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The 8 hottest driver shafts of 2018 on the PGA Tour

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Driver shafts, especially in professional golf, are very similar to putters. As with changing putters to make more putts, golfers change out driver shafts semi-regularly looking for more distance or more fairways, but preferably both. And much like with putters, when another player switches to a new driver shaft and finds success, other golfers take notice. Every year it seems there is a “hot” driver shaft that players gravitate toward; in recent years, the Aldila Rogue comes to mind.

We wanted to figure out what the “hot” driver shaft is of 2018. To do so, we investigated the top-50 golfers in the Official World Golf Rankings as of July 25 to figure out what driver shaft they were using. Below are the results.

Note: To qualify for the “hottest shafts” of 2018, the exact shaft model must have been used by more than one golfer in the top-50 of the OWGR. Order was determined by number of top-50 players using the shaft, and ties were broken by combined ranking of players using that shaft.

8) Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec

 

Shaft is used by: Matt Kuchar (No. 26 in the OWGR) and Daniel Berger (No. 40)

Fujikura says: “The Atmos Tour Spec line is geared towards the performance golfer looking to keep the ball flighted down with low spin… Atmos is a true tour flighted line of shafts with a simple color coding – red as the higher launching, blue as mid launch, black as the lowest launch – similarities include keeping the handle flexes the same for feel, but adjusting mid and tip sections for launch and spin to achieve your desired ball flight.”

Read GolfWRX member reviews of the Atmos Tour Spec shafts here

7) Graphite Design Tour AD-BB

Shaft is used by: Xander Schauffele (No. 18) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (No. 39)

Graphite Design says: “The Tour AD BB ‘Blue Bullet’ wood shaft model is designed to promote a low/mid launch angle and lower ball spin. The Tour AD BB design features an increase in stiffness from the tip to the mid-section resulting in a higher kick point for lower launch angles.”

Learn more about the Graphite Design Tour AD-BB shaft here

6) Aldila NV 2KXV Green

Shaft is used by: Rickie Fowler (No. 9) and Kevin Kisner (No. 25)

Aldila says: “Aldila has created NexGen Micro Laminate Technology – new, even thinner high performance carbon fibers combined with today’s advanced fiber resin technology…. The 2KNV provides for even better feel and performance. Available in the Green design for those seeking a lower ball flight, the Blue design for those seeking a mid ball flight, and the Orange design for those seeking a higher ball flight.”

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Aldila NV 2KXV Green shaft

5) Project X HZRDUS Black

Shaft is used by: Dustin Johnson (No. 1) — although he’s been switching off and on between a Project X HZRDUS Black and a Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution 2.0 Tour Spec — and Rafael Cabrera Bello (No. 29)

Project X says: “The shaft features increased stiffness along the full length of the golf shaft, which allows golfers to put more power behind the ball. HZRDUS Black is a low spinning and low launching shaft that is available in models for both woods and hybrids.”

Read more about DJ’s Project X HZRDUS here

4) Graphite Design Tour AD-IZ

Shaft is used by: Jordan Spieth (No. 8) and Webb Simpson (No. 21)

Graphite Design says: “The new Tour AD IZ shaft has a firm stiffness starting at the handle, and medium center section and a firm+ tip profile to promote a high launch angle and low ball spin rates. The new Tour AD IZ also utilizes Torayca T1100G carbon-fiber pre-preg with Nanoalloy technology in the tip section of the shaft for additional shaft stability, exceptional feel and precise ball control.”

Read more about the Graphite Design Tour AD-IZ shaft here

3) Mitsubishi Kuro Kage

Shaft is used by: Rory McIlroy (No. 7) and Tommy Fleetwood (No. 11)

Mitsubishi says: “This series of shafts feature two key technologies: Low Resin Content pre-preg and Titanium Nickel (TiNi) Wire. After first using TiNi Wire in our ultra-light products, we wanted to see how it would perform in heavier, tour-weighted shafts. Kuro Kage fiber plus wire equals power.”

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Kuro Kage here

2) Project X HZRDUS T1100 

Shaft is used by: Henrik Stenson (No. 17), Phil Mickelson (No. 22) and Charl Schwartzel (No. 48)

Project X says: “The new HZRDUS T1100 is the lowest spinning and lowest launching shaft in the HZRDUS family. HZRDUS T1100 uses T1100G fiber, the strongest fiber available, to build a shaft with an extra stiff tip section that is also counter-balanced. With a bend profile that is stiff throughout, HZRDUS T1100 is the ultimate spin killer for the game’s most aggressive tempo players.”

