All posts in Nike Golf

Crowne Plaza Unveils “Get a Better Game” Promo…

Guests at IHG’s Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts can earn Nike golf equipment and a chance to perfect their swing with PGA golfer Stewart Cink ) via the “Get a Better Game” stay-and-earn promotion.

Through Dec. 31, guests who register for the promotion and stay at Crowne Plaza Hotels in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Latin America can earn gear. In addition, the first registered guest who stays 50 nights during the promotional period will play in the Pro Am at the 2012 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas with Cink.

To register for the Crowne Plaza “Get a Better Game” promotion, visit  You can also find more about this on Crown Plaza’s Facebook page ( which will some exclusive content from Golf Digest and provide a place where fans can share their own tips for getting a better game.

Nike Golf equipment  – How to Earn:

  • Stay 2 nights, and get a sleeve of Nike 20XI golf balls
  • Stay 5 nights, and get a dozen Nike 20XI golf balls
  • Stay 10 nights, and get Nike V Rev Wedge
  • Stay 15 nights, and get Nike Mach Speed FW
  • Stay 20 nights, and get Nike Mach Speed Black Driver
  • Stay 30+ nights, and get Nike Mach Speed Irons


Review: Nike Golf Victory Red Pro Blade Irons

You know when you put a new club in your hands, strike that first shot, and go ‘woah, baby that’s a sweet club’… That’s exactly what happened to me when I struck the Nike Golf Victory Red Pro Blade irons for the first time. In fact, after my first shot, I flipped the club around, took a closer look at the clubhead, and thought ‘I’m really going to like these’… and I did!

Not only do the VR Pro Blades look great, but they’re insanely consistent, and provide incredible feedback for those that love to shape their shots. For my thoughts on this great set of irons for the lower handicap golfer… please, keep reading!

Low Trajectory

One of the things I dig the most about the VR Pro Blades is the trajectory you get off the face. This became obvious to me when I grabbed a VR Pro Combo 7 iron, and hit alternating shots between it an a VR Pro 8-iron I had handy. The Pro Combo 7 iron went MUCH higher than the VR Pro Blade 8 iron. Imagine that… the 8-iron actually flighted noticeably lower than the 7 iron from a comparable cavity-back set.

The trajectory is low and piercing… but not too low. I loved it because it was consistent… which leads me into my next point!

Consistent Distance Control

One thing that became quite apparent to me after striking my first bucket of balls was this… these irons were deadly consistent. Using the trusty 8-iron as my example (again), I decided to throw down 10 balls and measure the distances. Here’s the spread:

  • Shot 1: 155 yards
  • Shot 2: 156 yards
  • Shot 3: 155 yards
  • Shot 4: 154 yards
  • Shot 5: 156 yards
  • Shot 6: 155 yards
  • Shot 7: 155 yards
  • Shot 8: 156 yards
  • Shot 9: 155 yards
  • Shot 10: 155 yards

Not too shabby… drop the high and low result, and you end up with a spread of… well… about a yard! Awesome.

I know some of you might be saying, ‘that’s ridiculous, you’re not a pro!’… and granted, I’m not. But I’m a decent golfer with a consistent swing, and I shoot in the 70’s with regularity. The conditions on the day of this test were dead calm, and I was striping the shots right down the pipe one after another. The results speak for themselves… for accurate distance control, I HAVE to give the Nike Golf VR Pro Blades a 10 out of 10.

Solid Feel and Feedback

After striking a few shots (including a few bad ones), I came to realize how forgiving (yes, forgiving!) these blades actually are. I’m used to playing blades on a day-to-day basis (in fact, I have a set of Titleist 690.MB’s in my bag right now), so I know a thing or to on what to expect when it comes to forgiveness. In comparison to my Titleists, the VR Pro Blades seem to provide a slightly larger sweet spot on the face. This is nice, because I found I didn’t have to concentrate as hard to ensure I hit it exactly where I wanted in the middle of the face, on each shot… my swing began to flow with nice tempo, and…. well… I really enjoyed striking the ball with this set!

On top of that, the feel and feedback you get with each shot is awesome. At impact, there’s no other way to describe the feeling you get, other than ‘solid’. There’s no vibration, no twisting, no anything… just a solid, pure feel with every strike.

Thin Top Line

I LOVE the thin top line on these clubs. I know this might seem like a minor point for many of you out there… but for those that prefer a great set of blades in the bag, the top line is a huge factor.

