Golf

  • Tiger Finally Playing on All-Nike Equipment

    21 July 2013

    Tiger Woods has been playing professional golf since 1996, but the clubs and other equipment he has used in his career has changed a lot.

    In 1999, Nike approached their top pitchman, asking him to switch to the clubs that the corporate giant was starting to develop. Woods responded by saying he would be interested if he was paid enough to do it, and if the company produced golf equipment that he would be comfortable using.

    It was a lengthy process to develop the golf clubs that Tiger would use on the pro golf tour. Woods started out by spending months testing out various drivers and woods until he found clubs that felt right, and were made out of the correct materials.

    Nike then switched its focus to irons. They paid Woods to test a number of variations until he was happy with a particular type of iron, and the feel of the club.

    Woods debuted the Nike driver, woods and irons in the year 2000. He had a lot of success in that time, accomplishing the so-called "Tiger Slam." Woods won the last three major tournaments of that year (The U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship), along with the Masters Tournament in 2001. Woods use Nike clubs to become the first golfer in modern history to win all four major golf tournaments in a twelve-month period.

    Despite the success, Woods continued to work with Nike to make minor adjustments to the clubs in his bag.

    Once the clubs were perfected, Nike started to work on other golf equipment that would eventually be used by Woods. The three main items the company focused on were putters, golf balls and golf gloves.

    Woods was brought in again to try out putters, hit various versions of golf balls, and used a number of golf gloves for nearly a decade. Woods switched to those items between 2002 and 2010 one at a time, but Woods did not have a lot of success at first with some of the items. Nike continued to work on it, and Woods started using nothing but Nike products on the golf course in 2010. Woods had been using a Nike golf ball for several years, but switched to a permanent Nike ball in 2010 that was harder than the balls he had been using before that time. Woods also changed putters for the first time in his career in 2010 to a new Nike putter that took nearly a decade to develop and perfect before Woods would use it.

    The success of Nike and Tiger Woods teaming up has been a mixed-bag so-to-speak. He has won a lot of tournaments with the driver, woods and irons, but his success with the Nike putter has not been as good. Woods has not won a major tournament since switching to the Nike putter in 2010, but has won several smaller tournaments.

    Woods says he plans to continue to use Nike equipment for the rest of his career. Woods credits Nike for bringing in specialists and the latest technology to produce the best equipment available. The collaboration has been very profitable for both Woods and Nike, with each making hundreds of millions of dollars since 1999.

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