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DeChambeau makes history with 14 graphite shafts on PGA Tour (inside info from LA Golf Shafts)

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There was a lot of talk about golf history being made this week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, and much of it had something to do with LA Golf shafts.

First, we had Kevin Na, become the FIRST golfer in history (since available data) to be negative strokes gained: tee-to-green but still win the event. Kevin can thank his smoking hot putter, which helped him make over 558 feet worth of putts for the week—an Odyssey Toulon Madison with an LA Golf Shafts Ozik TP graphite putter shaft.

Kevin Na Putter

The other part of history had to do with Bryson “The Golfing Scientist” DeChambeau. Bryson became the first golfer on the PGA Tour to ever use graphite shafts in each one of his clubs from top to bottom—that’s right, all 14 clubs including his putter had graphite shafts.

This all started with his “Rebar” wedge shafts discussed here (GolfWRX Spotted: LA Golf “REBAR” Wedge Shafts) and in the talk with LA Golf Shafts Chief Product Officer John Oldenburg, he touched on how irons shafts were next. This week has proven that testing obviously went well, and while defending his SHCO title, DeChambeau finished with a final round 63 to finish fourth.

From John on the new iron shafts Bryson had in play

“In a nutshell, the ‘Texas Rebar’ shafts are really, really stiff. In a test session with Bryson a few weeks back, he noticed that as he went stiffer in iron shafts his performance improved as it relates to launch, spin, dispersion, and shot control.

“The versatility of composite materials allows us to add stiffness, drop torque, move the balance, and modify the flex profile without adding additional weight. We designed him ‘rebar’ for the 4-iron, 7-iron, and wedge, as those irons he likes to test with. He put the wedge shafts in play immediately in Napa, and then said, “let’s make the rest!”

“We sent him some more of the wedge shafts to Vegas along with some of the 4-iron prototypes. I was not there, but my understanding is that he put the 4-iron shaft in his 4 and 5-iron and put the wedge shaft in all of the other irons. Our original plan was to make a full set of individual shafts for each club, with a progressive frequency and tip stiffness profile. Bryson has chosen to play the shafts in his current configuration since he feels they perform so well.

“We believe this will be an ongoing process, and will continue to fine tune the shafts to meet Bryson’s performance requirements. The current wedge and 4-iron shaft are both around 120 grams. The 4-iron shaft is slightly softer overall and in the tip than the wedge. Although they are 10-15 grams lighter than the TT DG X7 they are nearly a full flex stiffer and are lower in torque than his previous X7 shafts.”

With Bryson, the testing never truly stops, and we look forward to seeing what will end up in his golf bag next!

 

 

 

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Ryan Barath is a writer & the Digital Content Creation Lead for GolfWRX. He also hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on GolfWRX Radio discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club fitter & master club builder who has more than 16 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop in Hamilton and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, and wedge grinding.

32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. #1KuchFan

    Oct 13, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    He’s so quirky. I can’t get enough of these articles. They hardly ever mention the golfing scientist. So quirky.

  2. Jarnio Bubly

    Oct 12, 2019 at 12:14 am

    Some players make history with their stellar play while Bryson makes history with is equipment.

  3. Cody

    Oct 8, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    I play aldila rip 115 slt tour x flex shafts. Super stiff and a torque rating of 1 to 1.4 depending on the iron.

  4. rjvanro

    Oct 8, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    All graphite is probably why Bryson has decided to pump some iron. Probably feeling a little less manly. LOL

  5. Piter

    Oct 8, 2019 at 6:06 am

    Good on him for trying stuff. I hadn’t heard about SL clubs before untill i read about him using them, and am interested. I prefer graphite shafts, despite being strong enough (that silly common excuse for buying steel shafts), but because of the feel. Nice to see a pro not following convention all the time.

  6. JThunder

    Oct 7, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    I just come on the internet to vent my frustration with life. Bryson sucks because he’s different. Lots of other suck because they’re too much the same. Tour issued clubs are better than what we can get at retail, so that sucks. But pros could play the same regardless of what’s in their bag, so that sucks. OEMs never invent anything new, just repackage and steal and it’s all marketing – that sucks. Amateurs need lessons and no golf club is going to improve their game, and that sucks too.

