Nike VR Tour driver vs VR Pro limited driver — GolfWRX

Accuracy

Accuracy scores will certainly never be as high as distance scores. I think most of us would agree that it’s a hell of a lot easier to hit a golf ball far than it is to hit one straight. Although I’d have to go back through and look at each review (I hope to post that comparative data soon), I believe the average distance from the center line for the drivers we’ve tested this season is somewhere in the 18-20 yard range.

3 of our testers missed by an average of 22 to 25 yards. 2 more missed by between 15 and 18 yards. And finally there’s me. Just as I did with last year’s model, I posted by far some of my best accuracy numbers.

My average miss was just under 9 yards, which is significantly better than I’ve done with any other club this year. In fact, in the 2 seasons I’ve been writing reviews for MyGolfSpy, the 3 drivers that performed best for me have been the Adams 9064LS, and the two Nike Victory Red drivers (2010 and 2011 models).

When we crunch the numbers (which involves dropping the best and worst), we find that our testers missed by an average of just over 20 yards, which it turns out is, well…average.

Nike VR Tour Driver

A friend of mine suggested that I test out the new Nike VR Tour Driver. So I went to Golf Galaxy and the stiffest shaft they had was the standard Project x 6.0 . Needless to say, I went to the simulator and all I can say is WOW, great club, great weight, and the shaft felt amazing. My dilemna is, with my driver club head speed of 110-120, should I consider a 6.5, even if I am hitting it down the middle with a 6.0? Is there a difference? Would I get more control/consistancy/better dispersion with the stiffer shaft? Please help! Thanks, Ed

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The club we want and the club we need.It has often been said how important it is to distinguish between wants and needs.  We do it all the time each day, almost every purchase we make we would be wise to figure out if it just something we want or something we need.  I will admit, that buying golf clubs can often be the same way.  There are times when we need a club and other times we just want something new and shiny.  To top that all off, we might buy the club we want to like, even though we need something different.  I think Nike’s VR drivers fit that description.

I’ll start with the club we all want.  The Nike VR Tour.  It is the exact same club that the pros are playing.  I talked with the designers at Nike, the guys who work at the Oven and those who work personally fit the PGA players and there is virtually no difference between the VR Tour off the shelf at any golf store and the VR Tour that the pros play.  Obviously the pros get fit and the shafts get tweaked for their exact specs, but no different head.  Nike followers have been asking for tour clubs for years.  Going back even to the Ignite line of drivers, we all knew about the tour heads, but had very little access to getting those heads.  While we finally have the tour club we’ve wanted for years.  With that said, I’m going to guess that less than 5% of the golfing population would be best served by hitting this head. (Thankfully it fit me perfectly.) 

Here is why I think many golfers aren’t going to reach their full driving potential with this club.  The very first aspect will be the open face.  Mine sat about 1* open.  This will promote a left to right ball pattern (slice) from most golfers, especially since so many struggle with an over the top move and hit banana balls already.  This will only make it worse.  The second aspect is going to be the 420cc head.  It is compact with a deep face, but not the wide face that many golfers need.  Finally the low spin head paired with the Project X low spin shaft will cause many golfers to lose distance because of the lack of spin needed to keep the ball up in the air.

But if all those aspects appeal to you, as they do me, this thing is a cannon.  It is no longer a want, but a need.  I’ll admit for the most part I’ve been driving the ball well this spring.  Long and straight has been pretty common up to this point in the season.  But since the VR Tour has been in my bag it is longer and just as straight.  I play many of my rounds with Mr. Divots.  He regularly out drives me on normal drives by about 25 yards.  He will typically push 300 while I’m more in the 275 range, only once and a great while will I stretch close to 300.  But with the VR tour in play I’ve hit 300 at least twice every round I’ve played and even hit a few past Mr. Divots on good drives by both of us.  I’m getting great carry and tons of roll.  I’ve been hitting 5 to 10 yard baby fades with confidence and consistency. 

The VR Tour also brought the sound down to more normal muted ranges.  Still a tiny tinny, but so much better than the previous Nike lines.  The PowerChannel is the big new technology in Nike’s VR line.  I have no way of testing it or feeling it, but my on course results have been outstanding. 

