How can you make a Tour-level set of irons that offer workability, feel, forgiveness and a higher ball flight? Nike believe they have found the perfect combination with their new Nike VR Pro Forged Combo irons.
The progressive design of the previous model saw a pocket cavity in the 2, 3 and 4 irons, a split cavity in the 5, 6 and 7 irons and a blade style 8, 9 and pitching wedge. That combination changes in the 2014 model.
The 2014 design features just two clubhead designs: A new pocket cavity design in the 3 to 6 iron (above right) and a split cavity in the 7-PW (left above). Where the 6-iron was a split-cavity in the previous model it now features the pocket cavity design, and gone are the blade-style short irons.
Wait, no blades?
Yup, they are gone. The set will no longer feature any traditional blade-style irons. Nike believe the split-cavity short irons offer an address profile plus the workability and feel that better players demand.
But the real story behind these irons is located inside the longer irons. By splitting the cavity in the back of the head and adding a pocket, Nike are able to more the centre of gravity on the longer irons further from the face, producing a higher, more forgiving flight. Thanks to feedback from their Tour players, Nike's R&D team found that while players enjoy this performance, they wanted more from the sound and specifically the feel of the irons.
That is when they began working on their new "shot-making gel".
Located inside the pocket cavity of the 3, 4, 5 and 6 irons is this new polymer material. Nike claim it increases the forgiveness and ball speed of the pocket cavity design, but with a feel and sound similar to a traditional blade or split cavity iron.
Tony Dabbs, Nike Golf's Global Product Director of Golf Clubs said “Our Tour athletes wanted higher ball flight and better gapping in the long irons. We added the polymer to create a Tour-calibre set with long irons that are easier to hit, and players still see the profile they want at address without compromising on look, feel and sound.”
In addition to the new progressive set and polymer-pocket, the VR Pro Forged Combo irons feature Nike's latest version of its X3X grooves. The high-frequency grooves are designed to offer the optimal spin for longer and short shots.
As is the case with any better-player iron the shaft is a crucial part of the performance and feel of the clubs. Nike are well aware of that. Thus, they teamed up with True Temper to offer the new DG (Dynamic Gold) Pro shaft in the VR Pro Forged Combo irons.
Like the head design of the irons, the shafts are specifically designed for the each iron. Varying weighing, step patterns and bend profiles are engineered into the shafts to offer higher flying long irons and more penetrating short irons.