The full name of the Nike VR Pro driver is actually the Nike Victory Red Pro, but that's a mouthful. Most people - and even Nike itself - just call this club the VR Pro. But no matter which name you prefer, does this driver have the potential to help you play like a pro?
Well, maybe. You'll have to keep reading to find out. But even if it does, it won't come cheap because the Nike VR Pro driver has a whopping big list price of $480. With a price like that, along with playing endorsements by tour stars Carl Pettersson, Francesco Molinari and Stephen Ames, this club was practically begging for a test drive. So, I decided to "just do it," as Nike says.
A big demo day was recently held in my area, and I set out to test as many of Nike's current clubs as I could. When I arrived, I grabbed the particular driver I wanted to test - a 10.5 degree with a regular flex Project X graphite shaft (it's also available in 8.5, 9.5 and 11.5 degree lofts). But before I headed for the tee, I asked the "demo dude" for a little background on the club. He told me the current Nike VR Pro driver is actually the second generation of this club. According to him, the first version came out in 2010, and this one was introduced early in 2011. He also told me the driver is designed for players who want cutting-edge technology, tour-caliber performance and the ability to shape their shots. Silently, I added that you have to have a chunk of cash to take advantage of all of this.
So, what do you get for all this money? I'm thinking it had better be worth it. After all, you could buy two drivers made by some companies for the price of one Nike VR Pro driver.
This driver is adjustable, and the adjustment mechanism on some adjustable drivers can be distracting at address. This club, however, has a classic pear shape (love it!) and the STR8-FIT system's adjustable hosel collar is black to make it less distracting. The overall effect is probably as traditional an appearance at address as is currently possible in an adjustable driver. Solid black from above, the club gave me a sense of confidence while I was standing over the ball.
Swinging the club made my confidence even stronger. Once I adjusted the club properly, I was able to work the ball right or left on demand. In other words, the driver felt like a "player's club." On the whole, my drives went slightly farther and with a more penetrating flight than with many other drivers I've tested.
Feel and sound at impact were solid and reassuring. I've always thought adjustable drivers have been over-hyped, but I was pleased with the overall performance of the Nike VR Pro driver once I got its settings right. By adjusting the club's face angle to open or closed, I used the STR8-FIT system to promote a fade or a draw. You could also fix a slice by setting the face in a closed position. There are 32 different lie and face angle options, so tweaking the club for your swing and shot preference can be a chore. Adjustments are physically easy to make with the wrench that's included with the club.
Once I found the right STR8-FIT settings the Nike VR Pro driver became remarkably forgiving. I didn't lose a ton of yardage on my mishits - not anywhere near as much as I lose with my own driver. When I asked the "demo dude" about the club's forgiveness, he explained that it was probably due to the "Variable Compression Channel" Nike built into the club to increase ball velocity no matter where impact occurs.
The Bottom Line: The Nike VR Pro driver is an attractive, confidence-inspiring club that can deliver longer-than-average distance and good forgiveness on mishits. Finding the right settings will take some work, but once you do, this club's adjustability allows you to dial in your preferred shot shape and trajectory. While no one can "buy a game," the Nike VR Pro driver might help you play like a pro. It's Nike's best driver by far, so I suggest you give it a test drive yourself.
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