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Opinion & Analysis

Paderson Shafts: Entering the market ‘with a sledgehammer’

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Paderson Shafts has stepped out from “behind the beaded curtain,” in the words of CEO Jason Horodezky. The company has shifted its focus from OEM contract manufacturing to private label manufacturing.

Paderson was the company that developed shaft technology for Original ADAMS Golf Tight Lies and Orlimar Trimetal woods, as well as Rapport composites.

The company’s Kinetixx shafts feature breakthrough technology, according to the company, which compelled Paderson to hang a shingle and build a network of dealers, fitters and retail establishments to sells its wares.

Paderson specializes in carbon fiber and high and low modulus FRP Composites, resin matrix formulation and core process technologies.

The company presently offers four driver shafts: Kinetixx IMRT Green, Kinetixx IMRT Blue, Kinetixx VMT Vacuum Cured, Kinetiix IMRT Limited Edition. The Green and Blue shafts are available for woods and hybrids, as well as irons.

I spoke with CEO Jason Horodezky about company history, the shaft market, key technologies and Paderson’s product line.

g7od1l_padd011-min

Tell me about the decision to get into the crowded and competitive shaft space…

It’s a very convoluted and crowded marketplace. It looks a lot like it did in the 90s…between ‘96 and ‘99, except the volume-quantity turnover in the segment isn’t the same. There aren’t as many home builders as there were. We’ve been in the game the longest of almost anybody. We’ve been behind the beaded curtain. So we’re not new: we’re new to the consumer.

We’ve made a few significant breakthroughs, and we decided it was time to make our brand known, because we’ve been doing it for other people for so long.

We were the power behind two brands: a company called Rapport Composites, and they then spunoff into a company called Swing Science. So we’re coming into the market with a sledge hammer.

Why come out from behind the “beaded curtain” now?

The industry is stagnant in a lot of areas.

At the end of the day, honesty and integrity coupled with the transparent technology (the world’s only visible fiber technology)…was conducive to telling the world of golf…our story.

There’s a lot of people who have exploited us for their own gain, but not for ours, so to speak.

What is your take on the shaft market? It’s a convoluted space, as you indicated…

What we have is cutting edge. We have the only array of iron shafts in the world with true, concentric, spineless technology. We tailor it on three orders of measure; very high order of magnitude stuff. The science we use to model our products is extremely noble. Our methods and manufacturing enable us to do a lot of extraordinary things that other have tried and failed miserably and continuously with.

For instance, you hear people talk about xylon and liquid crystal polymers. It has a very high density and no modulus, therefore they don’t get the order of magnitude and the effect, and this becomes a very heavy weighted composite.

So from our perspective, we’re actually tailoring it to tension, damping, high-order resonance with impedance (and recovery in the shaft), and that’s on the merits of our wound platform, which is unlike any other in the world.

vawpw2_padd044-min

Tell me more about Paderson’s key technologies.

We had in excess of 50 permutations when we started in our R&D room. We reduced the lineup to be tailored to the commercial exploit. So, we have three construction platforms, and those get reduced per category segment.

Unlike any other shaft company, we provide three different constructions, because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all golf shaft. One of our three shafts will fit everybody. In essence, how you make something will determine what materials you use. Construction is the confluence of craftsmanship and materials. That’s why we’ve put into practice a couple of different materials no one else has.

Our flagship is that we’ve patented processes for wound technology. We’re the foremost leader in tension fiber structures: structural architecture that you can see. Think of a tennis racket with a pre-tension net head. You can see and feel the tension in our shafts. We have a pre-loaded shaft. It’s pre-loaded to respond to a golfer’s swing, and it’s visible in two of our three shafts.

Fitted with our shafts, golfers will see ball speed increase. When they start searching for things that are spin related and launch, it gets to be a different golfer speak phenomenon. Our shafts are designed to [increase speed].

Wound technology is the baseline of what we do. It’s because of wound technology that we have our vacuum curing system, and that benefits our laminated, cable-rolled structures.

