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Tech Talk: Nike’s New VR_S Covert Irons

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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 GolfWRX.com. 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.

29 Comments

29 Comments

  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

    gqluinnahihf

  8. ofdorlqzdenx

    Mar 28, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    oizzmvrdjblq

  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.

  15. Pingback: Gear On Tour: Children’s Miracle Classic | The Best Selection of Golf Equipment, Golf Apparel and Golf Shoes at Golf Equipment Review in association with Amazon

  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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Equipment

Members’ Choice: The top-5 drivers that golfers want to test in 2018

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Golf’s “off-season” is upon us and the PGAM Show in Orlando is quickly approaching in January, which means it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming driver releases.

We’ve seen a few companies launch their “2018” lines already — such as Cobra with its new King F8 and F8+ — while speculation swirls around the companies who have yet to announce their newest products. For instance, we’ve spotted a new “TaylorMade M4″ driver, and a new “Rogue” driver from Callaway. If history repeats itself and Titleist remains on a two-year product cycle, then we’ll see a replacement for the 917 line sometime in 2018, as well.

The question we posed to our GolfWRX Members recently was, which new or unreleased driver has you most excited heading into 2018? Below are the results and a selection of comments about each driver.

Click here to join the discussion!

Note: The comments below have been minimally edited for brevity and grammar. 

Titleist (7.39 percent of votes)

BDoubleG: I know it’s well down the road, but the Titleist 919 is what I’m most looking forward to. I played the 910 until this year and loved it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting much in the way of distance gains with the 915/917, and I was just leaving too many yards on the table. I know it’s a cliche, but I was seeing considerable gains with my G400LS, then my M2 I have now.

I feel like Titleist has been hurting in the driver market share category (and probably elsewhere), as I think a lot of people think that the 913, 915 and 917 have been minor refreshes in a world where almost everyone else has been experimenting with structure (jailbreak, turbulators) or with COG (spaceports, SLDR, G-series extreme back CG). I think if Titleist is going to recapture some of their market share, they will need to start taking an interest in stepping outside of their comfort zone to catch up with everyone else. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but a D2-style head with ample forgiveness and low-spin (maybe a back-front weight), with the same great sound of the 917, and hopefully getting rid of the “battery taped to the sole” look would be a huge hit in my book.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with…and I hope I’m not disappointed.

Mizuno GT-180 or otherwise (8.87 percent of votes)

mrmikeac: After thoroughly testing the Mizuno ST-180 and seeing the distance gains I was getting from my Epic, I can’t wait for the GT to get here. Cobra would be next in line for me, but Mizzy really did something special with that JPX-900 and it seems to look like they’re going the same route with these drivers. Excellent feel, forgiveness and simple but effective tech. 

Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero or otherwise (17.73 percent of votes)

cvhookem63: It seems like we’re not getting a lot of “NEW” this time — just some same lines “improved” on a little. I’m interested to try the Rogue line and M3/M4 line to see if they improved on their previous models. The Cobra F8+ is intriguing to me, as well. I’d like to compare those three to see how they stack up. 

tj7644: Callaway Rogue. It’s gotta make me hit straighter drives right? It sure can’t be my swing…

Equipto: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, and that’s about it. Most of my testing will be with shafts I presume. 

bangabain: Excited to give the Rogue a shot, although with the hope that there’s a little more fade bias despite the lack of sliding weight.

TaylorMade M3, M4 or otherwise (27.09 percent of votes)

DeCuchi: TaylorMade M3 of course, and the F8+. I’m more interested in the fairways this year though. TaylorMade M4 fairways and Rogue fairways are top of my list. 

elwhippy: TaylorMade M3 and M4. Not owned a TM driver for several seasons and want something with a bit more power than the Ping G Series…

cradd10: M3. Still rocking an OG M1. Super solid driver. Curious to see if the updated version can beat it. 

Cobra F8/F8+ (33.66 percent of votes)

WAxORxDCxSC: I sure want to like the F8 based on looks (I understand I’m possibly in the minority on that one at GolfWRX).

TWshoot67: For me, it’s three drivers: the Cobra F8, F8+ and TM M4. 

The General: Cobra F8 is going to dominate everything, just wait, on the F8

Ace2000: Definitely F8/F8+. Love my Bio Cell+ and can’t help but wonder if these perform as good as they look. 

Click here to join the discussion!

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Equipment

True Linkswear goes back to its spikeless roots

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True Linkswear is getting back to its roots, while expanding the singular golf shoe brand’s reach at the same time.

The Tacoma, Washington, company’s Director/Partner, Justin Turner, told us that with the release of the two new models, the company is course-correcting from a move toward the mainstream, spiked golf shoes, and a loss of identity.

In addition to durability issues, Turner said the core True Linkswear customer didn’t appreciate the shift — or the deluge of models that followed.

So, in a sense, the two-model lineup both throws a bone to True devotees and casts a wider net.

Turner and company asked: “If we wanted to restart the brand….what would we value?” A commitment to the brand’s core outsider identity, style as articulated in early models, and an emphasis on quality led Turner on multiple trips to China to survey suppliers in early 2017. Eventually, the company settled on a manufacturing partner with a background in outdoor gear and hiking shoes.

“We’ve spent the last few years scouring the globe for the best material sourcing, reputable factories, advanced construction techniques, and time-tested fundamentals to build our best shoes yet. No cheap synthetics, no corners cut.”

Eventually, True settled on two designs: The Original, which, not surprisingly, has much in common with the zero-drop 2009 industry disrupting model, and the Outsider: a more athletic-style shoe positioned to attract a broader audience.

True Linkswear Original: $149

The company emphasizes the similarity in feel between the Original and early True Linkswear models, suggesting that players will feel and connect to the course “in a whole new way.”

  • Gray, White, Black colorways
  • Waterproof full grain leather
  • Thin sole with classic True zero-drop heel
  • 12.1 oz
  • Sockfit liner for comfort
  • Natural width box toe

True Linkswear Outsider: $169

With the Outsider, True Linkswear asked: “What if a golf shoe could be more? Look natural in more environments?”

  • Grey/navy, black, white colorways
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Full grain waterproof leather
  • 13.1 oz (thicker midsole than the Original)

The company envisions both shoes being worn on course and off.

True Linkswear introduced the more durable and better-performing Cross Life Tread with both models. Turner says the tread is so good, you can wear the shoes hiking.

Both models are available now through the company website only. True Linkswear plans to enter retail shops slowly and selectively.

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Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker’s Winning WITBs from the 2017 QBE Shootout

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The team of Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair closed the QBE Shootout with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot win over Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. O’Hair made a timely eagle on the par-5 17th hole at Tiburon Golf Club to lock up the first place prize of $820,000 ($410,000 each).

Here’s a look at their bags.

Sean O’Hair

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Prototype 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Limited Edition 70TX

5 Wood: Titleist 915F (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ Limited Edition 80TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4-iron), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 prototype (50, 54 and 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron prototype

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Related: Sean O’Hair WITB

Steve Stricker

Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.2X

3 Wood: Titleist 915F (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Pro White 80TX Prototype

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 (17.0 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2X

Irons: Titleist 718 CB (3-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour Prototype

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (46, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 w/ Sensicore

Putter: Odyssey White Hot 2

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Related: Steve Stricker WITB 2017

Note: We originally reported Stricker had a Scotty Cameron putter in the bag, per Titleist’s equipment report. Stricker did, however, have a Odyssey White Hot putter in play during the final round of the QBE Shootout.

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