Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Driver Review

 

Nike Covert 2.0 Driver (10)

50 Word or Less

Both models receive major performance upgrades for 2014.  For better players, the Tour model may be the best off the rack driver of the year.  If you’ve been sleeping on the swoosh, it’s time to wake up.

Introduction

Last year, Nike’s Covert driver was the hottest pre-release in the industry due to its ground breaking design and adjustability.  This year, the VRS Covert 2.0 got the kind of hype you can’t buy: Tiger Woods put it into his bag at his World Challenge event and put on a driving clinic that had people thinking about the skinny 21 year old who ran away with the Masters in 1997.

The Covert 2.0 takes the same elements that made the Covert a head turner – the cavity back design and flex loft hosel – and adds Fly-Brace technology, which Nike claims adds stability and forgiveness.  Does this evolution allow Covert 2.0 to keep pace with some of the other great drivers of 2014?  Yes, and then some.

Nike Covert 2.0 Driver (1)

Looks

The overall look of the Covert 2.0 is virtually identical to the original Covert.  The signature dark red crown is back along with the white swoosh on the heel.  If, one year later, you still can’t get over the swoosh, then yes, time has truly passed you by.

Both the standard and Tour models have traditional looks from address.  The Tour model is just slightly shorter from front to back, but it’s still 460cc.  The other noticeable difference between the standard and Tour models is that the face and sole of the Tour model are black, the standard is silver.

While the standard Covert 2.0 is a good looking driver, the Tour model is in the top 2 or 3 for 2014, to my eye.

Nike Covert 2.0 Driver (29)

Sound & Feel

When it comes to sound and feel, both Covert 2.0 models have much in common.  The first thing that struck me was how there was virtually no auditory difference between misses and centered shots.

There is a slight difference between the Tour model and the standard is the character of the sound.  The Tour model is a little bit duller, more of a thud.  The standard Covert 2.0 has a slightly more hollow, explosive sound at impact.

All across the face, the feel is generally solid.  There is a different feel in your hands on a flushed shot compared to a mishit, but mishits don’t translate into a bad, twisting feel like they do with many less forgiving drivers.

Nike Covert LM

Performance

This is where Covert 2.0 really separates itself from its predecessor.  In both models, the spin has been dialed down and the forgiveness is absolutely off the charts.

Let’s start with spin.  Some players found the original Covert to be a little spinny, but that is something no one will be able to say about the Covert 2.0.  The standard Covert 2.0 is low spin; for the average guy, it’s going to be a beast.  The Covert 2.0 Tour is you-better-bring-some-speed-or-it’s-knuckleball-city low spin.  I suspect that part of the reason for the Tour’s low spin is the shaft, but, regardless of the reason, it’s a club that high spin players must try this year.

The other standout feature is the forgiveness.  Every major driver out there is forgiving, but the Covert 2.0 completely shocked me with how much ball speed it retained on serious mishits.  There were a number of swings where I thought, “That was terrible, the ball speed will be in the low 130’s” and yet it stayed north of 140MPH.  What’s even better is that the forgiveness is there even in the Tour model.

A key difference that potential buyers should be aware of when deciding between the Covert 2.0 and the Covert 2.0 Tour is the shaft.  The standard model uses a Kuro Kage variant that is counter balanced (you can learn more about counter balancing HERE).  Counterbalancing isn’t a good or bad thing – some people will like it, others won’t – but you should be aware of it when you try it out.  The Tour model features the Kuro Kage TiNi which is as solid a stock shaft as you’re likely to see and a major reason why I think that the Covert 2.0 Tour may be the best OTR driver of 2014.

Finally, for those unfamiliar with it, I want to give a quick primer on Nike’s FlexLoft technology.  In short, it’s the most complete adjustable hosel on the market.  Players can change the club’s loft from 8.5° to 12.5° and open or close the face angle.  This flexibility makes the Covert 2.0 a club that can adapt to any condition.

Nike Covert 2.0 Driver (15)

Conclusion

Whether you were a fan of the original Covert or not, you owe it to yourself to check out the VRS Covert 2.0.  Nike kept the best parts from the original Covert, the looks and feel, and upgraded the performance exponentially.

Specs

The Nike VRS Covert 2.0 is adjustable from 8.5° to 12.5° of loft.

The standard model has a MRC Kuro Kage 2.0 Black HBP 50 shaft as the stock option.  The Tour Model features the MRC Kuro Kage 2.0 TiNi 60.

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Matt Saternus

Co-founder, Director of Instruction at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. For information about lessons with Matt, please email Matt@PluggedInGolf.com

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19 Comments

  • Matt:
    Would you guess that with a club head speed of 91.7 and BS of 121.2 the Tour model might be a stretch for me? I currently use the Nike Covert Performance 2013 model.
    Thanks,
    Jack

     
    • Matt Saternus

      Jack,

      With spin around 3000, I think you should definitely give the Tour model a look. If you can get that number closer to 2000, you’d see much longer drives, assuming the launch angle was high enough.

