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GolfWRX Spotted: Never-before-seen Nike Vapor Pro Combo FF iron

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The world of golf club research and development is full of stuff that never quite made it to retail for any number of reasons, but when it comes to one equipment company that is no longer around, Nike stands above them all as one that still holds many golfers’ attention.

A few weeks ago, a Nike Vapor Strike 3-wood ended up on eBay. It’s still available if you are looking to spend roughly $8,000 on a fairway wood.

Recently, someone shared with me on Instagram an unreleased Nike Vapor Pro Combo FF iron.

Maybe because it came to be in the modern era, and its playing staff were some of the best players in the world, but Nike Golf still holds a great deal of nostalgia for many golfers: Nike Golf club nostalgia and these clubs that continue to pop up only show us “what could have been”.

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Rick

    Feb 20, 2021 at 10:58 am

    I think Nike blew it with their lower end clubs and paying to much money to players..the public was not getting the same quality clubs as their pros by a long shot.

  2. ericsokp

    Feb 20, 2021 at 7:40 am

    Personally, I never thought their equipment was any better than the other OEM’s – they just threw much more money at their players to put it in their bags. And didn’t I read once in one of the monthly golf publications, that even the much-vaunted Nike ball was actually made for them by Bridgestone?

  3. JP

    Feb 19, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    At this point, who cares?

  4. sharkiesj

    Feb 19, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Now it’s obvious why Nike folded. All the stuff not released is way better than the stuff they did release. Bunch a nincompoops running Nike golf basackwards

    • Jason

      Feb 19, 2021 at 1:41 pm

      That is what happens when your head of R&D is a guy with an agricultural engineering degree. He wasn’t part of any of this

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Equipment

2021 TaylorMade Spider X, EX, S, and SR putters offer improved roll, feel, and forgiveness

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Building putters is about creating options and incorporating technology. For TaylorMade’s all-new Spider putters for 2021—including the Spider X Hydro Blast, EX, Spider S, and SR—it’s the little details that make big differences.

“With this new class of Spider putters, we focused on removing two of those variables: aim and alignment … While each putter brings something unique to the table, they are bonded by a foundation of forgiveness, stability, and True Path alignment that makes it easier to aim.” – Bill Price, Product Creation, Putters & Wedge

The idea of a “classic” golf club or putter shape won’t generally have people reminiscing about a TaylorMade Spider, but the design has been around for well over a decade—and although it has gone through some design tweaks over the years, the modern Spider is here to stay

Spider X Hydro Blast

This putter is all about small changes to an already great design with the most notable being the Hydro Blast finishing process. The new Spider X also features

  • The classic Spider X head shape, available in both a face-balanced double-bend and a smaller slant neck with 21 degrees of toe hang.
  • Multimaterial construction to offer maximum stability and increased MOI.
  • White True Path for a high-contrast look that is easy to align

Availability and Price

Preorder for the Spider X Hydro Blast starts today, March 2, with putters arriving at retail starting March 12 with a price of $279.99.

The new Spider X will be available in stock lengths of 33″, 34″, and 35″ be completed with a KBS Chrome C-Taper Stepless shaft and Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip.

Spider EX

With the Spider EX, TaylorMade is flexing its putter design capabilities when it comes to face technology to improve roll and feel. The Spider EX features a new co-molded insert made of white TPU urethane and small aluminum beams angled at 45°. This combination of materials gets the ball up and rolling quicker and also creates a soft yet solid feel to improve player feedback.

Speaking of feedback and feel the Spider EX has a newly designed “Fluted feel” shaft with a more flexible portion starting 5″ below the tip to add stability while also maintaining a softer feel through the stroke,  and is slightly larger than the Spider X to increase MOI.

Availability and price

Preorder for the Spider EX starts today, March 2, with putters arriving at retail starting March 12 with a price of $349.99 – See chart for full color availability.

The stock options will include lengths of  33″, 34″, and 35″, the TaylorMade Fluted Feel shaft and to top it off a Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip.

Spider S and SR

It’s about options and alignment. The Spider S uses geometry and topline sights to help golfers who prefer to use the width of the ball for accurate sighting.

The Spider S also offers the same Fluted Feel shaft and white TPU Pure roll insert to create a soft feel.

The Spider SR is the “Stability Monster” of the 2021 TaylorMade putter lineup and utilizes multiple weights around the head to raise MOI.

While the Spider S’s alignment system is for players who use the front of the putter, the SR places the True path alignment away from the face and between the wings. This allows golfers to use the clean topline and parallel wings to line up to the intended path while still offering a visual aid to behind the ball.

