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August 7 2013

9:16 AM

True Temper debuts prototypes

By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- True Temper's list of prototype driver shafts increased by two with the introduction of a pair of new Project X prototype models at the PGA Championship.

Earlier this year at FedEx St. Jude Classic, True Temper rolled out three PX prototypes -- 55 and 65-gram versions in a 7.0 flex and a 55-gram in a 6.0 flex -- that featured a unique weave pattern in the middle of the shaft that was significantly softer than previous Project X graphite models and acted as a loading zone on the downswing.

Just like the first three PX prototypes that had load zones of 16 and 18 inches from the butt end of the shaft -- players with slower swing speeds would likely want to go with the "LZ16," because the loading zone is closer to the butt end for easy shaft loading  -- the new 7.0 version has a load zone of 18 inches, while the 6.5 prototype shaft has a load zone of 16 inches.

"We're constantly looking for ways to improve and fine-tune our prototype shafts," said Simon Wilson, True Temper's PGA TOUR and European Tour manager. "We've had a number of players test out these shafts this week and see positive results, so we'll take the feedback we receive from these shafts and go from there. The eventual goal is to have a shaft we can bring to retail."

The differences between the new prototypes and the old models include a new weight of 64 grams (instead of 55 or 65 grams) and slightly less torque at 3.8 degrees.

The prototypes at the PGA Championship also have a "Hand Made Prototype" emblem and the shaft's stats  -- torque, load zone and weight -- in neon yellow paint.

According to Wilson, Marcus Fraser tested out the 6.5 prototype shaft and could put it in play are noticing a significant distance increase; Chris Wood and Stephen Gallacher planned try out the 7.0 shaft. U.S. Open winner Justin Rose also requested a shaft to test out at home.

True Temper hasn't figured out if the prototypes are coming to retail yet, but they're hoping additional PGA TOUR feedback allows them to make a final decision on retail shaft weights and loading zone options in the future.

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