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Shaft Test: Graphite Design’s new Tour AD-TP versus the famous Tour AD-DI

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With a similar profile to the company’s famous Tour AD-DI shaft, and a few new technologies for a slightly different ball flight, Graphite Design’s new Tour AD-TP shaft will surely entice a legion of high-spin golfers.

The new shafts are made for a mid launch and low spin rates, according to Graphite Design’s website, while the Tour AD-DI shafts are made for mid/high to high launch angles and low to low/mid spin rates. Certainly, they are in the same wheelhouse, but for anyone looking to create a slightly more penetrating ball flight with lower launch and lower spin, the new shaft could be their winning ticket.

Tour_AD_TP_Hero

To accomplish its performance, the AD-TP shafts are made with a faster taper rate from the lower-mid section to the tip of the shaft, and use an all-new graphite material from Toray Industries called T1100G carbon fiber pre-preg. They also use Toray’s Nanoalloy technology in the tip section, which was first introduced in Graphite Design’s Tour AD-DI. It help golfers gain more control of the club face by resisting torque. Read more about the Tour AD-TP shaft’s tech here.

Here’s the bend profile of the Tour AD-TP shafts, according to Graphite Design’s website:

GraphiteDesignTourADshafts

And here’s how the Tour AD-TP shafts stack up versus the other Tour AD shafts:

Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 12.13.37 PM

As you can see, the Tour AD-TP (top row) compared to the Tour AD-DI (bottom row) will have a firmer mid and butt section, but will also have the familiar stiff tip section.

Personally, I’ve tested just about every new mainstream driver shaft that’s come out in the past three years, and I just haven’t been able to find something that matches my swing like the Tour AD-DI. As a golfer who fights a nasty hook and too much spin, it’s the stiffness and stability of the tip of the shaft that makes me comfortable enough to “go at it.” I’m also a Mets fan, so I like the orange color.

Tour_AD-DI_ORange

But for whatever reason, my golfing brain finds other shafts to load and unload way differently, either forcing me to flip or block drives, leading to tragic results. So although I often test the latest and greatest golf shafts for you, the GolfWRX readers, I’ve all but given up on other shafts making it into my gamer driver. Yes, other shafts have given me “more optimal” numbers in a Trackman environment, but there’s nothing optimal about feeling like you’re going to duck hook the ball off the planet with OB stakes left.

When Graphite Design announced a new shaft with a similar profile that’s made to create a slightly more penetrating trajectory, however, I’ll admit I was excited to try it. Let’s see how the numbers played out.

The Numbers

AD_TP_DI_7X

I tested my Tour AD-DI gamer shaft (45.5 inches, tipped 1 inch) against a Tour AD-TP shaft (45.5 inches, untipped) and a Tour AD-TP shaft (45.5 inches, tipped 1 inch) in a TaylorMade M1 460 head (10.5 degrees) set to neutral. Yes, I have a bit more swing speed in the tank than displayed below, but it’s also late October and I don’t want to have a blown out back all winter. I conducted my testing at the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland on TrackMan 4 using premium golf balls.

GDDriverShafts20162_arrows

GraphiteDesignTourADTP:DI

Magenta = Tour AD-TP (tipped 1 inch)

Observations

— Shots with the un-tipped shaft trended to the right. It felt like the face was opening on the downswing and I couldn’t turn my shots over. The data solidifies for me that performance matches my feel, and that I do indeed need a tipped shaft.

— The AD-DI shaft had the highest spin (2953 rpm), highest landing angle, most height (122.1 feet) and launched the highest (13.7 degrees).

— The AD-TP (tipped 1 inch) carried 4.9 yards shorter than the Tour AD-DI, but went 3.7 yards longer in total. This shows how much more penetrating the ball flight with a AD-TP shaft can be.

— Spin rate dropped from 2953 rpm with the Tour AD-DI (tipped 1 inch) to 2460 rpm with the AD-TP (tipped 1 inch).

— With nearly identical clubhead speed, ball speed and smash factors, it’s clear the Tour AD-TP was offering better numbers and tighter dispersion for me.

The Takeaway

Accuracy_and_Distance

The Graphite Design Tour AD-TP shaft is currently selling for $500 at retail. Based on the improvement I saw in my numbers, I would say that the new shaft is worth the value for my swing. The profile and new materials are a match for me in regards to ball flight characteristics and feel. I would describe the feel as “smooth-stiff, with a stable tip.”

Of course, it’s important to undergo a proper fitting, as you saw that the un-tipped version of the Tour AD-GP shaft was giving me fits. But, if you’re like me and struggle with high spin rates and inconsistency, the Tour AD-TP shaft may help you find more accuracy… and a bit more distance, too.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Golfandpuff

    Nov 21, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Confidence is worth a ton…so if the shoe fits….

