Advances in technology built into golf clubs in recent years have been nothing short of astounding, and it comes at no surprise that Matrix is staying ahead of the curve with their TPHDe line. Exotic materials, high end production processes, and the exclusive boron Interply hybrid technology are barely scratching the surface of this exciting shaft build.
TP5HDe (56-59g) Available in A, R, S – Mid launch, Mid spin
TP6HDe (66-68g) Available in R, S, X – Low/Mid launch, Mid spin
TP7HDe (77-78g) Available in S, X – Low/Mid launch, Low/Mid spin
The shaft build includes a 16 sided HD Design internal platform, which improves the structural strength without the addition of weight. This also allows the shaft to be more consistently uniform as compared to the rounded shaft counterparts on the market today. What is unique about the TPHDe is the full extension of the hexadecagonal geometry, which provides high end feel. What this seems to result in is a more stable offering without the necessity of adding weight.
To improve launch and spin conditions, the Angular Velocity Fulcrum (AVF) butt design allows energy to build in the hands and move towards the center of the shaft throughout the swing. The greater fulcrum that is created by using the largest portion of the shaft increases the force applied to the club head, and subsequently the golf ball at impact.
To guarantee each TPHDe shaft is consistent in flex, Matrix utilizes Circumferential Flexural Integrity (CFI), which is a unique method that guarantees consistency throughout the shaft in flexing properties. Matrix notes the necessity to keep the CFI consistent throughout a shaft to “ensure consistent dynamic response and output performance.” While this process is utilized in the TPHDe build, it is also tested on every Matrix Shaft.
Finally, unique to the TPHD seriesis Interply Hybrid Technology, an incredible twelve step, six day, nine person process that is completed at the Orange County, California Matrix facility. It involves Carbon, Boron, Zylon, GMAT, and the interply laminate/clocking method, and when applied to the shaft build, suggests that the results are greater than the sum of the parts. Matrix goes into detail about the process:
Interply Hybrid Technology is the application of cutting-edge materials working in concert to create performance characteristics greater than the sum of its individual parts. Matrix believes that Interply has dynamic effects on ball speed and on sidespin reduction, and makes the Matrix OZIK TP and TPHD shafts the most advanced and materially-complex shaft franchises ever created.
Simple math tells us that 1 + 1 + 1 = 3, but Interply allows for an exponential unlocking of performance traits not achievable by the materials used individually. During the construction of shafts using this technology, each flag is laminated together in varying shapes according to the designer’s intended design. The first, made from high-modulus carbon graphite is employed as a base constituent. This base is then wrapped with two full-length layers of up to 118-thread count Russian Boron (imported as thread and at competing angles for impact stability). These metallic layers are covered by a layer of ballistic, photo-sensitive Japanese Zylon for enhanced feel and tensile strength. Each structure is then finished with GMAT, a unique form of graphite from the United Kingdom, which serves as a “casing” for consistency and durability.
As expected, the application of these technologies, along with the materials utilized make for an incredibly unique shaft testing experience, one that takes a reasonable amount of time to comprehend. Presumptions on testing were limited to the weight (67g) of the TP6HDe, along with the profile of being a low/mid launch, mid spin shaft.
While not exactly the primary focus of a shaft review, the TPHDe shaft is an attractive visual design. Unique flaking throughout the bottom half of the shaft is subtle yet intricate upon closer inspection, which plays nicely into the shaft’s technology. An upper band clearly shows the shaft labeling and denotes the TPHD series, along with some intriguing equations and notations right before the start of the grip. Overall, the visual appeal is quite strong in a subtle, unique way.
Early in testing it was somewhat hard to grasp the TP6HDe shaft and what it was accomplishing through the ball. Providing a softer, fluid feedback into the contact zone would normally indicate it would flex softer than a typical stiff shaft. In this case however, the stability of the TP6HDe shaft was without question on 95% of swings. This was made obvious when contact was made low on the face or when a swing was slightly off timing, at which time the shaft would really represent stiffness and propel the ball forward in a lower spinning, lower launching fashion.
The majority of testing took place utilizing a ~110 mph driver swing. There were extremely few situations where the shaft did not stay within the swing, or feel overly “boardy” despite some mediocre passes at the ball. While the technology built into the shaft would adequately confirm suspicions, it was determined quickly that the shaft worked in concert with the parts and technology it was made from. As explained in the technology section, this may very well be the full extension of the HD design at work.
The TPHDe can be launched lower and higher at will; however the launch angle that seemed most adequate was a true mid flight. Unless the contact or swings were mediocre, it was very typical to see straighter flight or situations where the ball would fly consistently on a path only to fall slightly towards a draw or fade flight. This late turn allowed for predictability and consistency throughout the course, generating excellent fairway precision during testing. This is the type of flighting that seems to be more consistent in heavier, stiffer options.
Based on a combination of added roll, countering wind, and distance, experiences with the TPHDe shaft suggested the spin rates to be on par with the low/mid to mid spectrum defined by Matrix. Best swings that resulted in a mid flight draw presented a great deal of what would be considered ‘lumbering’ roll, where the ball seemed inclined to propel forward. Sidespin rarely seemed to be excessive, even on contact well off center.
While shaft options are bountiful in today’s market, every once in a while a shaft rises from the pack and truly speaks volumes towards what is being done from a technology standpoint. The Matrix TP6HDe is a prime example of incredible cutting edge technology, producing a shaft that does much more than simply fit a swing profile. If golfers are looking for a high end shaft that functions immeasurably with their driver and woods, they should include the TPHDe on their list. For more information, visit www.MatrixShafts.com.