Tell Us What You Think – Nike Golf Brand Survey
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Tell Us What You Think – Nike Golf Brand Survey

Tell Us What You Think – Nike Golf Brand Survey

Your Opinion Really Matters

You’ve already given us some outstanding feedback on Titleist and Callaway Golf. This time we’re asking for your thoughts on what I think may prove to be one of the most polarizing brands in golf. Rather than waste words, let’s get right to the meat of today’s survey.

What’s the Deal with Nike Golf?

At times I’m frankly not sure what to make of Nike Golf. Nike is the largest sporting goods brand in the world. The Nike empire as a whole is sitting on more intellectual property than anyone in the sports world (and it’s not even close). And as far as giant empires go, they are impossibly deft at striking a balance between their mammoth Fortunate 500 corporate stature and the rebelliously innovative spirit that is at the core of Nike’s DNA.

When you narrow focus to Nike’s golf division what you find is a company whose PGA Tour 1-2 punch of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy arguably packs a more influential wallop than that of everybody else combined, and yet for reasons I’m not certain I fully comprehend, I don’t believe the average golfer perceives Nike as a major force in the golf industry.

So what is the deal with Nike’s golf business?

A Question of Perception

You can look at it like this: Nike has only been in the golf industry for just over a decade. You need to give them some time.

Or you can look at it like this: Nike has been in the golf industry for over a decade. What the hell is taking them so long?

It’s possible that perceptions of Nike Golf are almost purely generational.

If you played golf before Nike played golf, chances are you still view them as an outsider. If you’ve never known golf without Nike, maybe they’re every bit as authentic to the sport as Titleist, TaylorMade, and Callaway.

I’m certain that some of you are fiercely loyal to the Nike Golf Brand. You see Nike Golf as a relentless innovator; one of the few companies left with the stones to challenge the status quo.

I’m equally as certain that some of you are fierce Nike Golf detractors. You see Nike Golf as an inauthentic invader; a shoe company too arrogant to realize that it’s got no business in the golf business.

Which is it?

I know what I believe (and I’m working on a story about it), but what do you believe?

That’s exactly what we want to find out today.

Take the Survey

…and tell us exactly what you think about Nike Golf and where it fits in the golf industry.

If you are on a mobile device, Click Here to Take the Survey.

Check Back Soon

Wanna see the results?  So do we!  So…just like last time, we’re going to publish the results of this survey for everyone to see. Be sure to check back soon to find out what other MyGolfSpy readers truly think about the biggest names in golf.

For You

For You

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Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony is the Editor of MyGolfSpy where his job is to bring fresh and innovative content to the site. In addition to his editorial responsibilities, he was instrumental in developing MyGolfSpy's data-driven testing methodologies and continues to sift through our data to find the insights that can help improve your game. Tony believes that golfers deserve to know what's real and what's not, and that means MyGolfSpy's equipment coverage must extend beyond the so-called facts as dictated by the same companies that created them. Most of all Tony believes in performance over hype and #PowerToThePlayer.

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey





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      Rob C.

      10 years ago

      you have to realize that nike golf, even as large a company as they are, is still a start up operation, everyone expected them to be top-notch right off the bat which is an unfair assessment as an equipment manufacturer. while their regular gear is crap, their vr2 pro line is up there with everyone else. i’ve bagged the vr2 blades and wedges along with the method 001 for almost three years now and they are as good as anything else i’ve hit. the vr2 pro driver is a beast with your favorite shaft in it. give them time in R/D and the rest of their line will catch up. right now the only club’s they make that is worth your money is geared toward the single digit golfer’s.

      Reply

      Thom Bendtsen

      10 years ago

      I tried the nike covert driver and can’t hit it out of my shadow. Very few off the rack drivers work for me, and nike’s are ones that never have. Some comments here talk about different policies of club makers in regards to sellers… I couldn’t care less. The clubs have to perform and I have never found a single nike club that I liked better than something else sitting right next to it on the shelf.

