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Matrix Shafts Q&A: The new X3 “White Tie” shaft

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Matrix White Tie Golf Shaft

Joe Miera, Director of Tour Operations for Matrix Shafts, has been fitting tour players with Matrix shafts for 10 years. He took the time to answer questions from GolfWRX Managing Editor Zak Kozuchowski about his company’s new product line. Scroll to the bottom for specs.

ZK: Last year Matrix released its M3 “Black Tie” shaft. Now, we’re seeing photos of tour players testing the X3 “White Tie” shaft. Who do these shafts target and how do they differ?

JM: Every year Matrix strives to improve performance of all golfers through shaft innovations. We are continuing to fill our Matrix Flight System portfolio with shafts, the M3 “Black Tie” replaced the FM2 and is low-launch, low-spin shaft. The X3 “White Tie” replaced the X-Con, which is a high-launch, low-spin shaft. We will also be releasing the highly anticipated Q3 “Red Tie,” which replaces the HD Series, and is a mid-launch, mid spin shaft, completing the new Matrix Flight System (MFS).

ZK: What about these shafts make them perform in the way that they do, and where do the names come from?

JM: Aside from some of the structural patents like the 16-sided hexadecagonal internal chassis and our manufacturing techniques, we developed a DEC (Deformation of Energy Curve) modeling system that is vastly superior to designing on a traditional EI Curve. That’s what gives us the ability to leapfrog some older design ideas. The combination of color and letters in the new MFS allowed us to simplify things for greater understanding. For people that remember colors well, it’s red (mid-launch), black (low-launch) and white (high-launch), which happen to be our corporate colors. For those that can think of the Alphabet vertically off the ground — A being the lowest — they can picture the apex of the ball at the letter M, a bit higher for Q and higher yet for X. It’s comprehensive, but a simple memory tool for players, tour reps and fitters.

ZK: When will these shafts be available and how much will they cost?

JM: The OZIK M3 Black Tie and OZIK X3 White Tie shafts are available now and the OZIK Q3 Red Tie will be available in early January 2013. The MSRP for each will be $375.

ZK: What are the tolerances?

JM:  As you may know, Matrix started as many years ago as a boutique product, available only through clubmakers.  We have never wavered from the lessons learned along the way from them.  The input helped Matrix become a leader in the field of shaft manufacturing and we are very proud of our reputation for having exacting standards. It may not be well known by some of your readers but our system is set up in such a way that all Matrix Shafts follow the same manufacturing process and procedures as the OZIK TP line.

ZK: We’ve heard from fitters that Matrix shafts tend to produce very good ball speeds for golfers. Why is this?

JM:  Advanced design tools and materials are key ingredients in shaft development, while advanced production techniques allow companies to push the envelope of what is possible to produce. While it’s an open secret on tour that many players gain as much as 4 mph of ball speed using our shafts over conventionally designed shafts, (COO) Daniel You and his team are unlikely to give the recipe to the rest of the world. That being said, the structural design and manufacturing of our shafts is considerably different compared to how most traditional shafts are made. We don’t introduce and release products just to do it. We do it to build a better mousetrap, so to speak.  The forward momentum of design, advancement of materials and the application of lessons learned help us incrementally move forward from previous models. We like to believe that our increments are just a bit bigger than expected.

ZK: There’s a lot of talk about shaft inconsistency – one company’s stiff flex can be another’s regular flex, and vice versa. How do you determine how stiff to make your regular flex, stiff flex, etc.?

JM: That’s a great question. It’s also a very difficult question to answer. As manufacturers, we each have to make our own decisions as to what we are going to design and implement as our flexes. There are no accepted standards for testing protocols or overseeing body in golf shafts. To decide on our flexes, we utilize player and robot testing and base our flexes on ideal maximum deflection at a given swing speed.

ZK: What do you see as being more important in the shaft industry going forward: materials or construction methods?

