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By Martin Anderson

In the first few months of its release Aldila’s new shaft, the VooDoo, has been a roaring success by any standards.  Not only was it almost immediately in the winner’s circle but was also found in a number of Ryder Cuppers bags and also in the bag of Harrison Frazar for his recent victory at Q school, including his sensational 59.

The NV, DVS and VS Proto shafts are amongst the most played shafts at todays events but somehow they seem to be seen as ‘blue collar’ shafts rather than the high performance Tour pedigree shafts that they really are. Aldila are looking to change this perception with the VooDoo.

The level of success in this shaft has probably surpised even Aldila. Early take-up on Tour was much higher than they could have expected, the VooDoo got its first victory almost immediately and the year culminated in Aldila being the the leading wood shaft and hybrid shaft manufacturer at all 4 of the 2008 Fedex Cup play-offs: The Barclays (including 36 VooDoo’s from 144 players), Deutcher Bank Championsip (also with 36 VooDoo’s from from 144 players), The BMW Championship (including 21 VooDoo’s from 70 players) and The Tour Championship (including 7 VooDoo’s from 30 players).

So what is it about the VooDoo that makes it so different from the standard Aldila shafts? The additions of Aldila’s S-Core is their entry into shaft stabilization and anti-ovalling technology seen in Triax from Fujikura (basis of the RE*AX and ROMBAX shafts) and Smart-Ply from Grafalloy.

The drive towards these technologies comes from research that found that by increasing the hoop stiffness, the shaft will not ovalize or deform during the golf swing so maximum energy is transferred to the ball. As the shaft loads, the energy is stored along the length of the shaft rather than wasted in deforming the shape of the shaft. The efficient storage of energy also allows for more efficient release. Releasing more energy means that not only is distance is maximized but that the player is able to more consistently deliver the club-head to the ball resulting in increased accuracy.

Cut-away of the S-Core  – an internal spiral rub of high modulus Carbon

Currently the S-Core technology has only been applied to the VS Proto bend profile although Tour only versions of the VooDoo exist for almost the entire Aldila family. While Aldila tell us that there are currently no plans to release the VooDoo versions of the NV and DVS, this must surely be dependent on the success of the VS Proto version.

Appearance

The dark red on black spiral color scheme (a reminder of the S-Core technology) is quite understated as it is darker than it appears in photos. While it may not be as camera friendly as the lizard green NV or the bright blue VS Proto it still makes a statement as it is unlike anything else out on the market.

Technical Specs

Type Tip Diameter Butt Diameter Torque Launch Angle Weight Length
XVS6 0.335″ 0.630″ 3.2 Mid 68g 46″
SVS6 0.335″ 0.630″ 3.5 Mid 66g 46″
RVS6 0.335″ 0.630″ 4.2 Mid 65g 46″
XVS7 0.335″ 0.630″ 2.8 Mid 76g 46″
SVS7 0.335″ 0.630″ 3.2 Mid 75g 46″
RVS7 0.335″ 0.630″ 3.9 Mid 74g 46″

Feel

Aldila’s best feeling shaft yet. This shaft is a quantum leap better than the previous generation of Aldila shafts, which while they were no slouches were never going to be troubling the likes of Matrix, Mitsubishi Rayon or Fujikura for the smoothest shaft award. The likes of the NV and the VS Proto were always far better known for their performance rather than their feel.The VooDoo is completely different however as with the VS6 version you can practically feel every dimple on the ball as you crush it down the fairway. And while the VS7 version is stouter than its lighter brother it still feels superb. The weight and balance is very good and when the shaft kicks through it lacks the vagueness that somewhat affected the VS Proto while still being just as lively. At impact you get a real sense that the whole shaft is unloading, irrespective of whether you are a swinger or a hitter as the shaft feels very stable throughout the swing.

It’s worth noting that, in typical Aldila fashion, this shaft tapers quite sharply from the butt end so an extra layer or two of  tape under the bottom half of the grip might be needed to keep that connection with the lower hand.

Performance

Everything about the performance of the VS Proto that was good is still here but the R&D boys at Aldila seem to have dug out something extra. While the S-Core has a noticeable effect of tightening up the feel, it also seems to have a similarly noticeable effect on the performance. While the trajectory of the VooDoo is almost identical to the VS Proto, the VooDoo does seem to be able to unload at impact more effectively which utimately leads to longer drives. Nothing ridiculous here, no magical extra 15 yards that some people seem to expect but another little bit of assistance towards carrying those bunkers, flying that water or driving that green.

The shafts play straight to flex with just the right balance of spin – enough to keep the ball soaring but not so much that the ball can be blown about or will not bound down the fairway on landing. While versatile might be an odd description for a shaft, the VooDoo can be used by both those with smooth swings and those with a more aggressive transition. The shaft is easy enough to use without having to swing out of your shoes but is also great at higher speeds as it is incredibly resistant to being overpowered. There is a real sense of increasingly progressive loading as you swing harder, so the harder you load it, the harder it will fight back without losing any of that feel.

