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Equipment

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

SPOTTED: New Callaway Forged irons… Apex or Legacy?

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Photos of a new Callaway Forged iron popped up in our GolfWRX Forums, and our members are trying to figure out whether they’re going to be replacements for Apex Pro irons, or whether they’re an update on the Legacy series. They could also be X-Forged irons, but since Callaway recently came out with new X-Forged irons, that would be unlikely.

Here’s what GolfWRX Members are saying:

  • elwhippy: A new Legacy iron? Looks a bit Japanese shaped. 
  • mattTHEkatt: Like an X-Forged/Legacy Black mashup. They look powerful. 
  • DTown3011: …gotta be the next Apex!
  • J13: Pics look like a newer legacy black.
  • mgholda: Pics look like a newer legacy black.
  • TheMoneyShot: I thought Cally was going to phase out the Apex name after they released the MBs?
  • john443: A larger cavity in these then the X- Forged… competitor to the 750 and AP3 maybe? …or Legacy Black finally brought to retail…hallelujah. CF16 replacement???!
  • Equipto: These look very sharp, and like thumpers. I don’t care if they are a Legacy Black or Apex replacement, call them whatever… i’ll try them 
  • mrmikeac: Next gen Callaway Apex Legacy? Hmmmm…..
  • Brizam: The Legacy Black might be the best players cavity back ever made.  If they were to become available they’d move straight to the top of the list of clubs to buy for me. 
  • Jourdan M: This is the Apex Pro 

Here are photos of the new Callaway irons we spotted

Previous Apex Pro irons

Previous Legacy irons

Which one do you think the new iron looks like? 

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Equipment

Wilson’s new FG Tour V6 RAW irons (yes, they will rust)

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Wilson came out with its FG Tour V6 irons in 2016, but these new Raw versions have a different look… and with time, they’ll have a VERY different look.

The new FG Tour V6 Raw irons have an unplated finish, and they’re designed to “develop a unique patina based on age, exposure and use over time,” according to Wilson. This gives each iron a unique look, and one that’s far from the clean cut original FG Tour release that had a chrome finish (which won’t rust).

In addition to the rusting effect, the irons are different because they have a copper badge in the cavity that will eventually match the color of the golf club over time. Here’s a graphic mock-up of how the Raw irons may look overtime.

Like the original releases, the irons have tungsten weights and mass behind the impact area for a “forged feel” and “improved feedback,” according to the company.

The FG Tour V6 Raw irons are a custom option on Wilson.com, and are available through Wilson’s premium partner accounts as of today, Tuesday, June 19. According to Wilson, the Raw irons “are a very limited production run,” so only a certain amount of sets will even be built.

 

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Equipment

Chief Engineer Chris Voshall on Mizuno’s approach to the Tour and some of the most insightful pros

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Mizuno’s Chief Engineer Chris Voshall chatted with Johnny Wunder on the latest episode of the Gear Dive.

Voshall offers innumerable interesting anecdotes–particularly interesting is the development of the JPX 900 iron for Brooks Koepka and Voshall’s discussion of his work with other Tour talents.

In the excerpt below, however, Voshall discusses Mizuno’s approach to Tour players and further, whose feedback has proven particularly valuable.

“We’re not making them something special. If they’re coming to us, it’s because the product is that good…They come to us instead of us having to go to them…that’s one of the really exciting things.”

Voshall indicated that players on Tour play essentially the same Mizuno products that are available at retail.

“If the Tour van is out of inventory, they can reach out to us…and we’ll get them more heads. There’s nothing unique about what they’re playing, which I think speaks to the customer…you can almost not trust marketing around the whole world these days, but for us to say ‘there’s nothing different’…that’s something we really hang our hat on.”

With respect to excellent testers on Tour, Voshall sang Luke Donald’s praises, as well as Jhonny Vegas and Brian Gay.

“I love working with Luke. Luke, especially when you’re talking irons…turf interaction, that’s the thing he’s looking for. So with Luke, you’ve really got to speak to him about how it feels, how it enter, how it exits [the turf] and how that’s causing the ball to launch. You could give him the exact same head with a slightly different sole grind, and he will love or hate one versus the other. He’s really cool to work with on that front.”

“Jhonny Vegas…he’s raw power. He goes at it. He wants to slam the club into the ground as hard as he can and see where it goes. He very much on the opposite end of the spectrum as Luke, who’s very much an artist out there, trying to work it, trying to do different things.”

“One of my favorite guys to work with, even though he’s not on staff anymore, is Brian Gay. He knows his game. He knows equipment. Speaking to the fact that he’s been out on Tour as long as he has and has the wins he has with the length he hits the ball, it shows that he does not miss a shot. And he knows everything…when he makes a comment on a club, that’s the one that I take most serious.”

For the rest of Voshall’s insights and perspective, give the full podcast a listen below.

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