Kuro Kage shaft review

Shaft Review – Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage

(Written By: GolfSpy Matt) Mitsubishi Rayon claims that a new technological breakthrough has allowed them to produce the Kuro Kage: a family of shafts which package top notch performance and trademark smooth feel with a (relatively) low price.  Does the Kuro Kage live up to these bold statements?  Read on to find out.

Notes, Feel,  Price, and Miscellaneous

Gotta start with this: Kuro Kage, or Black Shadow, is an awesome name.  It sounds like a comic book hero.  With a name that cool, I think the graphics are, frankly, disappointing.  The grey butt section fades to black through some square graphics around the logo.  Kinda dull, and a missed opportunity, in my opinion.  Oh well.

Mistubishi says that the Kuro Kage follows their “Smooth” profile, meaning that the shaft is softest in the tip, softer in the mid section, and stiffest in the butt.  I have also heard it described as being similar to a Blue Board, but with a softer tip.  This softer tip is balanced out by a “High Density Pre-preg” in the tip that creates more stability.

How does all that technical stuff translate to feel, you ask?  In my opinion, the Kuro Kage feels like a Kaili with a stiffer tip.  It has a nice kick in the midsection of the shaft on a good swing.  What’s interesting is that on a less-than-good swing, there is very little kick or feel.  This sentiment was echoed by a small group of other people who demoed the Kuro Kage with me.  However, as always, that’s just what my hands tell me.  You can read another MGSer’s thoughts here.

With regard to the hybrid shaft, I unequivocally love the feel.  Smooth, easy to load, with a nice firm tip.  And, as you’ll see below, the performance was excellent.

As I said at the beginning, the Kuro Kage is being offered at a much lower price than Mitsubishi’s Diamana series.  The wood shafts can be purchased for $175, and the hybrid shafts retail for $80.

For this review, I tested both the wood shaft and the hybrid shaft.  The wood shaft was a 70 gram stiff, and the hybrid shaft was a 90 gram stiff.  The wood shafts are offered in 50, 60, 70, and 80 grams with flexes ranging from ladies flex to X-flex.  The hybrid shafts range weigh 80, 90, or 100 grams and come in regular, stiff, and X-flex.

Performance – Driver

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 Kuro Kage 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.

For anyone interested in the swing that produces these numbers: my club head speed is usually between 100MPH and 110MPH, my swing is fairly flat, and my misses are blocks and hooks, depending on which side of the bed I get out on.

DRIVER DATA

*For dispersion, the results are listed with an (L) for left of target, and (R) for right of target.

**The new launch monitor software that I’m using seems to really exaggerate roll, especially on low spinning shots.  This is why my pedestrian ball speed ends up with LM readings of 300 yards.

DATA

ANALYSIS

I’ll start out by saying, once again, that it’s not fair to say that the Kuro Kage isn’t good because it didn’t beat the RUL.  I’ve tried dozens of shafts, and the RUL is simply a great fit for me.  The only reason I include the comparison is to make the data a little more meaningful.

That said, the Kuro Kage performed very well for me.  You can see that it’s pretty much a mid-launch, mid-spin shaft like the RUL, with just a bit more spin.  Truthfully, it reminded me a lot of the Kaili that I played for quite a while last year.  If you like the Kaili, or if you want to try one without dropping $300+, the Kuro Kage is something worth testing.

REAL WORLD RESULTS

On the range, the Kuro Kage was difficult to distinguish from the RUL.  Based on the numbers, this shouldn’t be hard to believe.  The ballflight was very consistent from swing to swing, and it performed well into the wind.

Performance – Hybrid

For the hybrid shaft, I tested the Kuro Kage against the Alida RIP hybrid shaft in a 22* TaylorMade Rescue 11.  The testing procedure was the same for the hybrid as it was for the driver.

HYBRID DATA

*For dispersion, the results are listed with an (L) for left of target, and (R) for right of target.

DATA

ANALYSIS

The area where the Kuro Kage impressed me most was dispersion.  There were a number of shots where I felt that the result was much better than the swing deserved.  As you can see in the numbers, the Kuro Kage was slightly tighter on both the left and right side compared to the RIP.  The Kuro Kage did launch slightly higher than the RIP, but spun slightly less.

REAL WORLD RESULTS

On the range, I feel that the discrepancy between the Kuro Kage and the RIP was much greater than the numbers show.  For some reason, I had a very hard time getting a consistent shot pattern out of the RIP: I hit shots high, low, left, and right.  The Kuro Kage was much more consistent in producing medium-high shots that were generally straight.

Conclusion

With the Kuro Kage, Mitsubishi Rayon has produced a series of shafts that feature the performance and feel of one of their most popular shafts, the Kaili, at a significantly lower price.  If you’ve enjoyed the performance of past Mitsubishi shafts, or if you want to see what all the buzz is about, the Kuro Kage is worth a look.

VISIT WEBSITE: http://www.mitsubishirayongolf.com