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True Temper releases lighter, longer XP family of shafts

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Most golfers are familiar with the advantages of today’s game-improvement irons, which are helping golfers hit the ball higher and farther than ever before. But fewer are aware of the latest crop of  lightweight “game-improvement” shafts, which can further boost a golfer’s iron play.

One top-rated model is True Temper’s new XP shaft family, which was chosen by leading iron makers Callaway, Mizuno and Titleist to be the stock shaft in each company’s flagship game-improvement irons, Callaway’s Apex, Mizuno’s JPX-EZ and JPX-EZ Forged and Titleist’s AP1 irons.

Greg Cavill, vice president of alloy engineering for True Temper, credits the performance of the XP shafts to their variable wall technology, which allowed engineers to manipulate the thicknesses of certain parts of the shafts to improve distance, performance and feel.

In the butt section of the shaft, for example, the walls were made thinner, which was a key to making the XP 95 as light as 92 grams, more than 30 grams lighter than True Temper’s famed Dynamic Gold shafts. But engineers used thicker walls in the tip section of the shaft, which added weight to help stabilize the region.

True Temper Xp 105

Above: True Temper’s XP 95 shaft has a butt diameter of 0.605 inches, while the 10-grams heavier XP 105 shaft has a slightly smaller butt diameter of 0.600 inches. 

Engineers continued the give and take by changing the step pattern of the butt section of the shaft. Its steps were made longer than those in the tip section, making the butt section stiffer. The butt section was then further reinforced with another stiffening agent, a slightly larger outside diameter, which works with the shaft’s stiff midsection to force the tip of the shaft to “kick” at impact.

That kick is responsible for the shaft’s higher launch, which when paired with the added swing speed the lightweight shaft provides adds 6-to-8 yards more carry distance, according to True Temper robot testing.

True Temper’s XP 95 shaft, as well as the 10-grams heavier XP 105 shaft, have a balance point that allows iron sets to be built with traditional balance points. They’re available in R300 and S300 flexes, and cost $400 for a set of eight shafts (3-PW).

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. BrianK

    Dec 4, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    For all of the people who will read this article and be truly interesting in the shafts, you need to try them. Don’t listen to the people whining about prices and if their game will change by 10 strokes. These are really good light weight shafts. Very good feel, exceptional control, and a little added distance. I have a set of the XP 105 and I have been really impressed with the vibration reduction in them. Been playing graphite for years and this is the first set of steal shafts that haven’t caused soreness in my shoulder. Even hitting off mats was no problem for me, and that was huge. These are not your lightweight “noodle” shafts of the past, these are legitimate shafts for good players who want to go a little lighter.

  2. Dan

    Dec 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    These shafts are only 26$ at golfsmith. Not sure where the 50$ came from.

    • True Temper

      Dec 2, 2013 at 11:04 am

      $50 per is MSRP meaning fit and installed. $25 as a component. Very much in line with other lightweight steel and far less than a lot of new graphite irons..

      TTS

  3. Pingback: Desde el tee: semana 48/2013 | Golf76.com

  4. Andrew Cooper

    Nov 29, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Equipment being too expensive is a myth! Golf equipment is no more expensive now in real terms than it was 20 odd years ago, certainly in the UK., Mizuno, Ping irons e.t.c. back in early 1990s cost around £500. Callaway’s Big Bertha and GBB drivers were £200-£300 when they came out. In 2013, you can still buy a cracking set of irons for £500. New Drivers are more or less the same-and the clearance deals on older models can be half that. If you’re going for up-charge options, like these shafts, and/or always want the latest clubs, then obviously that’s going to cost.
    For anyone new to the game, or short on cash, quality 2nd hand is the way to go. If you know what to look for, you could put together a great set for under £400.

  5. Giancarlo Baxa

    Nov 29, 2013 at 12:06 am

    I’m so sick about hearing about all these new shafts, new models, new everything. The bottom line is players clubs have all been the same since the change from the old persimmons to metal woods. A pure ball striker can perform on the same level no matter what clubs he’s using. There is nothing else manufacturers can do within the rules of conforming clubs that will make one club play much better than another. Basically the only difference is cosmetics, as much as manufacturers want you to believe that there is for example, ” increased ball speeds, different COG’s etc, it all means nothing. Give it up people, stop changing equipment and start changing your swing.

    • Brian

      Nov 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      There is nothing farther from the truth than what you just said. Go spend some time reading about modern equipment and I’m willing to bet you’ll reevaluate that statement.

  6. woot

    Nov 28, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    This is not a poor man’s sport, if you want to go cheap you can always buy the box sets from wal mart.

