We’re beginning to see the next generation of the Victory Red equipment line with the Fall release of the VR Pro Combo and VR Pro Blade irons, soon to be followed by the VR Pro Cavity irons. But we got a preview of what was to come earlier this year with the release of the VR V-Rev wedges, Nike Golf’s first club offering featuring the new USGA/R&A conforming grooves.
Nike Golf sent me two of these wedges to test and review, the 52/10 and 56/14 models, and I share my findings with you here. I’ve used these both on the range and in several rounds on the course, so I have a pretty good feel for these wedges now. Here’s what I think of the VR V-Rev wedges:
The VR V-Rev wedges have a similar look at address as the original VR wedges, as well as the SV Tour wedges (which I normally play). They have a similar satin chrome finish as the SV Tour wedges (they also come in black satin finish), and have the same design details as the rest of the VR line including the diamond waffle pattern and red line on the back. One difference is that the V-Revs don’t have any graphics on the sole — the loft and bounce graphics have been moved to the back, along with a smaller swoosh and the “V-Rev Grooves” graphics.
Another difference is the grind of the sole itself — the V-Rev wedges feature a tour-inspired sole grind with material removed from the heel and toe that allows a variety of shots to be played with these wedges. They can be played with the face wide open without interference from the heel or toe, increasing confidence on tricky shots around the green. The bottom of the sole is also slightly flatter (than on my SV Tour wedges), which allows for crisper contact with the ball. In my opinion this is the most distinct and valuable feature of these new wedges.
The biggest difference in the V-Rev wedges is of course the incorporation of the new conforming grooves, and I expand more on this below. They also feature TrueTemper Dynamic Gold shafts and Nike-branded Lamkin Crossline Grips.
PERFORMANCE: FULL SHOTS (from Fairway and Rough)
The real magic of these wedges shows itself around the greens, but in full shots from the fairway and the rough the V-Revs perform great. They have a solid feel on full shots and great touch on the in-between distances. I’m able to spin the ball from clean lies, and from the rough the spin is less, as one would expect (more on this below). The weighting of these wedges feels great on full swings.
PERFORMANCE: PITCH & CHIP SHOTS (from Around the Green)
I feel really confident around the greens with these wedges — the sole grind is the real difference with these wedges, as it allows me to open the club up a little more to get more height on my shots when I want to without worrying I’m going to blade the shot. On standard chips and pitches where I flight the ball lower, the weighting and feel of the club help me to commit to the shot and keep the club moving through the ball. The softer carbon steel (see below) gives enhanced feel and results on crisp pitches and chips around the green. I am able to make the ball check up when I want to with the new grooves (more below).
PERFORMANCE: SAND SHOTS (from Greenside Bunkers)
I normally use a 56/14 sand wedge for bunker shots, and the V-Rev model did not disappoint. The sole grind on this club is great out of the sand, I feel really confident that I can thump the sand and let the bounce do the work to get the ball out every time. For a higher, softer-landing bunker shot I can open the face up a little and swing freely without worrying about catching the heel or toe and blading the ball out of the bunker. These wedges have great feel in the sand that produces more confident swings and better bunker shots.
The 8620 Carbon Steel used in the V-Rev wedges is 45% softer than 17-4 stainless steel, and enhances the feel of these wedges considerably. They feel very solid and give great feedback from shots. The softer feel results in crisper shots both from the fairway and around the green. The sole grind also adds to the enhanced feel of these wedges, allowing me to attempt shots that I might have previously been nervous about trying (short-sided flop shot anyone?).
SPIN CONTROL WITH NEW GROOVES
This is probably the biggest question most of the readers have about these wedges — how is the spin control with the new conforming grooves? I am not a scratch golfer, so someone with a better game might see more of a difference, but in my game I found the spin these wedges put on the ball to be about the same as my normal wedges (Nike SV Tour with non-conforming grooves). Spin was less out of the rough, but I didn’t notice a huge difference from my normal wedges. I’m sure technically there is a difference (there has to be due to the new grooves), but for my game the difference is minimal and pretty much unnoticeable. And in my opinion the benefits of the softer feel and especially the new sole grind far outweigh any difference in spin control (if one is able to feel any).
The VR V-Rev is a sharp-looking wedge that is definitely worth checking out for the sole grind and softer feel of the new carbon steel construction. I wasn’t able to see any notable difference in spin on the ball, but someone with a more discerning eye and better game might notice more of a difference than I did. But the way these wedges felt and performed on the course alone makes them a winner in my book.
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.