That’s a Nike golf bag sitting over there. Inside of it you will find a Nike Sasquatch driver. Next to that a three and five wood both from the Sasquatch family. Moving to the irons you will find a set of CCI forged Nike irons. Then moving on down the line you will see a pair of Nike SV wedges. Finally you will see a putter fresh from the Nike research and development department. It is not even on the shelves but it’s in this bag. Oh yeah, the golf ball is a Nike One Tour D. Do you see a trend here?
In my bag, which is a Ping that I got when I was playing at Marian College (now called Marian University), you will find a Titleist driver. I do not carry a three or five wood but rather a Tight Lies, which serves as my go to utility club. Then you will find a set of MacGregor V-Foil blades that I have been playing for three seasons now. Moving to my wedges you will find a collection of Ping and Titleist. My putter is an Odyssey, which is a branch of Callaway. I play a Titleist Pro-V 1 golf ball.
Do you see a difference in these two sets of golf clubs? One of them is from PGA Tour player Lucas Glover and the other is my set. The difference is that he is paid to play, you guessed it, Nike equipment while I have to play what I can afford and what best fits my game in an off the shelf fashion. He gets new test products, like the putter, all the time from Nike. And I guarantee that he has not paid a dime for any of it.
This is what I like to call selling out. A lot of PGA Tour players, whether Lucas Glover or Y.E. Yang, are paid to sport logos all over their gear. Guys like Lucas and Tiger are forced to hone their equipment in one particular company, like Nike, but they sign multi-million dollar contracts to do so. That is what I don’t get. They are paid millions to wear all of this gear and to play these balls and clubs, yet they are also given this equipment. So Tiger wakes up, puts on a free shirt, goes and plays a free round of golf, and wins millions in the process while making millions just wearing that Nike logo on his hat and driver. As much as I love the man, and everything he stands for, that is a little much.
So Lucas gets to the tour and gets a few heads talking and manages to sign on with Nike. I do not know how much he is making with this contract, but I guarantee it is substantial. He is only twenty-nine years old, too. Talk about enjoying what you do for a living.
What makes Nike look at him as a professional golfer and say, “You know, if we give him all this equipment and he places near the top, of even wins a tournament or two, then we will see huge increases in the sales of the same stuff he is playing. Let’s do it.” I totally disagree.
Of course these companies have to have numbers to back up their spending, or they would not be in business for very long, but I honestly can not see how him wearing a Nike hat will inspire you to go buy one. Sure, I buy Tiger Woods memorabilia because he is my favorite player and I enjoy collecting his stuff, but I own one shirt of his collection. I do not wear his logo on my hat (I do not even wear hats for that matter) and I do not run out and buy a shirt every time he is sporting new colors. (Did you know that Tiger helps in the design and color selection of his clothing line? Also, he never wears the same shirt twice. He changes the color and design of every single round that he plays. Even the signature Sunday red shirts have minor differences to keep this tradition going. That is power if I have ever seen it.)
The next time you are watching golf, or any sport for that matter, and you see a logo of some random company let me know if you rushed out to buy their products and services. John Daly wears Hooters all over his shirts and hats. I am not going to Hooters for John Daly. I am going because I love their wings. Why else do people go to Hooters?