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A Q&A with Seven Dreamers about its $1,200 shafts

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We spotted Seven Dreamers at Demo Day at the PGA Show last year and were impressed by GolfWRX member chiromikey’s fitting experience in Japan. With the company expanding to the U.S. market, we wanted to dig a little deeper.

The Japanese company says that once you demo one of the its $1,200 shafts, you’ll see and feel its superiority to your current gamer. Fortunately for those interested, you’ll soon be able to do so at select fitters and green grass locations in the U.S.

Seven Dreamers is rooted in the aerospace industry. An interesting note: In 1998, the company was involved in the development of Japan’s “Hayabusa” spacecraft, the first and only unmanned craft to land on an asteroid and return to earth with a sample from the surface. The shafts are made in Tokyo by a team of craftsmen and scientists who collaborate to custom build each shaft. A point of differentiation: Seven Dreamers uses an autoclave pressure chamber in its manufacturing process. Other manufacturers cure their shafts in ovens. The company says this process produces superior quality carbon fibers, reduced resin, and eliminated the need for grinding, polishing, or painting.

For the U.S. and Canadian market, the company offers 33 different bend profiles, identified from thousands of fittings.

We spoke with Mike Rossi, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Seven Dreamers.

GolfWRX: Tell us a little bit about the history of the company, as our readers likely aren’t too familiar with Seven Dreamers.

Mike Rossi: The company started back in 1957 under the name Super Resin. At that time they were into fiber-reinforced plastics…as time moved on, they got into composites (composite design, composite products). That led into aerospace involvement. So, there’s always been a precision, high-end focus. If you fast-forward to today, the company has three divisions. They launched the golf division in Japan in 2014. There’s also a medical division, which designed a disposable sleep apnea device…that’s been on sale in Europe and Japan for the past couple of years and is under FDA review here. And then there’s a third division: electronics…they’ve developed and patented the only fully automatic laundry folding robot.

The name came from…the chairman at the time, he envisioned seven centers of excellence throughout the world.

GolfWRX: Why a golf shaft?

MR: The company wants to leverage its expertise in composite material. They’re using a variety of specialty materials…the quality of which is fit for satellites. The premium-grade materials required prompted the interest in golf.

GolfWRX: What sets Seven Dreamers apart?

MR: What really sets us apart is the process. Every shaft is made on a mandrel, and our mandels are absolutely pristine. The material is placed by hand on the mandrel. It’s then inserted into a mold. Then we autoclave cure it. The beauty of autoclave curing is it’s done under pressure…which gives us outstanding compaction. It squeezes out all the unnecessary resin, so we get an optimal ratio of carbon fiber to resin, which improves both feel and energy transfer in the shaft. But the best part of the process is, once we remove the shaft from the mold, we literally trim it to length and wipe it down. The surface condition is perfect. So, we have no unbroken fibers. We have no fiber tears. We have no fiber bullets. All that contributes to incongruities and inconsistencies in the shaft.

Virtually every other manufacturer, they put their material on the mandrel, and then they use shrink tape. Then the shrink tape is removed after curing, and you’ve got the inconsistencies–the rough edges of the tape–so then everybody else grinds the profile. I’m not saying that’s a terrible way to do it, but I’m saying I believe our way is better, and there’s no one else that’s doing it the way we do.

GolfWRX: Talk a little bit about the company’s positioning in the shaft market…

MR: Our company decided we wanted to focus on the ultra-high-end. What they did in Japan to start out, they went out and obtained several hundred clubs that were on the market–primarily driver heads. They measured the inertial properties and the physical properties of all these heads just to understand how they performed, then they worked to develop shafts that were optimized for certain heads.

This really morphed into two what I’ll call “studios” in Tokyo where consumers can come in and hit balls on the simulator and try different shafts. The one they like best, whether it’s their gamer or ours, we place sensors on the shaft. Using our proprietary 3D system, we then measure their particular loading and how they deliver the clubhead…how the shaft performs during the swing. Then all those measurements are recorded, and we design them a shaft 100 percent custom. The process takes three to four weeks. It’s designed for the golfer and the particular head he chooses to play. So, it’s truly custom.

We’ve done thousands of those over the past few years, and the ticket on that is $2,500. So yes, it’s premium. It’s high-end. We believe the premium end is the last frontier in the golf space. We’re not trying to sell to everybody. We’re trying to identify high-end fitters. We’re looking at aspirational clientele who wants the best, highest-quality stuff out there.

