Is the Nike Vapor Driver Still Good? Is it Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“The Nike Vapor driver debuted back in 2016 and immediately, it became one of the most unique drivers on the market.”
The refreshing thing about Nike golf clubs is that they often take a much different approach to game improvement than other companies. So it’s always an experience for us to test them.
For this particular review, we picked up the Nike Vapor driver which is the successor of the Nike Covert 2.0 driver. Right away, we could tell that this driver was going to be unique in terms of performance – and we were right.
But what does that mean specifically for high handicappers? Would the Nike Vapor driver be good for 20+ handicappers? Let’s get into it.
Is the Nike Vapor Driver Still Good?
“One thing to keep in mind about the Nike Vapor driver is that it is less than a decade old.”
It’s important to remember that because the features it has are relatively modern. Not only are they modern; they are also unique. As the name implies, the Nike Vapor was made to be very light.
The sole actually features a cavity that is stabilized by a couple of fins that help fill the cavity out…a bit. Just take a look at the sole. Unlike almost any game-improvement driver, the sole of the Nike Vapor has a cavity in it!
Nike actually calls the fins inside the cavity “FlyBeams.” They serve to visually fill in space in the cavity but also to stabilize the head – a very good feature to have for a driver with a large cavity in the sole.
This is still a 460cc driver though. And while it provides a lot of sweet spot, it doesn’t look too bulky at address. Instead, it has a clean, sleek and unique look.
One of the things that makes the Nike Vapor driver a good call for mid and high handicappers in 2022 is the fact that it’s lightweight. It will therefore help a lot of high handicap players increase their swing speed.
Is it Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“The face of the Nike Vapor is essentially unsupported to promote flex.”
On average, our testers were getting drive distances of 228 yards after 3 swings. A lot of that distance (which was an increase for almost all of our testers) came from ball speed.
The Nike Vapor has what Nike calls the Compression Channel.
The Compression Channel sits just behind the face to leave it unsupported. This does two things for this driver. For one thing, it increases flex which in turn increases ball speed.
The 2nd thing the Compression Channel does is limit spin. Shot after shot, the Nike Vapor was clocking in with low 2000 rpm spin rates which is a nice range to be in if you want more distance.
Spin was nice and low and ball speed was nearing 150 mph on almost all of our shots. That’s not even the end of the story. Our slow swing speed testers were still approaching 150 mph ball speed with this driver.
So is the Nike Vapor forgiving? Yes, absolutely. Shots near the heel will still fade a bit and shots near the toe will draw but the margins are small. You won’t get nasty hooks or slices on mis-hits like you would with other drivers.
Plus, the head doesn’t twist much. While the Nike Vapor doesn’t have the highest MOI in the world, you can still feel exactly where you made contact on the face with every swing.
Nike Vapor Vs Cobra Golf Air-X
“The Cobra Air-X driver boasts a 277 gram club head and performs similarly to the Nike Vapor.”
Both the Air-X and Nike Vapor drivers will help slow swing speed players get their speed up.
However, the Air-X driver seemed to be better-suited to players with smooth swing tempos whereas the Nike Vapor driver worked for almost all our testers.
The Cobra Golf Air-X driver also features heel weighting and has more offset than the Nike Vapor. So if you’re struggling against a slice, the Air-X may help you keep the ball straight.
Nike Vapor First Impressions
“You can’t help but notice the Covert Cavity of the Nike Vapor when you first pick it up.”
It’s filled in with Nike’s “Volt” electric green color but has a black crown with the Nike “Swoosh” logo in it. This driver looks really cool and players will also notice how light it is when they first pick it up.
Nike Vapor Selling Points
- Covert Cavity
- Adjustable hosel
- Compression channel
- Low long-game spin
- Lightweight design
- Good club head speed
Nike Vapor Key Features
“The Nike Vapor driver has features that you aren’t likely to find in any other driver.”
Covert Cavity: The covert cavity digs out a large portion of the sole to reduce club head weight by a significant margin.
Compression Channel: This is a channel placed just behind the face to allow it to flex to a high degree.
Adjustable Hosel: An adjustable hosel allows you to choose from 5 different loft settingsand 3 different face angles.
What Handicap is it for?
“This driver can hardly be classified based on handicap.”
The adjustability, low spin and impressive ball speed will apply mostly to slow swing speed and high handicap players; but we can definitely see it in the bags of low handicappers too.
Nike Vapor Options
- Nike Vapor Speed
- Nike Vapor Pro
- Nike Vapor Flex
- Adjustable hosel between 8.5 and 12.5 degrees
Who Should Buy the Nike Vapor Driver?
“The Nike Vapor driver would be a great choice for a variety of players.”
Obviously the light weight and club head speed would make it great for slow swing speed players; but even if you have a fast swing speed, the adjustability of the loft and face angle make the Nike Vapor a viable option.