Wanted to share some thoughts about the UST Mamiya VTS line of shafts. I have been playing around with them, as well as having other top am’s around me try for the past several months.
I always like to give things some time before saying a lot about it, so that new/different/honeymoon period can pass, and a longer term performance judgement can be made.
By now, I believe many out there know the concept of the VTS line of shafts, same profile, same weight, with the only variable being the torque rating.
Black lowest at 2.5*
Silver middle at 3.5*
Red highest at 4.5*
The concept, and what I find to be the reality, is that once a golfer finds the torque he/she likes the feel of best, they will hit it more consistent, pick up a little swing speed, and in turn a bit of ball speed via better, more confident swings…….because the SHAFT FEELS RIGHT.
One thing I decided not to do in this review was put up a bunch of launch monitor numbers, although I did ad some basic Trackman readings at end. I want to emphasize that the numbers will be different for each person, each swing style, based on how the shaft feels……which to me is awesome, the exact concept this line of variable torque shafts was trying to achieve. Please, get to a fitter where you can test all 3 torques, you may be shocked by which you hit the best. But for reference, plenty of time was spent on Trackman, ForeSight, as well as on course.
First, a few pics:
Awesome! I am a fan of the graphics, noticeable, but not overdone. And the pearl white is phenomenal, love the pearl white, I like they went this route instead of just a flat white. The shades of red chosen are perfect, and pop well off the pearl white. When in the playing position, there are no distractions, and the graphics are clean and well laid out. The side of the shaft that features the “ProForce”, “VTS”, and the weight and flex circle is clean and well done as well.
Before diving into specific examples of feedback, let me start by saying, very smooth, very stable. I always have used the phrase “Diamana smooth” based on my past use of Blue Board, Kai’li, etc., these VTS shafts fit that category, they are a great feeling golf shaft, no sense of anything but smooth in them. Great feel!
Kind of a personal opinion category, so I will share mine. I will start with an example that came about when I first started telling a local better golfer about the shaft. When you hear the word “ProForce” certain things may come to mind. Stability, consistent performance, tight, low torque, etc. To this individual, he always thought ProForce line shafts, including the V2, were harsh, unresponsive, or not smooth enough for his liking. Knowing that he is a high spin/high launch guy, smoother transition, and prefers a smoother feeling, lighter weight X-flex shaft, I got him a VTS Red 6X to try in his driver. He was a bit hesitant, but gave it a go………LOVES IT. Not only did it do a fantastic job at flattening his flight and lowering his spin, it gave him the smooth feel he was after. The best part, for a guy that doesn’t like a “tight” or “unresponsive” feeling shaft, by going to the RED version, he got all the feel he wanted, and wasn’t locked into a low torque design. Continued playing it, and hasn’t come out of his driver yet, and he has been through a few this year before the VTS! I play a decent amount of golf with this person, and out of all the shafts I have seen him hit in the same club head, he hits his VTS Red 6X noticeably farther than anything I have personally seen the last few years.
Me personally, I have a Red, Silver, and Black 7X all installed the same, for a good head to head comparison. The feel differences are very noticeable to me, I can tell the Black is tighter and lower torque, I can tell the Red has a higher torque value than most driver shafts I have ever tried / played, which I am actually fond of, just makes it feel so smooth, and in reality helps with swing tempo at times. And the Silver is perfectly in the middle, very smooth with more feel than the Black.
Launch and spin for me varied a bit throughout the line, and what I personally found is that the feel the torque provides, had a majority of the impact on how I swung the club, and delivered the club face to the ball, as the sensation of feel had me swinging each torque slightly different…..without trying to do so. Funny thing is, spec wise, most, including myself would probably hand me the Black 7X first…..because of feel, I found myself trying to load the shaft a bit harder than normal, causing a slight over the top and slightly steep move, hence I launched the black the highest with the most spin…..on paper, it should be the lowest on each. I loved the feel of the Silver and Red, and can get away with playing either….smooth, responsive, and very stable. And although they feature higher torque, I hit them straighter. My ball speed was 2-4 MPH higher with Red and Silver than with the Black.
Gave a short swing, heavy loader, very fast transition guy the 3 to try……pounded all 3 quite well, but, because of his swing style and sense of feel, he loved the Black, and because he felt like he could just load it as hard as he wanted, he increased ball speed over the Silver and Red, which he had the sensation he needed to “hold on to” through the swing, because of how smooth they were, this caused a slower swing speed, and slight blocks and fades because he wasn’t releasing through the ball. The Black won him over, and he is after one now, as he preferred it over his current gamer shaft.
Once the right torque is identified to match the individuals feel preference, the shaft provides a mid/low trajectory, lower spin type ball flight. When swinging the wrong torque for you, the launch and spin results will vary greatly from what I have seen. Once again, the importance is matching the feel to the person. Once that right feel is found, everyone’s ball speed turned out to be very impressive when comparing to their various high end gamers. Again, demonstrates how much better they were swinging when they found the right torque/feel. Many that tried are waiting for them to become available so they can buy one and change.
