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Delve into the World of Graphite Design Golf Shafts - Designed for Custom Fitting

How well do you know your graphite golf shaft brands? At a stretch, you might be able to name Fujikura and Mitsubishi Chemical because there is a good chance you...

How well do you know your graphite golf shaft brands?

At a stretch, you might be able to name Fujikura and Mitsubishi Chemical because there is a good chance you have played or currently play with one of those manufacturer’s products in your golf clubs.

When you delve deeper into the world of custom-fitting, you start to see a wider variety of golf shafts from different manufacturers. One of those manufacturers is Graphite Design.

You might not realise it, but Graphite Design golf shafts have appeared in the golf clubs of some of the game’s most famous golfers. Remember Hideki Matsuyama’s historic victory at Augusta in the Masters in 2021? His driver featured a distinctive white and orange shaft made by Graphite Design.

When Tiger Woods teed it up for his first outing of the 2024 PGA Tour season, for the Genisis Open at Riveria, he used Graphite Design shafts in his golf driver and three wood.

Since its foundation, Graphite Design has earned more than 475 professional wins worldwide and is consistently the number one driver shaft in use on the Japanese Professional Tour (JGTO).

Now that we understand a little more about the pedigree of Graphite Design golf shafts, let’s go into a little more detail by looking at the following:

  • Getting To Know Graphite Design
  • The 2024 Graphite Design Range
  • The Technology Behind The Shafts
  • Investing In Longer Straighter Shots - The Custom-Fitting Solution

Getting To Know Graphite Design

Graphite Design was formed in 1989 in Chichibu, Japan, by Megumi Yamada to create the highest-quality graphite shafts using the best carbon materials available.

This search for top-class materials led to the creation of shafts like the highly successful Tour AD family of shafts. One model within the Tour AD family became sought after, Tour AD DI, gaining success from players like Hideki Matsuyama and Tiger Woods, who made it his shaft of choice between 2010 and 2013. Martin Keymer captured his second major, the 2014 U.S. Open, wielding the distinctive orange and white Tour AD DI golf shaft.

The AD moniker used in many Graphite Design shafts refers to “Accuracy and Distance,” reflecting the fact that the shafts had to deliver in more than one way.

Today, Graphite Design produces high-performance shafts for drivers and shafts for hybrids and irons, leading to a consistent feel throughout the bag and helping to dial in the correct shaft profile for any player through custom fitting.

The 2024 Graphite Design Range

The Graphite Design golf shaft range is one of the most comprehensive for custom fitting.

This makes perfect sense since each golfer has their own individual swing characteristics that generate specific launch and spin rates based on their clubhead speed.

We’ll focus initially on the Tour AD family and look at the main playing characteristics of each shaft for drivers. We’ll look at Graphite Design’s technologies shortly.

Graphite Design Golf Shaft Range

Name

Spin

Launch

Key Technologies

Tour AD VF (Victory Force)

Low

Low/Mid

Torayca M40X

Torayca T1100G

Tour AD DI (Deep Impact)

Low

High

Nanoalloy

Tour AD CQ (Conquest)

Mid

Mid/High

Nitta 2G-Namd

Tour AD UB (Up and Beyond)

Low/Mid

Mid

Torayca M40X

Torayca T1100G

Tour AD HD (Hyper Drive)

Low/Mid

Mid

Fast Taper Technology (FTT)

Torayca M40X

Torayca T1100G

Tour AD XC (Extra Carry)

Low

Low/Mid

Torayca M40X

Torayca T1100G

Tour AD VR (Vanquish All Rivals)

Low

Mid/High

Fast Taper Technology (FTT)

Torayca M40X

Torayca T1100G

Nanoalloy

Tour AD IZ (Into The Zone)

Low

High

Torayca T1100G

Nanoalloy

Tour AD TP

Low

Mid/High

Fast Taper Technology (FTT)

Torayca T1100G

The Tour AD golf shaft family extends to fairway woods, hybrids and utility irons featuring the same technologies in the driver shafts, allowing golfers to have a uniform feel through the longer clubs in their bag.

Other Graphite Design Shafts

There are several other options available outside of the Tour AD lineup you can look at, which are:

  • Graphite Design Chichibu
  • Graphite Design MAD/MAD PRO

Graphite Design Chichibu

Named after the city Graphite Design hails from, the Chichibu sits at the higher end of the price bracket of shafts. The Chichbu is primarily aimed at golfers with lower swing speeds (60-85 mph) who need help getting the correct launch angle and spin rates to maximise their drives. The Chichibu encapsulates all of Graphite Design’s know-how gained over 30 years of producing high-quality shafts.

Graphite Design MAD/MAD PRO

The Graphite Design MAD series results from a challenge given to the Graphite Design engineers to create a shaft that would help all golfers gain Maximum Accuracy and Distance (MAD).

The Graphite Design MAD golf shaft is aimed at most golfers, while the Graphite Design MAD PRO golf shaft is aimed at golfers with higher swing speeds who want more stability.

The Technology Behind The Shafts

Graphite Design has mastered combining different carbon fibre materials in their shafts, creating stability and power in equal measure.

