The first, second, and third place finishers at the LPGA’s Kraft Nabisco Championship were among a large number of players in the field who used Nippon Shaft’s N.S. PRO 950GH steel shafts in their irons to compete in golf’s first major of the year.
The 25-year-old South Korean champion made an 18-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a sudden death playoff between her and her countrywoman, who tragically missed a one-foot putt minutes earlier that would have given her the victory. They earned $300,000 and $$182,538, respectively.
The No. 1 player in women’s golf finished third after narrowly missing a birdie putt on her final hole that would have qualified her for the playoff at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
“Nippon Shaft congratulates the champion, her playoff rival, and the No. 1 player in women’s golf on their extraordinary play and for making the first major championship of the year an exciting tournament,” said Hiroyuki Fukuda, head of sales and marketing for Nippon Shaft. “As always, Nippon Shaft is honored that such outstanding players would choose our shafts with a major championship hanging in the balance.”
Meanwhile, four PGA Tour players who used Nippon Shaft steel shafts in their irons made the cut at the Shell Houston Open, with two finishing 21st or better. Top finisher was the tall and lanky Englishman who finished tied for 14th at 9-under par, his fourth Top 25 of the year. He used the Nippon Shaft N.S. PRO MODUS3 prototype X flex enroute to a $105,000 payday.
Nippon Shaft products are available either as stock or custom shafts in many of the world’s top iron brands. In addition, Nippon Shaft products are available through Shaftology - Nippon Shaft’s dedicated clubfitter network – and through the custom club departments of top club manufacturers.
A number of PGA 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, and No. 2 worldwide. Along the way, Nippon Shaft recorded more than 100 pro tour victories worldwide and became the dominant shaft on the LPGA Tour.
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 160 professional victories 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.