50 Words or Less
The Nippon NS Pro putter shaft family offers three weights to give golfers another dimension of putter fitting. Wonderful impact feel. Well balanced.
For the last couple years, putter shafts have been receiving an unprecedented level of attention. It seems every shaft maker – particular those who specialize in graphite – offered something new. For 2023, Nippon is refreshing their putter shaft line up and proving that steel can still perform on the greens. Let’s explore the new Nippon NS Pro putter shaft family and what it can do for your flat stick.
The Nippon NS Pro putter shaft is a dream come true for those that want a clean, minimalist look. That starts with the stepless design and continues to the beautiful “Luxury Silver” finish. The only graphics on the shaft are the “NS Pro” branding below the grip which have the slightest sparkle in the sun. The color of the branding varies by weight – green, grey/blue, and black, from lightest to heaviest. There is nothing on the “logo down” side, so you can have a completely blank address look, if you prefer.
Above you can see the “Luxury Silver” finish contrasted against the unfinished butt of the shaft. It’s a matte finish that kills glare but also gives the shaft a premium look.
The Nippon NS Pro putter shaft feels fantastic at impact. There’s a clear, pronounced feel in the hands that’s crisp and lively. Comparing it to some of the premium graphite shafts, it’s more responsive where graphite can be more subtle and dull.
While I don’t want to go too far in saying that there’s any kind of significant “load” or “kick” in a putter shaft, the NS Pro shafts do have a pleasant smoothness on longer putts. They are slightly softer in the middle, firmer in the handle, and have a flowing feel.
For this review, I installed each of the new Nippon NS Pro putter shafts into a Swag Handsome One [review HERE]. I also installed three identical putter grips with exact matching weights. This gave me the opportunity to evaluate each of the three models side-by-side with no other variables.
The difference between the three Nippon NS Pro putter shafts is weight. They are 120 (green), 140 (blue/grey), and 160 (black) grams. This puts each offering at or above the average weight for a steel putter shaft.
Interestingly, the balance point is slightly higher in the heavier models, so the swing weight actually goes down as the overall weight goes up. The difference is not huge – roughly 1.5 swing weight points between the 120 and 160 gram shafts.
Nippon suggests that the heavier weight of the NS Pro putter shafts can add stability to your putting. This can occur both objectively – the shaft is stiffer and less apt to twist – and in how it affects your feel and stroke.
I’ve been playing a slightly lighter-than-average putter shaft for the last year or so, and I was curious how these heavier shafts would feel to me. What I found was that, for the line generally, the balance was so good that even the heaviest weight was comfortable. The difference from one shaft to the next was noticeable to me but not to the point of being hard to transition.
To my surprise, I found the 140 gram NS Pro Putter was my favorite. It was a classic Goldilocks situation. The 120 gram was good and familiar, the 160 gram felt a little laborious to swing, but the 140 gram was just right. There was a little extra substance to keep the short strokes smooth but not too much weight to bog down the long putts. I may be putting one of these into my gamer this season.
The new Nippon NS Pro putter shaft will be available to golfers starting June 1. It will be offered only through Nippon fitters with a suggested installed price of $85 – substantially less than any of the current graphite putter shafts. If you’d like to upgrade the feel of your favorite flat stick and potentially add a little more heft, these shafts are a great option.