I recently had the chance to review the Nike Golf VR Pro Limited Edition Driver, and I was impressed with its solidity, the distance I got and the control I had with that club. Nike Golf also sent me one of the new VR Pro Limited Edition Fairway Woods (the 19-degree 5-wood) to test and review, so I headed over to my local course Stonecreek Golf Club for a few testing sessions on the range and a couple of live rounds on the course to put the VR Pro LE Fairway Wood through its paces. Here are the results of my testing:
FIRST IMPRESSION: DESIGN/APPEARANCE
Out of the box you can tell the VR Pro LE fairway wood is designed for the serious player. From the playing position it has a traditional pear shape, similar to last year’s VR Pro STR8-FIT fairway wood. The crown has the same metallic black finish, the sole again features Nike’s Compression Channel technology, and the sole plate has the same configuration, although on this year’s model the paint color is metallic red across the entire sole, just like the VR Pro LE Driver.
Like the VR Pro LE driver, the biggest difference between this year’s VR Pro LE fairway wood and last year’s VR Pro is the absence of the STR8-FIT adjustability system — this year’s model is a glued version. The VR Pro LE also has a small white Swoosh on the toe that further distinguishes it from the VR Pro. The face has a similar profile to last year’s model, but it does not have the STR8-FIT icon in the middle of the face, the grooves go all the way across the face.
The club comes with a stock Diamana ‘ahina shaft and a Nike VR Tour Velvet grip from Golf Pride. The VR Pro LE comes with the same old school knit headcover that the driver comes with, and as I said in that review I’m a big fan of the sock headcover.
My first look at the VR Pro LE fairway wood gave me the impression of a player’s club that’s designed for distance, shot making and controlling the golf ball.
FIRST IMPRESSION: PERFORMANCE
My first swings with the VR Pro LE confirmed my initial impressions — like the VR Pro LE driver, the fairway wood is rock solid, it rips the ball off both tee and fairway, and it makes shaping shots a breeze. First, the weighting of the club head and the solid feel when striking the ball really impressed me. The pleasing “thwack” sound at impact has no trace of a “plink” that you hear with other fairway woods — this club is solid all the way. It’s long too, the ball just shoots off the face, and I picked up 5-10 yards over my VR STR8-FIT 5-wood. I love being able to smooth a shot with this club off the tee or fairway with an easy swing, and watch it just fly down the fairway. The VR Pro LE is also very forgiving thanks to the compression channel technology in the sole, which helps to give shots hit low on the face about as much distance as those struck in the middle of the face.
From the playing position, the look of the VR Pro LE fairway wood invites shot shaping, and it does not disappoint — I was able to easily hit draws and fades with this club. The playability of this club makes working the ball an absolute joy, it really lends itself to moving the ball right and left, and makes pulling off shots from tough lies and tricky positions easy and fun.
My first impressions of the VR Pro LE’s performance were that of a player’s fairway wood built for bombing the ball and shaping shots when and where I needed to.
The VR Pro LE fairway wood really made the ball go for me, both off the tee and off the fairway. I picked up 5-10 yards over my VR STR8-FIT 5-wood. I love being able to swing easy with this club — I’m able to make a controlled swing and still get great distance while maintaining control over the golf ball.
The VR Pro LE has terrific feel, it gives a really solid strike to the ball and has a great feeling at impact. Mis-hits have good feel also thanks to the compression channel technology in the sole. The Diamana ‘ahina shaft also contributes to the smooth, solid feel of this club.
The traditional pear shape of the VR Pro LE 5-wood invites shot making, and this club has great playability. Moving the ball right and left is a breeze, and it makes shots from trouble spots and difficult lies easier to pull off.
I really enjoy placing shots where I want to with the VR Pro LE. I use this club off the tee on long par 3’s, or on par 4’s or 5’s when driver or 3-wood is too much and I absolutely must hit the fairway. Off the fairway this club is a pleasure to hit — nothing beats the feeling of watching the ball fly high, long and straight at my target, and seeing it land softly on the landing area or putting green.
The VR Pro LE 5-wood is very forgiving, thanks to the compression channel technology in the sole that gives thin shots and shots hit close to the heel almost as much distance as shots struck in the middle of the face. Mis-hits went just about as far as solidly struck shots, and they held their line almost as well also.
This VR Pro LE produces a solid “thwack” at impact, not the tinny “plink” you sometimes hear from other fairway woods. This club has just about the best acoustics I can remember hearing from any metal fairway wood I’ve ever hit.
The VR Pro Limited Edition fairway wood follows the VR Pro LE driver’s lead as a players club built for distance and shot-shaping control. The traditional pear-shaped head design looks great from the playing position, and invites the player to work the ball. This club is long, it has a great solid feel that makes drawing and fading the ball easy, and the forgiveness of the compression channel adds to the club’s playability. The confidence the VR Pro LE inspires takes the intimidation out of difficult shots, and its outstanding acoustics makes the great shots this club produces even more memorable. I’ve had this club in my bag for three months now, so I feel qualified to say that if you’re looking for a new fairway wood to add to your bag this season — one that will make the ball go a long way, where you want it to — the VR Pro LE fairway wood may just be the one for you.
Editor’s note: The product reviewed above was supplied by the manufacturer to the reviewer/author free of charge for testing and 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.