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Review: Paderson Driver Shafts

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Pros: Four distinct driver shaft profiles are available in a wide range of flexes. Paderson’s filament-wound construction (used in three profiles) offers a unique feel. By premium shaft standards, these are a bargain at $199 each.

Cons: Limited weight options.

Who They’re For: Anyone can play a Paderson shaft.

The Review

Buying a golf shaft is like buying a new pair of running shoes. If the shoes don’t fit your foot, it doesn’t matter how good their technology is. You’re going to run slower, and you’re not going to be as comfortable as you could be.

A golf shaft is the same way. If it doesn’t fit your swing, you’re not going to hit shots as far or straight as you could. A mismatched shaft won’t give you blisters like mismatched shoes, but it will wear on your confidence. For golfers, that’s arguably even more painful. So the challenge for premium shaft makers like Paderson, which is targeting both professional and average golfers, is two-fold. The company has to create several types of shafts in an effort to fit as many golfers as possible, but also include technology that has its shafts stand apart from its competition.

While not a household name now, Paderson has the traits of a shaft company that could be. That’s thanks to its filament-wound manufacturing technique, which is used in three out of the four driver shafts the company produces. It’s unique to the industry, and also used in the company’s fairway wood, hybrid/utility and iron shafts. To learn more about Paderson’s claims and technologies, you can read this in-depth Q&A we did with company CEO Jason Horodezky. For the purposes of this review, however, I’ll do my best to explain the company’s technologies as simply as possible.

Paderson_Shafts_Feat_2

Most graphite shafts are made from several sheets of carbon fiber and resin, a glue that holds the fibers together. To create a shaft, these sheets, called “pre-preg,” are wrapped tightly around a steel rod called a “mandrel,” which sets a shaft’s geometry. Different types of pre-preg have different characteristics, and sometimes exotic materials are used to change those characteristics, which generally drive up the cost. It’s the thickness, stiffness, torsional qualities and orientation of the materials used that determine the weight, stiffness and bend profile of each shaft. Once the wrapping process is complete, the shafts are put in a special oven, where the sheets are laminated, or melded together, to create a graphite tube. The shafts are then sanded smooth and painted, creating the finished product.

Paderson’s shafts are formed on a mandrel, too, but the filament-wound process used for three of the driver shafts tested (KG860, KG860TP and the upper part of KG972) is much different. They are, in essence, “braided” from two continuous strands of carbon fiber and kevlar, which the company says allows its shaft to not only be more consistent, but create superior energy transfer when compared to other shafts. Paderson says it can actually “pre-load” tension in its shafts, harnessing the energy of the vibrations created during the swing to increase ball speed.

Paderson_Shafts_weave_1

The visible weave is evidence of Paderson’s filament-wound construction.

According to the company, one of its four driver shaft models will work for any golfer, as they’re available in a variety of flexes ranging from Ladies to XX-Stiff. Unlike many shafts on the market, however, golfers can’t pick the weight and flex of Paderson shafts independently. Each flex is constructed with a specific weight the company says optimizes ball flight, so weight options depend on shaft model and flex.

Bolstering Paderson’s consistency claims is that the filament-wound process does not require its shafts to be sanded, so the texture seen on its shafts is not cosmetic, but rather the actual appearance of a shaft’s fibers, sealed with a layer of clear-coat.

Paderson_Shafts_Weave_2

Both Paderson’s KG860TP and KG860 shafts are fully wound from butt to tip.

Paderson also makes shafts that aren’t fully filament-wound, and claims its lamination technique is superior to typical processes. Its KG972 shaft, for example, uses a filament-wound upper portion and a laminated lower portion. The company’s Amorphous shaft, on the other hand, is 100 percent laminated. What’s different about Paderson’s lamination process, according to the company, is that it uses vacuum-curing, a temperature-controlled process that pulls resin through the shaft to minimize resin content, which allows for more fine-tuned designs.

Intrigued? So was I, so I put Paderson’s shafts to the test.

