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Nike 'S' Driver built for speed

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The “S” in the new Nike Golf VR_S line introduced at last week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando stands for “Speed” and, according to company director of product creation Tom Stites, the 460cc driver in that extension of Nike’s VRS family is its fastest ever.

“The average ball speed coming off these clubs is faster, not only on those shots hit on the center of the face but also up to a full half-inch to three-quarters of an inch off of that,” he says. “And that added speed means added distance.”

Stites says that speed comes in part from a more aerodynamic sole and club perimeter, as well employment of a lightweight, 50-gram Fubuki shaft. Another factor is the utilization of Nike’s NexCOR technology and its multi-face thickness design in the rounded clubhead so that it “flexes” around the crown as well as the heel and toe and allows the ball, in Stites’ words, to literally “fly” off a face that he says is as forgiving as it is hot.

In addition, the VR_S driver, which is available in lofts of 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 and 13 (or HL) degrees, features Nike’s STR8-FIT adjustable head system, which has eight face-angle settings across a 4-degree range to ensure that the club can be made to fit the broadest possible range of players.

“We did an extraordinary amount of research in developing this VR_S driver, modifying several hundred different designs before producing 11 prototypes, which we eventually refined to one model,” says Stites.

One model, he is quick to add, that is built for speed.