Nike Vapor Fly Pro Irons Review

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50 Words or Less

The Nike Vapor Fly Pro irons are a marriage of eye-catching looks and solid performance.  A real contender in the players iron market.

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Introduction

Designing an iron for the better player is one of the tougher tasks in golf equipment.  The shaping has to be traditional, but it needs some visual appeal to stand out from the crowd.  It needs forgiveness, but it also has to give the player the ability to control their ball.  With the Vapor Fly Pro irons, Nike has checked all the boxes and delivered an iron that should contend for a spot in the bag of any better player.

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Looks

In the bag, the Nike Vapor Fly Pro irons are, in my humble opinion, the best looking irons of 2016.  The black finish looks great, and it makes the already-compact head look even smaller.  The back of the club has loads of visual interest, but the focus is the simple blue swoosh on the toe.

At address, this iron is equally good looking.  Again, the black finish makes it look even smaller than it is, and there’s very minimal offset.  The top line isn’t razor thin, but it’s small enough that it should appeal to the good and aspiring players that this set is built for.

It’s also worth noting that the black finish on these irons is the most durable that I’ve seen.  I don’t know how they’ll look after a full year of play, but there wasn’t a mark on them even after some significant range time.

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Sound & Feel

The first thing I noticed when swinging the Nike Vapor Fly Pro irons was how much lighter they were than my gamers.  The reason isn’t hard to pin down: it’s the shaft.  The Vapor Fly Pros come stock with the True Temper XP 95 shafts.  While the clubs retain great balance and a normal swing weight, the total weight of the club is roughly 30 grams lighter than irons with Dynamic Gold or Project X shafts.  This makes the club very easy to swing, and the light weight should be a benefit to players looking to add a little club head speed.

At impact, the Vapor Fly Pros produce a very satisfying “snap.”  It’s a little firmer than your normal “click,” and it has a touch more bass.  Overall, I would describe it as a perfect blending of traditional iron feel with the modern rocket-launcher-iron feel.

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Performance

As I mentioned, there is a substantial weight difference between the Nike Vapor Fly Pro irons and the irons I was testing them against, but, to my surprise, there was no adjustment period needed when switching back and forth.  Nike has done a great job dialing in the balance and feel of a player’s iron despite the use of the lighter shaft.  The thing I did notice was that I was able to maintain club and ball speed without as much effort, particularly later in my testing sessions.

The main performance benefit that Nike is touting with these new irons is higher launch due to RZN in the construction.  This is something that I saw clearly in my launch monitor testing: the Vapor Fly Pro 4 iron launched as high as my current 5 iron, and the 5I launched like my 6I.  For a player like myself who launches the ball fairly low and loses distance in the long irons because of it, this is a very welcome change.  What’s even more impressive is the way that Nike dialed this down in the scoring clubs: the Vapor Fly Pro wedges, even with lighter shafts, launched and spun the same as my gamers with heavy Dynamic Gold shafts.

The forgiveness on mishits is exactly what I expected from an iron designed for better players.  The Vapor Fly Pros do a really good job boosting thin shots into the air thanks to the low CoG, but you will still see a drop in distance.  Shots on the heel and toe aren’t painfully short, but they won’t end up pin high either.  There is solid forgiveness here, but they’re not designed for the 20-handicapper.

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Conclusion

I’ve reviewed enough Nike equipment to know that certain questions are going to be posted down below.  I’m going to answer them here before they’re even asked to save us all some time: Yes, Nike makes great golf equipment.  The Nike Vapor Fly Pro irons can absolutely compete with any iron in their category.  As with any piece of equipment, fitting is critical, but no better player should leave these out of our their personal shootout this year.

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

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25 Comments

  1. Never disagreed here before–but these are hideous. Look like a huge USB drive. And as players’ irons? C’mon.

    Guess I’ve reached El Torino status, but players’ irons are chrome/silver musclebacks or cavitybacks. Period. Ability to Spotify and make hipster coffee, no.

    In my humble opinion. :) Don’t get me wrong–this is one of the best newsletters in golf.

  2. Steve Mackenzie

    They are exceptional clubs, and Matt is dead on with the playing characteristics. I don’t normally take much of a divot, but the leading edge on these encourage a divot and move very well through the turf. Best club I have tried in 2016.

  3. Thanks, Matt. It’s nice to have a laugh, vice someone going ballistic because you disagree (so common online now)!

    I sure don’t doubt their performance, tell you that. I’m also jaded by years of Callaway putting out irons that look like black hockey stick blades. I play Mizunos (MP5/25/H5)…

  4. I read your reviews on the Vapor Pro Combos and this review on the Vapor Fly Pro Irons. I’m looking to upgrade this year and am narrowing it down with both of these in my sights. I didn’t play last year (deployed), so I’m trying to get some consistency back this season before I do my final testing with the demos and pull the trigger. I’m researching in the meantime. Curious if you can add a comment comparing the two a little more closely, especially regarding feel/feedback, shaping, and forgiveness, along with any straight shot recommendations either way. Nike.com has a scale comparing them, but I’m curious what you felt and saw. Thanks a bunch…

    • Matt Saternus

      Eddie,

      I would say it really comes down to what you want in your short irons. If you’re ok with a slightly larger short iron, take the extra forgiveness of the Vapor Fly Pro. If you want a real blade-type iron in your scoring clubs, go for the Combos.

      Best,

      Matt

    • Matt,

      Your reviews are fantastic.

