Pros advice

Nike Golf sends volt through golfing world with new Vapor Drivers range

The golfing world took a collective deep breath when Rory McIlroy reached into his bag at this year’s Ryder Cup and, instead of pulling out his trusted VR_S Covert Driver, instead revealed a flashy green number which looked gorgeous and played like a dream. Many were shocked by the development, while others believed the world No.1 was seriously doing harm to his stellar run by switching clubs at such a pivotal time in the season. However, as we’ve since come to realise, the Nike Vapor Driver is anything but a hindrance on the golf course.

Let’s just get the most pressing of questions out the way right off the bat: that flashy colour no one seems to know how to categorise is Volt – Nike’s Oven producing a brand new shade for the colour lexicon. Its bright, vibrant and eye-catching, a green flash of brilliance on the golf course. But you can hardly buy a driver purely on its colour…can you?

The Vapor Pro Driver is great, there’s no denying that fact. However it isn’t designed for everyone. Good golfers will love them and take joy from how they handle, while the rest of the golfing community will be looking in from the outside, wishing we too could hit the ball with such crisp accuracy. And lucky for us, Nike has considered the rest of us by evolving the Vapor Pro into a series of clubs catering for all skill levels.

The Nike Vapor Speed and Nike Vapor Flex Drivers are suitable for everyday golfers.

Making the Vapor Speed ideal for a wider range of players, Nike has redesigned and re-engineered the chassis of the club by sloping the crown and creating a deeper face, thus producing more stable chassis and boosting forgiveness in the process.

These little yet effective tweaks are great, and the result is a centre of gravity moved towards the face of the club; something which Nike says has produced spin rate from the previous generation Covert 2.0 driver. The company is saying that higher launch and less spin means more distance, which is music to our ears!

The Vapor Speed manages to keep in line with the rest of the Vapor driver family of metals, including the Vapor Flex fairways woods, by benefitting from Nike’s excellent Fly Beam reinforced Covert Cavity Back design – a re-engineered Compression Channel and FlexLoft 2.

We’ve been reliably informed by the good people at Nike that the Fly Beam’s accentuate the work of the Compression Channel to increase the trampoline effect from the NextCOR face, thereby maintaining ball speed across as wide an impact area as possible.

The FlexLoft 2 hosel allows golfers fifteen different combinations through five loft and three lie settings, while a reduction in weight of 30 grams has allowed the weight to be better distributed to boost every player’s performance on the greens.

And then we come to the head of the family, the big kahuna, the Nike Vapor Flex Driver.

Where Vapor Pro and Vapor Speed offer players improved launch and performance within the categories they’ve been designed for, the Vapor Flex allows players to actually dial the driver in to match their game.

Utilising the same smart technologies that bring distance and performance to the forefront in the Pro and Speed versions, Nike has also added FlexFlight adjustability to the Vapor Flex to allow golfers to manipulate cenrre of gravity and optimise personal launch. Clever stuff we think.

Pure genius engineering comes into play again here, based around an RZN tube with high-density weight on one end called the FlightPod – located in the cavity of the driver. Golfers are able to flip the FlightPod, thereby moving the centre of gravity.

Then there’sFlexFlight, which allows players to manipulate CG from low back to low forward, impacting launch angle, spin rate and forgiveness. Forgiveness is maximised in the "mid" setting whereas players looking to maximise workability will find most control in the "low" setting.

“Often times in the fitting process, there’s an opportunity for a final adjustment to develop the shot shape and ball flight the athlete is looking for. That’s how FlexFlight can help,” explained Nike Golf's Director of Engineering, Nate Radcliffe. “With a simple quarter turn, we can adjust the mass of the FlexFlight module forward and backward within the club to change the trajectory and shot shape for the athlete. In doing so, we are seeing that a two-plus millimetre shift will change launch angle up to a degree - and it gives us that fine-tuning change in spin of about 300 rpm. As the last step in the fitting process, that can be the difference between the athlete being comfortable with the fitting and really being able to compete with it on the golf course.”

The Nike Vapor Driver family will be arriving at OnlineGolf soon, so keep checking back for updates. And don’t forget to check out our Nike Golf store, which has everything from golf clubs, golf bags, golf clothing, golf balls and golf accessories to give you the best experience on the golf course this winter season and beyond.