Nike Golf: Profile of the (Former) Golf Club Maker and Its History

Nike still making golf accessories, but Nike Golf no longer exists

Detail of a golf ball full of Nike Golf clubs on the pro tour
The Nike 'Swoosh' always identified Nike Golf equipment. Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Nike Golf was a division of Nike, Inc., that operates as a separate business unit within the larger company.

But Nike Golf announced in mid-2016 that it was leaving the golf equipment business: Nike Golf drivers, irons, putters, balls and other equipment will no longer be made. The company will remain in the footwear and apparel spaces, however.

That larger company - Nike, Inc. - traces it origins to 1964, and became known as Nike in 1978.

In 1986, Nike began making golf shoes. But despite that fact that Nike had endorsement deals with some pro golfers (Curtis Strange and Peter Jacobsen chiefly) to wear its shoes, the Nike golf shoes of that era were not well-regarded by consumers and didn't sell well.

Nike muddled along in golf with shoes and apparel, not making much of a mark, until it finally made some noise in 1996. That's when Nike signed a young golfer who had just turned pro - Tiger Woods - to a then-staggering contract: five years and $40 million. It did this despite not having any golf balls or golf clubs for Woods to play.

And the company's investors did not react well to the Woods signing: Nike stock fell by 5-percent in the immediate aftermath of the announcement (which took place at the Greater Milwaukee Open).

Nike Golf, as a business unit within Nike Inc., was established in 1998. Only in 2000 did Woods begin using any Nike Golf equipment in tournament play, starting with the Tour Accuracy TW golf ball.

The Tour Accuracy golf ball was Nike Golf's first success with consumers, too, its sales driven in part by the famous commercial featuring Woods bouncing the ball off the face of an iron.

In 2001, Nike Golf hired Tom Stites to design its first golf club launches, which came in 2002.

Stites had worked at the Ben Hogan Company as an engineer, and had run his own boutique club company called Impact Golf Technologies.

The first Nike Golf club to reach the market was the Pro Combo set of forged irons.

After that, Nike Golf grew fairly quickly, and Woods (along with other company endorsees) eventually filled his bag with Nike Golf products.

Nike Golf's ensuing innovations included the Sumo2 driver released in early 2007, one of the first square drivers to reach the market or make an impact in the game.

Nike Golf Web Site:

NikeGolf.com

The main company (all divisions) Web site is at Nike.com. The corporate Web site of Nike, Inc. (which includes investor info, job postings, etc.) is at NikeBiz.com.

Nike Golf Contact Info

The customer service phone number for Nike Golf in the United States and Canada is 1-888-799-6453. That number is answered Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-3:50 p.m. Pacific Time.

Before calling, Nike Golf asks that golfers first check the FAQs posted online in the Customer Service section of NikeGolf.com.

Golfers outside the U.S. and Canada should go to the Web site and use the "Select Country" link to switch to the appropriate geographical region.

Mailing Address
Nike Golf
Woodside Corporate Park RG-2
1345 SW Burlington Ave.
Beaverton, OR 97006

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