With a proper fitting to identify the right flex, the right weight, the right torque, and then the proper installation (tipping, length, etc.) it is hard not to be able to fit a wide range of players and needs into this line.
All right, what can performance be without a little launch monitor data, here is a sample from 7-9 weeks ago.
Outdoor on Trackman using TaylorMade Penta TP balls. About 76 degrees outside in a slight into and right to left wind.
My current gamer shaft (average taken from collection of shots):
Ball Speed: 168.8 MPH
Spin: 2,580 RPM
VTS Shafts for ME
Remember, this is how they worked for my swing based off of what I was feeling. But it is clear, I was getting more ball speed and more distance potential with the VTS Red and Silver than my season long gamer……
But, I have to admit, VERY pumped and impressed, as I really dialed in the fitting on my gamer, the VTS shafts came along and beat it!
All-in-all, VERY impressed, and I suggest everyone gives a proper torque fitting a try if deciding to go with the VTS. I also suggest comparing the VTS to whatever else it is you are thinking about, as it is a great performer. I am a big fan of the entire concept of not being locked into one “feel” on a particular shaft, a great feature and added fitting benefit to help golfers out!
:good: Thumbs up from me on this line of shafts, and the entire “Variable Torque” design.
UST Mamiya Proforce VTS- Proforce VTS shaft is the first shaft ever developed that emphasizes Torque in the fitting process. Historically, most players have been fit traditionally only using weight and flex. Although this has worked well in the past, Proforce VTS with 3-D fitting technology brings shaft fitting to an entirely different level.
Over the past 4 years, UST Mamiya engineers spent hundreds of hours designing shafts, and testing hundreds of golfers in order to find out what aspects of shafts are the most important to performance. The results led to the development of the Proforce VTS. UST Mamiya engineers developed a matrix of shafts of different weights (57-97 grams), and flexes (A, R, S, X) that are typically found in shaft product lines. But UST Mamiya went one step further by adding torque as the third dimension in the shaft matrix. Within a given weight and flex (e.g. 67 gram S-flex), there are 3 separate torque shafts that allow you to fine tune the shaft performance to each golfers unique Swing DNA.
UST Mamiya has found that through the unique 3-D fitting process, golfers can realize an increase in ball speed of 2 mph, with some golfers seeing up to 6 mph increase in ball speed.
WRX Spotted: New TaylorMade P790 UDI
It’s Open Championship week and that means course conditions are the talk of the town. Firm, fast, and windy conditions are expected on the links of Portrush, so we will be seeing a lot of players using driving irons that they might not otherwise play with week to week on the PGA Tour.
Not only are driving irons a hot item for players, but for OEMs launching new and prototype versions including TaylorMade, which has a new P790 UDI in some bags including Mr. Tiger Woods (credit to Rob Brooks on Instagram for the spot).
Like with many clubs just being seeded to tour, we don’t have official comment from the team at TaylorMade…but, like many times before, we have a couple of ideas based off the cosmetics of what might be in store if and when this thing comes to retail.
Some history: It’s been a while since TaylorMade introduced a new UDI (Ultimate Driving Iron) to its lineup. There was the GAPR Low, which was very UDI “like” but the UDI as a whole never had an adjustable hosel. (There were Tour Issue versions of the GAPR Lo that had a fixed hosel and no adjustability)
The most recent UDI was the original P-790, but this new version has some distinct differences
- Thinner sole. Based off the pictures, this new P-790 UDI has a thinner sole with more camber to help improve turf interaction. More camber and well-utilized bounce make any club more playable in varying conditions.
- Shorter blade length. There is no such thing as computer screen calipers but from what we can tell when comparing side by side the new version is shorter. A shorter blade length means a CG closer to the hosel and more workability.
- Higher toe. Just like the shorter blade length, a higher toe is often more appealing to more players (better players are generally the target for these types of clubs) and what that also “potentially” does is raise the CG. A higher CG will produce lower launching shots BUT with more spin (workability). To counter act the potential extra spin loft adjustments can be made pretty easily, since loft is one of the biggest factors in creating spin.
The one thing that is harder to compared is whats going on inside of this UDI (obviously). There is a screw in the toe, so it can be assumed that there is some sort of foam or material that helps support the face and improve the acoustics of this face thin-faced iron.
Just like we wait for the first group off early Thursday morning at Portrush, we’re just going to have to wait to see what’s really going on this new UDI too.
Forum Thread of the Day: “Tiger Woods with a new Scotty Cameron at The Open”
Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from No Gimmes who was quick to spot Tiger Woods preparing for this week’s Open Championship with a new Scotty putter. Woods has also been seen warming up for this week’s event at Royal Portrush with his old faithful on the greens, but our members have been discussing the thinking behind the 15-time-major champion’s potential change, as well as the putter itself.
*Photos from Golf Central’s ‘Live From The Open’ coverage
Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.
