One of the highlights of Europe's win in the Ryder Cup was the imperious play of Rory McIlroy and in particular the strength, and length, of his drives.
Having been spotted with a new driver in his bag on the range thanks to the distinctive flash of green on the sole of the club, Nike confirmed that Rory was playing with the Vapor Pro.
Rory McIlroy explains why he was so keen to put the driver into play:
The first thing I noticed when I hit this driver was how hot it was. Then, I found that I could really control the flight and work it both ways on the golf course. I saw added ball speed on the monitor and am getting 10-15 yards more distance on the golf course this week.
Developed with McIlroy, the Vapor Pro has the same 460cc pear-shaped profile that Rory favoured in the Nike Covert Tour 2.0 he used in winning two majors this season. To take his driving to the next level he also asked for extra stability and speed through added flexibility across the face.
These were delivered by Nike in the Vapor Pro driver with a combination of three key technologies. Nike's new FlyBeam reinforced Covert Cavity Back design, a new Compression Channel and the adjustability of FlexLoft 2.
Nate Radcliffe, Director of Engineering Nike Golf:
To elevate performance, we added FlyBeam technology to the Covert Cavity Back to focus energy into the variable-profile Compression Channel and NexCOR face. This is the first time we have created a driver where the face and channel are measurably more flexible than the body.
The construction of the FlyBeam stiffens the Covert Cavity in the back of the club whilst the Compression Channel accentuates the spring-like effect across the face. Together these work to return impact energy to the ball from a wide area of the face.
This is the first time we have measured higher modal frequencies in the rear portion of the club than the front. This means impact energy is concentrated in the channel and face which tunes acoustics and maximizes energy transfer. This effect drives the increases in ball speed we are seeing in athlete and robotic testing.
Add to this the FlexLoft 2 adjustability feature that offers a combination of five lofts and three face angles for a total of 15 set ups. This improved system is 30% lighter than previous Nike systems allowing the weight savings to be redistributed to create better stability and forgiveness. Nike have also made the FlexLoft 2 forward and backward compatible so golfers with previous generations of Covert can use shafts with the original adaptor in the new head or vice versa.