Nike Golf is taking the next step with its Vapor line, introducing last week three new drivers, two new iron sets and fairway woods and hybrids that will highlight its 2016 offerings.
The main line is Vapor Fly, which is designed primarily to launch the golf ball higher at impact, leading to more carry, and doing so with less spin. Both the Fly ($350) and Fly Pro ($400) models sport a very distinctive blue crown, highlighted with Volt-colored details. Beyond looks, however, the story with these two drivers is a 30 percent reduction in the crown weight over the company's 2015 drivers. The Flightweight crown allowed engineers to move the center of gravity down for a higher launch and hiked moment of inertia.
STORY CONTINUES BELOW
For the better player, Nike offers a fascinating new driver, the Vapor Flex 440 ($500). Some 60 percent of the 440 cc head is constructed from carbon fiber reinforced with the company's proprietary RZN material, found previously only in their golf balls. It is a light, strong material, and the implementation of it in the club head allowed designers some more discretionary weight to be positioned low and forward -- think TaylorMade SLDR -- for forgiveness.
Similar to what was seen in last year's Flex model, FlexFlight technology returns, featuring a RZN tube with a higher-density weight on one end and a lighter weight on the other. Depending on the positioning of the tube, the anticipated spin, forgiveness and launch rate change.
In all three drivers, there's a common thread of features:
- The cavity back first found in the Covert line pushes on, distributing weight to the heel and toe for higher moment of inertia and improves forgiveness. The FlyBeam provides reinforcement in the middle of the face and improves sound at impact.
- The compression channel has been re-engineered to offer added forgiveness on off-center hits, allowing the face to flex to improve energy transfer at impact.
- FlexLoft technology offers five loft settings, as well three independent face-angle settings for a total of 15 combinations.
The Nike Golf Vapor Fly and Vapor Fly Pro drivers will be available at retail on Jan. 29, 2016. The Vapor Flex 440 driver is available March 4, 2016.
The improvements found in the Vapor Fly drivers carry through to fairway woods ($250 each) and hybrids ($220 each) which both also have the blue-volt colorway. There are five fairway wood models, each adjustable up or down 1 degree, as well to upright or standard lie angles. The hybrids, which are not adjustable, have a shape influenced by staffer Francesco Molinari, pushing depth toward the toe.
Nike Golf is offering Vapor Fly and Vapor Fly Pro iron sets for 2016. The aims for higher launch and carry influence these sets as well.
The Vapor Fly Pro irons ($900) employ RZN to distribute weight lower and deeper in the club to improve launch conditions, while maintaining the center of gravity through the center of the face. A FlyBeam offers reinforcement for off-center hits.
The irons also have an interest mix of shapes, somewhat like the TECFLO makeup found in Cobra's latest offerings. The 2-5 irons have a hollow head that feel more like a metalwood for added distance and forgiveness. The mid-irons have a pocket shape to move weight for forgiveness but with an eye toward precision. The short irons are a cavity-back style to make the scoring clubs look and perform as they should.
The Vapor Fly ($800 steel, $900 graphite) irons employ similar technologies, but change the makeup of the irons which are hollow and pocket-shaped, with the 4-7 irons being hollow and the 8-iron, 9-iron and pitching wedge getting that design.
Both sets of irons are available Jan. 29, 2016.