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Nike VR_S Covert Fairway Woods: Editor Review

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Pros: We love the adjustability of the VR_S Covert Tour fairway woods ($249), which gives golfers five different lofts and three different face angles to choose from. That makes them the most adjustable fairway woods you can buy. The Covert Tour is lower spinning and less forgiving than Nike’s non-adjustable standard model, the VR_S Covert ($199), but both models are pretty forgiving for their sizes.

Cons: They’re not quite as long as their competitors — notably Callaway’s X Hot or TaylorMade’s RBZ Stage 2 fairway woods — because they’re not as low spinning. Some golfers who fit into the standard model will be bummed that it lacks adjustability.

Bottom Line: The adjustability of the Covert Tour fairway woods makes them great for tinkerers — golfers who want to use their 3 woods as a second driver one day and a second-shot club the next. Most PGA Tour players have gravitated toward the standard model, which is higher spinning, more forgiving and has a softer, quieter sound. Both models come with “real deal” Mitsubishi Rayon Kurokage shafts, making them a lot of fairway wood for the money.

Overview

Nike’s VR_S Covert and Covert Tour fairway woods feature the same cavity-back technology as Nike’s VR_S Covert drivers, which allowed engineers to increase the amount of perimeter weighting to make the clubs more forgiving. They also have Nike’s NexCor steel faces, which Nike says creates longer shots across a wider area of the face.

The standard, or “Performance” model, comes in two lofts: 3 wood (15 degrees) and 5 wood (19 degrees) with a Mitsubishi Rayon’s Kurokage Black 60 shaft in regular, stiff and x-stiff flexes. Check out the specs below.

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 Above: Nike Covert “Performance” 5 wood.

Covert 3 Wood (15 degrees)

  • Club Head Size: 181 cubic centimeters
  • Length: 43 inches
  • Lie: 57 degrees
  • Face angle: 1.5 degrees open
  • Head weight: 214 grams
  • Swing weight: D1 to D3

Covert 5 wood (19 degrees)

  • Club Head Size: 160 cubic centimeters
  • Length: 42 inches
  • Lie: 58 degrees
  • Face angle: 1.5 degrees open
  • Head weight: 218 grams
  • Swing weight: D1 to D3

The Covert Tour is also available in two models — 3 wood and 5 wood. But Nike’s FlexLoft system gives each model five different loft settings and three independent face angle settings: N or neutral, which sets up square, R or right, which opens the face 1.5 degrees and L or left, which closes the face 1.5 degrees.

nike covert fairway

Above is the Nike Covert 3 wood crown

They come stock with Mitsubishi’s Kurokage Silver 70 shafts, which are lower launching and lower spinning than the Kurokage Black shafts, and are available in regular, stiff and x-stiff flexes.

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Covert 3 Wood Sole (Cavity) Photo above

Covert Tour 3 Wood (13 to 17 degrees)

  • Club Head Size: 194 cubic centimeters
  • Length: 43 inches
  • Lie angle: 58 degrees
  • Face angle (in neutral): 1 degree open
  • Head weight: 214.5 grams
  • Swing weight: D3 to D5

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Above photos is the Covert Tour 3 wood Face

Covert Tour 5 wood (17 to 21 degrees)

  • Club Head Size: 177 cubic centimeters
  • Length: 42 inches
  • Lie angle: 59 degrees
  • Face angle (in neutral): 1 degree open
  • Head weight: 224.5 grams
  • Swing weight: D3 to D5

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Above: Nike Covert Tour 5 wood.

Performance

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Above: The Covert Tour (left) has Nike’s FlexLoft system, giving it 15 different possible loft and face angle settings. 

According to Nike Product Line Manager Tony Dabbs, the Covert Tour is about 300 to 400 rpm lower spinning, and about 0.75 degrees lower launching than the standard version for PGA Tour players. Neither model is going to be as low spinning as Callaway’s X Hot or TaylorMade’s RBZ Stage 2 fairway woods, two of the longest fairway woods that we’ve tested, but Dabbs said that was by design.

“We have issues with a lot of our tour players hitting 3 wood too far,” Dabbs said. “They’re not looking for a 330-yard 3 wood.”

Dabbs said that the faces of the Covert fairway woods are just as hot as the leaders, but that the company decided to make this version of fairway woods with a little more spin and a higher launch to give golfers more playability and control.

