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The Big Review – Project X Graphite Shafts

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Project X iron shafts have been one of the biggest success stories of recent years. True Temper, owners of the Project X brand, are now looking to take this success into the graphite shaft arena with the new Project X graphite shaft.

True Temper are no stranger to graphite shafts as they also own Grafalloy, makers of the fantastically successful Prolaunch and Blue range of shafts. While the premium range of the market is more associated with the likes of Diamana and Matrix, True Temper/Grafalloy is seen more often as a blue-collar line but are no stranger to the exotic end of the market with their Axis and Epic shafts.

Tour acceptance is the benchmark for any equipment release. These shafts have been in the bags of over 70 players, with up to 40 in play at recent events and victory on the PGA Tour at U.S. Bank Championship and on the European Tour at the Italian Open. Very positive to say the least, so how did Bag Chatter find them?

 Appearance

An understated dark blue, it’s actually the same blue as you find on the Project X steel shaft labels, with a silvered Project X logo. Closer inspection shows that the shaft is has a nice sheen of metallic flecks.

There are  some nice subtle calligraphic markings along the butt section which are reminiscent of the Epic but at address there is nothing to disturb you and they look like they mean business.


 

Technical Specs

  Shaft Weight Frequency Tip
Wood 6A3 69 7.0 Mid
6A4 69 7.0 Stiff
6B6 69 6.5 Mid
6B7 69 6.5 Stiff
7A3 76 7.0 Stiff
7A4 78 7.0 Mid
7B2 76 6.5 Mid
7B3 76 6.5 Stiff
8A1 82 7.0 Mid
8A2 82 7.0 Stiff
8A3 83 7.0 X-Stiff
Hybrid HA1 100 7.5 Stiff
HB6 97 7.0 Stiff
HC1 95 6.5 Stiff
HD2 92 6.0 Stiff

The Project X graphite shaft is all about the technology. It’s based around a Zonal Design Theory where the shaft is divided into 3 sections, Butt/Mid/Tip, and different technologies are used in each section to produce optimal performance. Here’s what they have to say about the relevant sections:

Butt section: Hex-Axial Reinforcement Technology provides unmatched cross sectional stability minimizing energy lost to ovalization.
Mid section: Constant Taper Design eliminates localized bending and creates even loading and unloading for maximum energy transfer.
Tip section: Elongated Double Wrapped 55 MSI Reinforcement for a firmer tip section which minimizes droop and lag and reduces back spin.

Feel

Both the driver shafts and the hybrids are seriously tight shafts and probably among the most stable shaft I’ve ever hit. You can feel this from just holding a club fitted with this shaft. The real achievement is that they have achieved this without the shaft being overly boardy given the obviously low torque.The graphite version of Project X has an obvious similarity to the steel versions in the bend profile – it’s exceptionally stable throughout the swing and you can practically feel the technology at work. Like the steel version, this shaft is unlikely to win smoothest shaft of the year award but it’s far from the harsh beast that some might fear. Now I know that not everyone is a fan but I happen to love the way that Project X feels, especially the way that it unloads at impact and the graphite version is just the same in that regard – there’s no sense of hinging or looseness, just the sensation that the shaft can take anything you can throw at it.

Performance

For those with a higher swingspeed or just an aggressive transition, the driver shaft is superb and it performs beautifully. The launch is mid-low and the spin is low, low, low. Put this in a decent driver head and you can unleash some thunderbolts down the middle of the fairway as the distance and dispersion is a good as the spin control.

The spin control means that you won’t see ballooning even with the lighter weights and flexes and you had better be bringing some heat if you are thinking of trying the heavier and stiffer versions. This low spin sees the ball land hot and roll out. The anti-ovalling technology means that this shaft is at the sharp end of minimizing energy loss to maximize distance and the stability means that dispersion is as good as you will find.

The hybrid shaft is another spin control monster. This has clearly been designed to smooth the transition from PX shafts in their irons to the hybrids. Launching on a similar trajectory to the PX steel versions, it is equally adapt in hybrids whether or not you take a divot. One point to note is that as the shaft weighs in at over 90g you will end up with a fairly hefty swingweight in lower lofted hybrids (2H and below).

Summary

Project X are obivously going after the higher-end golfer that enjoys the performance of PX in their irons and could benefit from the sort of spin control offered by these shafts. I do wonder if a certain young Spaniard was involved in their development. Given the early sucess that they have enjoyed on Tour, there will be a lot of interested people when they cross into the more general arena later this year as plans are to release versions going down to 5.0 by the end of 2009 . Given the popularity of both steel Project X and low spin driver shafts like the Diamana Whiteboard, Aldila Voodoo or the Fujikura Rombax, this looks like a very competitive entry into this arena.

With the shaft being so stable, you need to think about which to choose. The majority of golfers play with driver shafts that are stiffer than the shafts in the rest of the bag. The temptation is to go straight to the stiffest one available. Given that these are the Tour Spec versions, which start at 69 grams/6.5 flex/mid tip and top out at 83 grams/7.0 flex/extra-stiff flex you might want to reconsider. And don’t be misled by the tip definition either, the reinforcement of the tip means that even the mid version is serious business.

All in all these give the better player another top quality option in the very top end of the shaft market.

For more information, see www.pxshaft.com and www.tttourconcept.com

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Everything former Nike rep Ben Giunta said about working with Tiger Woods

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Ben Giunta, a former Nike Tour Rep and now owner of the TheTourVan.com, joined host Johnny Wunder and TXG’s Ian Fraser for the most recent installment of the Gear Dive podcast.