    • marko

      Nov 29, 2013 at 1:06 am

      Golf is a sport! And there fore should be affordable for ALL people.
      Don’t think for one minute because you make more money than someone else that YOU are a BETTER person and that YOU deserve special treatment. There is NO place in this life for Elitestests like You!!

  7. Really?

    Nov 28, 2013 at 8:56 am

    50 bucks a piece for steel shafts… I can find EVERY other steel shaft for cheaper than that… Even the KBS Customs are not 50 a piece.

    Another OEM pricing themselves out of most bags.

    • _Hawk3y3_

      Dec 1, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Anyone paying $50 per shaft for these is stupid, lazy, or both. I play XP 105 S300 in my 5-PW and found them as a set of 1-time pulls on e-bay. $35 shipped for the whole set, and I had the serial numbers verified by True Temper. They truly are wonderful shafts and play very similar to Dynamic Gold. Don’t pay MSRP…spend a little bit of time searching for a deal or two.

  8. WP

    Nov 28, 2013 at 6:42 am

    On the other hand, for those ‘hacks’ that are willing to suffer the indignation of playing stock shafts, this is a good news story. I have the XP95 in my new AP2s, love them, and avoided the $25/per upcharge for PXi. A set of AP1 with XP95 could be considered a bargain.

    • Paul

      Nov 28, 2013 at 11:46 am

      Agreed, feel like I stole something after reading this article considering these are stock in the new ap1 and 2’s. I personally liked them better then any other lightweight shaft as well, pxi, steelfibres, etc. and no up charge, win-win.

  9. John

    Nov 27, 2013 at 10:34 am

    The real question for me is will these $50 a piece shafts lower someone’s score or handicap! I think I know that answer – I think they are running out of real ideas to improve club performance but need a another new idea to sell us equipment we don’t need.

  10. AJ Jensen

    Nov 27, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I don’t know that I want much ‘improvement’ out of my irons, in terms of distance. What I want from my irons is for them to go an exact distance and stop dead where they land.

  11. Michael

    Nov 27, 2013 at 8:18 am

    50 US-Dollar für a stable lightweight steelshaft? For that money, I would opt for an Aerotech Steelfiber in the correct weight.

  12. Kevin

    Nov 27, 2013 at 2:27 am

    50$ a shaft for 6-8 more yards? No thanks I’ll be back here using a 7 iron when you use an 8 for those prices

    • jgpl001

      Nov 28, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      There were many id..ts who were willing to pay $300+ when TM promised 15 yds with the RBZ, so what is the problem here?

      True Temper just need to have a brass neck and marketing hype machine like TM and they could double the price

    • Giancarlo Baxa

      Nov 29, 2013 at 12:08 am

      exactly right

  13. Marko

    Nov 27, 2013 at 2:20 am

    WOW! $50 bucks a shaft. This game is becoming to expensive.
    Not going to grow the game at these prices.
    $1000 for a set of irons?
    $300-$400 for a driver?
    $125 for each wedge?
    $100-$300 for a putter?
    $40 for a dozen balls?
    Really sad.

    • Zach

      Nov 27, 2013 at 2:52 am

      Completely agree! I can see why so many are leaving the game! Add to that cost membership fees for club members or for an average hack the green fees. Really hate to see this happen to my beloved game!!!

      • Ross

        Nov 27, 2013 at 6:34 pm

        It’s always been the way of golf… I was pretty poor growing up had hand me down clubs (not good quality and went hunting for golf balls to play and sell to cover my membership) The looks you get are never of encouragement…. it 99.9% scorn and the game has an ego and will continue to pander to the rich. 400 dollar head on a 400 dollar shaft, in a 400 bag…

        Buy second hand 24 months old gear… they big up the advances but its all marketing.

        Longest driver i ever hit was a mp650 with a graffaloy prolaunch red shaft… 90 dollars on ebay!

    • Martin

      Nov 27, 2013 at 8:37 am

      And if you really want to get properly fitted clubs, using the clubfix for example, it starts to get really expensive. A friend of mine got fitted for a new driver in Sweden (this was a serious fitter who really checked the club after it arrived, and it was an aftermarket shaft) and he paid: 750 dollars for it… So in the US its much cheaper…

      • Ross

        Nov 27, 2013 at 6:37 pm

        Everywhere is cheaper than in rip off Britain… unfortunately where i live… we have the links though

        • Jack

          Nov 27, 2013 at 10:08 pm

          But income must be higher to offset, no?

        • Nick Messi

          Feb 25, 2014 at 2:34 pm

          Try living in Australia mate.
          We get hammered left right and centre. Cars , housing , groceries , golf equipment , golf membership , green fees , private school fees ……. the list goes on and on.

    • Christopher Kee

      Nov 27, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      I agree. It’s $2,500 for clubs/bag/balls/shoes to get out on the course if you purchase new. Thank god for ebay!