- TheMoneyShot: “I’m really surprised he is making the switch. Let’s see if it’s in the bag come Thursday.”
- Hedgehog: “That topline and the alignment aid and all the smooth lines, gorgeous!”
- MuniPukeLife: “Makes sense as his trusty NP2 is super light by today’s putter standards.”
Mizuno T20 wedges: Let’s get spinning
We’re always trying to reduce it with our driver and increase it with our wedges for maximum control, but with the rules of golf being so strict, how do actually achieve a performance gain? Simple engineering…
This is the Mizuno T20 wedge.
It’s been a few years since we have seen a T (teardrop) wedge from our friends at Mizuno, and there is good reason.
Let’ get into a quick history lesson: before the JPX900 series was introduced, Mizuno had quietly been realigning the product cycles of the MP and JPX lines. You might remember back a few years ago now before the MP18s hit the scene that there was a bit of a lull in the MP line—so much, in fact, there was even a thread here on GolfWRX asking “Is Mizuno not making MP irons anymore?”
It was a naturally curious question to a company that always had very standardized release cycles, but it was a long-term play that has paid off tremendously. We now get “T” wedges with MP irons (MP20s to be exact), and we should (from everything I know) continue to see “S” Silhouette (more rounded profile) wedges with future JPX lines.
Before we get to what’s new, how about we first talk about what will be staying the same
- Grain Flow Forged HD – like all new Mizuno irons, the T20s are made using the same forging process to increase the density of the material in the clubhead for an improved solid feel.
- Boron – this little element when added to the 1025e mild carbon steel used in the wedges (we’re talking trace amounts equating to 3ppm – parts per million) increases the strength of the material by 30 percent—how crazy is that for chemistry? This improves groove life and has ZERO effect on club feel.
- Variable Width & Depth Quad Cut Grooves – Like previous T and S wedges, the T20s will have quad cut grooves that will vary in shape based on the loft of the club. Lower lofted wedges are more narrow and deeper, while higher lofted wedges are wider and more shallow since impact happens at lower speeds this increases spin consistency.
- Same beautiful Teardrop profile from address
So what’s new?
Flow. Just like the MP20s, engineers are bringing more a more extreme CG (center of gravity) shifting philosophy, or as Mizuno explains it, increased vertical moment of inertia to the wedges. As much as you (well maybe not “you,” depending on who you are) might think “a wedge is just a wedge” and loft is the only deciding factor for spin, you couldn’t be further from the truth. By relocating the CG throughout the set and changing the sweet spot height, engineers can further alter the launch and spin precisely for each loft.
It’s about gear effect—the higher you hit above the CG the less spin the ball with have, and the closer to or lower you make impact compared to the CG the more spin you will create. Either way these are wedges, so a 50 degree, for example, is still going to spin, but it is now more controllable (think less likely to ballon or get too high on full shots). On the other side of the equation, a 60-degree wedge will allow for even MORE trajectory and spin control for the low flying quick checkers with zip.
Now about that spin.
By the Rules of Golf, you can’t make grooves sharper, you can’t increase their volume, and you can only have so much surface roughness (sorry but that old Spin Doctor wedge is HIGHLY NON-conforming). So what do you do? You change the way you think about that surface roughness…
Hydroflow Micro Grooves
Instead of traditional laser etching parallel to the grooves, Mizuno engineers took a concept from the high-performance tire world and went perpendicular to the grooves and parallel to the direction the ball moves up the face to channel moisture away. This directional tread has proven to increase spin on shots especially in conditions with moisture up to 1,200 RPM (on a 60-yard shot), that’s a very tangible number. It’s not just about spin either: the more the friction that can be created also means more control on launch angle and less of a “floating” ball flight. That’s how those low zippers keep zippin’!
Don’t think for a second that Mizuno just changed the etching and was done with it. The process went through multiple iterations to figure out how they could improve its life (beyond the boron) and the solution was to etch before the chroming process to elongate the lifespan. The other groovy take for the T20s is the actual reconfiguration of the grooves. To get the bottom groove closer to the leading edge without having it disorient the overall look of the club and making it appear that the heel or toe is thinner on one side. The lowest groove has been shortened and centered.
All of these refinements; CG, micro-grooves, and reconfigured scoring lines add up to one thing: more control and improved shotmaking with your wedges.
Finishes, specs, and grinds
The wishes of many have been answered when it comes to the T20s, there will be a RAW finish (happy dance time) along with traditional chrome and the signature blue ion. Leftys will only be able to get chrome, but all the same options will be available as far as lofts and grinds.
Coming in lofts from 46-60 degrees, the grind options progress depending on the loft and bounce. Going from full-soled in the lower lofts to more aggressive back edge, and heel-toe relief in the 60 degree. These sole shapes came directly from Mizuno’s craftsman that worked with players and prototypes to determine exactly how the bounce and sole shapes should work in harmony.
All of this has come together to create Mizuno’s finest wedge to date.
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