Click here to watch a video on why Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods play the Performance model of the Nike Covert fairway woods.

For golfers with less swing speed, or those who have trouble hitting their fairway woods high enough, the standard head will make sense. It’s smaller, has a shallower face, and comes with a higher-launching, higher spinning shaft. Players who are looking to reduce spin will favor the Covert Tour, which is larger, has a deeper face, and has a shaft that will offer a more penetrating trajectory.

Golfers who fit in-between the heads will likely be more concerned with appearance and adjustability, which could play a bigger role than launch monitor numbers.

The FlexLoft system on the Covert Tour is a game changer for golfers who have struggled to get the correct loft and face angle combination in their fairway woods. In most models, lowering the loft means opening the face angle, while raising the loft means closing the face angle. The Covert Tour allows golfers to change the face angle independently of loft, meaning that regardless how the loft is set they can still get an opened, closed or neutral face angle at address.

Keep in mind that while the primary purpose of changing the face angle of a club is to influence the starting line of a shot (opened faces start the ball more right, closed faces start the ball more left), those adjustments will also influence dynamic loft — the actual loft of the part of the club that hits the ball at impact. For example, if a club has a more opened face angle, golfers will be forced to rotate the club more closed to square the club face at impact. This will reduce dynamic loft, resulting in a lower launch and lower spin. The opposite is true of closed face angles.

The nice thing about the Covert Tour fairway woods is that unless a golfer is at the upper or lower end of the loft range, he or she can bump the loft up or down to dial in the proper amount of launch and spin for their face angle setting.

Looks/Feel

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Above: The Covert fairway woods at address. Notice the bigger hosel on the Tour model (right). 

The Covert Tour fairway wood is slightly bigger in every respect than the standard model. It starts with the FlexLoft hosel, which had to be made bigger than standard hosels to accomodate the dual-axis mechanism that makes independent loft and and lie adjustments possible. The face is also taller, which will add confidence when the ball is teed up. But it could scare lower swing speed players when they try to hit the club off the ground. It also has a higher-pitched, louder sound than the standard model, which feels a little harsher on mishits.

Both clubs have the same red crown Nike Swoosh logo, but the Tour model has a black finish on the face and the sole that we think makes it look more stealthy.

The Takeaway

The Covert fairway woods aren’t longest fairway woods on the market, but they’re certainly one of the most forgiving — especially the Performance model. Better golfers who want a new fairway wood they can play straight off the rack will enjoy the Covert Tour, which has a stout stock shaft option and enough adjustability to get most golfers the results they want.

Gearheads might be tempted to do what many tour players have done — experiment with heavier, low-spin shafts in in the Performance head. That could ultimately give them the best of both worlds, meaning they could end up with a club that allows them to hit high, low-spin bombs from the tee, fairway and light rough. Of course, the Performance head doesn’t have the face angle or loft adjustability that comes with the tour head, so they better like the way the club looks at address.

Check out more photos of the Covert and Covert Tour fairway woods below, and click here to see what members are saying about the clubs in the forums. 

 

Click here to see what members are saying about the clubs in the forums.

 

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. dr.eva steinharter

    Dec 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    is it true that nike is discontinuing ladies covert
    fairways-woods?

  2. MCM

    Aug 22, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    ?????

  3. Robert

    Jun 10, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Great review. I’m killing the 3 wood tour. Off the deck or tee its going in the bag now. Sits perfect on the ground and Nike has done an excellent job with this years metal woods.

  4. Sam

    Jun 2, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I never thought I’d own a Nike golf club. After I tried just about every 3 wood at my club this year, I liked the Nike Covert Tour the best.
    It might not be as long as the X-Hot or the Rocketballz but that can be attributed to the fact the shaft is an inch shorter.

    • Adam

      Jun 7, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      I agree Sam. I went to Dicks saying I would never buy a Nike club. But after hitting all the drivers it came down to the nike and the rocketballz. I Choose Nike. I liked the adjust-ability which ultimately gave me straighter drives. The Nike is registered an average of 109 club speed and the rocketballz was 111-12 for me. Oh, and they finally fixed the sound of the nike club. Its very nice.

  5. Pingback: Nike VR_S Covert Fairway Woods: Editor Review – GolfWRX | Golf Products Reviews

  6. Jack

    May 31, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Crap clubs for the junior wannabes at the local muni. Real players learned a long time ago that Nike retail is junk.

