Rory McIlroy has added a flash of colour to his bag this week at the Ryder Cup, with the Northern Irishman smashing his new Nike Vapor Pro driver off the first tee at Gleneagles this morning.
Like his previous Nike Covert Tour 2.0 driver, the world No.1 wanted a 460cc pear-shape profile on the driver, a shape that worked well for McIlroy this season, as he averaged 310.5-yards from the tee on the PGA Tour.
As well as the pear-shape profile, McIlroy also requested that stability and speed be prioritised by adding flexibility across the face.
"I'm getting 10-15 yards more distance on the golf course this week." - Rory McIlroy
After lending a hand in the design process, the four-time major champion was impressed by the end result.
“The first thing I noticed when I hit this driver was how hot it was,” said the 25-year-old. “Then, I found that I could really control the flight and work it both ways on the golf course.
“I saw added ball speed on the monitor and I'm getting 10-15 yards more distance on the golf course this week.”
Rory McIlroy's new Vapor Pro technology
The Vapor Pro driver blends three key technologies: Nike’s new FlyBeam reinforced Covert Cavity Back design, a re-engineered Compression Channel and FlexLoft 2.
“To elevate performance, we added FlyBeam technology to the Covert Cavity Back to focus energy into the variable-profile Compression Channel and NexCOR face,” said Nate Radcliffe, director of engineering.
“This is the first time we have created a driver where the face and channel are measurably more flexible than the body.”
The FlyBeam construction stiffens the Covert Cavity in the back of the club, while the Compression Channel, with variable compliance, seeks to improve the spring-like effect across the face.
"This effect drives the increases in ball speed we are seeing in athlete and robotic testing." - Nate Radcliffe
The two then work together to focus, store, and return impact energy to the ball for shots struck at all points on the face.
“This is the first time we have measured higher modal frequencies in the rear portion of the club than the front,” added Radcliffe.
“This means impact energy is concentrated in the channel and face which tunes acoustics and optimizes energy transfer. This effect drives the increases in ball speed we are seeing in athlete and robotic testing.”
FlexLoft 2 allows golfers to choose between five lofts and three face angles within 15 different settings. The new system is also five grams and 30% lighter than the old model.
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In addition, FlexLoft 2 attempts to offer forward and backward compatibility. Golfers with previous generations of Covert can also use shafts with the original adaptor in the new head or vice versa.
The Vapor Pro driver will be available to buy from January 31, 2015. Until then, you’ll just have to watch Rory McIlroy launch it down the fairway, starting this weekend at Gleneagles.