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McIlroy puts Nike Vapor Pro driver in play at the Ryder Cup

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GolfWRX readers have been talking about it since photos surfaced here a few weeks ago and now it’s official. World number one Rory McIlroy debuted Nike’s new driver, the Vapor Pro, at the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland. It’s risky to change equipment before a prestigious event, but McIlroy proceeded blast the ball down the middle off the first tee, hitting arguably the best drive of anyone in morning fourball matches.

The driver features a pear-shape, black crown with Nike’s bright “volt” color in the cavity back and Compression Channel. The Vapor Pro is designed to produce a penetrating flight, tour-launch with low spin and added speed across the face.

“The first thing I noticed when I hit this driver was how hot it was,” said McIlroy. “Then, I found that I could really control the flight and work it both ways on the golf course. I saw added ball speed on the monitor and am getting 10-15 yards more distance on the golf course this week.”

The Vapor Pro driver includes three key technologies: Nike’s new FlyBeam reinforced Covert Cavity Back design, a re-engineered Compression Channel and FlexLoft 2. All of these are vital to the golf athlete in achieving the ultimate in hitting their window of distance, speed and launch conditions.

To elevate performance, we added FlyBeam technology to the Covert Cavity Back to focus energy into the variable-profile Compression Channel and NexCOR face,” said Nate Radcliffe, Director of Engineering. “This is the first time we have created a driver where the face and channel are measurably more flexible than the body.”

The FlyBeam construction stiffens the Covert Cavity in the back of the club, while the Compression Channel, with variable compliance, accentuates the spring-like effect across the face. Cohesively, the two work together to focus, store, and return impact energy to the golf ball for shots struck at all points on the face.

“This is the first time we have measured higher modal frequencies in the rear portion of the club than the front. This means impact energy is concentrated in the channel and face which tunes acoustics and maximizes energy transfer. This effect drives the increases in ball speed we are seeing in athlete and robotic testing,” added Radcliffe.

FlexLoft 2 allows the golf athlete the functionality of five lofts and three face angles within 15 different settings. The new, improved system is five grams (30%) lighter without compromising function. The redistribution of mass creates more stability, better launch conditions and faster swing speeds. Another benefit of FlexLoft 2 is its forward and backward compatibility. Golfers with previous generations of Covert can use shafts with the original adaptor in the new head or vice versa.

The 460cc Vapor Pro driver will be available on January 30, 2015.

Nike Vapor Pro

Availability:  January 30, 2015
Specifications:  8.5° – 12.5° loft; Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Blue Board 60 shaft; RH/LH: R, S, X flex
MSRP:  $479.99

 

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51 Comments

51 Comments

  1. Pingback: MeandMi | RORY MCILROY

  2. Pingback: RORY MCILROY | Meandmi

  3. stripe

    Oct 3, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Rampant commercialization at this years Ryder Cup. Just one big commercial for the golf industry. Getting worse every year.

    • dot dot

      Oct 3, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Yep, just going to keep getting worse, the trend is becoming the norm.

      • bradford

        Oct 7, 2014 at 8:26 am

        Even posing as two separate people, you fail to provide an example. This thread is not the Ryder cup–and you should expect that a golf forum would be full of equipment junkies, with writers catering to them. Fact is, there was no more “Rampant commercialization” of the actual tournament than any other year.

        • dot dot

          Oct 8, 2014 at 9:35 pm

          disagree

          • stripe

            Oct 8, 2014 at 10:09 pm

            Don’t bother answering Bradford, his deal is to be annoying and disagreeable. Remember the old internet saying “don’t feed the trolls”

          • stripe

            Oct 8, 2014 at 10:10 pm

            Remember we are the same guy.

          • bradford

            Oct 10, 2014 at 12:12 pm

            You ARE the trolls…I just don’t mind feeding them, especially when they’re so bereft of a clue they need to create a second fake name to back themselves up. Perhaps you should add a third, maybe THAT guy will be worth talking to.

          • dot dot

            Oct 14, 2014 at 1:16 pm

            This Bradford guy that keeps responding is creepy.

