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Matrix 7m3 Black Tie Shaft Review


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Matrix 7m3 "Black Tie" Shaft Review
7m3-1.jpg


As you might be aware, the MyGolfSpy staff has some experience with the Matrix m3 line. GolfSpy Matt reviewed the lightweight 5m3 for the blog back in early June. Like nearly every other shaft maker in the industry, Matrix is jumping into the lightweight market with both feet. The thinking is that with lighter shafts, golfers can generate faster clubhead speed, which creates more ballspeed, which ultimately creates more distance.

While that is actually true for golfers who have a smooth tempo and a smooth transition, for guys like me (any suggestion of smoothness ends with the takeaway), lighter shafts often prove harder to control, which not only can lead to a decrease in accuracy, it can actually cause a decrease in swing speed as well, which as you know (because I just told you) can actually cause distance loss.

So to some it all up in one pretty sentence: For some golfers lighter-weight shafts can lead to increased distance, but for others, heavier is still better. I'm part of that heavier is better crowd.

After some back and forth with Matt (and my own mind), I finally settled on the 7m3 model from the famed Matrix "Black Tie" lineup. I had considered the 8m3, but there's a part of me who still fears a +75gram shaft in the driver (truthfully, I might be better off in the 90 gram range, but you know...lighter = distance or something).

The m3 is generally billed as a low launch, low spin shaft.

I've had some "swing issues" with the driver, which has made my ball flight a bit of tough fit. As you may have noticed in some previous reviews, I tend to hit the ball low with a ton of spin. Generally speaking, my launch angle has been a tad low, while my spin numbers have been obscenely excessive (4500 RPM in some cases), so generally speaking, I favor lower spin shafts (actually, I favor lower spin everything), while using tee height and some minor swing adjustments to help get the ball up in the air a little better.

Once my shaft arrived, I installed a TaylorMade FCT tip, measured and cut the shaft to play at 44.5" in my R11s driver. As you can see from the photos, my m3 sample doesn't have a flex designation (the label said 260 CPMs). While the final number escapes me (probably should have written it down), it flexed out to a stiff+ on my chart, which makes it basically perfect. Needless to say I was excited to try it out for myself.


Looks
The graphics on the Matrix m3 series are relatively understated. It's basically a white and gray on matte black design with "Black Tie" written in read. If you like elaborate, showy, shaft graphics, the m3 isn't going to be your cup of tee. If you prefer something a bit more simple, or if you simply don't give a damn, well, the m3 is just perfect.

Feel
Shaft feel is a difficult thing to quantify. Words like smooth, stout, and boardy get tossed around like everyone is supposed to know what they mean. Things get further complicated when you figure out that one guys' smooth is another man's boardy. And so it goes.

My biggest concern with the m3 was that the firmer tip might lead to a harsh (and yes boardy) feel. A was fit for, and played UST's Prforce V2 in my driver shaft for a couple of seasons, and while the results were solid, I never really got on-board with the firmer feel.

While there are certainly similarities with the m3, my take on things is that the m3 isn't quite as harsh. Like the V2, I won't say that I really feel like the ball explodes of the face. Solid hits certainly feel well struck, and that's borne out by the ball flight, but I never quite got the "that ball is going to fly forever" sensation that I've gotten with a few other shafts I've tested lately. That's not to say the ball doesn't fly forever...they do, but the sensation at impact isn't one that would make you go all Jack Hamm and start screaming "Pow!" or anything.

Performance
As is the case with MyGolfSpy Shaft reviews, performance is judged based on a mix of launch monitor and real world (in my case, on-course testing).

On the data I collected launch monitor data for the 7m3, I also tested two other shafts.

Before we get into the meat of the data, there are two mitigating performance factors that should be considered:

 

  • I put Boccieri's "Secret Grip" on the m3 which results in a heavier feel, but substantially lighter swing weight.
  • My average head speed on test day was down by ~5 MPH. Initially I thought the grip might be responsible, but as it turns out, the results were similar with all 3 shafts. Basically, it was one of those days when I just wasn't 100%.

Data:



  • aboutGolf's Swing Speed numbers tend to be slightly overcooked. As a result smash factor numbers ALWAYS come out low, which is why they're not included here.
  • Shaft Y was my previous gamer.
  • Shaft X on paper should be the highest launching and highest spinning of the 3...go figure.

matrix-7m3-data.png

Analysis

There are obviously some curiosities here. Despite being the middle of the 3 for launch initial launch angle, the m3 produced the highest apex, and the highest amount of backspin. Most impressively, it proved to be very easily the most accurate of the 3 tested on this day. The nearly 12 yards of accuracy increase is well-worth a 2 yard loss in total distance...at least I think it is.