The VS6 version weighs in at almost 70g at stiffer flexes so it should be considered first for a driver shaft and unless you are a monster, the VS7 version is best left for fairway woods as while the specs say that it shares the same launch angle as the VS6, the heavier weight and lower torque mean that it does launch lower and with a bit less spin.

Overall

A short period of testing shows you why the VooDoo is being so successful on Tour – a longer period leaves you in no doubt that the VooDoo will no only been seen in a lot of bags on Tour but also been seen in a lot of winner’s bags. A great combination of feel and performance that should be considered for any driver setup.

Aldila have always known how to make high performance shafts and their commitment to top end shafts, while initially shown with the semi-mythical Cinnamon, has been firmly cemented with the VooDoo.

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Morning 9: Women’s PGA | Fox: best golf coverage in the biz? | Michelle Wieturns

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

June 19, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
1. Henderson, Thompson sizzling heading into Women’s PGA
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”Brooke Henderson and Lexi Thompson couldn’t get hotter at a better time.”
  • “With three major championships over the next seven weeks, they’ll be looking to make the most of their winning form. They each have a chance this week to reach No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings for the first time.”
  • “Henderson won the Meijer Classic last week, Thompson the ShopRite Classic two weeks ago.”
  • “Ladbrokes makes Henderson the co-favorite to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship with Jeongeun Lee6 at 11/1 odds, with Thompson at 12/1 odds.”
2. Wieturning again
Ron Sirak for LPGA.com…
“But perhaps the most difficult digits to digest are those detailing the impact of the injuries that have disrupted Wie’s career. Without the constant interruptions, her five career wins with one major championship would almost certainly be more. Now, she tries once again to get back into action.”
  • “I’m feeling hopeful,” Wie said Tuesday at Hazeltine National where, on Thursday, she will tee it up for just her ninth tournament round of the year. “It’s still a process. It’s been hard sitting out during the middle of the season. There’s really nothing worse. But I had to take the time to get myself back to where I want to be.”
  • “There is almost no a part of Wie that has not been damaged, beginning with an injury to her left wrist when she fell while jogging in 2007. Since then, she’s had issues with a finger, knee, hip and the other wrist. At times, it almost appears as if her body is held together by multi-colored physiotape.”

Full piece.

3. Arrival of the Wolff
Sean Martin at PGATour.com…”This week’s Travelers Championship is Matthew Wolff’s first tournament as a professional. It may be the most anticipated pro debut in a decade. The consensus collegiate player of the year combines charisma with a swing that is identifiable from a few fairways over.
  • “He wins. He’s unique. His swing is different, so it catches everybody’s eye,” said Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee. “And then there’s the incredible speed.
  • “When you see somebody with speed … it gets your attention.”
4. Fox the best?
An interesting take from Sean Zak at Golf.com…
  • “In its five years as the USGA rights-holder, Fox has added something new every year, which, for a sport whose visuals seem to never change, is refreshing and important. One year it was the mic’d up holes, even shadows on the greens to display slopes. Some of it sticks from year to year, some of it doesn’t, but Fox is trying new things and adding new context.”
  • “This year the novelty was epic, highlighted by delicious drone shots along the coast. Blimp shots are great and were more relevant this week than most, but the drones that floated up over Carmel Bay, gliding along with the players, providing the perfect scale of the property – those were new and beautiful. A good broadcast shows viewers everything they must see to better understand a course, but also makes them a bit jealous of everyone there on the grounds.”
5. JT pain free
A few quotes from Thomas…”I have zero pain. I can do everything normally.”
“I could have played Colonial – easily – but it would have been stupid and [my wrist] could have been lingering the entire year,” he said. “This injury should never be an issue again in my life, as long as I do the proper things and don’t do anything stupid. That’s why I waited as long as I did.”
6. Not a fan
The Herald’s (Scotland) Nick Rodger…
  • “As everyday life hurtles along at a furious rate of knots, the golf season too is hammering on. Three men’s majors have already been played and in just four weeks’ time the curtain will come down on the quartet of grand slam events at the Open Championship. It’s rather like uploading a Youtube video onto your laptop and quickly spooling through to the best bits.”
  • “It’s all happening a bit too quickly for my liking,” gasped Colin Montgomerie as the dust settled on last weekend’s US Open even though there’s still probably dust lingering from the previous majors of the US PGA Championship and the Masters.”
7. Jin Young Ko dreaming of Brooks?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“On a day when LPGA stars filed in and out of the press room at the KPMG Women’s PGA, Ko delivered the line of the day. When asked what it is that she likes about Koepka and how he inspires her play, Ko said: “I met him in my dream, and then we had really great time.”
  • “…He always (has) like a poker face and then like stone.”
  • Ko, 23, put her arms out wide and said, “I like big guy.”
8. What Gary was aiming for
Our Gianni Magliocco…“U.S. Open Champion Gary Woodland made an appearance at SiriusXM’s Manhattan studios on Tuesday, where he sat down to discuss a multitude of topics with Adam Schein on his Mad Dog Sports Radio program – Schein on Sports.”
  • “Woodland also discussed beating Tiger Woods’ total of 12-under-par from the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. The 35-year-old first mentioned how he recognized that Woods won that tournament by 15 strokes, before adding how he was aware of beating his 72-hole total, saying…”
  • “I knew it, but I was trying to two-putt. I wasn’t trying to make that putt. Once it got halfway there and it went in I obviously let the emotion out. My caddie came over to tell me congrats and I said, ‘You know that clipped Tiger by one?’ And he said, ‘No I didn’t.’ He was focused on the wrong stuff, he was focused on winning, I was focused on beating that record.”
9. A Phireside chat
How to introduce Phil Mickelson’s first Phireside with Phil video…? Mickelson tells a story of an early morning restart at the Memorial some years back and a, um, crappy situation.
My question: This is a clear violation of the rules of tournament play. Is there a provision for situations that make the hole/toilet unusable after restart and necessitate cutting a new cup?

