For 2014, Nike’s most dramatic makeover came with the Covert 2.0 irons. I say that because the Covert 2.0 irons look nothing like the first edition Covert irons that were released last year. But let me take a step back and set the background of my review.
As a golfer who started with max game-improvement irons, who then transitioned to Pro Combo irons, who now plays VR Pro Combo forged irons as a single-digit handicapper, I was a little hesitant to test a set of game-improvement irons. Sure there was the unnecessary chip on my shoulder and of course the ill-conceived notions typical of GI irons like, “I can’t hit them because they’re too chunky” or “I can’t work the ball with them” and the worst one “Graphite irons??? Yeah right!”, but mostly it was because I LOVE my Pro Combos.
So excuse any comparisons I may make to my dear Pro Combos, but I can assure you this – the Covert 2.0 packs a lot in an iron. Let’s start.
In my opinion, the Covert 2.0 is a huge upgrade from last year’s version. See comparison below. The most notable differences are a shiny chrome finish, a streamlined look, and a flash of red by the deep cavity in the back of the face. I also love what they did with the base of the iron. There’s no longer “Covert” text, but simply the iron number which I think is a nice and traditional look.
I also think that the all-chrome look is a good change from last year’s two-toned finish. Also new for the Covert 2.0 irons is the use of Golf Pride’s Tour Wrap 2G tacky grip in white.
The white grip though does look really nice on the set.
The other visual feature is of course the graphite shaft. Now, the set does come in a True Temper Dynalite 105 steel shaft, but I choose to review the Kuro Kage 2.0 Black 70 graphite shaft in stiff. In comparison to the steel shaft, it weighs nearly 45 grams less, and I wanted to see how that might impact players. As for looks, the red and black shaft was not a visual distraction by any means.
The last thing I want to address on the looks is the iron’s top line. Most golf snobs are really adamant about having a thin top line because it is what the pros use, but also because they feel that it looks better at address. Truthfully, the Covert 2.0 doesn’t have the thinnest top line for a game improvement club but it is certainly not giant by any means. In fact, the Covert 2.0’s top line did not impact me in any way. It sat behind the ball really well and never felt too chunky. Here’s a comparison against my Pro Combo. Both irons are 8-irons:
The bottom picture is the Covert 2.0. You will see that the red cavity that the 2.0 possesses is not visible at address. In fact, you can’t see it on any of the irons from 3-PW. One noticeable visual similarity to the Pro Combo is that the iron’s NexCOR face is framed by chrome. I thought this was a helpful visual aid at address. Here’s a closer look at the Covert 2.0s face:
First and foremost, the ball just jumps off of the NexCOR face. Flush shots on the sweet spot just sort of take off, and it almost feels like the club is doing most of the work. Off center shots definitely get out there but you can tell when you’ve missed the sweet spot because you can feel it. There are some reports that the Covert 2.0 irons fly higher than most irons, but I saw a similar ball flight to my Pro Combos. Maybe it was the graphite shaft, but the biggest difference I experienced was that it simply flew longer. This caught me by surprise because in some instances I was flying the 6-iron a full 15 or 20 yards further than my Pro Combo.
When I checked out the specs I realized that the Covert 2.0 has stronger lofts than my Pro Combos and are an inch or so longer in some irons. I believe these factors really impacted the distance gains. The 6-iron for example was 4 degrees stronger than my PC set. Here’s a look at the Covert 2.0 spec sheet:
Also, at 40.25″, I found the Covert 2.0s 3-iron to be too big of a leap from my 3-iron that measured an inch and a quarter shorter. But teeing up the Covert 2.0s 3-iron off the tee was a pretty amazing thing. When I hit the ball square it had so much jump off the face. At 18 degrees, it will be a good iron for players who need to get the ball out there far.
Again, this iron delivers distance, and it’s a result of the hot face and the pocket cavity in the back:
Beyond the distance gains, I wanted to see how it would perform when working the ball with cuts and draws. Surprisingly, I found the irons performed really well on cut shots, and I personally had a little more difficult with draws. The club, it seemed, wanted to go straight and so I can’t really describe it other than stable. The club seems to provide stability and is best used to generate long and straight shots.
Spin with the PW was impressive, although it was hard to pull back shots as much as I tried. This may be due to the groove configuration on the Covert 2.0s which are a little more dispersed. Here’s a comparison:
For me, the Covert 2.0 generated a muted sound, and almost a click-like sound on impact. That said, sound is a very personal detail for golfers and it sometimes affects people and other times it has no bearing. I think for me, I kept trying to replicate the sound that my PCs give me and I just couldn’t do it.
I had thought about gaming these irons for the distance gains alone – I mean who doesn’t want more yardage – but changing irons mid-season is just too risky for me. I also think that these irons will be great for the 15-25 handicapper but it should not be limited to that range by any means. With practice, I would be happy to game these clubs and reap the rewards of straighter shots, explosive jumps and massive distance. The graphite shaft was also a welcome change for the ease of weight. In fact, it was a lot more pleasant hitting graphite shots because they are so easy to swing.
I would recommend these irons to any beginner or intermediate golfer. I have already suggested these irons to many friends and I think you too will be pleased with the Covert 2.0 irons
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.