As many of you already know, I spent a few days with Nike Golf last week in Beaverton, Oregon, and Las Vegas, Nevada, for the equipment company’s annual Innovation Summit, where they launched their latest designs and creations with apparel, shoes, balls and clubs, most notably, the Covert 2.0 family.
What I learned? Nike makes an incredibly solid product across the board. I know, right? — shocking! (And no, I’m not getting paid to say this, though Nike Golf did sponsor the trip.) I’ll share my personal experiences in testing the product in “Part 2,” but for now, check out my interviews with Nike athletes and photos and info from the presentations.
First, I interviewed Paul Casey, who spoke to me about the new technology and his switch to the RZN ball, specifically the Platinum. Casey, who won the Irish Open earlier this season, is always a fantastic interview and worth the listen:
GOLF BALL INNOVATIONS
Speedlock RZN Core technology: This new technology features an interlocking core design – the core’s surface is similar to that of a waffle iron – that interconnects with the compression layer to form a tighter bond. Speedlock Technology helps to harness more energy between layers for faster ball speed, longer distance and more stability into the wind.
Four new golf balls featuring Speedlock RZN Core technology:
RZN Platinum: Tour Performance control and moderate spin
RZN Black: Tour Performance distance and less spin
RZN Red: Distance Performance, longer carry
RZN White: Distance Performance, softer feel, for swing speeds 95-100 mph
Next, I spoke with Kevin Chappell about the new Covert 2.0 clubs.
GOLF CLUB INNOVATIONS
VRS Covert 2.0 Drivers: An enhanced cavity back design with new Fly-Brace technology delivers increased energy transfer at impact for more ball speed and forgiving distance
High-Speed Cavity Back technology redistributes weight to the heel and toe allowing for increased distance and more stability across the face of the driver.
“We re-engineered VRS Covert 2.0 with enhancements to our High Speed Cavity Back technology that allow athletes to experience more forgiving distance than ever before,” says Nate Radcliffe, Nike Golf Director of Engineering. “The new VRS Covert 2.0 driver features a redesigned cavity with Fly-Brace technology that ties the sole to the crown. By stiffening the rear portion of the club, more energy is transferred to the face at impact. The end result is even greater ball speed and up to six yards of distance gain over last year’s model.”
“It’s similar to an automotive frame design,” Radcliffe adds. “Fly-Brace technology reinforces the rearward portion of the club head to focus impact stress, flexing and subsequent energy transfer to the point of impact.”
VRS Covert 2.0 Fairway Woods: Coupled with High Speed Cavity Back technology for longer and straighter shots, a lower center of gravity promotes a higher launch with reduced spin, which produces an average of eight yards in additional distance compared to last year’s model.
VRS Covert 2.0 Hybrids: Nike Golf engineers tapped into their “Linear Transition Design” methodology to create a new line of hybrids with progressively smaller head designs while increasing face height on each model.
VR X3X Toe Sweep Wedges: With a wider sole area toward the toe and improved Nike X3X groove technology, the VR X3X Toe Sweep wedges deliver a more consistent shot in any condition, providing better ball flight and stopping power on the green
VRS Covert Forged Irons: Nike Golf engineers incorporated a NexCOR face, Nike’s proprietary technology that delivers faster ball speed and more distance, and a high-speed cavity back design with a lower, deeper center of gravity for longer and straighter shots.
It’s no secret Nike makes one of the best — if not, *the* best — shoe in almost every sport, and the same goes for it’s golf shoes. No, not just the TW ’14s. For men, their latest and greatest are the Nike Lunar Control and the Nike Lunar Claytons.
I chatted with Kyle Stanley about his footwear and which he wears depending on the conditions. He’s also a bit of a shoe junkie.
Nike Lunar Control: Venom Green, Military Blue and Challenge Red pop against white and black premium full-grain leather uppers and highlight Nike’s proprietary full-length Lunarlon technology, a lightweight cushioning system that is highly responsive, resulting in a unique combination of comfort and support.
Nike Lunar Clayton: Nike Golf footwear designers combined a handcrafted, waterproof leather upper with lightweight Nike Lunarlon technology in the outsole for maximum responsive cushioning to create a versatile shoe for both on and off the course. A leather welt joins the upper to the outsole while protecting from the elements.
Finally, Nike introduced its newest innovations in apparel…
Nike Hyperadapt Wind Jacket: Featuring the same four-way stretch technology and sweater-like feel as the Hyperadapt Storm-FIT jacket, the Hyperadapt Wind jacket is a lighter, windproof and rain-resistant version perfect for spring. A transparent outer shell showcases the jacket’s technical details inside and out.
Nike Lightweight Innovation Color Polo: The mobility chassis, a new seam construction that allows for optimal movement, is bonded rather than stitched to lie more closely against the body. Designers shifted the seam towards the upper back so it doesn’t run across the top of the shoulders, allowing maximized movement throughout the swing, free of distractions.
Nike Innovation Woven Cover-up: The Innovation Woven Cover-up features two technologies merged into one unique, hybrid design. The lightweight wind-and-water resistant Dri-FIT stretch woven body – the ‘jacket’ – is breathable and protects against the elements. The 3D knit sleeves – the ‘sweater’ – keeps warmth in and amplifies movement through the arms and shoulders.
Here now, a gallery of professional photographs of the above-mentioned equipment (click on attachment page to see the specific name of the item):
STAY TUNED FOR MORE FROM THE TESTING DAY!