Nick Faldo, who has signed a new contract to play Nike equipment has revealed that the move was triggered by the new TA2 golf ball and reputation of master clubmaker Tom Stites.
"Nike has embraced golf in the manner you would expect from one of the world’s leading sports brands," Faldo, revealed exclusively to Golfmagic. "I really like where they are going with ball technology and club design, and if anyone can help me capture a couple more Majors, it’s Nike."
Faldo is testing both the higher trajectory TA2 LNG and the mid-trajectory TA2 SPN golf balls to determine the best results based upon his swing speed and launch angle. More than 60 Tour pros are expected to switch to the TA2 this year. Priced around £35 a dozen the balls will be in Britain in March.
Faldo, 26 years on Tour, with three Open titles and three US Masters green jackets, is also expected to be one of the many players putting Nike Golf’s new Forged Pro Combo irons into play.
Designed by Stites and his team, they claim to offer the perfect progression from forgiveness to feel with a mixed set of full-cavity long irons, muscle-cavity mid-irons and blade short irons. They will be available in the UK in March
"I can see and feel the level of expertise that has gone into the development of these clubs which are suitable for professionals and amateurs alike. The precision forging and grinding is second to none," added Faldo. "I have to admit, at this point in my career it’s hard to surprise me, but Nike done it on a few occasions already."
It is likely that Nike Golf will design three 9.5-inch wide, lightweight Staff bags for Faldo to correspond with the three professional Tours he travels most – the European Tour, the US PGA and the Australasian Tour.
With six Major wins and 27 European Tour victories to date, Faldo was the first player to win over £1 million in prize money during one season (1992). He is Europe’s top points scorer and has made a record number of appearances in the Ryder Cup. A winner of Europe’s Order of Merit in ’83 and ’92, Faldo will once again spend a majority of his time on the European Tour with stops in Australia and Asia and for the three Majors and other top tournaments in the US.
"Nick is a tremendous addition to our Tour staff, particularly in support of our initiatives in Europe where his reputation for winning and professionalism precede him," said Nike's European Tour sports marketing manager Iain Forsyth. "We’re proud to have someone of his stature and with such vast experience eager to play our equipment. That truly speaks volumes."
The Faldo Junior Series is an exciting opportunity too and was established in 1996 to identify and nurture the next generation of champions. Leading young golfers from Europe, both male and female, have the opportunity to experience top-level competition at a variety of some of the world's finest championship venues.
Faldo's Nike ball and clubs deal