PRODUCT REVIEW: Nike Vapor Pro Irons

Last year Nike Golf announced its new 2015 equipment line with much fanfare at a special event at Liberty National Golf Club featuring none other than Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Jimmy Fallon. You can read about my Vapor launch event recap here and here.

The Vapor line of irons come in three different designs — the Vapor Pro irons for better players, the Vapor Pro Combo irons for low- to mid-handicappers and the Vapor Speed irons for mid- to high-handicappers. The Vapor line incorporates Nike’s Modern Muscle technology, which was revealed in its MMProto irons that were unveiled last summer (MMProto is short for Modern Muscle Prototype).

The Vapor Pro irons currently represent Nike Golf’s “players iron”. In the past, this has been represented by the VR Pro Blade, the VR Forged TW Blade, and the Forged Blade from 2005.

Nike Golf sent me a set of the new 2015 Vapor Pro irons to test and review — and as sad as it is to admit that it’s taken me this long to get a proper review up, I do have a good reason. At the end of this winter my wife and I had our first child! Now that she is almost six months old, I am starting to get out more and really put the Vapor Pro irons in play.

FIRST IMPRESSION: DESIGN/APPEARANCE

As Bob mentioned in his review of the Vapor Pro Combos, out of the box you immediately see the Modern Muscle shape from the MMProto irons. The Vapor Pro irons have a brushed finish which is a big difference from my VR Pro Combos which have a chrome finish. Also of note is how small some of the heads are. And there is practically zero offset, and for a moment I wondered how I would hit the long irons! It had been some time since I got to hit the Vapor Pro irons at Liberty National and they were truly a beautiful sight to see again.

As with all irons in the Vapor series, the back of the iron features the Modern Muscle design, which moves material to the heel and toe for increased perimeter weighting, stability and feel at impact.

At the launch event, Tiger Woods mentioned that this design moves helps move the sweet spot to the toe area, where he wanted to see more forgiveness. The machined forged steel faces feature Nike’s X3X groove technology, which has also been incorporated into several of Nike’s previous iron models. The stock shafts are Dynamic Gold S300, and the stock grips are Nike Tour Velvet by Golf Pride.

In seeing some of the photos from the MM protos, I can say that the Vapor Pros are pretty much identical to that except the muscle cavity is black with a volt swoosh.

FIRST IMPRESSION: PERFORMANCE

It took some getting used to the Vapor Pros, which were a pretty big change from my VR Pro Combos. Even seemingly little things, like the finish of the club, were something I needed to get used to. I think the biggest thing about performance was that the clubs required a lot more concentration to hit well than my old gamers.

In addition to that, the most distinct aspects in terms of performance for me were sound and feel. The sound had more of a click noise when struck well, and this is similar to the sound that I here when I go to tour events. In terms of feel, you definitely feel more of the club, so there’s that feedback factor, but when you hit a bad shot, you definitely know it.

The Vapor Pros had a similar or lower ball flight than my VR Pro Combos, which I thought was a good thing. Workability was good too, although I had an easier time hitting the high fade than the high draw.

Overall, the feel of these irons is good, and the feel of a well-struck ball greatly differs from that of a poorly struck one. Performance will reward those who can consistently find the sweet spot on each shot.

APPEARANCE AT ADDRESS

Can you say “butter knife”? That’s how I felt when I had the 3 iron in my hand. With virtually no offset (the PW has actually a .060” offset), the appearance at address had me questioning my own abilities. But the irons are truly beautiful. With straight leading edges and thin toplines, it is no wonder why better players prefer this look.

PLAYABILITY

I am not the best shaper of shots, and admittedly, I am better/more comfortable hitting a baby fade when I need to. Draws are a little more challenging for me. With the Vapor Pros I definitely had more confidence to hit shaped shots. Honestly, the best “playability” aspect for me was hitting ¾ swing knock down shots or low 6-irons out and around trees. People always assume playability means cuts or draws, but I really felt that the best benefit I got out of working the ball was the ability to hit solid low shots.

LAUNCH ANGLE

The Vapor Pro irons promote a lower ball flight throughout the set. In speaking with the club technicians at the launch event, they said that while the flight should be a little bit lower, those with very high swing speeds will have no issue getting the ball high. Unfortunately, I don’t have the highest swing speed, and the launches felt similar to my VR Pro Combo.

