Nike Golf's VR_S Covert Fairway Woods - Putting a Little Heat in Fairway Play

By Scot Rendall, Images courtesy of Nike Golf

BEAVERTON, OR – Sometimes you have to travel to a strange place to discover the true attributes of a product.

On a recent summer golf outing to Palm Springs, California, for example, the 108 degree summer heat was no match for the hot performance of Nike Golf’s candy apple red colored fairway woods, the VR_S Covert line. They’re the same ones that Tiger Woods has employed so successfully this season – so they stand out for more than color alone.  

As a bit of background, the VR_S Covert is the game improvement model in Nike’s line. For golfers more desirous of tour-level performance from their fairway clubs, Nike offers the VR_S Covert Tour line, which features more shot shaping capability with the trade-off of a lower spin pattern and more feedback on off-center hits.

The Tour model comes equipped with Nike’s patented FlexLoft system, which allows incremental modifications to the loft (5 settings) and face angle (3 settings) of the clubs.   No doubt, “Covert” is an interesting name for a golf club. What could that possibly mean?

According to Nike, the moniker describes the hidden cavity found on the sole of the club. “The Cavity Back is visible from the sole view of the club, but is covered by the crown to be more pleasing at address” – hence the name Covert.  

By designing the club with this nook, Nike Golf engineers are able to distribute the weight of the club to its corners, which means both increased forgiveness and more distance on off-center hits for mid-handicappers. 

This is also the same technology used in Nike’s VR_S Covert Drivers.  

Again, according to Nike, the NexCOR face technology featured in the VR_S Covert fairways is designed to deliver faster ball speed and longer shots from a wider area of the face. NexCOR creates more speed at impact by employing variable face thickness that increases the ball speed off the clubface, especially on the bottom half where players are most likely to make contact.   

Completing the package, a Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage shaft comes standard on both the Covert and Covert_Tour models. The “standard” Covert comes in a 3 wood (15 degree) and 5 wood (19 degree).

A visit to your nearest club-fitter will likely point you in the right direction as to which model – or models – are right for your individual swing. The Nike website offers some guidance as well, though there’s no substitute these days for the human element. Launch monitors have a purpose – and it’s best to use them properly when you’re investing several hundred dollars into new golf clubs.

For a mid-handicapper like me, these clubs provided a large and forgiving hitting zone and a higher spin ball flight than I’ve found with older fairway clubs. This made them ideal candidates for both distance shots on par 5’s and tee shots on long par 3’s, where high spinning, soft landing ball performance is needed for those of us who hit fairways into tightly guarded greens.

I think this describes a lot of us, unfortunately. The courses are getting longer, and we’re not getting any younger, after all.  

As I toiled in the desert summer heat, the best word I could find to describe the playability of these woods was “effortless”. A nice, relaxed, flowing swing produced a solid hit and high ball flight every time. This made it optimal for those of us who do not possess tour-level swing speeds.   

However, these clubs did not respond as well to being pushed. When I tried to juice up a ball-strike, the results were not as favorable.  I also cannot say that these are the longest fairways that I’ve ever hit, but accuracy and predictability are the qualities needed from these clubs in the bag.

One other note – I’m a left-handed golfer, and I was pleased to find a relatively good selection of options available for players from my side of the ball. That’s not always the case, as some manufacturers tend to favor right-handers.  

I must confess that it took a little getting used to the vivid red club heads with the white Nike swoosh logo visible (a member of one group asked if they were the same color as Dorothy’s ruby slippers). The appearance of these clubs is quite far from the dull and drab club finishes that have characterized golf equipment as the game matured.

And if it’s good enough for Tiger, it’s good enough for me.

If anything, all the attention from on-lookers made me keep a keen eye on the ball to produce results with others watching. Nothing like a little pressure to encourage more concentration – and results.

Something that not even a little desert heat can change.


Nike Golf’s VR_S Covert Fairway Woods

The VR_S Covert fairway woods and hybrids are available in finer golf stores and pro shops.

Both will be offered in two models, the VR_S Covert Tour and VR_S Covert.  The VR_S Covert Tour fairway woods and hybrids feature the FlexLoft adjustability technology. The VR_S Covert woods and hybrids offer a fixed head in 3 and 5 woods, as well as 2, 3, 4, and 5 hybrids.

For more information, try Nike’s website:

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