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SHAFT REVIEW! – Project X PXv Shafts

Post image for SHAFT REVIEW! – Project X PXv Shafts

True Temper Proclaims - The Lightest Shaft Ever Introduced

Written By: Matt Saternus

A sub-40 gram driver shaft? Could it possibly be durable enough and can it actually perform?

There’s light, there’s superlight, and then there’s the new PXv 39 from Project X.  As the name implies, the shaft weighs a mere 39 grams…and that’s before you cut it.  Engineers at Project X were so hell-bent on creating the first shaft to break the 40-gram barrier that they didn’t even paint it. “If we painted it, the total weight would have gone up to about 42 grams, and we are committed to staying under 40 grams.” said Don Brown, Project X product development manager and designer.

Of course, lightweight is only great if it can actually perform.  To find out how Project X’s wispy wonder stacks up, we put it through our shaft testing protocols alongside its slightly heavier brother, the PXv 52.

project x pxv 39

project x pxv 52

Specs, Price, and Manufacturer Notes

You already know that the Project X PXv 39 weighs 39 grams (regardless of flex), and you can probably guess that the PXv weighs 52 grams (in 6.0, it’s slightly lighter or heavier in other flexes).

The PXv 52 is available in flexes ranging from 5.5 (regular) to 7.0 (X-flex).  The PXv 39 is available in 5.5 to 6.5.

The suggested retail price for both the PXv 39 and 52 is $350.  The PXv can be found at most major golf retailers, but the PXv 39 is only available at True Temper Performance Fitting Center clubfitters.

Looks, Feel, and Miscellaneous

For those who recall the aesthetics of the original Project X PXv 39 graphite and Project X Black shafts, the PXv 39 and 52 will be quite familiar.  The branding is straightforward, and there are wrap around flame/tribal graphics.  One nice touch is that the graphics are toned down opposite to the Project X logo for those who prefer a clean, “logo down” look at address.

The feel of the PXv 52 was the biggest surprise of this test for me. After testing the original Project X graphite, I was expecting a “one piece” feel with minimal kick; I was completely wrong.  The PXv 52 provides a very nice mid-kick similar to the Oban Kiyoshi White or Diamana B Series.  By contrast, the PXv 39 has very minimal kick and is much more similar to the original Project X graphite shafts.

One final note of interest: these shafts, particularly the PXv 39, are much thinner than standard weight shafts. While this might seem obvious, they need to be thinner to be lighter weight, it was surprising to put them side by side with other shafts and see just how much thinner they are.  See for yourself in the pics.

Performance

For the Performance testing, I hit each of the shafts in a Callaway RAZR Fit Extreme 10.5 head on a FlightScope X2 launch monitor.  I hit 20 “good” shots with each shaft, changing frequently so that fatigue was not an issue, nor did I get grooved with one shaft to the detriment of fairness.  All shafts were gripped with PURE Grips.

Testing was done at Golf Nation in Palatine, IL, one of the best indoor golf facilities in the country.

*NOTE: Testing has moved back inside for the winter, and our FlightScope seems to be producing somewhat different numbers indoors compared to outdoors.  To greater or lesser extents, ball speed, club head speed, and spin are all coming in lower than they did outdoors, hence the carry number is smaller.  That said, it’s still an apples-to-apples comparison, so no attempt has been made to “normalize” the numbers: we’re publishing the numbers straight off the FlightScope, as always.

DATA


ANALYSIS

Let’s go ahead and deal with the big questions right away: how much did the 39 gram shaft spin and how accurate was it? On the question of spin, it was quite good.  While not the lowest spinning shaft I’ve tested, it was respectable, especially in the 6.5.  On the question of accuracy, please don’t be fooled by the big Offline number for the 6.0: it is an excellent illustration of why you need to consider both Offline and Dispersion.  If you ignore the one straight ball I hit, the Dispersion for the PXv 39 6.0 is actually quite good.  I couldn’t square the face to save my life, but the push I was hitting was extremely consistent.  I chalk all of that up to being a lot lighter, and a little softer, than the shafts I normally play.

Moving to the PXv 52, I hit the 6.0 very well.  The PXv 52 is a nice lightweight option that keeps the spin in check.

With regard to all of the shafts tested, the lightweight did help me boost my swing speed a bit (1-2 MPH), but the ball speed was not markedly higher than it has been with other shafts.  This can be attributed to more off-center contact because I am not used to playing shafts this light.

Conclusion

While there is no shortage of lightweight shafts on the market, the PXv 39 currently stands as the high (or should it be low?) water mark of what shaft manufacturers can do with new materials and construction.