Two additional carbon fibre materials used are Torayca M40X and Torayca T1100G. Depending on the profile Graphite Design is trying to create, we can see the Torayca M40X used in the mid-section of the shaft and the Torayca T1100G used in the tip section.

Some of the shaft variants only employ Torayca T1100G.

Fast Taper Technology (FTT)

First introduced in 2019 in the Tour AD VR and TP shafts, FTT refers to specific tooling techniques for producing the shaft, creating a unique profile. The Tour AD VR has FTT technology placed in the butt running to the mid-section of the shaft, while the Tour AD TP has FTT from the low mid-section to the tip of the shaft.

FTT technology is designed to create higher clubhead speeds without sacrificing any control of the clubface at impact.

Nanoalloy Carbon Fibre

Sitting in the core of the shaft, Nanoalloy carbon fibre is used to dampen vibration to create an outstanding feel and smoothness in the shaft.

Material Stiffness Integration (MSI) Technology

Graphite shafts are constructed using carbon fibre sheets and resin. In Graphite Design’s case, they have integrated the carbon weave at different angles, moving from the core to the outer layer of the shaft.

This process of combining different layers will create different shaft performance characteristics. The resin acts as a structural support for the carbon fibre while absorbing vibration.

Nitta 2G-Namd

Only used in the Tour AD CQ shaft, Nitta 2G-Namd is a technology that binds the carbon fibre tighter, creating greater energy transfer in the shaft. It is designed to aid a more solid impact.

Graphite Design also uses 50-ton ultra-premium, high-modulus aerospace-grade carbon fibre in its Tour AD shafts, which are ultralight but durable to create the highest-performing shafts.

A common feature with all the Graphite Design shaft variants is the range of shaft weights and flexes available, which is one of the reasons why these shafts are so popular from a custom fitting point of view.

Investing In Longer Straighter Shots - The Custom-Fitting Solution

Nine by Nine Golf Custom-Fitting

When you visit a golf retailer, choosing golf clubs can be overwhelming.

If you take the 2024 driver lineup from TaylorMade, Callaway, and Cobra as examples, there are three models to choose from.

You have a low-spin bomber model for players with higher swing speeds, a standard model aimed at most of us and an ultra-stable model to help us hit more fairways and offer maximum forgiveness on off-centre hits.

You have different lofts within each of these models, and each manufacturer will offer various shaft options. Let’s be honest here: the components used in these clubs are all of the highest quality, and as we mentioned in our intro when it comes to shafts, we see lots of Fujikura or Mitsubishi Chemical variants available in a suitable range of flex points.

The question is, how do you know what’s right for you?

We need to consider this seriously, considering premium golf drivers from Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway, and PXG all cost over £500 ($630).

If you are looking at investing in new fairway woods, prices can also be on the high side, depending on the brand. The bottom line is that you should not spend serious amounts of money if you are not sure that what you are buying will improve your game. The best way to know that the money you invest in new equipment will pay off is through custom fitting.

Custom fitting allows you to access a wider range of products, like the Graphite Design golf shaft range. With the range of golf shafts available within the Graphite Design range, it’s much easier to dial in the correct shaft for the correct golfer.

At Nine by Nine Golf, we have worked with Graphite Design for a number of years, and we understand the playing characteristics of each shaft.

So, if you are looking for a premium shaft for your driver, we can look at models like the Graphite Design AD DI or AD VF models. If you are also looking at new fairway woods, you can keep your shaft choice consistent, as both AD DI and AD VF models can be used.

Golfers sometimes feel that the major benefit of custom fitting is gaining more distance. But distance doesn’t mean anything if you have poor shot dispersion, so, during a fitting session, we look to ensure we can narrow the shot dispersion as much as possible.

We can achieve this by sourcing the correct shaft weight and flex, but having the shaft at the correct length also improves accuracy and ball striking.

Given the construction process Graphite Design follows, creating a full bag of clubs with Graphite Design shafts can make a massive difference to your scoring capabilities.

In summary, Graphite Design has built a highly successful reputation for producing some of the best-performing shafts for professionals and amateurs. This success comes down to the quality and mix of materials used to create highly stable shafts that produce power and accuracy for golfers of every ability.

Graphite Design shafts are designed for custom fitting. Given the scale of the range within the Tour AD family alone, ensuring you get the correct shaft is something an experienced fitter would help you with.

At Nine by Nine Golf, we have experienced fitters, and we also have the technology to accurately record data with your existing clubs and build a recommendation of which Graphite Design shafts would work best for you.

Getting the right shaft for your game comes down to adding distance and accuracy, giving you maximum confidence in how your clubs will perform out on the course. Given that Graphite Design shafts are available for any club in the bag, you can book a custom-fitting session with us based on your needs.

Once you have booked your custom-fitting session, you’ll be able to experience the complete range of Graphite Design golf shafts during the fitting session.

You can also look at our website for the Graphite Design range and choose the correct weight and flex if you already know what you are looking for.

If you have any further questions about Graphite Design shafts or custom fitting, please contact us. We’ll be happy to help.

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