ClubTest 2016: Nike Vapor Flex 440 Driver Review
CATEGORY: Better Player Drivers
WE TESTED: 10.5° (adjusts 8.5° to 12.5°) with Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Limited 60 graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: The pod in the rear is used to tweak CG and ball flight.
DISTANCE: Good contact puts a shorter club in your hands for your second shot; the lively clubface catapults the ball down the fairway; overall distance seems to be about the same as many guys' regular clubs; placing the removable weight pod with the heavier end in the rear helps increase launch and distance.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Fairly easy to control off the tee; serviceable forgiveness -- shots want to go straight as long as you hit them on the good part of the face.
FEEL: Well-balanced, with plenty of heft in the head; muted feel at impact but still a pleasing sensation; despite the smaller head size, it's stable, with little twisting through the ball.
PLAYABILITY: A consistent, low trajectory that cuts through the wind with ease and can produce a hefty amount of rollout; low spin rates allow for some movement, but it typically flies straight; the Vapor Flex 440 is better for playing fades than draws.
LOOK: Compact, traditional shape sets up well behind the ball and aligns easily; blue and black sections on the crown form an unusual but functional visual aid; a radically different color scheme makes it stand out from the pack.
Not nearly enough launch or spin for a number of testers; lacks forgiveness compared with most of its peers; color scheme and multi-material head turn some guys off.
BOTTOM LINE: There's a lot of adjustability in a club aimed at better players with faster swings who need very low spin rates to max out distance.
HOT STIX'S TAKE: A low-launching, low-spinning 440 cc head with composite construction that's just a little bit easier to hit than last year's Vapor Flex driver. Launch: Low; Spin: Low
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