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



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.


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.


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.


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 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.



  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 |

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Rory McIlroy’s putter builder speaks on his winning TaylorMade Soto proto



It’s no secret that Rory McIlroy’s biggest weakness has historically been with his putter. But ahead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he won by two shots, McIlroy made a putter switch and ended up with just 100 putts for the week — the lowest in his PGA Tour career. He also finished first in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting, and put on a putting display for the ages on Sunday to shoot 64 (he birdied 5 of the final 6 holes).

Related: Rory’s Winning WITB from the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational 

What’s so special about this putter? To figure that out, I spoke with TaylorMade’s International Tour Director Chris Trott, who worked directly with McIlroy on building his new putter.

Trott explains that McIlroy showed up to Bay Hill “with a different kind of confidence” that week. His caddie, Harry Diamond, showed up to the TaylorMade Tour Truck on Monday night (McIlroy wasn’t on site Monday) with a previous putter of McIlroy’s — a Scotty Cameron that he won multiple majors with, according to Trott — and he wanted to have a new putter built that matched up with the specs of it. “He came with a plan and he wanted to be on spec,” says Trott. So the TaylorMade team sent Harry off to the hotel Monday night with a TaylorMade TP Soto with no face insert, one with an insert, some other variations, and they sent him back to the hotel with a few Spiders, as well, according to Trott.

But since Trott says that McIlroy liked the feel of his previous gamer, Trott thought it was best to send a request back to TaylorMade’s offices in Carlsbad for a TP Black Copper Soto with a midslant neck and a Suryln insert in preparation for McIlroy’s arrival the next day. “Nine out of 10 times we already have a head with the insert in it [inside the tour truck], but this putter is so new,” says Trott. “It’s not even out yet.”

Trott says McIlroy showed up to the Tour Truck the next morning, but he “wasn’t enamored” with the options, although he did fancy the solid face Soto. Here’s the photo notes that Trott took of the solid-faced Soto that McIlroy liked.

Good thing Trott sent that request back to the office, though! The first words out of McIlroy’s mouth when he saw the new TP Black Copper Soto slant neck proto with the Suryln insert, according to Trott, were “Hmm, that’s nice.” But he wanted to tweak the specs. He wanted the putter an eighth of an inch shorter and 3-to-4 swingweight points lighter. Eventually, Trott also added 0.25 degrees of loft to the face compared to McIlroy’s gamer, and made it 1-degree more upright.

The new putter Trott concocted also had a Golf Pride Tradition grip on it, and McIlroy had him change it to a TaylorMade Red Cap Pistol grip.

So, McIlroy took to the putting green with the solid face Soto and the Black Copper slant neck proto with the Surlyn insert. After a few drills, McIlroy decided he liked the feel and look of the Trott concoction, and while he really liked the Black Copper finish, he did have concerns about how it would hold up in the weather.

In the end, McIlroy decided on the TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto proto. Here are the photo notes that Trott took from inside the trailer while holding McIlroy’s (eventual) winning putter.

The numbers in the photo above mean the specs of McIlroy’s putter are as follows:

  • Weight: 508.3 grams
  • Swing weight: D1
  • Lie angle: 71.25 degrees
  • Loft: 2.75 degrees
  • Length: 34.25 inches

Here are photos that we shot of the putter on Tuesday of the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play:

It’s safe to say McIlroy made the right decision for Bay Hill, and according to Trott, he’ll likely be sticking with the putter going forward. And if not, surely Trott and his team will be there with 7-10 more putter options for McIlroy to try out and hand-pick from. Must be nice to be Rory!

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Rory’s putter in our forums.

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Spotted: Phil Mickelson’s Callaway Mack Daddy PM-Grind “2.0” prototype wedge



More than three years ago, Callaway released a Mack Daddy PM Grind — PM stands for Phil Mickelson — that had a raised toe section for a higher center of gravity. Mickelson liked the PM Grind wedges because the designs allowed him to get more spin on open-faced shots, and also because they created a low trajectory with more spin on square-faced shots, said Roger Cleveland in 2015.

Since 2015, Mickelson has been playing various lofts of Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind wedges, and with various amounts of lead tape.

On Tuesday at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event, however, we spotted a new Mack Daddy PM Grind “2.o” wedge in his bag that has a different look. Is this the introduction of a new wedge release from Callaway?!


We spoke to a Callaway representative who, in so many words, said this is just Phil being Phil and tinkering with equipment, not a product launch.

“This is a Phil-specific prototype version of the Mack Daddy PM-Grind Wedge,” said a Callaway representative. “We built it specifically for him. He likes to tweak his clubs, of course, and this is just an example of that. Always a tinkerer!”
We’ll be sure to update you on more information about the PM Grind 2.0 prototype wedge when we have it.
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Adidas launches special edition black Boost colorway



Adidas staffers will be collectively back in black at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play this Thursday.

The company announced special edition black colorways for its Tour360, Tour360 Knit, and Crossknit 2.0 models, which players will wear, along with head-to-toe black, at the match play competition.

Adidas Tour360

“Boost changed the game for players when we brought it into our golf category,” said Masun Denison, global footwear director, adidas Golf. “Now with the introduction of this special edition colored Boost, golfers can add another style option to their lineup while still enjoying the benefits that only Boost can deliver.”

Adidas partnered with BASF to develop the proprietary Boost technology, which offers cushioning via highly elastic thermoplastic urethane (TPU) pellets that are then fused together with heat and molded into the midsole shape for each specific model. Adidas cites energy return, unmatched cushioning and comfort along with long-lasting durability as the key benefits of the technology.

Adidas Tour360 Knit

The special edition black Boost colorway is available now and will only be featured in the Tour360 family: Tour360 ($210), Tour360 Knit ($190), Crossknit 2.0 ($160). Supplies are limited.

Adidas Crossknit 2.0

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19th Hole