Nike Vapor Fly Pro Irons Review (2016)
Here I’ll be fully reviewing the Nike Vapor Fly Pro iron set. Labelled “better workability” by Nike, the Vapor Fly Pro iron is designed with a low, deep center of gravity and a flexible Nexcor face for faster ball speeds and higher launch. Many say it’s an overall better iron than its sibling, the Vapor Fly.
So, what does this model have to offer? Is it worth it? Where does it shine and where does it lack? Read on to find out what you need to know.
In a hurry? Here’s the quick overview and verdict for you…
Rating: 4.6/5 (Great)
Pros: Versatile; excellent accuracy and distance control; light weight of shaft and high launch can really help slower swingers see good results; very workable; many absolutely love how it sets up behind the ball
Cons: The black finish is not for everyone and can wear quickly; left-handed version not available off the rack; long iron feel is a little questionable; ball speed forgiveness isn’t the greatest
Classification: Better-Player (with game-improvement characteristics)
Best suited for: Low-to-mid handicappers who want workability and accuracy and need a little help getting the ball airborne. Regardless of the kind of golfer you are, the best way to figure out if the Vapor Fly Pro irons will do it for you is to try them.
Best places to buy online: For new Vapor Fly Pro irons, see the current deals on Global Golf (credit refunds available for clubs that show normal wear) and eBay. For used Vapor Fly Pro irons, I recommend checking out this eBay page.
What are the reviews like?
The Vapor Fly Pro iron has a very positive reception overall — an average of 4.3/5 on Amazon (those reviews are right here), 5/5 on Global Golf, 5/5 on the Nike website and positive verdicts from professional golfers and other critics. The general consensus with this model is that it can be an absolute gem for some players (often mid and low handicaps) but be not so great for others (high handicaps, etc.).
People generally love the all-around versatility, precise accuracy (great distance control, etc.), good thin/fat/slice/hook forgiveness and slim, slender head profile. In terms of negatives, golfers who can’t hit in the center of the face consistently tend to struggle with the Vapor Fly Pro, which doesn’t handle heel and toe strikes too well. Also, the quick-wearing black finish isn’t loved by everyone.
What are the features?
The Vapor Fly Pro iron is engineered with lower, deeper weighting and a flexible NexCor face for a higher trajectory, more ball speed and more distance. The face is reinforced with a Flybeam chassis for support, stability and more consistent ball speeds. Modern Muscle geometry moves the center of gravity to within 1mm of the center of the face for additional stability and a pure feel.
The long irons (4 and 5) feature a hollow cavity intended to enhance forgiveness, the mid irons (6, 7, 8) have a pocket cavity with a RZN insert intended to improve stability and feel, and the short irons (9, PW) feature a muscle RZN cavity designed to improve stability and enable precise shot-making. The professional profiles of the Vapor Fly Pro contribute to added workability.
The Vapor Fly Pro iron comes stock with the True Temper XP 95 steel shaft and Golf Pride Z-Grip black/blue grip. Other shafts are available through custom fitting for those not satisfied with the stock option. Below is a table of the pre-built iron specs for anyone interested:
|Name||Loft||Length||Bounce||Lie Angle||Offset||Swing Weight|
How do these irons perform?
Distance/Distance Control: I’ll be honest: from what I’ve seen these aren’t the longest irons by any means. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, and I’d even say it’s expected considering this model leans towards the better-player side and isn’t being marketed as a distance iron. Distance is typically most important off the tee when you have a driver or wood in hand, but when it comes to irons, accuracy and a high trajectory are almost always what gives you results. After all, with irons more distance can be achieved by simply moving down the number. With that being said, the Vapor Fly Pro irons excel in distance control among other things; numbers are easily repeatable and less-than-full shots are easy to pull off successfully. Nothing to complain about here.
Forgiveness: Forgiveness is a little above-average in terms of what you would expect from a players iron. While off-center strikes will see a noticeable loss in distance, the Vapor Fly Pro does a good job of maintaining a high trajectory across the face and straightening out poor shots. Still, those looking for maximum forgiveness should probably look elsewhere.
Playability/Workability: Typical ball flights with the Vapor Fly Pro are medium-high and straight, but this is highly controllable. Shots can be pretty easily shaped by competent players. Playability is top-notch; the lighter shaft makes long irons a breeze to hit, and the sole handles all different types of lies very well. This iron can certainly be counted on to deliver in desperate situations.
What about look, sound and feel?
Look: The completely black finish of the Vapor Fly Pro iron is fairly polarizing; most people either love it or don’t like it at all. Just like the rest of the Vapor family, Nike kept the visuals on the back simple with a prominent blue swoosh, some labeling on the hosel and a blue-lined depression behind a Flybeam bar. Colour aside, there’s almost no offset, the top line is reasonably thin and the sole is reasonably narrow — all in all a sleek, compact profile that looks terrific behind the ball.
Sound and Feel: The Vapor Fly Pro feels relatively light with the stock XP 95 shaft, making it easy for some golfers to add a bit of clubhead speed through the ball. Feel and sound can be described as similar to a rubber mallet — a springy, muted “snap” at impact with balanced feel throughout the swing. The hollow-cavity longer irons feel a bit hollow and “tingy” but the feel becomes progressively more solid and sharp as you move up the numbers. Hit feedback is clear and informative, but during my testing the feel of moderate mis-hits was a little harsher than I would have liked. For the most part, the Vapor Fly Pro feels like a hybrid between a traditional style and game-improvement style of iron.
Where should I buy these irons online?
It’s difficult to find prices lower than the price set by the manufacturer for new golf irons such as these. At the time of writing, brand new 8-club sets (4-PW, AW) are being sold on Amazon at a cheaper price than the Nike Store and other golf retailers. Prices can change, of course, and for that reason I would also recommend also checking for potential discounts on eBay (used irons sold at even better prices) Global Golf and Golfsmith. You can get fit to a custom set of Vapor Fly Pro irons online for free right now on Golfsmith (see review overview up top for direct link).
The Vapor Fly Pro iron is one of the top performers on the market right now. When you combine flexible workability, accuracy, premium look/sound/feel and decent forgiveness in a cool-looking slender profile, you get an iron that every low or mid handicapper should try. Even if you’re a high-handicapper or a pro, you’ll never know if the Vapor Fly Pro is just what you need until you try it.