Worth noting is that on the day I tested on the launch monitor, I'd rate my swing as B+ (by my standards) at best, so I really wish I could repeat the test when I have my A game (and probably with the standard grip to see if that Boccieri grip was responsible for the accuracy). Unfortunately, as it stands now, a follow-up test of the 7m3 Black Tie simply isn't possible.

With a better swing, I suspect I would boost head and ball speed, and raise my launch angle, but again...these are just theories based on how I was feeling.

7m3-4.jpg


On the Course

I played 5 rounds of golf with the 7m3 in my driver. On two of those ocassion I had what I'd call my C game off the tee (and that's optimistic). Considering I could barely keep a hybrid in play off the tee, those rounds aren't worth considering.

On the best of occasions the 7m3 produced what I would consider optimum ball flight for me. Not only was I able to launch the ball high, carry it to points I seldom see on the golf course, most impressively I was able to draw the ball a bit (my tendency is a fade). Again, some of the control factor might be the grip, but overall the results with the 7m3 were exceptional.

7m3-3.jpg


The Matrix 7m3 would probably have supplanted my gamer full-time if not for what you're about to read.

CAUTION: Some readers might find the following objectionable and difficult to look at. What follows is not for the faint of heart. You Have Been Warned.

This is Amelia, my daughter. She may look harmless, even adorable, but I assure you, she's dangerous; trouble with a capital "T".

blooies-1.jpg


After a morning spent picking blueberries we returned home for lunch, and a nap. In the afternoon my wife played with Amelia while I cleaned out my truck, and rearranged and reorganized things a bit. Amelia is at an age where she's learned that doors should be closed, but doesn't really have any sort of concept of context. For example, while car doors should be closed when said car is moving, there's no real pressing need to slam the door closed just because it's open...especially when the butt-end of Daddy's driver is hanging out. You see where this is going? Does this clear it up:

7m3-5.jpg

The grip is largely unscathed. Seriously...100% intact, barely a mark. The shaft it covers not so much. Since 40.5" (give or take) is a little too short for a driver, the 7m3 is the first golf-related causality directly attributable to parenthood. I'm practically devastated.


Conclusion
For the most part, my testing suggests the Matrix 7m3 lives up to its reputation as a low launch, low spin shaft. Granted, I wish I had the ability to test it out a couple more times on the launch monitor to see what the numbers look like on a different day. That said, the on course results were impressive, so much so that I had basically declared it my gamer before my daughter suggested otherwise. It's a shaft, I really enjoy swinging.

If you're looking for a little help keeping the ball down, and cutting some spin, and prefer a shaft with a firmer, I suppose "stout" feel, the Matrix 7m3 is definitely worth taking a few swings with.

7m3-2.jpg

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MY EYES!!!! :o

I'm sorry for your shaft loss :(

 

Great review. I am still amazed how much shafts can do. Its something you all opened my eyes too when I joined a couple of months ago.

Inside My Blue Callaway Warbird X Golf Stand Bag:

Driver:Nike SQ 10.5* with Graphite Design Y6+

3W:Cobra S2 14*

4W: Nike SQ Dymo 17*

3H and 4H: Taylormade Rescue 19* and 22*

5H: Cleveland Mashie 23*

6H: Adams a3os Hollow-Back

7Iron-Sand Wedge:Callaway X-20 Series with Callaway Steel

Lob Wedge (60*):Cleveland CG-12 Black Pearl with Cleveland TRaction Steel Wedge Flex

Putter: Odyssey Versa #9

Golfball: Callaway Hex Black Tour

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Matrix does have an exceptional warranty.... But I doubt they'd cover that. Sorry for your loss.

In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
3 Hybrid: Adams PRO 18* w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4-AW: TaylorMade P770 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

SW: 56* Scratch Tour Dept(CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
XW: 64* Cally XForged Vintage w/ DG X100 8 iron tiger stepped
Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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  • 2 years later...

Nice review, brought up an old sore subject?

 

Probably not.

 

I like the previous (or two) year reviews, they are somewhat affordable now.

:callaway-small: Rouge Draw 13.5 Lite Flex
:titelist-small: 913H 24 degree Diamana Lite Flex
:adams-small:  Idea Pro a12 20 degree Aldila VS Proto Regular Flex
:mizuno-small:   MP 100 4 - PW Stiff DGS 300
:callaway-small: Mack Daddy 2  TG 52/10, RG 56/10 and TG 60/10
:cameron-small: 2014 Select Newport 2  33 "

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Thanks for the review.......

Driver: Tour Edge Exotics EXS w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft BACKUP DRIVER: Cobra F8 w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft  Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3W(14.5*) & 5W(18.5*) w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft Hybrids: Tour Edge CBX 119 4H(22*)  with Project X Evenflo regular shaft Irons: Wilson Staff D7 5 - PW w/Recoil 460 regular shafts Wedges: Wilson D7 GW(50*) & SW(54*) w/Recoil 460 regular shafts; Cleveland RTX Zipcore(58*) w/True Temper Spinner Wedge steel shaft  Putter: 33" Slotline SSi 693 mid mallet Bag: Cobra Ultralite Cart Bag(Peacoat Blue).

