Q&A: Project X’s Don Brown on HZRDUS Shafts

Project X HZRDUS Black, Yellow
Project X HZRDUS Black and Yellow. (Project X)

Don Brown, the director of golf innovation and product strategy for True Temper, recently talked with Golfweek about the company’s Project X HZRDUS shafts.

What’s the story behind the new HZRDUS line of shafts?

One of the things about them that’s different from the past generations of Project X shafts is they are much stiffer throughout the full length than our previous shafts have been. We’ve noticed among tour players and better players that they are going with much stiffer shafts, either XX or Tour X. From a specification standpoint, the average tour player is playing a shaft that is much stiffer than it would have been five or 10 years ago. Realizing that today’s golfers are more athletic, stronger and generate more ball speed and lag in the swing, we knew we needed to make shafts that are stiffer because that’s what their swings require.

From a performance standpoint, what does that mean for launch conditions?

It’s going to be much lower spin than previous Project X shafts, from a flex-to-flex standpoint. If someone had been in a 6.5 shaft and tries a 6.5 in Hzrdus, they are going to notice that the ball spins less and the shaft is going to feel less whippy. The Black version has a very wide-diameter mid-section, so there won’t be any concerns about players overloading it.

What is the difference between the Black and the Yellow versions?

The Black has a very stiff mid-section, which is a little different from traditional Project X shafts, which have a smooth taper through the mid-section. The Yellow features more of that smooth, tapering midsection and also has some backweight, so it has a wingweight that is three points less than the Black.

What effect does backweighting a driver shaft have?

They are able to put more head weight in and get more mass behind the ball. When we give guys on the PGA Tour a backweighted shaft, they don’t just start playing with a D2 if they had been D4. They take the 6 grams of extra weight and put it back into the head. They can then see increases in ball speed because they are hitting with a heavier head. In the aftermarket, it means recreational players can use a longer club, between quarter-inch and half-inch longer.

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