Nike VRS Covert Irons Review early 2018 (+ 3 Alternatives)
It has been a year since Nike famously exited the golf club manufacturing business. Though they had been involved in the sport since 1984, Nike only started making golf clubs after 2000. Nike managed to design some splendid clubs and had Tiger Woods on their roster, but still, couldn't compete with the other established golf club brands. The global recession put the final nail in the coffin and forced them to quit the field in 2016. They still make golf apparel and shoes, and you can still find plenty of Nike clubs online at vastly reduced prices, both used and new. The VRS, or "Victory Red Speed" series of irons was one of the better club ranges from Nike, launched before 2012.
Nike VRS 2.0 Covert Irons Pros & Cons
- Excellent playability can handle all kinds of lies, with the ability shape shots.
- Loads of forgiveness on offer, allows you to hit smooth and consistent shots.
- Offers a lot of control on distance, you can maintain yardages easily.
- Provides more feedback than expected for a game improvement club.
- The hidden cavity and classic shape look better than most game improvement clubs.
- White grips look tacky, and their maintenance can be a real chore.
- It doesn't offer the same forgiveness as similar clubs in max game improvement category.
Key Features Of The Nike VRS 2.0 Covert IronsThe "VRS Covert" series replaced the original VRS in 2013 and had a more subdued cavity back design. The 2.0 Covert iron was the second iteration, launched in 2014, along with other clubs that included the Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Driver. It was aimed mainly at the game improvement/max game improvement crowd of mid to high handicappers. The irons benefited from some of Nike's trademark technologies, like NexCOR face and special perimeter-weighted design. Let's take a detailed look at the Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Irons Specs:
1. Eight Piece Set Of IronsThis is a high-quality set of cast irons. The irons start from the 4-iron all the way up to the 9-iron. Two wedges are included, the pitching wedge (PW) and the attack wedge (AW), also called the gap wedge (GW). Incidentally, there is also a Nike VRS Covert Forged irons set aimed at better players, so be mindful when you shop for this club online.
2. Two Shaft OptionsThe default option is True Temper Dynalite 105 Steel shaft since steel is the ideal material for golf iron shafts. For senior golfers and those who suffer from low swing speeds, there is also a Kuro Kage graphite shaft. The shafts are available in the default Regular stiffness, as well as a Stiff option available in select sets.
3. Updated Cavity BackThe Nike VRS irons have always had cavity back designs to improve their forgiveness. The 2.0 Covert version improved on the design by making the cavities more subdued and hidden behind the face. The design takes away weight from the center of the clubface and transfers it to the perimeter.
4. Updated NexCOR FaceThe NexCOR Face is a proprietary technology employed by Nike to improve the ball speeds generated by their golf clubs. The feature was introduced in 2012 across the full range of Nike clubs including their drivers and irons. The technology involves creating an ultra-thin clubface with variable thickness that optimizes ball speeds and distance on shots.
5. Chrome FinishThe irons come in an all-chrome finish, with a splash of color behind the clubhead where the cavity lies. The finish is extra glossy and shiny in comparison to its predecessor, the original Nike VRS Covert irons.
Review Of The Nike VRS 2.0 Covert Irons
Looks And Design AestheticsNike improved the looks of their irons in the VRS Covert range with the release of the 2.0. Featuring a very shiny chrome finish and a classic shape highly reminiscent of player irons, these look much better than other game improvement irons in the game. The large cavity is kept hidden behind the face, and this contributes to the overall look and feel of the irons. Nike clubs are known for looking very brash with neon colors, but these irons have been thankfully spared that treatment. And unlike many irons in its category, the Nike irons have a very compact look. The rounded edges, shiny finish and contribute to making the clubs feel larger than they are at address.
Feel & FeedbackWhen they were released in 2014, the Nike VRS irons caught everyone by surprise with the sheer amount of feel and feedback that was on offer. It ranks much higher than most game improvement irons in this aspect. The irons are very stable through the swing, with a very subdued and soft feel on impact.
