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SHAFT REVIEW! – Arthur Xtreme Engineering “XCaliber” Shafts

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xcaliber shaft review

Introduction

(Written By: GolfSpy Matt) If your looking for a new shaft…hell even if your not…don’t skip this review.  If I told you that the shaft designer with the most PGA Tour wins had a new line of shafts, what would you expect the price to be?  I bet you’d guess that the shafts were the newest members of the $300+ club, right?  What if I told you that they weren’t $300 or even $100 but instead ranged in price from $40 to $60?  Is that something you might be interested in?

Robin Arthur, is the winningest shaft designer in PGA Tour history, and he has started a new company, Arthur Xtreme Engineering with the mission of telling the truth about shafts and offering high performance at reasonable prices.  How do his new shafts compare to those that sell for five times as much?  Read on the find out…

Notes, Feel, Price, and Miscellaneous

The two shafts that were tested for this review were the XCaliber Tour and the XCaliber Tour Superlite.

Both shafts feature very slick wraparound graphics.  The graphics are perfect for today’s adjustable driver because regardless of orientation you get a very similar look.  The Tour is a black base with silver graphics, the Superlite is white with candy red graphics.  Either way, the graphics are eye-catching without being gaudy.

While both shafts look very similar, they offer very distinct feels. The Superlite has much more in common with the shafts that I tend to play: smooth, medium bend point, with a good deal of “kick”.  The XCaliber Tour is advertised as having the stiffest lower section in the industry, and it definitely has that feel to it.  While I’d stop short of saying that it’s boardy, it’s certainly stout.

The XCaliber Tour retails for $55 and is available in both 60 and 70 gram variations in regular, stiff, and tour stiff.  The XCaliber Tour Superlite version is $60 and weighs between 46 and 51 grams depending on the flex.  It is available in everything from ladies flex to tour stiff.  Both models also feature complimentary fairway and hybrid shafts.

Performance

As usual, I’ve broken the Performance section into two pieces: Data (launch monitor testing) and Real World (range and course).  For the launch monitor testing, I put the XCalibur Tour and XCaliber Tour SL up against my Matrix RUL, both in an R9 460 9.5 head.  I hit 10 “good” shots with each shaft, changing frequently so that fatigue was not an issue, nor did I get grooved with one shaft to the detriment of fairness.  I went through this process three times and averaged the sets of data.

DATA

ANALYSIS

Overall, both the XCalibur Tour and Superlite stood up against the RUL as well as anything I’ve tested this year.  In fact, both were slightly longer and a bit straighter, largely due to a reduction in curvature/side spin. The Tour did launch slightly lower and spin slightly less than the Superlite, but the differences were not extreme.  This seems to prove Robin’s claim that his XCaliber Superlite is NOT just for those with lower swing speed.

REAL WORLD RESULTS

The best testimonial that I can give the XCalibur Tour is that I was confident enough in the data to take it straight to the course without any range work.  It held up very nicely on the course and seemed to help keep the big left shot out of my game.

On the range, both the XCaliber Tour and the Superlite performed very well.  The Tour definitely seemed to be a bit straighter, though I did prefer the feel of the Superlite.  Also, for me, the Tour might be a bit too low spin.  While the data shows it to be higher spinning than the RUL, I hit a few knuckleballs on the range that just dropped out of the sky because of the spin being too low.

Peanut Gallery

The response from the Peanut Gallery was definitely positive. While everyone agreed that the Tour and Superlite had very distinct feels, and most people did prefer one or the other, no one disliked either one.  The performance was quite good across the board as well.  The biggest reaction came when I told people the prices.  The Peanut Gallery has been accustomed to hearing about $300 shafts, so when they heard that these shafts, with excellent feel and performance, were $60 or less, they were very excited.

