FIRST LOOK: Mitsubishi’s Tensei AV Raw Orange shaft debuts at Colonial
The restart of the 2019-20 PGA Tour season at Colonial Country Club saw several equipment manufacturers trot out new products to test for the first time in three months, including Mitsubishi Chemical, who introduced players in the field to its new Tensei AV Raw Orange shaft.
Most gearheads are familiar with Mitsubishi’s Blue and White profiles — two of the most popular (and successful) shafts in professional golf. Then along came Tensei Orange at the 2016 Player Championship. The shaft marked the first time the shaft manufacturer had ever introduced a high balance point profile with low launch and spin characteristics.
With more weight in the handle (grip area) of the club, the balance point of the shaft was shifted significantly, allowing for the addition of more weight to the driver head for players who could handle the extra mass. Rory McIlroy won with the shaft the first week out in 2018 — at the Arnold Palmer Invitational — and picked up 5 mph of ball speed. Tiger Woods and Justin Rose also played a role in the shaft’s rise in popularity.
While the latest version remains a counter-balanced profile, Mitsubishi made some adjustments to the design in the name efficiency and stability. The low resin content prepreg and aluminum vapor used to make the shaft is thinner and tighter than previous materials. Produced in a vacuum-sealed chamber, the material is designed to reduce shaft ovaling and enhance energy transfer.
Because the material used to make the shaft is thinner, the butt diameter was reduced (when compared to Tensei CK Orange) in size as well. Early testers have reported that AV Raw Orange feels as good if not better than the CK version with more stability and control.
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All three profiles in the new Tensei AV Raw Series (Orange, White and Blue) feature a raw finish that reveals the aluminum vapor-coated weave in the butt section of the shaft — a visible reminder of what’s underneath the hood.
The Orange profile offers mid launch and low spin characteristics, as well as a low launch version in a Tour X. The White (low launch and spin) has similar design features but is geared for the player who needs a stiff tip profile, while the Blue is a middle of the road option with a mid launch and spin rate.