This year Nike Golf released the second generation of its Covert line of drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons — the Covert 2.0 line hit the market in early February and it takes the original line’s combination of length, forgiveness and solid feel to a new level. I’ve been gaming the driver (you can read my review of that here), 5-wood and 4-hybrid, and all contain improvements on the original Covert models. In this post I share my experience with the Covert 2.0 5-wood:
FIRST IMPRESSION: DESIGN/APPEARANCE
The Covert 2.0 fairway wood features the same bright red metallic finish on the crown as its predecessor, as well as the large white swoosh toward the heel. Like the driver, the alignment aid on the crown is the “2.0” from the newly redesigned VR_S Covert 2.0 logo. The sole features a redesigned sole plate with a primarily matte silver finish, new Covert logo, red swoosh and black cavity with red “2.0”.
The Performance fairway wood is a glued version, it does not contain the same FlexLoft adjustability system as the Performance driver or the Tour driver, fairway wood and hybrid. The face features Nike Golf’s NexCOR face technology, which makes the edges of the face thinner than the center, resulting in a larger sweet spot. This creates faster ball speeds across a wider area of the face and results in longer shots. The face of the 2.0 fairway wood has slightly different paint fill coloring in the grooves than the original model.
The Covert 2.0 comes with a redesigned red and white headcover with a full sock to protect the shaft. The stock shaft is the Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Black HBP (60 gram), and the new stock grip is a white Nike Tour Wrap by Golf Pride. Overall my first impression is that the VR_S Covert 2.0 fairway wood looks great and features some nice updates to the technological and visual design details of the original Covert fairway wood.
FIRST IMPRESSION: PERFORMANCE
Like the Covert 2.0 driver, the first thing I noticed in the 2.0 5-wood was its solid feel at impact. The substantial feel of the club head through the impact zone is impressive. The acoustics mirror the feel — the Covert 2.0 gives a solid “thwack” (almost a “thud”) at impact, with no tinny or “plink” sound at all. The Covert 2.0 has a very solid feel, with an overall sensation of the club powering through the ball.
I also noticed was the Covert 2.0 fairway’s improved accuracy — the 2.0 features Nike’s new Fly-Brace technology which reinforces the back of the club head, creating more stability through impact. I notice the club head feels more stable when striking the ball, and my shots seem to go a bit straighter with this model than they did with the original Covert. The Fly-Brace technology is also designed to transfer more energy to the club face (and in turn the ball), creating more distance. I seem to be hitting the Covert 2.0 5-wood a few yards farther than my previous 5-wood (the VR_S 5-wood), but I feel the accuracy I gain from the club head’s stability outweighs the distance I gain, and the distance I do gain might actually be because I’m hitting the ball straighter. I really do notice the stability of the head through impact — for me, straighter is more important than farther, so the increased stability and resulting straighter shots are significantly more beneficial to my game.
The Covert 2.0 also offers great forgiveness on off-center hits. Shots struck away from the center of the club face go straight and far, as they did with the original Covert. The NexCOR face technology’s variable face thickness (thinner the farther you get away from the center) gives amazing distance on mishit shots, and the placement of the mass of the club towards the heel and toe creates perimeter weighting that is responsible for the stability I describe above. That stability keeps the club more square when you miss the middle of the face, producing straighter shots from less than ideal swings.
Overall I’ve been extremely pleased with the performance of the Covert 2.0 5-wood. Notes on the 2.0’s specific performance attributes follow here:
I hit my VR_S 5-wood and the Covert 2.0 5-wood side by side several times at the range — the Covert 2.0 is as long for me as the VR_S, maybe a few yards longer on some shots. I feel my distance gains were secondary to the accuracy I gained with the Covert 2.0 (see below).
The Covert 2.0 has a medium to medium-high ball flight. My understanding is the Performance model that I tested has a higher ball flight than the Tour model, which is reported to have a lower, more penetrating ball flight.
This is where the Covert 2.0 fairway really dominates in my opinion — the Covert 2.0 feels more stable to me than the original Covert, producing more accurate shots. The 2.0 feels really stable through the hitting zone — this stability is due to improved reinforcement of the club head, and its perimeter weighting with the club head’s mass being located towards the heel and toe. I really notice the accuracy on long approach shots — with it’s mid to high ball flight and increased accuracy, the 2.0 produces high-flying, soft landing approach shots that end up closer to the pin.
The Covert 2.0 5-wood has great feel, I can hit it high and low when I need to, and I can work the ball left or right and shape shots when the situation calls for it.
The 2.0 is really forgiving on mishit shots — the NexCOR face gives shots hit off-center just about the same distance as shots struck in the middle of the face. The perimeter weighting keeps the club head from twisting on shots hit towards the heel and toe, producing straighter shots from less than ideal swings.
Like its predecessor, one of the more significant characteristics of the Covert 2.0 is its acoustics. The sound at impact is a distinctively solid “thwack” (almost a “thud”), the sound of a very solid shot. There is no tinny aluminum sound or any hint of a “plink” at impact.
The VR_S Covert 2.0 fairway wood is a great club with noticeable improvements over the original model. The solid feel at impact and superior acoustics again are outstanding. The highlight of the 2.0 is the improved accuracy I’m seeing from the increased stability in the newly reinforced club head. Accuracy and shot shaping ability are excellent. And finally, like the original Covert fairway, the forgiveness on off-center hits is extraordinary. If you are looking for a new fairway wood to add to your arsenal for the 2014 golf season, I highly recommend you check out the VR_S Covert 2.0.
Editor’s note: The product reviewed above was supplied by the manufacturer to the reviewer/author free of charge for reviewing purposes only. The opinions expressed in the review are strictly those of the reviewer/author.