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The new product introductions keep rolling in. As winter storm Boreas threatens the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, it would seem golf can't wait for 2014 to arrive. Perhaps it will bring with it better days or just more of the same, which blends on the theme of some equipment introductions.
There is a dirty little secret in golf. It is obsessed with its image. After all how many times has the word perfect been used to describe a shot on network television? Innovation is another over used noun intended as an adjective. Marketing mavens enjoy manipulating words to make people believe one thing or another. Often time's perception and reality have a bipolar relationship. 
Case in point comes with Nike Golf, which carries a pretty healthy image and swagger. In most instances the company's reputation precedes itself. Nike Inc. helped to define cool in the mainstream world and its golf division has been able to draft off of that. In other words, "Perfect." 
The company communicated "Innovation Unleashed" recently via its media partners. It was a coming out party for the products it has been working on behind the scenes for 2014. A year ago November, Nike first announced its then new Covert driver, which in turn made its debut at retail in February. A year later, its time for VRS Covert 2.0! The first iteration may be best remembered for Rory McIlroy's proficiency with it. Granted he had an off year upon joining the Nike family. On the other hand, Tiger Woods rebounded in 2013 and returned to the #1 ranking. He won 5 times on the PGA TOUR, but only one of his victories came with an assist from the Covert driver. In his first four conquests in 2013, Woods successfully navigated with a Nike VR Tour driver. He was partial to a VR_S Covert 5-wood, which replaced Nike SQ II 5-wood that he had in his bag back in San Diego for his season opening win. Yet it wasn't until late summer when Woods went to the Covert model, which he won with at the WGC Bridgestone event, his last win on the PGA TOUR in 2013. Nevertheless, he did earn Player of the Year honors for his performance.
The second-generation version looks to pick up where the original left one. According to Nike Golf, it is bigger, faster and longer than last year's industry "game-changing" VRS Covert drivers. "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," said Nate Radcliffe, Nike Golf Director of Engineering. In order to pick up, "up to six yards," in distance it equates to finding approximately an increase in ball speed of 3 mph IF launch angle and spin rate are optimal! Could be money well spent for some and others maybe not.

Nike said the 2.0 features two additional proprietary technologies: A larger, re-engineered NexCOR face for increased ball speed and distance and FlexLoft adjustability, which allows easily customized loft and face angle positions. NexCOR face technology was heralded by the company as a new Nike innovation when it was introduced in its VR Pro Limited Edition Forged model. That was back in September of 2011! For further reference one of its athletes, it noted at the time, that was counting on NexCOR taking his game to the next level was Anthony Kim. Nike Golf proudly stated Kim and Paul Casey were two of the early adopters to the product. According to Nike, it has inflated its NexCOR face by 15-percent in the 2.0 Tour model ($399) and seven percent in the version for the everyday player ($299) compared to the first iteration Covert, which is now available at retail for $199
"For us, innovation and design is at the epicenter of everything we do," Cindy Davis, President of Nike Golf stated in a company press release. "We obsess every detail. Is it fast enough? Is it light enough? Does it feel right? Sound right? Does it meet the eye? Does it move with the body? We challenge everything. We think something nobody else thinks. We build something nobody else builds. We improve something that no one else thinks needs improving. If it's good enough, then we must make it better."
Nike believes it has upped its game with the new product introductions slated for 2014. With its help it wants to up yours!