Driver shafts, especially in professional golf, are very similar to putters. As with changing putters to make more putts, golfers change out driver shafts semi-regularly looking for more distance or more fairways, but preferably both. And much like with putters, when another player switches to a new driver shaft and finds success, other golfers take notice. Every year it seems there is a “hot” driver shaft that players gravitate toward; in recent years, the Aldila Rogue comes to mind.
We wanted to figure out what the “hot” driver shaft is of 2018. To do so, we investigated the top-50 golfers in the Official World Golf Rankings as of July 25 to figure out what driver shaft they were using. Below are the results.
Note: To qualify for the “hottest shafts” of 2018, the exact shaft model must have been used by more than one golfer in the top-50 of the OWGR. Order was determined by number of top-50 players using the shaft, and ties were broken by combined ranking of players using that shaft.
8) Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec
Shaft is used by: Matt Kuchar (No. 26 in the OWGR) and Daniel Berger (No. 40)
Fujikura says: “The Atmos Tour Spec line is geared towards the performance golfer looking to keep the ball flighted down with low spin… Atmos is a true tour flighted line of shafts with a simple color coding – red as the higher launching, blue as mid launch, black as the lowest launch – similarities include keeping the handle flexes the same for feel, but adjusting mid and tip sections for launch and spin to achieve your desired ball flight.”
7) Graphite Design Tour AD-BB
Shaft is used by: Xander Schauffele (No. 18) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (No. 39)
Graphite Design says: “The Tour AD BB ‘Blue Bullet’ wood shaft model is designed to promote a low/mid launch angle and lower ball spin. The Tour AD BB design features an increase in stiffness from the tip to the mid-section resulting in a higher kick point for lower launch angles.”
6) Aldila NV 2KXV Green
Shaft is used by: Rickie Fowler (No. 9) and Kevin Kisner (No. 25)
Aldila says: “Aldila has created NexGen Micro Laminate Technology – new, even thinner high performance carbon fibers combined with today’s advanced fiber resin technology…. The 2KNV provides for even better feel and performance. Available in the Green design for those seeking a lower ball flight, the Blue design for those seeking a mid ball flight, and the Orange design for those seeking a higher ball flight.”
5) Project X HZRDUS Black
Shaft is used by: Dustin Johnson (No. 1) — although he’s been switching off and on between a Project X HZRDUS Black and a Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution 2.0 Tour Spec — and Rafael Cabrera Bello (No. 29)
Project X says: “The shaft features increased stiffness along the full length of the golf shaft, which allows golfers to put more power behind the ball. HZRDUS Black is a low spinning and low launching shaft that is available in models for both woods and hybrids.”
4) Graphite Design Tour AD-IZ
Shaft is used by: Jordan Spieth (No. 8) and Webb Simpson (No. 21)
Graphite Design says: “The new Tour AD IZ shaft has a firm stiffness starting at the handle, and medium center section and a firm+ tip profile to promote a high launch angle and low ball spin rates. The new Tour AD IZ also utilizes Torayca T1100G carbon-fiber pre-preg with Nanoalloy technology in the tip section of the shaft for additional shaft stability, exceptional feel and precise ball control.”
3) Mitsubishi Kuro Kage
Shaft is used by: Rory McIlroy (No. 7) and Tommy Fleetwood (No. 11)
Mitsubishi says: “This series of shafts feature two key technologies: Low Resin Content pre-preg and Titanium Nickel (TiNi) Wire. After first using TiNi Wire in our ultra-light products, we wanted to see how it would perform in heavier, tour-weighted shafts. Kuro Kage fiber plus wire equals power.”
2) Project X HZRDUS T1100
Shaft is used by: Henrik Stenson (No. 17), Phil Mickelson (No. 22) and Charl Schwartzel (No. 48)
Project X says: “The new HZRDUS T1100 is the lowest spinning and lowest launching shaft in the HZRDUS family. HZRDUS T1100 uses T1100G fiber, the strongest fiber available, to build a shaft with an extra stiff tip section that is also counter-balanced. With a bend profile that is stiff throughout, HZRDUS T1100 is the ultimate spin killer for the game’s most aggressive tempo players.”
1) Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange
Shaft is used by: Justin Rose (No. 2), Alex Noren (No. 12), Sergio Garcia (No. 20), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (No. 31), Ian Poulter (No. 32), Charley Hoffman (No. 34), Haotong Li (No. 42) and Tiger Woods (No. 50)
Mitsubishi says: “Tensei CK Pro Orange expands the Tensei CK Series – which features a multi-material design that incorporates more performance-oriented materials than we’ve ever used in a shaft. This first of its kind bend profile for MCA Golf uses a counter-balanced design along with an extreme tip-stiff design to provided added versatility for the stronger player. The Tensei CK Pro Orange incorporates the same Carbon Fiber/DuPont Kevlar (CK) weave found in the butt-section of all Tensei CK shafts – providing enhanced stability and maximum feel in this highly versatile design. This series also incorporates High Modulus, premium 40-Ton hybrid pre-preg infused with tungsten powder in targeted positions throughout the shaft. A tip-section reinforced with MR70 – Mitsubishi Chemical’s strongest carbon fiber to date, delivers lower torque, and delivers tour preferred control and stability.”
Other driver shafts used by the top-50 golfers in the OWGR
- Accra Concept Series (Brian Harman)
- Accra Tour Zx 465 M5 (Tony Finau)
- Accra Proto (Pat Perez)
- Accra Tour-Z RPG (Gary Woodland)
- Aldila Rogue Silver 130 (Kevin Chappell)
- Aldila Rogue (Patrick Reed)
- Alidila Tour Green (Jon Rahm)
- Fujikura SIX (Branden Grace)
- Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution (Kyle Stanley)
- Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution IV (Marc Leishman)
- Grafalloy Bi-Matrix (Bubba Watson)
- Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8TX (Hideki Matsuyama)
- Graphite Design Tour AD Quattro Tech (Satoshi Kodaira)
- Graphite Design Tour AD-GP (Kevin Na)
- Mitsubishi Diamana D+ (Brooks Koepka
- Mitsubishi Diamana White D+ (Luke List)
- Mitsubishi Diamana BF (Justin Thomas)
- Mitsubishi Diamana Blue (Zach Johnson)
- Mitsubishi Diamana White LEX D+ (Paul Casey)
- Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S-Series (Patrick Cantlay)
- Mitsubishi Fubuki K (Tyrrell Hatton)
- Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue (Ross Fisher)
- Project X Even Flow (Louis Oosthuizen)
- Project X HZRDUS Smoke (Bryson DeChambeau)
- TPT (Jason Day)
- UST Mamiya Elements Chrome Prototype (Cameron Smith)
Mizuno announces new JPX 919 Tour Forged irons are coming August 29 (via cryptic Twitter post)
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.
— Mizuno Golf North America (@MizunoGolfNA) August 17, 2018
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.
USA Stars & Stripes, European Flag Chrome Soft Truvis golf balls arrive
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.
An Interview with T Squared putters, started by a high school golfer
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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