Nike Vapor Flex Driver
Category: Better-Player Drivers
WE TESTED: 10.5° (adjusts 8.5° to 12.5°) with Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Blueboard graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: The polymer resin rod can move the CG forward or back, altering launch angle by 1° and spin by 300 rpm.
DISTANCE: Provides respectable length off the tee; shots fly quite a ways when set up for “high” launch; a few testers find that good drives get plenty of rollout but not as much carry as some other models.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: The low-spinning head minimizes big hooks and slices; shots get in play with reasonable consistency as long as you make a decent swing; not as forgiving as many others tested but still acceptable on mis-hits.
FEEL: Center contact is smooth, and you can tell immediately that you nailed it; the face is hot when you strike it in the sweet spot; ample weight carries the clubhead easily through impact.
PLAYABILITY: The low spin rates keep the ball fairly low, which is great in windy conditions; it’s easy to shape left-to-right shots on demand; the removable “Flex Flight” rod has an immediate and useful effect on spin rates and ball flight.
LOOK: Classic pear shape and color scheme make the clubhead appear more compact than some others; the bold lime green graphics are cool.
The low spin rates don’t optimize distance for some players; mis-hits can be more penal than testers would like; difficult for some guys to launch shots high enough in the air.
BOTTOM LINE: The Vapor Flex offers loads of adjustability. It’s a very low-spin driver that can work well for stronger players who get it set up correctly for their swing.
HOT STIX’S TAKE: A very low-spinning, low-launching head that’s best for higher-swing-speed players. Adjustable CG is used to tweak spin rates. Three lie-angle adjustments.Launch – Low; Spin – Low
BUY THE CLUB: Get your own Nike Vapor Flex
NEXT REVIEW: Ping G30 LS Tec
MORE INFO ON THE NIKE VAPOR FLEX DRIVER
From the February 2015 Issue of Golf Magazine
Over the years, various methods have come along to help golfers customize their drivers—adjustable hosels, interchangeable weights, and sliders on the sole, among others. Now comes the Nike Vapor Flex, whose combination of technologies makes it one of the most customizable models yet. Its new adjustable hosel, called FlexLoft 2.0, can set loft [+/- 2°] and face angle to create 15 possible launch and shot-bias combinations. The redesign is also 30 percent lighter than the previous FlexLoft, which allows more mass to be distributed elsewhere in the clubhead.
A second tuning technology, called “Flex-Flight,” incorporates an unbalanced polymer resin rod—9 grams on one end, 0.5 grams on the other—that’s placed in a tube in the rear of the head. Orienting the rod with the heavy end in the middle of the head moves the CG 2.4 millimeters closer to the face, which produces a 1° lower launch angle and decreases the spin rate by 300 rpm.
Nike has also built upon its go-to cavity-back design for enhanced ball speed and forgiveness. Designers updated the “Covert Cavity” with “FlyBeam” supports that stiffen the crown, sole and back of the clubhead for a greater transfer of energy to the ball. The cavity itself maintains MOI and forgiveness on off-center hits while moving the club’s CG forward to reduce spin. A new channel along the sole close to the leading edge combines with the cavity to produce more face flex on mis-hits, a higher COR and increased ball speeds.
The Vapor Flex comes standard with Mitsubishi’s Diamana S+ Blue Board shaft. The Mitsubishi Diamana S+ White Board, Mitsubishi Fubuki ZT50 or Z50 shafts are also available at no additional charge. Available January 30. — Rob Sauerhaft
From the January 28, 2015 Issue of the SI Golf+ Digital Emag
Selling points: The Vapor Flex driver is built with Nike’s Covert Cavity design that moves the CG forward to produce lower spin rates without a loss of MOI or stability. A compression channel along the sole combines with supportive FlyBeams (they stiffen the head) to increase flex and ball speed on shots struck below the sweet spot. An adjustable hosel allows for loft and face angle to be altered independently of each other, providing 15 combinations.
This new system, called Flex Loft 2.0, is 30 percent lighter than the previous Flex Loft design, allowing for weight to be repositioned in more useful areas of the head. A secondary tuning technology called Flex-Flight utilizes a variable weighted rod (one end is 9 grams, the other weighs 0.5 grams) located in a slot in the back of the head. Adjusting the position of the rod can move CG by 2.4 millimeters, from low and forward to low and farther back, effectively altering both launch angle and spin rates.
Our take: Nike is making a strong run in the adjustability department with the low-spin Vapor Flex for better players and faster swingers. The movable CG could be a game changer for some golfers. Its cavity-back design is not only innovative but also helps increase ball speed.
Fine print: Available with Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Blue Board shaft or free upgrades to Mitsubishi Fubuki ZT50 or Z50 shafts. At retail January 30. Bottom line $499.
From Golf.com, October 16, 2014
The Vapor Flex, which is the most tunable driver in the Vapor family, features an adjustable hosel that allows for loft and face angle to be altered independently of one another, providing 15 different combinations. This new system, called Flex Loft 2.0, is 30 lighter than the previous Flex Loft design, allowing for more weight to be repositioned in more useful areas of the clubhead.
A secondary tuning technology called Flex-Flight expands the Vapor Flex’s options to allow for a total of 30 launch possibilities. The design utilizes a variable weighted rod (one end weighs 9 grams, the other weights 0.5 grams) that’s placed in a cavity in the low rear of the clubhead. By adjusting the position of the rod, the clubhead’s CG can be moved 2.4mm, from low and forward to low and back, effectively altering both launch angle and spin rates. The Vapor Flex comes standard with Mitsubishi’s Diamana S+ Blue Board shaft. — Michael Chwasky
NEXT REVIEW: Ping G30 LS Tec