Nike Golf Prototype Gear? It exists

As a giant Nike Golf fan, I occasionally look to see what might be out there that is exclusive and rare. Perhaps they are limited edition shoes, or some exclusive ball, but whatever it is, I like knowing that these things exist, that they are hard to find, and that they are attainable.

Recently, I found a bunch of prototype Nike Golf items that caught my eye. Here’s the best of what I found:

Prototype Method 008 Putter from The Oven

I guess this was the precursor to the Method Midnight 008. This one is particularly exclusive because it has The Oven logo stamped on it along with “Prototype”. Link

method 008proto

Nike Prototype Milled Putter

This one stamped “BH” (Butch Harmon?), reminds me of the buttonback model from Scotty Cameron. I especially like this because it has no markings on it, except for the swoosh on the back. This must truly be a rare find. Link

buttonback

Nike One Black Tour Prototype Ball

This box of a dozen One Black balls is a rare find for two main reasons: 1) each ball is stamped with “Proto” and a 4-digit code 2) the balls come in a plain black box which signifies it was before the retail Nike One box came out, which was not like the traditional box with the four sleeves side by side. If I got these, it would be so difficult to decide playing with them. Link

one black

Rory’s Winning Clubs

The NGN team is really buzzing this week after Rory’s dominant performance at The Open Championship. Earlier, NGN Bob posted the press release from Nike that listed his gear.

Below, are pics from Golfwrx.com that show what clubs Rory used in his victorious win at Hoylake.

Equipment is accurate as of The Open Championship (7/19/14). 

Driver: Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Silver TiNi 70TX

3 Wood: Nike VR_S  Covert Prototype (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Rombax Pro 95 (X-Flex)

Driving Iron: Nike MM Prototype 2 Iron
Shaft: Royal Precision Project X 7.0

Irons: Nike VR Pro Blades (3-9)
Shafts: Royal Precision Project X 7.0

Wedges: Nike VR Forged (47, 54 and 59)
Shafts: Royal Precision Project X 7.0

Putter: Nike Method 006 Prototype

Ball: Nike RZN Black

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Click here to see clubs McIlroy used in 2013.

Read more at http://www.golfwrx.com/186417/rory-mcilroy-witb-2014/#0ysdf7BDIWk6yhUf.99

Another look at the Nike Golf MM Proto 2-Iron

This morning, Golf Channel did a segment about players who are putting a 2-iron in the bag this week at the Open Championship. Yesterday Nike Golf posted this photo of more MM Proto 2-irons being made for its Athletes at Hoylake:

MM-PROTO_2-IRON

2014 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP: Limited Edition Nike Golf Hoylake Putter Headcover

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Alan just posted about a rare Nike Golf putter headcover that’s for sale on eBay, and I wanted to follow up with a quick post about another special Nike Golf headcover. You may have noticed in the photos of the Athlete scripting for the Open Championship that there is a putter headcover included in the photos. It looks to be a special Method putter headcover for this week’s Open Championship at Hoylake.

Although the resolution of the photos is not good enough to see it in full detail, it looks to have a red and blue racehorse pattern on the neck area. I love the nod to the legacy of horse racing at Royal Liverpool, which was built on the grounds of the existing race track. The following is from the Royal Liverpool Golf Club website:

Built in 1869, on what was then the racecourse of the Liverpool Hunt Club, Hoylake is the oldest of all the English seaside courses with the exception of Westward Ho! in Devon, which was established just a few years earlier. Robert Chambers and George Morris were commissioned to lay out the original Hoylake course, which was extended to 18 holes in 1871. This was also the year in which the Club was granted its Royal designation thanks to the patronage of His Royal Highness The Duke of Connaught.

For the first seven years of its life the land still performed its original function, doubling as a golf course and a horse racing track – indeed, echoes of this heritage can be found today in the names of the first and eighteenth holes, Course and Stand, while the original saddling bell still hangs in the club house. Once the horses had been dispatched to pastures new Hoylake began to take its place in the history of golf in general and of the amateur game in particular.

