When you think of Nike irons, you tend to think of one man in particular and the blades that have taken him to so many victories. In fact, many have commented that it is Tiger’s use of blades that has caused a renaissance in their use, both among Tour players and better amateurs as everyone looks to capture just a shard of the great man’s ball striking ability. The Victory Red appellation is obviously a combination of Nike’s recent domination of iron win count (22 victories on all major Tours this year and 27 on the same tours last year) along with Tiger’s favored final day colour.

Tiger has had direct input to the design of all the Victory Red irons. Prior to his absence from competition with his knee injury he worked alongside Nike’s team of designers and engineers with the aim to create Nike Golf’s best irons ever. It goes without saying that out of the 3 Victory Red irons his efforts are most evident in these, the new premium irons – the Nike Victory Red Forged TW Blades.

Nike tell us that the VR Blades have the same centre of gravity (COG) as Tiger’s irons and have already been picked up by Nike Staffers such as Paul Casey, KJ Choi, Stewart Cink, Charl Schwartzel – who recently won at the Madrid Masters on the European Tour after only 3 weeks with the new irons – and many others. For so many of their Tour players to have adopted them so early clearly shows that Nike have come out with something that offers a little more than the previous generation. While Tiger did not have these irons in the bag at his victory at the US Open in Torrey Pines, he thought enough of the marque to find space for a 60-degree Victory Red Wedge.

Three-quarter view showing high muscleback and long hosel

Technical Specs

Iron 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 PW
Loft 18 21 24 27 31 35 39 43 47
Lie 59.0 60.0 60.5 61.0 62.0 62.5 63.0 63.5 64.0
Bounce 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Length 39.5″ 39.0″ 38.5″ 38.0″ 37.5″ 37.0″ 36.5″ 36.0″ 35.75″

Material: 1025 forged carbon steel
Forging House: Undisclosed (China)
Finish: Chrome
Standard grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord
Standard shafts: Dynamic Gold
Custom shafts: Available from Aldila, Royal Precision, True Temper, UST

Face-on view highlighting box toe, straight leading edge and hosel-toe lines


A traditional muscleback that differs from Nike’s original Blades by have a larger muscleback and a fractionally thicker toe-line. The clubhead is also a fractionally longer heel-to-toe than the original Blades but you’re looking at no more than a 1/16 of an inch, if that. The club is finished in sparkling chrome that is so shiny that it’s practically a mirror and the face and muscleback is a blasted matte to reduce glare.

For the traditionalists, the colour scheme of the Victory Red line is always going to be a little gaudy but these clubs have 2 things going for them: firstly, the colour scheme is far more muted in real life than it appears in photos, and secondly at address all that can be seen are the clean chrome lines of the head with the only hint of colour coming from the small red circle near the top of the ferrule.

It’s at address that you can really appreciate what a beautiful piece of forging they are. When the club is sat next to the ball, the thin top line, elegant hosel and straight edges flow together to make the ball look even bigger giving you real confidence. It’s only when you get down to the longer irons that the realization that these are butter knives kicks in and that they are going to demand the best swing you have.

3,5 and 7 irons at address


Exceptionally good, these are players irons and make no apologies for it. While mid-trajectory shots are the easiest to produce, both high soaring shots and three-quarter punches are well within your grasp and a full swing generates serious distance. Deceptively for a club with such a high COG (from both the high muscleback and the long hosel) there’s still enough spin that you are able to work the ball with ease and even hold greens with long irons. The sole is narrow with a rolled leading edge and a ground-off trailing edge which favors precise ball-striking and the ability to pick the ball off the turf with medium to small divots.

In the short and medium irons, flag are targets and the ball can be fired at them with real venom as distance control is very simple. Moving towards the longer irons requires a little more circumspection as you become aware that these clubs have been designed for performance first and forgiveness second. That’s not to say that they are difficult clubs to get airborne but missing the sweetspot in any direction results in a noticeable loss of distance – but then that is a fact of life with pretty much any blade – and tingling fingers as your mistake is made known.

VR Blade sole grind


One of the rewards of playing blades is that wonderful sensation you get when you flush one out of the middle. The satisfaction of hitting the ball dead on comes from the choral symphony of feedback as the club sings in your hands in a way that no cavity back ever will. Nike have only been in the business of producing blades for a few years now and while it’s a little unfair to judge them against the acknowledged masters of forged irons like Mizuno and Titleist, in a like-for-like comparison it would be hard to say that these irons have quite the feel of the MP-67 or the Z-M. That’s not to say that the VR Blades do not give you a fantastic level of feel, it’s just that they are a fraction of a percent off the top spot.


