SHAFT REVIEW! – Nunchuk xi Iron Shaft
Golf Accessories

SHAFT REVIEW! – Nunchuk xi Iron Shaft

SHAFT REVIEW! – Nunchuk xi Iron Shaft

By: Matt Saternus
First came the Nunchuk wood shaft.  Then, last year, the Nunchuk 370 hybrid shaft.  This year, nVentix launched the Nunchuk xi, a graphite iron shaft.  Will anything stop Nunchuk and its mission to take over every club in your bag?

Honestly, I hope not.  When I first heard about the Nunchuk, with its bold promises of straighter shots, I wanted to laugh…until I tried it.  The Nunchuk hybrid shaft hasn’t left my bag since the review.  So it was with great anticipation that I installed the Nunchuk xi shafts into my Wilson FG Tour V2’s and waited for the epoxy to cure.  Will the Nunchuk xi be the shaft that breaks down the barrier to graphite shafts in irons?  Read on to find out.

Specs, Price, and Manufacturer Notes

According to nVentix:

  • The Nunchuk xi performs better than steel with consistent launch, tight dispersion, and consistent distance.
  • The Nunchuk xi feels softer and less harsh than steel with less vibration on off-center hits.
  • The entire Nunchuk System (wood, hybrid, and iron shafts) can benefit players by giving them a consistent feel and function from club to club.
  • There is no tip trimming required or suggested for these shafts whether in parallel (.370”) or taper tip (.355”).  Simply install and butt trim to the desired length.

True to form, the Nunchuk is only available in one weight (104 grams), one flex, and one length (40”).

The Nunchuk xi carries an MSRP of $75 per shaft.

Looks, Feel, and Miscellaneous

One hallmark of the earlier Nunchuk shafts was their weight: the wood shaft and hybrid shaft both tip the scales at over 100 grams, much heavier than standard.  The Nunchuk xi, while not a lightweight, is still about 20 grams lighter than shafts like Dynamic Gold and KBS Tour.  Additionally, like all Nunchuk shafts, it’s counter-balanced (heavier near the grip to reduce swing weight), which intensifies that weight difference.  This isn’t a good or bad thing, but it did require a bit of an adjustment period for me.

During the swing, the Nunchuk xi maintains the trademark “one-piece” feel through most of the set.  You can certainly throw out the “graphite is too whippy” stereotypes with these.  That said, when I got to the short irons (9 iron and PW, sometimes 8 iron), the shafts did feel like they loosened up a bit.  I want to emphasize “a bit”: I’m not suggesting that they became noodles with a PW, but there was a more noticeable kick with the PW than with the mid or long irons.

The best part of playing the Nunchuk xi is unquestionably the impact feel.  It is everything nVentix claims: softer, less harsh, and solid.  If you want soft feeling irons, forget Mizuno, forget Miura, just stick a set of these in your irons and thank me later.

One small disappointment for me was the look of the Nunchuk xi.  I’m rather fond of the Nunchuk purple, so seeing that the xi is solid silver with just a rectangle of purple (easily hidden at address) made me sad.  I understand the logic, make it look similar to steel shafts to minimize the stigma of playing graphite, but I wish it was a bold purple that announced, “Yeah I’m graphite…and I’m gonna whip your ***!”

Performance

For the Performance testing, I installed the Nunchuk xi shafts into a set of Wilson FG Tour V2 heads.  They were tested against a set of Dynamic Gold S300 shafts that were installed in the exact same heads.  Testing was done on a FlightScope X2 launch monitor.  All shafts were gripped with Pure Grips.

Testing was done at Golf Nation in Palatine, IL, one of the best indoor golf facilities in the country.

The Numbers

We tested the shafts head to head and gathered numbers on the 3 iron, 7 iron, and PW.  Here’s what we found:

:: CARRY–  No significant difference. The Dynamic Gold produced 4 yards more total distance (likely due to lower spin rates)

:: DISPERSION – The Nunchuk produced a +12 yard improvement in the 3 iron, a –4 yard deficit in the the 7 iron, and equal dispersion in the PW.

:: SPIN RATE – The Nunchuck produced approximately 600 RPMs more spin on average than Dynamic Gold in all all 3 irons tested.

:: LAUNCH ANGLE – The Nunchuk launched moderately higher (between .1° and .6°) than the Dynamic Gold.

:: APEX – The Nunchuk peak height was between 3 and 7 feet higher.

Analysis

When I’m testing shafts, I try not to look at the numbers until I’m finished.  I feel like this helps to keep the test honest, and, on occasion, it gives me a good surprise.  This was one of the occasions where I was surprised by a couple of things.

First, I was shocked by how similar the launch angles were.  When I was hitting on a limited-flight range, I felt like the Nunchuk was launching much higher, but that was clearly a case of seeing what I thought I should see.  The numbers don’t lie.

Second, I was surprised by how good the dispersion was.  As I said, I felt that the Nunchuk got a little softer in the PW, so I expected the dispersion to suffer.  It didn’t.  While the 7I dispersion came out slightly worse, that was really just the result of a couple of marginal shots, not a problem with the sample as a whole.

