Seven players competing in The Players Championship over the weekend used steel shafts from Nippon Shaft in their irons. Five finished under par, and of the five four placed among the Top 25 at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
The 36-year-old native of Richmond, Indiana used Nippon Shaft’s N.S. PRO MODUS3 ST prototype steel shafts in his irons to post an 8-under par 280 on rounds of 71-70-70-69. That was good enough to tie for seventh with two other players and was his fifth top 10 finish in 11 starts this season.
In an eight-way tie for 15th was the 36-year-old former Players Champion (2009) out of Sweden, who shot 5-under 283 for the week on remarkably consistent rounds of 71-71-71-70. He used the Nippon Shaft MODUS3 Tour 120 steel shafts in his irons.
Also tied for 15th at 5-under was the burly 31-year-old native of Zimbabwe, who attended Virginia Tech and now makes his home in Charlotte. He shot 69-71-72-71 to finish with 283, using N.S. PRO MODUS3 prototype steel shafts in his irons.
Tied for 23rd with one other player was the 6-foot 4-inch Floridian, who finished at 4-under 284 with rounds of 72-71-71-70. He used the N.S. PRO MODUS3 ST prototype steel shaft in his irons.
“Nippon Shaft is proud that several of the world’s top players believed in Nippon Shaft to help them bring the best out of their games against a very strong field and an exceptionally demanding golf course,” said Hiroyuki Fukuda, head of sales and marketing for Nippon Shaft. “We congratulate them all on their success at the Players Championship.”
A number of touring pros – including former Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup team members – are playing prototype versions of the MODUS3 shafts in PGA and European PGA tournaments this year. The Tour 120 model weighs between 114 and 126 grams and comes in S, X, and Tour X flex options. An R flex is new this season. Other models still in the testing phase weigh as little as 106 grams and as many as 139 grams – but all meet the requirements of top players.
The N.S. PRO MODUS3 series shafts are growing in popularity with tour pros because they offer optimal performance in the three key areas:
1. Desired trajectory, which comes as a result of the unique shaft structure;
2. Accurate distances, thanks to the shaft’s unique raw steel material and accompanying heat treatment;
3. Tight dispersion, which comes from the exacting tolerances of the highest quality level.
Nippon Shaft made its reputation in the late 1990s by developing the first high quality lightweight steel shaft. The revolutionary N.S. PRO 950GH became the industry’s first sub-100 gram steel shaft, combining the stability and consistency of heavier shafts with extremely lightweight. Soon, Nippon Shaft grew to be the No. 1-selling shaft in Asia, controlling 80 percent of the market.
Nippon Shaft manufactures all of its steel and graphite shafts in a state-of-the-art factory at its headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. The company’s integrated production lines are strictly monitored and controlled with thorough checks conducted responsibly through the entire production process, Fukuda said. As a result, Nippon Shaft is able to control high product quality – from material selection to final testing.
Nippon Shaft has more than 200 professional tour victories on worldwide. Based in Yokohama, Japan, Nippon Shaft is the No. 1-selling steel shaft in Asia, where it controls 80 percent of the golf shaft market.
Nippon Shaft is a privately-held subsidiary of NHK Spring Co. LTD, a Japanese automobile parts manufacturer. Nippon Shaft's North American headquarters is in San Diego.