While the VR Blades are very similar in concept to the previous generation of Nike’s blades, they contain a series of small but definite improvements that mean that the performance is so good that they should be considered by anyone looking for new blades.

Tiger had this to say about these irons – “I like the new VR Blades because of the consistent feel throughout the bag, how good it looks in a playing position and my workability. I can shape the ball both ways, change my trajectory, do whatever I need to do to hit the ball closest to the hole and be as efficient as I can throughout the round. That’s ultimately what you want to have happen. I hope to have these new irons in my bag upon my return to competition.” – And let’s be honest, you don’t get much more of an endorsement than that.

For more information visit www.nike.com

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  1. I recently picked up a set of these irons. I had been gaming the original pro combos and decided I was ready for a blade. I pulled the shafts and put my PX Flighted Rifle 6.0 on them with Pure Pro grips and I am in love. Played them in a SIM a few times and was able to get out once last week. The cold weather crushed my distances as I could barely fly a PW 110 but the feel is amazing. If you are looking for a true players iron this is it. I only play the 5-PW as I use 3 and 4 Adams A7 hybrids.

  2. my handycap is a 34 and i moved to these clubs from the ping i3+ i thought i would play like tiger if i bought them, i can’t even make contact with the ball using a putter let alone one of these 8 irons

  3. wow what can i say a 15 y/o hitting his 7 iron 185 to 225 yds i must be doing something seriously wrong , i use these blades , have been for over a year , im playing off scratch with s/s 115 -125, they are very nice clubs ,mind you it did take a little getting used to, need to get your ball striking consistent , and some good mechanics in it , better for a sweeper type than a digger . my average drive is around 280=290 in play with a few just over 300 per round of 18, now best i can do out of my 4 iron is 220, maybe i need to go back to the drawing board with my swing , but im playing some good golf and loving every minute of it with these clubs , but i am also able to smile when i duff one now and then, i do agree with some of the above comments re-blades or bladed irons , i believe in reverse curve learning , these and other bladed irons will improve your swing and mechanics if your dedicated enough or continue punishing you until you do, simply put these irons give back exactly what you put in , if you put in rubbish , you will be given less distance and ball flight soaring at a rate of knots left or right , very low and a nice numbness in your hands for about 5 minutes, but the feeling when you hit them sweet is pretty damn good , im not changing mine anytime soon .

  4. By a long shot, one of the best article l have come across on this valuable subject. I quite go along with with your assumptions and will thirstily look forward to your future updates.

  5. I am an original Nike Forged Blade player. Over the past winter, I purchased the VR with my winnings from the local men’s club. I really liked the feel of the VR and the spin I got from all the irons and the wedges. However, I just wasn’t scoring well with the new VRs. After 30+ rounds of giving the VRs a try and plenty of range work, I switched back to my original Nike Forged Blades…WOW!!! The scoring went back to where it should be (mid 70s, with an occasional low 80s). Overall, sorry to say, especially as good as the VRs feel and look, I am set on the original Nike Forged Blades!!!

  6. Just wanted to add a touch to my previous comments…

    My TW Blades have the Dynamic Golf SL’s (Super-Light) as opposed to the regular DG’s or any other shaft which may be coming on these sets. Supposedly they’re 20% lighter than the stand DG’s. Although I haven’t played a set with any shaft other than my own DG SL’s, I’m pleased to say that these clubs up and down are some of the most balanced I’ve felt to date. My previous set was certainly heavier but the long irons in particular felt nowhere near as smooth as these do through my swing. For what it’s worth, I’m much more confident in swinging my new long irons than I was with my old set.

    Thought it was worth mentioning.

  7. Wow, what can I say? Having played these TW Blades for a short period now, both at the range and course, they are absolutely the coolest set of clubs I’ve owned or shot to date. Ultimately, it’s my opinion that if you’re serious enough about practicing and getting better at the game of golf, these Forged VR’s–Blades or Splits–are not too much club for someone of any (reasonable) handicap.

    I’m a mid-high handicapper (mostly thanks to inaccurate distance control on chips and pitches) who’s set to continue with what I can only describe as a relatively serious practice routine (at the range pretty much daily) so I wanted something I knew would push me as I went along as well as tell me when I was doing something right or wrong. I wouldn’t say my ball-striking is great all day everyday, but it’s far from bad especially with mid and short irons. Today, for example, it was simply money. In fact, I hit some of the most beautiful approach shots I’ve ever hit–some of my best–with the 7,8 and 9 irons.

