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A Tour down Nike's Golf Equipment's Memory Lane!

A Tour down Nike’s Golf Equipment’s Memory Lane!

A Tour down Nike’s Golf Equipment’s Memory Lane!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

I must admit it was a huge shock to me when I heard that Nike discontinued their golf equipment line.  The millions they spent on Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy alone should have put them on top of the golf equipment pile! But, did Tiger’s demise have anything to do with Nike’s equipment demise?  Pure speculation.  The  GolfWRX Staff takes us for a time-lapse tour of Nike’s equipment over the years.

Nike’s golf equipment never appealed to the masses in the same way as the company’s golf shoes and apparel, leading to the company’s decision to discontinue its production of clubs, balls and bags and focus on soft goods. Its lack of retail success, however, does not mean that Nike didn’t produce excellent golf equipment.

Nike launched its first golf balls, the Precision line, in 1998. Its first line of golf clubs came in 2002. Our staff took a trip down memory lane to remember all the Nike golf equipment produced between then and now. Here’s our list of the best golf equipment Nike ever made.

10. SQ Sumo2 Driver

A Tour down Nike's Golf Equipment's Memory Lane!

Nike’s SQ Sumo2 was one of the most polarizing clubs in company history. Released in 2006 — the height of the industry’s obsession with high-MOI drivers — the SQ Sumo2 used a composite crown and a square head shape to push weight to the back corners of the driver head for added forgiveness on off-center hits.

The SQ Sumo2 was best known for its loud, high-pitched sound, which rang like an aluminum baseball bat at impact. A later version, Nike SQ Sumo2 5900, increased MOI to 5900, while improving sound and feel.

9. VR X3X Toe Sweep Wedge

A Tour down Nike's Golf Equipment's Memory Lane!

All wedges pretty much look the same, right? Not Nike’s Toe Sweep wedge, the brainchild of legendary Nike club maker Mike Taylor that was released in 2014.

Related: Our slideshow of early prototypes of the Toe Sweep wedge, which show the developmental stages of the club.

The VR X3X attempted to solve the age-old problem of the heel of the wedge getting “stuck” on shots from long grass. Taylor’s solution was to create wedge soles with hardly any mass on the heel side, which also made open-face shots easier. Both Rory McIlroy and Johnny Vegas used the Toe Sweep grind to win on tour.

8. Split Cavity Prototype Irons

A Tour down Nike's Golf Equipment's Memory Lane!

Nike Split Cavity Irons

These irons were in play by several of Nike’s tour players and carried a special significance to us. Our founder easily scored a set of Trevor Immelman prototypes back in 2005, the year GolfWRX was founded, and hasn’t stopped talking about the Miura-forged prototypes since.

At the time, the Split Cavities were the standard to meet for all forged cavity-back irons. They were clean in shape, butter soft at impact and great through the ground. Several notable forged cavity-back irons followed, including our recent Nike favorites, theVR Forged Pro Combos.

7. Vapor Flex 440

A Tour down Nike's Golf Equipment's Memory Lane!

For gear heads, the worst part about Nike’s decision to fold its golf equipment division could be the promise it showed with its latest driver, the Vapor Flex 440.

Ever since Nike’s switch to its Covert design platform for metal woods, the company struggled to compete in the realm of low-spin drivers. The Vapor Flex 440 (released in 2016) was different. Sixty percent of the club head was made from Nike’s proprietary, carbon fiber- RZN material, a weight-saving scheme to boost performance.

Our sources tell us that Nike’s line of 2017 drivers relied heavily on a RZN construction, and were by far the best-performing drivers in company history. If true, it’s a case of too little, too late.

6. VR_S Forged Irons

Nike decided to release the VR_S Forged in the U.S. after enjoying incredible success in Japan. The intent was for mid-to-high handicappers, the irons caught on with low handicappers, as well as many PGA Tour players (including Tiger Woods), who used them as long-iron replacements.

Key to the success of the VR_S Forged is in their two-piece construction.  This merges a 1025 carbon steel framework by welding a thin club face to the body to improve ball speed and forgiveness. Despite their bulk, the irons appear and feel premium, and adds value to their $999 sticker price, with Nippon’s aftermarket 950GH shaft as the stock option. They became one of the best game-improvement irons in 2012.

To see the rest of the best Nike golf equipment ever made, go here!

Source: GolfWRX Staff

Pictures: Nike

Thanks for reading – A Tour down Nike’s Golf Equipment’s Memory Lane!

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