With significant design input from Tiger and Rory (no last names needed), Nike Vapor irons are a solid choice.
Nike Golf rolled out its literal and figurative biggest hitters, along with a talk-show celebrity, in announcing its newest line of irons. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon were on hand for the product unveiling at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey in August.
The star-studded presentation of the Nike Vapor irons in the shadow of Manhattan was – in contrary to the club’s brand name – anything but misty, foggy or nebulous. It was a bright-light media event worthy of the sporting goods and marketing giant. It marked the debut of Nike’s first new blades in more than three years.
The Vapor irons consist of three models: Vapor Pro, Vapor Pro Combo and Vapor Speed. All are currently available.
Woods and McIlroy were not just pitchmen for the Vapor line. They are long-time users of Nike’s VR Pro Blade, the Vapor Pro’s predecessor. The input and feedback from the multiple major champions played a significant role in the design of the new Vapor series.
The Vapor Pro, intended for more accomplished players, is expected to go into the bags of both Tiger and Rory. The Pro incorporates tungsten plugs that move its center of gravity closer to the center of the clubface and improves results on mishits; most traditional blade designs have a center of gravity closer to the hosel. Nike’s clever marketing wordsmiths have coined this geometrical design change as Modern Muscle and it has been incorporated into all three Vapor models.
The Vapor Pro irons consist of a carbon steel forged construction with precision-machined grooves. The long irons have a slightly longer blade length designed for additional forgiveness.
All lines of the Vapor Series are available in Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki Z 70 graphite shafts or True Temper Dynamic Gold Dynalite 105 steel shafts.
Weekend golfers and higher handicappers would be best served by the the Vapor Speed irons, which are designed for maximum forgiveness and distance. The Vapor Speed has a polymer-filled cavity with a slightly larger clubface profile than the Pro Combo. Mis-hit shots are less punitive. A center of gravity that is low and back from the hitting surface launches the ball higher and farther, a significant benefit when greens in regulation are at a premium for most amateurs.
Behind the face on the back of the club are a pair of supporting bars – FlyBeams in Nike-speak – that are strategically located to increase stability and deliver additional ball speed.
The Vapor Speed’s 8-iron through wedge transition into pocket-cavity irons for more precision and feel on shorter approach shots. The cavity behind the face is filled with resin material that is lighter and softer than the steel found in the rest of the club; the resin keeps the ball on the clubface longer and softens impact for enhanced feel.
The Vapor Pro Combo irons, positioned between the Pro and the Speed sets, is a progressive set with more forgiving clubs in the longer irons and more traditional clubs in the shorter irons.
Whichever Nike set best suits your game, having the design input of Tiger and Rory (no last names needed), the game’s two pre-eminent players, should transform the Vapor into a very solid club choice.