Review: Nike VR Pro Forged Wedges

Getting Your Wedges Grooved In
 Grooves are still all the talk when it comes to wedges, are they conforming or non-conforming?  Since the USGA’s mandate that all new wedge in 2011 and subsequent years have conforming grooves, companies are addressing spin in different ways.  Nike developed new grooves that conform to the rules called High Frequency X3X.  Basically it is an extra groove added because of the smaller spaces between the grooves.  In addition to the grooves, there is a precision X-pattern milled into the face for more friction.
 They come in two models the satin finish or the brushed oxide raw black finish.  Being a fan of the black finish, I tried out a 56* and 60* wedge.  They come standard with a DG S400 shaft and Nike Tour Velvet style grip.  Even on the shelf they look really nice.

 On the course they are even nicer.  They have a very nice grind on the back and on the heel. It is Nike’s version of the C grind. They also are forged of S20C so they are nice and soft.  I’ve tried just about every recent version of Nike Wedges and these might be the best yet.

 The talk is really about the grooves.  While there is a difference between conforming and non-conforming when it comes to performance, there are some benefits to non-conforming.  The one thing that I noticed while playing these wedges was their consistency.  I never had a wild spinner, nor did I have a knuckler with no spin, I noticed a very consistent spin, shot after shot.  The new grooves are also gentle on golf balls, no tearing up the cover.  Even on the first hit, golf ball don’t suffer shredding.   While there are benefits and downsides to conforming grooves compared to non-conforming, the biggest factor is the wider difference between the fairway shots and shots out of the rough.

 My 56* wedge is used for shots around 95 yards and out of the sand.  This wedge might be the most comfortable I have been with both.  Sometimes I have 56* wedges I love in the sand, but not as much from the fairway or vice-versa.  This one just felt right in either setting.  The grind was great for opening up in the sand and splashing out.  That control and consistency made for excellent results.  In the fairway it has controllable trajectory and hit the same distance each time.

 My 60* wedge is basically 80 yards and in.  It needs to be versatile and easy to hit.  I was really happy with the results again.  I hit the full range of shots with this wedge and the results were just as I had hoped. I think I chipped in more times with this wedge than any other wedge I own.  My very first shot was a 30-yard hole out.  Out of the rough, you will need to play for more roll-out because of the conforming grooves, but the ease of judging that roll-out made these excellent wedges in all conditions for all shots.

 Now I just need to pick up a 52* wedge so I can play these with my Nike Pro Combo irons.

 I just felt like I was in a groove with these wedges.  Each round felt so good and predictable.  The X3X grooves are the real deal (as far as conforming grooves are concerned).  If you are looking for that great forged feel and consistent spin, the Nike VR Pro Wedges are for you.

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 Quick Hits:
  +Soft forged feel
  +Super consistent
  +Good spin for conforming
  +Excellent grind

 -Susceptible to dings