    I’d say I hit these mid and short irons better than any I’ve previously owned. The feel of these clubs and they’re ability to get the ball nice and high and hold greens in exhilarating. Wow, do they hold fast on greens, btw! My balls were consistently coming down and spinning back towards me instead of rolling out a few yards. As a guy who’s usually happy to get a reasonable put for par, I had a few birdie opportunities today, thanks in part to the distance gap between these clubs and others. As John V so aptly stated above, your actual handicap shouldn’t always dictate what iron sets you play. If you struggle on the tee with the Driver and on greens putting but not in the fairway and tee with your irons, don’t give up on getting a nicer set based on reputation.

    The natural trajectory off these irons is fantastic, as well. Solid shots get up in the air very nicely and the distance these clubs are capable of really make good shots into something spectacular. There is definitely a significant difference between the way I was used to having the ball come off my club’s face and how its been jumping off with these new clubs. Off-center shots won’t be golden but they’re much better than I had anticipated. Today, for example, my 4 iron was up and down. I had some well struck balls and some which were struck either a bit fat or more towards the toe. Although, there’s no better recipe for killing power than hitting it fat, shots off the toe were not at all as ‘dead’ as one might have thought.

    I can’t recommend everybody carry these clubs but if you’re the type of player that is capable of hitting some solid iron shots and wants a club that will fade and draw the ball more “on-command” than some more forgiving irons, don’t be so quick to discount these clubs because of the reputation of blades. Ultimately, these were definitely more forgiving than I expected (or maybe I’m just that good!). :)

    Seriously though, from the long irons to the wedges, these clubs, with their distance and shot control, simply add to the game what Tiger always talks about–the indescribable fun it is to execute well-shaped shots.

  8. I’m fifteen years old and play off a scratch handicap.
    I thought these irons were incredibly easy to hit and working the ball was extraordinarily easy. Even the 3 iron(Blade) was easy to hit

  9. yes I was referring to the GVSU course. I actually was there on tuesday which I think was the 11th. I have been on fire ever since I got these stix. I have played teh Meadows twice and both times have been under 77, tuesday I was 3 under on the front only to go bogey, bogey, double, on the back but still managed a 73 so I was happy. You are so right these are the purest irons I have ever hit, on #13 or #14 (the par 5 back toward the football stadium) I hit a 3 iron for my second shot from 240 to the back pin and stuck it 5 ft for eagle, it was the best feeling shot I have hit in my life.

  10. Luke,

    Are you talking about the Grand Valley State course? I played there earlier this summer.

    I am a 7 handicap and I just picked up the VR blades this weekend. I have never used blades before but the look of these clubs made me have to have them. So I went out the day after I got the clubs and I was hoping to just break 85 and by the end of the day I had shot a 75. These clubs are pure! I was able to spin my PW 15ft when I was hitting it. The lower irons are hard to hit but the feel of these clubs are just ridiculous. So glad I bought them. Gonna stay in my bad for a loooong time!

  11. Just a follow up to my above comments. My buddy and I went out last week, he is a 15 hdcp. He liked the looks of my VRs so much he wanted to try them so He grabbed a demo set from the local pro shop and we headed out to what I consider is a fairly difficut course, The Meadows (this is the course they hold the div 2 national championship). He proceeded to shoot the best round of his life carding a 83 and striking the ball awesome for him. He was so excited when he took the demos back he left with his own set of VR. So any high handicapers that are thinking of getting these irons all I can say is take the plunge you will never regret it, you will hit shot you never thought you could, and your game will thank you. Besides with all the money you will make off your buddies your wife won’t care you just bought new clubs:)

  12. I just switched from MP-32 to the TW VR’s and they are sssswwwweeeeeeettttt!!!!! I am a 4 hdcp and these blow away my old 32s. The control is amazing and bad shots aren’t near as bad as my 32s were. I am looking at getting new wedges and wondered how the VR wedges perform. I think nike made a huge jump in the “players” club market with these, I tested the ZB, ZM, X tour, Taylormade MB (which are in my opinion total junk, I wouldn’t want a set if they were giving them away) and every other new pllayers club out there and these are by far the BEST.

  13. Hi, I have been looking into getting the Nike blades even though I have never broken 100 on the golf course. I currently play ping G2 iron and can’t hit them, however, I reciently switched to my dads titelist model 90 blades and hit them much better. Would this be a wise blade for me to upgrade to?

  14. I am looking into these blades and wanted to get an opinion on if they are much of an improvement over what I have. I am 6’5″ and play 1992 Hogan Apex Blades, 2.5″ extended, 1deg upright. I like my irons ok, but was wondering if this is that much improved technology?


