July 30th, 2013 by Matt Keller
In the past, I have not been a huge fan of Nike equipment. The Nike VR_S Covert line changed my opinion of Nike equipment. From driver to hybrid, the VR_S Covert are forgiving enough for a high handicapper and precise enough for even the best players around. The following review covers the VR_S Covert and Covert Tour driver, Covert fairway wood and Covert hybrid.
Nike VR_S Covert & Covert Tour Driver
Nike continues to develop some of the most innovative products in the golf industry. In an effort to produce a longer and more forgiving driver, Nike released the Covert, the first cavity back driver in golf. Glancing at the sole appears awkward with the open cavity, however, looking down in the address position the club looks like any other driver. The Nike Covert driver features an attractive glossy red finish with the Nike swoosh in white just behind the hosel. Covert is written very subtle on the crown intended as an alignment aid in small black print.
The Nike VR_S Covert driver features a 460cc club head with a traditional shape at address. The club adjusts from 8.5 – 12.5 degrees of loft with three face angle positions. In all, the Nike FlexLoft adjustability system offers 15 different adjustability options. The regular Covert driver features a silver club face and sole.
The Nike VR_S Covert Tour driver features a 430cc club head that adjusts from 8.5 – 12.5 degrees of loft with three face angle positions. In addition, the smaller club head features a deeper face than the regular Covert driver. The crown of the VR_S Covert Tour driver features the same red color scheme as the regular Covert driver. However, the Tour model features a black club face and sole. The Nike VR_S Covert Tour utilizes the same cavity design to produce longer and straighter shots. In addition, the FlexLoft system allows 15 different alterations to fit loft and face angle to help achieve peak performance.
My personal preference is the slightly larger and shallower look of the regular Covert driver over the Tour model. However, I prefer the black face and sole over the silver color of the regular Covert driver.
The Nike Covert on left with silver club face and Covert Tour on right with black club face
I tested the Nike Covert with the stock Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Black 50 shaft in the standard 9.5 degree setting. The Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Black 50 weighs 59 grams with 4.9 degrees of torque and is designed to produce a mid ball flight. I was eager to test the VR_S Covert since the club design is drastically different from anything else available. I was pleasantly surprised with the results and concluded the VR_S is one of the top performing drivers this year. While designed to produce a mid ball flight, most shots tended to be a little higher. The VR_S provided outstanding carry distance combined with one of the most forgiving drivers available. Shots generally went straight with little movement either direction. Although the driver provided better carry distance, the ball had generally landed softer and rolled about 10 yards on average.
In addition, I tested the VR_S Covert with the Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Silver 60 shaft in stiff flex. Intended to produce a low trajectory, the Kuro Kage Silver shaft weighs 66 grams with 4.4 degrees of torque. The Kuro Kage Silver delivered a lower trajectory. Results generally produced a straighter ball flight with the Silver shaft. Although performance characteristics were different, they both performed extremely well.
In addition, I tested the Nike VR_S Covert Tour driver with the two stock shafts with stiff flex. Testing with both shafts occurred in the neutral 9.5 degree loft. Similar to the regular Covert, the ball really jumps off the club face at impact, regardless of a toe or heel shot. Ball flight is generally straight, but provides a little more movement than the regular Covert model.
The Kuro Kage Black is designed to produce a mid ball flight. Therefore, ball flight was generally higher than the lower trajectory of the Kuro Kage Silver shaft. Personally, I preferred the Kuro Kage Black 50 shaft, which I felt provided a little more pop. Both shafts performed well, the biggest difference in the Tour head was trajectory. The Kuro Kage Black felt like it provided more carry distance.
Overall, both drivers and shafts are easy to hit, however, I preferred the performance of the regular VR_S Covert driver with the Kuro Kage Black shaft. Players searching for a lower trajectory should try the Kuro Kage Silver shaft.
Nike has been known to produce drivers with extremely loud impact sounds, however, the Covert driver is more muted than previous models. In addition, impact produces a really soft sensation across the club face. Impact is really smooth. The VR_S Covert driver produces my favorite feel among any driver ever produced by Nike. The weighting of the VR_S Covert feels balanced and easy to hit throughout the swing. In fact, the D3 – D5 swing weight feels very comfortable. Nike utilizes a 45% bigger sweet spot with their patented NexCOR Face Technology which produces faster, longer shots across a wider area of the face. The sound and impact of the Nike VR_S Covert and Covert Tour driver makes it one of the best feeling drivers available.