And we’re transparent. We’re not making claims and hiding things under paint. You can see everything that we’re made of: visible technology.

Tell me about Paderson’s shaft offerings.

Each of our constructions separates themselves based on who they’re for. Our wound series, the Kevlar Green, fits every golfer. Our green table rolled vacuum cured amorphous is very similar, but it’s more tailored to someone who is flat/positive attack angle and is looking for a lighter weight alternative.

Our Kevlar Blue is tailored around someone who is smooth in transition but has a negative to flat attack angle. We’ve tailored all of the product line around a golfer’s swing and particularly arc and speed. So the length of someone’s arc and where they’re fastest: that’s the fitting paradigm from which we tailored our product.

So again, our Kevlar Green is capable of fitting all golfers, but golfers who may be looking for a lighter weight alternative would benefit from our table rolled component.

The wound series is available through the bag. There’s nothing that outperforms it; that’s why we reduced our line. We have three constructions in driver, two in fairways, and the reason for that is performance.

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Going forward, are you more focused on relationships with OEMs? A tour presence? Appealing to clubmakers?

Our focus is on getting to the end user in the most efficient manner possible. And there are two forms of growth in the industry right now. You’ve got new retail, which is like the PGA Superstore. And then you’ve got the bespoken category.

We’re building that relationship with the dealer networks—they’re critical. But we really just want to get to the end consumer with the best technology and price relationship. Our paradigm there is incomparable. We have the world’s only polymer shaft, but we don’t charge $1000 for our shafts. Our shaft is the most expensive by way of materials and process of any golf shaft in the world. Yet because we are designing and making all organically, we don’t exploit consumer weakness or this “deep pocket opportunity.” That’s not our objective. We present unique, technical value propositions.

That all relates to where we go into the market. Some of the bespoken guys want the $500 shaft opportunity or a make-up program. There’s no real reason for a shaft to be $300 and installed at $500, but it helps them with their margins.

But consumers love our product. We have a 97 percent success rate in fitting golfers at arm’s length, and in the field it’s 100 percent. We’ll outperform anything that they have in our green grass demo events.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. BOB

    Sep 11, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    I HAVE LOOKED AT THEIR WEBSITE AND HAVE READ ALL THEIR COMMENTS . I AM WILLING TO TRY ONE OF THEIR SHAFTS AND MAKE MY JUDGEMENT FROM HOW IT PERFORMS FOR ME AND MY CUSTOMERS. I AGREE THAT THERE IS TOO MUCH TECHNICAL JARGON IN THE ARTICLE BRING IT ALL DOWN TO WHERE THE LAYMAN CAN UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE SHAFTS.
    I WILL POST ANOTHER COMMENT AFTER I RECEIVE MY SHAFT AND HAVE TRIED ITS PERFORMANCE FOR MYSELF.

  2. myron miller

    Aug 26, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    From this article, I have no clue if these shafts would work for my game or not. I really didn’t understand the verbiage. Non-standard shaft terminology doesn’t help us end-users. Where’s the kick point? What are the flexes at head, butt, middle?

    According to the website, the torque is not what I’d call low torque by any means. 5.7 to 5.9 is not low torque when lots of shafts are available with 3.5 or even lower. Fujikura has them down to 2.8 and most are 3.5 or less. I thought advanced tech made torque lower not higher.

  3. Allen

    Aug 16, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    I would love to try these, but at almost $90 a shaft for the irons, I am not sure I can justify the money. I cant believe they will give me $90 worth of improvement, or very much improvement.

  4. other paul

    Aug 16, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Sounds like the steel fiber shafts to me… Aerotech has been around for quite some time.

    • Mac n Cheese

      Aug 26, 2015 at 9:58 am

      If they actually found a way to create a shaft out of woven steel fibers, it could be a potential game changer considered steel fibers would have a stronger resistance to twisting upon impact. Especially if they drop the weight over traditional steel shafts.

