Rory McIlroy swooshes into the Nike Golf stable
The worst-kept secret in golf is finally official: World no. 1 Rory McIlroy has signed with Nike Golf. Now, I suppose, the hand-wringing and second-guessing can also officially begin.
Lord Byron knows, it’s been going on unofficially for some time now.
Sir Nick Faldo, among many others, has openly questioned the wisdom of McIlroy switching equipment after a career season. What if he can never get the same feel again?
The following snippet from Nike’s official press release seems to be aimed at addressing such concerns:
In switching to exclusively play and wear Nike Golf products, McIlroy is making his first manufacturer change during his six-year career as a tour professional. “I visited The Oven and I was seriously impressed with both the craftsmanship of the Nike club engineers and also how much R&D and product innovation goes on there,” said McIlroy. “To be honest, I’ve been blown away by the attention to detail when it comes to product. Nike Golf is clearly committed to being the best and that gives me a lot of confidence in what we can achieve together on the golf course.”
One thing that is certain, with both Rory and Tiger in its stable, Nike is making a pretty bold push to raise its links cred with hard-core golfers and older weekend warriors alike, who still cleave more closely to traditional, golf-only brands like Titleist and TaylorMade. The world’s no. 1 and former no. 1 are the crown-jewels in the Nike Golf crown, which is becoming increasingly more sparkly with the addition of a number of semi-precious players over the past year, including the rookie winner of the Sony Open, Russell Henley.
And, just in case you’re wondering how thorough Rory’s Nike make-over actually is, here’s the list of Nike Golf gear he’ll be sporting, pretty much from head to toe:
Driver: Nike VR_S Covert Tour 9.5-degree, neutral position
Fairway Wood: Nike VR Pro Limited Edition 3-wood/15-degree and 5-wood/19-degree
Irons: Nike VR Pro Blades (3-PW)
Wedges: Nike VR Pro 54-degree and 60-degree
Putter: Nike Method 006 Prototype
Ball: Nike 20XI X
Apparel: Nike Golf Tour Performance Collection
Footwear: Nike Lunar Control
Swoosh, there it is.
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