    • Corrie-Lynn's dad

      Nov 28, 2013 at 10:55 am

      The game of golf has been expensive as long as I can remember.

      • marko

        Nov 29, 2013 at 1:15 am

        I can remember when $500 would get you a complete set. Not that long ago. When the tradition of golf was respected. Now they (OEM) just want to find a new way(HYPE) to seperate you and your money. Big heads,graphite shafts, and the change in the golf ball has ruined the GAME of golf. It’s no longer a game of skill. It’s just boom and gouge. Where is Payne Stewart. RIP.

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Equipment

Club Building 101: Counterbalancing golf clubs

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Counterbalancing can take many forms, from higher balance point shafts, to heavier grips. This video explains how this relates to club building, along with the benefits of counterbalancing from both a player and design perspective.

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Callaway redesigns Odyssey R-Ball Prototype using GE’s additive manufacturing

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Callaway has announced the company has signed a consultancy agreement with GE Additive’s AddWorks team, with the aim of improving its equipment through the potential of additive manufacturing. According to GE Additive’s website, additive manufacturing is a process that creates a physical object from digital design, enabling the creation of lighter, stronger parts and systems.

What does this mean for Callaway’s equipment?

The opening project from the agreement is a redesigned Odyssey R-Ball Prototype putter head. Callaway originally developed the Odyssey R-Ball Prototype as a tour preferred model in Japan, which consisted of removing the front ball from the original 2-ball design. Callaway, through additive manufacturing, has optimized the acoustics of the putter while retaining the preferred shape and performance.

 

Brad Rice, director – R&D, Advanced Engineering at Callaway, speaking about the process, stressed that the use of additive manufacturing is the future to the production of equipment in the game of golf, stating

“Additive manufacturing is a new tool; which is quickly going beyond the aspirational phase, and into the functionalization phase of the technology. Callaway needs to learn how to use this tool well because it is inevitable that 3D-Printing of production parts is going to happen – it is the production method of the future.”

So just how has Callaway and GE Additive collaborated to create the ideal acoustics on the Odyssey R-Ball Prototype putter head? Well, the answer is by adding geometry that made it difficult for conventional casting methods, which you can get a feel for in this short video.

For the Odyssey Prototype putter to retain its optimal design and shape while altering the acoustic signature of the putter head, Callaway and GE Additive’s AddWorks’ design and engineering teams implemented additive manufacturing through the following process:

  •  AddWorks provided guidance to Callaway, based on decades of additive design background spanning several industries.
  •  The team refined existing designs to the build direction to ensure all features were self-supported or easily supported during the build. The AddWorks team designed supports for thermal stresses and overhang constraints.
  •  Topology optimization was used in conjunction with acoustical mapping to create the optimal design.

According to GE Additive AddWorks general manager, Chris Schuppe, additive manufacturing is a method which we are going to be hearing of a lot down the line, and he is expecting this to be the first of many collaborations with Callaway

“We’re taking away many new learnings from our first project together, especially around aesthetics. We have also used additive technology to create an acoustic map, which is certainly a first for us. We’re looking forward to driving more successful projects with Callaway, as they continue their additive journey.”

What the future holds for Callaway’s products through the use of additive manufacturing remains to be seen. However, the company’s bold stance on the potential of the process enhancing their equipment could be telling.

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Oldest club that you game?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from uwhockey14, who asks fellow GolfWRX members for the oldest club that they still use out on the course. Despite the latest technologies continually leading to new and improved equipment, this thread shows that for many of our members, there will always be a place in the bag for that certain trusty older club.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • leo the lion: “Odyssey Dual Force 56 degree wedge which is about 20 years old. These wedges have what I believe are called Stronomic inserts in the face. The inserts are made of a very hard material and still look new. I have not found a wedge that gives more spin and control than these wedges. Ping Eye and ISI’s come close but the Dual Forces can almost stop on a dime. I also have a 52 degree that I will use together with the 56 on shorter courses.”
  • NRJyzr: “Playing Golden Ram Tour Grinds right now, they’re approximately 38 years old.”
  • Moonlightgrm: “My Ping ISI irons are 18-years old. Nothing can move them out of my bag. Easy to hit and very forgiving. I tried a set of Mizuno JPX900 forged this year, and they lasted exactly 3-rounds.”
  • sneaky_pete: “18* Mizuno Fli Hi II Driving Iron from around 2006/2007.  This will never leave the bag! Also still rocking my Adams Speedline Super S 3 wood from 2012.”
  • dpb5031: “Arnold Palmer AP30r blade putter – ~50 years old. Kasco K2K #33 (sorta between a 2 hybrid & 5 wood) – 18 years old.”

Entire Thread: “Oldest club that you game?”

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