Graphite Design Tour AD XC Shaft Review

50 Words or Less

The Graphite Design Tour AD XC shaft has a stout tip section for stability but pairs that with a more active butt section.  Low spin.  Very consistent.

Introduction

The latest offering in Graphite Design’s Tour AD line is the XC.  As usual, those letters have meaning behind them: “Xtra Carry.”  While the name might lead you to think that this is a softer, higher launching shaft, it’s actually quite the opposite.  The Tour AD XC has a stiff tip section which claims to deliver low/mid launch and low spin.  I tested one to see if it delivered.

Looks

The Graphite Design Tour AD XC has a more traditional color scheme than some of their recent offerings, and the graphics remain true to the Tour AD line.  The majority of the shaft is matte black with a shift to silver near the tip.  White and red branding pops off the black background just below the grip.

Feel

Despite my efforts to test the Tour AD XC without preconceived ideas, I picked up through social media that this is a low spinning shaft.  With this knowledge, I was expecting a stout shaft with minimal kick.  The tip section delivered on those expectations – it’s very stable.  However, the butt section of the Tour AD XC has a very strong kick.

Once I got a sense of the Tour AD XC, I absolutely loved the feel.  The shaft doesn’t want to torque or twist, but just below the grip it explodes through the ball.  The best part is that the kick is there whether you swing smooth or go 110%.

Performance

Per Graphite Design, the Tour AD XC has the softest butt section of any of the Tour AD shafts, equaled only by the Tour AD BB.  This is paired with mid and tip sections that get GD’s second stiffest designation.  The final result is a shaft with explosive feel that also delivers controlled launch and low spin.

Throughout my launch monitor testing, I saw drives launching in the mid to lower end of my normal trajectory window.  That was paired with low spin to produce very strong ball flight, good carry distances, and plenty of run out.  In the windy Chicago fall, the strong ball flight proved to be critical for keeping the ball in play with consistent distance.

While accuracy is largely dependent on a given player’s timing with the shaft, I found the Tour AD XC to be very straight.  Because the kick was present whether I swung hard or soft, there was no issue of trying to time the shaft.  The Tour AD XC gave me a tight dispersion and did a good job keeping mishits online.

The Graphite Design Tour AD XC is available in weights ranging from 40 grams to 80 grams.  In the 40 gram weight class, stiff, R1 (regular), and R2 (light) flexes are available.  At 50 grams, you can get R2, R1, stiff, and X.  The 60 gram family offers stiff and X while introducing TX and SR (Stiff/Regular).  The 70 and 80 gram models are for the faster swingers, with only stiff, X, and TX, or stiff and X available, respectively.

Conclusion

There’s no shortage of low spinning shafts on the market, but nothing that I’ve tested feels like the Graphite Design Tour AD XC.  If you want low spin with a big, pronounced kick, head to your Graphite Design fitter to give this a test.

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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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21 Comments

  1. Does it dethrone the Ventus Black?

    • Matt Saternus

      Brandon,

      Not at the moment. The Ventus Black has been nothing but solid since it went in the bag, no reason to change.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Jeffrey Houglum

    Matt,

    Sounds similar to EF White T1100. How would you compare the two?

    • Matt Saternus

      Jeffrey,

      That’s a good comparison. The way they kick feels different to me – the XC is more controlled – but they are quite similar conceptually.

      -Matt

  3. Daniel Kelliher

    Hi Matt,
    Great review. Did you test at all with the 6X? Or any reason you went with the 7x? Thanks!

    • Matt Saternus

      Daniel,

      I tested the 7X, not the 6X. I’ve been experimenting with 70 gram shafts vs 60 grams. Always tinkering.

      -Matt

  4. TrueGolferChicago

    Hi Matt, I have similar swing speed as you (104-108mph). Currently I use 60+ grams stiff driver shaft, Tour AD IZ 6s to be exact. X stiff shaft feels a bit too stiff to me. I am wondering what factors determined that you play 6x rather than 6s Venus shaft ? What are the benefits you see by playing X shaft? Thanks.

    • Matt Saternus

      I prefer the feel of the X, and I get better dispersion from a stiffer shaft (that’s not universally true, but it’s true for me). Also, any time I go to a softer shaft, I see draws instead of fades, and my preference is to fade the driver.

      Best,

      Matt

  5. TrueGolferChicago

    And, I do have access to a Trackman 4 launch monitor and a few driver shafts (iz 6s, iz 6x, ventus 6s, and ventus 6x). What are the data that I should look at to decide which shaft to put in the bag? Thanks.

  6. How do you like this shaft compared to Diamana DF?

  7. Have you tested any of the OBAN Kiyoshi shafts? I was fit for the Kiyoshi white but didn’t get to hit the graphite design XC as it wasn’t available. Wondering how this compares to the Kiyoshi White 65 X

  8. Hey Matt,
    I was fit for this shaft earlier this year in a 7x with the Maverick Sub Zero and LOVE the shaft, but curious what your thought is on going to the 6x for more speed (obviously keeping the same swing weight)? Also, then would it be better to go with the 6TX version of this shaft for more stability? Just having some thoughts while sitting around doing nothing. Also, thanks for all the content you guys put out!!!
    -Joe

    • Matt Saternus

      Joe,

      I’m very familiar with this rabbit hole. The best advice I can give you is to step carefully over it rather than going down it. :)

      Shaft weight changes rarely work out the way they’re “supposed to”. Going lighter “should” make you faster, but you may lose your feel for the club entirely. Also, when you think about how much weight your actually removing (10 grams or so), the potential gain is extremely small.

      Stay strong. Check out our list of Top 10 Golf Books instead of fiddling with well-fit gear: https://pluggedingolf.com/pig-top-10-golf-books/

      Best,

      Matt

  9. Brett Mathis

    Hey Matt – been gaming the AD BB (6x) for years now. Would you say worth it to upgrade to the XC? Any added performance as a result of the modernized materials/offering?

    Thanks,
    Brett

    • Matt Saternus

      Brett,

      The XC has a slightly different profile than the BB, so it’s not pure apples to apples. I think the BB is still a great shaft, so I don’t think you’re going to see much benefit from the change unless the XC profile is a better fit.

      -Matt

  10. Hi Matt, how do you think this compares to the diamana d plus limited edition shafts? Thank you for your insight.

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