Paul Casey spilled the beans about Nike's Victory Red drivers on his Twitter page back on September 15. However, the company has now officially released both versions of the club and revealed more details about their design.
The Nike Victory Red STR8-Fit Tour driver has a traditional headshape that varies in size between 440cc to 460cc based on the loft. The stock shaft is an Aldila Voodoo, but the first thing that golfers will notice about the club is the orange Compression Channel running along the bottom of the club.
According to Nike, the channel allows the lower portion of the driver's head to bend slightly when shots are hit lower in the face. Tom Stites, Nike director of product innovation, says that's a good thing.
"High-handicap players usually miss high on the toe of their driver," he told me, "while better players tend to miss low and on the heel. So we wanted to make a driver that is more forgiving low in the face." Stites says hitting the ball low in the face usually adds spin and reduces ball speed, but flex created by the channel in the Victory Red driver reduces that effect. "Balls hit low in the face of this club will come off with a little more ball speed, a little less spin and on a slightly higher launch angle," Stites says.
Nike also enhanced its STR8-Fit head-positioning system. Using a torque wrench, the original version allowed golfers to set the club into one of eight different settings to help create the desired ball flight—the updated STR8-Fit system has 32 positions.
Fifteen settings promote a right to left ball flight, 15 help you work the ball from left to right, and the two neutral settings should help maximize overall playability. A torque wrench comes with the driver.
Nike is also releasing the 400cc Victory Red Tour driver, which does not feature the company's STR8-Fit technology. The head of this driver is glued into place before shipping, and the stock shaft will be the Project X Graphite.
Both clubs should be in pro shops by Feb. 1, 2010 with a suggest retail price of $479.