For a company that got into golf just because it signed Tiger Woods to a $40 million contract to pitch their wares, of which it only had clothes at the time, Nike has become a prime player in the sport’s technology boom. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that the company is doing a lot better than its star ad man.
The company’s newest club is the Nike VR-S Driver, which blew away test players with its long, straight ball flight. One of them during the driver review positively gushed.
“I love this thing,” he said. “The sound is great, it’s easy to aim and you just feel like you’re going to hit it a ton..”
Ball flight is what Nike’s NexCOR is all about. The translation of “COR” is Coefficient of Restitution, which sounds boring and too much like science class for me, but, you know, this is golf so maybe it makes sense. COR is the measurement of energy produced during a collision, like for example a Nike VR-S Driver’s club face against a golf ball. Nike’s lab rats can measure how much power is transferred from the club to the ball and that’s COR, or in the company’s lingo, NexCOR, meaning they’ve taken it a step further.
The more oomph that a club can impart to the ball at impact, the farther off the tee the ball will go. In the case of Nike’s VR-S Driver, the science is in the club face, which is deeper and the head is more streamlined than previous link weapons.
The head itself is 460cc, and the face is also big, with what the company calls “multiface thickness,” which sounds like the club has more than one face, but the thickness is the key. The club makers have varied it all over the face to provide better energy transfer even on mishits.
The Nike VR-S Driver also comes with “straight fit” technology that eases adjustment for swing types. Most drivers coming out these days are adjustable, but Nike allows up to four degrees of loft change, along with opening and closing the face to fit unique swings.
Alignment and setup are aided by the look of the club. The head is traditionally shaped, rather than square, and the color scheme of silver and gray, with black and a little red, or maybe that’s orange, is handsome and doesn’t distract as some clubs can. Plus it’s big and that just adds to the feeling of power.
Speaking of feeling. The light Fubuki shaft is great in the hands and is solid through the ball.
Nike has designed the VR-S driver’s club face to reduce spin, which increases roll down the middle of the fairway, where you’ll be more often if you use this club. Is it worth the $300 price tag? Jury is out on that one.