True Temper XP Golf Shaft Review

True Temper XP 95 Iron Shaft

By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

TT_XP95_image
The True Temper XP 95 is the first of a new family of iron shafts from True Temper. It is an evolution of the GS series which it will be replacing. Like the GS family, it uses a special steel alloy which has higher tensile strength allowing for lighter weight designs. That alloy has evolved from what True Temper designated as S3 in the GS75 to S5 in the XP models.

True Temper testing and player feedback is addressing the low spin balls designed to deliver driver distance. Those balls do not spin enough to get distance and drop and stop performance on longer irons. To address this, True Tempers current generation of iron shafts are aimed at increasing spin. This is also addressed in the design of the Dynamic Gold Pro progressive launch model also releasing in 2014.

The True Temper XP uses a dual step pattern. Longer steps near the butt of the shaft, shorter steps closer to the tip. The longer steps. smaller changes in diameter per step, are called speed steps by True Temper. The shorter steps create a quicker loss of stiffness in the shaft as it gets closer to the tip. It is this property of the shaft that increases launch. That progressive stiffness loss can be seen in the EI bend profile.

TT_XP95_Ei

As with other True Temper designs, the stepped section of the shaft has the same EI profile in each profile. The length of the tip to first step changes. This is shown by the shifting of the profiles in the EI Bend Profile graphic. True Temper calls this design player optimized. It has been a success in the Dynamic Gold, a shaft one might call the industry standard. Each shaft profile is specific to the player that is best fit in a particular stiffness. In the True Temper XP models, the weigh change contributes to stiffening the shafts.

I had a chance to talk to Bill Lange, the True Temper Director of Sales, at the 2014 PGA Merchandise show about the XP shafts.

True Temper XP 105 Iron Shaft

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The XP 105, available exclusively from Mizuno in 2014 is the first expansion of the XP family of shafts. I am told we will see both 85 and 115 gram versions in the near future.

TT_XP105_EiTb

The two XP 105 shafts in combination with the XP 95 shafts are an interesting fitting matrix. The X version of the 95 is 105 grams. I can see from the profiles a progressive launch set of irons, using the XP 95 X in the longer irons and the XP 105 in the shorter irons.

  • James

    Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me how these XP 95 compare to C-Taper Lites? Are they similar in there launch and spin or are they completely different? Thanks!

    • DevotedGolfer

      James,
      Look at the review of the C-Taper lite.
      http://www.golfshaftreviews.info/index.php/kbs-tour-c-taper-lite-golf-club-shaft-review/

      The butt stiffness will give you your first clue about the differences between the XP95 and the KBS CT-Lite. The stiffness number is derived from a 4″ deflection of the shaft. The CT Lites are in the 13 pound range, the XP95′s 11, 12 and 13. So the X version is in range, and the weight is similar.
      The real difference between TrueTemper design and Kim Braly design is the that the KBS models retain the bend profile in different flex designations while the TrueTemper shafts bend profiles change with flex designation. Look at the article on the Dynamic Gold to get a full explanation. With that understanding, you will see that the X versions of TrueTemper designs are similar to the new KBS Tour V design. The S versions are more like the KBS Tour and C-Tapers. However, this type of comparison is a vast oversimplification of the differences between these shafts. In the TrueTemper family of shafts, the Project X iron shafts are your closest match to the C-Tapers.

  • Bob

    Hi there,
    Is the XP95 and the SpeedStep 95 the same shaft?

    • DevotedGolfer

      I am not familiar with the SpeedStep 95, buy I have a vague recollection of the term being used in discussion of the design with TrueTemper. I will check next week and get back to you.

    • DevotedGolfer

      Bob,
      The XP family of shafts uses the SpeedStep crimps near the butt and the traditional crimps closer to the tips. The SpeedStep crimps are smaller/shallower, used in areas where the shaft wall thickness is thin. This technology enhances feel on thin wall steel. The XP’s are not speedstepped their entire length.

  • Darren

    Great review Bob. Interested in the new XP 95 shaft that is stock in the new 714 AP1′s. I have always played DGS300′s but would not mind trying a lighter weight shaft as I am not getting any younger! Demoed both the DG and the XP in the 714 AP1 head, as always, the DG felt like an old comfortable shoe to me, but I really did like the feel and weight of the XP. I am a VERY high ball hitter, so DG helps to keep it down for me, so my question is what shaft would best suit me in the XP? I was thinking of maybe soft-stepping the X flex or hard stepping the S flex. Would love your input on how to go lighter weight, but still keep the ball down? Thanks in advance!

    • Darren

      Sorry about that Russ! Looked at the wrong name when I wrote the above. Great review Russ!

      • DevotedGolfer

        I cannot be off much help other than offering some general guidance. You really need to get to a fitter with radar and watch your ball and head flight with the weight change. There is really no way for me or anyone to predict how you will react to 25 gram weight change. It is going to affect your timing. How that affects flight short term and long term as you accommodate to the new weight is not predictable. Short term, a FlightScope
        equipped fitter can document your swing dynamics.

        As for hitting the ball too high, the quick solution is to deloft your heads.

        I would not be soft stepping the XP if you are used to the DG. I
        would be getting it as stiff as you feel comfortable loading it. It is not as
        stiff as the DG overall. Look at the stiffness numbers on the reviews.

  • morganii

    Hi Bob, Hopefully you can answer some concerns I have. I recently reshafted my Mizuno JPX 800 pro with KBS tour 90 reg. Swing weight was all over the place from D2-D5 so had to add tape to get them similar and was not happy about that as they are now heavier than what I wanted. I’m a picker and now thinking about the TT GS95 or TT XP95 because looking at the reviews it appears they might be a better fit for me for gaining height. What do you think or should I just look at adding loft to the clubs? Thanks

    • DevotedGolfer

      Morgannii,
      Its Russ not Bob… While I have not had a lot of fittings with the TrueTemper XP’s I do know the KBS tours. The profiles indicate the XP’s especially the R flex are going to launch higher than the KBS tours. Even the Tour90. If you are looking for launch, the surest and least expensive way to do that is to bend the heads. Remember, you are going to add some bounce. Make certain you can get to the ball without dragging the rear of the head on the ground. Some impact tape and a lie board will give you an indication of where you presently engage the turf with the sole. If it is to the rear of the sole, bending to add loft could create a turf interaction issue.

  • Russ Saupe

    I have a chance to buy a used set of Wilson RM Cavity Backs that came out maybe 15-20 years ago. I always admired them. They are all thin soled cavity backs with True Temper Firestick Steel Shafts. THIS IS NOT THE FATSHAFT MODEL. These clubs have 3.5 written on the Firestick sticker except for the 2-iron which is 2.8. In laymen’s terms what do these numbers equate to? X, S, R, A, L Can anybody tell me?

  • Amit Singh

    Russ,

    I was recently fit for TT XP 105 Stiff using the Mizuno Swing Optimizer. Your post on using XP 95 X and XP 105 irons for a progressive launch set is very interesting as I could use help with higher launching long irons. How would one go about building a set such as the one you described? Specifically, in which irons would you recommend using XP 95 X and which ones would use XP 105 Stiff and Regular?

    Thank you for enlightening the casual weekend golfer.

    • DevotedGolfer

      Amit, You would switch to the lighter shaft where you feel you would need more height on you shots. Personally I might make that jump at the 5i, but you might go as low as the 6i. The reaction to weight and stiffness is different from person to person. Based solely on what I see in the profiles, switching to the 105R would be the first step. The get higher yet, the next step would be the 95R. The 95S and 95X do not appear to be higher flighted shafts than the 105S. They are lighter, but have firmer tips.