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Club Junkie Review: Graphite Design Tour AD VF wood shaft

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Graphite Design has been a legendary brand in the world of premium golf shafts since the company was founded in 1989. Graphite Design has had some popular shafts over the years, but they are probably most well known for the Tour AD DI that was released in 2010. Today we are talking about the newest shaft in the Graphite Design lineup, the new VF. The letters do stand for something, Victory Force, and according to Graphite Design every victory requires force! For a more in-depth review, please check out the Club Junkie podcast below or on any streaming platform. Just search “GolfWRX Radio.”

Out of the box, the VF has a very familiar look with a red handle section and a black tip section that are separated with the traditional 10 silver rings. The color combination is definitely more subtle than some of the other Tour AD shaft combinations. Graphite Design doesn’t make too many low-launching shafts, so the VF is filling that need. The VF will suit players looking for low/,id launch and low spin shaft to put in their driver or fairway wood.

The shaft profile is a firm+ handle section, it matches the stiffest handles Graphite Design shafts, with a stiff midsection, and finally a very stiff tip. Exotic materials are used along with MSI Design to maintain stability and consistency. Graphite Design uses Torayca M40X carbon fiber in the handle section to make it stiffer and enhance control of the shaft. Ultra-high modulus Torayca T1100G is used in the middle and tip section for added stability without losing that smooth feel.

I built up the VF shaft using a universal tip system that allows me to use the shaft in any driver head. The building went extremely smoothly as every Graphite Design shaft I have ever installed has a consistent tip diameter and I have never had any issues with a sloppy fit. Once the VF was cut to length and installed, the shaft has a great look that doesn’t jump out as distracting or eye-catching. If you are playing a TaylorMade Stealth 2, then the shaft blends in naturally and they look to visually be great partners!

You would expect a smooth and responsive feel from any Graphite Design shaft and you will get just that with the VF. For me the shaft was exactly as Graphite Design describes, being mid/low launch and offering a very penetrating ball flight. The Tour AD XC might launch a touch lower, but I like the feel and consistency I get from the VF just a little bit more. No matter what driver head I used, the VF seemed to offer ball flight in a similar window, slightly lower than the Fujikura Ventus TR Blue I was using. Even shots into the wind showed no real signs of rising or ballooning. Spin was also lower than I expected with the VF shaft. On the course, I noticed a penetrating, boring flight no matter where I hit the ball on the driver face. Shots struck low on the face held a good amount of distance and even the low heel strike seemed to launch lower and carry further.

I even took a couple of driver heads out to the range with a launch monitor and noticed that I rarely saw a spin number with a “3” in front of it. Almost every shot, good and not so good, seemed to spin around that 2,600 RPM number. With many fittings and shaft tinkering, that is usually on the lower end of what I find with my swing. As I said with the shaft being mid/low launch I was seeing an average of around 11 degrees while using a couple of 10.5-degree driver heads. On course, the VF was very straight and consistent and while it seemed easier to square up than I expected, it did not want to go left as easily as some other shafts. I would consider the flight just slightly fade biased but if you release the club properly you will be rewarded with a straight shot down the fairway.

Overall, the Graphite Design Tour AD VF is a really solid mid/low launch and low spin option with a smooth feel. It is starting to gain some traction on the professional tours and could be a great shaft for your swing as well.

Graphite Design Tour AD VF Specs

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I have been an employee at GolfWRX since 2016. In that time I have been helping create content on GolfWRX Radio, GolfWRX YouTube, as well as writing for the front page. Self-proclaimed gear junkie who loves all sorts of golf equipment as well as building golf clubs!

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Stephen

    Oct 12, 2023 at 11:59 am

    You mentioned the Tour AD GP was one of your favorite Graphite Design shafts (same here). How did the VF compare to it? Do you think it’s the GP replacement essentially?

    • Brian Knudson

      Oct 12, 2023 at 12:45 pm

      To me the VF launches just a little lower and definitely spins less. I also find that I have a little less draw, more straight, ball flight with the VF.