  4. Pingback: Vapor Unveiled - The Golf Shop Online Blog

  5. Ballzo

    Oct 1, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Put pink and purple polka-dots on the top, neon green on the bottom, Gigantic gold swoosh, a red shaft and a yellow grip. If its longer and straighter……I’ll pay for it and play it.

  6. JEFF

    Oct 1, 2014 at 10:52 am

    LAME STUPID ASoNINE……. who cares what he plays? General public will never get close to what these over paid sissies play. Why care? why drool? golf is the next new dumb reality show!

    • bradford

      Oct 1, 2014 at 11:44 am

      You MAY not make a lot of friends in here…
      Overpaid? We, as the golf fans, pay them–just like football fans pay to watch fat guys in tights, NASCAR fans pay to watch Rednecks all drive the same car in circles, Baseball fans pay to…. well, I’m still not sure what they pay for.

  7. dot dot

    Sep 30, 2014 at 8:47 am

    @Bradford Thank you for admitting you were unable to back up your statements. You are a truly a gentleman. It was the proper think to do. Kudos.

    • Brandon

      Sep 30, 2014 at 10:41 am

      I’m pretty sure people have stopped acknowledging you.

    • bradford

      Oct 1, 2014 at 11:16 am

      My statement was that you were an angsty little man, and you’ve backed that up FOR me, so thank YOU.

      • dot dot

        Oct 2, 2014 at 8:21 am

        You do understand that you are just angry with yourself,right. The thought that you are being combative about an observation is truly telling.

  8. dot dot

    Sep 28, 2014 at 10:07 am

    This just shows what the Ryder Cup and golf in general has become. It’s not about playing with the equipment that gives you the best chance of winning for your country it’s about how much will you can get paid to play the latest released equipment. Forget national pride it is now all about money. Prize money is insignificant during the season. What the players endorsement contract is worth is all that matters.

    • cally golfer

      Sep 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      Lol 5&4 win over fowler I agree fowler must have switched his driver before the match against rory…lol piff

      • dot dot

        Sep 29, 2014 at 9:06 am

        I think you missed the point of the comment. I was addressing the commercialization of Ryder cup not Rory’s match. I always try to make my comments simple to understand, it’s baffling to me how some still require an explanation.
        Signed
        Exasperated with a an aura of disbelief.

    • bradford

      Sep 29, 2014 at 10:20 am

      This is only true for about 5 guys…and I saw almost no branding on the Ryder cup. I respect your right to rebel against the ways of the world, but do it with data. What actual event in the Ryder Cup made you feel this way? Don’t forget that this conversation isn’t actually part of the Ryder Cup…

      • dot dot

        Sep 29, 2014 at 12:23 pm

        See picture of Rory swinging his driver in the articles photo. That’s branding right there. New Driver comes out, Rory is swinging it, that generates press.
        That’s all I’m referring to. Nothing else, no additional data needed. It’s a comment not a homework assignment.

        • bradford

          Sep 29, 2014 at 1:23 pm

          ok good then, so you admit there’s really nothing backing it up. Good, cause it’s a generic garbage statement and if it WERE a homework assignment you’d get a C. Should be an F, but everybody gets a C now–

          I was very pleased that there was no blatant branding at the Ryder cup this year. I think it helps keep it pure.

        • bradford

          Sep 29, 2014 at 1:25 pm

          and again–this photo you refer to ALSO isn’t the Ryder Cup, nor are the “press” they generate.

          • dot dot

            Sep 29, 2014 at 2:53 pm

            LOL My comment would get an A- from the GWRX review staff.
            You really took my thoughts way to seriously. It was an observation. Just because it’s a statement you didn’t like does not make it garbage. Blatant branding was rampant at the Ryder Cup this year. The fact that it didn’t register with you may be something for you to be concerned about. Powers of observation and all that.
            By the way please document the branding you didn’t see. I need to see data proving that there was less branding this year than in years past. Let’s go your assignment is due. Ready Set and GO.
            See how silly that just sounded asking you for documentation and data in a website comment.That’s how you looked when you asked for backup on an observation. I hope I have helped you and that you can learn from this.