ACCURACY

Accuracy was the most difficult part in adjusting to the Vapor Pros. A lot of my shots were pushed right. I am not sure if this was due to the offset, but it was likely an alignment issue that I had. In trying to fix it I would pull balls to the left. It took a long time to get acquainted with the Vapor Pros, which I think is fair for anyone making an equipment overhaul.

FEEL

All I can say is that the feel is pure. You just need to be consistent. Those who have a “digger” swing will really enjoy these. I think those with more of a “sweeper” swing may have a more difficult time getting used to these. Forgiveness is not super high in these irons, as is the case for most, if not all, blade shapes.

ACOUSTICS

I mentioned this before but the Vapor Pro irons have almost a more clicking sound than my VR Pro Combo, which I can’t really describe. I am in no way comparing myself to Patrick Reed, but I remember seeing him in the Barclays a couple years ago where he hit a 3 iron and the sound was similar. His impact also made the ball sound like it was exploding, which I cannot replicate, but to give you a sense of acoustics, it is definitely more of that clicking noise.

SUMMARY

The Vapor Pro irons represent an innovative iron design from Nike Golf. Nike’s new Modern Muscle technology is a new take on the traditional muscle-back iron that we saw in the previous blade shape models. What I like about the Vapor Pro is that it is not so crazy in one direction or another. To me, it’s the right balance of technology with a classic look.

To be perfectly candid however, one must be an excellent ball striker to reap the full benefits of the Vapor Pros. That means that ability to make contact on the sweet spot over and over, and the ability to shape shots on command. It’s a low-handicap iron, that I would peg somewhere between 5 and lower.

Have you tried the Vapor Pro irons yet? If you have, let us know what you think in the comments below.

 

BUY THE VAPOR PRO IRONS ON NIKEGOLF.COM >>

 

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.

 

2015 Nike Golf “Don’t Sleep On Summer” Promotional Mailing

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When I came home from work Tuesday night, I found a large box on my front porch from Nike Golf. It’s always exciting when something unexpected arrives from NG WHQ, so I eagerly opened it up, and inside was an amazing “Don’t Sleep On Summer” Kit full of Nike Golf essentials for summer success on the course.

All of the Nike Golf products in the kit were carefully placed in an unbelievably gorgeous Will Leather Goods 18″ Mason Bag (Cognac color) — this is an amazing piece of luggage, and I’m floored at this generous gift alone from Nike Golf. I’ll be proudly using this bag on my next trip — if I can keep my wife’s hands off it! Something tells me I might lose that battle… The bag also came with a very cool embossed and engraved metal bag tag with the Don’t Sleep On Summer logo on the front, and the DSOS story on the back (see photos below).

Inside the bag was an impressive assortment of Nike Golf products that are perfect for summer. First there were three shirts: a Nike Momentum Strip Polo in White, Grey and Black, a Nike Mobility Emboss Polo in Photo Blue and a white Nike Golf Lockup Tee. All three shirts are amazing and will keep me looking sharp on and off the course. Also in the bag was a very stylish pair of black Nike Plaid flat front golf shorts, and to complete the ensemble, a black Nike Web Belt and a Nike Golf True flat-brim snap-back adjustable hat.

Also in the bag was a pair of the Nike FI Impact 2 golf shoes in Photo Blue — this amazing new shoe is the next generation of the original FI Impact, one of the most comfortable golf shoes I’ve ever owned. Nike keeps upping the ante on lightness and comfort in its summer golf shoes, and the FI Impact 2 does not disappoint. It’s super-light and super-comfortable, and it’s a great shoe for warm weather golf — I can’t wait to try it out on the range and at the course.

To round out the Don’t Sleep On Summer Kit, Nike Golf included some more equipment for the course — three Nike Dri-Fit Tech gloves, and a dozen RZN Black balls personalized with my name, very cool. All in all this is a very impressive assortment of summer golf gear, contained in equally impressive bag. I can’t wait to use the Will Leather bag on my next trip, and try all the new gear out on the course!

On Tuesday and Wednesday I traded emails with one of our readers, Lester Legarda, who also received a Don’t Sleep On Summer kit from Nike Golf. His kit was a little different, in that his Nike Golf items came packaged in one of Nike’s impressively crafted presentation boxes, and the products were slightly different, however his kit was equally amazing. Lester was kind enough to share some photos of his kit, you can see those in the separate gallery below.

