Nippon Modus 115 Iron Shafts – Official MGS Forum -- Review by Syks7 (Jonathan Gilliam)
Hi everyone, I’m really excited to be part of this test. I’m a 39 year old architect in Southern California and am currently a 11.4 handicap. There’s been a lot of other tests I’ve wanted to take part in a lot of tests since I joined the forum, but this one is actually the best fit to my game and level of knowledge. I’ve started building my own clubs so it gives me some flexibility with testing that should be pretty handy.
Early impressions (5/5)
- Unboxing Those of you that have bought shafts know that it's a pretty no frills unboxing that involves a non-descript box of golf club length with the shafts you order bundled up amidst butcher paper and rubber banded together. This is no different, though I will say this is the first I've encountered each shaft being in an individual plastic sleeve. It's a nice touch to keep them from gathering dust or scratches along the way.
- Build wise they look and feel like premium iron shafts. All of them penciled in within 1.3 Gm of 117g with some slightly lighter and some slightly lower. Lengths were cut within 1/16" of the stated length. There was also a nice stamp stating Flex, Length, batch number?, serial code, build date, and build location. It's helpful to keep organized when building organization and in a spot that will be covered by the grip eventually.
- First Swings
I put the the shafts in play immediately and my first swings were at the range the day before a men’s club tournament. It did not take long for me to get acquainted or comfortable with them. I found that they fit my tempo quite well (moderate) and that I did not have any trouble feeling where the head was. They were very easy to load and consistently produced a baby fade (when I was striking well) for me and did not produce any head scratching results short of producing a lot, lot of rollout on partially thin shots. On well struck shots they produced a nice mid high penetrating flight that stalled out and landed softly. I did not have trouble holding greens.
From 210 w/ the 4I. Pretty soft landing.
In my initial impression I mention how clean the shafts were looks wise when I first got them. That opinion hasn’t changed after a month and half of testing. The graphics are really simple and sharp without being distracting if you install graphics up like I did. They’re also not so huge that you’d still see them if you installed graphics down. Beyond that, they might be a bit too polished when they show up (borderline Mirror) but that fades with use so it’s a non issue and I have no reason to deduct any points.
The Numbers (5/5)
The numbers for me were pretty good with a few caveats. These shafts are in the same weight class category, flex, and same moderate tempo range as the shafts I’m fitted into. I played the crap out of them (4 weeks 108 holes and boatloads of range time) I can confidently say that I have hit more golf balls this month than I ever have before. Now onto the numbers which I’d class as all positive.
- I did tend to shoot lower with Modus in the bag, but towards the end I played around and I shot lowest with a mix in the bag (including a new personal best).
- Swing speed was well within the same range as my gamers
- Dispersion stayed very close but saw a bit more right variation in the pattern
- Carry distances were so similar to my gamers that I played a couple 9s with alternating clubs. PW,8,6,4 in one and 9,7,5 in another – a bit weird the first 9 and unnoticeable the second. (other than the head)
- I played one 9 hole shootout with only irons in the bag between my gamers and the Modus and the difference over 9 holes was a single stroke. +3 for my gamers vs. +4.
- The trajectory of the modus is slightly different. It’s more penetrating but the launch monitor disproved my observation that apex and launch were lower. There was minor variations in both and descent angles were also very similar.
- Spin numbers were slightly lower with Modus but only down couple hundred RPM in the long irons and even less in the short irons.
No deductions here. Directly compared to the shafts I’ve been fitted to there was nothing I would class as a large variation or anything bad. They were immediately playable for me.
On the Course (4.5/5)
On the course the Modus 115’s performed very well. The stability of the shaft regardless of swing tended to help me out on longer approach shots where I can have a bad habit of overswinging or transitioning like a madman to try and ‘get’ it there. With my gamers that kind of heavy transition either ends with a nasty block fade or a cannon pull. With the Modus 115s those kind of mishits were not as pronounced. The head was delivered squarely more or less to where I expected and I wasn’t spraying the ball into oblivion on mishits. The other thing that I really liked on course was that I felt like I had a variation in the trajectory I could hit all the way up to 7 Iron. Depending on how high or low I hit on the face I could get it to hit and check up on the green or I could get it to run like crazy down the fairway on an approach. The only thing I didn’t like as much was the distance on mishit. For me the mishits tended to be a little hot and like to run. I overcooked more than a few greens even landing well short of the green. Its obviously my issue but vs. my gamers which still check up on mishits it’s worth a half point deduction.
