Videos and photos: 2014 Nike Innovation Summit, Part 2
By Stephanie Wei under Equipment

As I promised in Part 1, I’d share my personal experiences with testing the new Nike products on the uncharacteristically cold and breezy day at TPC Summerlin in Vegas.

I was one of the few crazy people who decided to play a few holes in the tough conditions because I wanted to provide the best review possible for you, the readers (it’s all about *you guys*, after all!), which I’m paying for now with a fever and cold. No big deal, though! — it’s part of the job! 

As I explain in the video above, the Covert 2.0 forged irons are extremely forgiving and give you more distance — even when someone who regularly plays men’s graphite regular shafts instead accidentally uses men’s steel stiff shafts — and the RZN Black ball also goes further yet provides you nice touch around the greens. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I was incredibly pleasantly surprised with the notable high-quality performance of the ball.



I’m not a ball geek. I’ve played with Titleist ProV1s (these days, usually the ones with the red numbers, but I’m not picky so I’ll play the blacks, too) for as long as I can remember because I’ve played a Titleist ball my entire life, and for so long, the other brands in the market couldn’t compete.

It’s a different ball game now, even though I’ve stubbornly stuck to ProV1s as a casual, single-digit handicap. Why? That’s simple: Habit and comfort — and until now I hadn’t come across a ball that I felt was significantly performing-enhancing. I’m not saying I’m 100% sold as I’d like to test it in a few more rounds, but this is the first time I’ve actually seriously considered a potential switch. Ever.

The par-3 14th at TPC Summerlin was playing at least 120 yards when you factored in the wind and the cold conditions. I pulled a 9-iron — which I usually hit 115 to 120, if I really catch it — and due to the conditions and gazillion layers of clothing, I took the dinkiest of swings and the ball ended up about 15 feet pin-high just a hair right. (The shaft was too stiff, so I couldn’t turn the club over quick enough, which, of course, lets the shot slide a bit to the right in the air.)

“I’ll take that! Every freaking time,” I exclaimed.

I’d say I gained at least a half a club in distance with the Covert irons and it’d probably be even longer if I were hitting ones that fit me properly.

Watch out!

Watch out!

Here now, I’m teeing off on the risk-reward par-4 288-yard 15th. If you hit driver, you risk getting stuck in one of the many deep bunkers around the green — unless you stripe it perfect down the middle. Thanks to the Covert 2.0, I couldn’t have hit a better drive and left myself with a pitch just in front of the green.

The ball seemed to hang in the air forever. My average drive is probably about 225-230 yards, but obviously this went further, as I only had approximately 30 yards to the back pin on the elevated green.


I pulled out the VR X3X Toe Sweep 56-degree wedge, which has an interesting leading edge and kind of throws you off looking down at it when you’re not used to it. But, it performs and the feel (especially considering I could barely feel my hands because it was so cold) was phenomenal. I hit the blind pitch to about eight feet and knocked the putt in for birdie.

Perfect timing — we figured it was a sign that we should head inside and defrost in the clubhouse then.