Project X Denali Shaft Review

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The Project X Denali shaft has two versions – Denali Black and Denali Blue.  Project X Denali Black is the lower launching version, Denali Blue is mid launch and spin.  Distinct feels and performance provide coverage for a wide range of players.

Introduction

Project X has one of the longest-running, most successful shaft lines in modern golf with their HZRDUS Black [review HERE].  And while Project X’s EvenFlow and Cypher shafts are excellent, they haven’t matched that level of success on Tour.  In an effort to catch lightning in a bottle a second time, Project X spent 18 months developing their latest line, Denali.  Is this going to be the new mainstay in the winner’s circle?  Let’s find out.

Looks

Both Project X Denali shafts sport a look that combines a unique, on-theme graphic with an address view that’s all business.  Below the grip, both Denali Black and Denali Blue have a white and silver graphic that looks like a snow covered mountain range.  It’s very simple at a glance, but it’s mesmerizing up close.  The Denali branding plays into the mountainous theme too, with sharp, angular lettering.

At the midpoint of the Denali branding, the mountain graphics transition to a solid color.  The Project X Denali blue is a deep blue, the Project X Denali Black is, of course, black.  There is a small Project X logo near the tip on the logo up side.  You can get a totally clean address look with a logo down installation.

Feel

Looking at the bend profiles of the two Project X Denali shafts, they’re virtually identical with one a step “above” the other.  This comes through in the feel: there are notable similarities between the two but also a clear difference in overall stiffness.

I started my testing with the Project X Denali Blue, the softer of the two.  It has a little action when given the wiggle test, and that comes through during the swing.  Denali Blue feels smooth from the mid section to the tip with a medium kick.  The tip section sits in the middle of the bell curve – not loose but not rock solid either.

Moving to Project X Denali Black, there’s noticeably more stability.  It shrugged off the wiggle test, letting me know it was built to stand up to stronger efforts.  It’s still smooth through the mid section, but the tip is stronger and there’s not a pronounced kick.  Both shafts share a solid feeling in the grip that let me swing aggressively.

Performance

Testing the Project X Denali Black and Denali Blue shafts was a great reminder of several important things about club fitting.  First, equipment really matters.  Second, sometimes what you want isn’t what’s best for you.  Third, there are often tough choices to be made.

If you just look at the numbers (the preferred method of many commenters), you’ll note that the Denali Blue launched higher and spun more, but the ball speed and distances were very similar to Denali Black.  However, if you watched me hit these two shafts, you’d have seen two very different outcomes.  Denali Black gave me tremendous predictability – strong trajectory, great starting lines, modest curve.  With Denali Blue, I hit some jaw droppers – high launch, low spin push-draws that ended up within a few yards of the center line.  However, Denali Blue also allowed me to hit it left or, occasionally, leave one out to the right.

As is often the case, the feel kept drawing me back to Denali Blue.  That and the promise of the kind of drive that makes other people on the range stop and watch.  But, much as I wanted it, I knew Denali Blue was not for me.  I can keep my overly-aggressive transition at bay for stretches, but not forever.  If I were to put a Denali in the bag, I would have to opt for the predictability of Denali Black.  But I applaud Project X for offering two distinct options that cover a wide swath of golfers.

Project X offers Denali Black at 60, 70, and 80 grams.  At 60 and 70 grams, there is a 6.0 and 6.5 flex.  TX is available at all three weights.  Project X Denali Blue is offered at 50, 60, 70, and 80 grams.  The 50 gram version comes in 5.0, 5.5, and 6.0 flexes.  At 60 grams, that bumps up a step with 5.5, 6.0, and 6.5 flexes.  The 70 gram version has 6.0 and 6.5.  Denali Blue in TX flex is available at 60, 70, and 80 grams.

Conclusion

Project X promotes that their new Denali shafts were preferred 75% of the time in double-blind testing against 2 of the most popular shafts on Tour.  Will one of them unseat the trusted shaft in your driver?  With two distinct, powerful profiles, I think there’s a reasonable chance.  Visit your local fitter to give them a try for yourself.

Visit Project X HERE

Matt Saternus
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18 Comments

  1. Randy Siedschlag

    Great write up. Sounds like some owns will hit this out of the park as their stock offerings. Could be worth a try for a lot of folks.

  2. Can you comment on Butt stiffness? I have the RDX smoke red and recently learned from a fitting that I benefit from a stiffer handle… but I struggle with very high launch

  3. Great review!

  4. I wanted to be excited for this. Unfortunately, it sounds like white noise in an already flooded market. I’m sure it’s a great product, but I’m not hearing about any new technology or materials. Just adding to the pot simply to add to it.

  5. Hey Matt,
    Is there a difference between this shaft and the Project X Black Gen 4? If so, what are the differences?

  6. Looking for a good senior flex shaft to put on 430 ping mid with low spin and price

  7. Hi
    Bend profile of the black denali pls ?
    Tip section
    Mid section
    Butt section

    Rgds

  8. Is the black 60 stiff similar to the 1k black stiff? Great write up!

  9. Ernie Santamaria

    Hey Matt,

    Great review. How do you think these two compare to the OG Ventus Black and Blue 6x (w/ Velocore)?

    Thanks,
    Ernie

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