What's New: From the Lab

Project X LZ Steel Shaft Review

June 1st, 2016

Project X LZ Steel shafts were tested and reviewed this week and so far we love what we see. The Project X LZ Steel shafts come in four different flexes and weights:  5.0 (R flex) at 110gr, 5.5 (R+ flex) at 115gr, 6.0 (S flex) at 120gr, and 6.5 (S+ flex) at 125gr.  The Project X LZ steel takes a chapter out of the book from the original LZ graphite shaft.  The Loading Zone (LZ) for the lighter shafts will result in a slightly higher launch and spin than the stiffer, heavier shafts.  Great design idea and our testing proved this to be the case. All of our tests were done indoors using TrackMan and the Callaway Chrome Soft ball.  All testers used shafts that matched their fitting specs as closely as possible.   According to our tests, the 5.0 and 5.5 flexes launched about the same as the KBS Tour R and C-Taper Lite R but slightly higher than the XP 115 R flex.  In the 6.0 and 6.5 flexes, the LZ Steel was slightly higher launch than the XP 115 S but lower than the C Taper R and KBS Tour S.  Depending upon your ball flight desires,... Read More

OBAN Shafts Making A Difference on Tour

May 18th, 2016

OBAN Shafts are making a difference on tour.  With a strong lineup of premium graphite shafts, OBAN literally has a shaft for every type of swing and player.  The most popular on the PGA Tour are the Tour Limited, Kiyoshi (Black, Purple, White and Gold) and the tried and true Devotion, Isawa Red and Revenge.  There is quite a difference among all of these shafts so make sure you see a fitter that has a wide selection of these shafts to test.  As an example, the Kiyoshi Black in a 55 gram gram shaft is a nice mid-high, mid-spin shaft for golfers that need a little more loft off the tee while the Kiyoshi Black 65 (which actually weighs 70+ grams) will be a low launch, low spin shaft.  The torque ratings for these shafts also get progressively lower from the 55 to the 85 gram shaft which will give the heavier shafts a firmer feel at impact.  The Kiyoshi White as a similar transition from the 55 to the 75 gram but not near as pronounced of change in launch and spin as the Black. The greatest value shafts in the OBAN line-up are the Devotion and Isawa Red. ... Read More

How Attack Angle is Affected By Shaft Tip Profile

May 3rd, 2016

Attack Angle can be dramatically affected by the shaft tip profile in the driver you are using.  We learned this last year when we were using the GEARS Golf system.  A shaft with a stiffer tip profile will lower your attack angle while a softer tip section will actually increase attack angle. The reason this is important is that attack angle can change both the launch angle and spin rate of your drives.  In general, if you are hitting the ball in the center of the club face on your driver, the lower your attack angle, the lower you will launch the ball and the more back spin you will impart on your shot.  This lower launch, higher spin shot will rob you of distance off the tee.  In our fittings we try to get our golfers to create a positive attack angle with their drivers.  This will create more carry with lower spin.  This, in turn, will give you more roll after landing also increasing distance.  When we tested several driver shaft profiles, we could change attack angle by up to 2 degrees with different shaft profiles.  The result was an average gain of 15 yards with a proper... Read More

Kuro Kage XT Review

April 19th, 2016

Kuro Kage XT and XM are the new standards for excellence in the Kuro Kage line.  Featuring low resin prepreg material and Titanium Nickel (TiNi) wire, the new combination gives the Kuro Kage a boost in both accuracy and distance due to its lower spin characteristics.  We put the new Kuro Kage XT through its paces against the Kuro Kage Black TiNi and the Kuro Kage Silver TiNi.  All tests were done with a Tour Edge E9 driver set to 10 degrees of loft and a Callaway Chrome Soft ball.  All of the shafts tested were within the fitting specs for the testers in terms of flex and weight. Launch:  The Kuro Kage XT launched slightly lower than the Kuro Kage Silver TiNi but a full 1.5 degrees lower than the Kuro Kage Black TiNi.  This is primarily due to the softer tip section in the Black TiNi which caused the toe to droop more than the XT causing higher ball contact on the club face. Spin:  The smash factor (1.49) was the best for the Kuro Kage XT as was the spin rate (sub 3,000 for all testers).  Spin went up slightly for the Silver TiNi but the most... Read More

Single Length Iron Sets – Initial Test Results

April 11th, 2016

Single length iron sets have gotten much more press since Bryson DeChambeau has been using them to win the NCAA Championship, U.S. Amateur Championship -2015, and Low Amateur at the 2016 Masters.  Last week we published a blog about how we went about our build of single length irons with our master club builder.  This blog post is about the initial TrackMan test results of the single length irons versus his traditional set.  The key things we were looking for from a statistics standpoint are distances, distance gaps between irons and shot dispersion.  The images above are the actual single length irons that were built by Derek, the TrackMan shot tests done with those single length irons and then the TrackMan tests done with Derek’s traditional set.  Since this is the very first test, we knew there would be some tweaking of lofts, lies and even how we weighted the heads.  As a fitter, I would expect a couple of things.  First, distances may be shorter with the lower lofted clubs and longer with the higher lofted clubs primarily due to club length.  Second, shot dispersion MAY be better with the single length irons because the swing plane is consistent... Read More