The Testing Data

Paderson_Shafts_Testing_Data

I sent my launch monitor and swing profile information to Paderson, which in turn sent me four of its latest shaft models to test. My results are above, but I feel that the numbers don’t tell the whole story. For that reason, I’ve included an individual write up about each shaft below.

Dispersion

Paderson_shafts_dispertion

Testing Procedure: I took the four Paderson shafts, as well as my gamer shaft I was fit for in the fall of 2015, to Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. I tested all five shafts at its Launch Pad custom-fitting facility on Trackman. I used a TaylorMade M2 driver (9.5 degrees, set to neutral) and each of the shafts tested measured 45.5 inches.

KINETIXX Kevlar Green 860TP

IMG_9756

Right now, the graphite shaft market is trending toward the tip-stiff, low-torque designs shafts that are regularly finding the winner’s circle on the PGA Tour. If those shafts have worked successfully for you, then the 860TP could be the Paderson shaft that fits you best. It is the lowest in torque of any Paderson driver shaft, and has also has the stiffest tip section. That makes it a good fit for golfers with an aggressive transition, or those who tend to hook the ball.

I tested all the Paderson shafts in a D40 flex, which equates to an X-flex, and more than the others, the 860TP felt very stout and stable. I was impressed with how smooth and balanced it felt for a high bend-point shaft, though.

With the 860TP, I had the highest average swing speed, which gave it the greatest potential for maximum distance. I struggled to find the center of the face, however, which is why I didn’t generate as much ball speed with it. The shaft did create the highest launch angle, and like all the Paderson shafts, it outperformed my gamer, a low-torque, tip-stiff 70X shaft that was most similar to the 860TP.

KINETIXX Kevlar Green 860

IMG_9753

The Kevlar Green 860 is Paderson’s “baseline” shaft. It fits the widest segment of the golfing population as a whole, and suited my swing better than the 860TP due to its slightly softer tip section and higher torque. I liked the way it felt, and as you can see in the dispersion graphic above, I hit it the most consistently.

My angle of attack was also the most up, or positive, with the 860, which helped me create the longest total distances with the shaft. If I was playing in a tournament tomorrow, this is the shaft I would play.

KINETIXX Kevlar Green 972

IMG_9755

To me, the the KG972 is Paderson’s most interesting shaft, with a filament-wound upper half and a laminated lower half. The multi-construction approach gives the shaft a slightly higher balance point than Paderson’s other driver shafts, or “counterbalancing” effect. It tends to fit golfers with a smooth transition, according to the company, and felt extremely easy to swing in testing.

While the 972 created the fastest ball speeds and longest carry distance, its comparatively softer-tip design didn’t suit my swing. I felt a lot of “kick” at the bottom, and I felt as though it had more draw bias than the others.

KINETIXX VMT Vacuum Cured KVMT870

IMG_9754

The 870 has gained traction in the long-drive community. It’s a fully laminated shaft, and does not use the company’s filament-wound technology.

The 870 has a dual kickpoint, according to Paderson, which causes the shaft to bend low in the butt and high in the tip to improve energy transfers for certain players. At 66 grams, it was also 5-10 grams lighter than the other Paderson shafts I tested. The 870 felt more active than all but the 972, however, and I preferred the heavier weight and more stable feel of the 860 and 860TP shafts.

The Takeaway

At $199 each, Paderson’s shafts are more affordable than most premium shafts, and my testing showed that one of the company’s shafts has the potential to meet, or in my case exceed the performance of your current shaft. If one of Paderson’s shafts suits your swing, and one likely will, it deserves serious consideration — even among shafts that cost hundreds more.

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5 Comments

  1. alan

    Apr 26, 2016 at 9:27 am

    impressive results. thanks for the write up. go vcu rams!!

  2. Bob Pegram

    Apr 22, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    It was interesting reading how each shaft worked for the author. However, more information on what type of golfer each shaft is designed for would been helpful. The author did include some of that info. I will look at the Paderson website to see if there is more info.
    In addition, most players don’t have an almost 120mph swing speed. Even many touring pros don’t.
    Using the same head on all shafts was smart – fewer variables makes the shaft differences stand out.

