Revolutionizing the Driver



SERVICES: Strategy, Design, Engineering, Prototyping

Nike Golf and Priority Designs began their partnership in 2010 with the goal of revolutionizing the marketplace with radical technology and iconic design. The world’s first high speed cavity back driver, The Nike Covert, marks the first major release during this collaboration.

Priority Designs’ designers, engineers, and prototypers have been working with Nike Golf’s Long Term Research (LTR) group to push the boundaries of golf club innovation. With the Covert driver, the teams identified the goals of a driver that: Provides more distance, forgiveness, and maximum user customization.

Cavity Back = Distance & Forgiveness

Golfers have benefited from cavity back irons for years, which feature perimeter weighting to increase forgiveness. Nike and Priority Designs conceptualized options of replicating this technology in a driver, utilizing this knowledge. Early versions featured radical interpretations of the technology. Multiple renderings and physical models, created in Priority Designs’ prototype lab, generated feedback that informed the decision to keep a traditional head shape at address, and that the weight movement should take place on the sole, covertly.

The collaborative effort of Nike Golf and Priority Designs lead to the creation of the world’s first high speed cavity back driver. The cavity back technology leads to more stability at impact, delivering more energy to the ball, resulting in more distance and control. The extra weight on the heel and toe of the club raises the moment of inertia and adds more distance to off-center shots. The teams at Nike and Priority Designs collaborated on the visual embodiment of the club that successfully marries functional requirements with an iconic aesthetic.

Flex-Loft = Customization

Nike and Priority Designs’ engineers worked together on the revolutionary Flex-Loft system that provides consumers with more custom control over their driver. Previously, golfers could adjust the face angle of their club, but loft angle was fixed. If you wanted a different loft, you would have to buy a new driver. The dual-axis system adjusts both face angle and loft, allowing completely independent control over the launch angle of their ball and left-to-right adjustment of their trajectory.The development process encompassed the rigorous task of decoupling the two variables: loft and face angle. Additionally, the system would have to be easily adjusted by golfers. The solution of two axes of adjustment provides independent control and clearly communicates to the golfer; one sleeve adjusts loft, the other adjusts face angle. Months of calculations, prototypes, and testing has resulted in unprecedented control and 15 unique positions for the golfer.

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