KBS Tour Graphite Iron Shaft Review

50 Words or Less

KBS Tour Graphite Iron shafts offer the feel and stability of KBS’s steel shafts in lighter weight classes.  High launch and spin with consistently strong results.

Introduction

In one short decade, KBS has grown to become one of the most recognized steel iron shaft brands in the world.  The distinctive red badge is on many OEM steel stock offerings and is seen in play every weekend on professional golf tours around the globe.  Looking to erase that steel qualifier and offer more light weight shafts, KBS has come out with the TGI – Tour Graphite Iron – shafts.   The TGI shafts come in four weights (50, 60, 70, 80 grams) with each having its own flex (L, A, R, S respectively).  To find out if they are a worthy addition to the KBS iron shaft line up, I tested a set of TGI 80.  By the way, do you know what KBS stands for?  If not, don’t miss the conclusion.

Looks

In true KBS fashion, the TGI shaft is plain and simple – and I state that as a compliment.  The matte black graphite shaft will pair well with most any grip or head combination.  The signature KBS red badge really pops against the black.

Feel

The first few ‘air’ swings with the KBS TGI had me puzzled on the feel.  I couldn’t decide if they felt heavier or stiffer than expected, but something was grabbing my attention.  As I began hitting balls it became evident that I was experiencing stiffness in the tip section.  What I was growing to really like was that the flex profile felt consistent across the shaft and from club to club.  I felt in control of the club head, like there was no lag in response.

Performance

After seeing what appeared to be really good ball flights and distances on the range, I was eager to get empirical data at Club Champion.  KBS touts the TGI as mid-high launch and mid spin, not surprising based on the target golfer.  My results were more in the high launch and high spin category, both of which are great attributes for my game.  Most importantly, I gained carry distance and decreased dispersion.  With such impressive results, I asked master fitter Rob Stumpf the ultimate question: if I were here for a fitting, what other shafts would you want me to try?  His answer: none.  He went on to tell me that for where I play, soft landings and accuracy are the most important attributes and the KBS TGI delivered both.

KBS claims their graphite irons “play like steel” which is intriguing to golfers who may be going down in shaft weights and/or transitioning from steel to graphite.  Intrigued myself, I read through KBS shaft reviews in the PIG archives and ran across statements from Bill and Matt S. about feeling like they could hit a ball down a hall.  I could certainly relate to that sentiment after some great tree escapes with the TGI shafts.  Even though the shafts produce a high trajectory on normal full swings, they respond appropriately when I need to execute a low punch shot.

Conclusion

I selected the KBS TGI 80 to test since they were the closest weight to my 95 gram gamer shafts.  I didn’t learn about the corresponding flex until conducting research for this review.  To me it demonstrates the importance of working with a qualified fitter and believing data rather than general guidelines.

KBS – Kim Braly Signature – may be best known for their steel shafts, but they’ve transferred their design expertise to graphite iron shafts in an impressive way.  And yes, they are going into my bag.

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Matt Meeker

Matt lives in sunny Orlando with his wife who allows his golf obsession to stretch the limits of normalcy. He's also a proud coach with The First Tee of Central Florida who loves teaching kids about golf and life skills.

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15 Comments

  1. 760/780 SmacWrap vs KBS TGI

    now that i see two of the top graphite shafts reviewed on your site how would you compare the two, if there on that you prefer over the other.

    Thanks for all the great reviews, you really get a lot of great information out there.

    • Matt Meeker

      As you point out, both companies make great golf shafts. I really enjoyed hitting both models and could play either one. You can pick up the differences from the reviews and I recommend you try them both. As far as ‘prefer’ – I went with the hard data as you can see in my WITB.

      Thanks for reading – Matt M

  2. Damon Thurman

    So how do you think the flex plays? True to their flexibility or up or down? Is the 70 closer to a firm? Is the 80 on the stiff side or weaker side?

    • Matt Meeker

      Good question Damon, but hard to really quantify. The first time I hit the KBS they felt stiff. But that’s likely more of a profile feeling compared to some other shafts at that moment. I look at performance first. If two shafts performed identical, then I would choose on feel. Every golfers swing is different and shaft response reflects that. If you check out my WITB, you can see what I play.

      Cheers – Meeks

  3. Have you compared these to Accra 90i and are they still in your bag? The PXG online fitting tool is recommending these for my game. I don’t hit my irons particularly long relative to my driver.

    • Matt Meeker

      I played the Accra iCWT 95 prototypes for two years and loved them (just type Accra in the search above). And yes, the KBS TGI are still in my bag. Similar performance, but different feels. As always, to find out what’s best for you, hit them both with a qualified fitter.

      – Meeks

  4. Hi Matt. I noticed that Lydia Ko is playing the KBS TGI RS. Do you suppose that means she is actually playing the S model soft-stepped twice?

    • Matt Meeker

      Wow, what a great observation and potential conclusion. Unfortunately I can’t offer anything to the conversation.

      – Meeks

  5. Do you believe the KBS launch higher and spin more than the Accra i series?

    • John – those are questions I just can’t answer. I never hit them concurrently in the same setups, and haven’t hit the Accra in some time now. And of course, results vary for every golfer. Get them both on a launch monitor with a qualified fitter.

      Cheers – Meeks

    • Yesterday I had the chance to hit the KBS 80 and the Accra i70 and i80. I hit dozens of balls with each shaft, on Trackman. I tend to be a low spin player, and fairly low launch as well. I spun all 3 of these shafts at 5500-6300 with a 7 iron. The i70 felt too light and I struggled some with control. Peak height was almost identical with the KBS and the i80, at around 63 feet. Ball speed was about 1 mph faster with the KBS. The launch was about a degree lower with the KBS. I thought the KBS felt better in that I felt more heft, I felt like I could feel where the clubhead was, and I think my dispersion was slightly better. It was almost a tossup between these two shafts because the numbers were so similar. I ended up selecting KBS because I felt like I could feel the clubhead and reproduce the strike more consistently.

  6. steven Keith

    Matt,

    I currently play the Recoil 110 F4 in Apex Pro. I am in the process of switching to PXG 0311 irons. I have had 2 rotator cuff surgeries is the reason I play graphite, plus I love the feel. My concerns are weight and consistency through the set. The other option is Aero steelfiber 110. Thoughts

    • Matt Meeker

      I don’t have any experience with the Aero Steve. But I’d never switch to a new shaft without hitting them and seeing launch monitor data.
      The only way to answer your concerns is for you to hit the PXGs with both shafts.

      – Meeks

  7. Steven keith

    Thanks meeks

  8. Jeffrey Wiggins

    Great review and mirror my recent fitting results after a few rounds… TGI TOUR 90.
    Very responsive. . I get mid high launch and high spin. My tightened dispersion makes me smile.

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