Matrix Velox shafts

The new Velox shafts from Matrix simplify the search for the perfect shaft by using one criterion: driver swing speed.

The new Velox shafts from Matrix simplify the search for the perfect shaft by using one criterion: driver swing speed.

For many golfers, even equipment-savvy veterans, finding the perfect golf shaft can be a challenging task. However, Matrix is launching a line of wood shafts called Velox that it hopes will simplify the search.

"The Velox line, as the name suggests, is about speed," said Tom DeShiell, director of research and development at Matrix Shafts. "We know that there are two distinct types of drivers out there right now. Some people go with a fairly standard build, but then there are other people who do everything they can to maximize speed with a shallower head for better aerodynamics and a longer club. So this family of shafts is actually going to have two types of shafts within the family."

The first is the Velox St ($375) designed with control-oriented, accomplished players in mind. It has a slightly stiffer butt section but the same weight as the Velox Sp shaft ($275), which was designed for golfers who crave distance above all else.

"The T type shafts are really based on what PGA Tour players want," DeSheill said. "They're obviously trying to maximize speed – everyone is – but since they like to work the ball, the change in stiffness is not as abrupt [as it is in the Velox Sp]."

Normally, a shaft's stiffness is categorized by terms such as normal, stiff or extra-stiff. But with the goal of eliminating ambiguity in the shaft-selection process, Matrix is identifying its Velox shafts with numbers representing driver swing speeds. They will be labeled 85, 95, 105 and 115, enabling golfers to select the appropriate shaft by choosing one that corresponds with their swing speed.

"When we designed the shafts, we designed them to be optimized for certain [swing] speed ranges," DeShiell said. "We used some proprietary software to evaluate the stiffness profile during the swing to get optimal clubhead speed."

At different speeds, golfers bend (or load) the shaft a different amount. For that reason, DeSheill said the two groups of shafts that comprise the Velox line have significant differences in torque, weight and weight distribution.

"Within each 10 mph window," he said, "we're trying to optimize the curvature of the shaft during the swing."

The Velox shafts range in weight from 50 grams to 80 grams, making them suitable for drivers and fairway woods. They're expected to make their PGA Tour debut at the Frys.com Open in October and will become available to consumers later that month.

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