Nike unveils VR Forged wedges
Monday, October 14, 2013
Nike has new wedges that are designed to promote a large assortment of shots in a variety of golf course conditions.
Call VR Forged, these new wedges join the VR family that already includes a full complement of clubs, including the VR Pro wedges.
The new wedges offer three distinct sole grinds, so golfers have a wide choice in satisfying their wedge needs.
The VR Forged Standard Grind is designed for versatility in all conditions. The grind was inspired by the insights of Tiger Woods.
And who was listening to Woods? Credit Mike Taylor for this one. Taylor, a longtime lieutenant of Tom Stites, Nike’s director of product innovation, is the designer responsible for the grind on all the new wedges.
Taylor has ground hundreds of sets of irons and wedges for Woods in his professional career, and he knows how to create what is sometimes called the “Tiger grind.”
The Dual Narrow Grind, on the other hand, was influenced heavily by Paul Casey, who has a reputation as a creative shotmaker. Whether the face is square or open, this model sits low to the ball.
The Dual Wide Grind came straight from the PGA European Tour, where players often face heavy morning dew and unpredictable rainfall. The grind is designed to get the ball up in the air from even the most diabolical of lies. It also is an excellent choice for greenside bunker play.
The new VR Forged wedges features Nike’s high-frequency X3X grooves with a precision laser crosshatch pattern that is applied to the area between the grooves.
All these wedges are available in a choice of two finishes – tour satin or black oxide. The price is $129.99.
The following are the loft/bounce options for each of the models:
• VR Forged Standard Grind: 48/10; 50/10; 52/10; 54/12; 56/14; 58/10; 60/10.
• VR Forged Dual Wide Grind: 56/8; 60/6.
• VR Forged Dual Narrow Grind: 56/16; 58/14; 60/13.
The new models should help grow Nike's wedge business, which has been supported thus far by a variety of the company's staff players. At the 2013 Masters, for example, Woods carried three VR Pro wedges, including his pitching wedge. Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel also had three VR Pro wedges. Likewise for Rory McIlroy, Nick Watney, Francesco Molinari and Thorbjorn Olesen.
Meanwhile, Russell Henley and Carl Pettersson each had four VR Pro wedges.
The new wedges are expected to be seen in the bags of Nike staff members in the near future, and company officials are hoping that some will make an appearance at the upcoming U.S. Open.