Graphite Design is a no-nonsense company. Every year, they release one or two new shafts with relatively modest fanfare (we reviewed the excellent Tour AD
If you need giant social media campaigns, there are shaft companies that give you that. If you just want solid performance, check out GD.
Appropriate for this time of year, the Graphite Design AD IZ sports an orange and matte black color scheme. This look is the inverse of one of their most successful models, the Tour AD DI.
Graphically, Graphite Design always plays it straight: simple branding below the handle with a shift in the base color. This is an all-business look for the serious player, and it’s immediately recognizable as Graphite Design.
On paper, the Graphite Design Tour AD IZ is similar to the Tour AD DI. The company’s website describes the AD IZ as being Firm+ in the tip, Medium in the middle, and Firm in the butt. The AD DI has the same Medium mid section, but the tip is Stiff (half a notch firmer than the AD IZ) and the butt is Medium (a whole notch softer).
That similarity transfers over to the real world. The tip is extremely stable in both shafts.
What’s different is that the AD IZ doesn’t kick the way the AD DI does; it feels like the energy flows from the handle to the club head. This is slightly unusual – it’s more common for a shaft to have that distinct bend point – but it’s a great feel once you get used to it.
What struck me during my testing of the Tour AD IZ was the consistency. In my first few swings, I struggled with the feel simply because it’s different than what I’ve been gaming. However, that smooth, whip-crack feel was the same swing after swing, so I was able to get locked in with it quickly.
Once I was dialed in, I saw exactly the ball flight that Graphite Design describes:high launch and low spin. With the stable tip, I was able to swing hard without a fear of “losing” the shaft. On the other hand, the feel was so smooth that I could swing easily and still feel it working. Whether swinging hard or soft, I was able to control the ball flight and maintain near-optimal distance.
The Tour AD IZ is available in a wide range of weights and flexes. The lightest is 40 grams, available in Lite/Senior and Regular flex. It’s also important to note that the 40 gram version has a very different profile – a soft tip with medium mid and butt sections. Every flex from Senior to X is available at 50 grams, with the 50-X being a first for Graphite Design. The 60 gram model has Regular, Stiff, and X versions. Only big swingers – Stiff and X – need apply for the 70 or 80 gram models.
The Tour AD IZ enhances the Graphite Design line-up by adding a unique feel that still has the consistency that players of all levels want. If you’re looking to get your drives “Into the Zone” of high launch and low spin, the AD IZ is definitely worth a look.