The Big Review – Nike VR Pro Blades and VR Pro Combo Irons

by   |   January 10, 2011
vr_pro_blades_bouquet(1)
The Big Review – Nike VR Pro Blades and VR Pro Combo Irons Martin Anderson

5


The Nike VR Pro Blades and VR Pro Combo sets are the conforming versions of two of Nike’s best iron sets. Aimed at the low and low-mid handicapper, these are enhancements to the respective lines rather than any revolution. The VR Pro Blades feature the same profile and grind as the previous generation which puts them in the most “bladey” of blades – small head, zero perimeter weighting, flat muscle back, minimal offset, traditional grind with minimal camber. The VR Pro Combo feature the same 8,9 and PW as the blades but have split cavity in the 5,6,7 and pocket cavity in the 3,4 irons.

Appearance

The VR Pro Blades are gorgeous irons. As far as classical blades go, the Nikes are right up there with their small heads and minimal offset. The muscleback portion of the blade has changed back to the original version with its straight top where the TW forged blades had a curved muscleback top. There is also the fact that the new versions lack the TW logo – make of that what you will.

Vr Pro Blades – 3,7,PW

The Pro Combos are also a very good package and share the same gleaming chrome finish. The only fly in the ointment would be that the sole of the Pro Combo 3 iron peeks out from the back at address but that is very minor.

Vr Pro Combo – 3,7,PW

Feel

From the very first forged blades, Nike’s have always been at the very top of the feel charts. In fact the great level of feel was one of the most obvious statements that this sports apparel company were not only serious about golf but they were going to demand the same levels of excellence in their golf clubs as they do in the rest of their line-up.

Like its predecessors, the 1025 forged carbon steel VR Pro blades offer a premier league level of feel. The sort of “sell your granny for the sensation of a flushed long iron” that is normally the preserve of the likes of Mizuno and Titleist. Miss-hits are fine in the short and mid irons but your hands do get punished with the long irons. Since the VR Pro Combo share the same irons, the feel is identical there, with similar feel in the mid irons but long irons feel very different. Even if you pure one, the Pro Combo’s feel has a hollowness that is (unsurprisingly) missing from the blades . Where the Pro Combos score highly is when you don’t flush it out of the middle – the sensation is an almost perfect mix of feedback that you made a mistake without the painful buzz present in the blades.

Performance

One of the most obvious differences between these irons and the previous generation is the new grooves. The X3X High-Frequency Grooves are designed to give a cleaner, more consistent ball flight and spin. The idea is that with more grooves closer together and deeper on the clubface, they ensure more control and consistency in all conditions. The manufacturing process involved in this also had the side-effect of improving the tolerances which should lead to greater consistency throughout the set.

With any blade set, distance control and accuracy are the primary performance metrics and the VR Pros do not disappoint. Short irons are unbelievably accurate an mid irons are exceptionally good too. Long irons are wonderful but the caveat is that you have to be a top class ball striker to get the most out of these. Given the compact head size and the flat back design the sweet spot is correspondingly tiny. Any miss-hit results in noticeable distance loss which can be agonising if you are just that bit off your game. It goes without saying that if you are on your game, these sticks are glorious.

For the VR Pro Combo, as mentioned previously, since they share the same short irons they have the same performance profile. The difference in design in the mid and long irons is very obvious since the performance is very difference than the blades; far more forgiving on miss-hits with more distance for your swing and a lot higher ball flight. The combination and balance of feel, accuracy and forgiveness of the VR Pro Combo means that they span a far wider range of handicaps then the blades and the fact that they have PGA Tour usage shows that there is not a problem for better players.

X3X grooves

The principle behind the X3X grooves seems sound enough; with the volume and shoulder radius of the groove reduced by the new rules, increasing the number of grooves contacting the ball should reclaim some of the spin that would otherwise be lost. You would really need a launch monitor to tell how much of a difference it makes but in playing testing there appeared to be minimal difference in spin levels between the X3X versions and the non-conforming versions and this appears to hold true both full and partial shots.

Conclusion

As the 3rd generation of blades that Nike have made, the VR Pro Blades represent yet another progressive increase in an already spectacular set. Previous fans will be reassured by the new conforming versions that have lost none of the Nike magic. For more information, visit http://www.nike.com

20 Comments

  1. Anand

    March 12, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    I am a 15 handicap and used to play the TM Burners 2.0 they did nothing for my confidence or did not improve my scores. They only reinforced my bad habits. I got the Nike VR TW blades w/ S300′s end of last year and it there has been a huge difference to my game.

    My ball striking has improved tremendously and I know what a good shot feels like. I have bought another Nike VR Pro set with KBS shafts and I am hoping the shafts will help be a little smoother than the DG S300′s.

    Nike blades have the best feel of all the irons I have tried, hands down.

  2. michael sanders

    December 28, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    I just piked up the pro blades and played 2 rounds I am a medium handicap and I must say I am blown away by everything about these clubs the first time using them I set a new best round I am a huge fan of these clubs

    • John

      December 30, 2013 at 12:47 am

      Hi there, what is your handicap, in in a delema, ive got the titleist MB 710 with project x 6.0 shfrs, which can get a bit heavy for me, however im a 18 handicap at my best icould be 14 -15. I was wondering if it will be wiser for me to go to the combo set instead, im selling my titleist, what do you think

  3. Patrick

    October 13, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I am a high handicap and just picked up vr pro combos. Upgraded from nike vr pro cavity. I love the combos. Tied my best round ever first time out.

