The new Project X PXi iron shaft incorporates the hallmarks of the Project X bandâ€”tour-caliber spin control and tip stabilityâ€”in a lightweight package. Project X PXi"s lighter weight produces greater distance and improved feel through an optimized butt to tip stiffness calibration.
"The new PXi is the culmination of years of research and development and it is the most sophisticated steel shaft design in the history of the game," says Chad Hall, director of product marketing and global tour operations for True Temper Sports. "PXi maintains the same launch trajectory and same spin rates that has made Project X a favorite on the pro tours. Our engineers modified the design to soften the feel in the hands for the shorter irons and stiffen the longer shafts within a set. This is a high-powered combination that produces greater distance and improved feel beyond anything in the game today."
This particular shaft, for me, was an experiment. I"ve never been big on Project X steel shafts, if I"m being completely honest. I have, however, noticed lots of players that have been putting these into play in the particular type of club that I was building. That club? A utility iron. I saw Tiger put one in his prototype Nike utility iron (looks a lot like a VRS 2 iron to me personally) and several others not as notable doing much the same in utility irons. Being as I, lately, have had a fascination with them, I decided why not give this a try, being as several DG Tour Issue players on Tour have been putting them in this same type of club. Not withstanding the fact that I also tried a Dynamic Gold already in this particular club upon receiving it.
So, I gave a shout to an email contact at True Temper/PX/Grafalloy that I have to see which particular shaft I should purchase to go in this particular clubhead to match as best as possible with my swing and current iron shafts (DG Tour Issue S400"s hardstepped once). The recommendation was to go with a Pxi 6.0 in 2 iron length (it was going into an 18 degree Fourteen Hi-660 v2 utility iron). Searched high and low, and finally found this particular shaft.
Build Notes, Feel, Miscellaneous
As I mentioned, I already had the club in mind for the testing for this shaft, and had already tried it with 2 shafts (The stock Graphite Designs G009 and a Dynamic Gold X100 1 iron softstepped). But neither option I"d tried brought the club alive for me. I just wasn"t a fan of the Graphite Designs shaft, and the X100 just launched it too low (I softstepped it once in the hopes that it"d bring the flight up marginally from normal DG flight). So what"s a man left to do except keep trying shafts? The clubhead was dead sexy to me already. Had an apple bottom up to a B-cup top and the curves were in all the right places. I had to make it work so I could hit it. (No innuendo there at all).
B-Cup up top:
So I brought in the replacement, the Project X Pxi 6.0 in a 40.5 inch (2 iron) length, as per recommendations from the PX guru. I removed the old shaft, cleaned out the bore and dry fitted, marking the shaft where it"d be prepped up to 1/8â€ below the top of the ferrule. Then I took her to the belt sander and went to town. There is a slight, clearcoat like coating on the shaft. You could see once you were through it and to the bare metal as you were sanding. For a clubbuilder, I like this as I don"t have to keep stopping to make sure that I"ve abraded the tip. It changes colors from the regular tolor, to a white powdery color back to bare metal as you abrade it. I notice the small nuances, sorry.
So once I got all the prep work done, I checked it again by dry fitting it. It"s all good and I mix my epoxy (3m 810 is the choice here). I put a thin film on and slide the ferrule up almost to the fully seated point. Then, I wipe the excess from the shaft tip, mix in some shafting beads to ensure that it aligns perfectly in the hosel. Recoat the shaft and slip her in, bumping it to seat the head. I then set it up in my drying rack to cure. I should mention that I did spine and FLO this shaft and it came out graphics down in the optimal orientation.
Once it"s at full cure, I then get the measuring stick out (in my case, a Mitchell Club Length Ruler and sole plate). Stock length is 40â€ on this one, but I decided to cut the raw shaft length to 39 7/8â€ so that it"ll come out, when measured to the butt of the grip, to 40â€ dead on, and playing length is 1/8â€ short. Remember, I"m trying to build a control club for the tee box that I can flight how I want it, whether high, normal, or the low stinger. So I cut it a hair shorter than stock. Yes, I"m a stickler for finite measurements.
