Nike VRs irons
We try out Nike's technology-packed VRs family of irons, which they say are their fastest yet.
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH
Last Updated: 28/03/12 5:27pm
Nike are making a huge effort to get amongst the big boys of golf club manufacturers, and their new VRs line of irons may just be their best attempt yet to get into the bags of the average golfer.
And what better place to test them than at Oulton Hall in Leeds where they have a superb Nike Academy facility as well as 27 holes for our testers to weild these new clubs around.
Moving on from the old Slingshot and Machspeed are the VRs and the VRs Forged irons, and the difference immediately is remarkable in look alone - instead of the huge bulkier look of the older efforts, it's as if something has clicked and Nike have really discovered what a good looking golf club is.
Both the VRs and the Forged irons look stunning, upon close inspection the cavity at the back of the VRs is sizeable, but when addressing the ball it hardly comes into view, while the red and black colour scheme adds real appeal.
The more silver Forged models are classy in their subtlety, and offer a premium club for those wanting to find even more distance whilst looking the part.
Nike have pulled out all the stops to muscle in on the act, but not all of their R&D cash has gone on aesthetics, as they have ploughed a bucket load of technology into the new VRs line to make them their 'fastest family of clubs ever'.
Even Tiger Woods was said to have hit a few practice shots with them in Australia, while the entire Nike 2012 range has persuaded Ross Fisher to join the brand, right down to their new 20XI golf ball.
Whether you understand it or not, we have to go through the technology involved, which includes...
NexCor Face Technology: Which basically provides variable thickness on the face and a larger sweet spot spread towards the middle and lower area of the club face where most shots are hit from.
PowerBow: Is the bar forming the cavity at the back of the club, which moves the weight further back in the club to produce quicker and higher launch angles and importantly a steep descent for irons hit into greens.
Dr Tom Harper of Nike told me: "Without doubt these are the longest irons we've ever produced, they will maximise performance for all golfers."
In other words, all the technology is aimed at making these irons 'hot' light, quick, high launch angle, it all adds up to increased distance and increased consistency, and hopefully a decrease in your handicap.
These technologies run throughout the VRs family from driver to Forged irons - which Nike say are their thinnest and which come with X3X grooves they used on their wedges for a more consistent spin rate.
You get a bit more confidence with the VRs, backed by that visible PowerBow but in truth both irons perform well, with maybe the VRs edging it in terms of being more forgiving to the huge amounts of strikes that do not come right out of the screws.
Traditionalists will opt for the Forged, those wanting more colour and maybe a bigger safety net the VRs, but both impressed and both also saw a decent increase in distance than my worn-out old set of irons.
Weighting is great and encourages you to give it a bit more oomph, and my only problem really was judging distances now with my usual yardages having to be increased.
The VRs rewards miss-hits by sending them out there and without doing too much damage, and universally amongst those of us who have tried them found them to be a real breakthrough for Nike in their quest to get to the top of the golfing world.
For more information on all the VRs range and others from Nike go to their website www.nikegolf.eu
Thanks to Oulton Hall for the use of their facilities, go to www.devere-hotels.co.uk/Golf-Course for more details.