Nike will take exhibition space the size of a football pitch to finally unveil its new range of clubs at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando next week.
|Nike face of the future.|
But Golfmagic has had a sneak preview, thanks to our US colleagues, who tell us that Nike Golf has been deep in the throes of a golf club development for 18 months and their spectacular range of equipment has been a closely guarded secret – until now.
Apart from the drivers, irons and wedges, other clubs are in various stages of development and will most likely be rolled out over the course of 2002.
|Sole of Nike's driver.|
Duval first put a prototype Nike Forged Titanium driver in his bag at the US PGA Championship in Atlanta last year and led the field in driving distance increasing his average 23 yards to 316.7.
As a result, Nike will introduce two forged titanium drivers, a 275cc and 350cc model in lofts ranging from eight to 11 degrees.
At the heart of its technology, says Nike, is its ‘hot’ face made from proprietary Beta Titanium, ‘precision forged’ to preserve the grain of the metal, making it stronger, thinner, and lighter than a cast face. Its Coefficient of Restitution (COR trampoline effect) conforms to USGA regulations by the smallest of margins.
The drivers will be available in the US in February and they are expected in Europe around April.
|Distinctive new irons from Nike.|
His input and the feedback of many other players were crucial and it led to subtle refinements in the design and the final product.
The irons have have a classic muscleback blade design, a traditional shape that has been updated with a head made of soft 1030 carbon steel for extra feel. The head is then 'precision forged' under extreme pressure to preserve the grain of the steel and given a high gloss satin finish.
Nike Forged irons will be available in the Spring and will come in a 3-iron to pitching wedge set (8 clubs) with optional 1-iron and 2-iron.
Nike Forged wedges, earned their first major, when Duval put a 53-degree version in his bag at The Open. Now Nike will also be introducing 56, 58 and 60-degree models next month.
All have a thin, top line with minimal offset, aimed at golfers of all skill levels.
Particular attention has also been paid to the heel grind - it's drop-away design claiming freedom to lay the face open to create a variety of finesse shots without unwanted bounce interfering with the shot.
Says Stites. "We have worked so long and hard testing and fine-tuning the products – we are anxious to get them into the hands of people who love to play golf."
No prices have been revealed for the new clubs, but an announcement is expected next week.