Nike has been in the golf ball business for 10 years now, after first introducing the solid core golf ball (the Tour Accuracy) in 2000. Since then golf ball technologies have seen tremendous advancement, and Nike Golf’s Rock Ishii has been largely responsible for the progression of Nike’s golf ball designs over the last 10 years (check out this video where Rock discusses the Vapor Speed ball). Nike’s latest top level golf ball offering includes the Nike ONE Tour and Tour D models, developed mainly for advanced players. And now the average golfer can benefit from the technology that’s incorporated into the Tour and Tour D.
Nike developed its new Nike ONE Vapor Speed golf ball with the average golfer in mind — it incorporates the same technology used in the Tour and Tour D but optimized for swing speeds of 80 to 90 mph. Nike Golf graciously gave several dozen Nike ONE Vapor Speed balls to NG Nation to be used as prizes for our Fantasy Four contest, and they included an extra dozen for me to test and review. I’ve used the Vapor Speed in several rounds so far, and I share the results of my findings here.
FEEL — PUTTER
Distance is important but to me feel on the greens is more important. I started by rolling the Vapor Speed on the putting green and I was immediately pleased with the soft feel and roll. It has the soft feel of a tour level ball (like the Tour or Tour D) that gave me the confidence to make a run at the hole on both long and short putts.
FEEL — WEDGES
Next in importance is the feel around the greens and from greenside bunkers, and again the Vapor Sped did not disappoint. Using wedges from 100 yards and in I was able to spin the Vapor Speed effectively, and the soft feel gave me the confidence that I could chip the ball close to the hole from around the green.
FEEL — IRONS & HYBRIDS
The Vapor Speed felt crisp using both irons and hybrids. I felt confident in shaping the ball when I needed to, and that it would land softly and stop where I wanted it to. The ball has good feel off the fairway and I’m able to spin it when I have to.
FEEL — FAIRWAY WOODS & DRIVER
The Vapor Speed feels great using fairway woods and the driver too. Golf is a game of confidence, and I have that with the Vapor Speed when hitting long shots off the fairway or nailing the driver off the tee.
The Vapor Speed has a softer core that’s made for swing speeds of 80-90 mph. I swing around 90 mph and I got great distance from the Vapor Speed, similar to Nike’s Crush ball, with the bonus of enhanced feel on and around the greens.
I was able to control the Vapor Speed well off the tee with the driver and off the fairway with fairway woods, hybrids, and long and short irons. I felt confident I could make the ball go where I needed it to.
For me, the Vapor Speed has a medium to high ball flight, which helps me with accuracy off the tee, as well as allowing me to hit the ball high on approach shots and stop the ball effectively on the greens.
I would say the Vapor Speed is a medium to medium-high spin ball. It maintains a penetrating ball flight with the driver (without excessive sidespin) but I am also able to spin it with my short irons and wedges.
Overall the Nike ONE Vapor Speed is a great ball design. It has the feel of Nike’s premium line of balls, but optimized for the slower swing speeds of average players. The lower price point ($40 MSRP) makes it more affordable for the average player also. If you’re looking for a ball that has the performance of a premium ball but is made for the average player — with a more affordable price tag to boot — give the Vapor Speed a try.
If you’ve played the Nike ONE Vapor Speed, let us know how you like it in a comment below.
Editor’s note: The product reviewed above was supplied by the manufacturer to the reviewer/author free of charge for reviewing purposes only. The reviewer/author was not paid for this review, and the opinions expressed in the review are strictly those of the reviewer/author.