What's New: From the Lab

Project X HZRDUS Black Shaft Review

October 5th, 2015

We tested the HZRDUS Black prototype shafts last week in our shop and all I can say is WOW!  We knew the HZRDUS Black shafts were designed to be lower spinning and mid-low launch but we were really surprised at how good the shafts felt for guys that were not necessarily fans of shafts with a stiff butt, mid and tip section.  I attribute that to the design with a little higher torque (softer feel).  The only shaft that came close in spin and distance was the Kuro Kage TiNi 70. We tested the HZRDUS Black 65 and 75 against the Kuro Kage TiNi 70, Diamana 50W and ACCRA DyMatchMT 60 2.0, all shafts that have been “gamers”.  The driver head used was the Ping G30 LS TEC 10.5 set at 10.5. Both the HZRDUS 65 and 75 Black were tested in 6.0 flex and both played stiffer than marked on the shaft.  As Don Brown, designer of the HZRDUS shaft for Project X has stated, the Black shafts were designed for stronger players that wanted to really be able to go after the ball and still maintain control.  Well, that is exactly what this shaft will do!  We did not... Read More

Review of New Mizuno MP-25, JPX EZ Forged and JPX-850 Forged Irons

September 14th, 2015

The new Mizuno irons are definitely in keeping with the trend of high tech performance with traditional look and feel.  I tested the new MP-25, new JPX EZ Forged and the JPX-850 Forged irons this weekend on our indoor TrackMan ball flight monitor.  I used a 6 iron and the XP 115 iron shaft at my length, flex and swingweight.  Also used the Callaway Chrome Soft ball.  As a 10 hcp, my results were somewhat consistent so I left in all but the worst shots.  The numbers in parenthesis next the head are the loft degrees on the head as test, i.e. 30 degrees on the MP-25.  First let’s look at the numbers.     .                                   Club Speed   Ball Speed Smash   Launch Ang.   Spin Rate MP-25 (30*)                      75.0               100.2         1.34           19.6                 4830 JPX EZ Forged (28*)       74.5                101.4         1.36           20.9                5059 JPX-850 Forged (28*)     73.2                103.1          1.41           19.3                 5013 A quick observation is that the MP-25 is a slightly lower launch than I actually expected, which is a good thing in my opinion.  This is a good contrast to the higher launching MP-15 and older MP-54.  Also a little surprised that the spin rate... Read More

New Mizuno Irons Blend High Tech with Tradition

September 1st, 2015

Mizuno irons have been the players choice for a very long time.  Known for their superior forging process and high grade steel, the Mizuno blades and new cavity back models are a great iron for mid to low handicap players.  But, about five years ago, Mizuno made a concerted effort to get into the game improvement iron market.  That move has literally put Mizuno in a place that provides an iron for all golfers.  So much so that their irons received 6 Gold Medals in the Golf Digest 2015 Hot List, and Mizuno is now in 4th place in the US iron market overall.  Their new MP-25 iron is an elegant replacement to the MP-54 but with added Boron for strength.  This allows Mizuno to make the faces thinner for more “pop” and higher ball speed without sacrificing feel.  This was initially offered in the JPX-850 Forged this year.  The new MP-5, a muscle-back blade has an awesome nickel finish and a design better players will admire for its elegance.  We can help literally any golfer find the right Mizuno iron with so many great models to choose from.  Come in and try the new MP-25, JPX-EZ or MP-5.  You... Read More

Krank Formula 6 Tested Against Some of Our Top Drivers

August 3rd, 2015

With all of the hype around the Krank Formula 6, we thought we would put it to the test against some of our best drivers we have worked with in 2015.  All of the driver heads we tested were playing to identical flexes, shaft weights, swing weights and lengths, which were the specs designated for our tester.   The shaft used was an ACCRA Dymatch MT 60 M4 at 45 inches.  The ball used was a TaylorMade Tour Preferred X.  The heads tested were all 10.5 degree heads with settings, if available, in neutral and standard loft.  The drivers we tested were the Callaway XR, TaylorMade Aeroburner, Krank 6, and Ping G30 LS TEC.  I definitely like the new sound and feel of the Krank Formula 6…a vast improvement over the 5.  The shape is quite different from the other drivers tested as you can see by the picture at the left.  The Krank 6 is thrid from the left and has a higher face height but is narrower from heel to toe.  I think this is where the increased spin came from in our testing as shots slightly off center (heel and low) caused higher spin rates.  The Krank 6... Read More

Nippon Modus 3 Shafts Becoming a Force on Tour

July 11th, 2015

Nippon shafts, especially the N. S. Pro 950GH, have been the “go to” shaft on the LPGA Tour for several years.  But recently, the Modus 3 models have started making significant inroads on the PGA Tour. The Modus3 line is a heavier weight (115 – 130 gram) line designed for faster swing speeds and tempos.  The first models, the Modus3 Tour 120, is a mid launch shaft with solid feel and mid spin.  Compared to the Modus3 130, the 120 feels a little smoother due to its softer butt section.  The Modus3 130 has a very firm butt and mid section with a softer tip for higher launch.  Sergio Garcia is playing the 130 because his very late release and steep attack angle means he needs to use a shaft that stays with him (stiff butt section) but allows for a higher launch at impact (softer tip).  Not every golfer, however, may experience this higher launch if they cannot load the shaft properly.  I was a case in point where I actually hit the Modus3 130 lower than the 120. Just being introduced this week is the Modus3 125.  I really like the feel and performance of this shaft.  The... Read More