 

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Equipment

TaylorMade signs Matthew Wolff to a multi-year deal; Wolff WITB

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TaylorMade Golf has officially announced the signing of Matthew Wolff on a multi-year agreement that will see the 20-year-old play the company’s metal woods, irons, wedges, putter and ultimately, TaylorMade’s flagship golf ball, the TP5x.

Wolff had previously unveiled that he would be making his professional debut at this week’s Travelers Championship, and just as top prospect Collin Morikawa did earlier at this month’s Canadian Open, Wolff will do so as a TaylorMade staffer.

The NCAA All-American and 2019 NCAA Division I individual champion made his debut on the PGA Tour at the Waste Management Phoenix Open earlier this year where he finished T50 after opening his week with a round of five-under par.

Matthew Wolff WITB

Driver: TaylorMade M6 (8 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design TP 7TX

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke 6.5 TX

Utility Iron: TaylorMade P760 (2)
Shaft: Nippon Modus 130x

Irons: TaylorMade P750 Tour Proto (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon Modus 130x

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind Raw (52, 56, 62 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper

 

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5 questions with Justin Kinney of Virtual Golf Caddy

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We chatted with Justin Kinney, founder and CEO of startup Virtual Golf Caddy about his product, which serves both courses and players, by offering drone arial photography of golf courses (with graphics overlayed).

While drone photography and videography of golf courses is an established phenomenon, using the photos and video for better course management and preparation is a relatively new approach.

We wanted to learn more about what VGC is doing, and Kinney was kind enough to answer a handful of questions and include an example of the company’s work.

1. Tell us a bit about your background

I am 38 years old, born and raised in Connecticut. Lifelong golfer. Just finishing up my career as a middle school math teacher to focus on VGC full-time. I also have five years of business experience managing people’s retirement accounts. I played as many sports as I could growing up, and love the thrill of competition.

2. What’s the opportunity you saw?

I agreed to caddie for one of my students two summers ago. When researching the courses he was going to play, there was NO info on the courses. I thought there was a huge opportunity to provide course management strategies for players and give players a view of the entire courses with drones. No one was really doing anything like that, so I spent the past two years working on and building my business plan. Two months ago I secured funding to work on this full-time.

3. What is Virtual Golf Caddy, exactly?

VGC is a golf preparation and mental conditioning program designed to help give golfers a game plan to attack courses with. We provide drone views of each hole as well as course management strategies on how to best play each hole. Shot suggestions are given based on how far and confident players hit their clubs. We include mental conditioning tips and exercises to help players “zone in” more often and consistently. We are considering getting into golf fitness and nutrition as well to help build the whole golfer. Players purchase access to each course’s videos and info for either $15 or $25 per course, depending on how much info they want. They get unlimited access to the videos and can watch them wherever (home, airport, hotel, course).

4. What stage is the business in, and can you show us an example of VCG in action? 

We are still in the start-up phase. We are making agreements with and filming at courses. The website is being redesigned and will be up in June. It appears like things may take off quickly so stay tuned!

For an example, check out the video below.

6. What else should GolfWRX members know?

We are looking for courses to partner with. We will give courses free publicity on our site, a promotional video from the footage to use on their site, and share 15 percent of their courses profits with them. A win-win for everyone involved! If readers know of any courses, please email us.

One other thing to add: the mental prep/conditioning program is being built by renowned sports psychologist Bill Cole, MS, MA. It is legit and comes from over 40 years of research and experience! We’re also pursuing options in fitness and nutrition.

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