Connect with us

Equipment

Nike Golf club nostalgia

Published

on

As time passes, we often look back on prior events and designs with rose-colored glasses. This reborn love for classic designs has taken hold in a number of avenues, from clothing, to cars, and even golf equipment.

In the case of cars, models that would have been considered odd and ugly are now cherished by those that appreciate their origins.

Case in point, below.

Often, these nostalgic cycles are created generationally by individuals who at one point admired a design but were too young or not financially able to afford what they really wanted. Once these individuals reach an age of financial stability they seek nostalgia and are willing to pay good money to rekindle that fond memory.

In the case of golf equipment, over the last five years, there has been a renaissance of golf nerddom on a number of levels. From persimmon enthusiasts looking to capture and enjoy golf the way it used to be played, to other players seeking out sets of modern clubs they idolized as younger golfers but could also never afford. The great thing for those searching for older clubs is that it’s way less expensive than buying a car.

Notable Nike Golf moments

Nike fits well into this cycle of nostalgia, and there are a number of factors to consider, the most important being the resurgence of Tiger Woods as a major champion—even if he no longer uses those clubs. Around the late 2000s and early part of the next decade, it wasn’t just Mr. Woods racking up wins.

In fact, Nike had a number of its athletes achieve big milestones including Trevor Immelman winning the 2008 Masters, Lucas Glover winning the 2009 U.S. Open, Stuart Cink winning the 2009 Open Championship (*we all know you were cheering for Tom Watson), and Charl Schwartzel winning the 2011 Masters with four-straight closing birdies—all with bags full of Nike gear.

Let’s just take a moment to remember that both Glover and Cink won using the square Nike SQ Sumo2 Tour driver—the lower spinning version of the often-mocked SQ Sumo2, and Nike had a number of other very high profile players during this time period.

The retail experience

During this era of Nike Golf, I worked frontline in big box golf retail, and as much as we found Nike gear performed well, it was generally a difficult sell to (vast generalization coming here) older established golfers who were used to looking at the traditional brands. The loud colors we are used to seeing today were forward-thinking and also a turn off to many consumers even if the clubs did perform.

The story of Nike Golf’s life in the hards good space is well documented, so I don’t need to do an entire recap of its exit. It is well known that no matter what you thought of their clubs, the underlying dark horse was always their forged irons and wedges, and that leads us to one man—Mike Taylor.

Once Nike decided to exit the hard goods space, this left a lot of extremely talented people looking for new opportunities, and a small group from Nike went out on their own and created Artisan Golf out of what was previously “The Oven,” Nike’s R&D facility. Mike Taylor, Dave Richey, and John Hatfield, all men with decades of experience hand-building golf clubs from scratch started offering their expertise to anyone looking for a hands-on approach to their own equipment. With their well-documented history working with players, it didn’t take long for Artisan to build a following.

This following and newfound interest in this small team brought with it much deserved notoriety to more general golfers than they ever received while working under Nike Golf. As their well-documented history continues to become more well known, it has created a higher demand for their Artisan products and in turn, has golfers searching for alternatives and looking back with much more fondness to previous Nike clubs.

As a constant consumer of the used club marketplace and lover of forged blades, I have been pleasantly surprised to see how Nike clubs including the VR Forged Blades, VR Pro II, and older forged wedges have held value compared to similar clubs in the same category from other manufacturers. The only logical reason for this increased value is golfers realizing the people behind these clubs are true craftsmen and just as important in victory as the athletes who used them.

In the case of used club shopping, it’s still a relatively inexpensive pursuit compared to other hobbies, and if you are in the market for some classic Nike gear, be prepared to pay a small premium for the right to own some of the best-made forged irons of the last decade.

 

Your Reaction?
  • 104
  • LEGIT17
  • WOW1
  • LOL3
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP2
  • OB2
  • SHANK17

Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Hardy

    Mar 27, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    I have Nike blades (the VR Pro II – LOL), hybrids, and putter that I may sell if the price is right.

