There is no golf image more iconic or memorable than Tiger Woods with halfcocked fist raised while wearing his red Nike golf shirt. Golf shirts, hats, and golf accessories will still be available, but the shocking news as of Wednesday, August 3, is that Nike is leaving golf. A shock to all, including all of us here at Deer Creek Golf Club.
Wood’s indefinite hiatus from golf has definitely changed the sport for good, and although that may or may not have had anything to do with the reason why Nike is leaving golf, it is public knowledge that the profits from golf bags, balls, and clubs have been flat for the past two years.
“We’re committed to being the undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel,” said Trevor Edwards, president of Nike Brand, in a company press release on Wednesday. The announcement was followed by layoffs later in the afternoon and nothing else has been said on the subject matter.
Woods (when or if he returns), Rory McIlroy, and Michelle Wie are, or were, all sponsored by Nike, which begs the question of what company is going to snag these high profile golfers now, and how is the transition going to work during the busiest month of the entire golf year?
The golf shoe and clothing department will continue as usual, but golf equipment for Nike is over. Nike was only a player in the golf equipment scene for a very short time. Nike balls began selling in 1999 and Tiger Woods switched to them very quickly. He went on to have an illustrious career playing with Nike as his sponsor, and now his exit coincides with Nike.