The original Nike VRS Covert fairway wood found its way into the bag of players such as Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. However, that type of endorsement wasn't enough to please Nike's R&D team. Their "relentless commitment to innovation" pushed them to try and improve the design, and they believe they have done that in the new VRS Covert 2.0 fairway wood.
Featuring the same cavity-back design, with a new profile and Fly-Brace technology, the 2.0 model is designed to produce higher ball speeds with less spin.
When the world's best player decides to switch fairway wood for the first time in six years, it's a big deal. That is what happened earlier this year when Tiger opted to replace his 2007 Nike SasQuatch 2 with a VR_S Covert 5-wood. Therefore, Nike say it was important to get input from their Tour players prior to developing the VRS Covert 2.0 model.
“We worked closely with our athletes to develop tour-authentic fairway woods that were tested and proven in prototype form by our top athletes on tour in 2013,” says Nate Radcliffe, Nike Golf Director of Engineering.
The result? The new design has several minor, but meaningful, alterations.
Firstly, the profile shape has changed slightly with a more pear-shaped look at address. Beyond that, the alignment aid has changed from "Covert" (below left) to become "2.0" (below right) and the famous Nike swoosh has been subtly tweaked to be less evident on the crown.
“We’ve adjusted the profile and lowered the center of gravity significantly in both the Tour and Performance models." Radcliffe said. "This update resulted in a spin rate reduction of approximately 600 rpms."
Of course, if you are able to lower the centre of gravity, as well as reducing spin, you will produce a ball flight that goes higher and further. Nike say the new design averages about 8 yards further than the original Covert fairway wood.
The key to that upgraded performance is the Fly-Brace technology found within the cavity in the sole. It stiffens the chassis, connecting the crown to the sole, focusing any flexing toward the NexCOR face for a faster, hotter face with higher ball speed.
As well as a standard, non-adjustable VRS Covert 2.0 fairway wood, Nike have launched an adjustable VRS Covert 2.0 Tour model also.
The standard VRS Covert comes in lofts of 15 or 19 degrees and comes fitted with Mitsubishi's Kuro Kage Black HBP shaft. Like the Covert range of woods, the Kuro Kage shafts are second generations. The 60 gram shaft featured in the standard model features a higher balance point that helps produce faster swing speeds without the need to add length.