Great Big Bertha launched a few weeks ago with premium shaft options for DAYS so that every golfer can get into a setup that will leave no yard behind. Of the many options, Matrix offers three very premium no up-charge shafts and 10 more that come with an additional cost.
AJ Voelpel (Digital Content Editor) and I (Assoc. Retail Marketing Manager) wanted to learn more about the options from Matrix and how they would complement the new Great Big Bertha driver, so we paid them a little visit to get a taste of their secret sauce. After a few intellectually and physically rigorous hours, we left Matrix USA HQ in Anaheim with a wealth of insights that we wanted to share with the world.
A few quick things we learned about Matrix:
– They have facilities in Asia, Mexico, and California. Matrix is the only major shaft manufacturer that has the ability to make finished products in the U.S.
– They have the capacity to make about 1,000 shafts per day in their Anaheim location, including all prototypes. In fact, every one of their super premium TPHDe shafts ($1,200 retail price, pictured below) is made in Anaheim because it contains weapons-grade exotic materials that cannot be shipped across borders!
– Another strength of Matrix is its relationships with suppliers that allow it to develop proprietary graphite fiber layers for specific purposes.
It was awesome to gain insight about how Matrix operates but one of the main questions that AJ and I really wanted to answer was how will a Matrix shaft help me shoot lower scores? So to answer that question, Matrix put us through a fitting to see what a Matrix shaft could do for our drives.
All of the shafts that Matrix produces have are molded around a hexadecagonal mandrel. The 16-sided pattern allows for a stable structure while maintaining a lightweight and goes down different lengths depending on the shaft model and desired performance characteristics.
We first tried shafts from the 2015 MFS series (White Tie, Red Tie, and Black Tie) – all of which are included as part of the no up-charge group of shafts for Great Big Bertha. Shafts have varying bend profiles to target the kick point for desired ball flight. I started with the Red Tie because it was the closest to my existing gamer and AJ tried the Black Tie for the same reason. They both performed very well; good feel and very good control.
Next we tried the TPHDe to experience what Zylon, Boron, and 3 other layers of interply exotic materials could do for us. AJ and I both agreed the feel on this shaft was simply exceptional. The feedback is so good that we could almost tell you how many dimples were on the face at impact. On the flip side, my dispersion numbers were a bit higher with the TPHDe than with the Red Tie.
After seeing the performance of these two shafts, our fitter, David, shared his observations. He noticed that I had a +4-degree angle of attack which is good for hitting it high with low spin, however my margin for error is a bit smaller as well. With an upward angle of attack, the more stable tip the better. The Red Tie has 3.3-degrees of torque while the TPHDe has 4.1-degrees. He explained that this difference in torque could be the culprit of the dispersion numbers. Then he mentioned that he might have something perfect for me…
David ran out of the room for a second and returned with a matte black shaft with a tag on it that simply said “Rickie.” This was a prototype shaft that won the 2015 Players championship the first week on Tour and has won a few times since with a few different PGA Tour players. This shaft was also close to 2.5-degrees of torque, and has a tightly wound, smooth bend profile (consistent flex throughout the length of the shaft, which is the opposite structure of the MFS Series shafts that have variable bend profiles).
David’s theory was that a bit less torque would hopefully get me even straighter, and the tight weave would give great feedback as well. After a few shots I was sold. Not only does the matte black and Matrix prototype decal look amazing with the Great Big Bertha head (matte black on matte black), but the numbers were impressive as well: 13-degrees of launch, 1,900-2,100 RPM of spin and straight as an arrow. The feel was also excellent; I felt sturdy and rich feedback on my shots, not too harsh and not too hollow. Sounds like a winner to me! And the best part by far was that they let me take it home!
Editor’s note: Callaway community members can review the exact Matrix prototype shaft Nate used during his fitting. Look out for the sign-up soon!
To wrap up, AJ and I have personally validated that you can have 100 percent confidence marrying a Matrix Shaft with the Great Big Bertha head. Between the MFS series (the no up-charge shafts with Great Big Bertha) as well as a few more exotic options, Matrix makes a premium structure that can fit all golfers preferences for feel, weight, and performance.
And just for bonus ha-ha’s, here’s a timeplapse of our entire fitting…