      Reply

      Rusty

      10 years ago

      I totally agree with Joe:
      I dont normally see Nike Golf Clubs for sale in the course proshops either…
      which stands to prove that without compensation, pros tend to favor other brands?
      I do however see clothing, and shoes which in my opinion are some of the best available.
      Having said that, however my 14yr old does not even recognize a brand other than Nike…

      Reply

      golfercraig

      10 years ago

      “I dont normally see Nike Golf Clubs for sale in the course proshops either…
      which stands to prove that without compensation, pros tend to favor other brands?”

      In reality–since they are being handsomely compensated by the OEM’s they DO carry, couldn’t you say that pros favor whoever is paying them? Nike is now paying, and putting money into the PGA retirement plan, so they are gaining ground. It’s hard to break into that territory. Much easier at the retail level.

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      10 years ago

      Listen to the man, he’s right. Titleist in particular has been extremely aggressive at the club/local pro level. I’d guess that 50%, and potentially upwards of 80% of the club/teaching/and even retail pros in my area are on staff with Titleist. I’d also guess that my area is not an anomaly.

      Traditionally, the local pro is one level below the Tour Pro on golf’s pyramid of influence, and I would also argue that for those who shop local and green grass, the local pro has near-infinitely more influence over what you buy.

      If you look at most any shop where Titleist sponsors the pro, what you’ll find are inventory levels that skew towards Titleist clubs and balls, Footjoy shoes and gloves, and even FootJoy apparel. In smaller shops, Titleist will often dominate to the exclusion of TaylorMade, Callaway, and certainly smaller brands like Adams and Mizuno.

      Side note here: TaylorMade’s past heavy-handed tendencies are coming back to bite them in the ass a little bit, but more than anything it’s the attention that Titleist pays to the smaller guy that ultimate gives them better distribution and market saturation.

      Using my club as the example again – and this one is probably less typical, but illustrates how shrinking hard goods inventories can skew soft goods inventories even more – we stock clubs from Titleist (guess who sponsors the pro), PING (immensely popular with the membership), and a handful of Nike woods. We get the Nike woods mostly because it keeps the rep happy, and we MUST HAVE the Nike apparel because it’s really the only brand that consistently moves year after year.

      We haven’t stocked a single item from adidas, PUMA, and certainly not the trendy brands (Travis Mathew, Sligo, etc. etc.) since I’ve been a member. FootJoy and Nike and nothing else.

      But as Craig suggested, Nike is starting to make a push. They’re making inroads at the college level, the club level, and even with move visible teaching professionals (Sean Foley) and guys like Martin Chuck. These are areas where Titleist has typically dominated, and they are slowly losing ground to Nike. That’s a not-so-insignificant detail that nobody is really discussing.

      I’m telling anyone who will listen (and most won’t), in 5 years Nike is going to be at the top of the industry (they’re already #4 in total golf revenue), and most aren’t going have a clue how it happened.

      mark

      10 years ago

      I agree completely. Look how many people are PAID to play the Pro V1, you know it by going to PGA tour.com and seeing how many names have titleist after theirs.. Local pro’s are almost always Titleist sponsored. Go into regular retail golf establishments and Titleist is either hidden or has a much smaller footprint. They have the worst margins in golf. Nike has had a tough time gaining ground but are moving in the right direction. Covert was a good start. They are a company that never gets into something unless they thing they can become number one in X amount of years. ITs taken a lot longer than they probably expected. The old guard of golfers hate Nike, but as they die out, the new bread of golfers are not as opposed to Nike. They will be #1 or near #1 in 5 years I would expect. They have a great partnership with off course retailers and its only going to get better. I am an off course retailer so I may be a bit biased, but after the the last 3 years of dealing with net downs and over stock and price drops from Taylor Made, and the new policies of Callaway, I see an opening for Nike, its up to them, but I think its going in that direction.

      Joe

      10 years ago

      I agree with much of what you say. But to think that Nike will dominate in 5 years, is the same thing we heard 5 years ago, and 10-15 years ago. Their shoes and specifically their clothing is top shelf. But that is not really the equipment that we are talking about when talking about leading the golf market.

