The second I heard that Nike Golf was releasing another combo iron set I was instantly intrigued and when the brand new Nike Pro VR (Victory Red) Combo irons hit the market I was going to test them out. Well that test turned into a purchase and that will turn into another review of a great iron set as I received a lot of great feedback about my review on the Taylor Made Burner 2.0 irons.
Why did I make the switch? I loved the Burner 2.0s and still recommend them to anyone looking for added distance, forgiveness and overall technology built into a top iron but in the end they weren’t for my bag and I wanted more of a players iron going forward. The offset in the Burner 2.0s was nothing I couldn’t get used to or play on a regular basis but I guess I just didn’t want or need that much extra “bulk” on my irons for forgiveness.
The Nike Pro VR Combo set comes in 3-iron to pitching wedge so I will have to put my gap wedge back in the bag but it’s a Cleveland CG14 and it is still in pretty good shape. The irons are broken up smartly with the harder to hit 3 and 4-irons a full cavity with some added help for some launch and forgiveness, which is a good idea for these types of irons that you need it for.
There is not much offset in either the 3 or 4-iron (less offset than Titleist AP2s) but you can slightly see the cavity when you address the ball, again, it is only slight but that could turn some golfers off. To me, I know it is there to help so I accept it and move on. These clubs require a fairly skilful player regardless of a cavity however and the 3-iron as always takes a solid swing each time, though a lot of players will simply replace it with a hybrid of choice.
There is a split-cavity on irons 5 through 7 and these look stunning in the bag and at address, very reminiscent of the Titleist CBs in my opinion and you will end up loving hitting these clubs in particular. A lot has been written about people wishing that Nike would potentially offer an entire split-cavity set and I can definitely see that set being a success. A lot of talk on Twitter about this as well, follow me on twitter (@tdotsports1) if you have any questions or want to discuss further!
Now for the great part a full muscle-back blade for the 8, 9 and pitching wedge irons. No fooling around, not much technology just a true beautiful blade, and boy are they beautiful. Bring your A-game as always when striking a blade as they offer little in the way of help or forgiveness. I must say I shanked my first 8-iron when I went to Nike demo day in my area (in front of an attractive female rep too – doh!).
Once I grooved my swing and bore down I got the hang of it but it had been a while since I played a true blade, short iron or not it took some adjustment. These started to fly pretty nicely and I was surprised at the distance I could get out of them on a solid strike, I could work them nicely high or low, draw or fade, which was expected from a blade.
These clubs are stunning in my opinion and look absolutely beautiful in my bag. A shiny chrome finish and simplistic understated appearance and you think you are playing a Titleist blade set (outside of the Nike swoosh, which I didn’t mind).
At address the 5-iron through to the pitching wedge are classic and beautiful and inspire a lot of confidence with little offset and blade appearance. I compared looks at address to the Nike Pro VR Combo irons with the following sets and found almost zero difference: Titleist AP2s, Titleist CBs and Srixon Z-TX. All looked great when looking down at the club(s).
I will break this up in terms of type of club – cavity, split-cavity and blade.
Cavity (3 and 4-iron)
These had a pretty solid feel and though there is some help on the back of the club you still need to put a great stroke to get a good result from the 3-iron. The 4-iron was a bit easier to hit. Feel was solid and there was some feedback and miss-hits as well as a little forgiveness.
Split-cavity (5, 6 and 7-iron)
These felt smooth, soft and just plain nice. These will quickly become trusted and favourite clubs in your bag.
Blade (8, 9 and PW)
The 8-iron will definitely take some adjustment and reading a few other reviews I don’t think I am alone in stating this. The feel is typical with a blade, when you hit it on the screws it feels so buttery smooth and when you are off a bit you feel it, a slight vibration.
PERFORMANCE – DISTANCE/ACCURACY/WORKABILITY:
These aren’t going to go as far as the Taylor Made Burner 2.0s and I wasn’t expecting them too, the face isn’t as hot and the lofts aren’t nearly as supped up.
|Club||Burner 2.0||Nike VR Combo|
Loft isn’t everything of course, but just look at the difference at the Burner 2.0s they are a nearly a full club stronger on each iron. If distance is what you crave, you can’t go wrong with the Burners. The Nike Pro VR Combo’s have a standard loft specification for the most part, on par with nearly every other “players” iron.
My accuracy and distance control was definitely better with the Pro VR Combo’s in comparison to my Burner 2.0s but again this is to be expected as on my approaches I will be hitting (hopefully) only 100-165 yards out and will require the use of either a split-cavity 6 or 7-iron or a bladed 8-iron to pitching wedge – and these clubs proved to be deadly accurate when struck soundly.
I found I could do what I wanted with the ball in terms of shaping the ball flight and I hit some high fades, lower draws and knockdown shots with relative ease. These clubs can be worked if you need to do so. I didn’t find the average trajectory to be high or low, just a boring mid flight but a lot of that could have something to do with the weather (cool-ish), wind (fairly windy) and condition of my lies at the range (suspect).
A good video review of the Nike Pro VR Combo irons, a trusted source.
This is a great overall set and exactly what I was looking for in terms of a player’s iron with the hope they force me to continue to work on and improve my overall swing and keep me sharp. These look great, feel amazing and the combo aspect where you get three sets in one is a smart feature and the new Nike Pro VR Combo set is one I was more than happy to put in my bag.
As I did with my Taylor Made Burner 2.0 review I will be sure to update you on my progress as I continue to practise and play with the new iron set. For what it is worth I was debating between the Nike Pro VR Combo set and the very popular Titleist AP2 set but in the end I just found the Pro VR Combo’s to be the perfect set for me, I encourage you to get out and try all the latest new (and used) clubs to see what is best for your game and golf swing.