Nike created a winning combination in the VR_S Covert and Covert Tour driver. In fact, results were extremely positive and I actually put the Nike VR_S Covert driver in my bag. The retail price is an industry standard at $299, and proved to be one of my two favorite drivers, along with the Ping G25. Anyone searching for a new driver should give the VR_S Covert a try for its solid performance and standard price.
The Covert Tour will attract many with it’s smaller head and deeper face, which offers more workability combined with it’s longer distance. While the cavity design is different, it works and provides longer and straighter shots. The VR_S Covert driver retails for $399, in line with other competitors top drivers. However, similar to many of the other more technological drivers available, I prefer the regular Covert, which in my case is the simple, easier to hit and less expensive model.
Nike VR_S Covert Fairway Wood
The first thing any golfer will notice on the Nike VR_S Covert fairway wood is the high speed cavity positioned at the rear of the sole. The cavity allows more weight to be distributed to the heel and toe creating more forgiveness and distance. The 15 degree Covert 3 wood features a 181cc club head with the attractive dark red color scheme on the crown. The regular VR_S Covert features the silver club face and sole.
The VR_S Covert fairway wood is designed with a shallow club face and low profile. In addition, the Covert fairway is set in a 1.5 degree open club face position that features a glued club head that does not allow for any adjustments. The Covert sets up nice at address and looks fairly easy to hit.
I tested the Nike VR_S Covert 15 degree 3 wood with the stock Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro KageBlack 60 shaft in a stiff flex. The Kuro Kage Black shaft weighs 66 grams with 4.2 degrees of torque and designed to produce mid trajectory ball flight. The VR_S Covert fairway produces a mid to high ball flight from a tight lie and high ball flight off the tee. The club is extremely easy to get up in the air and delivers a high ball flight on the majority of shots. Good shots traveled extremely well where most shots produced a draw or went straight. Since the club is so forgiving, some shots tend to balloon but stay straight. Tee shots produced excellent carry distance with little roll. Overall, the club performs well with a consistent performance.
The Nike VR_S Covert fairway wood weighs in with a D1-D3 swing weight, typical to other fairway woods on the market. Nike claims the Covert is their hottest fairway wood they ever produced due to the patented NexCOR Face Technology, designed to create more speed at impact with the variable face thickness. Contact maintains the soft feeling across the entire club face with a similar muted sound. Similar to the other VR_S Covert drivers and hybrids, the fairway wood feels excellent at impact.
The Nike VR_S Covert fairway wood has an attractive retail price of $199. The club is designed to be Nike’s most forgiving and longest fairway wood to date. In addition, the fairway wood looks sharp and feels great with a consistent performance.
Covert fairway and Covert hybrid
Nike VR_S Covert Hybrid Review
Similar to the driver and fairway woods, the Nike VR_S Covert hybrid utilizes the high speed cavity back design to promote longer and straighter shots. Weight is distributed to the corners of the club head to promote longer and straighter shots. The dark red color with silver club face looks great. The regular Nike VR_S Covert hybrid does not offer any adjustable features and is set in a square club face position. The club head is designed with deep club face and not as round as many other hybrids. In addition, the VR_S Covert hybrid incorporates the NexCor Face Technology that produces faster ball speeds and longer shots across a wider area of the club face. The appearance looks good and easy to hit.
I tested the Nike VR_S Covert 20 degree hybrid with the stock stiff Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Black 70 shaft. The Kuro Kage shaft weighs 74 grams with 4.2 degrees of torque, which is intended to produce a mid ball flight. Based on my testing results, I found the hybrid to be extremely consistent and dependable off the tee or from a tight lie. Ball flight was typically a mid to high ball flight. Harder swings produced a higher ball flight. The VR_S Covert hybrid delivers better than average distance on solid hits. Similar to the fairway wood, ball flight on some shots can balloon. Overall, the VR_S Covert hybrid is solid, easy to hit and consistent performer.
While the performance of the Nike VR_S Covert hybrid is solid, it also provides a nice feeling at impact. The face produces a soft feeling that feels as if the ball jumps off the club face. Impact feels good from the tee, fairway and rough. The Nike VR_S Covert hybrid features a D1 – D3 swing weight. The club head is heavy enough to allow a nice feeling of the club throughout the swing.
The Nike VR_S Covert hybrid offers a refreshing price point of $179.99. The innovative color looks cool and the club feels solid at impact. The hybrid is a nice compliment to the VR_S Covert line and should be a top seller due to it’s forgiveness, solid feel and dependable performance.