Everyone that plays golf likes to shoot lower scores. And many times that means getting better distance and performance from your equipment. One of the key ingredients for all golfers is to play the proper-fitted shaft in the scoring clubs—the irons--that has the right flex and weight for the player and his or her particular physical attributes.
For many players, as they age, this means transitioning into lighter shafts that are more flexible and easier to hit that will result in better shot dispersion and can give back the distance in many cases that the addition of years has taken away.
True Temper Sports, which produces and distributes a wide variety of golf club shafts and is used by more touring pros and amateurs than just about any other brand, has some outstanding options for most players when it comes to finding a lighter iron shaft.
The XP series was developed by True Temper as a lighter alternative to the Dynamic Gold series of irons shafts that have been considered top-of-the-line for many years by professionals and recreational players alike. Dynamic Gold shafts weigh in the 127-130-gram range and although this is excellent for many players, engineers at True Temper found many players needed something different.
“Traditionally, the superlight weight ranges have largely been reserved for moderate to higher handicap player profiles,” said Greg Cavill, vice president of alloy engineering & R&D for True Temper Sports. “The XP series enhances iron performance across a much broader profile. Our testing showed that highly skilled players also benefited greatly from the distance and feel that XP delivered.”
More than a decade of advancements in the company’s super light alloy development allowed True Temper to optimize the weight and flex distribution of the XP series to get the same performance characteristics that players enjoyed in the Dynamic Gold shafts—but with lighter weights and more flex.
By using this advanced ultralight alloy technology with optimized material distribution, each XP shaft is designed with a flex chamber where power is stored in the downswing and released just prior to the point of impact.
“Every golfer, no matter the skill level, seeks greater distance,” added Scott Hennessy, president and chief operating officer for True Temper Sports. “With the XP Series, we set out with one singular focus…deliver greater distance to irons. Over time you’re going to be more accurate hitting an 8-iron as opposed to a 7 or 6-iron. We knew we could get players closer to the pin if we could get them an additional full club of distance or more with their irons and XP delivers on that objective.”
In the XP series, True Temper now has three distinct weight classes for this premium shaft line that give players a wide variety of options that an experienced club fitter can use to find the optimal weight and flex.
The XP 115 is the heaviest weight down from the Dynamic Gold and at 115 grams feels considerably lighter and will lead to more distance. It is considered a good club for anybody just coming down from a heavier shaft like the Dynamic Gold line and is considered a good choice for a player with a faster tempo who wants medium trajectory and high spin.
For yet another good leap down in weight, the XP 105 is an excellent shaft for more moderate tempo players who want a higher ball flight and medium spin. The XP 95 is categorized in the superlight category for more deliberate swings and has an exceptionally light feel for a higher ball flight and medium spin.
The XP115 comes in three flexes—X100, S300 and R300—while the XP 105 and 95 shafts come in S300 and R300 stiffness. The cut weights of these shafts also vary slightly within each model depending on the stiffness, with the 95 and 105 being the closest in weight.
Having an expert club fitter is vitally important in choosing the shaft that will give each player their best option among the XP series. Swing speed, tempo and other factors can influence which shaft performs best with any given player—and many times the lightest shaft isn’t always the best choice.
Sometimes the lightest shaft will not give the maximum distance— or maybe you will sacrifice control because the weight should be heavier for your particular swing. Getting the proper fit and having your swing speed and characteristics detailed on a launch monitor by an experienced fitter can make all the difference in the world.
According to Jerry Molinar, the owner of Marcs Golf in Palm Desert, California, matching a person’s swing speed and tempo is the key to shaft selection.
“Getting the right lighter shaft can help slow your tempo down and help with your shot dispersion,” explained Molinar, who has worked with hundreds of golfers of all skill levels, including tour players. “I think one of the benefits of the lighter shafts is that you pick up more swing speed and more yardage. Many times when you go lighter it will help you with your tempo.
“It will slow you down but still allow you to get the maximum speed out of the shaft. It can also help your stamina throughout the round as compared with a heavier shaft. The benefit of the XP’s is that it helps you transition from a heavier shaft and you can find the one that suites you best.”
He noted that, for instance, that a player still hitting a 7-iron over 70 miles an hour could be better off tempo-wise playing an XP105 over the lighter XP95 because the tempo improvement would add distance and make up for the heavier shaft--and dispersion would be better for more accuracy.
More information on True Temper shafts can be found at TrueTemper.com www.