By: Matt Saternus

Everyone knows that white tie is fancier than black tie, but where does red tie fit in?  While I’m going to have to call in our Apparel Editor, Golfspy Zinger, for the fashion ruling, I do know where the Red Tie fits in the Matrix Flight System: right in the middle.

If you read my review of the White Tie X3 (and if you didn’t, go rectify that mistake now), you know the Matrix has brought out a simplified fitting system for 2013: the Matrix Flight System with high, medium, and low launching shafts.  Today we look at the final piece of that family of three, the Q3 Red Tie.

Specs, Price, and Manufacturer Notes

The Q3 Red Tie fits in the middle of the Matrix Flight System, between the low-launching M3 Black Tie and the high-launching X3 White Tie.

The Q3 is available in weights ranging from 50 grams  to 88 grams, and flexes from Ladies flex  to XX.

The Q3 has an MSRP of $375

Looks, Feel, and Miscellaneous

The release of the Q3 Red Tie has taught me one thing: complain long enough and loud enough and eventually you will get what you want.  In every Matrix review I’ve written, I’ve whined about Matrix abandoning their signature cherry red, and now it’s back!  I win!  Really, we all win, because the cherry red Matrix is simply one of the best looking shafts around.  The logo on the shaft is fairly minimal and can be turned down and hidden at address.  The rain graphics stop above the logo, so those who like really clean looks should be thrilled.

Moving on to feel, I was very pleasantly surprised by how stable the Q3 felt.  I assumed that the Q3 would fall directly between the very stable M3 and the tip soft X3, but, in fact, the Q3 leans heavily towards the M3.  My best one line description of the Q3 would be: M3 with a softer butt section.  There’s a definite kick, but it’s higher (closer to the grip) than I expected, which I really like.


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 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.



The 7Q3 was a bit longer for me in both flexes, largely due to lower spin and a slight increase in ball speed.  That said, the 6Q3 in X-flex was the most accurate, posting both the best dispersion number and the best offline number.  The distance was a bit shorter than the others due to hitting some higher-spinning fades and pushes.

Overall, I was pleased with the balanced dispersion of all of the Q3 shafts.  The vast majority of my shots started on really good lines and didn’t stray too much.


As I’ve said before, I love the fact that Matrix has simplified their offerings and fitting system for 2013.  While I still think that it’s critically important to be custom fit by a qualified fitter, this system goes a long way towards helping the consumer understand his options.  I also like that each of these three products has a very unique feel and ball flight.  With the X3, Q3, and M3, most players will be able to find something they like in the Matrix family.



Pick your tie!

Check out our reviews of the Black Tie, White Tie, and Red Tie, and check the Matrix website to see what shaft you would like to try (be specific: model, weight, and flex).  Then post a comment below telling us the specs of the shaft you want and why.  At the end of the week, we will randomly select a winner who will receive the shaft of their choice.

Bonus entry:

Re-Tweet the following for a second entry in the drawing (the retweet button is the one with two arrows forming a square):