50 Words or Less
The Graphite Designs Tour AD DI shaft feels great and put up some spectacular numbers. Easy to see why it’s such a hit on the PGA Tour.
The goal of any manufacturer is to build hype around their product organically. Smothering the consumer with ads is fine, but it’s nothing compared to the consumer seeing all of their friends talking about and using a product. That latter scenario is what seemed to happen overnight with the Graphite Designs Tour AD DI shaft.
From Charles Howell III to Tiger Woods to Adam Scott, it felt like every PGA Tour pro was playing the orange “Deep Impact,” and every forum was chattering about it. The momentum continues to the 2016-2017 season as Hideki Matsuyama uses one in his driver to stack up wins. We put this tour-proven shaft through the paces to see how it performs for those of us without PGA Tour swings.
Graphite Designs has a formula for the graphics of their Tour AD shafts, and the DI doesn’t vary from it. It’s primarily one solid color with some rings in the mid-butt area and very simple graphics. While some of the colors are bold, the graphics are no nonsense.
Unlike most of their line up, the AD DI does come in two flavors: black and the signature orange. Go stealth or stand out, the choice is yours.
Somehow I missed out on the AD DI craze a couple years ago, but after one swing I immediately understood what all the fuss was about. This shaft has a tremendous kick to it, but it never feels out of control. The company’s description is “Medium” in the butt and mid and “Stiff” in the tip, which matches my assessment exactly. You get a smooth, powerful kick through impact, but the tip doesn’t feel loose or torque-y, even on mishits.
As an aside, kudos to Graphite Designs for taking all the voodoo out of shaft descriptions. For each of their shafts, they describe the butt, mid, and tip sections on a scale that ranges from “Very Stiff” to “Soft.” This makes it easy to figure out what you might like and what you want to try next.
When I love the feel of a shaft, chances are its going to perform well for me. That was certainly the case with the Graphite Designs AD DI.
I started my testing with the stiff flex version of the AD DI. The smooth kick made me feel like I was delivering effortless power to the ball, and the results were very solid. When I bumped up to the X flex, things got even better. The kick was slightly less pronounced, as you’d expect, but the consistency of the results was through the roof. Every shot was near the center of the face, and the monitor was showing the same push-draw time after time.
For players who haven’t hit Graphite Designs shafts and can’t make use of their feel chart, I would say that the AD DI is a mix of the Diamana Blue and White shafts. It has the smooth feel and pronounced kick of the blue with the strong tip of the white. For me, that adds up to great consistency with tremendous feel.
Prior to this review, my experience with Graphite Designs shafts had been minimal, but now the AD DI is making a serious push to go in the bag. It blends some of the best attributes of my favorite shafts, and the performance simply can’t be argued with. Waiting to get this into play is just one more reason that this winter is going to feel really long.