      It simply cannot be refuted, that Nike has only what it has, because it purchased the business. When the money dries up, players don’t stick with Nike, they go elsewhere…and many times for less money, or no money. Tiger is the biggest reason Nike golf is what it is…and what happens in 5 years when Tiger is dried up?

      Patrick

      10 years ago

      Have owned & played many Nike clubs. Wedges are good. VRS fairway woods are some of the best fairway woods I’ve owned. Feel, ball flight, sound, accuracy dead on. Golf buddy has Cover 2.0 driver & claims it is the best driver he’s ever had. Early Sasquatch stuff was junk, true. Have never owned any of their irons, only demoed the split cavity. Wouldn’t be against owning some if hey made some that didn’t look like a bunch of freekish outlandish hockey sticks. That being said each new generation of thier products is better than the previous.

      Reply

      egdewrich

      10 years ago

      I have been actively acquiring (ok, club ho tendencies are real here!) a variety of 2009-2012 technology for several months, reentering the equipment world after a shoulder injury finally healed. Was dormant for two years, and college tuition limited financial exposures to golf! The Covert fairway wood (adjustable 17 to 22 deg) is easily the equal of anything else out there that I have tried (I found this at GSm in the used rack, bargin, so my only “modern” addition!)
      The Method CORE putter (semimallet 03 I think) is equal to the SCameron Del Ray on my basement putting rug, both equal on frozen putting greens here in Boston area! The VrS Driver seems equal to the R11s on the GSm simulator. And the wedges spin pretty well, though I am a Don White wedge addict at present. THe addition of Dave Stockton to their advisory staff tells me they are continuing to move innovation forward. I watched the replay (at 2 am the other night on TGC) of Russ Henley winning the Sony Hawaiian Open last year, and seeing the kid birdie 5 holes in row with the Nike Swoosh was pretty compelling stuff! He had a Method putter working! Truth told that I hit a TM SLDR 12 degree turned DOWN a degree with a Speeder Shaft and was 15 yards longer on the GS machine, so as Ho’s know, nothing is forever! lol! But I think Nike is for real.

      Reply

      Joe

      10 years ago

      First and foremost, you should play whatever gives you confidence and results, regardless of brand. I personally think, the Nike products that I have bought, have not been as high of quality as they should be. In fact, I would go as far as to say the driver I had in particular, was a rip off. Cheaper than cheap shaft, and paper thin grip.

      And to assume quality/performance because of Tiger or Rory or whoever Nike contracts with, would be flawed. They are not playing the $12.50 shaft that Nike gives to the consumer, or a $2 grip. Besides that, they’re pros. They could play any manufacturer with mostly good results. You do realize that they are paid millions to play Nike, right.

      Look at it this way: who plays Nike equipment, without being handsomely compensated for it? Pros play TM, Titleist, Callaway, and Odyssey, many times for free, without any compensation. I don’t know of one pro that plays Nike, unless paid to do so.

      Reply

      TwoSolitdes

      10 years ago

      Joe knows all the pros.

      Joe

      10 years ago

      Well it is a matter of public record.

      Please produce a single player on tour, that plays Nike anything, that is not under contract with Nike. Besides apparel and shoes, I mean. Ping, Titleist, Callaway/Odyssey, TM, all enjoy success from non contracted players. Not Nike.

      Jordan Kaneshiro

      10 years ago

      I like the apparel and wanted to try the covert fairways but in the end I choose value. I don’t perceive anything they make to be particularly valuable (and that includes apparel). I’m still new to golf but I’m not going to buy anything I’m not going to use for a while. Silly as it sounds I don’t see myself bagging anything of theirs for any significant amount of time. I figure if I want to try the coverts (or the stage 2 fairways for that matter) I can wait til summer and buy some used for a song.

      Reply

      mark b

      10 years ago

      Almost all of the comments I just read seemed to be quite fair and honest with regard to Nike so I expect the survey results to be similar. Most seem to be saying their clothes and shoes are superb. Their clubs — not so much. Some border on downright crap. I’d have to agree.

