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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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REPORT: Tiger Woods to play in the Genesis Open on Feb 15

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Last season, Tiger Woods withdrew from a press conference at the Genesis Open due to back spasms. This season, Woods will reportedly play in the 2018 Genesis Open at Riviera C.C. in Pacific Palisades, California from February 15-18.

By withdrawing from the 2017 Genesis Open — an event which his Tiger Woods Foundation hosts — Woods ensured that a promising comeback was not to be. At the start of 2017, Woods committed to play in the Farmers Insurance Open, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the Genesis Open and the Honda Classic… an aggressive schedule for Woods, who hadn’t played much competitive golf in the previous year due to back injuries and surgeries. Things didn’t go as planned, however, as Woods missed the cut at the Farmers, withdrew after an opening-round 77 in Dubai, and withdrew from the Genesis Open and the Honda.

Since then, Woods has had spinal fusion surgery, and he recently finished T9 at the 18-player 2017 Hero World Challenge. It was there he showed the golfing world — and probably himself, too — that he can still compete among the world’s best golfers when he’s healthy.

At the Hero World Challenge, Woods was consistently hitting 179 mph of ball speed off the tee with his driver, and despite some early concerns with the wedge, he showed prowess around and on the greens. He was yip-less, fast, healthy, and finished 8-under through four rounds. A Tiger Woods comeback seems more plausible now than it has in three years.

Woods will continue to test his game at the 2017 Genesis Open — a start that will come 26 years after competing as a 16-year-old amateur in the 1992 Nissan Open at Riviera. Much like 26 years ago, Woods comes to Riviera as a golfer who needs to prove himself… it’s just that this time around, he has 14 majors and 79 PGA Tour wins to his name.

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Thursday’s Photos from the 2017 PNC Father/Son Challenge

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2017 PNC Father/Son Challenge at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.

The 20-team field includes some of the game’s legendary major champions, and their sons. Notable teams include John Daly/Little John Daly, Nick Faldo/Matthew Faldo, Tom Kite/David Kite, Bernhard Langer/Jason Langer, Greg Norman/Greg Norman Jr., Jack Nicklaus/Gary Nicklaus Jr., and Lee Trevino/Daniel Trevino.  The teams will compete in a scramble format over 36 holes to decide the winners of the Willie Park Trophy.

Last year, David Duval and his step-son Nick Karavites took home the trophy, and they are back in the field this year to defend.

Check out our photos below from this year’s event!

Thursday’s Photos

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos

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An instructor’s perspective on the Chamblee/Dufner Twitter controversy

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If you have not had a chance to read the latest exchange on Twitter between Brandel Chamblee and Jason Dufner — and his teacher Chuck Cook — you have missed a wonderful controversy brewing. As you may know, Brandel is never one to hide his feelings on his views of the golf swing (he’s against The Golfing Machine teachings). And when people disagree with him (Jason Dufner), he’s not hesitant to tackle his opposition head on.

I’d like to take the time to weigh-in on what I feel should be focused on from an instruction standpoint, instead of what has been said on Twitter in this controversy.

Brandel’s side

First of all, I consider Brandel to be a friend of mine and he has been nothing but gracious to me during my professional career; though we have differing viewpoints on certain things. I have often called or emailed him, asking his opinion on one thing or another, and he has never failed to answer me. In fact, I love hearing what he has to say, even if it’s the opposite of what I feel personally and professionally — he hardly speaks without research to back it up. When you have the kind of stage he has, you must be armed with facts.

As we all know, Brandel is not a fan of the new breed of instruction. He prefers the old school methods, and clearly from his initial Tweet that sparked the entire controversy, he prefers an upright backswing. He is not a fan of most technologies used on the lesson tee, and he is very vocal regarding the Golfing Machine book and the Trackman launch monitor. While I hold both these things dear to me personally, I do understand how he could not be as convinced as I am of their successes within the game.

People must understand his opinion is a matter of perspective, and though he has this perspective as a player, and as a player-turned-teacher, he does not have the thousands and thousands of hours on the lesson tee. This does not make him right or wrong, it just gives him a different viewpoint.

Dufner’s side

As a teacher myself, I admire Dufner’s rise to fame and to the top ranks as a player, and I applaud him for doing so in spite of the odds and the drama that has gone on within his personal life over the last few years. I am proud to see him step up on a public forum and defend Chuck Cook (his long time teacher) on this Twitter thread. It is refreshing to see! Though I don’t know Jason, I’d like to shake his hand for doing so. My biggest gripe with Tour Professionals, in general, is their failure to stand by their instructors when things are not going well.

The last time I saw a player defending his teacher this adamantly was in a text string I had with Kevin Kisner (who is a great guy and friend) and John Tillery (his teacher and also a friend), who was not picked as one of the Top-100 Teachers on the latest list by Golf Magazine. As I told Kevin and John, it is a matter of time before he is recognized by Golf Magazine. The lists are subjective and many things go into the selection process; they make good choices and other times they make mistakes. John is a heck of a teacher and will always be Top 100 in my book! So kudos to Jason and Kevin for standing up for their guys…they both deserve it 100 percent.

Chuck Cook’s side

How Chuck was dragged into the middle of this whole controversy is beyond me, because he is one of the nicest and most soft-spoken guys. I also consider him the top-1 percent of teachers within our business. Chuck was in Vail for many years while I was also teaching there, and we have been on many outings together. He has been nothing but professional to all of us and anyone he comes into contact with personally. When someone questions him or his ability to teach at the highest levels, I can only say look at the two U.S. Open Champs he has taught, as well as what he’s done with countless other people within the game of golf. He is a smart and stand-up guy and deserves nothing but respect from all of us.

Chuck, I wish I could be HALF the teacher and person you are and have always been! That is a fact.

The Golfing Machine

Now, we could write an entire article series on the book I call my bible within the golfing world. However, 99 percent of the people in the world call it a “method,” or too complex, although every top teacher uses its methodologies within their instruction. It is ONLY an encyclopedia of motion — that’s it. It tells you what will and will not work together during the swing. What the book lacks has been the proper messenger to get the word across and that blame is only on timing. That’s not a knock on the past teachers who have used it or the players on Tour who have employed it.

Homer’s great book was born in 1969, and sadly the world would not be ready to hear these type of ideas in this type of format until now. And, like anything, it has been grossly misunderstood. The book and teachings have been chastised and will continue to be until a few more generations realize the greatness of what is contained within its pages. Only time will help our cause.

The Conclusion

Its all good… it’s not a big deal people! Please understand we ALL come from different places within the game and have our own opinions based on our perspective. Remember that these are all subject to change and can at any time. Every one of the people in that string of Tweets have their own agenda to promote and have the basis to call themselves great in what they do for a living. As long as we all have a drink and a laugh together at the end of the day, I see no harm in a gentleman’s disagreement between friends as long as nothing was done out of malice.

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