Graphite Design Tour AD HD Shaft Review

50 Words or Less

The Graphite Design Tour AD HD shaft has a smooth feel with a pleasant kick in the mid/tip.  Boring flight with mid launch.

Introduction

As the husband of a school psychologist, the name “Tour AD HD” gives me a laugh every time that I see it.  But in the case of the latest from Graphite Design, the HD stands for Hyper Drive.  With sci-fi images of light speed drives dancing through my head, I took this new offering to the range to see what it could do.

Check out the new Graphite Design Tour AD UB HERE

Looks

When I first got the info on the Tour AD HD, I thought, “We’re going to have a problem.”  I am a proud Duke grad, and I do not do light blue.  Thankfully, despite what it looks like in the photos, the Tour AD HD is not powder puff blue, it’s a few shades darker with a pronounced sparkle to it.

The graphics on the Tour AD HD are classic Graphite Design.  There’s modest branding near the grip with wraparound rings of black and blue.  There’s a small “Accuracy and Distance” logo at the tip, but otherwise the shaft is totally distraction-free near the ball.

Feel

Graphite Design has been a trend setter in sharing exactly how each of their shafts bends.  They break each model down into “Butt,” “Mid,” and “Tip” and give it a rating from Very Stiff to Soft.  In the past, my sense of each shaft has aligned with this chart, but the Tour AD HD has proven to be a small exception.

Per Graphite Design, the Tour AD HD is, from butt to tip, Firm, Firm, Firm+ (Firm is in the middle of the Graphite Design spectrum).   This indicates that the shaft is stiffest in the tip section.  While I would agree that the shaft has a medium-stiffness overall, I sensed the most kick in the mid/tip.  This is a good example of how feel is subjective and that players will feel differently about a shaft based on their swing.

Performance

Graphite Design bills the Tour AD HD as being “Mid Launch, Mid/Low Spin” which matches the results I saw on both the launch monitor and on the course.  The ball came off the face in my normal window with an extremely strong flight.  Given the kick that I felt, I was expecting slightly higher spin, but every drive bored through the wind unaffected.

Something I enjoyed about hitting the Tour AD HD was the way it responded to more aggressive swings.  When I made an easy swing, the shaft gave a light kick and sent the ball straight down the middle.  If I gave 110%, the shaft kicked harder and produced a tight draw.  I never felt like I was overpowering the shaft, rather I had the ability to hit two different shots just by changing my effort.

One of the big advancements in premium shafts over the last few years is the way softer profiles can handle mishits.  Thanks to advanced materials like Graphite Design’s TORAYCA carbon fiber, shafts can have a smooth feel and also keep poor strikes on line.  I was very impressed by how the Tour AD HD produced respectable results from poor swings.  It took a truly awful effort to produce big slices or hooks.

The Graphite Design Tour AD HD is available in weights ranging from 40 to 80 grams.  At 40 grams, R2, R1, and Stiff are the available flexes.  Everything from R2 to X is offered at 50 grams.  In the 60 gram range, Graphite Design offers the Stiff/Regular, Stiff, X, and Tour X.  The 70 gram family has S, X, and TX.  Finally, the heaviest versions, 80 grams, are available in only stiff and X.

Conclusion

Every year, Graphite Design finds a way to add a new, interesting profile to one of the largest, most complete shaft families in golf.  The Tour AD HD blends a smooth feel with low spin and impressive stability in a way that will win over plenty of players.

Visit Graphite Design HERE

Matt Saternus
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23 Comments

  1. I play a mid 70 gram x stiff shaft, which works well enough but might be a tad heavy as I haven’t been to the gym since the Corona regulations made it unenjoyable. How would you compare a 60 gram tx to a mid 70 gram x stiff. I’m just looking for a generalized opinion. I’m not going to go pay 100 bucks to get fit again when that’s probably what I would spend on a shaft on ebay. Current shaft is atmos 7x tour spec, looking for something similar in specs to Tiger’s 60tx. Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Brandon,

      As a veteran commenter, I think you know what I’m going to say here. It depends on the individual. It should reduce fatigue across the board, but whether that leads to more draw, more fade, or more speed just depends on the player.

