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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.