Graphite Design Tour AD VR Shaft Review

50 Words or Less

The Graphite Design Tour AD VR shaft creates a stable feel with a profile that’s the opposite of what you would expect.  Modest, smooth kick feels like it’s giving your swing speed a boost.

Introduction

At a glance, the names of Graphite Design’s shafts seem bland.  When you realize they’re acronyms, however, they’ll often put a smile on your face.  The Tour AD VR, for instance, is meant to help you “Vanquish all Rivals.”  That alone got me excited to give it a test.

Looks

Graphically, the AD VR is the same as most of the other Tour AD shafts from Graphite Design.  It’s white in the butt section, striped under the branding, and a solid blue from the mid to tip.

What makes the AD VR stand out is the shade of blue.  It doesn’t translate perfectly in pictures, but it’s a beautiful matte blue with a hint of purple.  I can’t recall seeing any shaft quite like it.

Feel

Graphite Design does an unparalleled job of offering golfers insight into the feel of their shafts.  For each model, their website lists the stiffness of the butt, mid, and tip sections so that you can pick the exact feel you prefer.

GD lists the Tour AD VR as being “Firm+” in the butt section, “Medium” (softer) in the mid, and “Firm” in the tip.  In comparing that to the Tour AD DI, one of my favorite GD shafts, the butt is stiffer and the tip is softer.  That led me to expect a kick lower in the shaft, which is exactly what the Tour AD VR delivered.

The stiff butt section makes the AD VR feel very stable in the back swing and transition.  As the club gets parallel to the ground, there’s a controlled snap that feels like it’s about 2/3 of the way down the shaft.  For me, the amount of kick is perfect: enough to feel like the shaft is working, not so much that it feels out of control.

Performance

Regular readers know that my best performance typically comes with stiff tipped shafts.  After a recent run of successful testing with models that fit that description, I was a little leery about how a slightly softer profile would perform.  Thankfully, the quality materials and design of the Tour AD VR produced excellent results.

For me, the key to success with the Tour AD VR is the modest kick that I described above.  This shaft never feels torque-y or out of control, even though it does deliver a pleasant kick.  Even on mishits, the shaft feels very stable.  I could really lean into a swing or take it easy and still get predictable results.

The Graphite Design Tour AD VR is available as light as 40 grams in R2, R1, and stiff flex.  Those three choices, plus X flex, are available at 50 grams.  The 60 gram version has a S/R flex, stiff, and X, and the heaviest models, 70 and 80 grams, are only available in stiff and X.  Do note that the bend profile of the 40 gram version is different than the other weights.

Conclusion

Even if you don’t view your regular playing partners as “rivals,” I’ll bet you’d still like to “vanquish” them by blowing your tee shots past them.  If you’re fit for the right weight and flex, the Graphite Design Tour AD VR can certainly help you do that.  This is a shaft that provides a rare combination of active feel and stability.

The following two tabs change content below.

Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

Latest posts by Matt Saternus (see all)

7 Comments

  1. I’d be the first to say that the right shafts make all the difference, and especially fun to experiment with to find your best game on any given day or course condition.. But, $380 + tax for a Graphite Design shaft?

    As deeply committed as I am to this game and my equipment I’m still reluctant to drop that weight of coin on a single shaft. I’ve come close to spending that amount, and I have a number of shafts in my rota that I enjoy having to tweak my game whenever it feels right.

    There’s a $ threshold that’s hard for me to cross for a single shaft. If I was playing golf for a living I wouldn’t think twice about it. As with many sports there’s an entry level, the upgrade, the high end and then there’s the pro level. Seems the GD line falls into the latter group.

    I’m not brand loyal, and I’m in a new driver every 1.5 seasons. There’s no guarantee that the $380+ shaft will fit into that next new driver, especially when every company has a different adjustable hosel fitting.

    Must be nice however
    …maybe I’ll think about it. (Don’t tell my wife though. )

    I love this game.

  2. Hi Matt, How would you (not GD) describe the difference between this and the DI as well as the Even Flow Black you liked a like?

    Is out kind of somewhere in they middle?

    Cheers Jason

    • Matt Saternus

      Jason,

      The AD VR has a lower kick point than the EvenFlow Black and less action overall, in my opinion.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. I got one of these shaft in my Rogue Sub Zero. I agree with everything that was said in this article. I have 115 SS. Launch is good around 11-13 but my spin is around 3000. Would you suggest tipping this an inch MATT? I’ve never tipped a shaft before. Happy with everything the shaft offers would just like spin down a few hundred revs to around 2500

    • Matt Saternus

      Drake,

      If the shaft, in its current state, isn’t game-able, then tipping it is certainly worth a shot. Tipping is no guarantee of lower spin, so you could potentially be “ruining” an otherwise decent shaft. I would recommend working with a fitter to find a profile that’s more suitable to you.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. What do you feel are the main differences between the VR and the DI? Feel, performance, etc.?
    Thanks for the great shaft reviews!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*