If my swing gets fickle and takes a break, I would have no problems dropping the VR Tour Str8 driver in my bag.  This club is going to be what most golfers need.  Immediately you can tell the difference with the less pear-like shape and more rounded 440cc head and the STR8 hosel with 32 different settings.  With so many options where does one start.  It was very easy to use the new wrench with lights up and beeps when it is tightened properly.  The adjustment card is helpful picking the exact specs you want out of the 32 options. I decided that since my miss is typically a fade, and even though I hit the VR tour with the 1* open face really well, I would set the VR Tour Str8 to 1/4* closed.   It’s not much and it looks basically square to my eye, I was ready to rock and roll.  This face is just a little wider.  This driver has a little louder sound than the VR Tour, but still better than past lines.  I started hitting this thing down the center all day long.  I was short of the VR Tour by about 20 yards on good drives, was equal to poorer drives, but almost always finding the fairway.  What I really liked about this head was the confidence it inspired.  I was able to step up to the tee and know that I had the face just a little closed; I couldn’t hit the banana ball.  The ultimate test came on the 10th of a local muni.  I was making the turn and the starter pushed me off in front of about 35 high school golfers and their coaches.  There I am all by myself, teeing off as they had to wait for me.  The course had a pond that I had to fly on the right side and some trees on the left.  I’m not sure I’ve ever hit a more intimidating tee shot.   After a smooth confident swing the ball just exploded off the face right down the middle landing about 275 and rolling to a stop at 285.  I couldn’t have asked for much better.

When it comes to spec comparisons here are the differences

VR Tour Str8                 VR Tour
440cc                           420cc
9.5*                             9.5*
D3                               D3
No alignment aid           No alignment aid
VooDoo VR6 Stiff           Project X 6.0
45.5”                            45.5”
VR Velvet Grip               Tour Cord
VR Headcover                VR Headcover

I found the Project X shaft to be really stable smooth with a high kick point.  It played with really low spin and I felt like I had great control of the club.  The Project X is definitely a spin and launch killer.  The VooDoo VR6 is a mid kick shaft that felt a little looser and clearly had more spin.  But I was impressed how straight this shaft hit the ball drive after drive.  I think golfers should stay with their normal loft in either driver.  If you are on the border go up a loft with the VR Tour, but stay the same with the VR Str8. 

I also liked the new headcovers a little better than past versions.  The top was easy to get on the head and instead of clipping to the shaft, the new magnetic flaps closed nicely around the  shaft protecting it from the other clubs in your bag.

If you’ve got game to play the low-spin, open face, smaller head driver, I’m not sure you’ll find a better driver on the market than the VR Tour, but if you need to adjust the face angle and could use a little more forgiveness, then you will be pleased with the VR Tour Str8.  Just because you can get a “tour” head, doesn’t mean you need one.  Be honest and get the one that fits your needs.  But if you can game the VR Tour, thank Nike for finally giving us what we wanted, and rest can get what they need in the VR Str8.

For more information: www.nikegolf.com

Nike VR Pro Driver

Imagine more. More options for more distance on more shots. Our new Variable Compression channel delivers more distance and power at impact from more shots on the club face. STR*-FIT adjustable technology serves up even more options and workability, providing tour-level control for your game.

Shot-Shaping Distance: The new Variable Compression Channel increases speed at impact at more spots on the club face, delivering greater distance on draws, stingers, high cuts, fades, or straight bombs.

Workability Perfected: Play your perfect position and shot shape. STR8-FIT Tour technology provides 32 options to personalize your club face angle, putting more shots in your bag.

Tour-Driven Design: Designed with the direct input from Nike Tour athletes. The pear shape allows for more weight at the optimal CG locations, delivering hotter launch and optimal spin for the games best players.

Optimal Launch and Carry: The Project X shafts utilize zoned optimization for three unique technologies in one tour-ready shaft.

 Specs — Nike VR Pro Driver
Club Hand Volume Lie Swingweight Length Flex
8.5° RH 440cc 58.5° D3-D5 45.75″ X,S,R,A
9.5° RH/LH 440/460cc 59.0° D3-D5 45.75″ X,S,R,A
10.5° RH/LH 460cc 60.0° D3-D5 45.75″ X,S,R,A
11.5° RH/LH 460cc 60.0° D3-D5 45.75″ X,S,R,A
Face Angle: 1.0°Open, Head Weight: 205.0g.
 Shaft — Project X Graphite, Nike VR Pro Driver
Flex Weight Torque Trajectory
X (6.5) 71.0g 4.4° Low
S (6.0) 66.0g 4.5° Mid
R (5.5) 63.0g 4.5° Mid
Tip OD: .335″ Parallel, Butt OD: .600″, Shaft Adapter: STR8-FIT Tour (32)
 Grip — VR Tour Velvet STR8-FIT
Core Size Core Bar Weight
.600″ Round 50.0g

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I have a Nike VR Tour Driver 9.5 in a 6.5 Flex. From what I have read its the real Project X Graphite shaft unless you have heard otherwise. Anyone know the specs on that shaft. Thanks for the help.