  15. I am a mid handicapper looking for new irons and thinking about switching from a full cavity to a blade. I have trouble with pulling the ball on long to mid iron shots and thought maybe it was from the cavities being offset. I also hit the ball way to high. I mean i hit a 5 iron and it goes just as high as a wedge. I don’t have a problem hitting it square on the club face, just controlling trajectory and that is why i thought it might be time for me to switch to blades. If anybody has an opinion on this please let me know. Thanks.

  16. I am 15 and a scratch golfer. And i must say that these clubs are killers. They are great for shot making but the moment where your day is off, you better stay away from them. Its very ahrd to cotnrol them when you are not playing your best. I have had them for over 4 motnsh now and I have learned how to play with them in ever circumstance. It takes a lot of time to get used to these clubs. I went from a 5 handicapper (old clubs) to a 15 handicapper (new clubs) then to a scratch golfer (newclubs) after 5 months. Once you get the hang of it, they are really grreat . My 7-iron has increased from 175yards to (185-225). They are really great for distance and trajectory and shot making.

  17. Hey, I have a handicap 8 and my best score is 79 on par 72. I usually shoot 82 on par 72. Right now I have Ping G5 irons, but Nike is my favourite brand and Tiger is the man. I really want the blades and I am willing to work on my swing every day. Do you think I should get the blades or the full cavity ones? Thanks for answer:)

  18. If you are going from a full cavity these might be too much unless you are prepared to really work on your long irons. I’d suggest a split set – VR blades from 7-PW and VR Splits from 3-6. That or something like the Mizuno MP-62 where you have the control of a blade but the forgiveness from the small cavity.

  19. I play of a handicap of 7 and the irons i use at the moment are full cavity. I know that if i want to get down to around 3 this season then i will need to have more control over my shots. Do u think that these are the irons for me??

  20. I currently play the Tiger Woods limited Tour blades tru temp x-100 shafts. I demoed the VR blades with the x-100, I really did not see that much difference. I could hit that real high soft fade with both irons. I’m a 3 handicap, so i’m no pro but I think good enough to see a difference. if anything my tiger blades might be a half a club longer. I was real confused about this, i must have hit 40 balls with my 6 iron and 40-50 with the new VR 6 iron. I consistanntly hit mine past the flag. But I do like the lower profile to the new blades. I am sure these clubs will be in my bag pretty soon.Like i tell my wife, If Tiger uses them so am I.

  21. I am strongly considering these blades. I am a 8.6 capper and I am a fairly good ball striker. I have been playing Golfsmith 675B forged and really like the feel of a blade than a cavity. I also game a set TM R7 Tps. I just love the look of the VRs.

    Whats the difference in feel and flight between the PX and the DG. I have been DGS300 player for a long time now. I was thinking about a switch to PX but get nervous on making a switch.

  22. I’m currently looking for a new set of irons. I have been playing (old, I know) the Ben Hogan Apex Edge Pro irons for about 9 years now and haven’t really had any problems with them. I’m about a 6 handicapper who tries to get out 2/3 times during the week in the summer. I’m interested in purchasing some blades (and/or a combo set) to get my game to its highest capabilities. I’ve looked at the following clubs and am at a crossroads as to which one’s would be the best for me…Nike VR TW blades, Callaway’s X-forged irons, Titleist ZMs or ZBs, or Mizunos?? Anyone have any advice or input on my current decision.

  23. I recently bought a set of VR blades and must say i am impressed. The look of the club at address is absolutely money! I agree with most about the aesthetics being too gaudy. you don’t even notice when your playing though. as for any blade, i wouldn’t recommend them to a player with a handicap of 10 or higher. But for you players out there, this club provides a healthy balance of both workability and feel, comparable to the zm.

  24. John V has nailed it. I think the primary concern people have when looking at buying blades is forgiveness. There are very few coaches, even the world’s best, that would recommend blades to anyone over cavities (the new AP2s are a prime example), that includes tour pros. However, like John V said, I too am interested in blades because they force you to hit good shots.

    These VRs are downright amazing. Much improved over the last Nike Blades if you ask me. I’ve been on the AP2 bandwagon for the last few months, but I demoed the VRs for 3 days and played them head to head against the AP2s, and the VRs simply have more feel. I also compared them with Titleist ZMs and ZBs, Cleveland CGTour and CG Red, and the split cavity VRs. I didn’t feel that the VR Blades were any less forgiving than any of these, more forgiving than some of them (ZMs/CGtour, and the feedback on them is better than all of them in my opinion.

    I think the whole VR lineup is good, and is worth hitting at your local shop if they have a pair. Only thing I might change is I have liked the Project X shafts better than the DGS300s in the past, so I’ll look into seeing if that holds true for these.