GolfWRX: Tell us about the range of shafts…

MR: We go from the mid-to-low 40s in weight all the way up to the 80s with three different bend profiles, which are basically low-, mid-, and high-launch. Our U.S. product offering will contain 28 driver shafts to start. We have iron shafts in development, hybrid shafts too, which we’ll be adding. Our wood shaft’s MSRP is $1,200. Our main objective with the launch is to be able to fit a wide range of players: from amateurs to tour professionals.

GolfWRX: What can you tell us about any comparison testing you’ve done?

MR: As odd as this sounds, we don’t compare to existing shafts in the marketplace. Our history and experience is based on our analysis and the fittings we’ve done with players at all levels, and we’ve seen appreciable gains and improvements both in distance and dispersion. But we’re not out there to denigrate any of our competitors. That’s not what we’re about.

Back to the decision to enter the ultra-premium space more about a market opportunity or did it necessarily follow from the sophistication of the manufacturing process and materials?

It’s a combination of both. Certainly, we saw that niche. But with our costs and our structure, we’re not a commodity supplier…we selected a niche where we can succeed. So it’s high-end fitters and high-end facilities, but we’re also seeking OEM partners that want to enter that ultra-premium space.

GolfWRX: Are there any thoughts toward a presence on Tour?

MR: We will have a face of the brand. It will be a recognized, credible player. A proper driver of the golf ball…that search is underway, but we’re not going to do it the way it’s currently being done [tour van, large professional staff].

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. ogo

    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:42 am

    ****FANTASTICO****

  2. Ed

    Jan 31, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    There you have it fellow gearheads…. oven-baked graphite shafts are inferior to autoclave cured shafts because there is too much ‘plastic’ resin in the inferior shafts. Carbon graphite is a metal and has the dynamic properties of steel shafts less the weight.
    Cheap graphite shafts have inconsistent dynamic properties, particularly in the tip section during final release when the shaft is whip-snapping… drooping, torquing and recovering. One graphite manufacturer blends steel strands into their shafts. Steel is the gold standard and graphite shafts are soggy and floppy going through impact.
    That’s why tour pros prefer heavier weight shafts because the very low weight shafts were like spaghetti at high swing speeds.
    You can get away with heavy graphite shafts for irons but not light weight shafts for drivers. Light weight graphite shafts are adequate for slower swing speed recreational golfers, not for pros.

    • OB

      Feb 1, 2018 at 11:12 am

      Does that mean gearhead’s clubs are fitted with inferior epoxy-filled shafts that are unstable and ruin their swing release action? Pros use heavier weighted graphite shafts to compensate for shaft inconsistencies; shafts over 100 grams like Sadlowski using the 104 gram Nunchuk shaft mentioned in another WRX article.

      • Ed

        Feb 3, 2018 at 2:41 am

        Off your meds much. Conspiracy theory posts on almost every article and you reply to your own comments. Sad

        • OB

          Feb 5, 2018 at 11:41 am

          Where, oh where
          Have the gear heads gone?
          Where, oh where can they be?
          With shirts cut long
          And pants cut short
          Where, oh where can they be?
          I last saw them by the putting green
          Playing and puttering around
          But I just can’t see them anymore
          They just can’t seem to be found
          Perhaps the club pro over there will know
          He may have seen them go by
          But who knows where
          They might have decided to go away
          But we’ve got to give it a try

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Equipment

Mizuno announces new JPX 919 Tour Forged irons are coming August 29 (via cryptic Twitter post)

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While cryptic, it does appear Mizuno is announcing via Twitter that its new JPX 919 Tour irons are coming on 8/29/18. One would have to assume that means they will be launched on 8/29, not actually hitting retail on 8/29, but that remains to be seen.

We recently spotted a number of new irons on the USGA conforming list, including the JPX919 Tour irons pictured above, JPX919 Forged and JPX919 Hot Metal irons from Mizuno. So it’s likely that the JPX 919 Tour Forged irons won’t be alone in the JPX 919 family when they hit retail.

The JPX 919 Tour iron specifically pictured in the Tweet above seems to be the replacement for Mizuno’s JPX 900 Tour irons that Brooks Koepka used to win this year’s U.S. Open and PGA Championship. Learn more about the original JPX 900 Tour design from Mizuno’s Chris Voshal on our Gear Dive podcast.