[font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]TM M6 9 deg.w/ Tensei Pro White 70TX
TM M5 15deg w/ Tensei Pro White 80TX
​TM P790 3i w/ Tensei Pro White 90TX
TM P790 4i w/ Nippon 125X
Srixon 765 5-PW w/ Nippon 125X
TM Milled Grind 50deg, 54deg, and 58deg High Toe w/ Nippon 125X
TM Spider X Copper[/font]

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The Nike VR_S Covert Tour driver is the smaller headed brother of the VR_S Covert driver with a head that is 30cc smaller at 430cc. This is quite normal for a Tour driver and certainly if you like this style of driver then the Covert will be in your ball park.

Apart from the white Nike swoosh on the inside of the heel, the dark red looks of the Covert Tour driver look great at address and complement the black face well. The 2 white groove lines on the bottom of the face really help with alignment too.

The face is still a generous size and the NexCor design offers pretty good forgiveness for this class of driver. The Mutsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage shaft is a good quality stick for a premium driver and helps drive the performance of the club.

On the course the Covert Tour driver felt very solid but did not give as much feedback as we would expect from a Tour driver. Maybe it is the hype that Nike have whipped up about this club, but it was a little underwhelming, even though there is nothing to complain about the cavity idea itself.

The cavity is a different take on the weight distribution for drivers and Nike should be congratulated on stepping out with this design. It does remind us a little of the square driver idea of weight in the sides and back corners rather than the middle of the back, but that could just be us.

One of the main features of the Tour version of the Nike VR_S Covert driver is the FlexLoft adjustable hosel. This covers one of the biggest ranges of loft we have seen with 4 degrees in one degree increments from 8.5 to 12.5 degrees. In addition it is only the second consumer driver we have seen that offers a second adjustable ring which is there to change the face angle to left/neutral/right.

Whether this also changes lie would be useful to know as you do need to be able to adjust loft and lie independently to really make adjustability work. However the sole has a decent camber on it so the changes in loft and face angle should mean that the lie of the club can adjust to suit the player easily.

Having 1 degree gaps is good, but maybe some more fine tuning at 0.5 or 0.75 degrees would have been better for a tour driver as there can’t be many elite players who would need to increase their loft to over 11 degrees.

I am sure Rory can get this baby to go as far and as straight as he wants, but for the rest of us the Nike VR_S Covert Tour driver maybe needs to deliver a bit more to justify the higher price.

Because 99.999999999% of this site always asks (or maybe it’s just me) and no one ever actually does this…

Nike VR-S Driver Specs….

10.5* Head Weight (No Str8-Fit Sleeve) — 199g (although the other 10 heads I’ve actually measured were 200g)

Str8-Fit Sleeve — 6.7 g

Sleeve Insertion Depth — 1.75″

Length of Shaft to Make a 45″ Driver Pre-Grip: 43.25″


Now here’s the weird thing for me. I installed a 68g Matrix Altus shaft that plays 45″ after grip (so 44.75″ pre-grip). This was the same weight as my VR Tour with a UST Mamiya Attas 6x. Same length, same grip. My VR Tour is 204.5g so it’s technically lighter. The VR Tour’s swingweight is D2. The VR-S with Altus is D0… I figure it’s the balance point of the shaft because I was presuming the swingweight to be D3 or so… Oh well. Hope all of this helps.

CONCLUSION

It would be somewhat unfair to get bogged down by the subjective stuff. My take away from this is that Nike is flying a bit under the radar (as much as a company the size of Nike can), and consistently producing what we’re finding to be among the best performing drivers on the market today.

A few weeks ago I was playing in a tournament and noticed that one of my playing partners was bagging last year’s Victory Red driver. While I won’t go so far as to say I got teary-eyed, I will admit that as I looked at my own driver (which I happen to love), I did feel a bit sad that the Victory Red was long since out of my bag.

While it’s far too soon to say whether or not I’ll develop that sort of affection for the latest model, I’ve decided I’m going to spend some time on the course with it to find out.

MGS TOTAL SCORE:  89.75

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