After market shafts typically don’t get a great big piece of the billion dollar golf equipment industry. Most companies that produce after market shafts are pretty small in comparison to the big box OEMs that produce the clubs they go in. Part of the reason could be that unless you’re a hardcore golf equipment junkie the knowledge of the technology and terminology needed to actually know what you’re talking about can be pretty daunting. There are so many factors that can dramatically alter the makeup of a shaft, kick point, torque, flex, spin rate and frequency all play a role in how the shaft performs. I’m guessing a lot of amateur golfers without the luxury of high tech launch monitors and access to people smart enough to break that all down ultimately go with the shaft that the OEM has determined was a good fit.
Enter Nventix, the maker of the Nunchuk shaft. Nventix has developed the Nunchuk shaft which really makes understanding all of that technology a whole lot easier. It’s quite simple really; the Nunchuk is a single flex and single launch (called True-Loft) driver. The reasons for the single flex and launch is not to simplify the technology so that more people can understand what they’re talking about though. The Nunchuk was designed this way to help narrow the shot dispersion and to allow the loft of the club to determine the launch of the shot. There is a lot more to it than that and we’ll get into all of that in this review.
FLEX: The NUNCHUK is sold in a single flex – the same shaft will perform well for professional golfers, high level amateurs, seniors, women and juniors. How? With the NUNCHUK , any “flex” created at the initiation of the downswing will rapidly recover in only the first few feet. Therefore, you DO NOT have to”time the kick” of the shaft.
LAUNCH: Because the NUNCHUK resists Flex, Twist and Droop during the downswing, the movement of the clubhead around the axis of the shaft is dramatically reduced relative to other shafts. As a result, the shaft is not “adding” or “subtracting” loft from the true loft of the clubhead and the swing generated by the golfer. Therefore, the golfer can reliably expect to deliver the True Loft of the clubhead to the ball at impact.
WEIGHT: Because the NUNCHUK is counterbalanced, the shaft will feel much lighter than its deadweight. The counterbalancing and stability of the NUNCHUK creates the “one-piece” feel that promotes CONSISTENCY by encouraging players to swing the handle of their golf club, rather than the club head.
Naturally the skeptic in me is thinking “ok, so they’re giving me a super stiff and heavy shaft and telling me it will narrow my shot dispersion; prove it.” I was excited to get started with the Nunchuk when it arrived. After reading the recommendations of the company I had the shaft trimmed to 44” and installed in my Nike MachSpeed Black driver. An earlier review of this driver had proven that it was definitely a long and solid performer but one thing I struggled with was the occasional push fade (slice). This made this driver a prime candidate for me to use to test the Nunchuk. Testing for this review was done with several driving range sessions and roughly 8 rounds of golf.
My first impressions on that initial trip to the driving range were very positive. After warming up with some iron shots I went to the driver, Nunchuk installed and ready to go. Right away there was a little adjustment to the shorter length of this setup, after all it seems that every OEM is putting out longer and lighter shafts in their drivers so it felt like I was sort of going against the grain in that respect. Right away I was happy with the shot dispersion, nice and straight with a few very slight fades worked in. After hitting a few shots I began to really get into the groove and started swinging harder, this is where I first noticed what would eventually become a bit of a trend with this driver and shaft combination. The more I tried to go after a shot the more I found myself pulling the ball quite a bit. This was easily remedied by simply not swinging as hard, but I did not expect to run into this with the one flex setup of the Nunchuk shaft.
On the driving range I couldn’t get a real good picture of exactly how far I was hitting the ball. The next few testing sessions took place on the course where I’d hit my previous driver (Callaway Razr Hawk with stock RIP (s) shaft) then I’d hit he Nike MachSpeed Black with the Nunchuk. I expected a little difference in distance simply because of the 2 inch difference between the Razr Hawk and the MachSpeed Black. What I found was solid shots out of each driver would result in on average 10 to 15 yards more distance out of the Razr Hawk driver. What I found was the MachSpeed Black with the Nunchuk shaft would result in a lower ball flight and thus giving me more roll. That carry and roll consistently equaled about the same amount of carry I was seeing from the other driver. I tested this same routine over countless drives and only on shots I missed by a good margin was the MachSpeed with Nunchuk as long as or longer than the Razr Hawk.
Another thing in those comparisons that I really paid attention to was my shot dispersion. The MachSpeed Black with the Nunchuk is definitely a pretty straight driver; however I didn’t find it to be much more accurate in these comparisons. Basically what I’m saying is that if I was on with my driver on the day of testing I was hitting both drivers as straight as the other. I didn’t see a time where I was hitting my Razr Hawk crooked but hitting the Nunchuk straight. On the contrary, I did have a few occasions where on the same tee box I was right in the middle of the fairway with the Razr Hawk driver only to step up and lose one way left or way right with the Nunchuk, this didn’t happen too often, but it did happen a few times.
Lastly my testing with the Nunchuk really taught me a lot more about the feel of a shaft. I’ve talked to some fellow testers here on THP who have described a certain feel they get from one driver shaft of another and I’ve never really been able to differentiate whether or not that feeling was coming from the clubhead or the shaft itself. I found out the difference right away when installing the Nunchuk into a driver I had previously used with a different shaft. On a well struck shot everything felt great, but on a miss hit the Nunchuk just feels very harsh to me. I also noticed a substantial amount of distance loss on shots that I didn’t hit just right. That certainly can’t all be pinned on the shaft, but I’m simply just reporting what I noticed.
The Nunchuk shaft is certainly enjoying some success on the PGA Tour this season. Multiple players have won events while using one of these shafts. With the copycat nature of equipment use on Tour I wouldn’t be surprised to see more Nunchuk shafts in player’s bags in 2012 and beyond. Personally I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe the Nunchuk is going to be geared to help guys like Jhonattan Vegas or someone else who can bomb the ball out there 330 yards consistently. Maybe when you’re swinging with that much power and velocity you’re really able to tap into what the maker of the Nunchuk imagined. Myself, however, I have come to the determination that I simply do not hit the ball long enough to give up a consistent 10 to 15 yards off the tee. Not only that but I honestly did not see enough of an improvement in accuracy when I switched to the Nunchuk. As I said, if I was on with my driver I was on with or without the Nunchuk installed, and if I was struggling off the tee I struggled whether or not I had a Nunchuk shaft in my driver as well.
I do genuinely feel that Nventix might be on to something with this shaft technology, however for me and my game I don’t believe that I saw enough of an advantage that would make me want to switch. If you’re someone who is very strong off the tee yet could use some more accuracy I definitely think you should check out this shaft. You can find a fitter and a dealer near you by going directly to www.nventix.com. You can also order one directly from that page for $259.95.