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Tech Talk: Nike’s New VR_S Covert Irons



Golfers love long and forgiving drivers. But when it comes irons, many golfers prefer an aesthetically pleasing model over one that packs the most performance.

Nike’s new VR_S Covert irons are a replacement of the company’s VR_S iron from last year. Like the VR_S, they are a cast iron aimed at double-digit handicapers. But thanks to a design initiative called “Covert,” the company was able to add distance and playability to the irons without the bulkier chassis of last year’s model.

Tony Dabbs, product line manager for Nike Golf, said the biggest problem with the VR_S irons was that they had thick toplines and thick soles. This made them less appealing for single-digit handicap players than Nike’s VR_S Forged Irons, which were used to win on the PGA Tour by Tiger Woods (3 iron) and Carl Pettersson (4 iron).

nike 2013 irons

The Covert irons actually have higher a Movement of Inertia (MOI) than the VR_S irons from 2012 thanks to extreme perimeter weighting. Like Nike’s Covert Drivers, the Covert Irons move a substantial amount of weight away from the center of the club face and to the heel and toe sections of the club where it adds forgiveness.

nike vr s covert iron

Moving weight away from the center of the club face can result in a harsher feel and clickier sound, which is why Nike engineers added a polyurethane badge behind the impact area that softens the feel and quiets the sound.

nike covert iron review

“It’s a decoration, but it also has a purpose,” Dabbs said. “Without the badging, it really rings.”

The Covert irons also use Nike’s NexCore faces that debuted in the VR_S and VR_S Forged irons, but the faces are even thinner that last year’s models, which according to Dabbs provides more flexibility and thus more distance, especially on mishits.

nike covert vrs iron

The Convert long irons and middle irons are constructed from 450 Carpenter steel, while the short irons are made from 1704 stainless steel for a slightly softer feel.

The irons will come stock with True Temper Dynalite 90 steel shafts (S and R-Flex, RH and LH), and will be available for $699 on Feb. 1. The stock graphite option will retail for $799 with Nike KuroKage Black 70 shafts in S, R and A-flex (RH and LH).

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour/Pre-release equipment” forum. 

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour/Pre-release equipment” forum.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.



  1. John

    Jun 27, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Hi, Could somepone please tell me how good are the standard Dynalite 90 shafts in these clubs as I have ordered a set. I am trying out the Regular shafts from my current KBS tour stiff which are in my Mizuno MP53’s. I am looking to swing a little easier and hopefully gain more distance and straighter. Any comments or suggestions will be appreciated.

  2. colin liddle

    Jan 4, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I bought a set yesterday. I am high handicaper and I am so impressed by the feel of these clubs. Dont give a toss what they look like.

  3. joe dagostino

    Aug 14, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    I too like several of you who posted was not even considering Nike. LOL it was actually not even a club I was considering to hit. However after spending a few hours at Edwin Watts and trying more than a 1/2 dozen irons, the representaive after looking at my numbers suggested I give these a try. After the first few hits with the 7 I knew it felt the best and the numbers showed it. I now own the set and love them and don’t regret it at all. I can’t wait until the newer model comes out just to give them a shot. I’m a 4 handicap. Joe, Palm City Fl

  4. Andy H

    Jun 9, 2013 at 11:07 am

    To all of those commenting on the looks of clubs – are you insane? Personally it’s what they do rather than the look that’s important to me. I think you all need a slap.

    If you are hanging these on your wall at home however, please ignore me!!

    • Louis P.

      Jul 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      Well said!

      You can have the most beautiful clubs in the universe but if you can’t hit them, they are not worthy!

      After 2 hours trying several clubs from many brands, the last and the more effective were these Coverts. How impressive they perform, they were the chosen one.

  5. afogie

    May 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I just bought the irons and couldn’t be happier. They have a funny sound but fly true and long. I don’t like thick topline clubs and I can say without question the irons are not ugly at address. I tested them against my Titleist AP1’s and the Coverts were a club longer. I am a 9 looking to get lower and I know these irons will help.

  6. Shark

    Apr 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Looks are not great from behind. I know you don’t see at address but we all like to look at clubs sticking out if our bag with at least a moderation of looks.
    But at address they were great. I likes the compact for game improvement size. Waggling it felt great.
    Going to sim test the them based on a great review on YouTube (considering guy said repeatedly…. Irritatingly… Oh my god easiest to hit irons…. I’ve ever tested!) I have to ignore busy ugly back for nice at address look and supposed performance.

  7. rclwxmkoppdg

    Mar 28, 2013 at 7:19 pm


  8. ofdorlqzdenx

    Mar 28, 2013 at 7:18 pm


  9. Cronin1019

    Mar 21, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    I have never owned a Nike Club. Their first gen stuff left a lot to be desired. My buddies at Edwin Watts had me try the new VRS Covert Irons. We fitted the 7 iron to the same specs of my current clubs. 2 degrees up, standard length. I tested the Mitsubishi Kuro Kage graphite stiff. Looking at the club from the bag you wonder what they were thinking with all of the graphics and design. However, when I set the club down I understood what “covert” meant. The top line and offset are that of a good players club. The 7 iron was a degree in loft stronger than mine but I was hitting it longer and straighter than my current clubs. Making solid center face contact was easier than any club I have ever hit.

