Pros: For a lightweight graphite iron shaft (104 grams), the xi’s feel extremely stable. They reduce vibration compared to steel shafts, and offered slightly more launch and spin for our tester.
Cons: They’re $75 each, and could cause swing weights to come in too light.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for stable, lightweight graphite iron shafts, these should be on your list to try. They have scary high frequency numbers, but our tester found that they still felt smooth and solid, and performed better than his steel shafts throughout the set.
Golfers are always searching for ways to remove variables from their game. That’s why many spend hours on the range with hopes of developing the consistency that will allow them to hit longer, straighter shots.
One way that golfers can improve their consistency without practice, according to nVentix, is to use one of the company’s Nunchuk shafts. Nunchuk shafts are different than other shafts on the market because they don’t come in different flexes. They’re made with rigid tip and butt sections that inventor Gerry Hogan says minimizes shaft droop and bend to give golfer a better chance to hit the sweet spot.
Nunchuk’s wood and hybrid shafts have already found the winner’s circle on the PGA Tour — Jhonnatan Vegas used one in his driver, 3 wood and hybrid in 2011 to win the Humana Challenge, and Brandt Snedeker used a Nunchuk shaft in his hybrid when he won the 2012 Farmers Insurance Open.
nVentix hopes to have the same success with its new graphite iron shaft, the Nunchuk xi, which debuted at the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show. The shaft has the same design theory has the company’s driver/fairway and hybrid shafts, as well as the same weight — about 104 grams. It retails for $75 per shaft.
- Torque — 3.3 degrees
- Weight — 104 grams
- Length — 40 inches
- Tip outside diameter (OD) — 0.355 and 0.370
- Butt OD — 0.610 inches
- Parallel tip — 2 inches (0.370-inch model)
Several months ago, there was an opportunity to review Nunchuk’s new xi grpahite iron shafts. I applied to be a tester and actually forgot about it. I was in the process of testing my TaylorMade Forged MB/MC combo set versus my Rocketbladez Tours. I know, big difference in clubs, but both were equipped with KBS C-Tapers shafts in stiff flex, hard-stepped once. Just as the testing started getting good, I received an email asking me if I would still like to test them? ABSOLUTELY, I said! I was pretty excited to give them a shot, although my experience with graphite shafts in irons was minimal at best.
A little about myself. I use to log 250 to 300 rounds annually for several years. My best ever established handicap was +3.7. I played on some mini tours for several years, with marginal success. Man, is that a wakeup call! No matter how good you are, there are 60 guys as good or better. I played several rounds with Tommy Gainey on the Grey Goose Gateway Tour, and let’s just say those outcomes put him where he is, and where I am. Needless to say, a shoulder injury sidelined my career and here I am, eight years later typing this review. I play once a week and hit balls on occasion. I currently hover right around scratch, and on any given day play anywhere from 68 to 78.
At the beginning of March, I came home to one package and 20 questions from my wife about what I had purchased. To be honest, I couldn’t remember what it was until I looked at the box. Inside I found some beautiful grey shafts with a colorful purple logo. Man were these sharp. My first thought was, what color grips should I put on these?
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I began scouring eBay for purple Lamkins. During my search, I realized I was faced with a much more difficult decision than which grips to buy — what clubs do I put these in? Well, as experience would play a factor, I decided to go with the devil I know instead of the devil unknown. Although I had been testing the RocketBladez Tours for several months, they had no game time experience, as we had a pretty long winter in Pennsylvania this year. Indoor launch monitors are good for certain things, but not for true comparisons.
For that reason, the TaylorMade Forged MB/MC combo was the clear choice. I played them for half of a season in 2011 and most of 2012. I love the feeling of forged, and for that reason was hesitant to put graphite shafts in a forged iron. Surely this breaks an unwritten USGA rule, or at least a man law right? If you are good enough to hit blades, you don’t need graphite, right?
First off, I must say that Saf Joshi and Mike McCall at Nventix are really good guys who are extremely helpful when it comes to their product. I can’t thank them enough for the information shared with me regarding the build and the properties of the shaft. I had several questions about not tipping the shaft, frequency and possible flatlining of the progression.
Note: Actually, I’m not that smart. Those questions were from my club builder.
Joshi was able to explain it to him, and even had McCall chime in on the specifics and what I should expect to see. They explained it to my club builder — Sean Mullen, the club tech at Golf Galaxy in Robinson, Penn. — and I cannot say enough about the incredible work he does. I know big box stores get a bad rap for the repair work they do, but Sean is a diamond in the rough.
We selected Golf Pride BCT grips in white, logo down and Sean spined all of the shafts to the 3 o’clock position per my preference. The painted logos of the shafts were all over the place, but I care more about consistent performance than looks, so that did not bother me. Here was the interesting part of the build — I prefer a little lighter swing weight, as my shoulder still tends to nag me. So D2 was the goal at standard length. Being 5-foot 10-inches tall, I struggle with shafts that are any longer.
Sean called me and said that the swing weights were going to be a little light, so 2-gram weights were added on the 4, 5, 6, 7 and PW. Four-gram weights were added on the 8 and 9 irons. They all came out to D0, with the exception of my lob wedge, which came out right on D2. Sean offered to load the head down with lead tape to bring it up to D2, but I’m not much for lead tape, so I opted to play them as is. As Sean predicted, all iron frequencies was between 318 and 322. I must admit, I was a little concerned with the high number, but I believe in performance instead of numbers.
I started my testing with indoor launch monitor to see the different in the numbers compared to my old setup. First thing I noticed is how solid they felt. The feedback was there, but the shaft didn’t feel like graphite at all. It felt stable like steel.
Long Irons: The long irons flew like lasers. They were launching a little higher and carrying forever. With my steel shafts, the 4 iron was a 200-yard carry for me on stock shots. With the Nunchuk’s, I was carrying my 5 iron 202 yards — a full club farther. The 4 iron was only carrying 206, because I was launching it a little too low. But both clubs were spinning more than my previous setup.
Middle Irons: The middle irons felt very workable, and also very solid? They were very good through the ball, with almost no vibration on mishits. This is actually my favorite part about these shafts. I get the feedback of a well struck shot and mishits without punishing my hands and joints. I prefer to work my middle and shorter irons, so consistent workability is my key factor. These performed quite well, and the distance was roughly the same, plus about two or three yards.
Short Irons: My initial thoughts were not very good. The shafts felt loose, and they were very spinny and high launching. I did not think I was going to be able deal with them, but I waited to get on the course before I made a judgment.
After our long drawn out winter, including snow on April 2nd, I was able to get out and enjoy these shafts on the course. The first couple of rounds out were as expected. The long irons had tight, consistent ball flights that felt very powerful when struck. I went for a par 5 from 230 with the 4 iron, and although it landed short it chased on the front.
The mid irons were solid and accurate with ease of workability both ways, and the short irons surprised me. As much as I didn’t like the indoor trackman numbers and feel, they really performed. I was able to flight the wedges accordingly, and the spin was just right. I could really yank the chain when I was trying, but my 1 hop and stop was normal for shots of mid distances.
Overall, I would recommend these shafts highly as a light weight alternative, as the raw weight was 104 grams. I would tell you that adding these to your current irons could require some lead tape or a lighter grip to get the swing weight just right.
Reviewed by Mike Lawson — “xerpro” in the forums