  2. Todd

    Mar 27, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    The sq 2 fairway was super legit. I wish I had never parted with it

  3. Egdew Rich

    Mar 27, 2020 at 9:45 am

    Vapor Flex driver..have two of them..were far ahead of their time!

  4. Cliff

    Mar 27, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Have an orange, black and white Nike bag with a sumo2 driver. Ignite 5 wood. Slingshot 4 & 5 hybrid and Ignite irons and Nike wedges. Only club in the bag not Nike…. Odyssey putter. Love my Nike sticks.

  5. Benny

    Mar 26, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Last year I got a sick set of RAW Nike Tour Blades in Recoild X Prototype shafts. They were a steal and just assumed they wouldn’t be something I would game. Especially just after getting rid of raw MP68’s that I was dissapointed with.
    These Nike blades were so small and tiny ut I went on one of my best summer runs in years. Not long and could only draw/hook them but I shot some of the lowest scores in 5-6 years and got myself back down to a 3.7 index.
    Unfortunately I started to “hosel-rocket” them adter 6-7 weeks which put me into a side spin. Especially when I was playing against better players who use p790’s and PXG’s that were 2x clubs longer.
    I agree with this. Nike made irons and wedges!

  6. Greg

    Mar 26, 2020 at 9:33 am

    Good article but you missed an entire category where Nike still has a very loyal folllowong (including chasing/collecting unique clubs built at The Oven)…. their putters.

    I am gaming a Mod 90 and you will have to pry this putter from my cold, dead hands.

    • Ryan Barath

      Mar 26, 2020 at 2:04 pm

      100% The putters were highly underrated!

      My personal favorite before the Methods came along were the Unitized. Classic shapes, heavy heads… gone but not forgotten.

  7. jgpl001

    Mar 26, 2020 at 6:07 am

    I was never a big Nike fan, but the VR Pro II irons and the Vapour MB’s were cracking clubs

    Some Nike balls were very good too

  8. Lewis

    Mar 26, 2020 at 12:15 am

    Last year i picked up a set of the old Nike TW VR forged blades in excellent shape. I was expecting to love the things but it just never happened for me. This article has me wishing they werent 900 miles away in my in-laws basement so i could pass them on to a fellow WRX member. Also just realized my all time favorite driver is in the same bag with those irons….. IDIOT!!!!!

  9. BillyG

    Mar 25, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    Still playing a full set of VR Pro II blades, wedges, driver, and fairway. I also have a couple of hybrids which don’t have that draw tendency like many. These clubs are all really great to play because they are classic. Even the Method 001 gets to hand in the bag, too. How many pros still keep some form of Vapor Pro club in their bags?

  10. Frank

    Mar 25, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Why do people repeatedly call the VR pro blades the “vr pro II”?

    • Jens

      Mar 26, 2020 at 2:19 pm

      Thank you, Frank!

    • BillyG

      Mar 26, 2020 at 3:30 pm

      Because that is what is on the club. Duh!

      • Jens

        Mar 27, 2020 at 11:40 am

        It’s there for aesthetics/design purpose. You don’t read “Vr-II-Pro-Swoosh” just because it’s on the club, do you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Whats in the Bag

Tiger Woods WITB 2020

Published

on

  • Equipment accurate as of the Farmers Insurance Open

Tiger Woods WITB 2020

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 60 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max Rocket 3 (14 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 70 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 80 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7TW (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: TaylorMade MG 2 “Tiger MT Grind” (56-12, 60-11 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS
Grip: Ping PP58 Blackout

Golf Ball: Bridgestone TourB XS

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

More photos of Tiger Woods’ WITB in the forums

Your Reaction?
  • 5
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Equipment

GolfWRX Spotlight: Scotty Cameron Special Select Newport 2

Published

on

When you buy a Scotty Cameron putter, you know what you are in for: quality craftsmanship, stunning attention to detail, and of course—one heck of a flat stick. Cameron has been refining his designs for more than 25 years at Titleist, and the Special Select line has become a showcase for timeless shapes known the world over, including the Newport 2.