The place where I could see the Nunchuk xi really grabbing a foothold is in the long irons.  For players still clinging to their 2, 3, and 4 irons, why not make things a little easier by installing a slightly lighter, easier-to-launch shaft?  Personally, if I actually carried my 3 iron, I would put the Nunchuk in it: it launched easier, went straighter, and stopped faster.

Conclusion

At some point, I’m going to learn my lesson and stop doubting the guys behind the Nunchuk shafts.  I thought they couldn’t make a straighter wood shaft, and they did.  I thought they couldn’t make a “one size fits all” iron shaft that actually performs, and they did.  If you’re in doubt, find a fitter who carries Nunchuk shafts and see for yourself.  The numbers don’t lie.

Personally, I’m just waiting for the release of the Nunchuk putter shaft.

 

VISIT NVENTIX WEBSITE: HERE

FOLLOW NVENTIX ON TWITTER: HERE

FOLLOW NVENTIX ON FACEBOOK: HERE

 

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      Brian

      11 years ago

      Did you have the heads weighted so the swingweight was normal for you because nunchuk shafts are counterweighted in the grip? The manufacturers advise putting in lead plugs in the hosel and shaving the tip accordingly.

      Reply

      Blitz

      11 years ago

      Interesting, but, if they are that great, all the pros would be using them, period.

      Reply

      gordoUSA

      11 years ago

      @ $75.00 per shaft forget it. Money would be better spent on a little more practice.

      Reply

      John Barry

      11 years ago

      Way out of any normal golfer’s price range, but sure would love to try one or 2

      Reply

      Kygolfer1980

      11 years ago

      Intriguing but well out of my price range…

      Reply

      Joe Golfer

      11 years ago

      Sounds like these shafts work perfectly for you, the reviewer, but I’d still have significant doubts that they’d work for everybody.
      Their website makes some very odd claims, in my opinion anyway.
      For example, they state with regard to shaft kick: “Consider this: Having the bottom half of the club accelerate while the upper half decelerates, is that truly in the best interest of the golfer?”
      Well, to me that sounds like the definition of the release that every good golfer does. Otherwise the butt would keep traveling forward forward rather than slowing at the point of release, and the clubhead would not whip through the ball.
      They state that shaft kick is not possible, and regarding shaft kick they state: “Unfortunately, physics explicitly tells us that this notion is pretty much on a par with the tooth fairy and Santa Claus.”
      They even state this: “If shaft kick were possible, what values would it offer? Contrary to common belief, absolutely none! Is it physically possible to “time anything” with your golf swing? No…”
      Seems to me that Bobby Jones had pretty good timing with those hickory shafts he used.
      In their FAQ section regarding flex, they compare the golf shaft to tools such as a hammer or an axe, stating that it would be detrimental to having flex in those tools, so it would be detrimental to have flex in a golf shaft as well. Here’s their quote: “It can be proven, beyond all possible doubt, that such equipment only can be an impediment to the success, and provide no mechanical advantage whatsoever. ”
      It seems like they are comparing apples and oranges here, two things that have nothing to do with one another. We’ve all hit shafts that were too stiff, and the trajectory is too low and we lose distance and perhaps hit a fade. We’ve all hit shafts that were too flexible, and they have hit the ball too high etc…
      They even compare the shaft to tennis rackets (sic), claiming that manufacturers make them as stiff as possible using various fibers like Kevlar and graphite. This is partially true, but extremely misleading. Tennis racquets are made with variable flexibility from model to model, depending on the skill set of the user and how hard they swing, just as most golf shafts are.
      Nunchux shouldn’t compare tennis racquets if they don’t know what they’re talking about.
      IMO, these are just a few of the examples of statements that seem odd on their website.

      These shafts may work great for some users, but I just find it hard to believe their claims, especially after reading their FAQ section on their own website. Perhaps even their original triangular shaped shaft worked well for many users, but I haven’t ever seen one in a bag.

      Reply

      eric

      11 years ago

      Geez what a horrible website nventix has.

      Reply

      Jed

      11 years ago

      Love my nunchuk xi shafts on 712 MB 5-PW and Scor wedges 50-54-58. I still haven’t get used to the shafts for fairway and driver. Kinda too heavy but for irons, felt perfect!

      Reply

      Paul S

      11 years ago

      How did the feel compare!?

      Reply

      Matt Saternus

      11 years ago

      During the swing, the Nunchuk xi maintains the trademark “one-piece” feel through most of the set. You can certainly throw out the “graphite is too whippy” stereotypes with these. That said, when I got to the short irons (9 iron and PW, sometimes 8 iron), the shafts did feel like they loosened up a bit. I want to emphasize “a bit”: I’m not suggesting that they became noodles with a PW, but there was a more noticeable kick with the PW than with the mid or long irons.

      The best part of playing the Nunchuk xi is unquestionably the impact feel. It is everything nVentix claims: softer, less harsh, and solid. If you want soft feeling irons, forget Mizuno, forget Miura, just stick a set of these in your irons and thank me later.

      Reply

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