While you’ll want to hear everything Giunta has to say, his remarks about working with Tiger Woods are particularly notable, and we wanted to present them here for those of you who may be more textually inclined.

On Tiger Woods’ preferences for club testing

“He always does his testing at home. 99 percent of the time. Whenever Tiger showed up to an event he was ready to go. There was no tinkering with equipment at Tour events. All of the work we did with him, we would do a week prior.”

“Rick Nichols, who was my boss when I was at Nike…he was Tiger’s right-hand guy. He worked with him on pretty much everything. We would prep everything. Rick would go and work with him at home…at that time it was in Orlando. They would tweak and do everything they needed there. Then when he showed up to the tournaments, I could probably count on one hand the number of times he came into the trailer to get work done.”

“He was built different. He came to do his homework on the golf course and prepare for the tournament. He was not tinkering around with equipment when it came to tournament time.”

“Any time he would test anything during the week…it was for a backup. He was constantly searching for backup drivers and…woods. So if something happened…he already had done all of his work.”

On Tiger’s driver preferences

“We were always tinkering with different CGs. Obviously, there was a lot of special stuff made for him. He didn’t use an adjustable driver…until Nike got out of the equipment business. We were always making sure the center of gravity was perfect. He was very specific on face angles and how much loft he wanted to look at. And he always wanted the face angle to be pretty much the same.”

“We had to have different iterations with different lofts based on where his golf swing was…obviously, his golf swing changes a lot based on all of his injuries and swing changes…There were certainly times where he was swinging a driver that spec’d out at a true eight-degree head, then he’d be all the way up to 11 or 12 degrees sometimes.”

On Tiger’s consistency in iron preferences

“The only thing that ever really changed with Tiger’s irons…was the lie angle. But lofts…they have been the same since he played golf…It’s been the same specs for his entire professional and amateur career. Those specs haven’t changed but the lie angles have. As far as I know, he has never experimented with different iron shafts [True Temper Dynamic Gold X100]. They’ve always been the same…with wooden dowels down in the tips of the shafts.”

“He always had the mindset that he was going to manipulate the club to get the ball to do what he wanted it to do.

On the consistency of Woods’ wedge setup

“He’s evolved with different grinds depending on his delivery or what he’s trying to do technique-wise, he’s modified his soles a little bit over time…but he’s always kind of reverted back to your traditional dual sole.”

In addition to talking Tiger, Giunta discusses how he got a job on Tour, working with Rory McIlroy, tinkerers vs non-tinkerers, and what he’s doing now (and more) in the rest of the podcast.

You can listen below.

RELATED: Tiger Woods WITB 2018

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Tour News

WATCH: Tiger Woods on Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf

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Tiger Woods just appeared in a Bridgestone Golf Facebook Live video. While the audio isn’t the greatest (sounds like there’s some mowers rolling by), we’ve got to pass it along.

Check out the video below.

Woods initially discusses his wedges, before moving on to sharing some insights about how he hits his patented stinger–covering the ball, starting it farther right, and keeping his follow through short.

On his ball, the Bridgestone Tour B XS, which he presents as a softer ball well-suited to his swing, Woods says

“I need spin. I don’t spin the ball a lot. My swing has never produced a lot of spin. I’ve always been able to take spin off the golf ball–I grew up in an era where we played balata. What separated a lot of guys was the ability to take spin off the golf ball…to keep it below the tree line. There was a lot more movement in the golf ball.”

“My swing has naturally evolved. I’ve had different swings throughout the years, but each swing didn’t spin the ball a lot. So, when I get up to my long irons with a harder ball that most people would launch…I don’t. It falls out of the sky because it has so little spin.”

Woods mentioned that he hasn’t played Shinnecock since the course’s pre-U.S. Open makeover, but that he expects the course will be particularly difficult: an old-school U.S. Open with minimal graduated rough where it will be difficult to shoot under par.

Responding to comments, Woods sings Hazeltine’s praises and mentions he’d love to be able to wear shorts during PGA Tour events

“We play some of the hottest places on the planets and it would be nice to wear shorts…even with my little chicken legs,” Woods says.

Woods tells amateurs looking for more spin around the greens that they need a soft golf ball, mentioning that solid contact, maintaining loft, and allowing to club to do its job are key. Woods mentions that he has “a couple extra shots around the greens” thanks to the softness of his golf ball.”

We’ll next see the 14-time major champion in action at next week’s Memorial Tournament (which he discusses to wrap up the video).

 

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Popular Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from Tuesday at the Fort Worth Invitational

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GolfWRX is on the ground at Marvin Leonard’s famed pet project, Colonial Country Club, peeking into players bags and taking in the action on the driving range.

While you’ll want to take a trip through the buffet line, we’ve made you a plate of some of the tastiest morsels.

Absolutely savage new putter cover for Jon “Rahmbo” Rahm. Just killer.

Prettier than a new penny.

Spotted: Aldila Rogue Silver 130 MSI

Everything here is excellent. Just excellent.

More like Garsen Murray. Am I right?

If you were Aaron Wise standing over the winning putt at last week’s Byron Nelson, this is what it’d have looked like (of course, you’d have had a ball and the putter would be soled on the green, but you get the point…)

Abraham Ancer’s new Artisan wedges are simply incredible… All of this: Artisan star stellar stuff.

Rickie Fowler has gone grape.

You can’t fool me. You’re not Adam Hadwin, you’re a golf bag.

Is Patrick Cantlay considering a switch to a Cameron Napa?

Check out all our photos from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational below.

Tuesday’s Photos

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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