New Recoil 760/780 ES Shafts Offer Added Stability

April 4th, 2016

The new Recoil 760/780 ES shafts offer added stability over the previous 600 and 800 series shafts.  Make no mistake, the Recoil shaft has been a solid performer, especially for golfers with a smooth tempo and transition.  UST Mamiya, manufacturer of the Recoil shafts has made some great strides in the past year on providing a graphite shaft that is also able to fit players with faster transitions.  We tested the 780 ES and loved its ability to provide a very tight shot dispersion while still having a little higher ball flight than the Recoil Prototype series.  The 780 ES has a stiffer butt and mid section which is what creates the stability.  Couple that with the soft tip section and you get a nice tight shot pattern with mid-high ball flight and great feel.  Again, this shaft is designed for players with a faster tempo and transition.  As club builders, we have be very specific about which shaft we choose, i.e. the F3 (Regular flex), F4 (Stiff flex) or F5 (X Stiff flex) to be able to build a precise set.  If you like the feel of a lighter weight graphite shaft but want more control, the Recoil 760/780... Read More

True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 is Baaacccck!

March 23rd, 2016

The True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 has been on the PGA Tour for several years but it is now finally available again through True Temper Performance Fitting Centers like D’Lance Golf Performance Center.  The characteristics of the X7 are similar in weight to a Dynamic Gold S400 but the stiffness profile is designed for a stronger player with a fast transition.  The winner of the 2016 Arnold Palmer Bay Hill had this shaft in his irons.  The spin rate and trajectory is slightly lower than a Dynamic Gold X100 shaft but the feel of the ball of the clubface is very similar.  In order to handle the faster transition, the designers of the X7 made the butt section slightly larger (.610″ versus .600″) than the Dynamic Gold S400 so take that into account when selecting your grip size (you will need to use less wraps of tape, a smaller grip, or stretch the grip).  Here are a few more facts, 7 to be exact, about the X7. We have had several players move to this shaft from both the Dynamic Gold X100 and several KBS models and love the performance.  For more information, check out this video from True Temper.

Hot New Drivers for 2016

March 8th, 2016

So what are the hot new drivers for 2016?  Well, we have pretty much tested them all and we have a short list based upon both performance and feel.  Since 35% of our viewers are looking for a new driver this year, this should be helpful.  In our testing, unlike ones we will mention later, we test each driver with a shaft that is fit to the golfer.  This shaft is then used in each driver head.  We use Callaway Chrome Soft ball for testing.  Here is what we have found: Performance (Distance and Accuracy):  TaylorMade M1, Callaway XR 16, Cobra King LTD, Ping G LS TEC, Tour Edge E9, Mizuno JPX-850, Titleist 915 D3 Sound and Feel:  TaylorMade M2, Cobra King LTD, PXG 0811, Mizuno JPX-850 Lowest Spin:  Ping G LS TEC, PXG 0811 Best Smash Factor (Efficiency):  PXG 0811, Ping G LS TEC, Cobra King LTD Most Forgiving/Accurate:  TaylorMade M2, Callaway XR 16, PXG 0811 These heads were tested by golfers with 88 to 105 mph swing speeds and the results from TrackMan we calibrated at 5,280 feet.  Some observations from our driver testing are that the aerodynamic designs of the Ping G and Callaway XR heads added... Read More

Project X HZRDUS Yellow a Great Addition!

January 15th, 2016

The Project X HZRDUS Yellow shaft will be introduced to the public in the next few weeks.  We were excited to test the 63 and 76 gr versions in our shop over the past couple of days.  Bottom line…the Project X HZRDUS Yellow shaft plays a little smoother because of the midsection design than the Black.  By design, the torque and balance points are identical between the two shafts.  The slightly higher torque gives a better feel at impact to both shafts.  The Project X HZRDUS Yellow launches not quite a degree lower on average than the Project X HZRDUS Black due to a slightly stiffer tip section.  Spin rates are identical between the two shafts, measuring in the low-mid spin range.  As a side note on fitting, it is a great testimony to the manufacturer to get these performance characteristics almost identical with the only thing changing is the feel feedback of the shaft.  This is not always the case when trying to create a different feel in a shaft.  Great job Project X. In general, since the Black was designed for a more aggressive swing, the Yellow will feel better to a golfer with a smoother tempo and... Read More

Parsons Extreme Golf (PXG), a New Standard in Golf Equipment

December 28th, 2015

Parsons Extreme Golf, or PXG, is making waves in the golf industry.  If you have not heard about them, it is time you did!  Since Bob Parsons founded the company in the fall of 2014, PXG has quickly become a hit with golf nuts and aficionados of fine golf equipment.  Bob Parsons set out to create the best golf clubs in the industry.  He told his engineers to spare no expense and they did not.  The result is a totally unique blend of technology and art that will surprise you.  They are not inexpensive, as you would expect for this type of commitment to quality and innovation.  Parsons Extreme Golf has over 50 patents for its innovative designs with hollow cavity irons filled with elastomer to imiprove sound and feel.  The unique placement of tungsten weights around the perimeter of the clubs allows us clubfitters and clubbuilders to modify the clubs for your unique swing characteristics and desired ball flight. If you truly want to experience the next level in golf equipment, come in and try these clubs for yourself!   And, see what Golf Digest has to say about them… Dan Sueltz