(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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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