Review: Nike Vapor Fly Pro Driver

Adding some "Fly" to the Vapor driver
Nike Golf has been blazing their own trail as of late.  Bright colors, bold designs and a variety of innovations.  Last year’s Vapor line was just the beginning so it seems of what Nike is doing.  There were a number of special edition models that were made first for touring pros and then for the consumer.  It appears that Nike is also involving their athletes more in the design process of the new products.  That might be why this year, rather than making huge changes, they just tweaked the Vapor line with some new colors, different crowns and a little more “Fly”.
 The new Nike Vapor Fly Pro Driver starts with the crown.  Everyone is talking about the bright blue and yellow color scheme.  It is clearly designed to be bold and in your face.  It isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but aiming at those who want to stand out from the crowd, this driver will certainly do that.  It isn’t as bad as some might claim.  It is a nice blue and the yellow swoosh is in the lower heal side which makes it palatable.  I like the looks of the Pro with the black face and metal accents vs. the regular which is chrome. The real performance benefit of the new crown isn’t the color, but the material.  It is lighter weight by 30% and thus Nike can move weight for better CG.  While it still isn’t as low and back as some others, it certainly is an improvement over the Vapor line.  Actually the best part of looking down at this club is the shape.  It is the best looking pear shape driver on the market.  It hides the 460cc very well.  It looks compact without having a super tall face.

After you flip the Nike Vapor Fly Pro driver over, you see again a big cavity back, a large compression channel with a number of other pockets put into the sole to move discretionary weight to the center of the head, right behind the compression channel.  It also has the cavity bracing introduced last year.  Nike also use the same hosel adapter which allows you to adjust loft and direction independently.  The Pro model goes from 8.5 to 12.5 with right, left and neutral settings.  All these feature make for a small bump in performance.

For me, one of the biggest benefits of the new club, is the shaft.  The Vapor Speed had a Fubuki shaft in it which hasn’t typically agreed with my swing, but the Mitsubishi Diamana Blueboard which comes stock in the Vapor Fly Pro is a great shaft.  Excellent feel, strong trajectory and low spin.  The 60 gram shaft has a nice balance so this driver swings very nicely.

The Nike Vapor Fly Pro has just enough tweaks to make it perform better on the course.  I hit drives on very strong trajectories,  while the launch is a little higher, the flight is very flat and lands with plenty of run.  I liked how it felt off the tee and could control the line which it seemed to hold well.  It isn’t the most forgiving driver I’ve hit with a slight tendency toward the fade, but nothing wild, just a baby cuts off the tee.

I also think that Nike has improved the sound slightly too by lower the pitch just a little.  It is still distinctly Nike, but a very pleasing sound.  Gone are the days of offensive Nike sounds to a very pleasant crack at impact.  The feel is hot off the face and the compression channel makes for a fairly forgiving face, especially along the lower quadrants of the face.

FlightScope Xi Tour Launch Monitor

Nike Vapor Fly Pro Driver

  • Spin: 2143 rpms
  • Launch Angle: 15.2*
  • Dispersion: 7.9 yds
  • Club Head Speed: 104.0 mph
  • Ball Speed: 153.0 mph
  • Total Distance:  273.3 yds
  • Carry Distance:  262.4 yds

If you happen to be watching the PGA tour events you will notice that this is Rory’s driver and he is crushing it.  While you shouldn’t expect exactly the same results, you will see improvements over last years Vapor models.  I like the tweaks that make the new Nike Vapor Fly Pro launch a little higher, spin a little less and still go straight.  The upgraded shafts is a plus too.  If you like the blue color, the driver has got a little more “fly” in it.

For more information:

Quick Hits
+Better performance
+Low spin
+Decent forgiveness
+Great stock shaft
+Excellent head shape

–Bright blue and yellow