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Gearing Up: Nike VR_S Covert Driver Review

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A lot can be said about the image change Nike golf has undergone in recent months.

While player staff additions like World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and up-and-comers like Kyle Stanley and Nick Watney do plenty for the company’s street-cred, it’s the impressive 2013 product offering will be what really strikes a chord among avid golfers.

And the VR_S Covert driver is Nike’s marquee offering this season.

There are plenty of avid golfers uninterested in what Nike has to offer in terms of golf clubs. While that may have been true with past releases, the tour-level performance of the Covert series is enough to warrant its hype early in 2013. And, after all, it’s good enough for Rory…But still, let’s take a deeper look at the club Nike is billing as it’s ‘most innovative club’ ever made.

With design of the Covert driver, Nike followed many of the same trends being used by other major club manufacturers. The Sunday red crown, sharp- looking ‘swoosh’ and alignment aid are all a sign of the times in golf. The easy adjustability and customization processes are also similar to those provided by new drivers from TaylorMade, Titleist and Callaway — just to name a few.

But the key to the Nike VR_S Covert is that it’s the first ‘cavity back’ driver.

The correct term for the Covert’s cavity back is high-speed cavity back, which is a technology used primarily in irons but becoming common in fairways and hybrids, too. The overall advantage to the cavity is more focused energy being sent to the ball, which of course leads to more distance and improved control.

The science behind the cavity allows for weight to be distributed to the heel and the toe, which increases forgiveness and the all-important Moment of Inertia (MOI).

Nike was smart to ‘hide’ the cavity in its new driver. At address, the cavity isn’t noticable as it’s hidden underneath. Finally, aerodynamically, the club was designed to eliminate drag or wind- resistance surrounding the cavity. In my testing, I didn’t even notice the cavity.nike_vr_s_covert_driver_article1

The Nike VR_S Covert features two other proprietary technologies.

In addition to the cavity back, Nike’s new driver includes an improved FlexLoft adjustability and NexCOR face technology.

Nike drivers and fairways have featured the brand’s NexCOR technology since last year’s release of the VR_S drivers and the Covert is no different. NexCOR is said to deliver faster ball speeds from a wider area on the face. NexCOR faces vary in thickness and house the club’s sweet spot to where most golfers make impact.

Nike’s FlexLoft adjustability allows for an impressive 15 different options in the VR_S Covert. Like other manufacturers, Nike has made the adjustability an easy process. The Covert features Nike’s patented ‘Dual Axis’ adjustability, which gives golfers lofts between 8.5 and 12.5 degrees. The dual axis technology also allows golfers to adjust face angle either independently or along with the loft.

The Covert comes in two versions: the VR_S Covert ($299) and the VR_S Covert Tour ($399). The Tour version features a head that’s a bit smaller — 430-cc — and less spin (300-500 RPM for elite players) on launch when compared to the less-expensive performance model. Stock shafts include the Mitsbushi Rayon Kuro Kage Black 50 and for the Tour model, the Kuro Kage Silver 60.

The Linemakers

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