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Q&A: Aldila dominates with its Rogue shafts, the new Rogue I/O

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When it comes to Tour usage, few shafts can claim the popularity of Aldila’s Rogue, which became available to professional golfers just 18 months ago. In that short time, the shafts have been used to win a whopping 24 PGA Tour events, including two major championships and back-to-back FedEx Cups.

That’s impressive, but this stat is almost unheard of in today’s hyper-competitive golf shaft market. Aldila’s Rogue Silver 70 Tour X shaft was the most used model of driver shaft on the PGA Tour for 44 consecutive weeks.

Rogue_LE_70X_Silver

The Rogue Limited Edition 70 TX shaft has an extremely low torque, 2.5 degrees.

The success from the PGA Tour has carried down to regular golfers, whose demand for the shaft has resulted in it becoming a stock option for several major equipment manufactures, including Callaway, Exotics, TaylorMade and Titleist.

What makes the Rogue shaft a great fit for the best golfers in the world, as well as everyday golfers? What are the differences between the different Rogue shaft models? What do golfers need to know about Aldila’s new Rogue I/O shaft? We asked John Oldenburg, Vice President of Engineering for Aldila, those questions and more in the Q&A below.

WRX: Did it seem possible that Rogue shafts could become this popular 18 months ago? What made them so unbelievably successful?

JO: The success of the Rogue even took me by surprise. We knew we had a great product with exciting new technology, but the way it took off on Tour was unexpected. Because of the cost and availability of the unique Graphitic Carbon material used in the Rogue we initially planned a very, very limited run of the Rogue shafts even for Tour. But once the Tour demand and success skyrocketed, we made arrangements to increase our material supply. I can honestly say the Rogue shaft is our most successful Tour product ever in terms of wins in drivers. And it doesn’t seem to be letting up. Charl Schwartzl switched to the Rogue this fall and just won the Alfred Dunhill in South Africa. And where I had initially forecast that I would be able to sell 50 to 100 pieces of the $799 Rogue Limited Edition (Made in the USA) model, we actually passed 1,000 units sold over a month ago. 

Jordan Spieth uses an Aldila Rogue Limited Edition Black shaft (60X), which creates more spin than the Rogue Silver.

Jordan Spieth uses an Aldila Rogue Limited Edition Black shaft (60TX) in his Titleist 915D2 driver, which has a higher torque and creates more spin than the Rogue Limited Edition Silver.

I think the success of the Rogue can be pinned on three factors. First, the flex profile was based off of very successful profiles that were developed, tested, and played on Tour in the past going all way back to the NV. The second was the addition of the Graphitic Carbon, whose extreme stiffness allowed us to develop a product with a proven flex profile that was lighter and lower in torque than any of our previous products. And third is the fact that we counterbalanced the shaft. Modern driver heads with all their adjustable weighting and hosel features have been getting heavier and heavier. By counterbalancing the Rogue, Tour technicians could build a club with a heavier head and still get an acceptable swing weight for the player. Heavier heads allow greater inertial mass to be delivered to the ball, which is very good for performance. But, we didn’t simply counterbalance the Rogue and leave it at that. We adjusted the overall shaft frequency and tip stiffness to account for the increased inertial mass. More mass in the head makes a shaft play softer, so we stiffened the Rogue proportionally so that it would have the extraordinary performance characteristics of its predecessors when paired with today’s modern heavier driver heads. And, voila, it worked out awesome!

WRX: What’s the difference between the Rogue Limited Edition (Made in the USA) shafts and the other Rogue shaft models?

JO: The major difference between the Rogue Limited Edition and the Rogue Tour is where the shafts are made. The Rogue Limited Edition shafts are made in very small batches here in our R&D prototype facility in Poway, California. The Rogue Tour shafts are made in our manufacturing plant in Vietnam on our standard production lines. The Rogue Tour products also use a slightly different grade of Graphitic Carbon material then the Limited Edition models. This was done because we could not secure a large enough supply of the 125 MSI graphitic carbon for large scale production runs.

Aldila's Rogue Limited Edition shafts are made in the U.S., and use a 125 MSI "Graphitic Carbon" construction.

Aldila’s Rogue Limited Edition shafts are made in the U.S., and use a 125 MSI “Graphitic Carbon” construction.

