the aftermarket MRC version might have vs. the matte finish TM may have, or vice versa.  But the naked shaft itself, is the same, hence actual structure.

Talked a little golf and asked him a few more questions about shaft authenticity.  Finally, he said, “Don’t worry about the TM shaft.  It’s the real thing, man.”  He went on to say that the best deal in golf is getting an upgraded shaft from TM.  For as low as $181 you can get a Diamana ‘ahina, Ka'ili, or the Fubuki Alpha.  Street price is $380, and Titleist (which this guy played by the way – the 910 D3 to be exact) charges $269 for their MRC shafts.

So is it worth to plunk down the extra $100 for the TP?  I think so.  Think of the TP premium as a gateway to getting higher end shafts at a reduced rate.

With that said, I have an R11 9 degree w/a Mitsubishi Fubuki Alpha 70 Stiff coming to me in the next week or so for $580.99 ($499.99 + $81 shaft upgrade).  An insane price, but thankfully, I had $431 of trade-in credit.  I’ve noticed that some outlets are charging anywhere from $81-$150.  So keep that in mind.  I got mine from a Golfsmith Xtreme that is on my way home from work, but I’ve seen others w/the $81 amount.  Finally, according to both TM and MRC, the 'ahina will not be avail en masse until late April.  Unless you know someone special, you’ll have to wait for this shaft.  Luckily, I wanted the Fubuki Alpha.

I do hope this information helps.


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#2 brengolfer

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 11:57 PM

Thanks for the post. It's something I was wondering about. Useful info.

#3 williamo

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:43 AM

Man, What a long and detailed text. I am very impressed! When I clicked on this thread I a
had this thought... No not someone more that think that they know everything but this text was so good.

I hitthe Kai'li 70S on goldsmith in an R11 and I think it felt nice but still not like my real Kai'li in my 3wood... This may have been my head that thought so because of the fugly paint scheme compared to the real one.

I really like that they have started to focus on offering good shafts for the public though the shaft is the club's engine. Very cool that these shafts are also offered by Ping through custom orders.

Thanks! Will

#4 PhilTickelson

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 02:23 AM

Very informative thread, thanks for putting this all together. This should help stop some of those arguments about "made for" vs. aftermarket.

#5 Neverfaze

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 07:50 AM

I was basically told the same thing by Oban at the PGA Show this year. They told me their R11 shaft (i think it was the devotion?) is the same shaft, they just wait to get laminates from TM. They also told me it was a better deal to get the shaft through TM due to the upcharge being less than MSRP on the shaft.


#6 Kerby1280

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 08:34 AM

Someone on here actually sand down a TM graphic RIP and underneath was the original black color scheme. But he had no pictures to prove it. Any one wanna try this and post pics?

#7 tbomb

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 10:53 PM

Best post I've read in a couple weeks. Thanks for sharing your results. I kind of felt the shafts were the real deal just b/c the tour guys use them. And It would be a lot of work to just do it for the tour guys.

I still don't know if I could spank the Michelin man driver :S lol

#8 DixieMafia

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 11:01 PM

Real or not, I still don't like the fact that TM requires their "own" graphics...and for that reason I choose not to play it.



#9 CassinoNorth

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 11:52 PM

Pretty good stuff. I liked the HD6 that came in my TP but liked my Radix 7321 a bit more.


Plus, the real deal graphics make it better, duh.

#10 XHILR8N

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 12:55 AM

I commend you on your effort and deduction.  I also am further appreciative that you chose to share this post with us, very informative IMO.


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#11 TML

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 11:53 AM

how did you decide on the alpha 70?  Did they give you the option on the alpha 60 or 50?

#12 WesleyD

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 03:16 PM

Nice post man

#13 rl4673

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 09:25 PM

View PostTML, on 26 February 2011 - 11:53 AM, said:

how did you decide on the alpha 70?  Did they give you the option on the alpha 60 or 50?

They do offer and alpha 60. I ordered mine with it.

#14 Jshyne

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 11:33 PM

why would the shaft manufactures paint different colors on them you would think they would want their colors and logos to be out there for people to see for the shear marketing of it

#15 nelmodigi

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 11:58 PM

View PostTML, on 26 February 2011 - 11:53 AM, said:

how did you decide on the alpha 70?  Did they give you the option on the alpha 60 or 50?

The shaft options for the Fubuki Alpha are 60 or 70.  I was initially undecided between the Ka'ili and the Fubuki Alpha.  I liked the previous Fubuki, but it could get a bit squirly on me whenever I really went after it.  From my research the Alpha is a stouter (though, less smooth) Fubuki Tour.  I was tossing around the idea of going 60X, but went w/the 70S as the torque rating was lower.  The heavier weight should be off-set slightly by the more flexible shaft -- combination of control and distance.


#16 nelmodigi

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 12:15 AM

View PostJshyne, on 26 February 2011 - 11:33 PM, said:

why would the shaft manufactures paint different colors on them you would think they would want their colors and logos to be out there for people to see for the shear marketing of it

I may be wrong, but from what I have seen, I think TaylorMade is the only OEM that requests the uniform paint scheme from the shaft manufacturers.  A practice that I don't care for too much as I like many of the native color schemes.  As to why the shaft manufacturers would use another paint job, I'm not certain.  Perhaps they're willing to be flexible w/TM considering the amount of units that they sell.  At the end of the day, it's all about sales and moving product out of that door.  I'm sure if the sales forecast is right, they'll have kindergartners finger paint shafts if that was requested of them.

#17 nelmodigi

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 12:15 AM

View PostWesleyD, on 26 February 2011 - 03:16 PM, said:

Nice post man

Thank you, brother.

#18 da_boys

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:13 AM

Very informative topic. Thanks for sharing.

#19 BNich0622

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:22 AM

Great post! Thank you for all the research and clarification. This should help a ton of people.
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#20 dntrs4

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:28 PM

I don't post many comments on people's reviews, but I have to give you props for the detail and due diligence!

Thanks for the great post!  That wins the "most informative and useful internet post of the week"!

Congrats!


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#21 ignitewvu

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:36 PM

I can confirm form the exact R11 you order the Alpha 70S is LEGIT.  I actually put the Alpha in my Superdeep and a old whiteboard in the r11.  But the Mitsu shafts are legit.....
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#22 RJRJRJ

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 01:02 AM

View PostJshyne, on 26 February 2011 - 11:33 PM, said:

why would the shaft manufactures paint different colors on them you would think they would want their colors and logos to be out there for people to see for the shear marketing of it

I think theyll paint whatever you want if you order enough of them.  Also, id bet that the TM graphics are the reason for the reduced upcharge.  The TM shaft on the used market is worth far less than a regular one even though its identical in structure.  Paint scheme is probably the way for them to block the loophole that there would be if they were giving you a real shaft with the original colors for such a low price.
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#23 g36man

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 03:57 AM

If you compare the specs from the Taylor made 2011 catalog some of the torque numbers and weights are different than the spesc from the various shaft comapny's websites... This makes think that some of the shafts are altered a bit by TM

#24 wybrh

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 05:39 PM

Great post.  Thanks for sharing.

#25 poloshankey

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:29 PM

View Postg36man, on 28 February 2011 - 03:57 AM, said:

If you compare the specs from the Taylor made 2011 catalog some of the torque numbers and weights are different than the spesc from the various shaft comapny's websites... This makes think that some of the shafts are altered a bit by TM
Wrong.  They are not altered.  There is no industry standard for measuring shaft torque, so one company measures a shaft at 3.1 while another will measure the same shaft at 2.8, and the weight differences are the different paints used by the shaft manufacturers and TM.


#26 BNich0622

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 08:48 AM

View PostKerby1280, on 25 February 2011 - 08:34 AM, said:

Someone on here actually sand down a TM graphic RIP and underneath was the original black color scheme. But he had no pictures to prove it. Any one wanna try this and post pics?

I did this with the RIP supertri shaft. I had it my driver and just had it installed in my fathers driver. It is at home and I am currently at school but I will be home for spring break on friday and I can take pictures then.

The original black color and shaft structure looked just like my black Aldila RIP without the engraving.
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#27 jeonmin

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 11:33 AM

Man, thanks for doing the work for most of us. I was also wondering about this whole thing with TM drivers since from time to time their shafts don't feel real...thanks for clearing the air. Have fun hitting the R11

#28 bthug10

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 01:41 PM

Dude that was such a phenomenal post sir there was so much awesome information. Very insightful and I will definitely get my r11 with the Mitsubishi Kai'li 70 stiff with no worries

#29 gator95

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 01:55 PM

Thanks for all the leg work.

#30 Tiger512

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 04:26 PM

Unless the weight and all the other particulars are the same it's a made for. The Fubuki's TM has by and large are real but many of their shafts are garbage. They should also do a better job on the fit and finish of their clubs is paintfill etc


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