      I tried the vapor fly pro irons and the new ping G irons at a simulator yesterday – both felt great, with the G irons offering perhaps an extra 2-5 yards on average and what seemed like more forgiveness/better consistency. However, I’m currently shaking the winter rust off and things could change as my swing comes into form.

      In reality it would probably be a toss-up between the two for me at this point (both are MUCH better than my current set). However, with a 16 handicap currently, and aspirations to play a ton this year and push the handicap to 10 and below in the coming years, would you expect either of these irons to present as more of a ‘limiter’, or conversely, more advantageous over the other as you move towards lower handicaps and the associated precision needed to reach such scores?
      My understanding is the vapor fly pro is a bit more of a players iron and therefore might offer more precision and control if you can gain the ability to take advantage of it, is this correct?

      Thanks, Matt.

      • Matt Saternus

        Ky,

        While I’m in the minority on this, I’m not a big fan of the “you can’t play high level golf with GI or SGI clubs” thing. There are plenty of guys on various tours playing PING Gs and similar. That said, I do understand that certain players want certain things: lower launch, less offset, thinner top lines or soles, etc.

        Ultimately, my standard line is “Take as much forgiveness as you can stand to look at.”

        Good luck with your decision.

        Best,

        Matt

    • Hey Eddie in the same boat curious on what you decided ?

  5. Jarrett Hicks

    Matt,

    Thinking about upgrading my Taylormade Burners 2.0 irons. I already have a high ball flight so no help need there but would not mind some forgiveness. I have hit in a simulator the Nike Vapor Pro Fly irons and gained about 20 yds on my 7I. I have not hit the Nike Vapor Speed irons but wanted to get your thoughts on whether the Nike Vapor Pro Fly would be a good replacement for these old burners? RH golfer weekend golfer with aspirations to play more.

    • Matt Saternus

      Jarrett,

      It sounds like you answered your own question: 20 extra yards plus the forgiveness of the Vapor Fly Pro is a stellar combo! Good luck with the new set.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. ive been playing 3 years total this being my 4th with a year off between my 2nd and 3rd. i play ping G2’s and i shoot on average 85-90 and i feel like its time to tak my game to the next level. i want a club that is going to improve my overall ball control and focus on solidifying my striking of the ball in the correct place, so i wanted to go for as close to a pro club or blades as i can if not just go all the way to blades like the vapor pro’s. problem is im poor haha, and these are going to have to satisfy me for the next 10+ years. i have hit these clubs and the vapor pro blades, i love how both prefrm they feel the same, but i LOVE the fly pro look, but i want to do what will be best for my game.im not as concerned with lowering my score, because i feel i am on the cusp of shaving around 5-8 more strokes this season either way i go, i just want a club that will help me develop my game correctly over the nex few years until it would make sense to buy new again. truthfully the difference i FEEL is all superficial and i just like the look of the fly pro’s better, so im asking if there is THAT much of a difference or should i satisfy my vanity and just go with what i want looks wise. id be happy with either. so my question is not what should i do, its what would YOU do! =] thanks!

    • Matt Saternus

      Mike,

      If both perform the same and you love the look of one over the other, seems a pretty easy decision to me. :)

      Best,

      Matt

  7. Matt,
    I’m having a set of Vapor Pro Combo now and I think it’s quite good. In your opinion, is it worth to change from VPC to Vapor Fly Pro?
    Thanks.

    • Matt Saternus

      T,

      They’re a bit different, largely because the Vapor Fly Pro doesn’t get down to a blade in the scoring irons. If you’re happy with what you have, I would probably suggest staying with it.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. Mohamed Nezzaghy

    Currently hcp13, looking for more consistency as im also reworking on my swing. Was thinking to downgrade to a gi or even an sgi set to benefit from the good response to mishits. I tried the vapor fly, cobra f6 which weee both crazy long and easy to hit, however the head bit compared to my current vr procombos. Would the vapor fly pro be the perfect compromise? Haven’t hit them yet but dunno if I’d have the forgivness of the fly/f6!
    Your thoughts?
    Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Mohamed,

      The Pro isn’t going to be as forgiving as the standard model, but I’d suggest testing it to see if there’s enough help for your purposes.

      Best,

      Matt

  9. Hey Matt,
    Im a weekend golfer with a 5hdcp, currently have the victory red blades. Want to change my clubs and think I can leave the blades behind. What do you think about this change or should I go with a a blade? could use some forgiveness in my shots.

    • Matt Saternus

      Jacky,

      I think these are quality irons for a better player. As to whether or not to stick with blades, that’s not a question I can answer for you. Why do you play blades now? Are you willing to give that up for forgiveness?

      Best,

      Matt

      • I play blades because my swing used to be much stronger 6 years back. My ball flight is low, therefore perfect shots are rewarded but shots off the sweet spot hurt my score. That is why I am thinking of changing to the vapor pro, for I love nike clubs and these should be the last nike clubs in the market. As well I would give up blades for forgiveness and a couple more yards. Please let me have your thoughts.

        • Matt Saternus

          Jacky,

          If you’re willing to give up blades for forgiveness and distance, the Vapor Fly Pro is a solid choice.

          Best,

          Matt

  10. I’m a 13 handicapper trying to get into single figures, are these or the pro combos a better choice? I don’t mind less forgiveness in the short irons but are the pro combos as easy to as these in the long irons?

    • Matt Saternus

      Nick,

      I haven’t tested them head to head, do I can’t give you an informed opinion on that. I would recommend going for a fitting.

      Best,

      Matt

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