I have had the chance to play with McDermott’s I-pro shaft over the past couple of months. Yes, this was planned to be a late review. It’s been on the market now, for some time. When CEO Garret Troop approached me to do a review of the shaft it was an easy decision. With all the information available at your fingertips, how can we as test subjects, change it up?
Garret took on doing the first review after receiving the I-pro shaft from McDermott. An unchanged, strait from the factory, just like it would show up at your doorstep. He banged the balls around, put it in a box and shipped it off to me while he wrote his thoughts. To this day, I have not read that, or any review on this shaft. We planned this ahead of time. We have since talked about our thoughts on this shaft after I returned it to McDermott.
Stats: 12.5mm Navigator Alpha tip (Medium)3/8″-10 joint (standard) and used for this reviewHybrid I-pro taper (in my eyes, conical taper, standard)3 layer carbon fiber core.
My initial thoughts and concerns was how stiff it was going to feel given the taper and the core. Why wouldn’t I? When you look at what you’re getting ready to put in your hands just by the numbers. I didn’t get that with this shaft, but you can definitely tell that it doesn’t have the flex you would get from a longer “pro taper” shaft.
So how does it “play”?
I didn’t get that “thud” sound that you can get from stiffer playing shafts with harder tips, which was very reassuring. I will assume that is from the construction of the shaft as a whole being solid and well built. It feels good in your hands. Boasting a conical taper, that last statement is going to be… you guessed it… play preference.
The Navigator tip gives you plenty of control while not sacrificing stability once it compressed a little. I had to reshape it a bit due to a flat spot that developed. Expected with new tips. When you’re putting a new piece of equipment to a test, so things are just going to get hit hard. You know I had to break with it a few times.
What else is wrapped up in this shaft?
The black carbon fiber doesn’t “stick out” while down on your shot. Being that I can keep my head down on a shot, can be attributed to that i’m sure. Or maybe it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. I will stick with my white ones though.
I couldn’t really understand the idea of having a reverse tenon on the ferrule, again, going to back to the concern of it being a bit stiff. That being said, there is more design and science involved in that aspect of the shaft than i am versed in, so we will go with, “it works”. I can’t say it’s a negative in this application.
In all, i’m giving this one a 8/10. It’s well built, and the quality you would expect from a well known company.
So where is the 2 points going?
I play with a closed bridge on 99% of my shots, so the taper is a tough one for me to get passed, but it bodes well for someone with an open bridge for sure. So there is a minus one point for me. I can’t get over it, probably never will. Nope.
Although not concerning the ability for this shaft to function as designed, I drop a point on the price of this one. An MSRP of $359 seems a bit steep but i don’t think it is completely out of line. Actually on par with most companies today. Hey, who doesn’t want things a bit cheaper? We all know there’s shafts on the market WAY over this price tag, and the wait can be crazy. So really, that the full point, is actually a ½.
The I- pro plays well, and actually does achieve a level of play you would expect from a Low deflection shaft on the market today right from the floor. Even with having a carbon fiber core, it’s nice to have your fingers around maple. Wood just hammers home for the old school players.
Final thought on this one, and a big plus in my opinion. This shaft is a HUGE step up from the Intimidator line of shafts offered. For me, the I-2 seemed “light” not giving a solid hit. The I-pro gives you that solid feel without feeling like a break shaft.
Player preference played a huge roll on this one, and that makes me feel really good about the future of this shaft in the market. There’s going to be players who will change things, thats expected, but give the factory settings a try before you do. McDermott put some time into this one, don’t count them out.
Sponsored by Jacoby Custom Cues
Author: Dustin Crowe
Editor: Shaylyn Troop