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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

Mizuno JPX 919 Tour Forged, 919 Forged, and 919 Hot Metal hit USGA’s conforming list

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As alerted by our always investigative GolfWRX Forum Members, three new Mizuno JPX irons have shown up recently on the USGA Conforming Clubs list; JPX 919 Forged (there is no image of the RH version, but there is of the LH), JPX 919 Hot Metal (and LH), and a JPX 919 Tour Forged iron.

Although still unannounced and unreleased by Mizuno, it’s likely these JPX 919 irons will be the replacements for the previous JPX 900 series. If you remember, Brooks Koepka won back-to-back U.S. Opens using JPX 900 Tour irons; now, it seems there may be a replacement for that iron on the way, judging by the USGA Conforming List.

Check out the Mizuno JPX 919 irons below, as listed on the USGA Confirming list.

Mizuno JPX 919 Forged

Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal

Mizuno JPX 919 Tour Forged

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the USGA photos.

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Equipment

SPOTTED: Srixon “Z785” and “Z585” irons

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Photos have recently popped up in our GolfWRX Forums of Srixon “Z785” and “Z585” irons. It’s been nearly two years since the company released it’s previous Z565, Z765 and Z965 irons, so it’s possible (if not likely), based on nomenclature, these could be the replacements for that series.

The photos in our forums show Z785 short irons (5-PW) and Z785 long irons (4 and 3), but it does not appear that the Z785 irons shown in the photos are driving irons, so it’s likely these photos come from a mixed set.

We do not have any official tech or release information about new irons from Srixon at this time, so we’re left to speculate for the time being. What do you think about the photos of these Srixon “Z785” and “Z585” irons?

Check out the photos of each below, and click here for more photos and discussion.

Srixon “Z785” irons

 

Srixon “Z585” irons

Click here for more photos and discussion.

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Equipment

Michael Kim on why he switched to a Titleist TS2 driver, and the change he’s making for The Open

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Michael Kim set a tournament scoring record at the John Deere Classic last week, so, needless to say, the UC Berkeley alum was firing on all cylinders.

With respect to one of those cylinders, Kim, historically not a great driver of the golf ball, was 34th in Strokes Gained off the tee and tied for second in driving accuracy with a new Titleist TS2 driver in his bag last week. For reference, he’s 192nd in Strokes Gained off the tee and 183rd in driving accuracy for the season. In other words, while Kim’s incredible putting (+13.51 strokes gained: putting) helped, the Titleist TS2 driver he began experimenting with at the FedEx St. Jude Classic also played a role.

We caught up with Kim by phone from Carnoustie and asked him about the decision to put the new TS2 in play.

“When I hit it, I liked it right away. I noticed the biggest difference on mishits. On my old driver, the ball speed would drop a little bit on a toe or heel hit, but with the new one, you barely saw any [drop in ball speed]. And it was definitely going straighter off the mishits. Straighter and longer, honestly.”

“Generally, I don’t make a switch, especially with the driver mid-year, but I put it right in play. And I’m working on some new things with my swing…I kind of turned the corner at the Quicken Loans…obviously hit it great at the Deere.”

“I tried the TS3, but it was a little too low spin for me. So we kept the same shaft [Aldila Rogue Black 60X] and I think it’s the same setting.”

Kim also mentioned he’s putting a steel-shafted driving iron in play for The Open this week–on the recommendation of a guy who knows a thing or two about playing well at the British Open.

“Zach Johnson told me on the plane ride here that I should maybe try a driving iron. So…I got out here and I asked to try a couple of different driving irons…On Tuesday, I tried out a couple of different T-MBs…2-iron, 3-iron. The 2-iron was going way too far, so I tried the 3-iron on the golf course. The way the course is set up, it’s just so firm…It’ll be great if there’s some wind. Exactly what I’m looking for. I’ll put it in play and I’ll probably use it a decent amount throughout the week.”

With respect to Kim’s wedge setup, Vokey Wedge rep, Aaron Dill, offered this comment

“Michael Kim has a really good short game that shows tremendous confidence. Michael uses a great system with his gap wedge having higher bounce, this help with flight and consistency, his 56 is high bounce for bunker and all shots needing extra bounce, and his 60 is a low bounce L for all tighter conditions and shots that need easy and fast lift. The beauty of this setup is it covers multiple shot window and types.”

We’ll see how it works out for him. Kim is competing in his first Open Championship. He tees off at 9:04 a.m. local time with Ryuko Tokimatsu and Chez Reavie.

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