Category: Game-Improvement Drivers
WE TESTED: 9.5°, 10.5° with Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki K graphite shaft.
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Multi-thickness “NexCOR” face technology—thickest in the middle and tapered toward the perimeter—is designed to increase ball speed over a larger area of the face. The “STR8-Fit” adjustable face angle system has eight settings from 2° open to 2° closed.
OUR TESTERS SAY: Forgiving, light club that holds its own distance-wise and has sleeker, cleaner cosmetics than previous Nike drivers.
DISTANCE: Sneaky long; plenty of testers are pleased by its output on all types of shots.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Very accurate stick—one of the best; masks off-center hits, foul balls are held in check.
FEEL: Nice improvement in sound and feel from previous models; firm, springlike feel; light shaft is sturdy enough for most guys.
PLAYABILITY: Playable, controlled mid-high trajectory; VR_S is well suited to moderate swing speeds and smooth tempos.
LOOK: Simple, classy appearance; no distractions now that the adjustable hosel locks in place from the bottom of the head.
Some stronger swingers find the stock shaft option a bit too light; a handful of guys prefer more responsiveness and better feedback on how shots are hit.
From Golf.com (Janauary 1, 2012)
Three years ago Nike debuted its MachSpeed drivers, touting aerodynamic properties that were designed to help golfers increase clubhead speed. But the MachSpeed drivers—both the square and the pear-shaped version—were recently discontinued. However, several design aspects from the MachSpeed live on in the new Nike VR_S driver. And yes, as you might suspect, the "S" stands for speed.
The aerodynamic channels that run from the heel to the toe along the bottom of the VR_S are a carryover from the MachSpeed. Nike says the channels enhance the club's aerodynamics and make it slide through the air on the downswing.
The VR_S has the same eight-position STR8-FIT adjustment system found in the MachSpeed, which allows golfers to open or close the face angle by up to 2 degrees, and change the loft and lie angle of the club as well. But the VR_S adjustment system is housed more in the head itself rather than in the hosel. Nike says this move reduces weight and allows designers to slightly lower the club's center of gravity.
Finally, while there isn't a square version of the VR_S, at address it has a classic shape that looks similar to the round version of last season's MachSpeed Black, although the finish is not as dark.
Where VR_S differs most from the MachSpeed is in the face. The VR_S features Nike's new NexCor design titanium face, which Nike says should help players maintain ball speed more effectively when they hit outside of the sweet spot.
"We are able to thin out the areas around the perimeter of the face and thicken up the areas on the inside,” says Tom Stites, Nike Golf's director of club creation. "That makes the whole face rebound more uniformly."
The VR_S driver will be in pro shops starting Feb. 3 and will come standard with a Mitsubishi Fubuki shaft for $299.