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Photos of Nike “VPR Strike” drivers that apparently would have come out in 2017 (updated with info and more photos)

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Updated 10/10/18 at 10:32 a.m.

Photos of two other Nike VPR drivers added to Instagram

Updated 10/9/18 at 10:10 a.m.

Instagram user @oli_willson shared some of his knowledge about the Nike VPR driver that he photographed; he says the info is based on his time at Nike, and is not confimred technology stories that were gonig to be released.

“There was going to be 2 drivers, the Vapor Strike and the Vapor Strike Elite. The theme was angle of attack as most higher handicappers are steep so the VPR Strike was aimed to launch high off a steep angle of attack. The Vapor Strike Elite was a RZN head and the ball speeds were incredible. It was aimed more at the guys who sweep the ball and better players. Rory loved it and wanted to put it in play following final testing at The Oven, but Nike wouldn’t let him. I heard an extra 8 mph of ball speed vs. the blue Vapor FLY Pro. One interesting technology I heard this driver had, was that it was illegal in certain parts of the driver face, but legal in the parts where COR was measured. Was going to be marketed potentially as ‘The legal, illegal driver.'”

— original story —

An Instagram post by user @oli_willson, an “ex-Nike Golf employee” according to his Insta bio, shows a Nike “VPR Srike” driver that apparently would have come out in 2017 had Nike not decided to exit the hard goods section of the golf industry.

That is one thick “speed channel,” isn’t it?

In the Insta post, Wilson included 4 photos of the driver. Here’s a look at the crown, which seems to show some kind of carbon fiber-type technology.

Check out our TG2 video review of the product photos here.

It’s interesting to see Nike was going back to a black-and-red colorway instead of the electric blue or volt colors the company was becoming known for. What other takeaways do you have from these photos of the Nike driver that never was?

Check out our TG2 video review of the product photos here.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. H?ng Phát Blue Star

    Oct 23, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    The content is great

  2. Emboom

    Oct 12, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    I always find it funny how people will slam something they know nothing about. I also find it interesting that several golf companies were interested in purchasing Nike technology after the Oven was shut down. If memory serves me correctly, Taylor Made was the eventual winner in acquiring the tech. Must have been something cooking in the oven that smelled pretty good.

  3. Curt

    Oct 12, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    They quit making clubs I quit golfing.

  4. ~j~

    Oct 9, 2018 at 11:19 am

    This driver wouldn’t even make the cut for the driver vs driver show. At least they gave up on the square head and yellow shafts though. (smh)

  5. Greg

    Oct 9, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Would have been in my bag . I still love my covert driver

    • Simms

      Oct 22, 2018 at 11:45 pm

      As if the DVD driver is going to be any good, try one of the DVD Triton from the first show…if Wilson had any faith in the second DVD they would offer to trade them for the first DVD, which is worth about $25 dollars in trade at the most…..

  6. Pablo

    Oct 9, 2018 at 9:21 am

    So over Nike.

  7. Brian McGranahan

    Oct 8, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    KABOOM!!!!

  8. Tom

    Oct 8, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Nike golf equipment? Nobody cares!

    • Kris

      Oct 9, 2018 at 9:44 pm

      Yet you just read about it and felt it important enough to you to lie in a comment.

  9. DJ

    Oct 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    best driver Nike came out with was the Ignite

  10. Brad

    Oct 8, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Funny how the average driving distance on Tour jumped significantly after Nike bowed out of making golf clubs and most Tour Players stopped using Nike drivers. Coincidence or not? I’d say not.

    Probably best that this one never made it to market.

    • Scott

      Oct 9, 2018 at 10:16 am

      I think that you are on to something. The last Nike one I hit 5 years ago was pretty accurate but substantially further behind my driver. Maybe 20 to 30 yards behind. I am not sure how any of the Nike stable of players could be near the top in driving distance, unless they were playing another brand painted to look like a Nike.

  11. 2putttom

    Oct 8, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    so that’s the piece of equipment with R&D that put em in the red financially

  12. Stump

    Oct 8, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    I think Nike was pretty good at irons but their woods were cheesy. They remind me of the less expensive brand Rick Shiels has on his channel sometimes…Ben Ross I think.

  13. Ardbeggar

    Oct 8, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Who knows? It might be the best driver nobody ever hit.

  14. Scheiss

    Oct 8, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Looks like a great driver for Target, Walmart and Costco. It was the right decision to quit

  15. Tim

    Oct 8, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Might have been a better choice in 2016 vs the butt ugly blue. Nike Golf Equipment may have lasted 1 more year?

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Whats in the Bag

Rory McIlroy’s winning WITB: 2019 Tour Championship

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Driver: TaylorMade M5 (9 degrees set at 7.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70 TX

rory-mcilroy-witb-tour-championship-driver

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80 TX

rory-mcilroy-witb-2019-3-wood

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M5 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90 TX

rory-mcilroy-witb-tour-championship-5--wood

Irons: TaylorMade P750 (4), TaylorMade P730 (5-PW)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 7.0

rory-mcilroy-witb-tour-championship-8-iron

rory-mcilroy-witb-2019

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper

rory-mcilroy-witb-tour-championship-putter

Ball: 2019 TaylorMade TP5 (#22)

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Rory McIlroy WITB Tour Championship

Rory McIlroy WITB Tour Championship

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From the GolfWRX Vault: The story of the sand wedge

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In addition to continuing to look forward to new content that will serve and engage our readership, we also want to showcase standout pieces that remain relevant from years past. In particular, articles with a club building or instruction focus continue to deliver value and convey useful information well after their publish dates.