Once I cut the shaft off, I then blueprinted it and did an old school trick for vibrations (doweled the shaft). Put my 2 wraps under the right hand that"s customary for my irons and the one full length wrap additional and away we went to blowing the grip on. Did my customary waggle test and it felt great. Just enough snap to let me know it"s going to kick like a mule through impact. I liked that the shaft was slightly lighter than my normal shaft as well because it helped get the swingweight up (it"s at D4.5). I also chipped a few balls across the living room with it, just to get somewhat of a feel for the head/shaft combo, and it had that nice solid thwack feeling. Time to take her to the range and play whack-a-mole.
My first process of running it through the ringer was getting loose and then hitting balls on the range, no monitor, no data, nothing involved, just get a feel for it. So I hit some wedges, then some 8 irons, then a handful of 5 iron shots, and I finally got loose. Time for the test. Started with this in the normal position in the stance, slightly forward of center, just like a long iron. The ball just seemed to jump off the face and go straight as you please. Hmm... I like this I"m thinking. So I hit 6-8 more, and rope after rope, I was striping this sucker. Okay, try to work it. Yep, move it left or right with no problem and under control. This is good, it"s gonna make for a lot of fun on shorter par 4"s and the really long par 3"s (there"s 1 at my home course that I"d be using this if it"s a back pin location and the tees are all the way back). With that out of the way, let"s see what happens trying to hit other shots. Move it up in my stance, and BOOOOOM, high floaters that just carry and carry and then land soft. High floaters moved either direction? Yeah, I had those too. And the last test, and the shot I really wanted to be able to hit? Move it deep into my stance and hit the stinger with it. I"ve been looking for a club that I can get to do this for at least a month, especially for this time of the year when it"s cooling, the leaves are falling, and the fairways are firm. I want this shot in the bag to find the fairway and get some roll out of.
All or nothing, it"s time to see if this club has a stinger in it, and if this shaft will let me hit a controlled shot that was low and screaming. Point of no return was setting it up on the tee. I took my stance, took my swing, and psheeeew out it came like a bullet. And it did exactly what I want this shot to do. It stayed low (no more than 25-30 feet off the ground with a 5 yard draw), and then when it hit the ground, it was roll city. Yes, I got excited over this. I hit shot after shot, and reloaded the bucket again. WOW!!! This is working like a charm. I could hit a low cut with it, but I mainly wanted it for the stinger that I hit that"s a low running draw, and it performed flawlessly.
Normal Ball Position
Launch Angle:22.5 degrees
Carry: 231.6 yards
Launch Angle: 19.8
Carry: 224.3 yards
My analysis of this shaft is that it performs very well for me in this particular club. I have not hit it in any other club, and I can not make any analysis of how it"d perform for me in irons versus my current S400 DGTI"s hardstepped once. I do, however, know that for this 2 utility iron, it works phenominally and does EXACTLY what I was wanting it to do. The stinger is as easy to hit as it"s ever been (I used to actually carry a 2 iron in my MP33"s when I was playing high school golf, and this club was easier to hit because of the wider sole). I haven"t ever bagged a utility iron, unless you count the 503.H. I tried a B"Stone AirMuscle and never could get along with it, mainly due to the graphite shaft that was in it. This one, however, performs flawlessly for me. The feel, IMO, is much less harsh than the standard ProjectX shafts (which is one thing I never liked about that particular shaft). And with it doweled, the feel is even more solid. So far, I"m loving this combination and it has me wondering whether I should buy a 6 iron shaft and try it out in my irons to see what happens.
Actual Results (Visual flight)
Visually, the flight is exactly what I was looking for, and it bores through the wind. I did take it out a few days ago when Hurricane Sandy was just moving through this area and we were getting the start of the wind from it. The ball cut through the wind nicely with zero ballooning. The shaft performed well in those conditions as well. And most tellingly, the feel didn"t change even with the colder temperatures from what we were getting like some steel does. It didn"t get more harsh. I absolutely love the shaft in this head, feels great, performs exactly as I want it to, and it"s very controllable.
As I mentioned above, I"m seriously giving some consideration to purchasing a 6 iron in this shaft and testing it versus my DG Tour Issues in my current irons, just to see what would happen. I bent them to more traditional lofts (Tour Issue A4 Tour Blacks), so I"m just curious if this shaft would add any more distance or control for me. I"m also just curious about how the shafts perform in a regular iron as opposed to a utility iron. That, and I"m a club ho" that loves to tinker.