March 24, 2016
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Rory McIlroy said the Nike Vapor Fly Pro 2-iron performs extremely well in the wind. (Jonathan Wall/PGA TOUR)
AUSTIN, Texas — The Masters is less than two weeks away but Rory McIlroy is already game planning for the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club and the Open Championship at Royal Troon.
Last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, McIlroy was spotted testing a Nike Vapor Fly Pro 2-iron that never officially went in the bag. Some assumed the four-time major winner could have it in play at Augusta.
In actuality, McIlroy said he had his sights set on adding the more forgiving long iron this summer at two major championship courses where accuracy and a penetrating ball flight are necessary to contend.
What McIlroy didn't expect was that the club would wind up being a good fit for the blustery conditions and tight fairways at Austin Country Club as well.
"It's a great club in the wind," McIlroy said. "The ball flight is really, really stable. It's hot. I tested it with Nike a couple weeks ago and it would be perfect for the likes of Oakmont and Troon, but then getting here this week and seeing the golf course, it sort of became a good club for here as well."
As opposed to the traditional Nike VR Pro Blade and MM Proto 2 irons McIlroy has used in the past, the hollow cavity Vapor Fly Pro is a game-improve model. It features a black finish that gives it the appearance of having a more compact head with less offset, as well as a high-strength Nexcor SUP10 face and FlyBeam-reinforced chassis that delivers increased ball speeds.
"The ball speed I'm getting off that thing is close to some guys drivers," McIlroy said. "It goes a long way. It carries about 265, 270 and runs out close to 290. So it's hopefully going to be a great club this week, but I think for the summer coming up, some of the golf courses it's going to be a great club."
While this is the first time McIlroy has used the iron in competition, he isn't the only Nike staffer using Vapor Fly Pro at the moment. Paul Casey (3- and 4-iron) and Brooks Koepka (3-iron) were also spotted with game-improvement club this week.