KBS TD Shaft Review

50 Words or Less

The KBS TD shaft is a driver shaft worthy of the company’s stellar reputation.  Mid/high launch and mid spin.  Smooth, active feel.

Introduction

For over ten years, KBS has been a leader in steel iron shafts.  In that time, they’ve also dipped their toe into graphite with their hybrid shaft and a few graphite iron shafts.  Now KBS is diving all the way in on graphite with their first wood shaft, the TD.  TD stands for Tour Driven, as KBS has taken their design cues from their experience with players on the biggest stage.

Looks

From the brand known for its red label, anything other than a striking red finish would have been a disappointment.  The KBS TD shaft has a red base color on the upper portion that’s decorated with bold black graphics.  There is no “logo down” option as there is branding on both sides.

The lower portion of the KBS TD shaft comes in three different finishes: White Gloss, Black Gloss, and Black Matte.  White Gloss is exclusive to the 40 gram models, and Black Matte is only available in X and Tour X flexes.

One interesting note: KBS has opted for using five different “Categories” rather than traditional flexes.  This seems to be an attempt to combat ego fitting, which I strongly endorse.

Feel

While I was swinging the KBS TD shaft, I couldn’t help but think about the original KBS Tour iron shaft.  Obviously that comparison is top of mind because both shafts are from the same company, but it held up for me even after extended testing.

The KBS TD has a smooth, active feel throughout the length of the shaft.  I felt the most action in the butt section just below my hands, but there was kick throughout.

Compared to the low spin shafts that I’ve been testing lately, the KBS TD has a more active, torque-y tip.  However, in the broader context of all the shafts available, I think the TD falls in the middle of the bell curve in terms of torque.

Performance

The comparisons between the KBS TD shaft and the original KBS Tour don’t stop with feel; they carried over to the performance as well.  With the KBS TD loaded into my PING G410 Plus driver, I saw a high, mid-spin ball flight with a dispersion that ranged from straight to a strong draw.

Due to a combination of equipment changes and swing tweaks, my typical driver ball flight has gotten a bit lower over the last season.  With the KBS TD, I was right back to the towering shots that I used to hit.  The high initial launch combined with medium spin created long carries that really took advantage of the strong fall winds.

With the strong action and slightly softer tip of the KBS TD, my dispersion shifted from straight/fade to straight/draw.  The draw was a nice compliment to the higher launch as it kept the ball flight strong and gave me plenty of roll out.  What I liked is that the KBS TD never felt out of control.  The kick was always smooth and predictable, and the draws it produced were small, controlled curves.

The KBS TD shaft is available in weights ranging from 40 to 80 grams.  Category 1 and 2 – Light and Regular Flex – are available in 40, 50, and 60 grams.  Stiff flex, Category 3, is available in 50, 60, and 70 grams.  X and Tour X – Category 4 and 5 – are available in 60, 70, and 80 grams.

Conclusion

If you’re a lover of the original KBS Tour shaft in your irons, plugging the KBS TD into your driver will be the most natural change you’ve ever made.  Even if you’re not familiar with KBS’s iron shafts, the TD is worth a look if you want a shaft with strong action and consistent performance.

Matt Saternus
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31 Comments

  1. I agree with you that more categories for shaft fitting is a definite plus. After several shaftings I tend to fall within the category of “Soft-Regular” (between Senior and Rgular)–which usually only happens with Fujikura Shafts. (Kuro Kage Black–Fuljkura Six–etc.-usually designated “RR” etc. ) I believe that this is a very underserved section of the market.–and a rather large one to boot. Of the flexes listed–which one do you think actualy falls into this “Soft-Regular” designation.

  2. Did you play the 60 TX that’s pictured?

  3. Neil Esposito

    How would you compare the AD IZ 6x to the shafts you tested? I’ve had kbs tour x and $ taper x in my irons and love the feel. Looking to give the TD a shot.