The Rogue Silver Tour shafts use a graphitic carbon material with a modulus of 110 MSI, which is still nearly twice as stiff as any graphite material used in any of our other premium products or any products produced by our competitors. The Rogue Black Tour shafts use graphitic carbon with a stiffness of 95 MSI. This is done because the Rogue Black is a softer, slightly higher torque product designed for a slightly higher ball flight and more moderate spin than the Rogue Silver. Besides the point of manufacture and the change in the graphitic carbon, the rest of the design and materials are identical between the Rogue Limited Edition shafts and the Rogue Tour shafts. They are built on exactly the same tooling and all the Rogues — Limited Edition and Tour — incorporate Aldila’s NexGen Micro Laminate materials along with the Graphitic Carbon. The Rogue Tour products are in no way downgrades from the Rogue Limited Edition. They are simply adjusted to account for material availability and production capacity.

WRX: Due to the increased stiffness of the Rogue shafts, are you seeing players using softer flexes than they have in the past? Are Tour players tipping the shafts as much as they have previous products?

JO: We don’t really see any pros using softer flexes or really tipping the shafts much less.  Again, we adjusted the shaft stiffness to account for the increased inertial mass created by the heavier heads. So, although the Rogues may frequency stiffer on a frequency machine than most of our previous tour product, from a playing standpoint, the dynamic stiffness when accounting for the increased loading due to the increase in head weight, is very, very similar to previous Tour products. We made the adjustments necessary to offset the effects of the heavier heads so the pros and the folks in the Tour trailers wouldn’t need to do anything different.

WRX: How does the new Rogue I/O compare to the original Rogue shafts?

JO: The new Rogue I/O is a merger of the Rogue product with R.I.P. Technology. R.I.P., which stands for Reverse Interlaminar Placement, moves the torque core (bias plies) from the interior to the exterior of the shaft laminate stack in the tip section. Hence the name I/O, for Inside-Out. Moving the bias plies, which control shaft torque and aid in cross sectional stability, to the outside of the shaft makes more efficient use of the these fibers to lower the torque of the tip section (the highest torque part of a shaft) without adding weight by moving the material further from the shafts neutral axis — an engineering term, trust me it works. 

Rogue_IO_tip

Related: Enter to win an Aldila Rogue I/O shaft

R.I.P. technology also helps to stabilize the bending of the tip section of the shaft by providing additional cross-sectional stiffness to reduce lateral deformation. The Rogue I/O utilizes the same “Graphitic Carbon” technology, counterbalancing and inertial flex adjustment as the original Rogue products, combined with torque lowering and tip stabilizing R.I.P. technology. In Tour testing, the Rogue I/O Silver has a slightly lower launch and spin rate than the original Rogue Silver.

The Rogue I/O is already in play on the PGA Tour in the drivers of players in the top 50 of the World Golf Rankings and was used by one player for a top-5 finish in the Hero World Challenge.

WRX: Anything else, John?

JO: Keep your eyes open for some exciting new Rogue designs on Tour this coming year.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. jaymehuron

    Dec 30, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Switched from the Rouge Silver 110 mis 70x to the Fujikura Fuel 70x Tour Spec. I did not dislike the Rouge, but the Fujikura just had a much tighter shot dispersion and better spin and lunch numbers for me. The Rouge was the stock offering in my 915 D2 and the first Aldila shaft I bought in a long time. I think their shafts are getting much better but still not to the level of the Fujikura’s in my option

  2. Bob

    Dec 22, 2015 at 5:40 am

    “The Rogue Tour products are in no way downgrades from the Rogue Limited Edition. They are simply adjusted to account for material availability and production capacity.”

    I don’t believe you.

  3. Droopy

    Dec 22, 2015 at 3:41 am

    Shaft tip droop. The heads are too heavy for us to hold it firm enough. We all need the blue pill for it. Or Cialis.

  4. Lowell

    Dec 21, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    I lover my Rogue Black. Have them in my driver and 3 wood.

  5. ph00ny

    Dec 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Lower launch and spin than current Rogue Silver. Sounds like a music to my ears

    • ph00ny

      Dec 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      This is coming from someone who’s currently using Rogue Silver 70x in both E8 Beta 3 wood and M1 Driver

    • Jay

      Dec 22, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      Strange, because I personally found the I/O to feel a touch smoother than the standard Rogue Silver, and launch and spin just a smidgen higher. But there ya go, that’s what you get from a guy who stands on the other side of the ball!