I doubt we’ll see this headcover at retail, as I’m guessing this one was created for the Athletes only. But it’s still cool to see the custom items that Nike Golf creates for its athletes for the major tournaments each year.

 

2014 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP: Nike Golf Athlete Scripting

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Nike Golf Athletes Will Sport New Styles at The Open Championship

- Fresh designs for fall will keep athletes protected against the elements at Royal Liverpool -

Nike Golf athletes will stay protected from the predictably chillier temperatures and blustery conditions at this year’s Open Championship with new styles for fall featuring wool and engineered knit fabrics.

Tiger Woods will compete in his first major championship of the season in apparel from the Nike Golf Tiger Woods Collection. The three-time Open Champion will stay warm in the TW Engineered Sweater ($140) with 3D engineered-knit sleeves developed with Woods’ insights. His insights inspired the same sleeve design in the 3D V-Neck Sweater.

Rory McIlroy will brave the elements at Royal Liverpool in the new Hypervis Half-zip Cover-up ($85). Featuring engineered fabric bonded onto a Therma-FIT fleece, the Hypervis Half-zip has strategically-placed ventilation – athletes will stay warm but won’t overheat. The fabric is super lightweight, providing warmth without bulk. A range of vibrant colors like Volt, Hyper Cobalt and Hyper Pink pop through the ventilated portion of the cover-up.

How will Nike Golf athletes like Paul Casey, Charl Schwartzel and Nick Watney stay warm? The 3D V-Neck Sweater ($130), a poly-wool blend constructed with 3D engineered-knit sleeves that trap heat while allowing for maximum range of motion. The knit is fabricated to be elevated in certain zones to contain heat and offer flexibility, and tighter around places like the elbow to reduce material and weight.

“Our athletes will be prepared for every possible weather condition at Royal Liverpool,” says Merritt Richardson, VP of Global Golf Apparel and Footwear. “Every piece of apparel – from polos to sweaters to cover-ups – is made for easy layering and built to move with the athlete’s body. We’ve armed our athletes with some of Nike Golf’s newest and most innovative pieces from the Fall 2014 collection to keep them warm and comfortable no matter what each round brings.”

Twelve Nike Golf athletes will compete at the 2014 Open Championship: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, Ashley Chesters, David Duval, Oliver Fisher, Tommy Fleetwood, Russell Henley, Francesco Molinari, Thorbjorn Olesen, Charl Schwartzel and Nick Watney.

Tiger Woods
For added warmth and layering, Woods will also sport the TW Tech 2.0 Cover-up ($130). Underneath, he’ll wear polos from the TW collection: TW Seasonal Bold Stripe polo ($90) on Thursday; TW Engineered Body Map polo ($100) on Friday; TW Seasonal Bold Stripe polo on Saturday; and TW Ultra Polo 3.0 ($95) on Sunday in his signature red hue, Action Red. Woods will finish each look with the TW Adaptive Pant ($125), TW Ultralight Tour cap ($30), TW Mesh Nike belt ($70) and Nike TW’ 14 footwear ($220). Driver and ball: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Tour and ONE Tour D.

Rory McIlroy
Underneath the Hypervis Half-zip Cover-up, Rory will sport a variety of polos featuring the mobility chassis, a shoulder seam that is shifted toward the upper back that allows for maximized movement and eliminates distraction. He’ll start and finish the week in the Lightweight Innovation Color polo ($75) – the same design he wore at Augusta and Pinehurst – in addition to Friday’s Innovation Color Block polo ($75) and Saturday’s Innovation Vent 2.0 polo ($75). He’ll complete each look with the Modern Tech pant ($80), Tour Mesh cap ($30), Sleek Modern Plaque belt ($50) and Nike Lunar Control footwear ($200). Driver and ball: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Tour and RZN Black.

Paul Casey
England’s Casey will pair his 3D V-Neck sweater with the Lightweight Innovation Stripe polo ($65) and Key Iconic Polo 2.0 ($65) on Thursday and Saturday when he returns to his home country for The Open. On Friday he’ll wear the Lightweight Innovation Cool polo ($65), and suit up in the Key Bold Heather Stripe polo ($65) on Sunday. Casey will also wear the Flat Front Tech pant ($80), Stripe Novelty pant ($85), Ultralight Tour Legacy cap ($30), Signature Swoosh Logo Cutout II belt ($45) and Lunar Control footwear. Driver and ball: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Tour and RZN Platinum.