GolfWRX Members review the Project X T1100 here

1) Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange

Shaft is used by: Justin Rose (No. 2), Alex Noren (No. 12), Sergio Garcia (No. 20), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (No. 31), Ian Poulter (No. 32), Charley Hoffman (No. 34), Haotong Li (No. 42) and Tiger Woods (No. 50)

Mitsubishi says: “Tensei CK Pro Orange expands the Tensei CK Series – which features a multi-material design that incorporates more performance-oriented materials than we’ve ever used in a shaft. This first of its kind bend profile for MCA Golf uses a counter-balanced design along with an extreme tip-stiff design to provided added versatility for the stronger player. The Tensei CK Pro Orange incorporates the same Carbon Fiber/DuPont Kevlar (CK) weave found in the butt-section of all Tensei CK shafts – providing enhanced stability and maximum feel in this highly versatile design. This series also incorporates High Modulus, premium 40-Ton hybrid pre-preg infused with tungsten powder in targeted positions throughout the shaft. A tip-section reinforced with MR70 – Mitsubishi Chemical’s strongest carbon fiber to date, delivers lower torque, and delivers tour preferred control and stability.”

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Tensei Orange shaft in our forums

Other driver shafts used by the top-50 golfers in the OWGR

  • Accra Concept Series (Brian Harman)
  • Accra Tour Zx 465 M5 (Tony Finau)
  • Accra Proto (Pat Perez)
  • Accra Tour-Z RPG (Gary Woodland)
  • Aldila Rogue Silver 130 (Kevin Chappell)
  • Aldila Rogue (Patrick Reed)
  • Alidila Tour Green (Jon Rahm)
  • Fujikura SIX (Branden Grace)
  • Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution (Kyle Stanley)
  • Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution IV (Marc Leishman)
  • Grafalloy Bi-Matrix (Bubba Watson)
  • Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8TX (Hideki Matsuyama)
  • Graphite Design Tour AD Quattro Tech (Satoshi Kodaira)
  • Graphite Design Tour AD-GP (Kevin Na)
  • Mitsubishi Diamana D+ (Brooks Koepka
  • Mitsubishi Diamana White D+ (Luke List)
  • Mitsubishi Diamana BF (Justin Thomas)
  • Mitsubishi Diamana Blue (Zach Johnson)
  • Mitsubishi Diamana White LEX D+ (Paul Casey)
  • Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S-Series (Patrick Cantlay)
  • Mitsubishi Fubuki K (Tyrrell Hatton)
  • Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue (Ross Fisher)
  • Project X Even Flow (Louis Oosthuizen)
  • Project X HZRDUS Smoke (Bryson DeChambeau)
  • TPT (Jason Day)
  • UST Mamiya Elements Chrome Prototype (Cameron Smith)
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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Paul

    Aug 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Doesn’t seem to matter what shaft Woods uses. He still can’t hit a fairway.

    • ogo

      Aug 22, 2018 at 12:01 am

      I predict he will soon be playing a Seven Dreamer autoclave cured graphite shaft because all oven cured shafts are too soggy and floppy in the tip section causing Tiger driving problems.

  2. Kanko

    Jul 29, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Notice ZERO Seven Dreamers shafts lol where’s that Seven Dreamers idiot? Hopefully got BANNED

    • walterg

      Aug 5, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      WRX moderators doing their utmost to delete any comments that disturb the gearheaded neanerthals that love their WITB gonadal symbols of manliness.

  3. Diamondback Billiards

    Jul 28, 2018 at 11:01 am

    These golf equipment is the best but it is still up to the player who knows his talent in being top golfer.

  4. Jack House

    Jul 28, 2018 at 1:15 am

    Whats the best shaft for an regular player… 80 MPH swing speed…. tough to fit between Regular and Senior flex//

    • joro

      Jul 28, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Give the Mitsubishi Tensei Blue in reg. That is what I use at 79, it is a soft R and a very good accurate shaft.

  5. Leftshot

    Jul 28, 2018 at 12:12 am

    What a disappointment. The subject line of the email I got from Golf WRX was: ” The 8 Hottest Driver Shafts of 2018″. To then find out this was just an incident count of the top 50 pro golfers was a real letdown. Most of us couldn’t find a golfer more dissimilar to us than the top pro golfers. Thus the obvious reaction: Who cares? Maybe 1% of us have a swing similar enough to the top 50 professionals.