          • bradford

            Sep 30, 2014 at 7:07 am

            Again, just because you’ve said something is true doesn’t make it so. You’re clearly an angsty little rebel, aren’t you? That’s ok, the idea of enjoying something for what it is comes with maturity. You’ll get there– until then-hate on. You’ll learn.

    • Nigel

      Oct 1, 2014 at 9:12 am

      I agree with what I think you’re saying….. basically golf is now being used for a lot of advertising. But like others have said, this is just the nature of the world with every single sport and every way of life. It just is what it is… and what it is is that this Driver will be in my bag next Spring.
      Don’t underestimate that these players are exactly like the rest of us and want the latest, newest looking clubs and be the first to use them etc. We’re all human.

  9. Golfwb

    Sep 27, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    The person that said he has been working a lot with people on launch monitors lately. Don’t you think he has been working with them since he went pro or got with nike?
    He is not swinging the club well this week, an it’s abvious.
    The switch might have been bold, but a lot on wrx know that it’s not the club and one can still be confident. If I got fit with something that I knew was made for me, I would go out 100% with it.

  10. Desmond

    Sep 27, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Vapor Pro is the Better Players Driver. I’ll avoid it and demo the other two models. MOI! MOI!

  11. Larry

    Sep 27, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Lets see number one golfer in the world, been working with this new driver sense June…do you think maybe he has some of the best “Club Fitters” in the world helping him get the club fit right???? What does this say to all the high handicap players out there thinking getting fit for a new driver is really going to be worth the trouble???? answer ZERO. Play with what you like because that is the way you make the clubs work for you. Fitting golf clubs (for amateurs for sure) is not anywhere near a perfect science….your swing on Monday is not your swing on Wednesday otherwise your a single digit handicap….is that most of us????

  12. Rwj

    Sep 26, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    The manufacturers run high profile players.

  13. ed

    Sep 26, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    If you think this is busy, does anyone remember a couple drivers that TM put out a year back…R1 and RBZ Stage 2 ring a bell?? Now that is BUSY

  14. Billy

    Sep 26, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Retail is $399, same as Cover Tour 2.0.

    Heads up.

  15. God5peed

    Sep 26, 2014 at 11:51 am

    “The first thing I noticed when I hit this driver was how hot it was,” said McIlroy. “Then, I found that I could really control the flight and work it both ways on the golf course. I saw added ball speed on the monitor and am getting 10-15 yards more distance on the golf course this week.”

    I think he is reading from the same advertising script for every driver that has ever been made.

    • Ral

      Sep 26, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      I’d like to see the CT and COR measurements on his club.

      • Cole

        Sep 26, 2014 at 1:54 pm

        Why? What would that do for you? The COR is as high as they can get it. If baffles me that people really think to themselves, “Man, I wonder what the COR on this driver is…” Like they really know how COR is measured. It’s going to vary between club heads, maybe you’ll get lucky and the one you buy from Dick’s is slightly above! Ridiculous.

    • jack from Omaha

      Sep 26, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      Rory helped the US by playing with that new Nike driver today in the Ryder Cup. I don;t believe he hot more than 5 fairways in 2 rounds.

      Great decision Rory!!

      The US Team thanks you.

      Dumb, dumb, and dumber!!!!!

      Why on earth would you ever change driver the way you owned your previous driver? Dumb, dumb, dumber!!!!

      • Ponjo

        Sep 28, 2014 at 5:14 pm

        Haha Jack. 9 under for 14 holes says it is working for the heir to the throne 🙂

  16. gvogel

    Sep 26, 2014 at 11:30 am

    McIlroy might have piped it off the first tee, but he took himself out of the 18th hole with a very poor drive to the left.

    When one is the number one driver of the straight long ball on the planet, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to change.

  17. Don

    Sep 26, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I don’t really mind this club like I have with their past products. Looks kinda cool actually. And if the swoosh is really that distracting it isn’t anything that a jiffy marker can’t fix. Or use spray paint. Isn’t that what Tiger did with his Titleist driver when he switched over to the swoosh?

