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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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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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