The 2015 Don’t Sleep On Summer promotional mailing is another in a series of awesome product promotions that Nike Golf has done over the years. I feel very privileged to receive my kit full of Nike Golf products, and now I’m completely set to take on the course for the rest of the summer. Thank you so much Nike Golf for continuing to send out such awesome promotions, and for including me in your mailings!

Check out photos of the Don’t Sleep On Summer products in the galleries below, and you can see much more by following the #DontSleepOnSummer hashtag on Twitter.

 

MY “DON’T SLEEP ON SUMMER” KIT:

 

LESTER LEGARDA’S “DON’T SLEEP ON SUMMER” KIT:

 

PRODUCT REVIEW: Nike Ultralight Tour Adjustable Golf Hat

Each year I buy a new Nike Golf hat, and this year I decided to purchase the Ultralight Tour Adjustable cap. In previous years, I either bought the Tour Mesh cap or the Perforated cap, but I was interested in trying something new this year. Here’s my review of this super light weight hat, which will be great for wearing on and off the course.

Initial Impression

I first spotted this hat on TV when I noticed that Tiger Woods switched to an adjustable hat from his normally fitted one. I had read that Tiger would finish his rounds and sometimes have headaches because his hat was too tight, so he switched to an adjustable one that wouldn’t be so constricting on his head. I liked that option, and thought I would give it a shot.

On the website, the hat looks like this:

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But my initial impression was a little surprised in that this hat really has no structure, and the reason for that is most likely due to removing any sources of weight. Therefore, when it arrived from Nike.com and I opened the box, it looked like this:

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When I picked up the hat, it was clear that it was definitely super light and would make for a really comfortable wear. The brim didn’t have the same structure I am accustomed to either. They clearly removed weight from the middle area of the brim to cut weight.

Comfort

The hat is super comfortable. It as a microfiber front lining for a soft inner feel and that is a feature I have never seen before. The VELCRO fastener in the back makes for an easy adjustable fit and the hat has enough stretch to accommodate any size head.

Fit

The Ultralight Tour hat has a bit of a higher rise than the Perforated and Tour Mesh hats. With its traditional six-panel design, it does have more of a baseball cap look, and coupled with not having any structure, it did leave some spaces causing indentations on the top. However, it has stylish curved lines along the sides that give it a fresh look and that add to the hat’s comfort. Here’s a look at the hat on my head:

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Detail

The tour details include the new Vapor insignia on the left side and the RZN badge on the right. The front and back of the hat have black swooshes. The VELCRO fastener also has a small, black rubber tab at the end that features a swoosh on it. The best details are the microfiber inner lining and a good size brim to block out the sun.

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Summary

I have yet to wear this hat out on the course, but I think it is a great summer time hat. Clearly, the designers have implemented features to cut weight down (not sure it could get any lighter and retain a shape), and ensure comfort. At $32, I think it’s a great hat to wear on and off the course to show your Nike support.

Buy Here

Official Details:

The Nike Ultralight Tour Adjustable Golf Hat features stretchy Dri-FIT fabric and a strap closure in back for high-performance comfort and a custom fit.

Benefits

  • Dri-FIT fabric to wick away sweat and help keep you dry and comfortable
  • Flexible brim and strap with VELCRO ® brand fastener at back for a comfortable, custom fit
  • Six-panel design for durability and comfort
  • Eyelets at each panel for breathability
  • Microfiber front lining for a soft feel

Product Details

  • Swoosh design trademark at front and metallic appliqués at side
  • Fabric: Body: Dri-FIT 100% polyester. Lining: Dri-FIT 91% polyester/9% spandex.
  • Hand wash
  • Imported

Nike Golf TW Vapor Speed Driver Available Today

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NIKE’S VAPOR SPEED DRIVER BUILT FOR TIGER WOODS NOW AVAILABLE

BUY THE NIKE TW VAPOR SPEED DRIVER ON NIKE.COM >>

Nike’s new Vapor Speed driver designed and built to Tiger Woods’s specifications is now available for purchase for the first time in limited quantities.

“Stability has always been the most important thing to me when choosing a driver,” said Woods. “I like the pear shape. It is appealing to my eye and it also has a slightly lower MOI (Moment of Inertia) that allows me to shape shots easier.”

The Vapor Speed TW driver combines Nike’s FlyBeam-reinforced Covert Cavity Back design and a new Compression Channel all packaged in a smaller head shape. The Covert Cavity Back design spreads weight towards the heel and toe to stabilize the head at impact maximizing forgiveness. The redistribution of mass creates more stability, better launch conditions and faster ball speeds.

