It’s strange using the term “new kid on the block” when talking about anything concerning a company with the reputation that Nike has. But the fact is, in the golf equipment industry, that is exactly what they are. It’s almost hard to believe really, but Nike has only been manufacturing golf clubs for retail sale since 2002. Since that time Nike has built on their solid sporting goods reputation and they immediately put out quality products for consumers. The one thing consumers trusted all along was that Nike was not going to enter the golf equipment marketplace half-stepping it. They signed some huge names with some very impressive equipment R&D backgrounds and they immediately made a splash with their ever present Swoosh logo. Every year Nike continues to bolster their solid stable of PGA Tour and LPGA Tour professionals. Let’s take a look at what some of these pros are playing in 2011; the VR Pro Cavity irons.
The first thing I noticed about these irons is the Opti-Mass weighting system. Here’s a little more about the Opti-Mass weighting from Nike:
“The Opti-Mass Weighting System features a high-density tungsten-resin insert for targeted CG placement. Throughout the set, the center of gravity is strategically positioned to generate explosive distance with the trajectory required or tour-like golf shots.”
An interesting feature about the VR Pro Cavity irons is that each iron is made differently depending on the purpose of the iron. The long irons are a three piece iron with the face made of AM355 stainless steel; Opti-Mass insert; and a 17-4 stainless steel body. Mid irons are two piece with 17-4 stainless steel making up the body and the face and then of course the Opti-Mass weighting system, and finally the short irons are a one piece 17-4 stainless steel iron to offer more feel.
Clearly these irons are packed with technology but before I get into their performance I have to talk about the looks. One thing about Nike irons that I’ve always been impressed with is their appearance. I love the simple Swoosh logo on the iron to compliment the shiny chrome appearance. The first time I ever got to see a Nike iron in person I immediately loved the look and I’m happy to say that hasn’t changed a bit with their VR Pro offerings. From the classic design of the VR Pro blades and Pro Combos to the almost new aged tech look of the VR Pro Cavity the one thing that Nike Golf has figured out is how to make a gorgeous iron. The Pro Cavity does have a thicker top line and some people will complain, but personally, I’m over that whole hang up and I don’t mind a bit more bulky top line at all when I know that it will provide me with an easier iron to hit. From the back you see the chrome finish with the really cool looking Opti-mass weighting system and a great choice of colors added in. They’re really like nothing we’ve seen before and I really think the look works great.
When I first picked the irons up to swing, I came across what I felt was a little more weight to the head than some other ultra long distance irons out there. This is a good thing. I love being able to feel the club head throughout the swing and that is one thing I really liked about the Pro Cavity irons. You just get a good sense of having a solid iron in your hand and that really builds up the confidence before you even begin to swing the club. I mentioned the thicker top line and how I really don’t mind it, for me this set really helped promote my confidence without robbing me of any of the feel that I really like in an iron. Sure they’re no blade; you do sacrifice some feel for forgiveness here but not nearly as much as you’re accustomed to with game improvement irons of the past.
Recently THP held the annual THP Outing and Demo Day, the Nike VR Pro Cavity irons were a part of that demo day and our forum members had this to say about them:
“The ball feels great off the face and just explodes……high and straight.” TC
“The Pro Cavity irons really stood out for me. Great looking irons with a clean yet modern look. The performance was very good as well. Nice, powerful feeling with a high trajectory. The ball really jumps off the face with a solid feeling that makes you feel like you’re really compressing the ball.” Hanks
“Great feeling iron with a classic shape and look at address. Pretty decent amount of forgiveness considering how nice they look at address.” AHA
“These irons were good. I liked the ball flight and the forgiveness of the iron. Turf interaction was as you would expect from a larger soled iron, and the sound and feel of a well struck shot was fantastic.” Coolbreeze
“One of my favorite irons at the demo day.” Yoccos1981
As you can see, there were a lot of people saying some really good things about these irons. This is just a small sampling of what you can find by clicking here: Nike Golf Demo Day Reviews.
While the looks and the performance of these irons are exceptional there is a small part of them that I was not a fan of. The grip. While I wouldn’t go as far as to say it is the worst grip I’ve ever held, I do think that Nike could have done a little better. Grips are incredibly subjective so what I may love someone else may hate so I’m not going to hammer on Nike at all. Personally, I would consider changing the grip early on. Part of my testing was done in the heat and humidity of Florida in May and it wasn’t always easy getting a good grip on the club. Again, very subjective topic that can easily be fixed.
The shaft that was in the set I tested was the True Temper Dynalite 110. I feel like this shaft is a good fit for the set. It really helps achieve that high launch that people seemed to like most about the VR Pro Cavity irons. I tend to believe the impression of these irons being a little heavy was brought on by this lighter weight shaft. I’m happy with the way everything felt and the ball flight that these irons produced so in my mind the shaft was a good fit. The VR Pro Cavity are also available with a Project X graphite shaft.
When all is said and done I’m very happy with the total package of the VR Pro Cavity irons. They have the look that I like, they give off a great feel and as you can tell by our forum members’ comments, they perform well. A great looking iron that offers forgiveness and playability is definitely a winner in my book. I really liked the fact that I was able to play any kind of shot I wanted with these. If I needed to flight the ball lower it did that fine. If I needed to try to get the ball higher to get a little more air under it, that worked great as well. Personally I don’t really work on moving the ball left or right at all but I know people who do and they had no problems working the ball at all. I went in very happy with the appearance but with the VR Pro Cavity iron Nike is offering much more than just a pretty look. The VR Pro Cavity is available at golf shops everywhere for right around $800.