 

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  • 4 years later...

This is the shaft I have in my driver and I absolutely love it.  Actually found it on the used rack at PGA Superstore for $150, but it beat every other driver/shaft combination I tried at the time.  I hit a Sim in January that blew my 7 year old driver away.  But as I was just messing around, I didn't remember to make note of the shaft I tried.  Mine still has some pop in it though, and would love to try this Ozik Black Tie shaft in a Sim

Tour Edge w/ Black Tie numbers w/ some help from the wind

Sim numbers based on Simulator in calm conditions

 

ImageyIAMseldws7yFfLCIKZcg0DV0ZsrimraGPr-SpK6zkuGqgOWsuIJtyS97i-Dc22KM8S4OF8Oqo6T-l_d05FtbmYevXvmq8VlLeZjJDhOx_bclwjVizi7cFC_cfNiJfZCuVcV32VUNzbAsUPMa__L239gbV_GJb3hzuaSIylITfjrNbVc-yZpRn4077-J4ZKD9OcSow3qzrWLk7wTEBStPekKTvd0nxMYiEle8hQa8FUwHA-D_NRha0PPDWziz_oxIQSweBJk0M2tx7emkBV7_NBNh7kUM-PjL4PSvTOiXsWLQ0dUFrkkUCZR6apvslPufYxN1rdIt7BqCDRkidYFWrdQEs1F2p9i0JRqH4IxgP5-wc8yxXojFAViaq_XqTIZKNR-zt7uha7e_m-w3BUwbEi8yZC75z7WyTf368RMviGkxSk0cJ5fR_bih28_OdbdA7LDFODbIYWxIFBYJMIxPITPMYI13S_NRMFkzda1PbjdDSbDwSRmUAIm5yspyAqBL5YvIz9mc8WZu5SvwKPvjGE35PnsQwhoyU8fM0qP7LVqovtPPKQi_H5cNjXb0DAT0i72yz6idqV6buC0ar2AH9CGdunbItPesz2ExvuUZfb_hd86Jj35nCe0ll-dHDO46MH-9aNdf5H-HxSPQvZoZFS4AWa2zOnOop2dXKrG5PhVqEQVC2rVXG2ZUqzLLA=w1293-h969-no?authuser=0

:honma: 💣Driver: Honma TR20 440 8.5° w/ Vizard FP-7X SHAFT - REVIEW POSTED 💣

:adams-small:3 Wood:  Adams TightLies Titanium 3+  - Shaft Bassara E55 x5ct

:taylormade-small:Hybrid: Taylormade RBZ 2.  16.5°-  Stock Shaft- Stiff

image.png.5094bf65d200d3ff7ef5ed059993dfb4.png Irons: SUB70 639 CB 4-PW w/ Nippon Modus 120 X-STIFF

:mizuno-small::cleveland-small:Wedges: GW: SUB70 Raw 48° Mizuno Mp series 52 SW: Cleveland RTX 2.0  56° LW: Mizuno JPX 900 60°

:odyssey-small:Putter: Odyssey White Ice Sabertooth- Superstroke Slim 3.0 grip

:taylormade-small:Bag: Taylormade FlexTech Lifestyle Carry bag- Houndstooth

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Sounds like it needed a 17 sided internal structure. Sorry about the break. Seemed like a possible gamer with those dispersion numbers. 

I used to work for Panasonic as a validation engineer, during the development of the cf-29 tough book line, typically marketed for rugged use like law enforcement / construction / utilities. We would put the systems through scripted tests like dropping them from certain heights, hot/cold temps, pouring liquids on them, and so forth. There was a famous advert at the time of an elephant standing on one. Anyway, we quickly developed an exploratory test called "give it to children," because, in its early development, while you could slam it around the office all week and run it over with your car, they would routinely fail when your child did something you would never think of like pour melted chapstik all over it. Kids man. Gotta love em. 

  • Haha 1
  • Driver: :ping-small: G410 Plus 9*, Tensei Orange 60X
  • Hybrids::adams-small:  Super XTD 17* Hybrid Fubuki AX:callaway-small:,  Apex 20* Hybrid, AD-DI 85S, Apex 23* Hybrid, Oban Purple
  • Irons: :srixon-small: Z585 5-6, Z785 7-PW, Modus 120s
  • Wedges: :cleveland-small: RTX4 50, Modus 120x:taylormade-small:, Hi Toe 56 & 60, Modus 120x
  • Putter: :EVNROLL:  ER3 @ 33"
  • RH in Phoenix, AZ
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