Ashley Chesters
The 2013 European amateur champion will sport the Swoosh head-to-toe at Royal Liverpool. On Thursday, he will wear the Key Iconic Polo 2.0 and on Saturday he will don stripes in the Nike Ultra Stripe Polo, both paired with white tech pants. On Friday and Sunday, Chesters will rely on elite cooling as he wears the Nike Ultra Polo 2.0.

David Duval
The 2001 Open Championship winner will stay protected in the Dri-FIT Performance Half-zip cover-up ($75), Nike Victory Stripe polo ($55), Nike Ultra Polo 2.0 ($65), Key Bold Heather Stripe polo and Key Body Mapping polo ($65). He complete his head-to-toe look with the Flat Front Tech pant, Nike Golf Plaid pant ($85), Tour Mesh cap, TW Mesh Nike belt, and Lunar Control footwear. Driver and ball: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Tour and RZN Platinum.

Oliver Fisher
Featuring stylish designs from the Nike Golf Sport Collection, Fisher will wear the Sport Nike Graphic polo on Thursday and the Sport Innovation Pocket polo on Friday. For the weekend, he will compete in the Sport Stripe polo and the Sport Swing Movement polo on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Topping off his look are the Nike Flat Bill Tour Cap and the Nike Hyperadapt jacket to combat the elements. Driver and ball: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Tour and RZN Black.

Tommy Fleetwood
Fleetwood will compete in his native England wearing the Nike Victory polo ($50), Sport Seasonal polo ($70) – featuring Nike’s iconic and running apparel-inspired 26-degree angle design on the upper chest, Sport Swing Movement polo ($60) and Nike Victory Stripe polo. To complete each look, Fleetwood will pair polos with the Modern Tech pant, Dri-FIT Performance Half-zip cover-up, Ultralight Tour Legacy cap, Square Perforated Reversible belt ($55) and Lunar Control footwear. Driver and ball: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Tour and RZN Black.

Russell Henley
The University of Georgia alum will kick off his quest for the Open Championship trophy sporting the Nike Ultra Stripe polo ($60) on Thursday, followed by the Key Body Mapping polo, Nike Ultra Polo 2.0 and Nike Victory polo. He’ll wear a mix of solids, stripes and plaid with the Flat Front Tech Pant, Nike Golf Plaid Pant and Stripe Novelty Pant. A Dri-FIT Performance Half-Zip cover-up, Signature Swoosh Logo Cutout II belt, Tall Tour visor ($22) and Lunar Control footwear will complete each look. Driver and ball: Nike VRS STR8-FIT 9.5-degree and RZN Black.

Francesco Molinari
Molinari will stay warm with the Dri-FIT Performance Half-zip Cover-up, layered over the Nike Ultra Stripe polo, Nike Ultra Polo 2.0, Key Iconic Polo 2.0 ($65) and Nike Victory polo. He’ll lace up in TW’ 14 footwear and pair each polo with the Flat Front Tech pant, Stripe Novelty pant, Tour Mesh cap, and Signature Swoosh Logo Cutout II belt. Driver and ball: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 and RZN Black.

Thorbjorn Olesen
Olesen, who will be making his fourth Open Championship appearance, will be wearing looks from the Nike Golf Sport Collection. On Thursday, he will compete in the Sport Seasonal polo paired with the flat front tech pants in Photo Blue. Friday Olesen will wear the Sport Swing Movement Polo in black with volt piping on the color to hook up with his Volt Lunar Control footwear. For the weekend, Olesen will wear the Sport Nike Graphic Polo ($75) in Light Magnet Grey on Saturday and Cool Grey on Sunday. Driver and ball: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Tour and RZN Black.