      -Matt

  2. This thing sounds nice….

  3. Jeremy Conrad

    I would love to see how you felt it compared to the Ventus Blue or Black. let me know your thoughts.

    thanks!

  4. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t this profile very similar to the XC? If so, can you say which you prefer?

  5. Hi Matt
    Looks like the closest Graphite Design in terms of specs is the TourAD TP
    Did you get the chance to compare both shafts? Thanks

  6. i am using tourad Di .what the difference compare to HD

  7. Great review Matt, thanks for the insight! Question for you – my typical launch stats mirror those in the above launch monitor data (rarely above 105 swing speed), with exception that my steep swing produces heinous spins that you’d want in a 6I, resulting in my total distance getting killed. I’m in the 50+ club, with shoulder issues, so focus is on playing for many years to come and trading more flexibility for strength. Working with my pro on the swing to change attack angle in my swing, but would like to invest in a GD Tour shaft – how might the AD-HD-6 stack up to either the AD-IZ-6 or AD-VR-6 if I’m trying to improve my launch angle while trying to keep spins rates down?
    thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Dan,

      Unfortunately there’s no way for me to give you a reliable answer to that without having you try them. I could tell you which has the stiffest tip, which in theory would knock spin off, but that shaft might not work for you at all.

      My advice would be to get into a place where you’re happy with your swing, then get a fitting where you try everything. Graphite Design is great, but there’s no reason to limit your choices.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. Matt, did you have any issues with swing weight with your Ping head or did you like the balance point ?

  9. Clay Halbleib

    Hey Matt,

    I’m curious why you swing speed fluctuates so much with certain shafts? I noticed the Tensei 1K White, Diamana TB, etc. your swing speed is up to 109 MPH, but many others you’re at 105 MPH. Are you switching between 6X and 7X shafts for different shaft testing?

    • Matt Saternus

      Clay,

      Did you look at the dates on the reviews? Plugged In Golf is closing in on eight years of reviews. Over that time, my speed has been up and down due to injuries, training cycles, seasonality, and, in small part, the equipment being tested.

      -Matt

  10. What GD AD shaft would be close to the YS6+ stiff shaft (med, med, med/soft profile). Was looking at AD DI (but tip is stiff) or AD HD (similar but overall a bit firmer). Any ideas? thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Paul,

      Graphite Design breaks down all their Tour AD shafts in a chart on their site, which is linked in the review above.

      Best,

      Matt

  11. I had a chance to take about 50 swings with the AD HD tonight in an Epic Max LS 9 degree head, and really loved it. Really smooth, nice kick, stable, and the launch was consistently right around what I’m looking for. I would say I felt the kick more in the mid, not the tip, but Matt, as you point out, different swings mean we experience shafts’ characteristics differently, and it was smooth overall. It might have just been a good night, but I felt like I could really go after it with the HD and my swing speed was up about 3 mph from my normal 101-102ish. I’m planning to do a driver and fairway wood fitting this winter, but I expect the AD HD to be in the mix for my driver (and the Diamana BF or TB to be a top contender for my fairway wood).

  12. Graphite Design Tour AD HD Shaft Review – Plugged In Golf

    I’m really impressed with the Graphite Design Tour AD HD Shaft. It’s a great shaft for those who are looking for a high performance shaft.

  13. Perry Tindle

    Hi Matt,

    Do you have any recommendations for similar profile mid launch/low spin wood shafts? Ventus blue perhaps?

    Appreciate your time. Thanks!

    • Matt Saternus

      Perry,

      My best advice is to get fit. I don’t know anything about your swing, your game, or why you’re looking for an alternative to the AD HD, so I can’t make an educated suggestion.

      -Matt

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