At setup, the clubs inspire confidence. They line up square, and just knowing you’re going to get solid feel and feedback with your strike is huge.

Working the Ball

Like to fade and draw your iron shots into those tight pin locations? I’d highly recommend you give the Nike VR Pro Blades a try. Working the ball is easy. I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to hit a fade, or how to hit a draw… if you’ve gotten this far in the review you already know how to do that… 😛

But trust me, once you decide on the shot you want to hit, and line up to execute the shot… These irons are money in the bank. I prefer to hit fades myself, but I found hitting a slight draw time after time, after time… after time… was not a problem.

Stylish and Sexy

If there was an award for ‘sexiest’ irons, the Nike VR Pro blades would be a finalist, without a doubt. They’re a modern take on a classic design, and look stylish in the bag. The numbering on the sole is clean, and the Nike logo on the muscle on the back of the clubhead is just downright nasty (in a good way).

I know in the end, how your clubs actually look has nothing to do with hitting the ball, or shooting low numbers. But if you get a kick out of the look of your clubs, surely that has to be worth a shot or two out on the course, right? Something along the lines of, ‘look good, feel (and play) your best’? (sorry PING)


  • Ultra consistent trajectory and distance control
  • Solid feel and feedback on each shot
  • Become a real shotmaker. Work the ball left to right and right to left with ease
  • They look great (at address, and in the bag)


The price. For some, the $895.95 (retail 3-PW steel shaft) price on this set may be a bit too much. That said, all other iron sets in the same category are going to cost you roughly the same amount.


If you’re a low-handicapper looking for a top of the line set to integrate into your game, the Nike VR Pro Blade irons are worth some serious consideration. Trust me when I say you’re going to absolutely love the feel and consistency you get with these bad boys.

If you’re a mid-handicap looking to improve your ball striking, and lower your scores, these may be worth a look as well. Granted, you may have a hard time if you’ve never hit a set of blades before… However, I firmly believe with a little bit of practice these irons could be a huge asset for your game.

High-handicappers, steer clear. That said, if you are looking for some Nike iron love, I’d recommend the Nike Pro Combo irons. The longer irons in this set feature a large cavity back… and as you work your way down to the short irons (scoring clubs), you’ll find a more traditional blade style… the cavity gets smaller and smaller (and eventually disappears) as you work your way through the set.

For more information on the VR Pro Blade Irons (and all other irons offered by Nike), hit up Nike Golf.

Nike Golf’s Glover Putts his way to 3rd Tour Championship

Today, Nike Golf announced its athlete, Lucas Glover won the Wells Fargo Championship with a “stunning putting performance.” It was the third PGA Tour title of Glover’s career.

Glover, who also used a METHOD putter to win his first major two years ago, was No. 1 in putts per green with 1.58 at Quail Hollow, riding the hot flat stick to a victory on the first playoff hole after finishing 15-under par in regulation.

He started the final round three shots back, but took the lead with a 30-foot eagle putt on the 10th. Glover gutted out a seven-foot par putt on the 72nd hole and then knocked in a four-footer on the first playoff hole for his third career PGA Tour victory.

“I putted great all week, and I made some clutch putts on 16, 17 and 18,” said Glover.

The Nike Method features the distinctively visible Nike polymetal groove technology, which reduces skid and provides a truer roll, keeping the ball on line. The Method, which became available in February 2010, already has accumulated 26 wins on the professional tours worldwide, including three major championships. Most recently in April, Nike athlete Charl Schwartzel won The Masters with the Nike Method 004 prototype putter.

Glover, who also is a strong iron player, used Nike’s new VR Pro Combo irons, the same irons that fellow Nike athletes Jhonattan Vegas and Schwartzel won with at the Bob Hope Classic and Masters Tournament, respectively. He wore apparel from the Nike Golf Tour Collection and the popular Nike Lunar Control footwear.

Nike has already updated its website to reflect Glover’s win.


Video Exclusive: Nike Golf’s 20XI Golf Ball

At the 36th annual Haggin Oaks Golf Expo in Sacramento, California, I had a chance to run around with my video camera and talk to vendors about what’s hot for 2011.

Here is the first of several interviews that I will be posting. I met Nike Golf’s Arthur Molinari. He is a product development engineer who kindly took some time to educate me on the 20XI golf ball.

Also, please note that boxes of the 20XI are selling for $45.95 at major volume retailers (a far cry from the MSRP noted in my earlier post).


