Nike Golf's president famously said about the company's Covert range of clubs, "If it’s good enough, then we must make it better.”
So was Cindy Davis right? Is the new range better? We got ourselves a set of the new Nike VRS Covert 2.0 irons and put them through their paces to find out.
Of all the clubs in the range, the Covert 2.0 irons have undergone the most dramatic makeover visually. They are very different on the eye compared to the original Nike VRS Covert irons that hit shops a year ago, or even the original Nike VRS irons. The changes were needed and the new look is a big upgrade that should have more appeal to "store-display" golfers.
The idea behind the new design, however, remained largely the same: produce an attractive, forgiving iron using perimeter weighting, centre of gravity shifting and Nike's NexCOR face.
As well as a shinier chrome finish, the Covert 2.0 features an updated, larger cavity behind the face.
The rather strange looking cavity has been designed to pull more of the weight in the head away from the face to the perimeter where it can improve the club's forgiveness.
The good news is that you never see this design at address and it does seem to make a difference. The flight was very high, forgiving and had a really hot feel, especially in the mid to short irons.
At address, the rounded profile of the clubs is easy on the eye while the glossy look of the chrome framed the face nicely.
Almost all the edges of the irons are soft. The topine, the toe, the cavity and even the leading edge. Nike bevelled the leading edge to allow more of the club to come into contact with the ground at impact. This was great on one of the days I tested the Covert 2 irons, as the ground was soft and it felt like extra bounce on the shorter irons.
One thing I noticed immediately throughout the set was a larger transition in size between the heel and the toe of the clubface. Essentially, the clubs look less square in shape at address, which again reminded me of the popular game-improvement irons of the early 2000s.
Whether it was this new shape or not, the offset was less noticeable at address than most game improvement irons and in fact, in flight, the ball seemed to be less set on moving left in the air.
Whilst most game-improvement irons tend to get a little oversized and bulky in the longer irons, the Covert 2.0 irons are not. They sat more compactly behind the ball and the chrome finish made them look larger than they are. Fear not though, they still offer all the help that players suffering from "long-iron-phobia" will want and need.
The VRS Covert 2.0 is the third or fourth generation of iron that has included Nike's NexCOR face. With a variable thickness behind the face, Nike say the design "allows for greater ball speed off the face, resulting in more distance."
Truth be told, they may be right.
Whilst the feel and performance off the face won't be for low handicappers, that is not who this iron is designed for. Nike created the Nike VR Forged irons for that category of player.
For the players who do want, or need, a little help and jump from their irons, they will be pleased. The hot, fast feel at impact was fun to play with, and whilst you can feel the difference on a low-face strike, the end result didn't differ greatly.
One last splash of colour and change in the Covert 2.0 irons comes in the form of the bright-white, Golf Pride 2G wrap grips. Slick in looks, the grips are very tacky but may require some cleaning maintenance over time, as anyone who's worn white trousers on the golf course will know all to well.
Overall, I was really impressed. The other irons in the range featured minor tweaks and upgrades, but for the majority of golfers that will fall into the target for these game-improvements irons, I doubt you'll be disappointed. Better looks, improved performance and plenty of forgiveness.
It's official, I've been Covert-ed.