(So happy to have her out with me that I can forgive stepping on my birdie line)
The Good, the Bad, the in between (4.5/5)
- As mentioned in on course performance the only middling issue I would have is that my mishits with them tended to run and run like hell. Something that was not the case when I had my gamer shafts in the heads that currently are attached to the Modus. It’s not a huge issue but it’s the only head scratcher for me with these shafts.
The in between
- The weight class. I like this weight and I am used to it from playing similar shafts, but some might find it too heavy and it may exacerbate elbow issues that you have. I will note that the slight difference in kick combined with weight did cause an old elbow twinge from when I first transitioned to steel shafts to resurface for a couple days.
- The weight class again. It’s not so light that it doesn’t feel stable or lack feel but also not so heavy that it feels like you’re swinging a sledge.
- They are very easy for me to load without feeling whippy and heavily lend themselves to the tempo of my swing. (Most of my acceleration happens at the bottom and my transition isn’t where the shaft initially loads). These shafts are responsile for one of a big lightbulb moment for me with my swing when I realized that a ¾ speed towel drill strike was getting out almost as far as my full swings. Contact>Raw speed. The smoother my swing got the better the Modus 115s did for me.
- Despite the shaft doing better when you swung smooth it didn’t get out of sorts when I couldn’t stop myself from trying to step on it and swinging too hard or transitioning aggressively. The result of those swings wasn’t good, but it also wasn’t bad. I didn’t generate very many pull hooks or banana slices playing them. Something definitely not true of my gamers.
- Ease of use. I could adjust the trajectory pretty easily and get different types of shots out of the shaft without much effort.
Play it or Trade it (4.5 / 5)
I’m keeping these though I haven’t settled on a final bag yet. For now I’m going mixed bag with 4/5 in Modus and 6/PW in the TT Elevate Tours I’ve been playing. I’ve played it a couple times that way and it’s akin to mixed heads – more stable and forgiving at the top end and more workable at the bottom end. The runout on mishits is a concern for me but in the end a straight-ish ball rolling over the green is much preferable to a hard pull into the trees. I’ve already been hitting more greens with the 4 and 5 iron attached to the Modus shafts than I was before.
That said I’m still going to be testing for the foreseeable future to settle on whether to fully migrate to the Modus 115s. I’ll be tinkering, starting with trying a couple modus shafts out in my PW & 9 to see whether or not they perform better than the gamers in the 639 cb heads. I’ll keep updating as I do.
I was genuinely curious to test them in comparison to my gamers. The descriptions said they’d be similar, but I didn’t expect for them to be so immediately playable for me. I’ve played with a lot of other shafts that are moderate tempo mid/mid’s and I hadn’t encountered one that I got along with as well as the Modus 115s aside from the TT Elevate tours. They don’t disappoint, are very stable, and provide good results for me both when I’m swinging well and when my swing is not at its best. With that in mind I think that Nippon has a very strong product on their hands that could even managed to stand out amidst the rest of it’s stellar lineup.
Final Score (28.5 / 30)
Driver: 2016 M2 -- Fujikara ventus red
3 Wood RBZ Stage 2 - Diamana Blue Board
2 Hybrid RBZ Stage 2 -- True Temper Elevate Tour (shares duty with 3I depending on the day)
699pro - 3I Driving Iron KBS Tour (shares duty with the 2 hybrid depending on the day)
699pro - 4I, 5I - 639CB 6/PW -- True Temper Elevate Elevate Tour
RSI2 -- 4/PW- Nippon Modus 115 (Testing)
Cleveland CBX2 48° & 54°-- TT Elevate Tour
Hi Toe 58° -- TT Elevate Tour
Innovai 6.0 CTR
Ball: Zstar XV Divide