    Last point, often times mid-high handicappers ask about these clubs. I’d say unless you are super committed to improving (making it to a range 2+ times a week, and/or working with an instructor) you’ll want to go with cavity backs (The VR CBs are great too). I am a 14 handicap but a dedicated student of the game and have a fundamentally sound swing that allows me to work the ball in all directions, so I’ve chosen to go with blades and risk a few lousy shots rather than lose some of that feel and workability by taking the more forgiving CBs.

  25. I bought the Nike VR TW blades as soon as I could get my hands on them. I have been a loyal Titleist fan for quite sometime but I was drawn to these irons because I wanted to switch to a blade and Tiger helped design them (I don’t know anyone better qualified to design a high performance club other than the arguably best golfer ever). My last set of irons were Titleist 755’s, which I love for their solid feel. I have always felt that Nike had been a little gimicky but the Victory Red lineup has changed my mind. I think they have stepped into the arena with Titleist and Mizuno.

    I was a little nervous about the 3 and 4 iron but I went with them anyway. After hitting these blades a few times now I have fallen in love with them. They are surely not as forgiving as a split cavity or partial cavity club, but they are not impossible either. I would say the sweet spot is in the center of the face and about the size of a quarter. Flush shots came off likes lasers with great solid feel and feedback. Toe hits and heels hits will lose distance but that is expected. The bad shot is a thinned shot. I do caution those that hit the ball low on the club face or tend to thin it. The outcome with these blades can be punishing in the outcome of the shot and in the hands. I attribute this to the muscleback which forces you to properly land a descending blow on the ball to get the center of gravity below the center of gravity of the ball. This is the reason I switched to a blade; I am a pretty good ballstriker and I did not want the club to cover up bad swings. I rather have great good-shots than have acceptable poor-shots.

    The ability to work the ball is amazing. Basically, by thinking about holding you hands off at impact you will hit a fade. By thinking about releasing you hands at impact you will hit a draw. With cavity backs, it is necssary to exaggerate a closed or open stance and also cut across the ball to work it; not so with these. These clubs are so workable, that you can easily over cook the fade or draw so be careful. 3/4 punch shots come of low and boring. Put the ball a little forward in your stance and you can hit the high, soft shot.

    The clubs feel hefty, which I prefer. I have not had them swingweighted, but I think Tiger plays with D4 swing weighting so I would suspect they may be D4. They feel a little heavier than my previous D2 swingweighted Titleist 755’s. I also really enjoy having TT DG S300 shafts. My driver club head speed is about 107-110mph so the S300 are perfect. The stock full cord Golf Pride grips are a great addition so you don’t have to spend another $80 just to get the grips you want.

    Last, the clubs look great. I could have done without the matte finishing but overall they look great. I know it is dorky, but I am using head covers so they look great for years to come. I will most likely get new irons in the future, but I plan to hold on to these.

    I am a low teens handicap with the touch of a blacksmith on the greens. So I don’t fully believe that handicaps are indicative of what irons you should hit. Go with what gives you confidence and looks good in the playing position. Also, I am serious about golf improvement and blades tend to be the ultimate game-improvement club. They force you to hit good shots rather than cover up bad strikes.

    The hardest thing about these clubs was talking my wife into letting me buy them after I had revamped all of my equipment last year to Titleist (from putter to driver)! After hitting these, I am a believer in Nike irons and blades in general.

  26. “Are these difficult for a mid-high handicapper”

    I couldn’t recommend them. While you will love the short irons you’ll be left dead in the water with the mid and long irons. You should try the Split Cavity VR irons.

  27. Have any original Nike blade players have the chance to demo the new Victory blades? If so can you post a comparison? I’d like to know how the two compare with respect to forgiveness.

    The graphics on the back of the iron is gaudy. I very much prefer the look of the original Nike blades much like the Mizzys.

  28. I absolutely love My New Nike VR Blades. I went with the Project X’s
    and also added the VR wedges to my set and I could not be more happy. I am able to do everything Tiger mentioned in the above article. Trajectory is what I want and to shape the ball is easier than ever before. I can turn the ball around a corner as if it was a remote controlled ball. The feeing and feedback from these irons is superb!! Even though alot of reviews and even the designer Tom sites said the sweet spot is smaller on these ,I do not see it. I have not hit a shot that does not feel great. If you are looking to take your game to the next level and be way ahead of all the other manufacturers blades then the TW VR Blades are for you.
    I have not ever held a better set of irons. By the way Nike has introduced a new groove technology with the VR irons and wedges that meets the new groove rules coming in the next years and they provide more spin than any other club I have hit so if you were worried about getting out of the rough and on to the green with enough backspin and want a new rule compliant iron and wedge then look no further. VR is here to stay!!!