ForgivenessThere is plenty of forgiveness on offer for the mid handicapper as well as most high handicappers. But if you are a really weak golfer who needs maximum help from your clubs, there are probably better clubs out there with additional forgiveness on offer in the max game improvement category. The cavity back and perimeter weighting make the irons very easy to hit. If you want improved consistency on your approach shots from the green, this is probably a great iron set for you. The enlarged sweet spot ensures that even mishits stay well on target, and the design is optimized to reduce side spin.
Flight & DistanceThe NexCOR face does make a tangible difference to your ball speeds and shot distance. You can expect to add at least a couple of yards, especially on the longer shots. The irons do feel like a set of clubs with really "hot faces!" Ball flight is effortless and easy to attain from all kinds of lies. The offset is minimal, and this seems to have an impact of some sort on your ball flight, with the ball staying straight with very little carry to the left. If you want to hit the ball high and straight with your irons, these are good options with excellent workability on even tight lies.
Overall ImpressionsIt is easy to see why the VRS 2.0 became quite popular even among low handicap players, despite there being a dedicated player iron in the form of the Nike VRS Covert Forged Irons. The Nike VRS Covert 2.0 irons specs show a very nicely balanced set of cast irons, with good distance, excellent playability, and just the right amount of forgiveness. Most game improvement irons tend to mess up their feel and feedback levels due to increased forgiveness, but Nike nailed the balance just right in this regard. You can still shape your shots a good deal while being covered on marginal mishits. The compact dimensions, with a hint of muscle-back design, also add to its overall allure. This is a great set of irons for golfers within the 14-24 handicap range.
The Nike Covert Irons vs Rocketbladez is a very apt comparison since both these clubs were released around the same time in 2012-13. And it is a very even fight, with both irons offering a very balanced overall performance.
They both belong in the game improvement category, and even offer similar configurations, with both having a 4-PW, AW Combo. And they both come with stock steel shafts as well as graphite alternatives.
What we like
- Similar playability when compared to the Nike VRS Covert 2.0.
- High levels of accuracy as well as forgiveness.
- Excellent control, especially on distance and yardage.
What we dislike
- Slightly inferior feedback on shots compared to the Covert 2.0.
- Has a larger and thicker clubhead, the Nike VRS is the clear winner in this aspect.
The XR Irons from Callaway were released a year after the VRS 2.0, in 2015. The Callaway irons received favorable reviews in 2015 club tests, though there were some notable drawbacks as well.
The main contrast between the two is the fact that the XR set doesn’t have the same universal appeal that the Covert 2.0 irons enjoyed. The Callaway irons come with an extra long iron, since the set starts with a 3-iron, but misses out on the attack wedge offered by the Nike set.
What we like
- Excellent forgiveness, comparable or even better than the Nike irons.
- Decent playability, with shots that fly high and straight.
- Good long distance game, equal to the Nike irons.
- Better suited for high handicappers looking to break into the mid-handicapper ranks.
What we dislike
- Inferior feel and feedback.
- Does not have the same compact looks of the Nike VRS.
- Does not suit golfers with faster swings.
The Cobra F6 is a true modern game improvement iron set from 2016 since it includes a couple of adjustable hybrids into the mix.
There is also more options regarding club set configuration, with 4-GW, a 5-PW, and a 6-GW among them.
Like the Nike set, this one also comes with stock steel shafts and optional graphite shafts. While the older Nikes use a uniform design across their iron range, the F6 has a mixed set.
The difference in design is focused on the club heads in the F6 set. The long irons are full hollow, the mid-irons are half hollow, with cavity back short irons, and one piece design on the wedges.
What we like
- Hybrids offer extra playability and versatility.
- Decent levels of forgiveness and control.
- Gives extra height on shots.
What we dislike
- Not as good looking as the older Nikes.
- Feel, and feedback is also inferior.
- The Nike VRS offers better playability in the greens and on the rough.
The Nike VRS 2.0 Covert irons hold up surprisingly well even three years after their release. The overall balance is what makes these irons better than even some of the newer sets in the market.
Their widespread popularity across handicap levels is certainly well deserved. The irons offer excellent feel and feedback most low handicappers like while still giving enough forgiveness to keep the higher handicappers in the game.