The Most Anticipated Driver of 2013
It's fair to say that no driver on the market this season generated the same volume of early buzz as Nike's VR_S Covert. Featuring bi-axis hosel adjustability, a cavity-back design, glossy red paint, and Nike's swoosh semi-prominently displayed on the crown; good or bad, golfers had plenty to talk about.
If there's a marketing issue for Nike it's that their early November announcement made it difficult to sustain their momentum until the drivers reached retail. As you might expect, as new drivers from Callaway, TaylorMade, and others were announced, the early excitement for the Covert was perhaps tempered a bit by the competition. Nike lost a little bit of their mojo.
Nevertheless, the VR_S Covert still owns the title of the most unique, and if Nike is to be believed, the most revolutionary driver of 2013. Nike Golf's President, Cindy Davis, told me that the VR_S Covert is "the most exciting club product we've ever launched".
Regardless of your level of confidence in the technology, the significance of the Covert for Nike Golf is surely not up for debate.
Calling BS on Nike
As anyone who has every tried to launch anything in the golf industry will tell you; with new technologies...with new anything really...comes intense scrutiny, disbelief, and a long line of detractors (some informed, some...um...not so much) impatiently waiting their turn to tell how completely full of shit you are.
Such is the reality for Nike Golf. We've heard it all...the swoosh is distracting, the cavity does nothing, and most significantly, it's absolutely impossible to decouple loft and face angle.
On all accounts Nike says otherwise.
To the list of things I'm not, you can add physicist, mathematician, and engineer, which is why at this year's PGA Show we cornered Nike Golf's Director of Product Creation, Tom Stites, and demanded he explain how the Covert's cavity actually increases performance, and how exactly he and Nike were able to do the impossible; decouple loft and face angle.
*technically speaking, we didn't demand answers so much as we scheduled an interview. Also, we didn't so much corner him as we chose a suitable area in the Nike both to conduct said interview, but really...doesn't it sound more intense when I paint a picture of confrontation that could have easily began with, "I'm Chris Hansen"?
Watch as Tom and I discuss the Covert's cavity, how the aligning of sine waves allows for the decoupling of loft and face angle, and what the future holds for Nike driver technology.