  5. KK

    Aug 16, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Some of the tech sounds great, some of the phrasing seems a bit too much like meaningless rhetoric; e.g. the virtues of showing the carbon structure underneath vs painting over it. It’s like saying your car is better because the hood is made of glass and you can see the engine vs other car companies who don’t have glass hoods.

    • Mac n Cheese

      Aug 26, 2015 at 10:04 am

      The theory is more in line with carbon fiber hoods vs. traditional hoods. Basically with carbon fiber you don’t have to paint over it, and some people like the look of just carbon fiber in general over painted. Also by having some carbon fiber visible it shows that the product is actual carbon fiber instead of taking their word for it. Really the paint scheme or lack there of is an aesthetic marketing campaign to make their shafts look cooler. Which they do. I want green shafts! lol

  6. Mo

    Aug 15, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Some independent reviews would mean a lot.

  7. Tom Duckworth

    Aug 15, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    I must admit he doesn’t talk like a sales department guy. He’s deeply into the construction of his shafts. I found that refreshing.

  8. Tom Duckworth

    Aug 15, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Very cool reminds me of Eminence Speaker Co. they made speakers for all kinds of guitar amps and PA systems for other people. One of the largest speaker makers in the world. Now they make them under their own name some of the best on the market. It can only be a good thing for Paderson to enter the marketplace. It will be interesting to see how they do.

  9. Matthew

    Aug 15, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Gotta echo Mark. Less infomercial and more substance.

    • Mac n Cheese

      Aug 26, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Yes, but they found a new method of doing so, as the article pointed out.

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Opinion & Analysis

A road trip to St. Andrews

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In 2017, my son Brian and his wife Lauren, proposed a family trip to Scotland. Both of them have traveled a surprising amount for a couple barely 30 years old, but for us it would be a huge trip. We couldn’t get it scheduled for 2018 but everything lined up for October, 2019, a trip that might even include playing the Old Course in St. Andrews, if we got lucky. The amazing Lauren made all the arrangements, beginning with multiple email exchanges with the staff at the Old Course, who were extremely gracious and encouraging in their communications.

Unlike most other courses, in order to play the Old Course, you have three options: One is to book a very expensive trip through a travel broker who will guarantee a tee time. This is the only way to make your arrangements in advance, but you’re paying thousands for the package, which would include at least three other days of golf. Sounds great but above our budget. Secondly, you can take a real gamble and just show up at the starter’s window the day you are hoping to play, and get in line as early as 3 a.m., put your name on the list and then wait, maybe all day, maybe hopelessly. It’s no way to budget an entire day on your vacation. The third way is to use what is called the “ballot system,” submitting your request for a tee time via email to standrews.com, 48 hours ahead and hopefully getting a spot.

Now, it’s not as grim a prospect as it may sound for planning to play golf in St. Andrews. The above only applies to getting onto the Old Course. We were able to make a tee time for the Jubilee Course, one of six other courses (Jubilee, Castle, New Course, Eden, Strathtyrum, and Balgove), all part of the St. Andrews Links complex, “The Home of Golf” as their brochure proclaims. Since we were scheduling our trip for the tail-end of the golf season, the gentleman from St. Andrews wrote that he was cautiously optimistic we would be successful using the ballot system.

This wasn’t just a golfing vacation, the five us had an outstanding time touring the west coast of Scotland, including the Oban Whisky distillery, the Harry Potter train in Glencoe, Ben Nevis—the highest peak in the UK, Fort William, and the spectacular Highlands, the town of St. Andrews, and finally the marvelous city of Edinburgh. We ended up spending one night in St. Andrews, at The Saint, a lovely four-room hotel, a 10-minute walk from the Old Course. That evening, walking down cobblestone streets, with the R&A clubhouse coming into view, was like walking in a dream.