  4. Lloyd

    August 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I sold my nike vr pro blades and I regret it they are very nice looking irons one of the best u can buy

  5. golfingryan

    July 18, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Just bought the combo irons trying them tomorrow!

  6. GolfBoy123

    June 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    when people say blades are too hard for beginners it rubbish, ive played for 6 months nows, i used to play the Rocketballz iron and just bought the vr pro blades 3-pw, i hit them amazing, high far and they seem quite forgiving to be honest, i even killed the 3 iron

  7. Robert

    June 11, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Just recentl purchased a used set (pro combo) in like new condition. I like them so much I found another used set in the same condition and bought those. I’ve never been a Nike guy, but all of a sudden I am. Picked up the tour metal woods and I’m playing better than great with them. Only stuff not Nike is my bag, two Titleist wedges and Scotty golo putter and I’ve never been happier.

  8. Frank

    June 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    i play the s56 and they fell pretty good and thinking about getting these and im a 5 handicapper do u think i could hit theses???

  9. James

    May 25, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    I just picked up the Nike combo forged with 8-pw blades. Played several rounds and I love them. I upgraded from my 2002 Nike combo this set.
    You will lose some yardage if you’re a little off but when you strike them right — WOW!!
    By the way – I think Nike are going to discontinue them or do an overhaul. They are no longer making them. The only option you can get now from Nike is standard flex and no longer accept custom orders. I also bought the Nike Hybrid stand bag. Paid 650 for both no tax!!

  10. Big Chrisso

    May 12, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Just played two rounds over the weekend with my new pro combo’s. First think I noticed is these things are long, like super long. Getting an extra 10 meters per club compared to my MP 52′s. The middle irons are sensational and the blades (8-PW) are great but do let you know when you haven’t found the middle of the club. The feel is very good, although in feel terms it’s a notch below the mizuno forged offerings.
    Daniel – you say the 3 & 4 irons are hard to hit, can’t say I found them any harder to hit than the 3 and 4 irons from my outgoing MP 52′s.

    Conclusion: These are very good golf clubs that offer good feel and outstanding performance. Worth a demo if you have a solid swing and consider yourself a decent ball striker.

  11. Daniel

    April 17, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I’ve had these irons for a little over a year now. I had the VR irons 2011 model prior to these. These irons are outstanding. They give incredible feedback. You know immediately whether or not you hit the ball well, or not – without even looking at the trajectory of the ball – just the feel of the club.

    You are penalized if you don’t strike the ball well, but if you have good hand-eye coordination, you can’t go wrong with these.

    I will say, the 3i/4i are very difficult to hit, but other than that…money.

  12. Mark

    April 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I’m trading in my set of pro combos for Ping i20′s. I love the look of these irons but mishits are punishing. Shots slightly on the toe seem to lose 10-15% of the distance. On a well manicured course, I love them. If I’m on a firm and inconsistent course, anything less than a perfect strike is penalized.

  13. Eoghan

    March 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I am thinking of purchasing… Are blades difficult to strike or what are they like?

    • Everest

      April 10, 2013 at 8:02 am

      I judt bought them and it was a lott of ugly misses and semi good shots. It took me one month of playing twice a week and now I’m longer, straighter, more confident. I don’t even bother worrying about high trajectory shots into cross wind. These irons are magic. Course record tomorrow

    • Greg

      April 14, 2013 at 2:25 am

      Eoghan I’m a 3 Hdc and i didn’t buy a set of blades until i was a 9 so without saying if you strike the ball above okay but shoot in the mid 80′s your wasting your money because you won’t get the most out of them. Blades are hard to hit in the 3-5 irons, everything else their pretty easy to hit but remember ball flight plays a big part in the game so read up on the new pro combo’s if your a weekend guy otherwise good luck.

      • Denis

        December 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm

        Greg,

        I disagree. I am a high handicap (2 years of golf), and these blades work for me great. I absolutely love them. Of course, I mishit 4 and especially 3 often enough but I still do keep hitting them and often have great shots, too. This is unlike my previous game improvement clubs. With those 3 and 4 were always a sad and discouraging disaster.

        I tried these clubs at a fair last winter and it is like a bulb went on in my head – I had to buy them.

        I think the most helpful feature of these blades for me is their minimal offset. I cant stand the ugly offsets of some other clubs – makes no sense to me how people hit with those.

  14. vnorris

    September 12, 2012 at 12:12 am

    I’m a 20 handicap. I just purchased the pro blade irons. Say what you want and think what you will, they are wonderful. Talk about posing after hitting the sweet spot. Not only that but the walk is not as far after a mis hit. I just played 9 holes with our club pro. I’m leaving the nineties enroute to the eighties

  15. smithers89

    August 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I play the vr pro blade irons there feel is sensational and you can really play the ball with a draw or fade depending on your preference. I would only recomend buying these clubs if play 80 and under.

  16. english

    December 31, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Good review,
    I just bought a set of these irons after trying as many different sets as i could and found these suited me best. Sublime irons can’t wait to get dialed in on them.

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