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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).
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.
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.
“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.
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).