For 2014, Nike Golf is taking their best products and fine-tuning them to be even better. Never want to avoid innovation, however, the company is introducing some big improvements to its golf product lineup.
In the metalwood category, Nike has introduced the VRS Covert 2.0, refining the cavity-back driver concept they introduced a year ago.
In particular, the cavity back on the driver has been improved and, combined with a feature called the Fly Brace, will transfer more energy from club to ball at impact.
“It’s similar to an automotive frame design,” said Nate Radcliffe, Nike Golf director of engineering. “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.”
The driver's loft and face angle can be adjusted to create 15 different combinations, going from 8.5-12.5 degrees and with three different face angles. The NexCOR face is 7 percent larger than the original VRS Covert.
The club retails for $299, with a Tour model coming in at $399. They're available on Jan. 31, 2014.
The fairway woods are 8 yards longer than version 1.0, thanks to the cavity back improvements and a lower center of gravity that creates higher launch conditions.
From inside 100 yards, Nike is aiming to change the sole of the game. Its VR X3X Toe Sweep wedges are unique. For one, the sole is wider toward the toe, hoping to provide more consistent shots -- flight and spin -- regardless of the surface. The grind also encourages the club to fight through sand better for quicker stopping bunker shots.
In between the long ball and the short game, Nike's VRS Covert forged irons come with NexCOR face technology, a gel-like substance that helps deliver more distance and higher ball speed. The center of gravity, has been pushed lower and deeper into the face for added yards.
On the golf ball side, Nike's prorietary RZN technology may finally have hit its stride with the Speedlock RZN Core. The RZN core surface has a waffle shape, helping the core to interlock with the compression layer for more stability, better energy transfer and more yards.
“We knew we hadn’t pulled 100 percent of the energy that we could out of the existing RZN core,” said Rock Ishiii, Nike Golf senior director for golf product development. “Working in partnership with DuPont we were able to develop a softer and faster RZN material and created the interlocking core design to reduce energy loss at impact. That means more distance, especially with fairway woods, irons and wedges, and softer feel and sound around the greens.”
Influenced by the turn-of-the-20th-century Haskell ball, the Speedlock technology will be found starting in March 2014 in four balls -- RZN Platinum, RZN Black, RZN Red and RZN White -- categorized for all types of player.