  2. Julia

    Oct 3, 2023 at 6:08 pm

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (1/29/24): Logan Olson Batch 1 putter

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At GolfWRX, 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 – buying and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Logan Olson Batch 1 putter.

From the seller: (@Yosef): “Logan Olson Batch 1. Brand New in Box. Haven’t even carpet rolled it. 34.75” standard loft and lie. Black leather grip. This was just under 1,000 with shipping and taxes, so I think $1,100 would be fair. But open to offers, didn’t buy this intending to flip but here we are… $1100 shipped.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Logan Olson Batch 1 putter

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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Whats in the Bag

Matthieu Pavon’s winning WITB: 2024 Farmers Insurance Open

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Driver: Ping G430 Max (9 degrees) Buy here. 
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Black 6 X

3-wood: Ping G430 LST (15 degrees) Buy here.
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Black 7 X

Hybrid: Ping G430 (19 degrees) Buy here.
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 10 X

Irons: Ping i230 (3-PW) Buy here.
Shafts: Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 X

Wedges: Ping Si59 (52, 58) Buy here.
Shafts: Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 X

Putter: Ping Cadence TR Tomcat C Buy here.
Grip: SuperStroke Claw 1.0P

Grips: Golf Pride MCC Align

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

The winning WITB is presented by 2nd Swing Golf. 2nd Swing has more than 100,000 new and pre-swung golf clubs available in six store locations and online. Check them out here

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Equipment

Mizuno ST-Max 230 driver: High-MOI addition to the ST 230 lineup

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The new Mizuno ST-Max 230 is joining Mizuno’s ST 230 series of drivers. According to the company, it is a “low-profile, wide-footprint driver.” Given that billing, GolfWRXers will know the company is offering its answer to the “give me MOI, but distance, too” request OEMs have been paying particular attention to as of late with a formula of larger profile (high MOI), lightweight crown (low CG/ease of launch), and a tuned, tech-infused face (distance).

Shallower and longer from heel to toe, the 460cc head is stretched further than any previous Mizuno driver. Here, a picture is worth 1,000 words.

Mizuno makes use of the 40-percent larger, single-piece sole by expanding its face-flexing Cortech chamber in the ST-Max 230. In addition to being longer, the chamber is positioned closer to the face for greater ball speed over a wider area.

Weight savings also allowed engineers to incorporate a 54-gram back weight into the design for greater stability, which is 20 grams more than the ST-X is outfitted with.

Another important puzzle piece, Mizuno’s beta-rich Ti-LFS face features 9 percent greater tensile strength than what the company previously relied on in the ST-Z and ST-X drivers. It’s a better canvas for a multi-thickness face, which Mizuno engineers happily incorporated, allowing them to deliver better ball speed across the face.

Finally, thanks to the ST-Max 230’s forgiveness, engineers have extended the stock shaft length to 45.75 inches to aid golfers in swinging the club faster.

Mizuno ST-Max 230: Pricing, specs, availability

  • Lofts: 9.5, 10.5, 12 degrees
  • Pre-order/at retail: Now, February 8
  • Price: $500

Mizuno ST-Max 230 fairway wood

In addition, Mizuno announced the high-trajectory, mid-spin ST-Max 230 fairway wood, which features a larger footprint and lower profile than the ST-Z 230 for ease of launch and forgiveness. The club offers the largest sweet spot for a fairway wood in company history, which is buttressed by a multi-thickness face. The Cortech Chamber is again a fixture. Like with the Max driver, the slot is larger and closer to the face. Additionally, the composite carbon crown is larger, allowing engineers to move more weight around the club.

Full specs below.

Mizuno ST-Max 230 hybrid

Finally, Mizuno within the new “Max,” family, Mizuno announced the new ST-Max 230 hybrid, which, again, features a lower profile and larger profile than the ST-Z 230 hybrid. The Cortech Chamber is larger here as well, providing the same benefits as in the fairway wood. Also like the ST-Max 230 fairway wood, the sweet spot is the largest Mizuno has offered in a hybrid. A waffle crown allows for lower CG, and the company’s “speed bevel” treatment of the leading edge of the club enhances turf interaction.

Full specs below.

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