The PXv shafts add significantly more variety to Project X’s line of graphite shafts.  Now players looking for the trademark accuracy of Project X can find it in a wider variety of weights.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

golfer4life March 15, 2013 at 10:48 am

Glad you pointed out the swing speed to ball speed comparison. I found the best way to mess up my swing and search for better fitting shafts is to worry about swing speed. Through doing a lot of fittings and reading data, ball speed rules. ALWAYS! (I think) ha

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Mike h March 16, 2013 at 7:18 am

Except once you get accustomed to the new shaft and you get more center hits you’d have the extra swing speed and ball speed

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GolfSpy Matt March 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Mike,

That’s definitely one possibility. Another possibility is that the player never warms up to the given piece of equipment. It’s impossible to know which will be true, which is why fitting humans will never be a perfect science.

Thanks for the comment.

Best,

Matt

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Dave Mac March 16, 2013 at 8:57 am

Credit to True temper for managing to construct such a low weight shaft with a stiffness profile capable of handling reasonably high driver club head speeds. I can’t help but feel the shaft will struggle to find and audience (especially considering the retail price). There seems to be a law of diminishing returns even for players with swings which can take advantage of lighter weight shafts, when turning the weight saving into club head speed.

The issue is overall club balance, taking so much weight out of the shaft means a significant proportion needs to be added back to the head in order to achieve a respectable swing weight. When this is done the club balance becomes very different to a traditionally weighted driver say with a 65 gram shaft. A standard tour velvet grip weighs 51 grams 12 grams more than the PXv39!

When completing the test how did you deal with the swing weight difference, did you just swap shafts and ignore swing weight or did you change the weights in the Razr Fit? What were your thoughts on the overall feel and balance of the Razr Fit with the PXv39? Finally did you consider testing the PXv39 over length as this is likely to be its best role?

Thanks for an interesting review.

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GolfSpy Matt March 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Dave,

When doing shaft reviews, I don’t do anything to change head weight, and I test everything at a shade under 45″. It’s the easiest way to keep everything apples to apples.

Thanks for the comment and questions.

Best,

Matt

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Tommy T March 17, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Cleveland’s stock shaft on last years’ Classic driver was a 39 gram Myazaki. It performed pretty well, as the driver seemed to get good reviews. So this barrier was broken last year.

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Golfspy Matt March 17, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Tommy,

Though the shaft was labeled “39,” if you believe Cleveland’s math, the shaft weighed 52 grams (they claimed a 192 headweight and 26 gram grip). Similarly, the Miyazaki B Asha “3″ series weighs in the low 40′s.

Best,

Matt

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Joe Golfer March 18, 2013 at 9:54 pm

With a shaft that light, with superthin walls, I’d sort of expect a lot of shaft ovaling on the swing.
When I play a shaft that’s too soft, as this one was for the tester, I tend to have the ball draw on me rather than push it to the right, as happened in this testing procedure.
Those thin walls remind me of a Grafalloy shaft I once had called the Powerlite.
Don’t recall the exact weight, but I think it was advertised as sub 50 grams.
Unfortunately it was a piece of garbage.
Eventually I pulled it to put in another shaft. When pulling it, I was as careful as I could possibly be, but the thing gave that classic crunch sound as I cautiously tightened the shaft puller anyway. Thus, wasn’t even able to re-use it for a slow swinger.
Now it’s just used as a stake in the ground for chipping practice in the backyard.
Not a fan of the superlight shafts, even if trimmed to 45″.

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Augustine March 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I’ve got the heavier PXv Tour 6.0 wood and hybrid shaft pulls from the Callaway X Hot Pros… they seem to weight the same as the PX Blue Tour Issue Graphite 6.0s i currently game (7C3, 8C4, HD2).

I was told the PXv Tour in the Callaway X Hot Pros are the real deal shafts, and according to Project X face book conversation I had with their rep the PXv Tour hybrid shaft in the X Hot is currently “tour issue” only and no specs are available.

I’d be interested to see how the heavier PXv Tour compare tot he 52 and 39, as well as the previous PX Blue Tour Issue graphite.

Based on my own intial testing, the PXv Tour and PX Blue Tour Issue Graphite plays similar but I have not access to a launch monitor and only go by simulator numbers…

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frank pipolo August 26, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Does anybody know the difference between the PXv red “X” and blue “X”. Both are stiff. Got one when I had my XHot (came with the red) and now with my XHot Pro (came with the blue). I can’t find any info on the difference.

If you have the opportunity in your Razr Fit Extreme to try this shaft, go for it. I have hit is real well with that combo.

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Kent Baxter October 25, 2013 at 8:17 pm

I purchased a taylor made SLDR driver with the pxv39 shaft in it, this was the best shaft head combo I have ever hit and I am a 2 handicap. The problem was in the middle of my 5th round the shaft snapped in 2 pieces just below midway. I am hoping this was just a defect in the shaft, but I got a new one coming, has anybody else heard of this shaft breaking so easily and quickly, My swing speed is only about 105 max, this should not happen. any feed back would be great.

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