Diving a bit deeper into the picture from Mizuno’s Tweet, it appears the JPX919 Tour irons will utilize Mizuno’s familiar Grain Flow forging, and will be made from 1025E; that’s based on the hosel stamping that says “GF Forged HD 1025E.”

Stay tuned for more info from Mizuno.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the JPX919 Tour irons here.

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USA Stars & Stripes, European Flag Chrome Soft Truvis golf balls arrive

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Getting you in the Ryder Cup spirit a little more than a month from the competition in Paris, Callaway announced Chrome Soft European Truvis golf balls and new Chrome Soft X Truvis Stars & Stripes balls today.

The Carlsbad company is also bringing its popular Chrome Soft Truvis Stars & Stripes balls back to market.

The new European Truvis balls features a European-themed white, blue, and yellow design. Both Chrome Soft Truvis Stars & Stripes balls include a patriotic red, white, and blue pattern.

All models of these made-in-the-USA golf balls will be available at retail August 24th and will sell for $44.99.

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An Interview with T Squared putters, started by a high school golfer

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I’ve coached high school golf for over 15 years, and I thought that I had run out of “firsts.” Then, Anthony Tuber, one of our varsity six, told me that he builds putters. “Sure,” I thought. You purchase the components and assemble putters. Nice hobby to have. “No, coach, I build them from scratch. We have milling machines.” If that doesn’t catch your attention, not much will.

As a coach, you encourage your golfers from a base of experience, but I don’t have any club-making experience! The last time I played around with metal was in middle-school metal shop. In this particular case, the student is the coach, and the golfer is the teacher. I’m now the proud owner of a T Squared putter, and continue to be the proud coach of Anthony Tuber. He might be the next Bob Vokey, or Scotty Cameron, but for now, he is a varsity golfer and high school student. Oh, and he happens to make putters. Rather than write a review that might be perceived as biased, I decided to do a straightforward interview with T Squared Putters. If you want to learn more, visit the company website, or follow them on Twitter and on Instagram.

Question 1: What type of research and field testing did you do, prior to building your first putter?

Prior to making our first putter we bought a bunch of putters to see what we liked and disliked about them. Then we took those putters and tested them to figure out which roll we liked the best. The roll is determined by the weight of the putter the length and the groove pattern. After we completed the testing we drew up a design and shortly after that we had our first prototypes. We then tested those prototypes and they rolled exactly how we wanted. Time went by while we used these first putters but then we really wanted to see the competition. We went to the PGA Merchandise Show and that’s where we found out that we had a superior putter.

Question 2: Is there a style of putter that you like, that perhaps served as inspiration for some of your designs?

We bought and tested dozens of putters but two putters caught our eye and those putters are the Scotty Cameron Squareback and the Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Notchback.

Question 3: Can you tell us a bit about the materials/components that you chose for T Squared Putters?

We use American-made 303 stainless steel in all of our putters, but we also we use 6061 aircraft aluminum for the insert on the 713i.

Question 4: How do you balance your responsibilities and commitments, with your T Squared production?

During the school year academics are my number one priority. Over the summer I have been balancing my Tsquared putters work while working on the progression of my golf game. Fortunately I have a team that is very supportive of my vision for T Squared putters.

Question 5: Any chance we will see a mallet-style putter from T Squared?

Yes, we are currently testing other mallet putters to determine the most desirable features for our mallet putter. We are anticipating a prototype soon.

Question 6: Are you a better putter now that you know so much more from the design and production side of putters?

Yes, I have an entirely different perspective when I stand over every putt.

Question 7: How do you get the word out about the quality of your putters?

We have been very active on social media. The golfers that are currently using a Tsquared putter have been spreading the word. We have also been attending local golf tournaments to establish our brand.

Question 8: Do you hope to make a career of this venture, or do you envision it as a step along the path of a 21st-century businessman?

Yes, as golf is my passion I hope to take Tsquared putters to the next level. Golf will always be a part of my life whether it is professionally or recreationally.

Question 9: Finally, what question haven’t we asked, that you wish we would? Ask it and answer it, please.

I haven’t been asked how this process has affected me as a person. As a 17 year old I have a new appreciation for patience, persistence and hard work.

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