Charl Schwartzel
Schwartzel will wear a collection of sporty polos featuring bold graphics including camouflage and bright colorblocking: The Sport Innovation Pocket polo ($70) on Thursday, Sport Stripe polo ($65) on Friday, Sport Nike Graphic polo on Saturday, and Sport Swing Movement polo on Sunday. He’ll stay protected from the chiller temperatures in the 3D V-Neck Sweater and Sport Long Sleeve Crew ($80). Nike Golf’s Modern Tech Pant, Tour Mesh cap, Sleek Modern Plaque belt ($50) and FI Impact footwear complete each head-to-toe look. Driver and ball: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Tour and RZN Black.

Nick Watney
In the hunt for his first Major Championship, Watney will wear a range of bold graphics and designs, including Sunday’s Innovation Mesh Sub polo ($70). He’ll round out the weekend with the Innovation Jacquard polo ($75) on Thursday, Innovation Stripe polo ($70) on Friday, and Nike Premium Jacquard polo ($110) on Saturday. The 3D V-Neck Sweater, Half-zip Wind-resistant sweater ($150), Dri-FIT Wool Tech sweater ($90) Flat Front Tech pant, Flat Bill Tour cap ($30), Signature Swoosh Logo Cutout II belt and Lunar Control footwear will finish each look. Driver and ball: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 and RZN Platinum.

PRODUCT REVIEW: Women’s Golf Belts

With Michelle Wie’s recent major victory at the 2014 U.S. Open, I thought it would be a good time to review some 2014 Spring/Summer Nike Golf belts with the help of my wife, Jen. The two belts she reviewed are the Rhinestone Harness Reversible Belt (Grey/White) and the Classic Reversible Belt (Black/White).

RHINESTONE HARNESS REVERSIBLE

rhinestone harness reversible

The Rhinestone Harness belt was my wife’s favorite in the Spring/Summer ’14 collection. As she explained, “When I wear sporty clothes, like golf outfits, I want the look to be streamlined and smooth.” Not surprising, she really took to the simplicity of the belt, as she was going for something that blended in well with the rest of her outfit. The Rhinestone Harness really captures the look she is going for. The added bonus is the rhinestone on the buckle. It is a round, diamond-like stone that gives the buckle just enough feminine touch without making it an overtly “girlish” belt.

Here’s a closer look at the buckle:

IMG_6931

The belt itself is made from high-quality Nappa leather with single-edge stitching at the top and bottom of the strap. The buckle is a brushed silver, and the strap width is 32mm, which is perfect for women. With a simple twist of the buckle, the belt flips over, revealing a second color:

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Jen really liked the grey color as it paired well with her blue, white, and pink shorts. I’d have to agree – the grey colored belts are my go-to this season and the neutral color of the grey complements almost all colors.

Product Details:

  • Nappa Leather
  • Flat strap with single edge stitch
  • Brushed silver center bar buckle with rhinestone and engraved swoosh logo
  • Nike Reversible technology
  • 32mm width
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L
  • MSRP: $45

CLASSIC REVERSIBLE

Classic Reversible

The Classic Reversible belt is what Jen deemed a bit “fancier.” My first impression was similar as I thought the stylish buckle resembled something I might see from Salvatore Ferragamo.

The reversible strap offers golfers two options, not just in color but in texture as well. The white side has a pebble-grain finish, while the black side has a smoother, Nappa leather finish. Both look very high in quality and construction. Take a close look at the strap:

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The buckle is made from brushed silver as well, and the strap is a bit wider at 38mm.

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Reverse side:

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Product Details:

  • Pebble grain leather reversing to Nappa leather
  • Feather edge strap with single edge stitch
  • Brushed silver harness buckle with laser etched Swoosh logo
  • Nike Reversible technology
  • 38mm width
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L
  • MSRP: $45

CONCLUSION

Here are two excellent and well-crafted belts for different styles on and off the golf course. The Rhinestone Harness belt complements sporty golf attire, bold colors, and sleek lines, while the Classic Reversible belt provides a more upscale look, and can be worn off the golf course as well. Both are solid choices to your golfing collection. Special thanks to my wife for helping me with the review.