      If nothing else, they are innovative. They are throwing a bunch of wild pitches at us right now and most are missing the strike zone, but if they keep throwing they are gonna burn one or two heaters right down the middle pretty soon. I hate the Coverts, but the new wedge and new RZN’s have my attention.

      Reply

      Cragboy

      10 years ago

      I bought the covert irons and diver last year and loved them. I went to the shop looking for a new set of irons. Nike was not on my mind. When I was at the shop they asked if I wanted to hit the nikes too. I said ya. Ended up buying them. My second choice was ping g25.

      Reply

      Joe

      10 years ago

      I have owned a few different Nike products, including shoes, wedges and drivers. I have been disappointed with all that I have had. Honestly, in the past, Nike has copied other technologies, and used absolutely the cheapest components!
      I paid $350 dollars for a Nike driver, and could not have had a cheaper grip or shaft. The first driver I ever purchased was from Target for $50, and I dare say it was the equivalent to my Nike driver. Then to see the millions that they pay to tour players, tour players funded by ripping off the consumer.
      Occasionally there are Nike products that catch my eye (mod method 90 putter), but then I am reminded of past experiences with Nike, and move on.

      Reply

      twosolitudes

      10 years ago

      Modern and Innovative will both be big with Nike.

      Reply

      Jason Hopkins

      10 years ago

      I think they suffer a bit from big boy syndrome.
      Ok. They have tried different things & possibly focused on game improvement stuff too much.
      But some people just want to put a better# on their card & don’t care about manufacturer.
      Well done Nike. Don’t stop the innovations.

      Reply

      Matt Martin

      10 years ago

      I agree with Bud, Nike’s apparel line cannot be touched except for maybe Puma in my opinion. They are definitely giving us what we want on that front, no doubt about it. This is their bread and butter though so to speak. Nike can make more money selling clothing since their operations have been set up for that business model for decades now as opposed to their clubs that are just now really starting to pick up steam. I think it’s still going to be awhile before we really see the best they have to offer as far as their clubs go.

      I’ve tried everything that Nike has to offer (except for their flea market putters) and overall I have to say that they’re just “ok”. The craftsmanship and quality to me, even with all the cool coloring and such, still leaves something to be desired. That being said, I still play MP32’s so i’m probably one the tougher converts anyway.

      Reply

      Bud Davis

      10 years ago

      Nike’s golf apparel is second to none. Their clubs have a ways to go before we can say that, but not as far as it used to be. I think they started out with the Tiger signing and put all the apples in one bushel. Their first iron offering was a muscle back blade that only Tiger could hit. Since then, they have been a leader in the golf industry in terms of innovation. They seem to focus on a younger audience, but the game needs young players. They also strike me as prodigal “surfer dudes”, fully capable of leading the industry (heaven knows they have the cash to do so if so inclined) but sort of choosing not to. I’d love to see what the mighty swoosh could do if they really put their mind to it.

      Reply

      Simon ACT

      10 years ago

      I dont mind mind some of their iron sets, but the Sasquatch and SQ series Drivers and 3 woods seemed gimmicky and cheaply made and finished. Some of their golf ball offerings in particular have been deplorable and most people at my club regard them a company that makes junk.

      Despite spending an enormous amount of cash on Tiger and Rory, my perception is that both have struggled with Nike gear and that their golf game (if not their bank balance) would be better off using something else. Their marketing pitch is top tier, their pricing is top tier but their offerings are middle of the pack at best. If they are making money with this model then goodluck to them, but I suspect that a Kmart or Costco sales model might be more their thing.

      Reply

      Ron

      10 years ago

      I kind of agree with you on some od the square Nike woods but they werent the only ones doing that at the time. And for you to say Tiger would be better off not using Nike equipment is a joke. What he would have 25 majors by now if he was a Taylormade Staffer? Thats just laughable

      Reply

      Simon ACT

      10 years ago

      Thanks for countering a statement I didn’t make.

      adam

      10 years ago

      I totally agree with you. Like most people in this forum I think nike apparel is hard to beat. But I don’t think their equipment is great, i know it works for some, just not me. The only thing i had from nike that stayed in the bag over 2 yrs was an old nike oz putter. i just loved the damn thing even though it was just a chunk of metal on a stick. It has since been replaced with a ghost spider s. One thing i have always disliked were their balls. Some offerings i thought were so hard only tiger could compress them fully.