    • Jake

      Mar 23, 2019 at 6:23 pm

      I have the Kinetix Ballistic in my irons and fairways. I hit them best on the monitor but can’t hit them very well in play. Too light and the flex is all wrong. Was sold them at Club Champion and they are going back.

  3. Alex T

    Apr 21, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    It might be secondary to the performance, but I think Paderson need to work on their names. I mean “KVMT870-D40”? Hardly rolls off the tongue like “rogue”, “fubuki” or “speeder” does it? I’d definitely like to try one though, as the tech seems very interesting.

  4. Michael

    Apr 21, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    I have a hard time believing that the “gamer” shaft would be such a poor performer, considering the fitting options that the author has access to.

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Accessory Reviews

Insider photos from Tiger Woods’ launch event for his new “Sun Day Red” apparel line

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On Monday evening, inside the swanky, second-story “Coach House” event center in the Palisades Village, just minutes down the road from the 2024 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, Tiger Woods and TaylorMade officially announced their new apparel/footwear/accessory line, called “Sun Day Red.”

The Sun Day Red website officially launched on Monday night during the event, and the products are set to go on sale starting May 1.

The “Sun Day Red,” or “SDR” name will be self-explanatory for most golf fans, since he’s been wearing a victory-red shirt on Sunday’s for his entire professional career, but Woods explained the meaning of Sun Day Red at the launch event:

“It started with mom. Mom thought – being a Capricorn – that my power color was red, so I wore red as a junior golfer and I won some tournaments. Lo and behold, I go to a university that is red; Stanford is red. We wore red on the final day of every single tournament, and then every single tournament I’ve played as a professional I’ve worn red. It’s just become synonymous with me.”

The Sunday Red outfit has worked to perfection for his 82 PGA Tour victories, including 15 majors, so why not make an entire apparel line based on the career-long superstition?

As I learned at Monday’s launch event, the new Sun Day Red line includes much more than just clothing. To go along with a slew of different golf shirt designs and colorways, there were also windbreakers, hoodies, shoes, hats, headcovers, ball markers and gloves on display.

The upscale event was hosted by sports media personality Erin Andrews, with special guests David Abeles (CEO of TaylorMade) and Tiger Woods himself.

As explained by Abeles, the Sun Day Red brand is an independently-run business under the TaylorMade umbrella, and is based in San Clemente, California (rather than Carlsbad, where TaylorMade headquarters is located), and it’s run by a newly-formed, independent group. Brad Blackinship, formerly of Quiksilver and RVCA, is the appointed president of the new brand.

As for the logo itself, obviously, it’s made to look like a Tiger (the animal), and is comprised of 15 tiger stripes, which correspond with Woods’ 15 major championships. While the logo may need a 16th stripe if Woods adds a major trophy to his collection, it makes perfect sense for the time being.

The golf/lifestyle line is meant to combine premium precision and athletic comfort, while still having plenty of wearability and style off the course. Like Woods said on stage at the event, he wants to be able to go right from the course to dinner wearing Sun Day Red, and that was exactly the aesthetic on display at the event on Monday.

Following the official announcement from Woods and Abeles, they revealed multiple pieces of clothing, accessories and footwear for the event-goers to ogle (and photograph). Check out a selection of product/event photos below, or head over to our @GolfWRX Instagram page for video coverage…OR, head into our GolfWRX Forums for even more photos and member discussion.

Enjoy this exclusive look at Tiger Woods’ new Sun Day Red apparel lineup below.

See more photos from the Sun Day Red launch event here

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Equipment

Titleist launches new Vokey WedgeWorks 60 “A” grind wedge

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The menu of grind options just got more expansive for Titleist Vokey WedgeWorks consumers, with the addition of a “60A” wedge to the lineup.