  18. chad ryan

    Sep 26, 2014 at 10:43 am

    it still looks like a half eaten kiwi fruit……which doesn’t make me want to buy it….but it does make me hungry

  19. cb

    Sep 26, 2014 at 10:25 am

    starting to like Nike’s stuff but unfortunately I saw my first problem with this driver. do whatever and put whatever color you want on the bottom of the club. But on the crown there is too much going on. it might have been fine with out the neon swoosh but you dont want something that will cause you to watch the club going back and not the ball

    • B

      Sep 26, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Completely agree. The swoosh on the crown I can tolerate, not so much the carbon pattern.

      • JJ

        Sep 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm

        Couldn’t disagree more. I am a Titleist/Ping fanboy all day, but the carbon looks awesome…in fact I think the crown is the most aesthetically pleasing part of the driver…

      • yolomcswag

        Sep 26, 2014 at 4:16 pm

        same here. love the swoosh, carbon just makes it weird

    • John

      Sep 26, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      if you’re watching the club go back in your backswing, and something like SLIGHTLY lighter shades of grey that you might not notice in the sunlight is enough to distract you, I think you need to be in the market for something other than new golf clubs.

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Whats in the Bag

Andrew Landry’s winning WITB: The American Express 2020

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Driver: Ping G410 LST (10.5 degrees, neutral setting)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue 65 TX (tipped 1″, 45.25″)

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow

5-wood: Ping G (set at 17.75)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 85-6.5 (42″)

7-wood: Ping G410 (set at 20.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 83-6.5 (41″, tipped 2″)

Irons: Ping iBlade (4-PW)
Shafts: Nippon Modus3 105-X

Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 (46 bent to 45), Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (54, 60 degrees)
Shafts: Nippon Modus3 Tour 105-X

Putter: Ping Vault 2.0 ZB Stealth (33″, 22° lie, 3° loft)
Grip: PP58 Full Cord Standard

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Full Cord 58R

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Whats in the Bag

Lee Westwood’s winning WITB: 2020 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

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Driver: Ping G410 Plus (10.5 degrees at 10 degrees, neutral)
Shaft: Aldila NV 2KXV Green 65 X (tipped 1/2 inch)

3-wood: Ping G410 (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila NV 2KXV Green

Hybrid: Ping G410 (19 degrees at 19.7)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green Hybrid 85 X (40.5 inches)

Driving iron: Ping G Crossover (2)
Shaft: Ping JZ Stiff

Irons: Ping i210 (4-UW)
Shaft: Ping JZ Stiff w/Cushin stepped 1 strong

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (60 degrees)
Shaft: Ping JZ Stiff w/Cushin, stepped 1 strong

Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Fetch

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Full Cord 58 Rib (+2 wraps) on woods, Ping ID8 White 1/2 Cord (+2 wraps) on irons

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

 

Additional specs on Ping.com

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Equipment

From a Fitter: Everything you need to know about wedge shafts

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This is such a dark corner of the golf industry that I truly believe needs a lot of work. Hopefully, this article can shed some light on wedge shafts for you.

I will mention some standards, explain some of my experience, and hopefully, help you make some good choices.

Linking back to the first article on aspects of a wedge that I target when fitting, I place a lot of weight on the style, bounce, grind, and loft/lie/length to get my wedge fitting started. As we move into shaft options, I look at crossing T’s and dotting I’s to ensure a player enjoys their new wedge setup.

We carry a bunch of shaft options built into different heads. As yet we do not have a consistent way to swap shafts in wedges during a session that still allows them to play at a reasonable swing weight and perform as we would like. Moving forward, I will be looking to explore this area to see if we can deliver better service and experience.

Generic standards for wedge shaft setup

  • Dynamic Gold “wedge flex”
  • Matching exactly the same shaft in your irons to your wedges
  • A slightly heavier shaft in your wedges
  • Putting an 8-iron shaft in your wedges
  • Using a wedge-specific shaft

During an iron fitting, we see a lot of variables in flight and feel, this is mainly because we use 6-irons as our demo clubs. When clients are hitting 6-iron shots, they are often looking for max carry, flight, and shot-shaping ability. This leads to hitting a lot of full swings and placing the shaft under a decent amount of load, therefore, we see some notable changes when we swap shafts. This will not show up as drastically in wedges as we are not always trying to hit the full shot. 