Conclusion

Conclusion is: You guys need to try these shafts.  Given the quality performance, the credentials of the designer, and the dirt-cheap prices, any “shaft ho” would be crazy not to try some of Arthur Xtreme Engineering’s new shafts. For the guys that need low spin, the XCalibur Tour can stand up to any swing, but I would strongly encourage the MGS readers to give the Superlite a chance, too.  I’ve had a long standing bias against lightweight shafts, but the Superlite feels great and performs exceptionally well.

VISIT WEBSITE: http://arthursports.com/index.php

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

wdgolf July 9, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Awesome review Matt. I’ve been holding off getting some of the Tour Hybrid shafts (white version, not SL). I refuse to order anything, including KBS shafts for my irons until I clean up my swing, but these are now at the top of my list to get.

Also, I’ve spoken to Robin several times via email. He’s extremely responsive to questions and very knowledgeable.

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FLV02 July 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Great review. Honestly, when you get results like that for under $100, you cannot go wrong. This is something that I will definitely remember to recommend to family and friends to try, especially since they are all on a budget.

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Golfspy Dave July 9, 2012 at 8:39 pm

“seemed to help keep the big left shot out of my game”
I love that a whole bunch. Looks like it is time to buy another Razr Fit tip…

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Brother July 9, 2012 at 9:36 pm

At that price, you can actually afford to experiment.

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Andy C July 10, 2012 at 6:41 am

I’ve been having so much problem with driver and 4 wood, I might give these shaft a try.

4 wood shaft is too “boardie”…driver shaft is inconsistent.

might be a good matching set going for my driver and 4wood.

Thanks for the review…

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SuperD July 10, 2012 at 7:07 am

I’ve had the XCaliber Tour in my R11s for a couple of months now. I love it. Much better than the crap TP shaft from the OEM. Would agree with the data too. High kick and low spin, but very straight.

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Steve Morell July 10, 2012 at 7:33 am

Great review Matt!!!! Based on the “raw specs” these shafts more than stack up to much more expensive offerings. You may also want to check out the shafts made by New Image. The “raw specs” is again mighty impressive & tbey are priced right too. I’m using the Tour Red in my fairway and all I can say is wow! I just don’t have access to a launch monitor like you have.

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Mike July 10, 2012 at 7:58 am

I have an AXE 5 shaft in my Wishon 715 CLC head. With this combo I have taken the sniper to left out of my game. I have the 715 CLC set to high fade bias . If feels great to rip it and not worry about the lefts. As Lee Trevino said “you can talk to a fade, but not to a hook”

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Bubba July 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Nice test! Wishon has been preaching this information for years. This test is just more proof.

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Dave July 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm

@GolfSpyMatt
Is the SL smooth enough for a quick tempo slow swing speed (82 mph) player? I was recommended the SL in S flex and I think it migh be a flex too much. No chance of testing before I buy.

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wdgolf July 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I’d recommend contacting Robin Arthur with your question: http://arthursports.com/contactus.php

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Golfspy Matt July 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm

I’d agree, contact Robin directly. It’s one of the great things about AXE, you can go right to the source.

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Dave July 11, 2012 at 1:28 am

Tried that but did not get a reply!

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Tom July 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I definitely want to try these shafts but i have no idea what i need to be fit for. Sent a email to Robin, no response and tried calling twice but voice mail is full. Whats my best option to get fit for the correct shaft?

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Robin Arthur July 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm
Robin Arthur July 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm
Robin Arthur July 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm
JBones July 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I have been wanting to try these shafts, because I wanted to see some data on them beforehand. Thanks, Matt, for another great review.

Just out of curiosity, what flex did you test out?

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Golfspy Matt July 12, 2012 at 7:50 am

Stiff. I tried both the stiff and tour stiff in the Superlite, but the stiff was a better fit.

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Sherwin July 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I met Robin while attending a club making workshop at the GolfWorks. I stated that the GolfWorks, which sells his shafts, also help him start the company. I would contact them with questions. Robin should answer your question though. He is a really cool guy. He may just be busy at the moment.

