The company that quietly revolutionized the golf equipment industry by perfecting the first credible sub-100-gram steel shaft will reveal the world’s lightest constant-weight steel shaft at next week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.
The new Nippon Shaft N.S. PRO ZELOS 7 is a 74-gram steel shaft aimed at players who are seeking the stability and consistency of steel yet want the lightness and forgiveness of graphite, said Hiro Fukuda, sales and marketing for the global company.
“The N.S. PRO ZELOS 7 is a 100 percent-steel shaft, but it is designed to mirror the best qualities of graphite,” Fukuda said. “Nippon Shaft is very proud of our engineering and design staff, which set out to make the ZELOS 7 in order to help make the game of golf more enjoyable for as many people as possible.”
Fukuda said the ZELOS 7 is aimed at golfers whose 7-iron swing speeds measure 75 miles-an-hour or less, which he estimated to be over half of the world’s golfers, including some pros. The shafts will be available in 5-iron through wedge, measuring 37.5 through 35.0 inches in length and featuring a low kick point. The regular flex shaft weighs 74 grams while the Soft Regular (R2 flex) comes in at 73.5 grams and the stiff flex weighs 76 grams, he noted. Constant weighting means each iron will weigh the same regardless of its length. The ZELOS 7 shaft will be softer than a graphite shaft from the tip to the butt end of the club.
“The ZELOS 7 is a shaft that’s going to fit a lot of players,” Fukuda said. “For golfers who currently play steel shafts and who would prefer to remain with steel, the ZELOS 7 will be a perfect alternative. The ZELOS 7 also is for players who already have switched to graphite but would like to return to steel without giving up the light-weight advantages of graphite.”
Initially, the ZELOS 7 was sold only in Japan, but company executives said they will be made available globally after the PGA Merchandise Show, Fukuda said.
Nippon Shaft has a rich history when it comes to designing and producing lightweight steel shafts. In 1999, the company introduced the 95-gram N.S. PRO 950GH shaft, which became one of the most popular shafts in the world.
In addition to its success with average golfers, the 950GH was – and remains – one of the most popular shafts on the LPGA Tour, where it has been the shaft of choices for hundreds of winners on the world’s most prestigious women’s pro tour.
In recent years, Nippon Shaft has successfully expanded its product line to include shafts designed for PGA TOUR professionals and low-handicap amateurs.
Over the years, Nippon Shaft recorded hundreds of victories on professional golf tours worldwide, as the best players in the world increasingly chose to install in their irons steel shafts manufactured in Japan to unparalleled quality standards.
Nippon Shaft products are available globally either as stock or custom shafts in many of the world’s top iron brands. In addition, Nippon Shaft products are available through Nippon Shaft’s dedicated global clubfitter network. Details of these can be found at www.nipponshaft.com
Nippon Shaft manufactures all of its steel and graphite shafts in a state-of-the-art factory in Komagane, Japan. The company’s integrated production lines are strictly monitored and controlled with thorough checks conducted responsibly through the entire production process. As a result, Nippon Shaft is able to control high product quality – from material selection to final testing.
Nippon Shaft has more than 100 professional victories worldwide. Based in Yokohama, Japan, Nippon Shaft is the No. 1-selling steel shaft in Asia.
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 Carlsbad.
Cronin Communications, Inc.