By now, most have at least heard of the Xcaliber brand, the brainchild of Robin Arthur who was responsible for some of the most popular graphite shafts ever put into production. Their mission to this point, despite the sometimes bumpy path taken, has remained simple with an emphasis that golf shafts don’t have to be expensive. But, companies must always keep a keen eye on their horizons and with the boom in popularity of fitting studios across the world, they have created the “Xclusiv” line of shafts featuring tighter tolerances, better finishes, and the highest quality materials to try and get a foot into those markets.
One of the two options under the new Xclusiv umbrella is the Mystic, and with a playing range from 45g to 65g, this one potentially offers ample breadth and versatility. To really test those traits, I was sent the Mystic 4-S for review.
This is the “everyman’s” shaft of the Xcaliber Xclusiv lineup appealing to a broader range of golfers with more average speeds as well as needs. The wide range of weights and the higher torque ratings mean more feel, more launch, and more of what most golfers actually need. Finished out in a beautiful blue to gun-metal grey ion finish, this is another solid foundation to this new direction.
The Mystic Story
Robin Arthur and the Xcaliber company are referring to the Mystic shaft profile as the “Camelot” design of the Xclusiv lineup. What does that mean? Well, to them it means this is the offering that is most for the masses of regular golfers out there.
While the Mystic was created with all of the new Xclusiv parameters in place, and as a new entity it was evolved from the “SL” design of the standard Xcaliber wood shafts. Which makes sense given it continues to be well rounded for a variety of swings. With four different weight options from 44 to 65g and flexes in each ranging from L to S, options are plentiful here.
Also, the Mystic is finished out with an ion plating that is eye popping, the reflective finish fades from blue at the handle section down into a gun-metal grey at the tip. Focus with the Xclusiv offerings is on everything quality, from materials to design, and the finish is definitely there as well.
Xcaliber Xclusiv Mystic Wood Shafts
For the 4-S I received, it was paired with a Cobra SpeedZone driver set to 9.5 playing at 44.75” and a D4 swing weight (my preferences). This one is a 44g shaft with a 4.9 torque rating and in stiff carries the swing speed recommendations of up to 100 MPH. For reference, the Mystic all situate as somewhat higher torque ratings along with the recommendation of swing speeds up to 105 MPH, as I said earlier, this is likely the offering that will appeal to and fit more golfers.
Now, the in-hand aesthetics have some legitimate “wow” factor to them. The ion finish is top notch and as good as I have seen, the fade the Xclusiv shafts have on them is pretty wild to look at. The deep blue is something that few will take issue with, and it actually makes the Xcaliber graphics look quite nice, not to mention the addition of a new “crest” logo on the backside of the shaft is smooth. Durability wise? The finish did OK when I had it in the bag, there was some light superficial scratching and brushing, but nothing I would quantify as bad.
This is the review from the Xclusiv line that I was most hesitant about testing. Now, let me explain that and preface the rest of this article with it as well. I am not the target demographic for the Mystic 4-S per the Xcaliber classifications of a 100 MPH cap. Now yes, that is a recommendation and not a hard and fast rule, and if it were only a slight difference it wouldn’t have mentally phased me, but the gap is a significant one. With all that in mind, remember, individuals all swing differently, and that is something that should be taken into consideration with any shaft review.
As always, my testing was done both on the course as well as on the Foresight GC2 launch monitor. Paired with the Cobra SpeedZone driver previously mentioned, the following are the averages I saw:
- Mystic 4-S: 156.4 Ball Speed, 14.1 Launch, 3,128 RPM, 36 Yard Peak
So, with the above in mind, the numbers tell the story. Despite the SpeedZone being a lower spinning head there was a pretty significant jump on launch as well as spin with this setup. I would like to clarify, this is not in my opinion a shaft performance issue, it is rather a shaft fit issue. The Mystic has got all the feel, and through my aggressive transition I approached the point of feeling like I was losing the ability to tell where the clubhead was. Add that this is way out of my weight comfort zone, and I believe the reason the spin was where it ended up was me just not being able to get comfortable enough to square the face.
Well, where do we go then in a review? Though it isn’t a fit for me, I do think there is enough to see that it did much of what it should. For instance, the launch angle was fantastic. As a mid-ball hitter, to see those launch and peak numbers was pretty fun. Yes, the spin degraded the total distance potential for me, but I believe for a golfer more in the realm of swing style/speed that Xcaliber is aiming this one at, the numbers would have come in much more telling.
Rather than diving in on dispersion, I’m going to circle back to the reality that this is case in point why the Xclusiv line has both the Mystic range as well and its sibling, the Avalon, which I was also able to review. Fitting matters and there are points of diminishing returns for us all, this is why it’s critical to let those who do this for a living help us achieve our optimum potential pairing. For Xcaliber, the thing to watch isn’t going to be the quality, design, or performance as I believe all three of those are there and then some. Rather, the key is getting them into the hands of people to try. I totally get the idea behind the Xclusiv addition into the brand, fitting studios are a market that shaft companies would be foolish not to want to get into, but they have to be widespread and accessible. Not to mention, the fact that the prices will be set by the point of sale location, this is a different world and I am curious to see how Xcaliber will navigate it.
Available: Summer/Fall 2020
Price: Dealer Set
Options: Xcaliber Xclusiv Mystic 4 (44g – L, A, R, S), Mystic 5 (55g – A, R, S), Mystic 6 – (62g – A, R, S), Mystic 6L (65g – A, R, S)