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True Temper’s Area 61: R&D and Project PXi

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Golf equipment companies go to lengths to manufacture the most cutting edge golf equipment designs, and they work equally as hard at marketing their products and facilities under names that describe their efforts.

Throughout the years, some names have been better than others. We loved names like “Futura,” “Anser,” and “Big Bertha.” Others like “Kombi,” “Redwood” and “Diablo” didn’t quite hit the mark.

Golfers might roll their eyes when they hear that golf shaft manufacturer True Temper named its research and development center Area 61 (Hey, are we chasing aliens are birdies?). But at Area 61, the True Temper team has been working hard to create extraterrestrial-performing golf shafts with very foreign characteristics.

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One of these shafts, the PXi iron shaft, goes against the grain of what golfers have used for decades. At around 102 grams after trimming, it’s a lightweight iron shaft that mimics the characteristics of one of the most legendary heavyweight iron shafts in golf’s history, the Project X.

[youtube id=”LFgquIp3sqU” width=”600″ height=”350″]

The PXi was the offspring of a True Temper iron shaft design called the Monaco, which Darren Clarke used to win the 2011 British Open. Monaco shafts were engineered with specific geometry for each iron, meaning the 3-iron shaft was created differently than the 4-iron shaft, etc. Yet all the shafts retained a constant weight because of True Temper’s VWT (Variable Wall Thickness) technology.

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Greg Cavill, who leads design for True Temper’s iron shafts, said the Monaco was never meant for retail. It was initially a research project, and because of its extremely high cost to manufacture, it is no longer offered by True Temper. But its influence lives on through PXi.

Cavill and his team learned from Monaco that special geometry is not just important for each different iron shaft, but for each individual flex as well. While the PXi does not have variable geometry in each iron shaft like the Monaco, it has VWT in each different shaft flex.

[quote_box_center]“Why should high-handicap players use the same geometry as the players on Tour,” Cavill said.[/quote_box_center]

Even though the PXi 5.0 flex and 7.0 flex carry the same name, they have unique geometric construction that tailors to the different ways that golfers with different swing speeds load and unload the golf club.

pxi_px

True Temper’s Project X shaft (below) and PXi shaft.

 

The stiffer PXi shafts are designed with thicker walls in the tip section of the grip, which allows the butt end of the grip to take over during the downswing. This creates lower launch and lower spin results, while allowing the shaft to retain its lighter weight. The less stiff PXi shafts have a shorter and stubbier midsection and thinner walls in the tip section, which helps golfers with slower tempos and less abrupt transitions achieve their desired ball flight.

The PXi’s success has been proven by its place in the bags of two of golf’s best players, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. Another major champion, Y.E. Yang, and two-time PGA Tour winner Jason Dufner have also been spotted with the PXi.

The reason for PXi’s success, according to Cavill, is that the shaft has allowed the best players in the world to achieve more distance, and even go to a longer club length because of the PXi’s lighter weight. For some of these high-swing players, they have also found a smoother, more stable feel because of the fact that most of the shaft’s work is done in the butt section of the grip. Watch the video below for more information on the PXi shaft from Chad Hall, director of True Temper global tour operations.

[youtube id=”RiIvd0Wgz3w” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Did you catch the portion at the end of the video where Hall talks about the aesthetic value of PXi? According to Cavill, the finish of a golf shaft is the company’s next step in shaft technology.

[quote_box_center]“I can’t talk about it very much right now, but we’re working on a shaft that uses the technology of a shaft’s finish to enhance performance,” Cavill said.[/quote_box_center]

You’ve been warned.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. tony_stark

    Aug 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    i would like to get some PXI shafts in my mizuno irons

  2. Rodney

    Aug 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    How do I get the t-shirt?

  3. Jim A

    Aug 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Zak, Do you know whether there is any material difference between this year’s PXi shaft and the pre-PXi graphite iron shaft from last year?

  4. Scott Hill

    Aug 8, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Great article Zak, been a Precision then KBS guy myself but this has me interested in trying the PXI

  5. Pingback: True Temper’s Area 61: R&D and Project PXi | GolfRumors.com

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pga tour

Andrew “Beef” Johnston WITB 2017

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2017 RSM Classic (11/14/17).

