Nike has completed its Vapor family of drivers with the launch of the Speed and Flex versions.
The come hot on the heels of the Pro model, which has already claimed a handful of wins on various tours and found its way into Rory McIlroy's bag. While the Pro is designed for better ball strikers, the Speed and the Pro are aimed at everyday golfers, featuring ballspeed-boosting tech.
Nike’s top driver for 2015 features the same three key technologies found in the Vapor Pro and Vapor Speed drivers: FlyBeams,which stiffen the cavity back of the club; A re-engineered Compression Channel that accentuates the spring-like effect across the face to return energy to the golf ball; FlexLoft 2, which allows the golf athlete the functionality of five lofts and three face angles within 15 different settings.
But Nike didn’t stop there. While the Vapor Pro and Vapor Speed drivers each provide specific launch and spin characteristics, Nike believes there’s one more important step to ensure the golf athlete achieves their optimal launch conditions. With that goal in mind, they created the FlexFlight adjustability system.
FlexFlight features a RZN tube with a high-density weight on one end, called the FlightPod, which is located in the cavity of the club. By flipping the Flightpod, you can move the centre of gravity to further optimise their launch conditions. You can manipulate the centre of gravity from low and forward to low and back by adjusting the pod in quarter turns with the same wrench used to operate the FlexLoft 2. Utilising the FlexFlight system impacts launch angle, spin rate, forgiveness (increased in the “mid” setting) and workability (enhanced in the “low” setting).
“Often in the fitting process, there’s an opportunity for a final adjustment to develop the shot shape and ball flight the athlete is looking for,” said Nate Radcliffe, Director of Engineering for Nike Golf.
“That’s how FlexFlight can help. With a simple quarter turn, we can adjust the mass of the FlexFlight module forward and backward within the club to change the trajectory and shot shape for the athlete. In doing so, we are seeing that a two-plus millimetre shift will change launch angle up to a degree - and it gives us that fine-tuning change inspin of about 300 rpm. As the last step in the fitting process, that can be the difference between the athlete being comfortable with the fitting and really being able to compete with it on the golf course.”
The FlexFlight system is simple and easy to use. The 15-gram RZN Flightpod, inserts into the back of the driver. Using the same Flexloft wrench, a simple quarter turn rotation and audible click will lock or unlock the pod. When unlocked, the Flightpod can be removed, reversed and locked back into the cavity. “The power of RZN is that it allows us to remove and relocate mass within a club head,” said Radcliffe.
Nike Golf uses RZN technology as a valuable weight management component, and the technology is also featured in Nike’s new Vapor irons and RZN golf balls.
Availability: January 31, 2015
Specifications: 8.5° – 12.5° loft; Diamana S+ 60G (Blue Board) shaft. RRP: £349.99
The company says it has the largest and most stable chassis of the new Vapor drivers, the Pro model (as used by Rory McIlroy) and the yet-to-be unveiled Flex version. The Speed is said to promote a higher launch angle with less spin.
“We’ve re-engineered the chassis of the Vapor Speed by sloping the crown more from face to the back and creating a deeper face,” said Nate Radcliffe, Director of Engineering for Nike Golf. “This moves the centre of gravity projection toward the centre of the face and significantly reduces spin to launch ratio versus the Covert 2.0.”
Like the recently released Vapor Pro, the Vapor Speed driver has three key technologies: A new FlyBeam-reinforced Covert Cavity Back design, a re-engineered Compression Channel and FlexLoft 2.
“We added FlyBeams to the Covert Cavity Back to drive frequency-tuned compliance into the Compression Channel,” said Radcliffe. “The new channel enhances the trampoline effect observed on the NexCOR face with a springboard design that accentuates ball speed on hits struck across the entire face. The end result is better sound, feel, consistency and distance.”
FlexLoft 2 gives the user the functionality of five lofts and three face angles within 15 different settings. The new, improved system is five grams (30 percent) lighter without compromising function.
The redistribution of mass creates more stability, better launch conditions and faster swing speeds. Another benefit of FlexLoft 2 is its forward and backward compatibility. Golfers with previous generations of Covert can use shafts with the original adaptor in the new head or vice versa.
Availability: January 31, 2015
Specifications: 8.5° – 12.5° loft; Fubuki Z 50G Series shaft; rrp £249.99