  6. Donald

    Jul 27, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    I only buy and play tour proven equipment because I can afford the best. Stiff shafts are the best. I bag PXGs too.

  7. Doug lamb

    Jul 27, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Exactly!!

  8. Shaft Shack

    Jul 27, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Demo these great shafts and more at ShaftShack.com!

  9. Funkaholic

    Jul 27, 2018 at 11:06 am

    I am still gaming my Diamana ‘Ahina 70 x5ct x in my driver 3w and 19* rescue, I have yet to find a reason to change.

  10. Travis

    Jul 27, 2018 at 7:03 am

    The Tour AD-IZ has more usage that what was listed above. Last I checked Keegan Bradley was using it and he’s been at the top of ballstriking and total driving categories for a good while.

  11. Eric

    Jul 26, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    I would love to see this with fairway woods. I am not sure you could narrow it down but it may be even more diverse.

    • phil

      Jul 27, 2018 at 1:17 am

      I would love to see that too. I love my fairway woods. I love my hybrids too.

  12. Harv

    Jul 26, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    These are super expensive shafts… to pay off the pros to use them….

  13. millennial82

    Jul 26, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    saw Tiger using the tensei white.. got it.. love it.. now he changed to orange and whites not even on the this list… kind of hurts my heart…

    • millennial82

      Jul 26, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      great post by the way GOLFWRX. Thank you!

    • Aaron

      Jul 27, 2018 at 11:50 pm

      Lamest reason to ever buy any shaft. Use what fits you.

  14. PushFade

    Jul 26, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Not bigger money than they’d earn from winning a tournament. Winning tournaments = bigger endorsements deals. Your statement is not only untrue, your premise is flawed.

  15. Francis

    Jul 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Doesn’t Rory use the Tensei Orange as well?

    • Curt

      Jul 26, 2018 at 6:11 pm

      Yes he was and I thought I saw he switched for the British.

  16. Francis

    Jul 26, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    …Okay, Donald

  17. jc

    Jul 26, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    I sure don’t know a shaft that starts out even lower than my standard ping shaft…I want something that takes off like a patriot missle going after a scud.

  18. Michael Baker

    Jul 26, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    GREAT article – SUPER comprehensive and interesting….

    Not sure about DJ in the HZRDUS black though. He used it recently but I believe he’s back in Fujikura Speeder DJ this week?

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Whats in the Bag

Will Zalatoris’ winning WITB: 2022 FedEx St. Jude Classic

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Driver: Titleist TSR3 (8 degrees, A1 SureFit)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder TR 661 X

3-wood: Titleist TSR2+ (13 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 8 X

Irons: Titleist T200 (3), Titleist T100 (4-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (50-08F, 54-10S @55), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60-T)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X T11 prototype
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Tour

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride ZGrip Cord

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Rory, JT and Spieth make big equipment changes in Memphis, and Penny Hardaway’s SICK custom clubs

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Typically, the FedEx Cup Playoffs mark the start of “slow season” for equipment changes on the PGA Tour. This late in the season, players are already dialed into their gear, focusing on the FedEx Cup prize, and awaiting the off-season to conduct more serious gear testing to make any major changes.

That’s not exactly what we saw this week at the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind in Memphis, though. Big names such as Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth all made changes to their setup this week.

We also got a look at the awesome custom clubs that Penny Hardaway – a former NBA superstar and current head coach for the University of Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team – used during the Wednesday pro-am.

Check out all the gear news you missed from Memphis in this week’s Tour Report below!

Big name WITBs, and their recent changes

With the top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings collected in Memphis, it was time to dive back into the WITB setups for some of the bigger names on Tour to see if anything has changed. This week, GolfWRX photographer Greg Moore captured WITB photos for Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Cam Smith, Cameron Young, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, plus we caught up with Jordan Spieth.

We noticed a few changes.

McIlroy, who’s been changing up his 3-wood head quite often throughout the year, changed up his 3-wood shaft this time. We spotted him using a Mitsubishi Kai’li White 80 TX in his TaylorMade SIM2 15-degree fairway wood for a slight adjustment in spin characteristics.

He’s also using a new 58-degree TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 Raw wedge, made with a standard bounce of 11 degrees, except it was bent by one degree to slightly increase the bounce.