JM: Another great question, but you can’t separate the two. Our aim from day one has been to make the finest golf shafts available. In order to do that it has to be a holistic approach combined with sweating the small stuff. Using the very best materials in the world and combining it with mediocre manufacturing produces truly flawed products in our estimation. Alternately, if you are not willing to use cutting edge materials you won’t be able to produce the best shaft available. In simpler terms, a drag racer does not use fuel with a lower octane when trying to maximize performance. However, I believe that the key to producing the finest shafts in each class is having world-class design and manufacturing.  At that point, a design engineer can choose materials to fit the price categories golfers are comfortable with.

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour/Pre-release equipment” forum. 

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

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1 Comment

  1. Jim Haire

    Dec 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Great shaft! Had it about 3-4 weeks now in a ping anser. High long bombs. It kicked the graphite design tour ad di 6 out of the bag. The feel is also sweet

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pga tour

Matt Parziale WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 US Open (6/11/2018).

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD TP-7X

3 Wood: Titleist 917F3 (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: UST Proforce V2

Driving Iron: Titleist 718 T-MB (2-iron)

Irons: Titleist 718 AP2 (3-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (46-10F, 52-12F), Titleist Vokey 2018 Tour Proto (58-06K)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: Rife Abaco Island Series
Grip: Scotty Cameron Pistol

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

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Equipment

A list of Titleist players who are already using the TS2 and TS3 drivers

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Titleist began its “validation process” for its new TS2 and TS3 drivers at the 2018 U.S. Open. What does that mean exactly? Well, surely getting the approval of Tour players on the new designs is crucial. And judging by the amount of players who already switched into the new drivers at the U.S. Open, that validation process is going well.

Titleist reports that 17 players out of the 35 players in the field using Titleist drivers are using the new TS2 or TS3 drivers, including major champions Jimmy Walker and Justin Thomas.

Below is the full list of Titleist professionals who are using either the TS2 or TS3 driver at the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new Titleist drivers here.

Titleist TS2 driver

  • Ben An (9.5 degrees)
  • Lanto Griffin (10.5 degrees)
  • Bill Haas (9.5 degrees)
  • Chesson Hadley (10.5 degrees)
  • Matt Jones (10.5 degrees)
  • Mike Miller (9.5 degrees)
  • Cam Smith (9.5 degrees)

Titleist TS3 driver

  • Eric Axley (9.5 degrees)
  • Rafa Cabrera Bello (9.5 degrees)
  • Charley Hoffman (9.5 degrees)
  • Adam Scott (10.5 degrees)
  • Webb Simpson (10.5 degrees)
  • Justin Thomas (9.5 degrees)
  • Jimmy Walker (8.5 degrees)
  • Richy Werenski (10.5 degrees)
  • Will Zalatoris (9.5 degrees)

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new Titleist drivers here.

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Equipment

Here’s why Zach Johnson and Andrew “Beef” Johnston are using Titleist #70 golf balls at the U.S. Open

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Titleist is celebrating 70 years as the No. 1 golf ball played at the U.S. Open this week. The streak started at the 1949 U.S. Open at Medinah C.C., which Cary Middlecoff won. According to Titleist, 32 players in the 1949 U.S. Open field used a Titleist ball, compared to 28 using the ball of nearest competitor. In the 2017 U.S. Open, 102 players used a Pro V1 or Pro V1x.

To commemorate that streak, Titleist created a golf balls printed with the number 70 on them to give to Titleist players. And actually, Zach Johnson and Andrew “Beef” Johnston have decided to use them in competition this week.

Below is a look at how they mark their golf balls.

Andrew “Beef” Johnston (left) and Zach Johnson

Four Reigning major champions, and The Players Champion

We also ran into the four current major champions — Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed — as well as The Players Champion Webb Simpson. They each gave us a look at how they mark their Titleist golf balls.

From top left to bottom right: Kopeka, Spieth, JT and Reed.

And here’s a look at Webb Simpson’s marking…

What’s your favorite marking, and how do you mark your golf ball?

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