  10. Shineman

    Mar 3, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    I spent a couple hours getting fit for irons, hit Rocketbladez, Cobra AMP, Hot-X, and Nike Covert.
    I did not even want to hit the Nike,but guess what – Nike was the club…. Tight dispersion and comparable distance with good feel.. now what

    • JAS

      Sep 28, 2013 at 11:04 am

      I has exactly the same experience as yours. So what?
      Rally huye difference: Easy, straight and long.

  11. digi168

    Feb 7, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I thought these were pretty ugly looking in the photo’s but had a chance to see them up close and personal and they actually aren’t that bad. They do however go a long long way. I demoed the 7 iron and it was carrying 185 which is about 15 yds. longer than my mizunos. I know the lofts are bit stronger, but man are these easy to hit. Long, high, and straight, if you can get over the fact that they are Nike clubs I think they will impress a lot of people.

    • Greg Uptegraff

      Feb 27, 2013 at 9:48 am

      I hit all the newest irons looking for a replacement for my R9’s. These felt as good as any, picked up ball speed, consistent group and ball flight, and consistently longer.

  12. acaldwell

    Dec 8, 2012 at 7:57 am

    wow! thats ugly haha. i have the original vrs irons and they’re so much nicer than this.

  13. Punky

    Dec 6, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Would like to see the specs on the Nike Covert irons.

  14. Congo Starter

    Nov 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Aside from the combos and forged irons of the past and present these are pretty ugly. They are, however, an improvement over past VRS. Would be nice if they closed the gap on the back. Looks like a smile with a missing tooth.

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  16. Graphiteti

    Nov 10, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Rory’s new sticks!

  17. Joe Golfer

    Nov 10, 2012 at 2:10 am

    If the shorter irons are made of 17-4 steel, that’s hardly considered to be a soft steel, as was mentioned in the article.
    It’s actually a harder steel on the MOH’s scale. It’s just that the long and middle irons have that even harder Carpenter steel face (to make the face thinner, and I’m guessing that the hosel and perimeter of the club is also 17-4 steel in those irons.

  18. jay hall

    Nov 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    wow, looks like somebody did a $h!t on a shaft. Typical Nike stuff.

  19. obvioustroll

    Nov 9, 2012 at 9:36 am

    ye dont like the looks.. too much is going on there.

  20. Pingback: SNEAK PEEK: VR_S Covert Irons | NG NATION — Nike Golf Fan Blog

  21. Hans

    Nov 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Looks like mick Jagger’s tongue coming out of the back of the iron.

  22. Gman

    Nov 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I agree with Hoosier, very ugly. Top line is 6-7 mm thick, how can one get past this at address? i will stick with my MP-9’s , as they came with 1and 2 iron as well.

  23. Hoosier

    Nov 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    not sure i’ve seen an uglier iron. i’ll stick with my mp64’s but if you want forgiveness and a good look the JPX825s are way to go. These are ugly

  24. William Klosek

    Nov 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Wow that’s one boring and ugly iron….I predict they have a dud on their hands….My Wilson Staff Di-11’s are a MUCH better looking club (and probably hit better too)

  25. theoo

    Nov 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    not bad looking, wish they would put some blades or CBs out this year

  26. paul

    Nov 7, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    I think TM will sell more rocketbladez then Nike will sell of these.

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Puma Golf introduces new Ignite PWRADAPT Hi-Tops



Good news for hi-top lovers and the fashion-forward golfing set: Puma is launching Ignite PWRADAPT Hi-Tops.

The style, first worn by Rickie Fowler in 2016, blends trendy style with a bevy of technology. Puma offers comfort and stability with state-of-the-art innovation in the bold footwear.

PWRADAPT Hi-Tops use Puma’s proprietary PWRADAPT sole technology that introduces 3-dimensional traction pods. The shoes also feature Ignite Foam throughout the entire length of the midsole for the first time in a cleated shoe.

Additionally, Puma replaces the traditional tongue with an Evoknit knitted collar for improved fit and breathability. The lightweight hook-and-loop strap offers a more customized fit and enhanced support.

The shoes come with a two-year waterproof warranty and feature a number of hidden design elements: the leather tab on the heel is stamped with the zip code of Puma Golf’s Carlsbad’s Headquarters, the interior of the perfect fit strap features a cat skull with cross clubs, and the inside sock-liner has a large scale topographic map of Carlsbad which also points out the exact location of Puma Golf’s HQ.

“Our goal each season is to push the game forward with products that challenge the status quo while respecting the traditions of golf. The Ignite PWRADAPT Hi-Tops represent this continued drive for style innovation and the evolution of a silhouette that’s become synonymous with Puma Golf and Rickie. It’s our way of integrating the latest in on-trend fashion elements with cutting-edge golf footwear,” said Grant Knudson, Global Head of Footwear & Accessories, Puma Golf.