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 70TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F3 (15 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 80TX

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H2 (19 Degrees)
Shafts: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 90HY TX

Driving Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 2 & 3 Iron (17 & 20 Degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Irons: Titleist 718 MB (3-9)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (46-10F, 50-08F, 54-10S)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Super Rat I GSS Inlay
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Pistol

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Newport 2
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Cord Pistol

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Super Rat II GSS Inlay
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Cord Pistol

WITB Notes: Beef was testing a variety of putters ahead of The RSM Classic. We will update this post when his choice is confirmed. 

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Beef’s clubs. 

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Equipment

The hottest blade irons in golf right now

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As we’ve written before, the decision to put a new driver in the bag is usually obvious. Better numbers at testing, perceptibly longer distance, and as long as your bank account allows, you have your new gamer.

The iron switch, however, is a trickier beast. Comfort with the variety of shots one needs to hit is key. Confidence from one’s long irons through the higher lofts is critical. Thus, even the greatest enthusiasm for a new iron release isn’t always followed by a mass exodus to gaming said irons. This is doubly true at the professional level, where the tools are critical to a player’s livelihood.

That said, the combination of forum chatter, GolfWRX member enthusiasm, and what we’re spotting in our WITB photos from tour stops are a reliable indicator of the hottest irons in the game.

And judging by the response to our recent Instagram post, we’re confident that these four models are the hottest blade irons in golf right now.

Callaway Apex MB

Buzz built steadily for the Apex MB iron when we first spotted them in Tour players’ bags at the beginning of 2017. The irons are the product of direct feedback from the company’s Tour staffers, according to Luke Williams, Director of Product and Brand Management at Callaway. Forged from 1025 Carbon Steel, these irons have the shortest blade lengths, the thinnest soles and the smallest overall heads in the vast line of Callaway irons. They’re designed for maximum workability, and for tour-desired turf interaction.

Related: Callaway (finally) launches new Apex MB and X Forged irons

Mizuno MP-18

The pioneers of Grain-Flow Forging, Mizuno went back to its roots with the MP-18 iron model. A throwback to the great muscle backs in the company’s history, Mizuno was shooting for the look of an iron that could have been forged a century ago. Shorter blade length, cambered top line, sharp, compact wedges, all combined with the most minimal badging make the MP-18 an instant classic that set the GolfWRX forums afire.

Related: Mizuno brings the MP family closer together

TaylorMade P730

TaylorMade’s P730, particularly in its prototype incarnations, made quite a splash on the PGA Tour. Building on the heritage of the TP-MB irons, P730 was developed in collaboration with the very best players in the world. The 1025 carbon steel irons irons feature a smaller profile and crisper lines than the MB series irons. The combination of the clean look and a deep rear groove have players drooling. Discussing working with Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose to design the P730, TM’s Senior Director of Irons, Tomo Bystedt said, “What these players need is a very low-inertia club that they can [manipulate] easily, almost like a surgeon’s scalpel.” Behold the scalpel.

Related: Taylormade expands forged offerings with P730 and P790

Titleist 718 MB

“For the purist there is no substitute for a one-piece, muscle back iron. The 718 MB is the modern choice for those desiring a traditional forged look and feel,” says Titleist in the 718 MB marketing materials.

It’s hard to argue with that statement from the “appearance of a classic forged iron” standpoint. Purists appreciate that the 718 MB maintains Titleist’s traditional lofts (the 6-iron is 31 degrees, the pitching-wedge is 47 degrees), thin top-line, minimal offset, and limited badging. In short, if it ain’t broke…

Related: Titleist’s 718 irons offer endless possibilities.

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Whats in the Bag

Austin Cook’s Winning WITB: The 2017 RSM Classic

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution TX-Flex

3 Wood: Ping G400 Stretch (13 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujifuke Motore Speeder VC 7.2 TX-Flex

Hybrid: Ping G400 3 Hybrid (19 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91X

Hybrid: Ping G400 4 Hybrid (22 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91 X

Irons: Ping S55 Orange Dot (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour S-Flex

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 SS (50-12, 56-12), Ping Glide 2.0 WS (60)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne 
Grip: SuperStroke Mid-Slim 2.0

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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