50 Words or Less
The Nike Vapor Speed driver is one of the best drivers of 2015. It combines forgiveness with low spin and a neutral CoG. Nike’s adjustability remains the standard for ease of use.
I like to think that when it comes to golf equipment, I’m a little smarter than the average bear. I’ve tested tons of gear, seen even more, and I thought that made me immune to a lot of the illogical hype that surrounds this industry. Reviewing the Nike Vapor Speed driver showed me that I still have a way to go. Despite naming last year’s Covert 2.0 as one of the best off-the-rack drivers of the year, I had zero expectations for the Vapor Speed because of the hype surrounding the Vapor Flex. But that is why we test – to get past the hype (or lack thereof) to find one of 2015’s best drivers.
The Vapor Speed is the largest, most forgiving driver in the Nike line up this year. It has the same crown graphics as the Vapor Flex or Vapor Pro, but it’s substantially larger. This is the large footprint that you’d expect from a 460 cc driver, and the shape is round and symmetrical. The sole of the Vapor Speed is as distinctive as any on the market with a huge splash of Volt yellow filling the cavity.
Sound & Feel
At impact, the Vapor Speed produces a sound that’s average in volume and very solid. It’s a medium pitch without any metallic shrillness, and it really enhances the solid, high-quality feel of the club.
When hitting shots with the Vapor Speed, I was able to easily tell where I hit the ball on the face, but I didn’t get much of the twisting that usually comes with mishits on the toe or heel.
It only took a few swings for me to realize that the Nike Vapor Speed driver is more than just “the forgiving Vapor driver,” it’s one of the best of the year.
The first thing I noticed was the high, consistent ball speed. From my first warm up swings to the end of a tired testing session, the Vapor Speed kept my ball speed where I like it to be, even on mishits. What was even more impressive was how consistently low the spin was. Many of the shots that I hit were below 2000 RPMs, and I had to really work to get one over 2500 RPMs. High ball speed and low spin, with a dash of solid launch angle, is the recipe for long drives.
Of course, long and OB isn’t very useful. Thankfully, the Vapor Speed is also accurate. What I found – through careful, intentional mishits, of course – is that unlike many forgiving drivers, the Vapor Speed does have a neutral center of gravity. What that means for you is that shots hit on the center of the face will fly straight, not hook. Shots on the heel will fade and toe shots will draw, but the curves were very modest and never turned into ugly hooks or slices.
Finally, though it’s no longer new, Nike’s FlexLoft adjustability still deserves recognition as the easiest-to-use adjustment on the market. With the two rings, you can select your preferred loft and ball flight. Not only are these adjustments easy (no instructions or charts needed), but they make a visible impact on the club at address and the ball flight.
Once again, Nike has bucked the too-common view that they’re “not a golf company” and produced one of the best drivers that you can find. The Nike Vapor Speed driver is the most forgiving of the Vapor line up, but don’t let that stop you low handicappers from giving it a try. It’s low spin, accurate, and it has the forgiveness you want for those swings that aren’t your best.