Nippon Steel Shafts for Irons: NS Pro, Neo, Modus and Zelos
We consider Nippon to be one of the best manufacturers of iron shafts worldwide and the success on Tour proves us right. However, Nippon is not only known for producing the best shafts for tour players, but also for amateurs. Even amateurs, who need extremely light shafts with a weight of 60g, will get their money's worth with Nippon. The difficulty in developing these shafts is to make them so light but still robust. Only very few manufacturers succeed in doing this and Nippon is a leader in this respect.
With the new NS Pro 950 GH Neo, Nippon has given the tried and tested NS Pro shaft a remake that is even better suited to today's needs and club heads. The Neo not only has a slightly different profile, but is also manufactured using production methods that are otherwise used for the Nippon Modus.
The Nippon Mode is generally regarded as one of the most successful shafts on Tour and of course in the amateur sector - although the victories here cannot be quantified as well as on the Tour. After all, the Nippon Modus has already celebrated well over 200 Tour victories. The Modus is a shaft with a very interesting profile, which allows the best precision, but still feels particularly soft. Nippon is now expanding the successful Modus range with a hybrid shaft, the Nippon GOST. This is a steel shaft that is coated with graphite.
However, this is not the only excursion into the carbon sector. And even though Nippon is mainly associated with iron shafts, work is underway on various driver and wood shafts, such as the new NS Pro Regio Formula. These graphite shafts are based on the profile of the successful Modus 120.
N.S. PRO 850GH
This ultra-light model offers a pleasant contact thanks to its light weight and even orientation. It is the lightest steel shaft Nippon makes and is perfect for players looking for a very light steel shaft. Launch and trajectory is high.
N.S. PRO 950GH
The lightweight design is comparable to graphite and makes swinging easier than ever. The use of the new NSGS8665V alloy has helped create a revolutionary combination of strength and balance.
Nippon 950 GH Neo
The NS Pro 950GH was already introduced in 1999 and is one of the absolute classics of steel shafts. It has been fitted and installed by us countless times. But for Nippon it was time for an upgrade, which is mainly due to the current trend in iron heads. Irons are getting stronger and stronger in loft, heavier in weight and the centre of gravity moves further and further down. With the Neo, Nippon wants to do justice to this and the chances are good that Nippon will continue the legacy of the successful 950 Pro with this shaft.
The bend profile of the Neo also differs slightly. The Neo is softer in the grip but a little harder in the mid section. This makes the Neo ideal for launch and landing conditions even for low lofted irons. Currently the Neo is only available in a 95g version, but it can be assumed that Nippon will extend this successful profile in both directions.
N.S. PRO 1050GH
The N.S. PRO 1050GH steel shaft provides a slightly harder feel for players who swing faster.
MODUS 3 Tour 105
The new N.S. PRO MODUS³ Tour 105: Lighter weight to increase clubhead speed for longer shots. Straighter shots, more consistent performance! Traditional, smooth bending profile, medium ball flight.
MODUS 3 Tour 120
The player receives a medium ball flight with the N.S. PRO MODUS³ Tour 120 grams. The Nippon Modus 3 series is known for its supreme quality. Little dispersion and a pleasant feeling when playing is the result.
The special feature of the Modus 120 is definitely the stiff tip, which in turn guarantees maximum precision. This shaft therefore achieves the ideal compromise between a soft swing feeling and precision, which is why Modus 120 is one of the most successful shafts ever.
MODUS 3 Tour 125
With its traditional design, the Tour 125 is suitable for all abilities. The MODUS³ Tour 125 is heat treated with patented MHT (Multi Heat Treatment) technology to improve feel and performance.
MODUS 3 Tour 130
Desired trajectory as a result of the unique structure of a softer tip section and a stiff centre section. Accurate spacing due to the unique crude steel material and the associated heat treatment. Narrow spread, due to the exact tolerances, at the highest quality level.
Modus 120 vs. 130
Many players are faced with the choice between 120 and 130 and mistakenly consider these shafts to be very similar. However, the profile of the two shafts is quite different. The middle part of the 120 is very soft, the tip is hard, while the middle part of the 130 is very hard and the tip section soft.
