When Nike stepped away from golf club manufacture in 2016, they left a considerable legacy from their relatively short time in the industry. None more so than in fairway woods - striking aesthetics and technology to match they were played by the best players in the world to win Major after Major.
As you’d expect from a new entry into a market, the gains made year-on-year were huge, and by the time the Vapor Fly family came around it was considered to be a real alternative to the usual suspects in the bags of the worlds best.
Nike knew they were not going to break into the market by merely following suit - they needed to make a statement. The introduction of Covert technology in their metal wood range in 2013 was their watershed moment. The theory behind it was to bring cavity back technology (so successful in irons) to the metal wood market. Carving a huge hole in the back to the clubhead freed up mass for the engineers to place around the edges to increase MOI and thus forgiveness - in turn making traditionally hard to hit club much more natural to game. Nike obviously believed in the tech as it was an ever-present in their fairway woods until the Vapor Fly, which turned out to be the last.
Within some of the models, there are different versions with some subtle differences. Second-hand Nike fairway woods with ‘Pro’ of ‘Flex’ in the title are going to be aimed at the better player - with slightly smaller profiles and a forward CG location for reduced spin and a penetrating ball flight - both characteristics preferred by the better player.
Prior to Covert technology, there was the Victory Red range. Nike is the Goddess of victory and Red the colour worn by Tiger Woods on Sundays. Victory Red, or VR, fairway woods were some of the first in the industry to adopt a speed channel behind the face allowing more flex at impact and more energy to be returned to the ball.
Finally, there’s the SQ range. Whether they were square or not the SQ range was a favourite in the bag of Tiger during what we look back on as the golden years. Let’s hope there’s many more to come!