Availability and Price

The Spider S and SR putters will be available for preorder March 2 and will land at retail beginning April 9, with a price of $279.99. The stock configurations will include lengths of 33″, 34″, and 35 and they will be completed with a TaylorMade Fluted Feel shaft and to topped with a Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip.

Spider S options

Spider SR options

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Equipment

‘Can’t seem to chip with forged wedges’ – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been trying to help out WRXer ‘RkoDavey’, who is struggling to chip with forged wedges. ‘RkoDavey’ kicks off the thread saying:

“For most of my golfing life, I’ve struggled to chip with my sand wedge but usually have no trouble when I use my gap wedge, and I’m starting to wonder if this is related to my equipment. My gap wedge is part of my P790 iron set, but no sand wedge is available, so I play an Adams Tom Watson forged 56-degree wedge (bounce is 13 degrees).

 I can’t tell you how many times I chunk little greenside chips with my Adams wedge, but if I chip with my gap wedge, the club seems to glide right through the turf, and I have much better results. My problems arise when I have little green to work with and need the ball to stop quick–my gap wedge simply isn’t the right tool for that type of shot.”

And he poses two questions for fellow members to help him out:

“First, is there something about forged wedges that makes them radically different from your typical gap wedge that comes with a set of irons? I had this same issue with the previous irons I owned, and I wonder if it’s my equipment or if it’s all in my head.

Second, what recommendations can you give for a 55 or 56-degree sand wedge that will perform similar to my gap wedge?”

Our members have been sharing their thoughts in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • IPA4me: “Check the bounce. Also, consider cavity back wedges for the added forgiveness.”
  • mootrail: “You’re comparing your super hot face hollow body set wedge to an ancient stamping with zero modern wedge design parameters. They might be perfectly fine for some, but the first thing to do is to toss them out. There are a few hollow body wedges out there, but it’s your swing and conditions first. You need to get to the shop and test them out.”
  • jomatty: “I’d check the leading edge between the two clubs.”

Entire Thread: “‘Can’t seem to chip with forged wedges'”

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Whats in the Bag

WITB GolfWRX Members Edition: GtiClay

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Recently we put out the call for our members to submit their WITBs in our forum to be featured on the GolfWRX front page. Since then, our members have been responding in numbers!

Now it’s time to take a look at the bag of GtiClay.

*Full details on the submission process can be found here, and you can submit your WITB in this forum thread.*

Member: GtiClay

GtiClay WITB

“I used to do the WITB more often here. It’s been a REALLY long time. Maybe more than 10 years, and I, unfortunately have only 1 year where I played more than 20 rounds in a year since then. I’m gonna play more… a lot more in the coming years as I’m turning 48 this year and want to have a damn good birthday week at Bandon when I turn 50.

My goal is sub 5 handicap by then. I have still been mostly playing i3 blades and TM 300s. But I want to convert to ‘legal grooves’, so I just picked up my first new set of irons in maybe 15 years. The i210’s… so here’s my current WITB.”

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (10.5 degrees turned a bit to “lower” as I like a slightly open face at address)
Shaft: Ozik Matrix 80M Black Tie X @ 44.5″

3-wood: TaylorMade R9 paintbreak TI (15 degrees)
Shaft: Tipped Ozik Matrix 80M Black Tie X

5-wood: Tour Edge Exotics “ladies edition” (18 degrees)
Shaft: Tipped OG Aerotech SS85 X

Irons: Ping i210 (3-9i)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130X

Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 46 @ 47*, 54 @ 53*
Shafts: KBS Tour 130X

Callaway PM grind 60*, shaft TBD

(note – this is cold weather setup.  I plan to drop the 3 wood and add my 2019 PM grind 58* and 64* with S400 when it warms up and I need it.)

Putter: Scotty Cameron JAT, TaylorMade Ghost Marenello 355g, both at 34″.

The JAT is somewhere else and due to Covid I haven’t been able to get it, but as soon as I can, I’ll put it into play.

Grip: Stock Pistol

Golf Ball: I love the Callaway HX balls in the wind, but will play most any premium urethane ball that is on sale.

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord BCT midsize with 2x extra tape.

Get submitting your WITB in our forum as we’ll be publishing more and more of them on our front page over the coming days and weeks.

Feel free to make it your own too by including some thoughts on your setup, your age, handicap, etc. Anything you feel is relevant!

Share your WITBs here.

 

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