    • PLightning

      Oct 8, 2019 at 12:07 pm

      Lessons from washed out hacks that never broke 80 that were taught on youtube suck.

    • A. Commoner

      Oct 8, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Give life a chance. You might feel better.

    • rjvanro

      Oct 8, 2019 at 9:11 pm

      LOL JThunder you would be a great person to have a beer with. LOL snowing here in Calgary and that really sucks!

  7. Kevin

    Oct 7, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    https://us.v-cdn.net/6024507/uploads/ipb/monthly_01_2010/post-94483-12644619954416.jpg

    I believe Phil Mickelson used all graphite shafts in each one of his clubs when he was with Yonex at one time. He was with them in from 1992-2000 and know the iron and putter were graphite. Not sure how much research this writer did to make the claim however a quick search of this side shows his bag.

    • chip75

      Oct 7, 2019 at 6:19 pm

      My thoughts went straight to Mickelson as well, there were times (when he was Yonex) when Phil had an Eye2 wedge in his bag and a Titleist PT fairway wood (it might have been a Taylor Made Tour Preferred?), but I’m pretty sure he gamed a full set of graphite shafts.

    • Joe

      Oct 7, 2019 at 10:09 pm

      I think you are correct.

    • Lefty

      Oct 8, 2019 at 5:58 am

      Dear Numpties,

      Lefty had a steel putter shaft.

      • chip75

        Oct 8, 2019 at 4:14 pm

        From what I remember he did have a steel putter shaft, but he gamed graphite for a time too. It would have been around 1995-1996.

  8. JP

    Oct 7, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    If it speeds up his pace of play, I’m all for it…

  9. Caroline

    Oct 7, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Bryson is like every pro out there when he is on he is on….no rotation in the shaft makes it easier to hit straight shots, and very little open/close of club face to curve the ball. I would think the stiffest shafts work well with that concept as any kind of bend is going to move the club face…and his swing is around and through with little wrist/hand angles at all (Steve Stricker) or Moe Norman with a wrist set that does not open or close the club face….

  10. Jason B

    Oct 7, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    He changes shafts quicker than he putts 8 footers.

  11. C

    Oct 7, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Another reason proving pros suck now compared to Jack and Arnies days.

  12. dat

    Oct 7, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    But, will it actually help his game and will he win?

  13. Rich Douglas

    Oct 7, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Disclaimer: “Professional Golfer. Do not try this at home.”

  14. Dave

    Oct 7, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    In other news LA Golf sold out of their entire inventory of rebar shafts due to rampant demand from every GolfWRX “scratch” golfer under the sun who thinks they should play the stiffest shafts on the planet.

    • Rich Douglas

      Oct 7, 2019 at 2:15 pm

      Thank you. Now if we could just get them to shut up about the no-offset forged blades they use to hit all those shanks….

  15. Shallowface

    Oct 7, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    I like Bryson, but if any of this stuff really mattered he’d never lose. As it is, he wins a few, loses most, has some high finishes and misses some cuts. Just like everyone else. And if he decided tomorrow to go with a bag of conventional gear, his results would be exactly the same. Or maybe better, who knows, as it might clear his head of some of the clutter. I believe he will eventually try it.

    • Eastpointe

      Oct 7, 2019 at 2:55 pm

      I would tend to agree with you if we were talking about a new driver head or new putter head but we are talking about an outside the box completely unheard of shaft profile. I think this is really interesting and with time and practice Bryson could revolutionize golf club setups

    • Brandon

      Oct 7, 2019 at 10:17 pm

      Exactly. People occasionally survive jumping off the golden gate bridge, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

  16. DukeOfChinoHills

    Oct 7, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    This is a passing fad.

  17. James

    Oct 7, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    Yea, this is history worth remembering. I’m sure he he huddled with his PR people and said, let’s make history. Just wow.

  18. Bing Hogan

    Oct 7, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    We’ll see how long this lasts…

    • Rich Douglas

      Oct 7, 2019 at 2:22 pm

      Right. Because he’s the only pro golfer–or golfer of any stripe–who tinkers.

      252 golfers have won 5 or more PGA tour events in the history of professional golf.

