Covert 2.0 Tour driver, in the bag of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy
Let me begin by saying that last year the folks at Nike Golf got some undeserved flack probably due in part to the poor play from Rory McIlroy. I have personally used and tested their irons, drivers and fairway woods and all I have is the utmost admiration for their quality and dedication to perfection. The new VRS Covert 2.0 Tour Driver continues with the same tradition of excellence and great craftsmanship. Obviously Rory and Tiger think pretty highly of the new Nike Covert line, as they have been playing the new Covert 2.0 Tour Driver since its Tour inception in November of last year and its already showing great results.
The Covert 2.0 Driver features enhancements to Nike’s High Speed Cavity Back technology, which in theory distributes weight to the perimeter and promises more distance and stability across the face of the driver. I played for a good portion of 2013 the old VRS Covert Tour Driver and I felt for the most part that the driver was very stable in 90% of the face, but my bad hits around that 10% near the toe of the club would shake and rattle. Nike Golf has added a Fly-Brace which is a support brace inside the clubhead that runs from the crown on top to the sole on the bottom. Nike says it creates a rock-solid union between the two. The old Covert driver had a Fly-Brace, but it was not nearly as strong as the new brace. The angle and thickness have been changed in the Covert 2.0, and the result is a clubhead that is significantly stiffer.
This week we set up our equipment at Weston Hills Country Club; its a perfect January day with temperatures in the low 70’s. We just returned from the PGA Show in Orlando and this was one of the drivers that I wanted to test first as I was so impressed during our outdoor tests at Orange County National. The Covert 2.0 Tour Driver has that eye-popping look that makes you want to put it in your bag. While it doesn’t look drastically different from last year’s version, Nike did tweak it a little, adding a little white to the mostly deep red on the club head, giving it a stunning visual look. The new VRS Covert 2.0 Driver is also bigger in size (460 cc) than my previews Covert driver and that’s a welcome change. The extra few cc may be minimal but as soon as you ground the driver the extra size instills confidence.
The driver features what Nike calls a re-engineered NexCOR face, which incorporates variable thickness to create a larger sweet spot and boost ball speed on mis-hits. Nike says the face is 15 percent larger in the VRS Covert 2.0 Tour version and 7 percent larger in the standard VRS Covert 2.0 model… In layman’s terms …bigger the face …the more forgiving will be. Another feature that returns is the dual-axis hosel that allows the loft and face angle to be adjusted independently. Each loft setting features three face-angle positions. To preserve the club’s compact size, designers took weight from the sole (creating a wide cavity) and moved it to the heel and toe to increase the moment of inertia (MOI), which means more stability on off-center hits.
Driver Settings for our test: Loft 10.5* Neutral, Shaft Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 60G Stiff.
Results: Average carry 309 yards (wind aided), longest drive 349 yards (wind aided), average swing speed 108.4 mph, average launch 13.9 degrees, average spin rate 3095 rpm.
Nike has done a remarkable job tuning up the old VRS Covert. The club feels as light as the old Covert but as soon as you hit a ball you will notice a muted sound and the way the ball jumps off the face. We are facing south and the strong downwind messed up our test data. My first hit was a high fly that carried 307 yards… not bad for a mishit! The club feels very stable and I love that they did not mess with the crown by adding any graphics. The VRS Covert 2.0 ($300) and Covert 2.0 Tour ($400) both reflect a change in the internal structure of the “cavity back” design. The wall of the cavity, which was perpendicular to the sole on last year’s models, is now angled slightly away from the face to control vibration for better energy transfer. We just love the new Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Tour driver…