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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.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL PHOTOS AND COMMENT IN THE FORUMS

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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.

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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Fujikura launches new Pro 2.0 and Pro 2.0 Tour Spec shafts

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Fujikura has announced the launch of the second generation of its Pro series shafts: the Pro 2.0.

The first iteration of the Pro shafts were designed with a soft handle section to aid in loading. The Pro 2.0 presents an even more effective loading zone, according to the company, which also says torsional stiffness is 14 percent greater in the 2.0.

“Like all of our shafts, the Pro 2.0 has been designed utilizing enso, a 3D motion-capture technology that no one else in the shaft industry has,” said Alex Dee, Vice President at Fujikura Composites America.

“This technology and advanced data analytics has allowed us to crack the code on how club performance and ball flight are affected by shaft characteristics and swing type. When we compared to the original Pro, we saw the 2.0 was significantly easier to swing, had tighter shot dispersion, and lower spin to deliver the club head with more power, control and distance. We were thrilled with the result.”

The Pro 2.0 is painted “Destroyer Grey” with a metallic blue design in line with the original Pro shaft. The Tour Spec model is painted “Tour Spec White.”

The shafts will be available in weight ranges from 57 to 87 grams (5, 6, 7, 8) and in flexes starting at R2 up to X. $225 MSRP; $250 for the Tour Spec model. Hybrid option available for $140.

Available at over 600 qualified Fujikura charter dealers beginning February 1. Full specs at Fujikura.com.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Pro 2.0 in the forums.

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Fred Couples signs with Bettinardi, will continue to use FCB putter

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Fred Couples has been using his namesake Bettinardi putter, the FCB (Fred Couples Blade), for the past four years. Now, he’s officially joining Bettinardi’s Tour staff.

Couples, who has won 15 times on the PGA Tour and 13 times on the PGA Tour Champions, will putt exclusively with the company’s flatsticks.

(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

“I’m really looking forward to representing Bettinardi and its beautiful range of hand-made putters, as they always give me great confidence when I’m standing over putts,” said Fred. “Having won 5 times already with a Bettinardi putter, there’s nothing I’d rather be putting with.

Couples averaged 1.70 putts per hole when playing in 12 events with the Bettinardi wand last year.

“Having Fred Couples join our Tour staff is a massive endorsement for Bettinardi Golf,” said founder Robert Bettinardi. “We’re so proud and excited to welcome him to our growing Tour staff. I’m sure he will prove to be a great ambassador for our brand, as he attracts huge crowds and media attention wherever he plays.”

Here’s a look at Boom Boom’s FCB putter.

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Odyssey’s new EXO 2-Ball, Works Red and Black, and Toulon putters

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There’s one thing Odyssey has never struggled with: giving golfers options. Today, the company launched a trunk-full of new putters, including eight Works Red and Black putters, Toulon Atlanta and Portland models, and an Odyssey EXO 2-Ball putter that gives the classic 2-ball design a very new, and premium look.

Most of the new putters, actually, are mallets. More specifically, they are mallets that Odyssey says feel like blade putters; that’s because they’re made with toe hang (like a blade putter) rather than face-balanced designs of typical mallets. Toe hang frees up the face of a putter to open and close, a stroke-style that many golfers employ — amateurs and pros alike.

According to Austie Rollinson, chief designer of Odyssey, there’s been a trend of blade users on Tour switching into mallets because of this toe hang, and that will continue to happen. Odyssey says that of the PGA Tour wins last year, 29 winners used mallets — 14 of those were mallets with toe hang — while there were 20 blade winners. Also, of the top-50 in Strokes Gained: Putting, 31 players used mallets, 13 of which were toe-hang mallets, and 19 players used blades.

Therefore, many of the new putters from Odyssey are toe-hang mallets. Check out all of the new putters below, with info on design, pricing and release dates.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new putters here

Odyssey Works Red and Black putters

 

The new Works Red and Black putters — adding on to the line of putters released in 2017 — continue to use microhinge face inserts that are designed to “grab” the ball to impart more topspin on the golf ball to get it rolling faster. The new offerings launched today include a No. 1 Wide S, No. 1 Tank, No. 7 Tank, 2-Ball Fang, Marxman, Marxman S, Jailbird Mini and Jailbird Mini S.

They will sell for $199 with a standard Winn AVS midsize pistol grip, and $219 with a SuperStroke grip starting on February 23.

See more photos and join the discussion about the Works Red and Black putters here.

Odyssey EXO 2-Ball

The new EXO 2-Ball, made with Rose Gold PVD, is a premium version of the iconic 2-ball shape. It’s CNC-milled with a microhinge insert, has an aluminum crown with a steel sole plate and Tungsten in the rear portion of the head. The EXO 2-ball also has black circles instead of the familiar white color for which 2-balls are known.

According to Odyssey, it’s a “statement product,” and it will only sell 5,000 of these putters globally. They will sell for $499.99 starting on February 2.

Odyssey says: “Our new Odyssey EXO 2-Ball is a premium limited edition putter unlike any we’ve ever offered. It combines one of the game’s most innovative and iconic putter designs with top-notch materials and meticulous production to create something truly special.”

Toulon Atlanta and Portland

Odyssey’s premium putter brand continues dipping its toes in the mallet style with its new mid-mallet Atlanta and Portland models. They have gunmetal finishes and are 100-percent milled from soft, 303 stainless steel. They also have Toulon’s familiar diamond-milled faces for improved roll.

The Atlanta and Portland models will sell for $399.99 apiece and hit retail on February 2.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Toulon Atlanta putter here

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