    • Scott

      Jun 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      Ignorant comment Jack.

      • Harry

        Sep 16, 2013 at 6:36 am

        Jack, try telling the best player in the world that his clubs are junk.

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: EV3D putters

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We hear the buzz words “3D printed” all the time these days. It’s a newer technology that has shown to have lots of applications in other industries, but golf hasn’t been one of those until now. 3D printing a putter is a pretty new adventure, but EV3D Golf is showing that it is going to be much more common very soon.

EV3D Golf is bringing new putter designs to us golfers that CANNOT be made through traditional casting or milling. 3D printing is the process of creating a putter layer-by-layer, allowing any supported shape you can think of. Even hollow designs like EV3D’s signature lattice features!

This gives EV3D engineers the ability to create putters that push the limits of MOI, feel, and of course look. The intricate lattice design does more than just look really cool, it also helps move weight to the outside and rear of the putter, increasing MOI in all models. All EV3D putters are printed from a combination of 420 stainless steel and bronze. This alloy gives the putter its responsive feel, excellent durability, and the ability to offer 3 finishes. They also offer a ton of different hosel designs to fit your eye and putting stroke, all are 3D printed as well. EV3D even adds custom touches like text in the cavity, different site lines, and paint fill to make it your own. Right now they offer 6 different head shapes, but if none of those are what you are looking for, they will work with you to print your dream putter from scratch!

We got our hands on 2 models, the EV3D Golf Ares X and Hades, to take out to the course and putt with. In hand the first thing that grabs your eye’s attention is the intricate lattice work on the putters.

All you want to do is hold the putter closer to your face and see how the heck they did it. At the right angles you can actually see through that lattice structure, but we were told that debris getting stuck in there isn’t an issue. The next thing you will notice is the rough texture of the head. This is created by the process of 3D printing the head, showing off the layers of material used to build the shape of the head. I don’t know if was intended but that rough texture does help with reducing glare, making the putters easy on the eyes even in the brightest conditions.

I personally really like the Antique Bronze finish, but EV3D does offer a Natural and Slate Black finish to suit your personal taste. Out on the putting green the Ev3D putters performed really well, offering a hefty dose of forgiveness and a crisp feel and sound. Traditionally modes like the Hades don’t offer much in the way of forgiveness compared to mallets, but the Hades shocked me with its off-center putts. Putts hit off the heel or toe stayed on line much better and I even made a couple that had no business even being close to the hole.

Distance loss on those mishits is about what you would expect, coming up a little short, but defiantly not a drastic difference. Since the EV3D line doesn’t have any fancy face milling, I was a little worried about the initial roll and if the ball would hop or skid. Initial contact was great, only met with a tiny bit of skid before rolling out. Nothing that I think effected even my longest putts. The feel off the face is something that reminds you of a quieter classic Ping BeCu putter, crisp with an audible click. If you are looking for a silent impact, like an Odyssey Microhinge, then the EV3D line might not be your cup of tea. If you are on a quest for exceptional responsiveness on well struck and mishit putts then you should be very pleased with any of the EV3D putter models. The feel of impact is a little firmer than I think we are all used to these days with so many inserts and deep milling. The crisp feel and slightly more audible EV3D is somewhat refreshing and mishit putts are extremely easy to recognize.

Overall, the EV3D putters are a solid offering from a new company utilizing a new technology in the golf club space. With all the combinations of putter heads, site lines, and hosels, I can’t see you not being able to find a putter that fits your eye. Looks for any putter are going to be subjective, but there is no denying that EV3D is pushing the limits at a time where we see a lot of similar putter designs from all manufacturers. And if you are the type of person who wants to create an original design of your own that has never been done, EV3D is waiting for that call to help you take your idea from thought to printed putter head! Check the entire EV3D putter line at the company website.

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Top 5 golf grips of all time

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Tour Velvet Cord Golf Grip

Grips might seem simple, but there is a lot that goes into making good ones. From formulating compounds, and adding color, to creating tooling to make sure they hit all of the required specs. Grips are often the most overlooked part of a golf club, and they shouldn’t be. The grip is the singular connection you as a player have with your clubs, and it should offer equal amounts of control and comfort, depending on how often you play and the weather conditions.