New Iron Shafts Create Great Opportunities for Game Improvement

June 24th, 2015

It seems like every year we see new shafts come to market to either fill a void (weight, profile) or go directly after a competitor.  This year we are seeing a lot of competition heating up for the hybrid steel/graphite shaft market.  This market has been really owned by Aerotech with their SteelFiber line but new entrants from Fujikura (MCI -Metal Composite Iron), Mitsubishi Rayon OT, Alpha PT95, and Loomis EFP 95 shafts are making some headway.  OBAN i series and Accra i series have also made some additions in terms of profiles and weights.  What is intriguing from my perspective is that each series of shafts will perform quite differently in terms of feel, launch and spin.  We measure 24 different data points about each shaft including weight, flex, torque, SQI (Shaft Quality Index), balance point and loading profile. While we really can only change launch angle a couple of degrees with a shaft, it is pretty amazing to see on our TrackMan ball flight monitor the differences.  That is how we are able to really dial our customers in to the perfect fit to the iron head they like.  With well over over 200 iron shafts to choose... Read More

Most Golfers Missing 25-50 Yards off the Tee!

June 13th, 2015

We support over 150 local charity golf tournaments and periodically take our Trackman ball flight monitor to the range to do a quick driver evaluation for the tournament participants.  If you remember, we commented on the Golf Digest article earlier this year about how a driver fitting really matters.  In fact Golf Digest stated the average loss of distance was 23 yards because golfers did not optimize launch angle, spin and correct face contact (smash factor).  Our research just last week at a tournament showed potential for distance gain to be 25 to 50 yards!  As I mentioned in the Golf Digest article, the slower club speed golfers are penalized the most with potential distance gains of 12-15%!  In today’s world, higher launch, lower spin is better for carry and roll.  It comes down to  a combination of the right driver head, proper loft, optimizing the shaft weight, flex,  launch and spin characteristics.  In our fittings, we will even help you identify which ball would be best for your strength and swing.  So stop hitting 5 and 6 irons into the green when you could be using a 7 or 8 iron.  Come in, get fit, and Play Better Golf…Faster!... Read More

The Best Driver for 2015 Debate Continues

April 4th, 2015

We did a lot of testing on the new 2015 drivers and continue to test more every week.  We finally tested the Cobra Fly Z and Fly Z+ and were pretty impressed.  All testers used shafts fitted for them on each head using the Club Conex system.  The ball used was the TaylorMade Tour Preferred X. The Fly Z appears to have a slightly closed face at address so shot dispersion was a little more left of target.  Launch angle was true to loft (13.8 launch angle for a 10.5 degree setting with an Angle of Attack of 0.2).  The Fly Z+ launch was only slightly lower than the Fly Z with the weight in the forward position but it did drop spin by 250 rpm over the Fly Z.  With the weight back in the Fly Z+, launch angle increased by 2 degrees and spin increased 350 rpm resulting in slightly less distance.  I have played a Cobra ZL Encore for several seasons and it looks like the Fly Z+ will be next up on my list! Dan Sueltz P.S.  For more information and comparisons done by GolfWRX and MyGolfSpy, go to www.golfwrx.com and www.mygolfspy.com.  A lot of opinions... Read More

Why 2015 Iron Heads are Better Performing.

March 23rd, 2015

Over the last few years iron heads have gotten increasingly hotter (thinner faces creating more ball speed) but not necessarily more forgiving.  Some of the early hot models (X Hot, Rocketbladez) were really hot as long as you hit them on the sweet spot.  When you missed, the loss in distance and accuracy was pretty dramatic.  In some cases, they were actually worse than a forged club in distance lost on an off-center hit!  That has changed with the 2015 models from Callaway, TaylorMade and others.  They learned their lesson!  The Rsi 1, Rsi 2 from TaylorMade, the XR and XR Pro from Callaway, and the JPX-850 and JPX-EZ from Mizuno are all much more forgiving and lose far less distance on off-center hits.  This is accomplished by making the face thinner across more of the face thus expanding the sweet spot.  This is especially great news for mid handicap players seeking more distance.  So if you have not upgraded your irons in a while, we encourage you to go through an iron fitting and see how much distance AND accuracy you can gain!

Callaway XR and XR Pro Irons Review and Comparison to X2 Hot

March 8th, 2015

Every manufacturer is claiming huge distance gains with their new irons and Callaway is no exception.  In this case, their claims are very close to reality, but not quite.  Claiming a full club increase in distance would be huge but in comparison to last years X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro, it is maybe a half a club.  Our testers compared 6 irons for both models against the respective models of the X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro.  The distance comes from an increase in smash factor (efficiency of club speed to ball speed), which means a hotter face and slightly lower spin.  Of course, all of our testing is done with the iron head matched to a shaft that matches our testers so we take that variable out of the equation. The new XR line appears to have a slightly thicker top line but no big deal as the satin finish makes it appear smaller.  Sound is a little “tinnier”, especially on toe shots.  The biggest improvement our testers saw, in addition to the half-club distance increase, was tighter dispersion, especially on off-center hits.  That is where the true advantage to the thinner face comes in since Callaway was... Read More