Woods’s own insights led Nike’s design team to re-design the Compression Channel, which increases the spring-like effect off the mid-to-low portion of the face to increase overall distance.

In addition to a smaller head, the 10.5-degree lofted driver features the Diamana Blue Board 73 shaft with a bonded hosel.

Woods put the driver in his bag for the first time at the Hero World Challenge in Dec. 2014.

The Vapor Speed TW driver is available now at nike.com and will be available at select retailers June 15.

BUY THE NIKE TW VAPOR SPEED DRIVER ON NIKE.COM >>

Editor’s Note: The post above is from a press release from Nike Golf.

 

Nike Engage Wedges Available Today

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Nike Golf released it’s new Engage wedges today, and they’re now available on Nike.com and at select golf retailers. The Engage line features 18 models, including three designs in six different lofts:

The Square design comes in 50-degree, 52-degree, 54-degree, 56-degree, 58-degree and 60-degree right-handed models, as well as 52-degree and 56-degree left-handed models.

The Dual Sole design comes in 58-degree and 60-degree right-handed and 60-degree left-handed models.

The Toe Sweep design comes in 56-degree, 58-degree and 60-degree, right-hand only.

The Engage wedges are already in the bags of several Nike Athletes — if you’re in the market for new wedges, maybe it’s time to add a few of these to your bag too.

BUY THE ENGAGE WEDGES ON NIKE.COM >>

 

 

 

SPECIAL PROMO: RZN Black Balls and Rory Headcover

For those of us who are big fans of Rory McIlroy, this is a pretty cool promotion — if you buy two dozen RZN Black golf balls, you can get a replica of Rory’s St. Bernhard headcover with his embroidered signature for free. You get all for $92, the same price as two dozen RZN Black balls by themselves (see pics below).

This offer is available at Nike.com (only at this special promo link), and at select golf retailers, while supplies last.

CHECK OUT THE TWO DOZEN RZN BLACK BALLS + RORY HEADCOVER SPECIAL PROMO OFFER >>

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NGN Reader’s Custom-stamped Engage Wedges

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Nike Golf’s new Engage wedges are expected to be available at retail next Friday May 22nd, but NGN reader and contributor Michael Wharton-Palmer is giving us a sneak preview. Michael sent us photos of his Engage 48-, 54- and 60-degree wedges, custom-stamped by the guys at The Oven. Check ’em out, and keep your eyes open for information about the official release date, when we get that from Nike Golf we’ll post that here on NGN.

 

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Rory Signs NGN Reader’s 006 Putter Headcover

Check this out — not only was NGN friend and reader Lester Legarda lucky enough to score one of the Limited Edition Nike Oven Method Prototype 006 Putters, but he was smart enough to bring the headcover with him to the WGC Cadillac Match Play in San Francisco a few weeks ago and ask eventual winner Rory McIlroy to sign it. Check out the photo below showing Rory signing Lester’s headcover, and the pics of the signed headcover itself.

Congrats and well done Lester, we’re all very jealous!

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All-Volt Crown Vapor Speed Driver Available May 4, 2015

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UPDATE: You can now buy the Volt crowned Vapor Speed driver at the following links:

BUY THE MEN’S VOLT CROWNED VAPOR SPEED DRIVER HERE >>

BUY THE WOMEN’S VOLT CROWNED VAPOR SPEED DRIVER HERE >>

 

 

Just received the following press release from Nike Golf — for those of you who have been wanting the all-volt Vapor Speed driver that Michelle Wie has been gaming, you’re in luck. It will be available on Nike.com on Monday May 4th, and at select retailers on Friday May 8th.

From Nike Golf:

On Jan. 28, we told you about a new Nike Vapor Speed driver with an all-volt crown that Michelle Wie put into her bag. Since that time, other athletes as well as consumers have expressed interest in the club. While this club was originally built for Michelle, we want to make you aware that this driver will now be available to consumers on May 4 at nike.com and May 8 at select retailers.

See Nike Golf’s original press release about Michelle’s driver here.

Custom Method Mod 00

Check out NGN reader Scott Ferrari’s custom Method Mod 00. Scott used volt-colored paintfill so that his putter could match his Vapor clubs, Nike Golf Club headcover, and his other various volt-colored items. Here are the before and after shots:

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Source: @scott_ferrari