Rory McIlroy has been spotted using the new Nike Vapor Fly Pro driver - part of the new Vapor Fly range of blue woods and irons designed to increase distance
Nike Vapor Fly range revealed
Fresh out of The Oven, Nike Golf’s research and design facility in Fort Worth, Texas, comes the new Vapor Fly range, named so because it helps the ball fly higher and further both off the tee and from the fairway.
“As we’ve learned more and more about golf athletes while researching advanced materials and evolving manufacturing technologies, we’ve verified that if we can launch the ball higher while managing spin, it will ultimately fly farther,” said Nate Radcliffe, Nike Golf Director of Engineering.
“We’ve found ways to accomplish that in our entire 2016 line, from the drivers to the long irons. We are using innovative designs that consider mass distribution, tuned compliance and stiffness to help the ball consistently fly high and long.”
The new range replacing Vapor comprises three drivers – the Vapor Fly, Vapor Fly Pro and Vapor Fly Flex 440 – as well as fairway woods, hybrids and two iron models – the Vapor Fly and Vapor Fly Pro.
Nike Vapor Fly Drivers
The Vapor Fly (£249.99) and Vapor Fly Pro (£299.99) drivers have a thinner crown that is 30 per cent lighter than the outgoing Vapor models, which allowed Nike to move the CG lower for lower spin and a higher launch while also increasing forgiveness. There is also a new Hyperflight face that delivers more speed and a re-designed Compression Channel that transfers more energy to the ball at impact for distance and feel.
Nike’s fourth-generation cavity-back design on the Vapor Fly and Fly Pro drivers is even more stable, with wider, stiffer FlyBeams helping increase overall feel and forgiveness. A FlexLoft 2 hosel with 15 loft and face-angle settings joins a distinctive Photo blue crown colour that marries with Nike’s colours in other sports.
Completing the trio is the Vapor Fly Flex 440, which represents the biggest change from its predecessor. It is now made of 60 per cent RZN material to move the CG low and forward while also creating a different sound at impact. The FlexFlight technology from the 2014 Vapor Flex driver returns, so you can switch between a low-spin and mid-spin set-up.
Nike Vapor Fly Woods and Hybrids
The Vapor Fly fairway woods and hybrids have received the same cosmetic and construction treatment as the drivers.
New for the Vapor Fly fairway (£179.99) is a 15 per cent thinner FlexLoft hosel, which can be moved up and down one degree, with the lie angle also independently adjustable. This is one degree less loft adjustability than last year’s Vapor fairway, and so Nike has brought in more loft options to accommodate.
The new Vapor Fly hybrid (£149.99) is now more compact to look down on, making it more iron-like and easier to hit. It’s also more similar in terms of its offset and face length to Nike’s irons for an easier transition in the top end of your bag.
Nike Vapor Fly Irons
The Vapor Fly irons (£499.99 steel and £599.99 graphite in 4-PW) come in a nickel smoke finish and will be the super game improvement offering, while the more compact Vapor Fly Pro (£699.99 steel 4-PW) have a black PVD finish and will suit better players.
Both feature a modern muscle design that positions the centre of gravity (CG) in the middle of the face for added stability and a better feel at impact.
The use of RZN is no longer limited to Nike’s balls, and it appears in both irons to aid lower and deeper weighting that encourages a higher launch, and in turn, a steeper descent angle to help shots stop quicker.
As with previous Nike irons, variable thickness NexCOR faces and FlyBeam-reinforced chassis help the faces flex powerfully for faster and more consistent speeds across the face.
Nike Vapor Fly Driver spotted in play
Rory McIlroy was first spotted using the new Nike Vapor Fly driver. The Northern Irishman teed it up in preparation for the Turkish Airlines Open (the first event of the European Tour's Final Series) in Antalya. Despite an on-off season for the four-time major Champion, McIlroy put the new driver into play and looked comfortable from the start.
Since then we have discovered that Rory McIlroy was instrumental in the design of the Nike Vapor Fly Pro driver. He led the field in driving distance to claim the Race to Dubai title in November, relying on his driver for ultimate forgiveness and distance.
“I think every golfer looks for forgiveness to make their bad shots better,” said Rory McIlroy. “It’s phenomenal to know that when you have a very forgiving driver like this, even if you don’t quite catch it off the middle of the face or put a good swing on it, that it still has a chance to go the same distance and be in the fairway as if you hit a good shot. To have that much confidence in a driver standing over a tee shot is great.”
Paul Casey has been also been seen using the striking blue new Nike Vapor Fly driver, when he played in theFed Ex Cup Tour Championship in Atlanta last month. What’s more, the Englishman shot an opening round 65 and finished the tournament in a tie for fifth.
Clearly Nike will be looking to seed the new Nike Vapor Fly driver with their top European Tour players in the run up to its launch, and we have seen the new model in the hands of both Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy.
Nike Vapor Fly driver - What do we know
Well, the first thing to note is the colour change. Last year’s Nike Vapor Pro, Speed and Flex drivers featured a black crown with a striking green sole. We loved the look that combined a classic address view with some standout shelf appeal. By introducing this new blue crown, Nike are surely hoping their driver will be as visible as possible – both on Tour and at golf clubs around the world. It certainly is a different, modern appearance.
From the look of the sole design, we expect this driver to be an evolutionary product over what we saw last year. The cavity back technology – that we thought worked really well in previous generations – is back as are the stabilising bars. This will be the fourth generation of Nike’s cavity back wood design and we’ve always been impressed by the forgiveness it provides. There is also a channel behind the face as per the previous generation that was designed to help improve ball speeds across the face.
Watch our review of the previous generation Nike Vapor drivers here:
No doubt you will be seeing more of this blue Nike Vapor Fly driver over the coming weeks – we will have more for you as soon as we get it!
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In July 2023, Neil became just the 9th editor in Golf Monthly's 112-year history. Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he has also presented many Golf Monthly videos looking at all areas of the game from Tour player interviews to the rules of golf.
Throughout his time with the brand he has also covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons: PING Blueprint S (4&5), PING Blueprint T (6-PW) Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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