Rory McIlroy practicing with new driver, might play it in Ryder Cup

Rory McIlroy
Getty Images
Rory McIlroy's new Nike Vapor Pro driver has a distinctive gold sole color.
By John Holmes
PGA.com

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 | 8:12 a.m.
It's highly unusual for a player to break out a brand-new piece of equipment at an event as big as the Ryder Cup, but it appears that Rory McIlroy might do just that. In practice this week at Gleneagles, he's been playing a Nike Vapor Pro driver in place of his usual Nike VR_S Covert 2.0 Tour driver.
 
"Everyone saw yesterday it was the only driver I had out there in the bag," McIlroy said Wednesday morning at Gleneagles. "It's looking likely that it's going to be in the bag this week." 
 
McIlroy has been testing the new driver since the summer – as has Tiger Woods – so putting it into play this week wouldn't be as rash a move as it might seem. 
 
 
Nike introduced its Vapor family of irons a few weeks ago but had said nothing official about the drivers and fairway woods, so not much is known about them. One thing that's obvious, though, is the color – in the sunlight, the sole flashes gold, in contrast to the Covert drivers with their distinctive red and white bottoms. And the crown is a more traditional black, as opposed to Nike's recent red-headed drivers. 
 
McIlroy offered no specifics on the club Wednesday, but Golf Digest quoted Tiger Woods as saying that the Vapor Pro contains a compression channel in the sole, something that is absent in the Covert drivers.  
 
"I pushed our team to bring back because sometimes I like to shape shots by teeing the ball down and hitting it lower on the face," Woods said. "with the compression channel, I'm able to do that and not lose as much ball speed."