      Five golfers have ever won the NCAA and US Amateur in the same year.

      Bryson is on both of those lists.

      Oh, and he’s been playing single-length irons the entire time. So that shows quite a bit of commitment to a concept.

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Whats in the Bag

Cameron Champ WITB 2019

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cameron-champ-whats-in-the-bag-2019-witb-featured-

*Equipment accurate as of the Houston Open

Driver: Ping G410 LST (9.5 degrees, flat+, CG shifter in neutral, 5g face, 5g toe weight)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green 70G-6.5 TX (44.25″, tipped 1.5″, D4)

cameron-champ-witb-2019-driver

5-wood: Ping G410 (@17 degrees, flat standard, 5g face weight)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 95G-6.5 TX (41.75”, tipped 1.5″, D4)

cameron-champ-witb-2019-5-wood

Irons: Ping i500 [3-iron (38.75″, 21 degree loft, 1 degree up)], Ping iBlade [4-iron (1/2 degree flat, standard length)], Ping Blueprint [5-PW (1/2 degree flat, standard length)]
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 w/Cushin insert

cameron-champ-witb-2019-irons

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (50, 54 degrees) (1 degree flat), TaylorMade Hi-Toe (60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Ping PLD Prime Prototype (Stealth finish, straight arc, 34 3/8″, 19 degree lie, 2 degree loft, black shaft)
Grip: Ping PP58 Midsize Full Cord

Grips: Custom Lamkin Black 58R

Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV

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WRX Spotlight: EV3D putters

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We hear the buzz words “3D printed” all the time these days. It’s a newer technology that has shown to have lots of applications in other industries, but golf hasn’t been one of those until now. 3D printing a putter is a pretty new adventure, but EV3D Golf is showing that it is going to be much more common very soon.

EV3D Golf is bringing new putter designs to us golfers that CANNOT be made through traditional casting or milling. 3D printing is the process of creating a putter layer-by-layer, allowing any supported shape you can think of. Even hollow designs like EV3D’s signature lattice features!

This gives EV3D engineers the ability to create putters that push the limits of MOI, feel, and of course look. The intricate lattice design does more than just look really cool, it also helps move weight to the outside and rear of the putter, increasing MOI in all models. All EV3D putters are printed from a combination of 420 stainless steel and bronze. This alloy gives the putter its responsive feel, excellent durability, and the ability to offer 3 finishes. They also offer a ton of different hosel designs to fit your eye and putting stroke, all are 3D printed as well. EV3D even adds custom touches like text in the cavity, different site lines, and paint fill to make it your own. Right now they offer 6 different head shapes, but if none of those are what you are looking for, they will work with you to print your dream putter from scratch!

We got our hands on 2 models, the EV3D Golf Ares X and Hades, to take out to the course and putt with. In hand the first thing that grabs your eye’s attention is the intricate lattice work on the putters.

All you want to do is hold the putter closer to your face and see how the heck they did it. At the right angles you can actually see through that lattice structure, but we were told that debris getting stuck in there isn’t an issue. The next thing you will notice is the rough texture of the head. This is created by the process of 3D printing the head, showing off the layers of material used to build the shape of the head. I don’t know if was intended but that rough texture does help with reducing glare, making the putters easy on the eyes even in the brightest conditions.

I personally really like the Antique Bronze finish, but EV3D does offer a Natural and Slate Black finish to suit your personal taste. Out on the putting green the Ev3D putters performed really well, offering a hefty dose of forgiveness and a crisp feel and sound. Traditionally modes like the Hades don’t offer much in the way of forgiveness compared to mallets, but the Hades shocked me with its off-center putts. Putts hit off the heel or toe stayed on line much better and I even made a couple that had no business even being close to the hole.

Distance loss on those mishits is about what you would expect, coming up a little short, but defiantly not a drastic difference. Since the EV3D line doesn’t have any fancy face milling, I was a little worried about the initial roll and if the ball would hop or skid. Initial contact was great, only met with a tiny bit of skid before rolling out. Nothing that I think effected even my longest putts. The feel off the face is something that reminds you of a quieter classic Ping BeCu putter, crisp with an audible click. If you are looking for a silent impact, like an Odyssey Microhinge, then the EV3D line might not be your cup of tea. If you are on a quest for exceptional responsiveness on well struck and mishit putts then you should be very pleased with any of the EV3D putter models. The feel of impact is a little firmer than I think we are all used to these days with so many inserts and deep milling. The crisp feel and slightly more audible EV3D is somewhat refreshing and mishit putts are extremely easy to recognize.