      • ph00ny

        Dec 24, 2015 at 11:06 am

        Regular Rogue Silver 110MSI 70x is really smooth for me. I was just showing joy for the statement made by the gentleman from Aldila who said the I/O will spin and launch touch lower than Rogue Silver in tour testing

        So i/o spin and launch slightly higher than Rogue Silver? damn

      • ph00ny

        Dec 24, 2015 at 11:08 am

        Other shaft that i really want is the 125MSI.

        I was launching the M1 with 110MSI 70x at 16*+ even at 6.5* loft setting

  6. William

    Dec 21, 2015 at 11:56 am

    So are all 125msi Silvers made in USA, or are some made in Vietnam as well?

  7. Tom

    Dec 21, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I have been a fan of Aldila products for nearly a decade. They continue to amaze me with innovative and quality shafts. Thank you for the informative Q&A.

  8. Curt

    Dec 21, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I have the limited 125MSI in my D4 and my 915F. Spectacular, explains it all!!

    • JustTrying2BAwesome

      Dec 21, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      Rogue 125 & 915 D4. Heck of a combo right there. How do you like it? How long will it be in the bag?

      • Curt

        Dec 23, 2015 at 4:42 pm

        Its great, but like any good Wrx’r only until the next combo unseats it!

    • Droopy

      Dec 22, 2015 at 3:42 am

      I’ll bomb past you with my M1

      • Curt

        Dec 22, 2015 at 2:35 pm

        That keyboard gives you a lot of confidence. If you happen to be near me, let’s put it to the test!?!? BTW, can’t stand the look of the M1, just looks cheap like a toy.

      • Adam

        Dec 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm

        And next week it will be your M2 than M3……

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Whats in the Bag

Brandt Snedeker WITB 2021 (September)

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  • Brandt Snedeker WITB accurate as of the Fortinet Championship

Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 Max (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 6 X

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 7 X

5-wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X

Irons: Miura CB-301 (4-9)
Shafts: AeroTech SteelFiber I95 S

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (48-10S, 52-10S, 56-10S), 2021 Vokey Proto (60-3K)
Shafts: (48) AeroTech SteelFiber I95 S (52/56/60) True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey White Hot XG Rossie

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

See more photos of Brandt Snedeker’s what’s in the bag in the forums.

 

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TaylorMade releases TP5x Pix USA and TP5 Pix, TP5 bacon and egg golf balls

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TaylorMade has unveiled its latest themed golf ball release, with the brand’s TP5x Pix, TP5 Pix and TP5 all getting a makeover.

The TP5x Pix USA ball features all the usual benefits from the brand’s TP5x Pix, with a stars and stripes graphics to form TaylorMade’s signature ClearPath Alignment to aid golfers on the green.

The company’s TP5 Pix and TP5 balls have been given the bacon and egg treatment, with both balls featuring the classic combo of bacon and eggs framing a single TaylorMade logo to create a distinct line from the ball to the hole.

The balls are priced at $49.99 per dozen and are available to purchase at TaylorMade.com.

 

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What’s the optimal putter color? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing putter colors. WRXer ‘BankBank’ has come to the conclusion that he putts far better with a black putter than any other color and is interested in hearing the color preference of fellow members.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • sevenfourate: “I love the long-term ease of maintenance of a plain Stainless finish. But like do also love the contrast a black putter head gives. But having a marked/chipped up black finish would drive me nuts. I was at the BMW PGA at Wentworth last week. And saw a surprising number of players using the Red Odyssey putters. Which surprised me as they look quite ‘busy’ at address IMO……”
  • caniac6: “I am using a stainless Cameron, and I like it, but it’s just a bit too shiny. I really prefer a stainless with a finish like the old stainless Pings.”
  • GHIN and Juice: “I love an oil can finish, but I also hate getting rust marks on the head, so I’ll putt with an oil can finish until I can’t stand the rust anymore, and then I’ll change it to a pro platinum/ stainless look.”
  • Fairway14: “My preference is a carbon steel head with a shiny black oxide finish.”
  • iknowbagu: “Color never really mattered to me until I got my current putter. White with a black sightline that works in perfect symmetry with my white ball with a black line just has me really confident with my alignment when I’m over the ball.”

Entire Thread: “What’s the optimal putter color?”

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