Our day started out by driving directly to the new Links Clubhouse, which has wonderful views of the courses from the restaurant. We had lunch, and I must admit to being a bit nervous over my chicken bacon mayo sandwich. We’d parked our bags in the locker room down below, it’s just what you’d expect in terms of world-class accommodations and feel. I could just imagine the pros suiting up there as they prepare to play in The Open.

Our day of golf at the Jubilee Course was spectacular, although it got off to a rainy start, but the weather cleared by the fourth hole. Mary, Jill, and Lauren formed our gallery as we teed off, then they went for a walk around the lovely town. I parred the first hole and told Brian that made my entire trip to Scotland. I was on fire, shooting 42 on the front nine but hitting only three fairways and two greens in regulation. Brian shot 45. We’d decided on match play, and I was up by three on the 11th hole. Brian then said the fateful words, “You haven’t hit into a pot bunker all day!” Which I promptly did. My game immediately tanked while he proceeded to make a total of nine pars, shooting 42 on the back, and won the match 2 & 1. Our gallery re-appeared on the 17th hole, the sun was shining, and we were in golf heaven! We ended the day with a pint at the famous Dunvegan Pub by the R&A clubhouse.

Earlier in the day, Brian had received an email from St. Andrews, unfortunately stating that we had not been selected for the ballot to play on the Old Course the next day. He resubmitted our request for the following day with fingers crossed. We headed to our next stop, Edinburgh, looking forward to exploring this ancient yet cosmopolitan city. During our walking tour, Brian received the email notification that we’d scored an 11 a.m. tee time on the Old Course for Friday. He and I would be making a road trip back north while the ladies spent the day in Edinburgh.

It was about an hour ride back to St. Andrews but traffic was quite manageable and we arrived at 9:30, plenty of time for breakfast at the Links Clubhouse. I felt that anticipatory excitement I always have right before marshaling at a big event, like a U.S. Open, where the atmosphere of the place is nearly overwhelming. Not really nervousness, but we were about to play the Old Course! Isn’t that every golfer’s dream? To say Brian was wound up tight would be an understatement, he could barely choke down half a scone. The walk over toward the starters shack, where we would meet our caddies, with the R&A clubhouse right there at the first tee was unreal.

The clerk was so gracious, taking our 130 Scottish pounds green fee (about $160), and handing us a very nice valuables pouch complete with an amazingly detailed yardage book, tees, pencils, divot tool, and scorecard. We were then approached by our two caddies, who between them had nearly 30 years of caddying experience. I got John, whose personality was perfect for me, quiet, calm, not too chatty, yet personable. Brian’s guy, Steve was just right for him as well, right from central casting with a thick Scottish brogue. He instantly bonded with Brian to become his playing partner/coach, which was just what he needed to get over the first tee jitters.

The starter, Richard, approached us as we made our way over to the first tee, greeting us much like you see them do at the start of the Open Championship. He made our presence there seem extra special, despite the fact he’d probably done the same routine 10 thousand times. He even took our picture. We were then introduced to our two other playing partners, both former members of the course, so they didn’t need caddies to show them the way. These guys were hilarious, self-deprecating, with brogues so thick I could understand maybe one word in three, not the best golfers by any stretch, which was somehow quite reassuring and certainly less intimidating. Brian proved to be the best golfer in our foursome by far although he had a rough start, hitting his drive into the Swilcan Burn.

I was really calm on the tee, it helped that there were very few spectators as it was drizzling and maybe 50 degrees. John told me where to aim, (“at that gorse bush off in the distance”) and I was able to do exactly that. As we walked off the first tee Steve said “now you can all breathe again!” I found having a caddy to be such a wonderful added dimension to this whole experience—not just as a guide to point out where in the world I should be aiming on this alien golf layout, but also to set an expectation for me on each shot which I then tried my best to fulfill. The greens weren’t too scary as I felt used to the speeds having played Jubilee, but having John read the subtle breaks and provide aiming points was terrific.

