Graphite Designs Tour AD DI Shaft Review

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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.

Introduction

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.

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Looks

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.

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Feel

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.

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Performance

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.graphite-designs-ad-di_0033

Conclusion

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.

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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.

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14 Comments

  1. Patrick Berjaud

    First of all, I thank you for your website.
    Passionate about golf and about gear of golf , you are for me , the website number one on the subject .

    I particularly appreciated your review of the ADDI shaft.
    GRAPHITE DESIGN being one of my favorite trademarks.
    I hope that others tests of the range are going to follow.
    Thank you again !
    Excuse-me for my broken English.
    Patrick

  2. Hey Matt, always enjoy reading your reviews. This GD Tour AD DI is a shaft I keep hearing about and seeing in clubs over the years. It was no surprise to hear you were impressed by it, but it was really interesting to see that you were concentrating on the proper flex for yourself(S vs. XS). With that said, I was wondering what your thoughts are on the Stiff shaft. I know you will ultimately fall back on getting fit….understood. But given what you experienced for yourself, which appeared to be that you need the XS shaft for your swing speed to maximize accuracy, what would you venture the S flex would be good for in terms of swing speed? Assuming a smooth swing and 102-103 mph….S flex? Once again, I know a fitting is absolutely a must, but what swing speed range do you think might benefit best from the S flex AD DI shaft?

    • Matt Saternus

      Tim,

      The thing that impressed me about the AD DI is that I could have been very happy playing the S, I just preferred the shot shape with the X. The S is also so smooth, I think it could work all the way down to, perhaps 95 MPH. Around 100 MPH is probably the sweet spot.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Matt, surprised it has taken so long to try out this iconic shaft. I am 100 SS and the GD DI 60 Stiff is the shaft I keep coming back to. Best feel yet never seems overpowered. Also agreed with the comment that it sits between the Diamana Blue and White. More stable than the Blue and more feel than the White.

        And if you want that next level of stiffness / low ball flight try the BB. I noticed Kaymer just moved from DI to BB in driver, but kept DI in other woods. It also comes in Black which I think was a special order/ request from Adam Scott a few years back.

  3. patrick berjaud

    First of all I thank you for your site !

    For me you are the number one !
    I particularly appreciated your review of the ADDI ; GD being one of my favorites trademarks
    I hope that others tests of the range are going to follow

    thank you again
    Patrick ( paris)

    • Matt Saternus

      Patrick,

      Thank you!

      We will have a review of the AD TP coming soon and hopefully more to follow after that. Any models in particular that you’re interested in?

      Best,

      Matt

  4. patrick berjaud

    Thank you Matt !

    a review of the AD TP would be perfect ! AD MT too !

    Best

    patrick

  5. Thanks, Matt. As it is often said the shaft is the “engine” of the club and the key to proper fitting. For us mere mortals, may I presume that this shaft also comes in a “Regular” form for slower swing speeds? Thanks again.
    Steve

  6. I have the AD DI-7s shaft in my TaylorMade 2017 M2 3 wood. It’s the best club I’ve ever owned. My swing speed is around 105mph, yet I feel as if however hard I swing with this shaft, it just copes and continues to deliver. The feel is exquisite. Now all I have to do is see if I can find a driver to put this shaft into!

  7. Hi Matt,
    I have just purchased a Ping G400 Max Driver…Reg stock stand.shaft.
    I am 70 yo on 18 h/c.
    Would I benefit from fitting an Ad Di
    Shaft ? In a regular form.
    My swing speed is around 90 to100.
    Can I buy in Australia?

    • Matt Saternus

      Con,

      I’m not sure who distributes Graphite Design in Australia.

      There’s no inherent reason why the AD DI would be better than the stock PING shaft. The only way it would be better is if it’s a better fit for your swing, which you could find out by working with a high quality club fitter.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. doug durkin

    Hey Matt,

    Love the podcast!

    Are these averages from the S or X flex?

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