GALLERY

 

Editor’s Note: The product reviewed above was supplied by the manufacturer to the reviewer/author free of charge for reviewing purposes only. The reviewer/author was not paid for this review, and the opinions expressed in the review are strictly those of the reviewer/author.

 

Nike Vision Show X2 Golf Sunglasses

Summer is officially here and if you’re like me and you’re searching for a good pair of “golf” sunglasses, you need something you can wear for 4 hours straight that not only helps block the sun but also helps you read the greens.

I believe a great pair of sunglasses is the Nike Show X2 with the Nike MAX Golf Tint lens or the Nike MAX Transitions lens. Although you can check out Nike’s lens simulator to pick your favorite.

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General information about the lens

Nike Vision sport tints are scientifically tuned for specific environments. Using light transmission analysis, the lens can optimize the colors and light levels allowed through each lens. This light architecture allowed Nike to create lenses with the perfect vision profile for different sports and environments.

About MAX Golf Tint

The patented Nike MAX Golf Tint enhances the details of the fairway and green, suppressing visual information you don’t need, and amplifying the white of the ball to help you track your shot. The lens is also specially tuned to golf, and the tint is ideal for any course, in the sun, or under the clouds.

Here is a visual comparison of a green with and without the lens treatment. Note that the contours of the green are revealed through the MAX Golf Tint.

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The frame

The Show X2 is the preferred frame for athletes like Tiger Woods, Paul Casey, and Seung-Yul Noh. To me, the most impressive feature is the ventilated nose bridge, which encourages airflow to reduce lens fogging (a major issue for me), and to help hold the frame in place when swinging. There are also adjustable temple arms and the nose bridge is adjustable as well.

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Benefits

  • Nike Max Optics for precise vision from every angle
  • Interchangeable lenses for maximum sport performance in all light conditions
  • Adjustable secure-wrap temples for stability and comfort
  • Rubber grip texture on temples for a secure fit
  • 100% UVA and UVB protection

Additional Details

  • Ventilated nose bridge for improved airflow, reduced fogging and better grip
  • Optical clip-in available
  • Large case included

 

Helpful Links:

Nike Show X2 Sunglasses

Nike Vision Transitions Site

Nike Lens Simulator

PRODUCT REVIEW: Nike Golf Covert 2.0 Hybrid

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The Covert 2.0 line of drivers, fairway woods and hybrids takes the original Covert product line’s combination of length, forgiveness and solid feel to new heights, as all clubs contain improvements on the original models. Previously I’ve reviewed the driver (review here) and 5-wood (review here), and in this post I share my thoughts on the Covert 2.0 4-hybrid:

FIRST IMPRESSION: DESIGN/APPEARANCE
The Covert 2.0 hybrid features the same bright red metallic finish on the crown as the original Covert, as well as the large white swoosh toward the heel. Like the driver and fairway wood, 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 hybrid is a glued version, it does not contain the same FlexLoft adjustability system as the Tour 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 Covert 2.0 hybrid also 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 (70 gram), and the new stock grip is a white Nike Tour Wrap by Golf Pride. Overall my first impression is that the Covert 2.0 hybrid is a great looking club that features some great updates to the technology and visual design of the original Covert fairway wood.

FIRST IMPRESSION: PERFORMANCE
Like the Covert 2.0 driver and fairway wood, the first thing I noticed in the 2.0 hybrid was its great feel at impact. The feel of the club head through the impact zone is really solid. The acoustics mirror the feel — the Covert 2.0 gives a substantial “thwack” at impact, with no tinny or “plink” sound at all.

I also noticed an improvement in the Covert 2.0 hybrid’s 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’m hitting the Covert 2.0 a few yards farther than my previous 4-hybrid (the VR_S 4-hybrid), but the improved accuracy I’m getting from the club head’s stability is more important to me than the distance I gain. For me, hitting the ball straighter is more beneficial to my game than hitting it farther, thus the improved stability and straighter shots are really helping my game.

The Covert 2.0 offers tremendous forgiveness on mishits. Shots struck away from the center of the club face go straight and far, like 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 poorly struck shots, and the placement of the mass of the club towards the heel and toe results in great stability through impact. This perimeter weighting keeps the club more square when you miss the middle of the face, producing straighter shots from poor swings.