I played bogey golf through the first 12 holes but the rain only intensified and despite John’s best effort to keep things dry, the final 6 holes were a mess. Brian was one up on our match at the turn, then went on to win decisively at 5 up, with a total for the day of 5 pars and a birdie, including par on 17, the famous Road Hole. As the day went on, we found ourselves saying over and over to each other, what a wonderful experience this was despite the conditions. Steve took the traditional picture of us on the Swilcan Bridge, on our way to finishing on 18, which Brian almost parred. He later said he had such a tremendous feeling of accomplishment, having conquered the Old Course.

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Podcasts

TG2: Brooks and Peter Kostis rip Patrick Reed

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Brooks Koepka and Peter Kostis both talk about Patrick Reed and his cheating allegations. Brooks was on SiriusXM and Kostis on No Laying Up don’t hold back their feelings on cheating. Kostis also has some PGA Tour beef, saying that they don’t care about the television broadcast.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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Opinion & Analysis

Watch for players lofting up at altitude at the WGC-Mexico Championship

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This week, at the PGA Tour’s WGC-Mexico Championship, we are going to watch some of the best and longest players on the planet play what will effectively be one of the shortest courses on tour.

Now, 7,341 yards is by no means a cakewalk, and there are shorter courses from a pure yardage perspective played on tour—Harbour Town, as an example, only plays at 7,099 yards from the very back. The difference is Harbour Town is played at sea level while Club de Golf Chapultepec is at over 7,500 feet of elevation, and when you factor in the altitude difference between the two courses, they play very differently—more on the math in a moment.

The altitude will also factor in how some players will be setting up their equipment and we could see some adjustments. The most obvious is lofting up the driver or fairways woods to increase carry, which is something Tiger Woods specifically mentioned last year.

The biggest misconception when talking about playing golf at altitude is that the ball doesn’t spin the same in thinner air and players “loft up” to maintain spin. Let’s get into the physics to bust this “spinning less” myth and simplify the science behind playing at altitude,

The golf ball is an inanimate object, and it has no idea it’s at altitude; the air will not have an impact on how much the ball will actually spin. Yes, increasing loft should, by almost every imaginable measure, increase spin but the air it travels through will not change the spin rate.

However, playing at altitude has an effect, Let’s break down what happens

  • Thinner air exerts less drag force (resistance/friction) on the ball. The ball moves more easily through this less dense air and won’t decelerate as quickly as it flies. But note that the faster an object moves the more drag force will occur
  • Less resistance also means that it is harder to shape shots. So you when you see Shot Tracer, the pros are going to be hitting it even straighter (this makes Tiger’s fairway bunker shot last year even more unbelievable)
  • Less force = less lift, the ball will fly lower and on a flatter trajectory

Time for some math from Steve Aoyama, a Principal Scientist at Titleist Golf Ball R&D (full piece here: The Effect of Altitude on Golf Ball Performance)

“You can calculate the distance gain you will experience (compared to sea level) by multiplying the elevation (in feet) by .00116. For example, if you’re playing in Reno, at 1 mile elevation (5,280 ft.) the increase is about 6% (5,280 x .00116 = 6.1248). If you normally drive the ball 250 yards at sea level, you will likely drive it 265 yards in Reno.”

Not every player will be making changes to their bag, and some will instead focus on the types of shots they are hitting instead. When speaking to Adam Scott earlier this week, I was able to ask if he planned on making any changes heading into Mexico the week after his win at the Genesis Invitational.

“It’s very rare for me to make club changes week-to-week beyond playing in the Open Championship and adding a longer iron. The one thing I focus on when playing at altitude is avoiding partial shots where I’m trying to reduce the spin because as spin goes down the ball doesn’t want to stay in the air. I’ve experienced partial shots with longer clubs that end up 25 yards short, and because of that I want to hit as many full shots as possible”

With Club de Golf Chapultepec sitting just over 7,800 feet above sea level, we’re looking at 9.048 or an increase of just over 9 percent. That makes this 7,341-yard course play 6,677 yards (+/- where the tees are placed).

 

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