We started the SirShanksAlot Golf Company Of The Year Award in 2005 as a way of celebrating smaller, not so well known golf companies. Most of us are familiar with Callaway, TaylorMade, Nike, Cleveland and Ping but they’re not the only ones that make great equipment.
Our first award in 2005 was given to Innovex Golf… a small company that made quality game improvement products are great prices. Readers that we talked to loved Innovex equipment and really liked the personal service that the company offered.
We fully intended on giving the 2006 award to this year’s recipient but our site suffered through some major server problems and the award unfortunately was put on hold. When it came time to decide on the 2007 winner… it really wasn’t much of a debate.
The SirShanksAlot Golf Company Of The Year 2007 Award goes to Nakashima Golf . We’ve talked a bit about Nakashima in the past and we really admire their quality, craftsmanship and technological advances. Nakashima is exactly the type of company that we designed this award for… they make incredible products, offer great service and (unfortunately) the majority of the golfing public doesn’t know who they are.
The Nakashima line seems to have something for almost everyone. Their “NP” line targets the more accomplished player and features products that offer lower handicaps maximum performance. Nakashima’s “NX” line offers a bit more forgives without sacrificing a lot of performance. All of their clubs feature traditional styling and quality materials.
The biggest and most exciting technology that Nakashima offers has to be their interchangeable hosel. The Htec driver can instantly be outfitted with a variety of shafts… allowing the customer to try different shaft/head combinations during a fitting session. Other golf companies offer similar fitting carts but with one major difference… the hosel technology in the Htec allows the golfer to leave with the actual club that they decide on during the fitting process. Gone are the days of ordering a new club and then waiting for it to come in. You’re able to take the club straight from the fitting session and put it straight into your bag!
We caught up with John Nakashima, President of Nakashima Golf, and had a chance to ask him a few questions….
When was Nakashima started?
Nakashima Golf was established in 2004.
How did the company come about?
I have been an avid golfer and clubmaker most of my life. I have always believed that all golfers should have their clubs custom fit and built by a Professional Custom Clubmaker. I started Nakashima Golf to provide premium golf equipment with tour-quality standards to these Top Professional Custom Clubmakers.
Technology has certainly had a big impact on the golf club business over the last several years. Where do you see technology taking us in the next few years?
Launch Monitor Custom Club Fitting and Golf Clubs with Adjustability.
The most effective way for a golfer to hit the ball farther and more accurately is to make sure their equipment fits them properly giving them optimal launch angle and spin rate for their paticular swing. The best way to achieve this is with the combination of “launch monitor custom club fitting” and a Nakashima Htec driver with “adjustability”.
The proposal to amend the USGA Rules to permit additional forms of club adjustability dated February 26, 2007, has been approved for implementation by the USGA Equipment Standards and Executive Committees. The new Rule regarding club adjustability allowances will become effective on January 1, 2008, as originally proposed. There is no change to putter rules which already allow additional forms of adjustment.After consideration of all comments received concerning this proposal, the USGA believes that permitting additional forms of club adjustment will help many golfers obtain clubs that are better suited to their needs.
The new Rule will state the following: (Appendix II, 1.b. Adjustability).“All clubs may incorporate mechanisms for weight adjustment. Other forms of adjustability may also be permitted upon evaluation by the USGA.
The following requirements apply to all permissible methods of adjustment:
(i) the adjustment cannot be readily made; (ii) all adjustable parts are firmly fixed and there is no reasonable likelihood of them working loose during a round; and (iii) all configurations of adjustment conform with the Rules.
During a stipulated round, the playing characteristics of a club must not be purposely changed by adjustment or by any other means (see Rule 4-2a)”
1) No adjustment may be made during a stipulated round. 2) It should not be assumed that any and all adjustable features will be considered conforming by the USGA. 3) A manufacturer should communicate its adjustable feature concept to the USGA as early as possible, before beginning any volume production. A manufacturer should then submit to the USGA a sample of the club which is to be manufactured, for a ruling as to whether the club conforms with the Rules. If a manufacturer fails to submit a sample or to await a ruling before manufacturing and/or marketing the club, the manufacturer assumes the risk of a ruling that the club does not conform with the Rules.
After consideration of all comments received concerning this proposal, the USGA believes that permitting additional forms of club adjustment will help many golfers obtain clubs that are better suited to their needs.
What do you consider to be some of the strengths of Nakashima Golf?
Our attention to quality and detail. With the tightest tolerances in the industry, all of our products are individually inspected in the USA to insure perfection of beauty and accuracy before shipping them to our dealers.
In addition, all equipment sold in the USA is 100% custom assembled by Professional Clubmakers in the USA. “It doesn’t get any better.” >
One of the main selling features of Nakashima is the custom fitting approach. This is obviously becoming a necessity of selling golf equipment yet you guys seem to be at the fore front. Can you tell us a little bit more about your approach to custom fitting?
Nakashima has been at the forefront of a revolution aimed toward advancement in custom club fitting. Last year we introduced the revolutionary Nakashima Htec driver with adjustability. It was the first driver of its kind to be placed on the USGA conforming driver list. (“Conforms with USGA Rules Only When Permanently Bonded at the Connection of the Body and Hosel Assembly “) Prior to the Nakashima Htec driver, companies only made adjustable clubs for fitting. The Nakashima Htec driver makes it possible for a golfer to try an unlimited amount of head and shaft combinations until they find the perfect driver and most importantly “buy that exact driver. With “fitting systems”, the club you order rarely plays like the one you tested.
Your newest driver is the Htec. Can you tell us a little bit about the science behind this driver and what the average player can expect from it?
The revolutionary Nakashima Htec driver is the most technologically advanced driver ever built. Every part of this driver can be easily adjusted to a golfers specifications. Head loft, head lie, head face angle, head draw, neutral or fade bias, swing weight, gross weight, shaft length, shaft frequency, grip brand, grip style and grip size. Even the sound can be tuned! What makes this driver more unbelievable is that the golfer is able to get fit and then immediately play the exact driver they tested. The end result is the longest, most accurate, best looking, best feeling driver you have ever played.
What is the best way for customers to check out your product? Namely, what kind of shops can they visit to try out the clubs and get fitted?
We have a world wide network of Authorized Nakashima Dealers who are the top Professional Clubmakers in the World.
Congrats again to Nakashima Golf. We’ll be keeping a close eye on our 2007 Golf Company Of The Year and will be sure to pass along new equipment information as we get it. In the meantime… be sure to swing by the Nakashima Golf website for a look at what the company has to offer!