Nike VR Pro Driver Really Making a Splash On Tour

Nike’s latest driver the VR Pro has been making quiet a splash on Tour, helping Nike golfers win tournaments across the world.

Nike VR Pro DriverBeginning last year Anthony Kim and Francesco Mollinari played this driver. Recently John Cook used it to validate his victory on the Championship Tour during the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. Rookie Jhonattan Vegas used the driver during his first win on the PGA Tour at the Bob Hope Classic. Averaging 309 yards off the tee during the 5 rounds of the classic he scored in the 60s to show this driver definitely lives up to it’s Nike namesake. Not forgetting the most masterful winner using the tour version of this driver was Charl Schwartzel during his monumental win at the Maters this year. When it boils down to it these golfers all had the talent and paired with the right equipment they made these wins possible.

Crafted wit the latest technology and advanced design from Nike the VR Pro Driver is the perfect fit to their VR series. Designed with a pear shape so the weight could be distributed to optimum center of gravity locations. A traditional shaped head the pear profile is a classic look from the playing position. As the latest addition to the VR line Nike stocked these clubs with Project X shafts. With new Variable Compression Channels players are able to get better ball speed and greater distance. It broadens the length of the face so that on draw or fade shots golfers can still get the distance they desire. A distinctively Nike feature is the use of their STR8-Fit angle technology on the face. This technology allows golfers to adjust the club angels to get the best workability out of the club. Adjustable to an astonishing 32 different options ranging from 2 degrees open to 2 degrees closed in .25-degree increments, players can craft and work what type of shots they want.

For more on the Nike VR Pro Driver, visit

Nike Method 002 Putter: Photo Gallery

To say I’m impressed with the Nike Method 002 putter would be an understatement. I’ve had the good fortune of spending some time with this superb putter over the past few weeks… and it is, in a word, stellar.

While my review is forthcoming, in the meantime I wanted to share a quick photo gallery for you to take in. The lines on the club are clean, and setup to the ball is extremely square and comfortable. When I place the Nike Method 002 down behind the ball, I immediately feel lined up, ready to make a confident stroke.

That said, I’m going to cut myself well short here because I could ramble on and on and on about this putter… I’ll save it for the official review. Enjoy the photo gallery below.

Nike Method 002 Putter Photo Gallery

Note: A quick thanks to Tim and Victoria over at Nike Golf for sending the 002 our way.

New Ad Builds Excitement for Nike 20XI Golf Ball

Nike 20XI Golf Ball

Nike Golf has a new ad (an incredibly impressive one) that doesn’t feature Tour Pro golfers.  Rather, the star is a magnificent black stallion that is moving quite quickly through a golf course — tearing up turf.  As it approaches a green, the stallion rears up on its hind legs and then lands his front hoofs on the green without leaving a mark (note:  I replayed it several times to confirm what I thought I saw).  Impressive indeed.

At the end of the 30 second spot, we are informed the product is the 20XI golf ball, and it will be available April 29.


Found out that the 20XI is the latest Nike Golf advanced technology product to emerge from “The Oven.”

It is a revolutionary golf ball that is the first ball on Tour to use a radical new core technology which delivers more distance off the tee and better control around the greens.

The analogy of the stallion makes sense.

Upon further research, I found a post by Rock Ishii, Nike’s product development director, Nike golf balls, which provides insight into the new 20XI golf ball:

  • The construction of the 20XI creates consistency within its make-up and the results it provides.
  • With the older technology, the solid rubber core, you had so many manufacturing steps, additives, curing, pressing, etc.  The new 20XI ball with its radical new resin core simplifies things.  It’s no longer about layers, but instead about a faster and lighter core.
  • In the past ball designs, we were limited in terms of MOI (moment of inertia). In the 20XI ball, we used an ionomer lightweight material around the perimeter. By moving the lightweight material to the center, we achieve higher MOI with a heavier perimeter. This MOI increase makes for a steeper spin slope; a ball that spins more off short shots and less off a driver, creating a huge competitive advantage for our athletes.

That advantage comes at a steep price:  $58 a box.
To put that in perspective, Titleist Pro Vs run $45.95.  The TaylorMade Pentas list for the same.

The ad appears below.  Nike Golf’s agency of record,  Wieden + Kennedy Portland was responsible for it.  Ellen Kuras directed it using Alexa and Phantom cameras to convey the message of power and control.

