- Shaft profiles based on Nippon Tour 105/125 iron shafts
- Available through Nippon distributors at the end of January.
- Uses Torayca 1100G+ Pre-preg and 7-axis/9-axis construction
The Nippon N.S. PRO Regio Formula MB+.
It’s a long name with a simple value proposition. For golfers who find optimal performance with one of Nippon’s Modus Tour iron shafts, why not create a commensurate driver (or fairway) shaft? At face value, it’s a concept that seems to almost make too much sense. Almost.
So, why now and why Nippon?
One or the Other
Historically, shaft companies produced either steel or carbon-composite (graphite) shafts. And to some degree, that’s still the dominant structure, though we are seeing some brands crossing the aisle. For two seemingly similar products, the materials, technology and designs are actually quite different.
Graphite shaft companies will remind you that steel is isometric. Basically, that means steel is a single material and, as such, it has some design limitations as compared to carbon-composite shafts. This is most evident when it comes to creating shafts that are both exceptionally light and stiff.
Does that matter? Not everyone agrees that it does. At least not to the extent that some companies would have you believe. Nippon’s Zelos 6 is the world’s lightest steel shaft. Are there lighter graphite shafts? Absolutely. Do they perform better for a specific demographic? That’s much less clear.
In general, graphite shafts tend to be more costly though that gap continues to shrink. And because carbon-composites utilize a variety of material types, companies can produce a larger variety of shafts.
What is the Nippon N.S. PRO Regio Formula MB+ All About?
Inside the industry, Nippon continues to accelerate its reputation as a preeminent steel shaft manufacturer. And though it tends to be more reserved in terms of self-promotion, Nippon gets plenty of love on professional tours and from high-end fitters. Additionally, if you take a look at stock iron (and wedge) shaft options across the industry, you’ll see that Nippon is becoming something of a fan favorite.
Within the line of Modus Tour iron shafts, the Tour 105 and Tour 125 tend to be among the more popular choices. Additionally, Nippon is set to release a Tour 115 model this summer to fill the gap between the Tour 105 and Tour 125.
The Nippon N.S. PRO Regio Formula MB+ is the graphite equivalent of the Tour 105/125 iron shafts. From a launch/spin/feel standpoint, Nippon says golfers should find a “harmonious” continuity.
As an aside, Nippon also offers the Regio Formula M+ to pair with the N.S. PRO Modus Tour 130 and the Regio Forumula B+ as a mate to the N.S. PRO Modus Tour 120.
Construction and Materials
Nippon’s Regio Formula series uses top-end materials and manufacturing processes akin to what you’d expect from other up-market brands.
Specifically, the MB+ features full-length Torayca T1100G+ NANOALLOY pre-preg alongside 7-axis and 9-axis carbon fiber materials. The T1100G+ material is also used in the Fujikura Platinum Speeder and Graphite Design Tour AD series.
What the materials allow for is, according to Nippon, less shaft deformation during the swing, particularly in the tip section. Also, using the T1100G+ along the entire length of the shaft helps improve torsional stability which Nippon states leads to less “twisting” of the head during the swing. This gives the MB+ the potential to help golfers “maximize the performance of high MOI (moment of inertia) heads.” If that sounds a bit like Fujikura’s VeloCore concept, I’m with you.
I’m typically reticent to make any claims on the performance or feel of a golf shaft. Descriptors such as “kicks like a mule” or “boardy” are too subjective to be any help to anyone.
However, because I’m bagging the Nippon PRO Modus Tour 115 shafts in my irons, I wanted to see how the MB+ matched up.
In general, my experience with the Tour 115 (and Tour 125) shaft is that I get a similar ball flight to Dynamic Gold S400/X100 but with a softer feel in the handle. From that standpoint, the MB+ offered a sufficiently similar experience. If forced to categorize the MB+, I’d wager a steak dinner it ends up in the mid-launch/mid-low spin category for most players. Of course, this depends on weight/flex. I’ll be intrigued to see whether the similarity in profiles translates to improved on-course performance.
The Nippon N.S. PRO Regio Formula MB+ is available in Japan and is set for a global release at the end of January. For more information on pricing and availability, visit nipponshaft.com.
Tell us what you think! Is this a shaft you’d like to try?