Graphite Design Tour AD UB Shaft Review

50 Words or Less

The Graphite Design Tour AD UB has a powerful kick and a feel similar to the Tour AD DI.  Very easy to turn over.  Highly consistent feel.

Introduction

Though it’s one of the oldest shafts in their catalog, the Graphite Design Tour AD DI continues to be a favorite and a winner throughout golf [review HERE].  In fact, as of this publication, it’s the driver shaft of the reigning Masters champion.  With so much success, it makes sense that Graphite Design would try to emulate the AD DI in their newer offerings, which they’ve done with the Tour AD UB.

Looks

The Graphite Design Tour AD UB sticks with the tried and true aesthetic of the Tour AD series but with one of the series’s bolder color choices.  The upper portion of the shaft is a very attractive blue that I can best describe as a dark turquoise.  Just below the branding, that shifts to silver for a less distracting look at address.

Branding on the Tour AD UB is limited to the familiar logos below the grip.  Should you install this shaft logo down, the only graphics you’ll see are the black rings near the middle.

Feel

Like most golfers, the first thing I do when I get a new shaft in hand is give it the wiggle test.  I’ve been testing a lot of low launch, low spin shafts lately, so the big response from the Tour AD UB was a bit of a shock.  I felt substantial movement in the lower half of the shaft.

When I started swinging the Tour AD UB, it put a big smile on my face as it brought back memories of the Tour AD DI.  This shaft has a pronounced kick starting in the middle of the shaft and working down.  Every swing feels effortlessly powerful.  The tip section feels fairly stout but not rock hard.

Graphite Design rates all their shafts somewhere between “Very Stiff” and “Soft” in each section.  The Tour AD UB is rated Medium+, Medium+, Stiff+ from butt to tip.  This is very similar to the Tour AD DI which is Medium, Medium, Stiff.

Performance

The term “one-trick pony” is often used as a pejorative, but it doesn’t have to be if that one trick is really good.  For me, the Graphite Design Tour AD UB had one primary function: high, powerful draws.  I think most golfers would agree that’s a good trick.  With this shaft, I could “turn off” all conscious control of my swing and know the ball wouldn’t go right.  I could hit a straight shot with a little effort, but moving it right required a Bubba-like move.

Another thing that I noticed about the Tour AD UB is that it felt and performed very similarly regardless of how hard I swung.  For players who are trying not to swing all-out, this is an amazing feature.  For me, the amount of kick kept me from going 110% because of a fear of the hook, but that’s a fitting issue/personal hang up.

In testing the Tour AD UB on my Foresight GCQuad, I was very impressed by the launch angle.  Looking at the shot shape alone, I was expecting the ball to come out fairly low.  However, I was getting high launch that kept my carry distance very near optimal.

Finally, in looking over Graphite Design’s website, I noticed something very interesting.  Despite the feel similarities between the AD DI and the AD UB, Graphite Design places the performance of the AD UB nearest the Tour AD HD [review HERE].  For comparison, the AD HD is rated Firm, Firm, Firm+ which is substantially different than either DI or UB.  All of this to say, it’s critical to test things for yourself and get fit.  I find Graphite Design’s feel rating to map well against my feel, but you may not.

The Graphite Design Tour AD UB is available in weights ranging from 40 grams to 80 grams.  Lite and Regular flexes are offered in the 40 and 50 gram versions.  Stiff flex is available in every weight.  Stiff-Regular is offered only at 60 grams.  X-Stiff is available at 50, 60, 70, and 80 grams with a Tour X-Stiff version at 60 and 70 grams.

Conclusion

Players who want something different than the flood of “low/low” shafts should enjoy the Graphite Design Tour AD UB.  This shaft can help take your tee shots “Up and Beyond” with a strong, active feel reminiscent of Graphite Design’s most successful model and very consistent performance.

Visit Graphite Design HERE

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

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9 Comments

  1. Been hoping you’d review the UB! I’m going to spend some time with this shaft this year. Testing so far, I’ve found it launches a little lower for me than the HD, and it feels more like a cousin of the DI. (The DI 7X is in my 3 wood forever. It’s perfect. Too high and spinny for a driver, but absolutely perfect in a fairway wood.)

    I’m just curious, generally speaking, where would you say the Diamana TB sits relative to the Graphite Design lineup? It seems to me it has launch and spin characteristics roughly in the same ballpark as the UB and HD, but is more smooth vs. the really strong kick I get out of the HD. But they only had the TB in a TX, not an X, available when I tested it, so it wasn’t really apples to apples and I’m wondering whether it’s worth trying again.

    • Matt Saternus

      Eric,

      I’ve never run the TB head to head with any Graphite Design where I could make a really sound comparison.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. So, I have a friend in Paris and he has or gets everything Graphite Design. I have wanted to try this shaft since I heard of it. So, he comes to visit and voila here we go. I had access to it over the last two days and played 18 holes with it in a 9* M6 – D today. I overswung one time and I hit a ridiculous high draw (I never play a draw) however the rest of the day I hit this lower than low and far especially into the wind.

    I trust you Matt and I understand what you have to say about this shaft vs. as I experienced it. My current driver is a 9* TS3 (or a SIM 9* with the same shaft (All three of these shafts 60 gm) the TENSEI Orange Pro K – which happens to really be the shaft for me in my fw woods (70g version) and the white is OK.

    Comparing AD DI . AD UB , Orange Pro and White pro the feel of a kick is (greatest to lowest) ADUB, ADDI, Orange then white, correct? Otherwise, these four shafts are pretty much all similar gross descriptions, Y or N?

    My desire is low launch, low flight enough spin (1800-2000) to keep the ball in the air and better performance into the wind

    I understand the differences in a day vs. a fitting, but just want to know if I understand this group well, all else being equal. If you say I dunno, depends on the combo – that’s Ok.

    I guess I need to try the 1K series as well … your 1K White review sounds delish

    THX!

    • Matt Saternus

      Bill,

      I would not put the Orange and White in the same category as DI and UB, but, because everything is personal, it’s entirely possible that some people would get similar performance from all four.

      -Matt

      • I found the differences in characteristics you described vs. the function I experienced with the UB to be jarring.

        I’m always a bit dismayed by “fittings” as I see people I play with (Their misfortune to have very deep pockets) frequently playing clubs they have no business playing after a few weeks of actually playing them. I am suspicious of the swing one hits in a bay after 50-100 swings not being the one taken to the course, and as I like to say “If you hit ten drivers in a row, you are lying 19” (Meaning it never happens on the course) and is non-representative.

        I have personally found iron shafts far more consistent across brands than woods/hybrids but especially driver shafts. UB is so new as to be nearly impossible to try in a fitting, I’m going to try to get access to a Trackman this week before he goes back, I have never seen able to hit such a consistent, low boring trajectory through the wind. Ever. I play continuously in the wind and need that shot.

        Cheers, I do appreciate all your efforts.

  3. Coming off of 2 major surgeries since November, I had not been cleared to swing away until today. I hit several different drivers with different shafts. While my swing speed is down to only 100mph, the callaway Rogue Max D with this shaft was by far the easiest to swing. It was effortless and incredibly accurate, and it launched mid/high as well. I’m quite intrigued with this shaft as I look for a driver to play until my speed comes back.

  4. Great Review. Have you ventured into reviewing these premium shafts in the fairway woods? I’ve read a few of your reviews and I’ve seen comments of people using one flex in the driver and another flex in the woods. I ask because I’ve squared in my driver shaft and swing well with an x and I’m losing balls to the right with the 3 wood.

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