      When it comes to money, they pay Tiger like 250-300 million a year and now Rory another 250 million over 5 yrs, not including Michelle Wie and Suzanne Peterson, Charles Schwartzel, and now a exclusive apparel only deal with Nick Watney. Does Nike even sell that much GOLF apparel and equipment to cover their wages per year?

      Reply

      Ryan17

      10 years ago

      I have nothing against Nike, but every product of theirs I’ve tried has been sub par. Feel and proformance and numbers have been bad. I went to try a Nike putter once and the grip was on at a 45* angle to the face. I’ve tried to like nike, but they have made it hard.

      Reply

      golfercraig

      10 years ago

      They are coming, and coming fast. Radcliffe is a rockstar, and it’s no coincidence that Nike is ready to explode while Cleveland disappears. If not for horrible weather luck last year they would have made MAJOR waves. The Covert 2.0 stuff is great, and if demo days don’t get snowed/rained out for them again this year, they’ll double their market share again.

      Reply

      flaglfr

      10 years ago

      Nike has been in the golf business longer than most realize. They have been around since the 80’s. They make a good product. Their shoes are (arguably of course) better than average, but the rest of their stuff seems to fall into obscurity. Do I believe it is as good as everybody else’s? Yes. Do I believe it is better than everybody else’s? No.

      To me this is sort of a paradox. I know they are an 800 pound gorilla in many sports and particularly in the clothing industry, but their golf equipment as a whole really leaves me with a flat feeling.

      The one thing I do compliment Nike on is sticking with what they know and what works for them. They are not releasing “new” clubs every other week. They appear to be resisting market trends in this area. Are they the most modern music on the radio? No. But they aren’t far from it.

      The thing they are is consistent with is keeping a good product on the market. Their stuff may not be the wildest. It may not have all the fancy bells and whistles that other clubs have, but they work.

      Now if we could only get them to take the stupid looking offset giant swoosh off of (or at least center a smaller version in the middle of the crown) their drivers and fairway woods, I would be happy to try them.

      Reply

      mygolfspy

      10 years ago

      I think you hit one of the Nike nails on the head GJohnston. Great observation.

      Surveys are great ways to make you see things you might not have realized while the entire time they were staring you right in the face. One of the reasons we started to do them. We want readers/consumers to start looking deeper into the brands and we think surveys are one of the ways we can do that.

      Reply

      gjohnston

      10 years ago

      Never realized until I took this survey what I really thought about Nike golf:

      I find them to be very innovative, they are never afraid to try new things: square clubs, rzn balls, cavity back drivers, that new crazy wedge with the toe grind. Problem is, despite all this innovation (gimmicks?) their clubs don’t perform any better than other companies IMO.

      When I compare the forged Pro combos I used to game to the various Mizuno MP clubs I’ve owned, they come up short.
      I prefer my old school R9 supertri to the VR Pro driver I tried for a few months.
      I tried the rzn ball but found it was a step down from the ProV1.

      Point being, all the innovation and original stuff in the world won’t really help you gain traction with semi regular or serious golfers. Until Nike can deliver game changing performance, instead of just saying they are in their commercials and marketing, I don’t see them being perceived as a top tier golf company.

      Based on the recent review I read on here about the funky new wedge (forget what it’s called), Nike may finally be producing innovative products that actually deliver a distinct advantage.

      Reply

      Rev kev

      10 years ago

      I think nike equipment is fine. The problem they have is that most golf traditionalists won’t look at their stuff because it doesn’t stand out. Rory’s down year and Tiger’s wildness off the tee is not helpful for a brand that relies so much on star power marketing.

      Reply

      mnfats95

      10 years ago

      Your survey still mentions Callaway instead of being changed to Nike.

      Reply

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    Tyrrell Hatton Tyrrell Hatton
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