It’s all go for January after the R&A and USGA published their finalised Rules of Golf. So what’s coming in? Steve Carroll outlines the changes.
Nike Golf strikes winning formula with new Vapor Drivers range
For many sports pro’s there’s nothing more serious than superstition. A goalkeeper might wear the same pair of scuffed gloves for several months because they were the gloves he wore when he saved that crucial penalty deep into stoppage time. A runner might forego the latest pair of shoes in order to hang onto the trainers which served them so well at the last Olympic Games. And a golfer might cling to a golf club considered out of fashion or no longer useful because they’ve always used it or because it has sentimental value.
Rory McIlroy has enjoyed a stellar season on the golf course; his trophy cabinet is brimming and there seems to be no slowing the Northern Irishman down. However, he shocked many when, despite his fine form, the world No.1 rocked up to Gleneagles with some new clubs in his bag – replacing the Nike VR_S Covert Driver that had helped him so flawlessly. He took superstition in his hands and smashed it on the turf.
When McIlroy revealed the Nike Vapor Pro Driver to the world that morning, the world’s attention was immediately drawn to the brilliant volt green head and powerful appearance reflected under the Scottish sky. The distinctive bright green flash blinded as McIlroy swung for the ball and sent it into orbit. If love at first sight does in fact exist, and I’d like to think it does, then perhaps that tingle which ran down many a golfer’s spine that day was just the beginning of a great journey yet to be realised.
The Vapor Pro Driver is of course magnificent, but it’s not designed for everyone. Good golfers and definitely great ones will take joy from this club, while the rest of us can only watch on much like we did that day at Gleneagles and wish we could have something of that power in our own bags.
Well good news, Nike say’s we can.
The Nike Vapor Speed and Nike Vapor Flex Drivers are suitable for everyday golfers, adding to the impressive weaponry Nike’s famous Oven is currently rolling out.
To make the Vapor Speed suitable for a wider range of golfers, Nike has re-engineered the chassis of the club by sloping the crown and creating a deeper face producing more stable chassis and boosting forgiveness.
The result of these tweaks is a centre of gravity moved towards the face of the club, something which Nike says has reduced spin rate from the previous generation Covert 2.0 driver. Basically the company is saying that higher launch and less spin means more distance, and that sounds like a good deal to us!
Keeping in line with the rest of the Vapor family of metals, such as the recently announced Vapor Flex fairway woods, the Vapor Speed driver benefits from Nike’s brilliant Fly Beam reinforced Covert Cavity Back design – a re-engineered Compression Channel and FlexLoft 2.
According to the smart people at Nike, 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.
If we treat the Vapor range like a family, and that’s pretty much what we are doing, then Nike’s Flex Driver is definitely the head of the Vapor family.
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.
This driver has the same clever technologies that bring distance and performance to the fore for the Pro and Speed variants, but this time Nike has added FlexFlight adjustability to the Vapor Flex allowing golfers to manipulate centre of gravity for optimised personal launch.
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. Pure genius engineering.
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 available at american golf soon, so keep checking back for updates on their anticipated release.
Check out the full Nike Golf range we have in stock today and get everything you need for a great day on the golf course.