Previously, Vokey offered seven main grind options for players with various needs:

  1. T Grind: The narrowest sole option, which is widely used by PGA Tour players, and has low bounce
  2. L Grind: The lowest bounce option, with heel, toe and trailing edge relief for maximum versatility
  3. F Grind: An all-purpose grind that’s best for full wedge shots played with a square face
  4. S Grind: A neutral grind, best for full shots played with a square face
  5. M Grind: A versatile grind that’s for players who want to open and close the face for various shots
  6. D Grind: A higher-bounce wedge that’s for players with a steep swing angle, but want to play shots from various club orientations
  7. K Grind: The highest-bounce wedge option, with heel, toe and trailing edge relief for versatility

Titleist has now added the “A” grind, which has actually already been played on the PGA Tour by golfers such as Tom Kim, who used an A-grind to win three times on the PGA Tour, Wyndham Clark, who won the U.S. Open using an A-grind, and Max Homa, who used an A-grind at the 2023 Open Championship.

According to Titleist, the Vokey WedgeWorks 60A wedge is a low-bounce option that’s for golfers with a shallow angle of attack, and who play in firmer conditions. It has a “smoothed-out” sole for a faster feel through the turf, helping some golfers slide under the ball easier at impact.

“The most important club for me, probably in my bag, is this A grind,” Clark said, according to a Titleist press release. “I use the SM9 60-degree A grind, which is a low bounce 60 that is very versatile. I’m able to – on tight lies, rough, wet lies, firm lies, whatever it is – hit the shot I want, and with the amount of spin I want, trajectory and everything.”  

Apparently, Geoff Ogilvy played a large part in the A-grind coming to life.

“I spoke with Geoff (Ogilvy), and we got on the topic of Australian golf courses and how they compared to courses in America, and around the world,” said Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill, in a press release. “I asked him some specific questions, which resulted in an idea to design another lob wedge grind option that complemented the firm links-style conditions that players face – not just in Australia and Europe – but globally. Geoff has always been a low bounce player in his 60-degree, so I took his 60.04L wedge and removed the ribbon, resulting in a grind that moves through the turf quickly with very little resistance.” 

The new Vokey A-grind will be available on Nov. 7, selling for $225 each. Custom options include up to six toe engravings, 10-15 character stamping options, the Flight Line alignment feature option, and custom shafts/grips/ferrules are available.

Click here to read more about why the bounce/grind of your wedge actually matters

 

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A post shared by GolfWRX (@golfwrx)

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Equipment

GolfWRXers put the Full Swing KIT’s accuracy to the test

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Last month, four GolfWRX forum members traveled to The Grand Golf Club at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego, California, to test the Full Swing KIT launch monitor and to see how it stacks up against other launch monitors. If you’re not familiar with the Full Swing KIT, development began when Tiger Woods requested a launch monitor he could trust on the range as much as he trusted his Full Swing simulator in his own home. Later, the KIT earned Tiger’s seal of approval and has been seen with him at every tournament he’s played in since its release.

Check out the video below to see if the KIT can earn the seal of approval from our four WRXers — @zap311, @double or triple?, @hatrick11, and @SwingBlues — just like it did from Tiger Woods himself.

GolfWRX members on the KIT’s accuracy

zap311: “The Full Swing team seems obsessed with accuracy when it comes to the KIT – The team talked about how this product officially shipped about 18 months ago and they are already on firmware release #20. They said they are regularly releasing updates (overnight via WiFi) to continuously improve accuracy and performance. That is pretty awesome and it’s nice to hear that they are not a company that “ships it” and moves to the next thing. I think they are on the right track since I saw virtually no differences in the data when testing vs. GCQuad and Trackman today.”

double or triple?: “In some cases the difference was less than half a degree on launch and less than 50 rpms on spin.”

hatrick11: “The differences were statistically nonexistent. I think it’s hard to believe for a lot of people when you think about the huge price disparity, but I can’t state enough how close the Full Swing was to trackman every single time, for each of us.”

“Outside, the data is just really really accurate. I know my numbers and know this particular range very well and the KIT was spot on all day. I also had some very variable quality golf balls in the bucket I hit and there was really only one spin rate in the whole session that had me raising my eyebrows at all.”

