To blade, or not to blade, that is the question for many of us who are in love with the game and everything it stands for. The blade as we know it is the purest shape of iron made to summon the golf gods. We strive to find that elusive perfect set of clubs; secretly knowing that it might result in golf suicide. We are infatuated with the flush sound of a well struck shot. That is all we want! And sometimes without paying much attention to the end result, why? Because the results we want are sporadic and may only come when the planets are aligned just right.
A deeper question lies in our mind, and it revolves around what is more important in our search to find golf Valhalla. Is it to stay true to the games traditions and acquiesce to our fantasies? or down to brass tacks just find a way to put it closer to the hole with whatever it takes? Well, why not have your cake and eat it too? This is where Nike Vapor Pro Combo Irons come in. Check it out.
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We know that combo sets are made specifically to strike a balance between blades and cavity back irons. Nike had great success with previous combo sets in the past, but this time around, they have surpassed the levels of technology involved in a combo set.
In this review, we are going to focus on why this Pro Combo set of irons is the perfect balance between feel and performance, while at the same time encompassing all the visual components to make a great looking set of irons. Combo sets are becoming more common these days. The worst disadvantage is feeling like you are playing a mismatched set of irons. The Vapor Pro Combos are definitely not the case. These irons were designed with all that in mind.
First, as Nike says, you need to make a iron look good at address and feel good in your hands. Second, you incorporate as much technology as you can to increase performance without taking away anything from the first step. This formula is what will make these irons a great success.
Let’s start off by saying that after playing these for a few weeks now, they are very solid irons and by far the best I have seen come out of the Nike oven.
The greatest advantage promised by Nike is that they were able to move the center of gravity of the face of the club closer to the toe right in the middle of the face. As opposed to most other irons where the center of gravity is closer to the hosel. This leads to a much more solid hit off the center of the face while providing forgiveness on shots that make contact closer to the toe or the heel.
The look of these irons is nothing but business. These are mean looking irons! They have a fairly thin top line. The color combination of black and green is venomous. The grind profile of the straight leading edge and round toe is very classic, meaning that no point on the club will draw you away from focusing on your shot.
No mirror finishes here, these clubs are satin chrome further enhancing the look of the 1025 forged carbon steel. The look at address is consistent throughout the set, being that it is a combo set, it is hard to tell when you switch from a blade (8, 9, P, A) to a pocket cavity iron (4-7); which is a great thing. These irons feature a thin sole width like a players iron, but have a beveled leading edge for relief and forgiveness on those tight lies. These clubs are perfect for those who dig the look of blades.
First thought after gripping these irons was how well balanced they feel. They are light, yet you can still feel the weight of the head with a D2.5 Swing Weight. This particular set featured Dynamic Gold S300 shafts matched to each iron’s ball flight/spin characteristic and are paired with Golf Pride Tour Velvet grips we are all familiar with. These irons a very solid. You will be impressed with the higher trajectory from the longer cavity irons. Shorter irons have a more controlled piercing trajectory. They offer a good amount of feed-back. These irons have a very peculiar sound; they are pretty quiet. Contact is soft and smooth, unless you crank up the speed, they unleash that loud crack you would expect from a forged blade. You can really feel how the longer irons have a hot face.
For the gold medal! Where these irons really set themselves apart is how well your shots hold their line in the air. This “modern muscle” technology seems to actually work very well. I was extremely impressed that shots off the bottom of the face still get up in the air and shots off the toe held their line and don’t lose much distance. The spring steel used on the face of the longer irons (4-7) helps to add more ball speed to your shot for those 3-5 extra yards. The X3X grooves help in getting spin out grass and get the ball in the air.
The longer irons of the Pro Combo set have longer and shallower club faces. This helps keep the center of gravity lower on the face to help you hit higher shots while the longer face helps with confidence if you want to shape a shot right or left. These clubs are rather forgiving, so you may not be able to hit a huge sweeping hook like a blade, starting the ball way right and hooking way left, but it sure is more controllable. Instead, your shots are initially straighter, and at the top of their trajectory they start bleeding to the right if you’re hitting a fade or left for a draw. They feel as if you’re compressing the ball a lot more, probably due to the CG being so centered. We feel that in terms of performance, Nike has really stepped it up to the next level. Worthy of going against any other club out there. We found an increase in carry of almost 10 yards, not coming from stronger lofts, but from more solid strikes.
The short irons are made as a one piece forging. They perform as a great muscle back iron would. Distance control is dialed in with these babies! On the golf course, I played a round purposefully leaving myself a 135-140 approach shot to every green (an easy 9 iron for me) and it was like throwing darts. Low shots, high shots and shaped shots they are extremely controllable. We hit shots purposefully thin, and off the toe and still found the green. You don’t have to be a shot maker to get the most out of these irons. We were happy with the amount of spin provided by these clubs. Piercing flight, no problem holding hard greens and definitely stable through the wind.
Although there are many good options out in the market, these irons are definitely worth a try. Especially if you’re used to playing blade irons. You wont have to struggle nearly as much to pull off a shot. You’ll add some distance, height, and control; especially with longer irons. I’ve played with forged blade (Bridgestone J33b) irons for the past 7 years. These Pro Combo irons don’t only perform better than most irons in the past, but also have the feel that I’ve been on the hunt for many years. It’s such an easy transition that I couldn’t emphasize it enough.
- Expect to add yards and height to your shots.
- Good control and spin.
- Very forgiving and consistent for a blade profile.
- Great looks sure to make you stand out.
- These clubs are intended for low to mid handicap players but are great for all handicaps.
- Price floats around $1099 for these, but worth every penny. High Value!
More Info from Nike Here.