Project X Loading Zone Driver Shafts
By Russ Ryden, Fit2Score, A Dallas Fort Worth Club Fitter & Club Maker
The Golf Center at the Highlands, Carrollton Texas
The Project X LZ, or loading zone shaft features a linear soft zone in the middle of the shaft which is visibly reinforced with bias wraps to maintain torsional stability. This 2014 composite driver shaft from True Temper, released under the Project X brand, is made in limited numbers in the USA facility in San Diego California. I am told only 60 or 70 can be made in any given day with current staffing.
This is an interesting option now being offered by a few companies. The general golfing public has access to the shafts that are made in the tour department for the tour players. Most graphite shafts are hand rolled. As such, the care taken by the person putting the shaft together is reflected in the quality and consistency of the finished shaft. Almost every company has some highly skilled wrappers that make their prototypes. And very often, when these people are not making protos, they are making the shafts that go to the professional tour vans. These shafts are not necessarily better than the shafts made in the volume production shops, but they are free of the shaft to shaft inconsistencies found in the factory produced product. And I have seen some inconsistencies that are hard to believe from the high volume, low cost foundries, but that is another story.
The concept of the Load Zone was to create a soft midsection in the shaft. Mid soft shafts are among the most popular shaft in my fitting experience. No shaft company likes to hear a section of their shafts being discussed as soft. If you make the tip stiff and the butt stiff, the mid is soft in relation to those other two zones. In the Project X Loading Zone shaft, the soft mid section is reinforced by a material called flex lock. That is graphite fiber oriented on an angle from the length of the shaft, commonly refereed to as bias or hoop plies. This stabilizes the torque in this zone. A full discussion of the design is shown in the videoed discussion I had with Don Brown, the True Temper graphite shaft product development manager.This is an interview shot at the 2015 PGA merchandise show in Orlando. Don Brown is the Graphite Shaft Product Development Manger for True Temper Sports. The discussion of the Loading Zone Shafts gets technical. Many readers of this site tell me they do not understand some of the graphics and discussions in my reviews. What you see in this video is a discussion using the terms you see on this shaft review site. Enjoy! Whenever someone asks me what is the best shaft, the answer is always the same, ‘the one that fits your swing.’ This one fits the swing change I am working on. The other shaft fit the swing I had. So I will leave you with this thought. There is a synergy between your gear and your swing. If your swing is grooved on a particular shaft loading pattern, that shaft may not best fit a swing change you are trying to make. In fact, it may impede you from being successful with a new motion pattern.