They’ve got me curious.  Now I wonder which Tour Pros will bite.  As of the last “Tour Van” post by GolfWeek, the ball breakdown for the Valero Texas Open (144-player field) was as follows:

1. Titleist (104)
2. Srixon (12)
3. Callaway (10)


Nike Golf Staffer John Cook Secures Second Win on 2011 Champions Tour

John Cook Secures Second Win on 2011 Champions Tour

It’s been quite an amazing run for our friends at Nike Golf lately. First, Charl Schwartzel takes down The Masters title… then over this past weekend John Cook follows suit with his second title on the 2011 Champions Tour. Not too shabby!

With his win on the weekend, Cook has vaulted to second on the 2011 Champions Tour money list… but getting to the point of this post is the clubs Mr. Cook used to secure the victory.

Here’s a quick look into his bag:

  • Driver: Nike VR 8.5-degree
  • Irons: Nike VR Pro Blades (3-PW)
  • Hybrids: Nike VR 18-degree
  • Wedges: Nike VR 53-degree and Nike VR 59-degree
  • Putter: Nike Method Prototype
  • Ball: Nike ONE Tour
  • Apparel: Nike Golf Tour Collection
  • Footwear: Nike Trophy

A very solid lineup indeed. Nike Golf was kind enough to send us a ‘care package’ of many of the hot clubs rounding out their 2011 lineup… So stay tuned for a closer look at some of the clubs Cook used to march his way to victory.

Image courtesy: James Branaman – St. Petersburg Times

Charl Schwartzel’s Putter: Nike Method 004 Prototype

Charl Schwartzel had nothing short of a superb final round at the 2011 Masters. That chip-in on the first hole for birdie… the hole out for eagle on the third… and then four straight birdies stroked into the center of the hole to finish his round… the round was absolutely first class, and Charl is more than deserving of the green jacket.

With all those birdies rolling into the cup during the end of his round, I was trying to decipher the type of putter he was using. After closer inspection, his putter appears to be a Nike Method 004 model… However, some more research and digging revealed to me that the putter is a prototype from the folks at the Nike ‘Oven’.

Nike Method 004 Putter

If you take a closer look at the face of Schwartzel’s Method 004, you’ll notice it doesn’t feature Nike’s ‘Polymetal Groove Technology’ (the black lines you normally see across the face of the Method line). My guess is Charl is much more comfortable with a flat face made up of one material… if I remember correctly, Charl ‘s last putter (one he used for a long time) was a Bobby Grace Fat Lady. You’ll notice the mallet design on the Fat Lady features no extra ‘grooves’ on the face. It’s a flat surface comprised of a single material.

Bobby Grace Fat Lady Putter

For what it’s worth, some of you may be wondering which putter Tiger Woods used during the 2011 Masters. No big surprises here, as he carried the same Nike Method 003 putter he’s been using for some time now. Unlike Charl, Tiger’s 003 does feature the Polymetal Groove Technology to help get the ball rolling… however, while watching some pre-round coverage on the Golf Channel, Notah Begay III noted that Tiger had this material shaved down to reduce the effect of this material.

It’s always cool to hear about the pros, and the tinkering they do with their equipment. I think we could all be well served to tinker with our equipment to get the right feel for comfort… but then again, I suppose it helps to practice as much as they do as well!

What’s in the Bag: 2011 Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel

2011 Masters Champion Charl SchwartzelWhat a riveting 2011 Masters! McIlroy failing to find his form over the back nine, Scott and Day playing fantastic golf down the stretch… and finally Charl Schwartzel coming up huge, finishing with 4 birdies to win the 2011 Masters in style. Congrats to Charl and South Africa for a fantastic performance. Job well done.

So what was in Charl’s bag for his first major win? Part of the Nike Golf team, Charl had nothing but the swoosh in the bag:

  • Driver: Nike VR Tour 8.5-degree with Rombax 7V05 shaft
  • Fairway Woods: Nike SQ Sumo 3-wood/13-degree, Nike SQ Sumo 5-wood/19-degree with Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 83 shafts
  • Irons: Nike VR Pro Blade (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts
  • Wedges: Nike VR Pro 54-degree and Nike VR Pro 60-degree with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts
  • Putter: Nike Method 004 Prototype
  • Ball: Nike ONE Tour D

On top of that, Charl also had on a pair of Nike Lunar Control shoes, and of course Nike pants, shirt and visor.

Again, well done to Charl… we’re looking forward to many more solid performances, and perhaps a few more major wins from the young South African!