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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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What GolfWRXers are saying about iron covers

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@thegolfinggreen

In our forums, our members have been discussing iron covers with WRXer ‘anythingfinite’ championing the use of iron covers when walking. As a walker, ‘anythingfinite’ says

“I hated the sound of clubs clanking together with every step. So I used neoprene iron covers and endured the ridicule for years. They never, ever slowed my play as I average 18 holes in a little over 2.5hrs playing by myself. It was never about protecting resale value, just about the noise.”

And our members have been discussing iron covers and whether they currently use them or would be tempted to use them in the future.

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

  • jvincent: “Clanking irons in the bag is like the sound of metal spikes on a path. It’s old school golf.”
  • Z1ggy16: “Toss your club cleaning towel in the clubs to help stop them from clanking *as much*. You can also use your one hand to kind of hold some of them in place as you walk.”
  • Windlaker_1: “I use the neoprene covers. Not for resale value, as I normally keep them so long they aren’t worth diddley-poo at that point. Use them to maintain a nice-looking set of irons.”
  • MtlJeff: “I don’t really notice it that much when I walk, to be honest. Maybe its how I arrange my clubs….If the clanging is bothering me, you can just move the clubs slightly, and it usually mitigates it. But if you’re like, breakdancing down the fairway, tough to stop it.”
  • puttingmatt: “It’s your choice. I use iron covers, lets me not forget a club around the green, as the cover in pocket is a quick reminder that something is a miss. Also, it’s a good way to protect your clubs, and at these prices, makes you wonder why not since woods and putters are sold with covers that are intended to be used. One other note, it may keep others from assessing what’s in the bag, and keep a thief wondering if the bag is worth the effort. Hate the feeling about club theft, but clubs are targets.”

Entire Thread: “Confessions of an iron cover user”

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Is 8 degrees between pitching wedge and sand wedge too much? – GolfWRXers have their say

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In our forums, our members have been discussing gapping degrees and whether 8-degrees between your PW and SW is too much. WRXer ‘jonsnow’ seldom hits his GW and is considering dropping the club from the bag and wants to know, if he does so, will the current 8-degree gap between his wedges be too much. Our members have their say.

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

  • ZA206: “For years I played a 47 PW and a 56 SW. I had a big hole in my scoring irons range (115-105 yards) that I tried to avoid at all costs. It cost me many strokes over the years. I felt like that gap was way too big and eventually settled on 46, 51, 55 (I also play a 60 LW) as my preferred setup. No gaps and I can hit every yardage without any issue. I’m a much better wedge player now than I ever was back then, but that’s not due to having more wedges, that’s more about technique.”
  • RainShadow: “In theory, yes. In actual real world action, depends on how many types of shots you can hit with the PW.”
  • MtlJeff: “I’ve played with 52 to 60 gaps. It depends on what type of shots you want to hit. I never chip with sand wedge and would rather hit a 3/4 shot with a 52 than a full with a 56. So it all depends on your game.”
  • bazinky: “A lot depends on how often you have shots in that yardage range. For example, I replaced my 50 and 54 with a single 52 wedge because I hardly ever had a yardage that required my 50 (I would sometimes go weeks without ever hitting it). That said, my biggest gap is 6 degrees. I think it’s doable as long as you have the discipline to be smart when you have a bad yardage. It can be tough to just aim for the fat of the green when you have a wedge in your hand.”
  • Pingistheanser: “I don’t think so. I’m more of a believer that you should pick lofts based upon the distances that you need to hit from. If those lofts allow you to hit distances that you need to hit, then they’re fine for you. I’m not a believer that you should have 4-degree gaps between your wedges because what good is a club that you never hit because you never find yourself in that distance range? For a time last year, I carried a 46-degree AW and a 56 degree as my only wedges, and they worked just fine. I’d sometimes have to make some adjustments if I found myself 90 yards off of the green because it would be too far for the 56, so I would just narrow my stance, grip down a bit and only swing the AW at about 75%.”

Entire Thread: “Is 8 degrees between PW and SW too much?”

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Are modern irons with stronger lofts easier/harder to hit than older irons? – GolfWRXers have their say

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In our forums, our members have been discussing modern irons with stronger lofts and whether they are easier or harder to play than older irons. WRXer ‘harpu728’ kicks off the thread saying:

“Being that higher-lofted irons within the same set are easier to hit (i.e. an 8 iron is easier to hit than a 6 iron), I’m trying to draw comparisons to modern irons with stronger lofts, and if these lofts make them harder to hit in theory.

My 10-year-old’s 7 iron is 33 degrees and carries about 150. When comparing this to some of the newer sets out there where 7-irons are slightly longer (club length) and have lofts of 30 degrees, would this mean that ‘on paper’ the modern 7-iron is ‘harder’ to hit than my 10-year old’s 7 iron? Or should I be comparing my 7-iron to the modern 8-iron, which would likely carry as far as my current 7-iron?”

And our members have been weighing in with their thoughts in our forum.

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

  • CAT GOLFER: “Good question, the way I understand it, disregard the number on the bottom of the club. A stronger(lower) loft in newer irons will produce a higher ball flight than the weaker(higher) loft in older clubs. At least that is the marketing pitch. The intent is to make it easier to launch the ball higher and in the process easier to hit. Also, keep in mind modern clubs also have more forgiveness built into them. Stronger lofted, higher launching, easier to hit if you buy the whole pitch.”
  • Sean2: “I don’t pay attention to the number on the club, so much as the loft. With the stronger lofts, I have no long irons in my bag as I simply can’t hit them…maybe being 65 has something to do with it as well, lol. At one time I carried 4-iron on down, now it’s 7-iron on down. But no way I can hit a 18º-19º 4-iron, let alone a 21º 5. I have the same number of irons…they just have a different number/letter on them than they did before.”
  • Warrick: “Important to pair the right shaft with these new iron setups, more so than ever.”
  • puttingmatt: “Look at it like this, instead of missing the green with a standard lofted 7 iron, now you can miss the green with the strong lofted 8 iron. I do not think the modern lofted irons translate into better scores or better misses for golfers. The loft alone is not going to turn a 5hc into a scratch player.”
  • lil’mike: “I guess you could say it something like this. Nowadays when you use a 5 iron, you get the height of a 6 iron but the distance of a 4 iron! Lol. I do think that it can make it hard to hold greens with the irons producing lower spin or at least too low of spin like some reviewers have mentioned in some cases. The bad thing about the stronger lofts is that they are getting to the point of needing two-gap wedges now before you reach the loft spacing that a sand wedge loft of 56 degrees has. For example, the new Mavrik irons have two gap wedges. So it is a 4 iron at 18 degrees, a PW is 41, so AW is 46 and GW is 51. I think that is getting ridiculous as they are turning the stock set makeup from 3-PW to 6-double gap wedge! lol”

Entire Thread: “Are modern irons with stronger lofts easier/harder to hit than older irons?”

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