    Bottom line find one for a song and play it!

  2. Mike

    Oct 31, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Andrew, the author of this review, comments about hitting duck hooks because that is his miss when he uses a shaft that doesn’t “fit” his swing style. It is the same issue I fight. The fact he has peppered the right side of the grid would be comforting for him. All in all, Andrew fits the new TP shaft pretty well.

  3. Matt

    Oct 30, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Some shafts get progressively weaker to the tip (Rogue, AD-DI), many increase stiffness into the tip (most other GD tour AD models, Kuro Kage) To assume all shafts need to be tipped just seems uninformed. Tipping off stiffness in a shaft like a AD-BB is just going to lower the kick point and give you a softer tip; exact opposite of tipping a AD-DI.

  4. Jack

    Oct 30, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Wow the author tried really hard to say this is better. The chart looks pretty much the same for all three shafts as far as landing zone. Just one leftward (I’m guess more of a hook) shot skewed the oval left. Unless he’s a left hander, none of his shots were hooks, rather either push or slices. Strange for him to say that he’s fighting a hook when he didn’t hit any.

    The real difference does seem to be one offering more roll and one more carry due to launch angle changes I’m guessing due to the stiffer mid and butt sections. Worth it? The argument seems a bit thin.

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Equipment

What Adam Scott said about his new 681.AS irons

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Adam Scott has used the same irons — Titleist Forged 680 — for the better part of 10 years.

“When you’re old and stubborn, you like what you like,” the 41-year-old told PGATOUR.COM.

Indeed, as he has transitioned into Titleist’s latest woods and wedges, the 14-time PGA TOUR winner has remained steadfast in playing his 2003 680 irons with KBS Tour 130 X shafts.

It was interesting, then, to see Scott with a different — but very similar — set of irons in the bag ahead of THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT.

Adam Scott’s trust Titleist 680 8-iron

Scott’s new 681.AS Forged 8-iron

At a glance, the visually stunning irons look identically shaped to the 680s we’re used to seeing in Scott’s bag — similar large muscle pad on the rear of the club, similar hosel transition, similar generous amount of offset, similar topline. However, the irons looked substantially less worn and were stamped with 681.AS on the hosel.

What’s going on here?

Titleist declined to comment, but PGATOUR.COM caught up with Scott, who shared some details. As it turns out the new irons are the same…sort of.

Before digging into the 681.AS, we asked Scott why he doesn’t simply continue playing 680 irons, and when a set wears out, replace them with another. The answer, he said, was simple. Titleist “just ran out of original sets,” which the company stopped producing in 2005.

What to do? Scour eBay and used club stores? Frequent garage sales?

Scott indicated Titleist engineers took a different tack: They made CAD (computer-aided design) copies of his beloved 680s and CNC-machined what he called, “basically the same clubs.”

“Thanks to technology,” he said, “they’re as exact a replica as you can get, but with the way they’ve been made, I could argue it’s a more solid head with a more solid strike.

“I’ve been stuck on the 680s for a long time now,” he added. “…We’ve tried some stuff here and there. We tried bending the 620 MBs earlier this year, which I actually used at the Masters. I’ve been looking for 12 months for that new fresh set with good feel in the hands and good vibes, and we just couldn’t get there, so they took this project on.”

He continued: “It’s very nice for me that Titleist was able to do that. I know what I know. I’ve played it so long, I’m at a point where I think it’s detrimental to go searching and trying to change. I know how I play, and I know what I need to play well.”

Read the full piece here. 

Check out Adam Scott’s full WITB here.

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (10/15/21): Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini

From the seller (@Hunter01): “Rare Tour Issue Odyssey Stroke Lab mini putter. From the tour van with tour crimp on hosel. 35” long with grip options available. This putter never came to retail but we’re made available to the tour in limited quantities. 329 firm.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Tour Issue Rare Odyssey Stroke Lab Jailbird Mini 

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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L.A.B Golf unveils new MEZZ.1 Proto putter

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L.A.B Golf has soft-launched its new MEZZ.1. Proto, which is currently limited to just 1,000 individually numbered putters.

The new mid-mallet putter is fully CNC machined from a billet of 6061 aircraft aluminum (body) and 303 stainless steel (midsection) for what L.A.B are calling their “best-feeling putter to date”.

The new addition includes 10 weights (eight on the bottom, two on the sides) that allow the company to individually build each putter to a golfer’s exact specifications.

Golfers can also choose their preferred alignment aid, with blank (no marking), line, and dot all offered with the new MEZZ.1 Proto.

The putter comes equipped with a headcover and is available to purchase now at LabGolf.com for $600.00.

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