Justin Thomas, who continued using his previous TSi3 driver model through the 2022 Open Championship, made the switch into a new Titleist TSR3 driver, equipped with a Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 60 TX in the D1 hosel setting, this week in Memphis. PGATOUR.com has the full story on the switch, but here’s what JT had to say about the new driver:

“The biggest difference is the spin,” Thomas said after his first-round 67. “When I heel it, it doesn’t spin crazy high and when I toe it, it’s somehow spinning a little more. It’s unbelievable in terms of misses…I like it being a little bit open (the D1 setting delofts the driver by 0.75 degrees and opens the face). I don’t like when I can’t see a lot of face because then I feel like I have to get it up in the air and then I start getting underneath it and that gets the two-way miss going. I feel like when I’m driving it my best, although I like to work it both ways, I feel like I aim at something and rip it and it goes pretty straight and falls right. Kind of letting the openness in the club let it fade a little bit.”

Jordan Spieth played in the 2022 Travelers Championship using a TSR3 driver, but has since switched back into his previous TSi3 gamer. At the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship, however, Spieth switched out his longtime TS2 3-wood for a new TSR3 15-degree fairway (D1 setting), equipped with a Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 75 TX shaft.

For more WITB photos from the forums, click here

Playoffs?!

Playoffs? You talkin’ bout playoffs?!

Jim Mora, former head coach for the Indianapolis Colts NFL football team, still has one of the most legendary press conferences ever, as you can see in the clip above.

Odyssey, a putter manufacturer that’s known to make custom headcovers for various PGA Tour events throughout the season, made a Jim Mora-inspired custom cover ahead of the first FedEx Cup playoff event this year.

Mora is to the word “playoffs,” as Allen Iverson is to the word “practice.” A great choice for a custom design from Odyssey this week.

See more photos of the playoff headcovers here

The backstory to one of the coolest wedges on the PGA Tour

Funny enough, one of the coolest wedges on Tour doesn’t actually belong to a PGA Tour player – at least, not anymore.

 

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A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour)

Mike Thomas, father and coach of Justin Thomas, carries around one of his son’s Vokey SM6 wedges every week to use as a walking stick. We’ve written about the wedge before here on GolfWRX, but this week, we collaborated with PGATOUR.com to tell the full story on video, with input from both Mike and Justin. In my somewhat-biased opinion, the video above is well worth a watch if you love custom golf equipment.

Penny Hardaway with a bag full of 1-of-1 custom clubs

Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, a former NBA superstar and current head coach for the Memphis Tigers men’s college basketball team, played in the Wednesday Pro-Am at TPC Southwind. Mr. 1 Cent showed up with a bag full of mind-blowing 1-of-1 Sub 70 equipment, which he discusses in the video here. The clubs are lasered with the Tigers team logo and Penny’s personal logo, and come with Tigers blue-and-white paintfills (custom work done by @wedge_fx on Instagram).

We also shot photos of Penny’s full WITB; check out some of the highlights below, including his custom staff bag with a shoutout to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics where he helped Team USA win a Gold medal:

New Scotty Cameron, Odyssey and Ping putters 

Apparently, it was a hot week for fresh putters down in Memphis. Scotty Cameron (T-12 proto and Masterful+/Timeless+) , Odyssey Toulon and Ping all unveiled new putters, and we were there to take in-hand photos. Check out a selection of photos below, or click the links above to see more.

New spikes spotted

Lastly, we spotted Ryan Palmer wearing some custom white Jordan shoes equipped with new Soft Spike Tour Flex Pro spikes in their soles. With Penny Hardaway getting a mention in this week’s Tour Report, I found it all-too-fitting to end off the week with a note about sneakers; I wonder what Lil Penny would have to say about them?

And with that, we say goodbye to Memphis, and we’ll see you next week at the 2022 BMW Championship in Wilmington, Delaware.

See all of our photos from the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship here

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Whats in the Bag

Marc Leishman WITB 2022 (August)

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Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS (10.5 degrees @9.5)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X

3-wood: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond T High Launch (16 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X

Irons: Callaway X Forged UT (19, 22 degrees), Callaway Apex TCB (4-5), Callaway Apex MB (6-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 130 X

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (50-10S, 54-10S, 60-08C)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 130 X

Putter: Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K 3
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion 1.0 PT

Grips: Golf Pride MCC

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