Nike announces shock exit from golf club business

Nike golf clubs will become a thing of the past, maybe even collector’s items following their sudden decision to stop making golf equipment.

While golfing luminaries such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have become synonymous with Nike and their golf clubs in past years, the company has decided to steer their resources in another direction and instead make footwear and apparel their major target.

Rory McIlroy Rory Mcilroy (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

This means Nike will stop producing clubs and their popular ‘Swoosh’ logo golf balls as well as golf bags.

According to Nike brand president Trevor Edwards the company is committed to being the undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel.

“We will achieve this by investing in performance innovation for athletes and delivering sustainable profitable growth for Nike Golf,” he said.

While no players have won a major championship using Nike clubs since Rory McIlroy’s victory at the US PGA Championship in 2014, Nike have continued to be a popular club on the world stages without being able to seriously challenge the likes of Callaway, TaylorMade and Titleist.

It was way back in 1996 when Nike first signalled it wanted to mix it with the big boys when a young Tiger Woods was signed to an equipment and apparel contract.

Tiger thrust them into the spotlight a few months later when he won his first major, the 1997 US Masters.

Nike continued to grow as a golf brand, signing McIlroy to a 10-year deal in 2013 that was reported to be worth $200m to the Northern Irishman.

McIlroy was quick to indicate his support for Nike, via Twitter: “Sad for @nikegolf employees that worked so hard and made genuinely great golf equipment. Your support will always be appreciated,” he said.

Of course Nike’s decision leaves McIlroy in limbo with seven years still to run on his contract.

Nike Golf has seen sales decline in line with Woods’ career, after he ran into trouble both on and off the course.