SwingBlues: “The GolfWRX Full Swing/WRX Experience showed Full Swing KIT produce numbers the same as the GC Quad (GC4) and the Trackman4. Dollar wise, both LMs are easily north of KIT, so this is HUGE to stand up there with the bigger boys on the Podium. For me, it seems more “apples to apples” to compare KIT to GC3. My own testing validates what we saw at the Experience. It shows critical data points like spin, carry, ball speeds are dead on or almost dead on for 40 yards and up on both GC3 and KIT.”

More on the Full Swing KIT

zap311: “The versatility of viewing data is impressive – Depending on usage, everyone has different preferences for viewing data. You have on-device, phone, tablet, monitor, smartwatch, or audio/headphones. I’m pleased to say that Full Swing covers all of these. You can use the app on iOS devices (they said Android is planned for the future). This includes viewing your last shot on the Apple Watch with a few options and turning on audio playback of your preferred metrics following each shot. I’ll post screenshots of this later. You can also choose between 4 data points or 1 data point on the device itself. It was easy to use the app to customize the top 4. For example, I was able to quickly change from launch angle on irons to swing path on driver.

“The KIT was very easy to use – Once you spend a few minutes learning the app and settings, it is very simple to select a club, line up the target line, and fire away. You don’t have to use a level or a laser to line up. KIT uses the built-in camera to tell you where to line up within the app or on-device screen. I was also able to boot up the KIT in less than a minute and drop it down on the tee box for our on-course trial today. Because of this simplicity, I can see it being more practical to bring to the course…

“The Full Swing team really thought through usability for the KIT. You can see up to four data points on the device’s OLED screen. You can see all 16 data points on your iPhone/iPad along with a video replay of the shot, you can view one primary metric from your Apple Watch, and you can enable audio playback for any of the 16 data points. For me, this was a dream as a full iOS user. One other feature I like is that you can star a particular shot to save it. You can also send shot data + the video recording to your coach if you want.”

double or triple?: “I was able to meet the teaching pro at the range I’m using for testing – PGA teacher/member Ryan Kolk. He and his team have 4 units amongst themselves and use them both personally and with their students during lessons. Ryan spent time dialing in his knowledge of the range balls vs proV1x (gamer) to better understand the FSK and he believes the consistency is there with the FSK and within trackman and GC/Foresight models. His preference is to use FSK while testing shafts and new product before using them in his personal playing bag which as a GolfWRX member is 100% appreciated. For his better students, he believes the information like Face to Path and Club Path that FullSwing Kit offers is great to help them understand what their swing is doing and use that information to better themselves.”

hatrick11: “It’s nice to know I can get super useful practice sessions in at my house, and can do in in ~20 min stints; with two little kids at home I can’t just go out for frequent or lengthy range sessions, so this is super valuable and I think will help me keep my game from degrading and allow me to spend my limited free time enjoying the occasional round with friends. In particular with the KIT, as opposed to the cheaper monitors or the other “mid tiers” like GC3, seeing path and face-to-path data is the key item that makes my practice sessions useful…when I am grooving it my path is almost always between 0-2* out to in, with face control being the main thing I need to work on. When my game goes sideways I start coming more in to out, and combined with face consistency being an ongoing issue, that brings the bad left miss into play. Previously I have struggled getting real use out of net practice, because the feels don’t always match reality. This data and video evidence really helps keep me honest, so it was great to see that I was eventually able to get that piece dialed in with KIT.”

SwingBlues: “One feature I am really starting to like is how easy to see the video of each shot. My buddy was not hitting it well, we went to the video and we could see the takeway was too far to the outside.”

“Using the app, it will display all 16 data points. Below is an example of one of my iron shots. Pretty impressive data captured by KIT. On KIT itself, the launch monitor display can be configured to show a single data point, or it can show a grid of 4 data points where the golfer choose which ones to display!”

Head over to the thread for more comments, reviews, and future updates as our members continue to test the Full Swing KIT. Don’t forget to become a member today for future opportunities like this, plus product member testing and giveaways!

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