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Nike VRS Covert 2.0's new Fly-Brace technology

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Rory McIlroy is starting 2014 with renewed energy and confidence in his game and a solid T2 finish in his first event of the year, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. He also has a new driver in his bag, the Nike VRS Covert 2.0.

This club is the second generation of the apple-red driver that boasts a High Speed Cavity Back, which is designed to redistribute weight to the toe and heel to increase distance and stability across the clubface. Only this one also utilizes a new technology that company engineers call Fly-Brace, which melds the sole of the club to the crown.

“By stiffening the rear portion of the club, more energy is transferred to the face at impact,” says Nate Radcliffe, Nike Golf director of engineering. “The end result is even greater ball speed and up to six yards of distance gain over last year’s Covert driver model.

“It’s similar to an automotive frame design,” he adds. “Fly-Brace reinforces the rearward portion of the clubhead to focus impact stress, flexing and subsequent energy transfer to the point of impact.” It also cuts down on vibration as it makes the driver more stable and better sounding.

In addition, Radcliffe’s team gave this iteration of the Covert driver a larger, re-engineered NexCOR face for increased ball speed and distance, and FlexLoft adjustability, which allows golfers to easily customize loft (from 8.5 to 12.5 degrees) and select from three different face-angle positions.

The Covert 2.0 comes in a regular version, which is 460 cc in size, and also a Tour model, which is the one McIlroy has put into play. That clubhead is 420 cc and features a smaller, more pear-shaped playing profile.