The extreme difference in the middle part of the shaft also makes the difference in stiffness very clear. This is because the 120 TX Modus is comparable to the 130 R Modus. Note that we are talking about Extra Extra Stiff vs. Regular...
Modus 120 is therefore much softer than often assumed, while Modus 130 is one of the hardest shafts of all. The 130 Modus is designed for a much higher launch.
Nippon Modus 3 GOST Hybrid
It was high time that one of the most successful iron shafts in history was also developed for hybrids. And Nippon is using a composite of steel and graphite here. The so-called Modus GOST: Graphite on Steel Technology. And as the name suggests, in simple terms it is a steel shaft coated with graphite.
One thing is particularly important: the shaft is available in S and X and as a normal and tour version. The normal version has 90g in S and 100g in X, while the tour version has 90g in S and 110g in X.
As far as the bending profile of Modus GOST is concerned, Nippon has very much oriented itself towards the successful and Modus 120 typical profile. This means a very soft grip end, a stiffer grip start, a soft middle section and a very stiff tip.
Modus GOST is without doubt pretty stiff and should only be considered by good players. The GOST 100 X is just as stiff as the 120 TX or 130 R Modus.
In addition to the lightest Nippon steel shaft to date, the NS Pro 750, a new, equally light steel shaft has been introduced: the Zelos 7. It was not long before the Zelos became one of the most popular shafts among our iron fittings. The bending profile is fundamentally different to the NS Pro and appeals especially to players looking for a lower launch.
The Zelos is also available in 60g and 80g versions, Zelos 6 and Zelos 8.
Basically the successful Modus 120 served as a model during the development which can be seen directly in the bending profile. The Zelos shafts have a relatively stiff tip, but are very soft in the middle - much softer than the NS Pro GH variants.
Something you would expect from such a lightweight shaft is a wide dispersion. However, thanks to the stiff tip, this is not the case. This is why the Zelos is a shaft that is not only light and soft in feel, but also one that provides excellent precision for its weight class. Not for nothing is the Zelos already one of our most sold shafts.
Click here to read our extensive review and fitting session with the Zelos shafts.
Nippon Zelos vs. NS Pro
In this test we compare the new Nippon Zelos 8 with the NS Pro 850 GH, which has been established for many years. Both are very successful shafts and dominate the light steel shaft market. Especially the Zelos shaft, which is also available as 6 and 7, can be built extremely light but still durable. Zelos is our first choice when it comes to light and high quality steel shafts that should stay in play for many years. Nippon manages to produce very light but very thick walls, which they manage to do better than any other manufacturer.
Zelos 8 vs. 850
This comparison is not really fair for the simple reason that the Zelos is much softer than the 850. The difference is a whole 20 cpm, which normally corresponds to two flexes. And that's with Zelos 8 R vs. 850 GH R.
The difference in flex can be explained simply by the fact that the Zelos has a very soft mid section in the profile. It was modelled on the very popular Modus 120 and has a similar profile - only much lighter. The Modus profile is so popular for a reason. Thanks to the very stiff tip, dispersion is minimised and the player gets a high degree of control. In return, however, the mid section of the shaft is very soft and gives the player a soft feel. Nippon combines the best of both worlds and that is why the Modus 120 is an iron shaft that suits the majority of players. The same is true for the Zelos, but in a completely different weight class.
The 850 has a much stiffer mid section. The tip, however, is similarly stiff. All in all, this results in more stiffness, less launch and less spin.
This is exactly what our test player showed. It has to be said that for the player, the Zelos 8 was a bit too soft and therefore also hit uncleanly. The 850 was better suited for this player. Accordingly, the hit pattern, the ball speed and also the deviation of the carry lengths were better.
Of course, this test only applies to this one player. The result could just as well be the other way round. However, it shows one thing very clearly: the difference between these two shafts is extreme. One should not make the mistake of assuming that two 80g shafts from the same manufacturer must be very similar.
The fact that this is not the case with Nippon speaks for this manufacturer. This means that Nippon can offer shafts for very different types of players. Even in this lighter segment, the player has the choice between two very different shafts.
What you can definitely take away from this test is that the NS Pro shafts are basically rather stiff and the Zelos shafts rather soft. This also applies in comparison to steel shafts from other manufacturers in the same weight class.