Overall I’ve been really happy with the performance of the Covert 2.0 hybrid. Notes on specific performance attributes follow here:

DISTANCE
After testing Covert 2.0 4-hybrid against my previous VR_S 4-hybrid at the range, I found I hit the Covert 2.0 pretty much as far as the VR_S, maybe a few yards longer. However the improved accuracy I get with the Covert 2.0 is more important to my game than any distance I might be gaining (see below).

TRAJECTORY
The Covert 2.0 has a medium to medium-high ball flight. My understanding is the Performance model I tested has a higher ball flight than the Tour model, which supposedly has a lower, boring trajectory.

ACCURACY
The Covert 2.0 hybrid shines in this area — the 2.0 is more stable than the original Covert, and it produces more accurate shots. The 2.0 is very stable through impact, due to improved reinforcement and perimeter weighting of the club head (the club head’s mass is located more towards the heel and toe). The improved accuracy is most noticeable to me on long approach shots, where the 2.0 creates shots that fly high and land softly, allowing me to get the ball closer to the hole.

PLAYABILITY
The Covert 2.0 hybrid’s terrific feel helps me to hit the ball high and low when I need to, and shape shots left or right when the situation calls for it.

FORGIVENESS
The 2.0 is extremely forgiving on mishit shots. The NexCOR face gives off-center shots just about the same distance as those struck in the middle of the face. Straighter shots from less than ideal swings are the result of the club head’s perimeter weighting that keeps it from twisting on shots hit towards the heel and toe.

ACOUSTICS
One of the more significant characteristics of the Covert 2.0 hybrid is its improved acoustics. It produces a distinctively solid sound (a “thwack”, almost a “thud”) at impact, the sound of a very solid shot. No tinny aluminum sound or any hint of a “plink” is produced when you strike the ball.

SUMMARY
The VR_S Covert 2.0 hybrid features several notable improvements over the original Covert. The superior acoustics and solid feel at impact are outstanding. The 2.0’s improved overall accuracy that results from increased stability in the newly reinforced club head is impressive. The ability to shape shots and the forgiveness on off-center hits are extraordinary. If you are looking for a new hybrid to put a new hybrid in the bag this year, look no further than the VR_S Covert 2.0.

Read Nike Golf’s press release about the VR_S Covert 2.0 Hybrid >>

Learn More about the VR_S Covert 2.0 Hybrid >>

Buy the VR_S Covert 2.0 Hybrid on nikegolf.com >>

Watch the video about Nike Golf’s new Fly-Brace Technology on their YouTube Channel >>

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.

PRODUCT REVIEW: Nike Golf Covert 2.0 Irons

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.

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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.

Looks

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.

nike-vrs-covert-irons Nike-VRS

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.

photo 4 This was perhaps the biggest change for me, as I prefer the Decade Multi-compound, and the tackiness of the Tour Wrap took some getting used to.

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:

photo 6

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:

photo 3

Performance

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:

Covert 2.0 Specs

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:

photo 9

Workability

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:

photo 7

Sound

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.

OVERALL

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

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More Info at Nike’s Website

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.

Nike Golf RZN Black Tour Balls on eBay

A dozen of Nike RZN Black (allegedly codenamed “dot”) tour balls have made their way onto eBay. These balls are little-known to the golfing community as they are rarely seen by the public and certainly not available at retail. These balls are provided to Tour athletes and come in a plain white box.

See on eBay here.

eBay description:

“Brand new in white tour issue packaging, this is as rare as it gets in the Nike tour issue world. New for 2014, the ball that helped Rory get out of his poor play, RZN . Black (dot). This ball has the softer cover of the retail RZN Platinum with the firmer core/mantle layers of the retail RZN Black. This ball is in-between the retail Black and Platinum.

Listing is for 12 golf balls (all #1, 1 dozen total). This is the same ball played by Rory McIlroy, Kevin Tway, Ross Fisher, Charl Schwartzel, Michelle Wie, Scott Jameson, and Thorbjorn Oleson among others.”

 

rzn black rzn dots balls