2020-scotty-cameron-select-2

Classic shapes never go out of style, and as far as the Newport 2 in the Special Select line goes, it brings me right back to my Art of Putting Oil Can Newport 2, the one putter I wish I had never sold from my collection.

Photo: Scotty Cameron Archive

It has a noticeably thinner top line than any recent Cameron releases, which may or may not appeal to all golfers, along with sharper lines along the bumpers.

Design as a holistic utility, ebbs and flows throughout history. What was popular for a very specific reason at one point may not appeal to the same people as tastes and preferences change. The Special Select line brings back a lot of classic influences, which as a whole, will appeal to a very large number fo golfers familiar with Camerons of the past.

2020-scotty-cameron-select-5

The benefit of the modern Special Select versus the classic designs are the customization options available. The Special Select head weight changes based on the length of the putter to keep feel the same, and if you want to go a step further, you can choose to have your putter built to either the “light” or “heavy” spec directly from the Titleist custom shop. With the trend of putter heads getting heavier, I can see this becoming a very popular option.

2020-scotty-cameron-select-7

Scotty Cameron has always had a keen eye for putters and this line is no different,

“With Special Select, I wanted to get back to the pure-milled shapes and faces that I’ve been crafting for tour players for over two decades now. We’ve brought those designs into the modern era with new setups, necks, faces, grips and weights. Every aspect of every putter has been redone. When it all came together, it was pretty special.” – Scotty Cameron

Special Select Line Update:

All of the changes made to the new Special Select line versus previous releases are tour inspired and include

  • Soft Tri-sole Design: to promotes the putter sitting square to the target line at address when the putter is soled.
  • New Tungsten Balanced Weighting: These new heavier weights not only assure each putter is properly balanced based on putter length, but also offer higher MOI thanks to the greater concentration of mass on the heel and toe.
  • Refined Hosel Configurations: Each model’s hosel has been tweaked for optimized performance. For example, the Newport 2 putter features a slightly shorter plumbers neck for more toe flow, along with a new socket radius (where the hosel neck meets the top line) to offer better visibility of the ball and leading-edge at address.

Scotty Cameron Special Select Details

There are eight models to choose from in the 2020 Special Select line; three blades, and five mid-mallet options with a look and toe flow for any player’s stroke.

  • Newport, Newport 2 ( featured here), Newport 2.5, Del Mar, Fastback 1.5, Squareback 2, Flowback 5, and Flowback 5.5.

Special Select putters retail for $399.

Your Reaction?
  • 22
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP2
  • OB1
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

Equipment

TaylorMade introduces yellow TP5 and TP5X golf balls

Published

on

TaylorMade TP5, TP5X Yellow

TaylorMade Golf has introduced their new yellow versions of the TP5 and TP5X golf balls which are available online and at retail today.

Designed for high visibility, the yellow balls feature all the same technology as the original TP5 and TP5X golf balls which includes a 5-layer construction as well as a low compression core designed to increase launch angle and reduce drag.

TaylorMade TP5, TP5X Yellow

As a reminder, the TP5 and TP5X also contain the brand’s HFM (High-Flex-Material). Described by the company as its “fastest material” ever, HFM is a tightly wound spring, which is designed to create more rebound energy when compressed for added ball speed.

TaylorMade TP5, TP5X Yellow

The balls also include TaylorMade’s Speed-Layer System, which is comprised of four increasingly stiff layers, creating a Speed-Layer System that enables a soft core to be wrapped by increasingly rigid materials. This system allows each outer layer to become progressively faster with the aim of controlling spin rates without affecting speed or distance.

TaylorMade TP5, TP5X Yellow

The yellow versions of the TP5 and TP5X golf balls are available to purchase on taylormadegolf.com and through their global retail partners at retail or online.

TaylorMade TP5, TP5X Yellow

Your Reaction?
  • 20
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK3

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending