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Grafalloy Epic Shaft Review

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As it’s winter time, what else is there to do than try out new equipment.

While the Epic shaft from Grafalloy is not exactly brand new, it is still one of the newer shafts on the block. Bag Chatter got the opportunity to trial the standard Driver shaft, the Tour Driver shaft (available for Tour Concept dealers) and the Fairway wood shaft.

Grafalloy are one of the best known and most respected shaft manufacturers with a healthy representation on Tour, mostly with their Prolite, Blue and Prolaunch shafts. The Epic, released to the public in a blaze of publicity in March 2007, is their latest shaft aimed at the higher end of the market. An area that may be more commonly associated with products from the likes of Diamana and Ozik. The Epic shaft got a fair bit of notice when pictures of Tiger Woods trialling it made their way onto the web and when he used it for a driver swing lesson in a major magazine (GolfWRX partner Golf Digest).

The Epic then quickly picked up 2 wins on the Senior Tour, the Regions Charity Classic and the Senior US Open, quickly followed by a victory on the European PGA at the Alfred Dunhill Classic. This was part of Grafalloy’s impressive 2007 resume of 5 wins on the US PGA, 6 wins on the Senior Tour and 9 wins on the Nationwide Tour where incidentally 7 of the 25 players that graduated to the main tour play Grafalloy shafts. So far so good, but the real question is what is the Epic like?

Appearance

Exceptionally good looking. The brushed silvery metallic look with calligraphy-like lines covering the top half of the shaft and the reversible EPIC logo, finished off with inkish blue-violet highlights. It fact I might go as far as to say that they are possibly the best looking shafts currently available, more attractive than an ion finish Diamana even. The finish feels slick and tough and not easily damaged presumably from the large amount of metal in the shaft (and yes, you can stick a magnet to it) unlike some other ‘fancy’ shafts. Looking down the raw shaft, you can see that the shaft is not made from one material as there are 2 separate regions to this shaft – an inner black ring surrounded by an equal thickness of a shiny more metal-like outer ring – highlighting the fact that this shaft is made from two materials. Once installed, the graphics on the shaft aren’t distracting at all and the metal finish does not reflect any glare.

Technical Specs

The marketing info from Grafalloy tells us that the Epic is made from a proprietary new material called Nanofuse. Originally developed for the Defence industry, this material has expanded into the aerospace industry and is now available for commercial use such as sporting goods. The aforementioned 2 layers of this shaft are an outer layer of Nickel alloy while the inner layer is high modulus carbon fibre. While the Nanofuse bond between these two layers is quite narrow, it is exponentially stronger than steel giving the shaft extremely high levels of strength. It is interesting to note that Grafalloy tell us the this is the only shaft of the 2008 line-up to use the Nanofuse technology.

There are actually 6 versions of this shaft. Four retail versions – Driver, Fairway wood, Hybrid iron, Hybrid wood – and 2 Tour versions: Tour 75 and Tour 90. Here are the specs for extra-stiff flex versions of the shafts we trialled.

Shaft Type Length Weight Tip Size Torque
Driver 46" 71g/73g .335"/.350" 3.5
Tour 75 46" 81g .335" 3.0
Fairway 44" 87g/89g .335"/.350" 2.5

From first glance it’s pretty obvious that this shaft is reasonable heavy, even the regular flex version of the driver shaft weighs a minimum of 69g. Grafalloy tell us that this is a mid kick shaft with a stiff tip but that it is difficult measure and quantify the tip and butt stiffness of the Epic shaft because the material is unlike either graphite or steel.

Feel

The first thing that you notice is that Epic shafts do definitely feel different from graphite shafts or steel shafts. The best way to describe them would be to say that they feel like a very tight and smooth graphite shaft without any boardy qualities. Then again, that is as it should be for a high end/high cost shaft whether or not it is made from some proprietary material. The added weight means that they offer a great sense of location throughout the swing while the balance point ensures that you never feel as though you are swinging a sledge hammer even with the extra heft. As you would expect, the retail Driver shaft has the loosest, most active feel due to the softer tip but it manages this without feeling vague. The Tour 75 is smoother but also has more solidity to it with the stiffer tip section and the Fairway wood feels so right you think it might swing for you. As a general guide, they all feel excellent.

Performance

Grafalloy would have us believe that this shaft offers the strength, light weight and feel of graphite with the accuracy of steel. So does it?

Actually it does. While it is ostensibly a high launch, mid-low spin club, all versions of the Epic allowed great control over shot making. High/Low, Fade/Draw, these shafts allow you to play the shot you want at a distance you almost can’t believe and with a phenomenal sense of accuracy. For once the marketing blurb is not fluff, there is a real perceived difference in how the shaft feels and this translates into how much confidence you have in how you play your shots. The precision throughout the swing means that you are never lost and always have the sense that good swings are rewarded and bad swings can be recovered and turned into good swings. The distance is as good as anything else I have tested but what stands out here is the dispersion and control. The retail Driver shaft is easier to load than the Tour 75 version and produces a higher flight with very good dispersion but the Tour 75 has a better feel and has a better resistance to being over-powered when you swing hard and is exceptionally accurate. The higher torque of the Driver shaft does mean that there is the risk that really hard swings can generate unwanted excess spin but if you have that sort of hard loading, fast swing then you would be using the Tour 75 version anyway. The Tour 75 has a slightly lower and more penetrating trajectory compared to the standard Driver because of the stiffer tip section and it never produces an overly high trajectory, even on full out swings. The fairway version is flat out outstanding. I can’t say a single thing against it. It’s long, incredibly accurate and has a great trajectory similar to the Tour 75 but with an even greater ability to control shot shape to a degree that I thought was unthinkable. The confidence produced by this is astounding and makes a mockery of tight driving holes where it almost guarantees landing the ball on the short grass.

Overall

Firstly, hats off to Grafalloy for producing a superb shaft. The Driver version is very good and the Tour 75 is pretty much everything you could ever want in a heavy driver shaft but hands down, the fairway shaft is the best shaft I have ever had in a wood, and wasn’t just me either. I managed to convince a Tour player who just happened to be practising nearby to give it a go. To say that he was impressed was an understatement. He had two 3 woods with him, one with a Diamana Blueboard 103X and one with a Matrix Ozik TP-7x. He felt that the Epic was better than either of those as it gave the same distance but with better feel and tighter dispersion. Not a bad report at all for a shaft that he picked up only a few minutes before.

All in all, the Epic is a great shaft that offers great distance with outstanding control and being part of the Callaway Optifit system for 2008 can only be a plus. Those that do give it a go will experience a real treat as this is a top class shaft and deserves serious consideration for better golfers looking for that top end shaft.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. R BUSIER'

    May 16, 2009 at 7:43 am

    I TOOK A HORRIBLE TITLEIST VOODOO(STIFF THAT WAS BARELY ABOVE A REG) OUT OF MY 909 D2…..INSTALLED AN EPIC 65 STIFF……HUGE IMPROVEMENT ….ACCURATE AND LONG BUT A BIT TOO HIGH CHANGED TO A TOUR 75 STIFF AND NOTHING BUT WOW……REALLY….WOW!!!!! MID FLIGHT-LONG AND ACCURATE….PLUS I LOVE THE FEEL AND LOOK!!! PUT THE 65 IN MY G-10……FABULOUS FLIGHT AND LONG……SO NOW I HAVE 2 PLAYERS HAVE A FAIRWAY EPIC X THATS GOING IN MY F2…..CAN’T WAIT!!!!! THESE SHAFTS ARE MONEY FOR SURE…..AND MY D SWING SPEED IS 102-108

  2. M Anderson

    Apr 18, 2008 at 9:49 am

    If you are looking for spin reduction, then you will see far less spin with the T75 than the standard epic. The FWY is a monster and I would really recommend it to anyone.

  3. Sam

    Apr 18, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Was torn between the epic and the epic tour. This article clearly made up my mind for me on move to the epic tour for the ft-i LCG. If that goes well, I look forward to the epic fairway.

  4. M Anderson

    Apr 14, 2008 at 4:10 am

    As a driver shaft, it is very good but as the review makes pretty clear, as a 3 wood shaft it is phenomenal. Adoption may change now that Trevor Immelman used it in his driver and 3W in his victory at the Masters.

  5. Mark

    Apr 12, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    The thing that makes me pause about the true greatness of this shaft is why do I not see any of the top twenty players in the world with an Epic shaft in their driver that plays it on tour. I always consider that the true yardstick. There must be something about the shaft that they don’t like.

  6. Dennis

    Feb 18, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    I bought one saturday for my FT-5. That was the shaft that callway recommended after a fitting session.

  7. Eric

    Feb 11, 2008 at 12:27 am

    I just bought this shaft today for my 8.5 Burner TP. Needless to say I thought the price was pretty good, versus the Speeder 757. I was hitting the FT-5 with it today and it made a huge difference. My spin was down to nearly 2900 RPM, and my launch angle was about 11.9. Amazing!

  8. Mark

    Jan 28, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Had this shaft all year last year. KILLER. Totally worth the price.

  9. Chuck

    Jan 27, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Most of the shaft failures are from improper tip prep. Make sure you just rough up the tip, do not over prep. If the finish changes color you have taken to much of the surface you may as well throw the shaft away.

    I really like this shaft played it most of last season and accuracy is it’s strongest asset.

  10. austin

    Jan 26, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    i had a 73 gram x and it performed well but i work at golf galaxy and we have had nothing but problems with them the keep breaking at the tip i would let the nano tech stuff a couple of years to really do what they say it does

  11. David W.

    Jan 25, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    I put the X in my HS9 X when it first showed up, and it was impressive. It gave me a nice mid to high knuckle ball. It’s a long straight shaft, no joke. I like to work the ball and I can do it with this shaft without the occasional extreme to either side, so that was the impressive part to me. Its a balanced shaft with moderate feel, if you want control and have a higher swing speed I’d recommend it in a second.

  12. Mike K.

    Jan 25, 2008 at 8:52 am

    … I decided to bite on this one based upon this. Putting into a Cleveland HiBore XL…. Will have it by saturday – dang I hope it wors out!

  13. Josh

    Jan 24, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Man, I wanted one of these things last year, and now after reading this article….I REALLY want one….can’t wait to try this out on the Optifit system at a local shop!!

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Motocaddy M7 Remote and M5 GPS DHC electric cart review

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I have been thinking about electric golf push carts, or trollies, ever since I started playing in my league seven years ago.

Motocaddy has been making high-quality electric, and non-electric, carts since 2004 and has a couple of great options for the golfer who loves to walk. Motocaddy was nice enough to get their M7 Remote and M5 GPS DHC in my hands to try out on the course for a few weeks.

I have had a lot of people stop me to ask about the carts, and the one thing I keep telling them is that these carts are just flat out fun to use on the course.

Motocaddy M7 Remote

The M7 Remote was very easy to get set up right out of the box. All you have to do is charge the battery, install the wheels, and you are pretty much ready to go. The M7 folds up pretty small, just a little larger than the 3-wheel pushcart that I had been using for years. Getting it to the course should be no problem with just about any trunk space. Now, the one downside to an electric cart is the weight when moving it around, and both carts come in at around 35 pounds each. Even with that extra weight, I didn’t have much trouble lifting them in and out of the back of a pickup.

The M7 unfolds quickly with the flick of two levers and extends the front wheels automatically. Once unfolded, you drop in the battery, plug it in, and secure your bag. If you own a Motocaddy bag, they have developed a really nice system called EasiLock that involves two metal studs that fit into the bottom of the cart. This system also includes a molded base that prevents the bag from rotating at all, even on the roughest terrain. You can still use the M7 with almost any other golf bag as it includes elastic straps that wrap around the top and bottom of the bag.

As soon as you plug in the battery the LCD screen comes to life and you are ready to go. You can use the M7 without the remote by using the dial on the handle to control the starting, stopping, and speed. But the M7 has a remote that is activated by a simple press of the power button to get going. The remote is very simple with just five buttons to control where the M7 goes.

Getting a feel for the M7 takes no time at all and by the time you drive it from your car to the 1st tee you will be in complete, and confident, control of the cart. You simply press the “+” button to start moving forward and the cart takes off gently without any rattling of your clubs, and you can press that same button again to increase the speed. The cart will go from a slow crawl, for bumpy or tight areas, too, as fast as I could run with just a few presses of the button. The big red “stop” button in the center stops the cart immediately, and when stopped it is locked in place, even on steep hills. You don’t have to worry about remembering to set the brakes or anything because it is done automatically.

Steering is just as easy: simply press the right or left button to turn the cart. Small, quick presses will just slightly adjust the cart as it moves down the fairway while a long hold of the button can make it turn on a dime to the right or left.

Almost everyone asked me how stable the cart was and if it would tip over. I can proudly say that it has stayed upright even on some unseen bumps at maximum speed. Side hills, ruts, and even curbs are handled with ease with the help of the small rear wheel.

I really enjoy strolling down the fairway with nothing but the M7’s remote in my hand — it just makes golfing more fun!

Motocaddy M5 GPS DHC

After using the M7 and its fancy remote, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t like not having it. But to be honest the M5 was just as fun to use, but for a different reason.

As the name suggests, the M5 has a built-in GPS with 40,000 courses preloaded into it. The screen is a good size, pretty responsive to the touch, and easy to read in direct sunlight. Having the GPS directly on the cart is great, you drive up to your ball and immediately have yardage to the front, back, and center of the green as well as bunkers and hazards. You can easily toggle between screens on the GPS and it offers a couple of different views to help navigate the hole. The M5 can also keep score and let you know shot distances right on the screen. Motocaddy even includes nice little touches like a screen protecter kit to ensure durability.

Driving the M5 is just as easy as the M7 with using the dial on the handle. And speaking of the handle, the grips have a great tacky rubber that grips well even in hot and humid conditions. To start the M5 you just press the dial down and the cart will gently start down the fairway. You can turn the dial to increase or decrease the speed — I found between 5-6 to be the most comfortable for me. But the speed can go up to a very fast pace if you are looking to set a record for fastest round of the day.

As you walk down the fairway, or rough, stopping the cart is as simple as pressing he dial again. When stopped the M5 engages a parking brake automatically so you don’t have to worry about it running down a hill without your approval. The M5 has tons of power to go up just about any hill and the Down Hill Control (DHC) keeps the speed consistent even when going down a steep decent.

Since the M5 has so much power, and it is a little heavy, I thought steering would be a little bit of a challenge. It wasn’t, at all. Guiding the M5 took very little effort and slight adjustments going down the fairway were very easy. Really tight turns took a slight bit more effort as the torque can want to go forward a little more than turn. Again, once you get the M5 from the car to the first tee, you will be a master at driving it.

Overall, Motocaddy has created two great carts that provide additional enjoyment to walking your favorite 9 or 18. Having the ability to walk without carrying or pushing your bag, clubs, and whatever else goes with you. I like them so much that it is going to be hard to get the M7’s remote out of my hands when I go play!

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Crossrope weighted jump rope & app

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An 18-hole round of golf averages out to just under five miles of walking, which on its own is a good workout. Once you throw in some potential uphill trekking you get some serious cardio too, but if you all looking for a quick workout between rounds of golf look no further than Crossrope.

Crossrope – The details

Crossrope is a system of the weighted jump rope that allows you to quickly switch the weight of the ropes you are using to boost your workout—they range from 1/4 lbs all the way up to 2 lbs depending on the kit you start out with. There is an accompanying app that helps you go through multiple workout routines and is available free, or you can upgrade to the entire library of workout routines along with more workout tracking options.

This is NOT your middle school jump rope

The handles are heavy duty and feature precision bearings to allow the rope to move smoothly around as you go through a routine. They are also ergonomic and fit into your hand naturally, which making gripping easy, something that is really nice when you’re swinging a 2 lbs coated steel cable around. The handles also come with a fast clip system to make changing cables depending on your selected workout easier too.

The ropes themselves are made from braided steel and are almost impossible to tangle, allowing them to be easily transported and stored when not in use. All in you are getting a premium piece of workout equipment that is effective and easy to store—hard to same the same thing about a treadmill.

When it comes to a workout, skipping rope is one of the most effective cardio workouts you can do, and with Crossrope, you can get both cardio and low impact weight training when using the heaviest ropes, and follow along with the guided workouts.

As someone that hadn’t used a jump rope in over a decade, starting out lighter was a nice way to ease in before moving up, and I was pleasantly surprised how easy and fun some of the workouts in the app were. If you are looking for a fun way to add something to your workouts, or you just want to try something new to get you into golf course walking shape, this could be right up your alley. To learn more check out crossrope.com

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Athalonz EnVe—The best golf shoes you’ve never heard of

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One of the coolest parts of being in this part of the golfing world is being able to shed light on smaller companies that typically get overshadowed by their bigger corporate brothers.

So, this post is about one of those products that is definitely competitive against top golf shoe companies, and it’s made by a company called Athalonz, which is based out west in Arizona. Typically known for its innovative baseball cleats and insole packages, Athlonz newest addition takes the patented design to the world of golf with the EnVe golf shoe.

These have started appearing on the world long drive circuit due to the amount of traction they get, allowing players to swing harder. So for the last few months, I have gotten to wear them and see if they are as good as the company claims.

Athalonz EnVe: Living up to claims

The main selling points of these shoes are focused on two things

  1. Design that delivers more power and stability
  2. Custom comfort that lasts all day

These are somewhat difficult to combine into one shoe, and though they are on the heavier side, Athlonz are completely worth it for the benefits. It is obvious that they made strides to hit each box on the list for a great shoe. The patented design has been adapted from their baseball cleat and introduces a spikeless golf shoe with a circular design that allows the player to gain traction through the golf swing. This gives a player the chance to swing harder and faster without losing their footing. They also offer insole packages that help with correct bodyweight placement to help add an extra layer of consistency.

Secondly, it’s very noticeable that there was plenty of thought given to comfort with a roomy toe and custom insoles to fit your style. Additionally, ankle padding helps to provide more stability and comfort.

On another note, they have a good sense of style with a more classic, casual take. In addition to the pictured white/brown color, there’s a black/grey colorway as well.

After multiple months of wear in all types of conditions, these shoes have performed great for me with all the traction I need and while feeling great throughout the round.

Verdict

I am a person who tends to support smaller companies when I can if they make good products. Any support for them goes a long way—especially in the golf business. Since these shoes will set you back about $150, I wanted to be sure they are worth it for the money and they absolutely are. Seriously, for anyone looking to boost their shoe game and help alleviate aching feet and ankles, give these a shot.

 

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