It’s taken a few months for me to provide some good feedback on the 2011 Vr Pro Combo Forged Irons from Nike Golf. Fortunately, I had been playing the older model of the Pro Combo irons (which I absolutely fell in love with), so I had a good baseline to compare the old with the new.
Before I start, here’s a little history about the Vr Pro Combos from Nike:
In 2009 Nike Golf introduced its line of Victory Red irons, which featured three different models for three levels of play — The VR Forged TW Blades for better players, the VR Forged Split Cavity Irons for low- to mid-handicappers and the VR Cast Full Cavity Irons for mid-to high-handicappers. Nike Golf then updated and (slightly) renamed the VR line for 2011 to be the new VR Pro line, again consisting of three iron models — the VR Pro Blades for better players, the VR Pro Combo Irons for low- to mid-handicappers and the VR Pro Cavity Irons for mid- to high-handicappers. The VR Pro line retains the classic look and feel of the previous VR line, and reintroduces a club design that fans of Nike Golf have been asking about for the last several years — the Pro Combo iron.
I don’t know if it was because my old PCs were dirty and dinged up, but I was so impressed by the appearance of this new set. The moment I opened the box and removed the plastic wrap I knew I was opening something special. The chrome on the heads is so shiny and sleek. The faces are crisp and clean. It just gave me that new iron excitement. These are truly beautiful sticks.
From a design/appearance perspective, there are four core differences from the old PCs and the new PCs:
- Head size: The new PCs have noticeably smaller heads than their predecessors. In terms of height, they are about 2 to 3 grooves less (more on that in a bit), and in terms of width, it’s just a smidge smaller.
- Offset: The new PCs have very little offset vs. the old PCs. This has definitely taken some getting used to. Check out my pic comparison of the 3- iron and the 7-iron to see for yourself.
- Grooves: With the recent groove changes to u-shaped grooves, Nike has tackled this change by increasing the overall number of grooves and spacing them closer together.
- Cavities: The biggest change is the replacement of the full cavity with the pocket cavity in the 3 and 4-irons. Also the blades no longer have the two tone cavity and now look like a single forged blade like the old forged irons or the new Vr Pro Blades. The split cavities also have a slightly different look. However, one thing to note is that from address, the appearance of the cavity is unnoticeable.
I think players who have played the old PCs and made the switch to the new PCs will have a bit of adjusting to do. Those who play blades or “players” irons will likely find the transition seamless. The smaller heads took me some time to get used to especially with the 3, 4 and 5-irons. However, the feel of solid contact is so much better on the new PCs. At first I was overshooting greens left and right, and it took me a few times to get used to my 10 yard gains. Unlike Bob, I have gained yardage on my irons although that could be due to old age and wear and tear in my old PCs.
Off the tee I am so accurate with these irons. I am still working on my long irons which I had been hitting so well with the old PCs. A few more rounds and some time on the range should rectify that.
In terms of spin, I am definitely not seeing a change from the pre-2011 grooves and the X3X grooves. In fact I have generated a lot of spin with my blades but again that could be due to the wear and tear on my old clubs.
APPEARANCE AT ADDRESS
Everyone is always so concerned with the topline view of irons these days. I would say that the Pro Combos are near the thinner side but certainly not super thin. In fact, I think they are pretty similar to the old PCs. The offset issue had initially caused some issues with the fact that I was laying my irons slightly open. I will say that the Golf Pride Decade Multi-compound grips on my old clubs really helped with my alignment. The Tour Velvets on the new clubs don’t have any alignment aids, but I will be replacing the grips soon.
There is definitely a high ball flight with the new Vr Pro Combos. Fading the ball has been a slight challenge with the new irons but I am working on that. Drawing the ball on command has been a quick adjustment. Spin has been a slower adjustment. In my last round I hit a 5-iron off the tee to a green about 195 away and it went so high and literally rolled back off the green through a fairway into the pond protecting the front of the green. The backspin was remarkable. My suggestion is to get to a range and understand your distances and trajectories. These irons will allow you to do whatever you want to the ball, so commanding control of them is paramount.
The iron faces are so hot and solid that shots on the mark will feel great. For those looking to try blades out, this set is a perfect transition into them. I feel super confident and accurate with the blades and I believe that mid-handicappers out there will appreciate the usability of these irons. In terms of forgiveness, the 3 and 4-irons really are players’ irons so despite the pocket cavity, it will be extremely important to make solid contact. I found the shorter irons to be extremely forgiving however.
I made the change from my old Pro Combos to the new Vr Pro Combos mid season this summer. The transition has been a good experience but one that will take some practicing. The best gains so far for me are from the solid feel, the extra distance, and the spin workability. The points of improvement for me are adapting to the reduced offset and the smaller heads. I have no doubt that I’ve made an upgrade, but like with any irons, it will take some getting used to. As an aside, my friend Stephen, who played golf at Coastal Carolina, recently bought the Vr Pro Combos and upgraded from a different manufacturer. As a scratch golfer, Stephen has given me some great input on how solid they feel and how well he can work them. Clearly, he has adjusted to the Vr Pro Combos better than I have but that is testament to his scratch handicap and my 11-handicap. The best response he wrote to me when I asked him how he liked his new clubs was that they have helped him scramble very well because they’ve given him a variety of shot options in terms of workability and trajectory. My plans for my Vr Pro Combos are to keep working on my long irons, put some new grips on them and keep working on spin control. I really stand behind these clubs and recommend them for low and low/mid handicap players.
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.