As we get into wedge fitting, I discuss with my clients in-depth what they use each wedge for, how far they hit them, what is the most common shot they play, what are the most common bad shots, how does the ball react on the green and what shots do they feel they need in the bag. Basically, trying to get a good overview of their game in a short period. In very few cases do players mention the ‘full shot’ lets them down? Often players say they are more comfortable hitting “softer shots” or 3/4 swings, this gives them the flight/shot that they require on a regular basis and the niche shots and consistency lets them down.

Logic here says to me, you probably do not want exactly the same shaft in the irons all the way down to the lob wedge when you are hitting soft shots 95 percent of the time. When I look at shaft specs, I am trying to build a shaft that can easily put up with the stress of a full shot and handle a softer shot without feeling blunt (for all clubs in the bag).

When I merge this process into wedges, the only wedge a “matching iron” shaft seems to be applicable (for the majority) is the gap wedge or the wedge that is predominantly a full-swing club. This is the club you hit full and maybe knock-down shots with, but you’re rarely trying to hit “flicky” spinning shots. (Those shots are why you also have a sand and/or lob wedge in the bag).

It would then make sense that if you are rarely hitting any full shots with your sand wedge or lob wedge, you probably want a softer golf shaft in those (as they are not trying to put up with your “flat out” swing), still ensuring the shaft does not feel ‘blunt’ or hard work to play around the greens with.

This is not a one size fits all theory, but I think a lot of players would have success even thinking about their wedge shaft layout in this way.

As an example: Personally, I am playing True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue 120g X100 flex iron shafts. I hit a lot of full shots with my 50 and 54, so I have chosen to play the DG 120TI X100 shaft exactly the same way in those two clubs. My 60-degree however, I rarely hit the full shot, so I feel need it a little softer in stiffness, but I need the weight to get my tempo correct and to give me more control to hit lower shots. For this club, I play the Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue. I chose this shaft as the profile is very close to my iron shaft but it is 13g heavier and has a slightly softer tip section, which I feel gives me a little better response.

Please see the S3 shaft profile comparison below

(I am very lucky to have the S3 shaft data, it gives me an apples-to-apples comparison of shaft profiles and weights and make wedge shaft selection a lot easier).

I also wanted to capture some data to highlight the difference wedge shafts have as simply as possible. Below is a graph showing a PGA pro’s shot grouping with a few shaft options. His 6-iron speed is about 94mph, and he has a sharp back-swing to down-swing ratio. This would put him at the quick end of people I fit. This generally means the player enjoys stiffer shafts, stiff style profiles, high swingweight, high total/shaft weight (and again not in all cases).

He tested three shafts all in the same wedge head, with the same length, loft, and lie.

Please see the grouping below

The three shafts tested were: Nippon Modus 105 Wedge specific, Dynamic Gold Wedge flex and Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400.

In no way am I trying to demonstrate the DG S400 is the best shaft for wedges, but in this group of data all that shows up is, the stiffest profile, heaviest shaft (of the test group) gave the player the tightest grouping for his 55-degree wedge shot. His explanation was that he felt the club’s position in the swing better and the strike through the turf was much more consistent, producing more consistent land zones with the DG S400. This small test shows that the wedge shaft alone has an impact even for a skilled golfer.

There are however always exceptions to theories (especially in golf!)

When I have a player using, for example, C-Taper 130 X or Dynamic Gold X100 in their irons it is tough to find a profile that matches closely that is heavier and not any stiffer. In these cases, I tend to have them play the same shaft all the way down to their LW, but I try to increase swing weight and decrease FM in the niche shot wedges (SW and LW). This can just mean adding head weight to soften the shaft a little, or sometimes soft-stepping the product to get some ‘feel’ back. 

The key take-away points

  • Think about the shots you play with your wedges most and how hard you hit them
  • Think about linking your shafts to your irons, but they do not always have to match
  • Test options and measure: grouping, turf interaction and flight consistency
  • Try and break down if the ‘”feel” of stiffness or weight help or hinder you making a consistent swing/strike
  • Don’t just settle with the shaft the wedges come with… unless they match in with your setup!

Getting all the information in one article is always tough, and I hate generalizing, so feel free to shoot me some questions—I like to try to help and also hear your experience and ideas when I can!

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