  4. Hey Matt,

    I was looking to get one of these to try out. And on KBS spec table, it says the TX and X provide low and mid/low trajectory. In your review you said you were getting the high trajectory. I’m personally trying to get my ball flight down. Any insight on this one?

    • Matt Saternus

      Bobby,

      Yes: you can’t get fit off a spec sheet. There are no standards for what “mid” means, and player/gear interaction is unpredictable.

      Best,

      Matt

  5. Neil Esposito

    How would you compare the Evenflow Riptide to the KBS TD?

  6. Neil Esposito

    Evenflow Riptide Gray, not the blue CB, 6.5x – 60g to the KBS TD Category 4 or 5.

    • Matt Saternus

      Neil,

      I assume you’re talking about the Black; I’m not familiar with a RipTide Grey.
      In the broad sense, they’re similar, but within the category of smooth/active mid kick shafts they each have a distinct feel, in my opinion.

      -Matt

  7. Matt-
    Thanks for the great review. I was playing with the Tensei AV Blue. That is until I “test drove” the TD 60. It’s now my gamer. IMHO- it’s remarkably smoother than the Tensei. It gives me the launch and spin numbers I’m looking for. The accuracy and dispersion (mine also shifted from straight /fade to straight /draw) are better than I ever achieved with the Tensei (or any other shaft I’ve hit- and I’ve tried a bunch of them). For the record- this addition (and the coming addition for my 3 wood) will make my entire bag(except putter) KBS.

  8. Hi Matt,
    Is this shaft counter balanced?

  9. Doug McCullough

    How does this compare to a Ventus Velocore RED 6s?

    • Matt Saternus

      Doug,

      Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to do a full review of the Ventus Red.

      Best,

      Matt

      • I recently purchased a KBS Tour TD ( limited edition) satin black in 70g. S flex ..
        I have been a huge Matrix (Black Tie) fan for years .. My delivery is forceful and needs a shaft with minimal torque and NO flex in the center of the grip .. 107 swing speed – D-4 swing weight 3.2 hcp ..
        I’m planning on putting it in the 2023 Cobra AeroJet in 10.5 loft ..
        Any suggestions for this build ?

        • Matt Saternus

          Dan,

          There’s no way for me to have an educated opinion on this. My gut feeling is that the TD is going to be more active than you want.

          -Matt

  10. How would you compare it to the hzrdus smoke green?

  11. Frank Guzauskas

    Matt, I bought the Ping G425 Max 10.5 last winter. I was fitted with the Ping Tour 65 shaft. It has been working quite well for me as I am finding the fairways more often. My swing speed is around 95 and I hit my drives consistently around 250+. How does the KBS compare to the Tour 65 in the distance category?

    • Matt Saternus

      Frank,

      It depends on fit. If the PING Tour is well-fit, changing may cost you distance. At 95 MPH, your optimal carry is about 237 yards, so it doesn’t sound like you’re far off that now.

      -Matt

  12. Jim Bob Dooley

    Matt,

    I have an 82-84 mph swing speed. I am considering trying this shaft in a game improvement driver head. I would like to hit the ball higher with a draw.

    Thanks

  13. Hi Matt,
    I enjoy reading your reviews on golf shafts. I currently have a Taylor Made M2 10.5 degree loft stock graphite shaft. I am wanting to hit a new driver. I recently hit the Srixon ZX5 9.5 degree Evenflow Regular shaft but I had slight pull trajectory. My question is if I go to a 10.5 degree driver with same shaft will I experience the same or different ball flight?

    • Matt Saternus

      Mark,

      All else equal, higher loft should result in a slightly higher flight with potentially less curvature due to more backspin.

      Best,

      Matt

  14. Hi Matt,

    does it have more spin than de Ad-di (I play the 50 gr)
    thanks !

    • Matt Saternus

      Andre,

      My recollection is that it did for me, but that does not mean that will hold true for you. As always, my advice is to get fit.

      -Matt

  15. Hi Matt,

    Great review. Sorry if I missed this, did you prefer Category 4 or 5 or could you play either at your swing speed?

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