Welcome to Devil Ball's Proving Ground, where we put the latest golf gear through its paces. Today, we look at the Nike VR_S Covert driver.
Tester — Shane Bacon — Handicap: +1.8
Target Golf Audience — All handicaps
Occasionally when I'm first looking at a new driver I put it through the "Dad Test." I ask myself, "would my dad think this club is cool" or "would he put this in his bag" or "is it too much for someone older that is used to more traditional equipment". For the Nike VR_S Covert, the dad test was answered before I even received Nike's latest driver in the mail. My dad called and said he wanted one. He loved the red crown with the simple, non-distracting Swoosh on the head. He had seen the commercials and was convinced this was the "driver to have in 2013" and after opening the box from Nike he might not be that far off.
You're initial reaction is, "Wow." The driver is so. good. looking. The color is mesmerizing to the eyes, and that's saying something considering we have just about every color in the world on the heads of our drivers these days.
On top of that, you flip the Covert over and see something you've never seen before; the cavity back technology. Sure, "cavity back" is a term we're used to saying in golf, but never with a driver. Nike has hallowed out the back of the driver to "centralize the impact zone" and basically give you more of a reaction when your club meets the ball.
But just by looking at the Covert you realize you're looking at a golf club that you've never seen before. It's beautiful, it's compact and solid and you literally want to run to the driving range even if it was raining so hard you can't see your hand in front of your face.
Now a driver can be as beautiful as Mila Kunis, but if it can't perform on the golf course, what's so great about it? The Covert shows it's not just a pretty face the moment you start smacking nuggets on the golf course. It's long (very, very long), especially on mis-hits. The Nexcor face that Nike has put on the Covert allows those mis-hit drives to still travel well down the fairway, which is nice for someone who doesn't always find the sweet-spot.
One of my big complaints with some of the drivers out there these days is that the heads look a little too alien-like. You'll get technology working so hard to be aerodynamic that it forgets to simply look like a golf club, and that's one thing I really enjoy about the Covert. Setting up to it, I could see an old school crown behind the ball, and while the technology is 2013, the driver feels a little more compact and versatile. In today's game, that's hard to do, and that unique combination almost gives me more confidence in not only making a good swing, but hitting fairways in the process.
Also, I'm a big fan of oversimplifying the ability to tinker with the driver's adjustability. The Covert can adjust, but the Flexloft that Nike has used makes it simple to see what you're doing. Want your ball to go right more? Simply click the Flexloft over to "right." Want your loft changed? It's all right there for you to move however you'd like.
I'm a guy that has always been a sucker for the Swoosh. From the old school days of the Penny Hardaway shoes to the first ever Tiger Woods' golf shirts, I've had the Nike brand on a pedestal, and I'm happy to say that the Covert is one of the first clubs I've had from Nike that I feel might be hands-down as good, if not better, than the rest of the stuff out there.
There is a reason that the No. 1 golfer in the world switched to this stuff in the offseason, and after having some fun with the Covert I realize it was a smart decision.