      Best,

      Matt

       
      • Thanks for the input Matt. As a 12 ghin I get caught up in the “tour” model designation and think it should not be a consideration. I’ll give the tour a demo.
        Jack

         
  • follow-up I forgot to leave that my current backspin is around +/- 3000

     
  • Cedric Theofanous

    I’ve been disappointed with every Nike club I’ve tried but they claim to be putting a lot of money into R&D . After seeing the numbers and your thoughts on this club maybe they are finally catching up. 1605 spin on the tour model is crazy.

     
  • ranan

    is the convert tour 2 the best driver you have hit so far this year?
    is your spin 1605 correct? this comes from shaft or low spin head?
    how do you think the tour shaft would perform in the performance head?
    low spinning high moi?
    I have been looking for a sub 2000 shaft/head for years??
    regards

     
    • Matt Saternus

      The Covert 2.0 Tour is definitely near the top of the list, especially for off the rack clubs.
      Yes, 1605 is correct. Spin is a function of the head, shaft, and swing.
      The idea of a shaft being low spin is one of the biggest misconceptions out there. For me, the TiNi Kuro Kage was lower spin and better overall. For others, it won’t be. I would certainly suggest giving that combination a try, but I switching the shafts isn’t going to drop the spin for everyone. Also, as I mentioned, the Tour head is not unforgiving. I do think higher handicap players would probably be better served by the standard model, but average to better players should at least try the Tour version.

      Best,

      Matt

       
  • Scott

    Hi, I really enjoy the reviews, however could you please add what shaft flex you are testing? I swing the driver in the 95-98 mph range and always seem to be in between flex’s. Thanks!

     
    • Matt Saternus

      Scott,

      Unless it’s otherwise noted, Bill plays an X flex and I play a stiff flex.

      The 95-98 MPH range can be tough; it really emphasizes the importance of a good fitting.

      Best,

      Matt

       
  • John rhee

    Matt,
    Nice review on the Covert 2.0. I picked up the Tour model and like it quite a bit. I have a swing speed around 98mph. Launch angle 14 deg, spin 2200. Distance around 250 yds. I just wonder if the TiNi is too stiff of a shaft. Any thoughts on swapping the shaft to the black HPB 50? Will that give more carry? Thanks.

     
  • Nice review on the Covert 2.0. I picked up the Tour model and like it quite a bit. I have a swing speed around 98mph. Launch angle 14 deg, spin 2200. Distance around 250 yds. I just wonder if the TiNi is too stiff of a shaft. Any thoughts on swapping the shaft to the black HPB 50? Will that give more carry? Thanks.

     
    • Matt Saternus

      John,

      Glad you’re liking the club. At 98 MPH, your optimal carry is going to be about 245 yards. That would require a little higher launch and a little less spin.

      The HBP 50 is really different than the TiNi. It’s strongly counter balanced and less stiff. There’s no harm in trying it, but I couldn’t really give you an educated prediction as to what it will do with your golf swing.

      Best,

      Matt

       
  • Andrew McClymont

    Hi Matt,
    If you are in the process of buying the Nike Covert 2.0,would the fitting centre taylor make the shaft to your swing speed? and,is it true if you have a naturally fast swing would you go with the stiffer shaft?

    Thanks

     
    • Matt Saternus

      Andrew,

      Absolutely, any fitter should be able to help you pick the right shaft flex and model for your swing. With regard to flex, yes, faster swings generally fit stiffer shafts.

      Best,

      Matt

       
  • Ted Steinberg

    I went to a Nike Demo Day and, after trying various combinations and settings, the pro convinced me to get the regular Covert 2.0 driver head with the TINI shaft. After playing with the lofts I found the 8.5° neutral was by far the best ball flight. I am a 65 year-old with a 95+ MPH swing speed. Have you heard of anyone mixing and matching the head and shaft as described? My feeling is that, by chance. I have hit on a great combination. Any thoughts? Is there a better driver out there for me? Right now, I am quite happy with it. Thanks you for your attention.

     
    • Matt Saternus

      Ted,

      Congrats on being fit for a combination that you’re happy with. The idea of mixing the heads and shafts has been raised before, and I think it’s a good one. The TiNi shaft is really excellent, particularly for reducing spin. In my opinion, the Covert 2.0 is one of the best drivers of 2014, so there’s no driver that I would say you have to try instead.

      Best,

      Matt

       
  • Great review. Bought the 2.0 covert with reg shaft. Most fairways I have ever hit with a driver. Have it set for 11.5 & left. Hit high draws with it all day long. It has replaced my R1.
    Handicap is dropping with the 2.0. I’m 60 with a usga of 13.9 and I expect to drop at lease 3 strokes by the end of the summer. I haven’t been on a launch monitor so I can’t give numbers. I bought it without a fitting.

     
  • Shawn

    any specs on the launch monitor data? loft used? shaft and flex? open or closed? just wondering if I’m to assume these were pulled from the shelf and if so, who’s shelf :)

     
 

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