As spring has almost sprung, I have had a chance to do what I like best – to test and play several of the new products that just recently been introduced to the market. Two of them are the new Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue and ProLaunch Red with Speedcoat wood shafts. There is a third driver shaft that is new this year from Grafalloy called Blackbird, but I want to talk very soon about that one in a separate post.
Some products can be as different as black and white. In this case I should say blue and red as these are two completely different shafts in terms of who they are for. The Blue is the softer tipped higher launching shaft geared more for the everyday player like me. The Red has a much stiffer tip section to produce a lower launch angle and geared for the more aggressive golfer who has more of a late release.
I’m feeling Blue in a very good way
If you are familiar with some of the more recent Grafalloy products you will have a general idea of how they play. The ProLaunch Blue with Speedcoat is more like the older ProLaunch Blue 55, but lighter, slightly stiffer and with a bit less torque. Even though the shaft is supposed to be high launching it doesn’t feel like a flexible or low kick shaft. The short parallel tip section provides a lot of stability without sacrificing feel. I was gaming the R-flex shaft in one of the Power Play Adrenaline drivers with the Lamkin R.E.L. Neon Blue grip at 46” and a D4 swingweight. The best part, I was absolutely bombing it and the honeymoon ain’t over yet as it has worked its way in my short rotation of drivers.
At my height I normally play longer drivers, but at 45.5” you can expect a normal swingweight range with standard weight driver heads.
Are you Red instead?
For me, the Red does not produce the low trajectory that the description suggests. In fact I had this shaft in an identical lofted and face angle Adrenaline driver, 46” and D4 swingweight. But this time with a red R.E.L. grip and I seriously doubt the color of the grip has anything to do with it. Rather, the shaft is very tip stiff, just like the older Prolite 3.5 and ProLaunch Red. It has been my experience on countless occasions that a very stiff tip prevents the shaft from bowing closed so I end up with a high block. As I said these are two entirely different shafts and depends upon which camp you fall into which one you will like. If you have a tendency to pull or hook your drives, then this is the better option.
What is unique about the shaft is the stiffness to weight ratio. Out of the countless shafts I have tested over the years, this one is the lightest and stiffest one to date. So those who want a lightweight shaft option to generate more clubhead speed but normally can’t use a shaft this light due to directional control problems, this is one you might you can.
Both of these two shafts share one similarity and that is the special paint that has a little texture to it instead of the smooth graphite shafts you are accustomed to. If you look at the silkscreen on the shaft it simply says Speed Coat Technology. Because the USGA frowns upon anything different, I can’t really tell you anything about the paint other than what I already did, but I’ll let you infer what the name implies.
|Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue Speedcoat Graphite||$79.99 each|
|Grafalloy ProLaunch Red Speedcoat Graphite||$79.99 each|