50 Words or Less
The Matrix Maru shaft lineup is designed to be mid-launching and spinning while optimizing performance and feel for a wide range of swing types.
Matrix introduced a new shaft lineup during the 2017 golf season called “Maru.” Following the theme of different profiles built on a core foundation, Matrix tried to make a shaft lineup fit for all types of swings. The Maru is available in three different profiles (Green, Blue, and Red) all built with Gradient Energy Flow to maximize feel and performance. As you’ll read in this review, it’s important to get properly fit for the right Maru.
If you’re a longtime Matrix follower like myself, you’ll find the style of the Maru to be an interesting departure for the brand. The white base is highlighted by bright colors with a Pacific island vibe (maru means “circle” in Japanese). Green, blue, and red colors are used to differentiate the three different versions of the Maru shafts. My personal favorite part is the war mask just beneath the Maru wordmark. For a brand that usually goes with more simplified and mechanical looks, I like this wilder side of Matrix.
While all three Matrix Maru shafts are designed based on similar principles, each color has its own unique feel. All three shafts have that signature silky smooth Matrix feel.
This shaft has the softest and “whippy-est” feel by far. The active tip and soft butt section are supposed to make the shaft easier to launch for players with a smoother swing. If you have a quicker transition and high speed, the Maru Green will feel noodle-y. If you have an easy transition and slower speeds, the Green will feel responsive and very lively.
The Maru Blue is the “middle of the road” in the lineup. Matrix made this shaft stiffer in the butt section with a little more action in the tip (similar to the Green). Players with faster swings that need stability but still want a little softness in their feel will prefer this shaft. For my swing, the Blue felt the most responsive, but a little loose. The ideal candidate will have a fast swing speed with a smooth transition.
The Matrix Maru Red is far and away the most robust of the lineup. Its butt and tip sections are extra stiff in order to make the shaft more stable. I’ve read in a few places that the Maru Red is similar to the previous Speed Rulz C Type. Frankly, the Maru Red blows the Speed Rulz out of the water in feel. Both shafts are on the stout side, but the Maru Red has much more life. Though a smoother profile, the Maru Red still has a noticeable kick if your swing is a good fit. Release was never an issue with Maru Red like it was with the Speed Rulz C Type. Quicker transitions needing stability will have the best success with the Maru Red.
Though all three Maru shafts have Matrix‘s Gradient Energy Flow technology to provide high speeds and tour-esque trajectory, all three shafts perform differently.
Maru Green Performance
As you can see in this section, my highest swing speed came with the Maru Green. The Green also had my highest spin rate and lowest smash factor. As stated before, a slower and smoother swing may find the Maru Green easier to launch and control. I launched the ball about the same but with a ton of spin (relatively speaking), and it cost me distance. This is a fine shaft but it wasn’t a good fit for me.
Maru Blue Performance
Upon first swings, I actually thought the Maru Blue was going to be the best shaft for me. My first few test shots are usually used to adjust and establish my expectations. I thought, “Man, the Blue feels good, and I think my numbers are going to improve.” The numbers stayed pretty consistent throughout and didn’t improve. My swing data was perfectly acceptable, but the Maru Blue felt maxed out and like a bit of a one trick pony. Honestly, choosing the Matrix Blue would come down to a preference decision for me. The Maru Blue is a good reliable shaft for my swing. Then I hit the Matrix Maru Red…
Maru Red Performance:
If you felt this section of the review was building up to something, then you were correct. My golf game has evolved from where it was a few years ago, and I feel I have a good pulse on it. I initially thought the Maru Blue numbers were consistent with my game and was likely to be the optimal shaft of the three. After three shots with the Maru Red, I knew I was wrong. I can’t remember the last time I was able to launch a ball under 9º and get 274 yards of carry on average. I also haven’t been able to average a low 2000s spin rate in quite awhile. Most importantly, the Maru Red made me feel like I could swing away and hit the shots I need to hit. The Maru Red was noticeably more stout and more controllable through the swing.
My conclusion is that Matrix Maru may be the hidden gem of 2017 for me. I went into testing expecting ok results, but nothing earth shattering. In fact, I thought a recent change I made to my driver shaft was already a done deal. After extensively testing all three Maru shafts on a launch monitor, I decided to bring the Maru Red out on the course for awhile where I continued to enjoy success with it. After three weeks of playing the Maru Red, I’m feeling pretty good about this shaft sticking around for awhile.