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Dennis Wells July 12, 2012 at 8:24 am

I have been using Excalibur’s for quite a few years. I have been all my woods my hybrids and irons. Very good shaft for their price. I float all my hybrids and irons they came out beautiful. This is my second set of clubs I’ve made using Excalibur shafts. I have been through golf works top class in profiling shafts. I like the way they feel and perform. Am a senior player and I have installed Excalibur’s and other customers heads. So far no complaints. Highly recommend in their fairway woods high rents and irons.Denny’s Clubs

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Chuck McKenna July 29, 2012 at 10:24 am

Dennis :
I to am a senior player. I think with my experience using the Excalibur’s they are not a “very good shaft for their price”…they compare to if not surpass some of the best shafts ever made, at any price. What they don’t have is snob appeal, and I think from reading some of the reviews and my own communica with Robin that’s exactly what he intended.

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Will July 12, 2012 at 9:58 am

The clubs also come with the spine marked from the get go, which is a pretty neat feature for a $60 shaft.

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BR July 12, 2012 at 10:54 am

Did you order these from the Golfworks? I am about to order and don’t want to pay the extra money for puring if the spines are already marked……

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Will July 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm

I’ve never bought one… I’ve just read about them. They have a white line denoting the spine.

I’d just call GolfWorks and ask.

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Rob July 18, 2012 at 9:39 am

I found out the white line is supposed to face the target and the red line goes on top.

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Dennis Wells July 12, 2012 at 11:34 am

Denny’s Clubs yes I order from golf works and I have found, is the way I find a spine and when you do pearing sometimes can be a little off from the button and of the shaft. But there pretty close in most cases but I am fussy how I find it. And far as I know golf works is the only one and sells them. the market is gentle a right. The other thing you can check is take two angle iron for aluminum angle on a level table and let the shaft role and see if the martins at the bottom or to top.. The mark on the butt generally is on the top or bottom they have a part of the shaft. Hope that helps.

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Johnnythunders July 12, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I have played Matrix HD6 for the past few years and this year decided to try some other shafts. GoodBye Matrix! I have done testing, all real world, with quite a few shafts this spring and early summer before settling on the following two shafts: Cobra Encore 10.5 with Tour Caliber 65 R flex (my hitter driver) and a Cobra ZL Encore 9.5 with a Kuro Kage 50 r (my swinger driver). Days when my temp is quick, the Hitter driver keeps me from hooking it, mid trajectory. When I’m normal, then the smooth swinger shaft works, mid -high trajectory, nice roll-out. For the price I’m going to get more tips and try some other arthur shafts. These shafts are extremly good, I see no real world difference for me (12 handicap) in using $300+ shafts versue Arthur or the $175 Kuro Kage. Now I do notice a dieerence between thse shafts and the whippy f3 in the Cobra.

My swing spped varies from 88-95 depending on how my back is doing.

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Brian July 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I’m going to try the stiff in the tour model, currently playing an Accra Tour Z with the plus tip section (stiffer than standard tip) and thinking I’m losing some distance when I don’t completely load and get through the stouter tip section. Miss is a 15-20 yard cut (used to be a left miss). Want to get rid of that “boardy” feel and get back to a shaft that releases through impact and gives you that nice feel through the hitting zone.

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MikeG July 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Have you thought about testing Robin’s high spin wedge shaft?

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dennis wells July 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I have used spin For the wedge. I did about the same or a little longer a much higher . I kept the distance or gained but I get the ball much higher I have it all for wages. I switched over last year to my wedges and then when I built my new set of women in new pitching wedge and gap wedge. Now for me I did not tip the golf shafts I got cut the legs. I have to look of my paperwork I might tip them a little more afraid to see that I wanted. But I’m very happy with them and get everything at least for me. With the ball going the same distance or hair longer have much higher I do not get as much a run. Hope that helps.