The Ignite PWRADAPT Hi-Top ($220) is available now in two colorways: Grey Violet and Black.

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Rory McIlroy’s putter builder speaks on his winning TaylorMade Soto proto



It’s no secret that Rory McIlroy’s biggest weakness has historically been with his putter. But ahead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he won by two shots, McIlroy made a putter switch and ended up with just 100 putts for the week — the lowest in his PGA Tour career. He also finished first in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting, and put on a putting display for the ages on Sunday to shoot 64 (he birdied 5 of the final 6 holes).

Related: Rory’s Winning WITB from the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational 

What’s so special about this putter? To figure that out, I spoke with TaylorMade’s International Tour Director Chris Trott, who worked directly with McIlroy on building his new putter.

Trott explains that McIlroy showed up to Bay Hill “with a different kind of confidence” that week. His caddie, Harry Diamond, showed up to the TaylorMade Tour Truck on Monday night (McIlroy wasn’t on site Monday) with a previous putter of McIlroy’s — a Scotty Cameron that he won multiple majors with, according to Trott — and he wanted to have a new putter built that matched up with the specs of it. “He came with a plan and he wanted to be on spec,” says Trott. So the TaylorMade team sent Harry off to the hotel Monday night with a TaylorMade TP Soto with no face insert, one with an insert, some other variations, and they sent him back to the hotel with a few Spiders, as well, according to Trott.

But since Trott says that McIlroy liked the feel of his previous gamer, Trott thought it was best to send a request back to TaylorMade’s offices in Carlsbad for a TP Black Copper Soto with a midslant neck and a Suryln insert in preparation for McIlroy’s arrival the next day. “Nine out of 10 times we already have a head with the insert in it [inside the tour truck], but this putter is so new,” says Trott. “It’s not even out yet.”

Trott says McIlroy showed up to the Tour Truck the next morning, but he “wasn’t enamored” with the options, although he did fancy the solid face Soto. Here’s the photo notes that Trott took of the solid-faced Soto that McIlroy liked.

Good thing Trott sent that request back to the office, though! The first words out of McIlroy’s mouth when he saw the new TP Black Copper Soto slant neck proto with the Suryln insert, according to Trott, were “Hmm, that’s nice.” But he wanted to tweak the specs. He wanted the putter an eighth of an inch shorter and 3-to-4 swingweight points lighter. Eventually, Trott also added 0.25 degrees of loft to the face compared to McIlroy’s gamer, and made it 1-degree more upright.

The new putter Trott concocted also had a Golf Pride Tradition grip on it, and McIlroy had him change it to a TaylorMade Red Cap Pistol grip.

So, McIlroy took to the putting green with the solid face Soto and the Black Copper slant neck proto with the Surlyn insert. After a few drills, McIlroy decided he liked the feel and look of the Trott concoction, and while he really liked the Black Copper finish, he did have concerns about how it would hold up in the weather.

In the end, McIlroy decided on the TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto proto. Here are the photo notes that Trott took from inside the trailer while holding McIlroy’s (eventual) winning putter.

The numbers in the photo above mean the specs of McIlroy’s putter are as follows:

  • Weight: 508.3 grams
  • Swing weight: D1
  • Lie angle: 71.25 degrees
  • Loft: 2.75 degrees
  • Length: 34.25 inches

Here are photos that we shot of the putter on Tuesday of the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play:

It’s safe to say McIlroy made the right decision for Bay Hill, and according to Trott, he’ll likely be sticking with the putter going forward. And if not, surely Trott and his team will be there with 7-10 more putter options for McIlroy to try out and hand-pick from. Must be nice to be Rory!

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Rory’s putter in our forums.

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Spotted: Phil Mickelson’s Callaway Mack Daddy PM-Grind “2.0” prototype wedge



More than three years ago, Callaway released a Mack Daddy PM Grind — PM stands for Phil Mickelson — that had a raised toe section for a higher center of gravity. Mickelson liked the PM Grind wedges because the designs allowed him to get more spin on open-faced shots, and also because they created a low trajectory with more spin on square-faced shots, said Roger Cleveland in 2015.

Since 2015, Mickelson has been playing various lofts of Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind wedges, and with various amounts of lead tape.

On Tuesday at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event, however, we spotted a new Mack Daddy PM Grind “2.0” wedge in his bag that has a different look. Is this the introduction of a new wedge release from Callaway?!


We spoke to a Callaway representative who, in so many words, said this is just Phil being Phil and tinkering with equipment, not a product launch.

“This is a Phil-specific prototype version of the Mack Daddy PM-Grind Wedge,” said a Callaway representative. “We built it specifically for him. He likes to tweak his clubs, of course, and this is just an example of that. Always a tinkerer!”
We’ll be sure to update you on more information about the PM Grind 2.0 prototype wedge when we have it.
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19th Hole