We want to make sure that once an article falls off the front page as new content is covered it isn’t relegated to the back pages of our website. We hope that you’ll appreciate and find value in this effort.

Cracking open the vault: In this 2015 piece, Mark Donaghy, author of “Caddy Attitudes,” looks at the game-changing history of the sand wedge, reminding us that “compared to the early days of golf, however, bunker play is relatively easy.”

A taste of Donaghy’s excellent piece…

Prior to the 1930s, the best club for short approach shots was the niblick, roughly equivalent to today’s 9-iron or pitching wedge. The design of this club, however, featured a flat, angled face and virtually no sole, making it difficult to use in sand and other soft lies as it was prone to digging into the ground. Players had to pick the ball cleanly off the sand, which required a good lie. The other alternative for bunkers was the jigger; it was similar to a chipper with a short shaft, but little loft. Less loft prevented the club from digging in too much on soft lies, but the compromise was the low launch angle and it was useless at moving through the sand to dig out a buried ball. The club was also not ideal for approach shots from a greenside bunker, as a chip shot made with this club tended to roll for most of its distance. The club designers in those days were often blacksmiths who offered up all sorts of strange solutions to the bunker dilemma.

The rake iron…was invented by a Scottish optometrist who became fed up of having to remove sand from the eyes of golfers playing at the local links, and created a club designed to cast up less sand when swung.

The governing bodies soon began to clamp down on design and banned many offerings. Spoon clubs offered varying degrees of loft and allowed players to scoop their ball out of sand traps and deep rough. Some had bowl faces, others featured deeply grooved faces, but not all of these designs conformed. Walter Hagen was using a lethal-looking sand wedge in the late 1920s, with a hickory shaft and a smooth concave face with a lot of loft and about a half pound of weight in the flange. This was deemed illegal and soon became outlawed.

It is widely acknowledged that the biggest breakthrough in sand play appeared in the 1930s, and many connect Gene Sarazen with the design of today’s modern sand wedge. The story goes that he dreamed this club up after flying with Howard Hughes, the aviation tycoon, movie producer and scratch golfer. When Hughes’s plane took off, the flaps on the wings came down. We don’t know if alcohol or narcotics were consumed at the time, but Sarazen made a connection between the flaps and the flange you could add to a club that would allow it to slide through the sand and help the ball pop up

Check out the full piece here. 

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Swag Golf proto putter

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Product: Swag Golf proto putter

Pitch: From Swag “Swag is the brand that isn’t scared to push the limits in a conservative sport that isn’t evolving to meet changing styles. We like to listen to music on the course, we want to be bold, we love having fun, we love golf, and we’re going to express that both on and off the course. We aren’t going to try to sell you on how great our proprietary materials are and we don’t need to rely on clever marketing to sell more. We’re a no BS company. What matters is that our putters feel good and in turn make you feel good when putting. We have some crazy ideas, we love to tinker, and we experiment on how to perfect everything we do. ”

Our Take on the Swag Golf Proto putter

Though relatively new, Swag Golf has been making a big splash in the industry for their high-end and striking headcovers and accessories. Perhaps less talked about when it comes to the company is their putters – something which I feel is likely to change after testing out their prototype rainbow finish flat-stick.

The putter is beautiful from whatever angle you look at – but especially at address. Extremely smooth lines, and with full-shaft offset, the blade’s shoulders and bumpers are flawlessly balanced to frame the ball and let the putter sit perfectly square. The single line alignment aid enhances the look and is positioned right in the center of the blade’s sweet spot, while the CNC milled flat-stick delivers perfectly smooth edges – noticeably on the neck for a sublime and soft profile.

With a head weight of 354g, the putter from Swag feels exceptional in your hands over the ball. Every detail matters when investing in a premium putter, and the sensation of the stable and firm feel of the flat-stick as well as there being no wavering of the head, makes the putter feel like an extension of your body when standing over a putt.

The sound and feel of the putter is an area where Swag has knocked it out of the park. With a fly milled face from 303 Stainless Steel, the flat-stick delivers an incredibly soft feel at impact.

No vibration is felt on impact, even on long-distance putts. It never feels like your hitting the ball but more caressing it, which is a pleasant sensation when putting from downtown. What you get in terms of sound at impact is a low, deep pitched note from a putter which rolls beautifully on its axis and produces no vibration on slight mis-hits.

To nitpick, the company’s “black mid pistol tackified kangaroo leather grip” took some getting used to. Initially, it took a little away from how impressive the flat-stick feels in your hands, but it gradually becomes more comfortable.

Overall performance-wise though, the putter from Swag provides everything you could hope for from a high-end putter. Exceptional feel at address, painfully attractive profile and precision at impact.

As of now, the company boasts self-confessed “putting nerd” Kevin Streelman as their PGA Tour ambassador. Streelman is currently gaming the brand’s Handsome Too proto, and after experiencing the Swag rainbow proto for myself, the highest compliment I can give is that I would be surprised if he (and PGA Tour newcomer Rhein Gibson) are still the only Tour pros to game one of the brand’s flat-sticks in 12 to 24 months time.

In terms of an Anser-style putter, Swag packs a hefty punch with their numerous offerings. While I personally love the eye-catching rainbow finish (which has been blasted to remove some of the boldness), I realize it’s not for everyone. However, the company has plenty more traditional finishes on their array of flat-sticks, which you can find on their website here.

Whatever finish you prefer your putters to come in though, it’s unlikely that any department of Swag’s flat-sticks will leave you disappointed.

 

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