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Rob July 18, 2012 at 9:43 am

Any idea how the Tour compares to the Fubuki Alpha? I currently love my Fubuki Alpha, but I still spin it around 3300-3400 at a launch angle around 13.0* with a ball speed between 160-170mph. I would like to bring my spin down around 3000 or lower if possible. I just put the AXE Tour TS in my 2h hybrid and I’m loving it! I’m hoping it eliminates the left side for me. I was worried about it feeling boardy, but it is very smooth.

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Rev Kev July 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I just had the tour put in my 3 wood and I absolutely love the thing – thanks for the great review.

I’m seriously considering getting that same shaft in my driver.

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Mo July 26, 2012 at 11:35 am

My local Golf Tec recommended these when I was looking for an inexpensive replacement for the broken shaft in my old 09 Burner (was supposed to be my driver for a spare set of clubs I keep around for friends etc.). He put the XCaliber SL in a regular flex in there, according to my swing speed and characteristics he saw on the monitor. I picked it up, took it to the range and could not believe the difference. I was longer and even more important way more consistent (less dispersion) with this shaft. I played a few rounds with it to try it on the course and really liked it. I even left my new RBZ Driver (stock shaft) at home when I went on a golf trip a few days later. Needless to say I had to try putting this into the RBZ when I came back, so I ordered a spare tip and had the SL installed. Switched out the stock with the SL and I can now honestly say this shaft is unbelievable. Same results with the RBZ which means I gained even more distance with same accuracy. And all that at a really affordable price point of around $75 installed. Can’t beat it in my eyes and I will play these shafts for a long time. Considering to switch my Fairway shafts (RBZ stock as well) too now.

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Robbie July 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

We have a small Repair and Fitting business in NC. We’ve utilized AXE shafts since the day Robin introduced them. We’ve installed 150 -200 of them without one derogatory comment.
We have been EXTREMELY pleased with the quality, performance and overall value of the X Caliber’s …… most of our customers have raved about their consistency ….. and after all, isn’t that what Golf is all about !!!!
There is NO shaft in today’s market that can match the value of the AXE Shafts for performance quality and consistency

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Rev Kev August 2, 2012 at 8:18 pm

This is a real world review for me – my fitter put an AXE in my 3 wood and I’m hooked. So consistent, so high, so straight, Just a touch of draw which is exactly what I like, solid distance too. I just received my Tour SL yesterday and will take it to my fitter to put it in my driver tomorrow – can hardly wait for Sunday afternoon when I get to start hitting it.

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rino March 7, 2013 at 7:36 pm

i try to call robin but that number is not in service anymore i left him a message on his
website and still no answer hes i out of buissnes.

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dennis wells March 8, 2013 at 10:08 am

Excalibur golf shafts. I have been using them for years. Club I am a club maker I play them and my own irons and woods. For the price their excellent or better. I buy all my stuff from
GOLFWORKS. They have complete knowledge of the shaft in what I can do. They’ve always been a big help far as I know it’s the only place that they go through at the moment they could be others not sure. I use it on my woods and my irons have also gone to their wed shaft for wedges from pitching wedge down I find I get the ball higher in gotten little distance more. But GOLFWORKS has all the information and the person answer the phone does not know what all the while passing a pass you wonder somebody else. And all my customers and I’ve put the shafts in as replacements have never come back to me and complain. They all like them. Denn’s Clubs I’ve been doing this for many years.

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rino March 8, 2013 at 10:40 am

thanks dennis
your a club maker and use these shaft maybe you can help me.

i have so much back spin with my driver that i dont get any roll
most of the time my ball back spin a feet or two.

i tried lots a shaft but no roll my swing speed is average 103 mph
with a quick transition at the top.i dont have a very fast swing speed
so i want to try excalibur tours shaft and wonder if the tour model
or the tour sl woud be more apropriate for me.iam playing a
titleist 910 d3 8.5 with a diamana blue stock from titleist i dont
have roll and have bad hook if hi try to load the shaft a bit more.

thanks for your reply.

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