Yes, golfers generally pay a lot of attention to their putter grip,s but when it comes to the rest of a set, many golfers will just say “give me whatever is stock,” which is not a great idea.

These are the top-five grips of all time.

Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Tour velvet Cord Grips

How could we begin to talk about great grips without starting with the Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord? It’s the gold standard of durable all-weather performance. A soft rubber infused with a tight-weave cotton twill fiber (cord) adds additional traction that you just can’t get from an all-rubber grip on its own. It’s the most-used cord grip on tour and a favorite of golfers needing weather defying traction. (Honourable mention the classic non-corded Tour Velvet)

Winn Grips Excel

Winn Excel soft golf grip

The Winn Excel might not be the most durable or best all-weather grip ever made, but I challenge anyone to find a grip that offers greater comfort for fair-weather golfers, or players needing maximum shock absorption. The Winn Excel is Winn’s number-one selling grip of all time by a large margin, and speaking from experience, I have installed my fair share of full cases of these back in my big box retail golf days. From Winn “The Excel grip has been hailed by arthritic and hand fatigue sufferers as the reason they can still play golf.” With that in mind any product that is able to help golfers enjoy the game more belongs on the list!

Lamkin Crossline Cord

Another cord grip might seem like an odd addition to the list, but hear me out. Grip aficionados will tell you right away why they prefer the Lamkin Crossline Cord over others on the market. The taper is slightly different, the cord is a bit rougher, and for those in need of anything bigger than a standard grip—the Lamkin Crossline Cord is the ONLY full cord grip on the market that comes in an oversized option (weighing in at a whopping 76g). That alone makes it unique and earns its spot in the top five.

Iomic Sticky

Iomic Stick Golf Grips

Bold, colorful, and tacky are all words best used to describe the Iomic Sticky grip. It was one of, if not the first, mainstream grips in North America to offer a HUGE selection of color options and there’s a scientific reason why. Iomic grips are made from an elastomer resin, which is neutral in color: this means that any change to the color won’t change the weight of the grip, and that means you can mix and match up your set without having to worry about changing feel. It also gives grip designers endless freedom to come up with wild combinations too. According to Iomic, the elastomer resin offers a number of distinct advantages over rubber which includes lower torque, greater durability, and all-weather traction.

Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound

Golf Pride New Decade golf grips

Easily making its way into the top five is the Multi-Compound or as many call them the NDMCs. This grip was a game-changer for Golf Pride and the industry as a whole. It made grips “show up” on TV and got regular golfers to rethink their grip buying habits from just plain rubber to multi-material colorful options. From a performance perspective, the NDMC offers the best of both worlds, cord on the top (gloved hand) and a softer material under the bottom hand for additional traction and comfort.  Still considered a premium option, you can find New Decade grips on a lot of OEM stock products.

What do you think GolfWRXers? Are their any grips you think belong in the top five that aren’t included? Any that are included you don’t think should be?

 

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Tour professionals and their Vokey wedges”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from SMAC43 who created a topic dedicated to Tour player’s love of Vokey wedges. SMAC43 asks fellow members just why so many Tour pros choose to play Vokey wedges, and WRXers weigh in with their reasoning.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say on the topic at the link below.

  • Downtown_Brown_4: “I think it has a lot to do with Aaron Dill. He’s able to take feedback from the players and custom grind anything they could ever want.”
  • straightshot7: “Vokey is probably what most of them played with as a junior and in college. Some guys don’t like to tinker with their short game equipment. Vokey is tried and true.”
  • Matty01984: “Vokey’s definitely seem to be the most popular wedge out there, and they have been for some time. The grind options and the guys that Titleist have working for them are definitely a big part of that. Interesting to see them cropping up in bags of guys that are on staff with other companies.”
  • Pepperturbo: “Remember, next to putters, wedges are the most used clubs on the PGA Tour. For that reason, Tour players replace wedges multiple times per year. A few players with contracts have been known to replace them every two-three months. However, if a tour player uses forged wedges, they are replaced more often because the sole and grooves wear quite fast with excessive use; cast not so much. I played forged for years before switching to Vokey SM6 when they were introduced; still have them in the bag too, even though I practice near daily with the LW. Last but just as important. Even though wedge grooves wear a good player can still spin the ball. Spin is about how you impact the ball and speed.”

Entire Thread: “Tour professionals and their Vokey wedges”

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