It’s always nice when the forum on THP is buzzing. Being that we are all golf fans and equipment addicts, that buzz can be as a result of many things. Here lately, it seems like graphite irons shafts are the recipient of some of the buzz from our diverse forum members. That’s right, I said GRAPHITE iron shafts! It’s a new day of technological advancements, a new day where consumers are truly pursuing playing what fits their swings and their games the best, and a new day in the world of graphite iron shafts. At the forefront of this latest movement is Matrix, with their Ozik Program graphite iron shafts.
Matrix sent THP a Program 130 for the sake of this testing and I was very intrigued and excited to put this shaft through the paces. I have never been the type of golfer that shunned any sort of advancement when it comes to equipment technology. For some, graphite has a stigma attached to it that it’s for slower swing speeds, or for a mature demographic, or for one with ailing joints. The fact is, it very well could be, but it’s also for everyone else in between. For this review, Matrix sent the Program 130 in stiff flex. The shaft weighs in at 113 grams, has a torque of 1.4 and offers high spin/launch. The shaft was put into a Mizuno MX-200 6iron and equipped with a mid-size Golf Pride Tour Velvet Grip.
The Program’s are the first mainstream Matrix Ozik graphite iron shaft. The one thing I have learned about Matrix in my short time of researching them as a company, and as an innovator, is that they engineer and produce with a purpose. After advanced DE analysis of the leading steel iron shafts, Matrix engineers discovered inefficiencies that are manifested in vibration and instability. According to Matrix Chief R & D Daniel, he said the PROGRAM HD irons will launch higher, spin more, and be more stable than all other steel and graphite iron shafts. Bold stuff from Matrix, but the one thing I have deduced about Matrix is that they have every right to make these claims based on the analyzing, testing, and engineering they conduct. It became clear to me that Matrix found a weakness, or better yet, an opportunity, in iron shaft technology!
I honestly do not believe I have ever seen an iron shaft, whether it is graphite or steel, that is as good looking as the Program. Everything about it appeals to my eye. The bulk of the body of the shaft is what I would call a bright white. It has a nice high gloss finish on the shaft but I found no glare issues whatsoever. In all honesty, I thought that was a neat feature because to me, it made the shaft seem much more durable. As much as the white color of the shaft appealed to me, the rest of the graphics just left me with my jaw open. The blood red text of “PROGRAM” and the shadow-gray-metallic colors of the text on the shaft are a suitable complement. In fact, it’s a stunning complement. I also found the white shaft to be quite soothing when I was addressing the golf ball. I’m not sure this was Matrix’s intentions but it was something that I definitely noticed and took note of when on the range or on the course.
Iron shafts probably get overlooked quite a bit as far as a visual appeal goes. You do not ever really hear a golfer say something along the lines of “these are the best looking iron shafts on the market”, but in my opinion, the Programs take the cake when it does come down to it. I can’t imagine how beautiful a set of irons would be outfit with these shafts, but what I can tell you is that a set of irons outfit with the Programs would perform beautifully.
For this testing I was able to put about 10 range sessions and 6 rounds of golf under my belt. I found it somewhat difficult to test the shaft in one club (a 6 iron) but it was nice being able to compare it to my current 6 iron. Many of you know that I was fit for KBS Tour steel shafts, in X flex. My fitting was confirmed via the Mizuno Shaft Optimizer and also when comparing about 8 iron shafts against each other on a Vector Launch Monitor. Initially, I was worried that the Program would not be stiff enough and as a result, I would see some high, right to left ball flights. Honestly, I was also concerned about the overall stiffness and durability of the shaft. I was concerned that the shaft would be too soft, thus resulting in some sort of breakage during turf interaction. I’m sure I am not alone in this line of thinking when it comes to a graphite iron shaft. Boy, was I wrong! Not only was the Program more than capable at impact, it was perfect for me in the stoutness and stiffness department.
The ball flight was high, but it was also supreme in the distance category. I was easily carrying the ball as far as my current 6 iron, but what I was experiencing in my finger tips and other sensory areas was phenomenal. Never have I felt an iron shot feel so smooth, so soft, dare I say….PERFECT! Ball strike after ball strike I was left with an overwhelming sense of joy and bliss. I can easily see how a shaft like this could immediately assist someone with ailing joints or joint problems. The Program may be the smoothest, best feeling iron shaft I have ever tested. What was surprising was just how easy it was to flight the ball lower with this shaft. I didn’t have any problem lowering my ball flight by adjusting ball position a little back of center and not once did I ever experience any sort of ballooning with shots.
I mentioned my fear of digging the clubhead into the ground with a graphite shaft. I just assumed for some reason that it would be more prone to breaking or snapping but I can assure you that this is not an issue at all. I dug down after a few shots and really tried to test the strength and durability of the shaft and just as the Program won me over in the looks and feel department, it excelled in this department as well.
Overall, the Program 130 graphite iron shafts from Matrix perform exactly as they describe: higher launching and more stable than any other iron shaft I have ever had the pleasure of testing. They are easy on the joints, loaded with pleasing visual appeal, smooth yet stout, and flat out perform. If given the opportunity, I would game these shafts in every one of my irons. I applaud Matrix for making claims that they have once again, backed up! The Program 130’s are definitely not your grandpa’s graphite iron shaft and I would easily give these shafts two thumbs up! For more information on this and other shafts offered by Matrix you can visit their website here.