Overall, the EV3D putters are a solid offering from a new company utilizing a new technology in the golf club space. With all the combinations of putter heads, site lines, and hosels, I can’t see you not being able to find a putter that fits your eye. Looks for any putter are going to be subjective, but there is no denying that EV3D is pushing the limits at a time where we see a lot of similar putter designs from all manufacturers. And if you are the type of person who wants to create an original design of your own that has never been done, EV3D is waiting for that call to help you take your idea from thought to printed putter head! Check the entire EV3D putter line at the company website.

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Top 5 golf grips of all time

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Tour Velvet Cord Golf Grip

Grips might seem simple, but there is a lot that goes into making good ones. From formulating compounds, and adding color, to creating tooling to make sure they hit all of the required specs. Grips are often the most overlooked part of a golf club, and they shouldn’t be. The grip is the singular connection you as a player have with your clubs, and it should offer equal amounts of control and comfort, depending on how often you play and the weather conditions.

Yes, golfers generally pay a lot of attention to their putter grip,s but when it comes to the rest of a set, many golfers will just say “give me whatever is stock,” which is not a great idea.

These are the top-five grips of all time.

Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Tour velvet Cord Grips

How could we begin to talk about great grips without starting with the Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord? It’s the gold standard of durable all-weather performance. A soft rubber infused with a tight-weave cotton twill fiber (cord) adds additional traction that you just can’t get from an all-rubber grip on its own. It’s the most-used cord grip on tour and a favorite of golfers needing weather defying traction. (Honourable mention the classic non-corded Tour Velvet)

Winn Grips Excel

Winn Excel soft golf grip

The Winn Excel might not be the most durable or best all-weather grip ever made, but I challenge anyone to find a grip that offers greater comfort for fair-weather golfers, or players needing maximum shock absorption. The Winn Excel is Winn’s number-one selling grip of all time by a large margin, and speaking from experience, I have installed my fair share of full cases of these back in my big box retail golf days. From Winn “The Excel grip has been hailed by arthritic and hand fatigue sufferers as the reason they can still play golf.” With that in mind any product that is able to help golfers enjoy the game more belongs on the list!

Lamkin Crossline Cord

Another cord grip might seem like an odd addition to the list, but hear me out. Grip aficionados will tell you right away why they prefer the Lamkin Crossline Cord over others on the market. The taper is slightly different, the cord is a bit rougher, and for those in need of anything bigger than a standard grip—the Lamkin Crossline Cord is the ONLY full cord grip on the market that comes in an oversized option (weighing in at a whopping 76g). That alone makes it unique and earns its spot in the top five.

Iomic Sticky

Iomic Stick Golf Grips

Bold, colorful, and tacky are all words best used to describe the Iomic Sticky grip. It was one of, if not the first, mainstream grips in North America to offer a HUGE selection of color options and there’s a scientific reason why. Iomic grips are made from an elastomer resin, which is neutral in color: this means that any change to the color won’t change the weight of the grip, and that means you can mix and match up your set without having to worry about changing feel. It also gives grip designers endless freedom to come up with wild combinations too. According to Iomic, the elastomer resin offers a number of distinct advantages over rubber which includes lower torque, greater durability, and all-weather traction.

Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound

Golf Pride New Decade golf grips

Easily making its way into the top five is the Multi-Compound or as many call them the NDMCs. This grip was a game-changer for Golf Pride and the industry as a whole. It made grips “show up” on TV and got regular golfers to rethink their grip buying habits from just plain rubber to multi-material colorful options. From a performance perspective, the NDMC offers the best of both worlds, cord on the top (gloved hand) and a softer material under the bottom hand for additional traction and comfort.  Still considered a premium option, you can find New Decade grips on a lot of OEM stock products.

What do you think GolfWRXers? Are their any grips you think belong in the top five that aren’t included? Any that are included you don’t think should be?

 

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