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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

Joaquin Niemann WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Valero Texas Open (4/16/2018).

Driver: Ping G400 LST (10 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7x

3 Wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7x

Hybrid: Ping G400 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-95x Hybrid

Irons: Ping iBlade (4-9)
Shaft: Project X 6.0

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (46-12SS, 52-12SS, 56-12SS, 60-06TS)
Shaft: Project X 6.5

Putter: Ping Anser 2
Grip: Ping Pistol

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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

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pga tour

Zach Cabra WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Houston Open (3/27/2018).

Driver: Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Max 75X

3 Wood: Titleist 917F3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana White d+ 80X

Irons: Mizuno MP-Fli-Hi (2, 3), Piretti Limited Edition (4-PW)
Shaft: Aerotech SteelFiber hls880 (2), Aerotech SteelFiber i80 (3-PW)

Wedges: Callaway MD3 Milled (50-10S, 54-10S), Callaway Mack Daddy PM (60-10)
Shaft: KBS Tour 125 S+

Putter: Piretti 801 CU
Grip: Piretti Pistol

WITB Notes: We spotted Cabra with 15 clubs in the bag ahead of the 2018 Houston Open. We’ll update this post when we confirm the 14 clubs we used in competition.

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

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Equipment

TaylorMade is releasing its TP Black Copper putters to retail

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We first spotted TaylorMade’s new TP Black Copper putters at the 2018 PGA Show, but the company wasn’t saying anything about specs, release date, pricing, technologies, nothing.

Then, we all saw Rory McIlroy switch to a TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto proto putter ahead of the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he won by 3 strokes. Of course, Rory’s specific Soto putter was made with a special insert. Click here for all of the info and specs on Rory’s putter.

Now, TaylorMade is releasing retail versions to the public in four models — Juno, Soto, Ardmore 3 and Mullen 2 — which will hit stores on 4/20 selling for $199 with a standard Black Lamkin Crossbone Pistol grip, and $219 with a SuperStroke Pistol 1.0 GT grip.

The putters have a triple-plated finish; nickel, then copper, then black chrome, according to TaylorMade’s Bill Price (Senior Director of Product Creation for Wedges and Putters). They’re then hand-polished to achieve the antique and non-glare finish. Overtime, and especially on the sole, Price says the copper will tarnish or oxidize to unveil a gradually more antique and rustic look. Rory McIlroy himself actually had a hand in inspiring the new finish.

“Rory was talking about certain finishes,” Price said. “He wanted something non-glare, with an antique type finish…. he wanted to be reminded of something old school.” 

Thus, the TP Black Copper finish was born.

Also, the putters are machined from 303 stainless steel, they have adjustable sole weights and have the company’s familiar Pure Roll inserts in their faces. Check out more info about each of TaylorMade’s TP Black Copper models below.

Juno

  • Hosel: #1 L-Neck
  • Dexterity: RH/LH
  • Toe Hang: 36 degrees
  • Offset: Full shaft
  • Length: 34 and 35 inches
  • Head Weight: 346 grams
  • Loft: 3.5 degrees
  • Lie Angle: 70 degrees

Soto

  • Hosel: Long Curve
  • Dexterity: RH
  • Toe Hang: 47 degrees
  • Offset: Full shaft
  • Length: 34 and 35 inches
  • Head Weight: 346 grams
  • Loft: 3.5 degrees
  • Lie Angle: 70 degrees

Ardmore 3

  • Hosel: #1 L-Neck
  • Dexterity: RH/LH
  • Toe Hang: 12 degrees
  • Offset: Full shaft
  • Length: 34 and 35 inches
  • Head Weight: 350 grams
  • Loft: 3.5 degrees
  • Lie Angle: 70 degrees

Mullen 3

  • Hosel: Double Bend
  • Dexterity: RH/LH
  • Toe Hang: Face Balanced
  • Offset: 3/4 shaft
  • Length: 34 and 35 inches
  • Head Weight: 355 grams
  • Loft: 3.5 degrees
  • Lie Angle: 70 degrees
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