Global Edition

New Tour van for Nike Golf

1.00pm 8th May 2003 - Corporate

Nike Golf has extended its commitment to its growing Tour staff with the addition of a start of the art new Tour vehicle.

On the outside, it is a symbol of Nike Golf’s design and engineering excellence. Inside, those high standards will be put to the test practically every day primarily servicing the club needs of Nike’s Tour staff in Europe. The van will be Nike Golf’s testing facility, equipment stock room, meeting space, workshop on wheels and billboard, all rolled into one. The company plans to utilise every inch of the 40-feet long vehicle, both inside and out.

Peter Powell will travel with the van and be responsible for all technical elements while designers and engineers from Nike Golf’s club R&D facility in Fort Worth, Texas and its world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon will be able to offer advice and, if necessary, fly out to work on the road. The van will be fitted with enough precision machinery, components and tools to build complete sets of Nike Golf clubs and modify or repair individual clubs on-site.

Nike Golf plans eventually to add a launch monitor and equipment to measure launch angles, ball spin rates etc at events. This is an integral part of the fitting process for both clubs and balls. Every element of the van’s functionality is designed to save time for Nike Golf’s field technician and to enhance the service provided for Nike Golf’s staff.

“The Tour van became a necessity when we launched hardware into the range and added new Tour staff players as we did over the last few months,” said John Trainor, Nike Golf’s European general manager. “We are now set up to address the needs of every player on-site whether it is a general service issue or an emergency. The Tour van also allows us to efficiently test new equipment, including clubs and balls, directly on tour, something that had been feasible but challenging in the past.”

Among the Nike Golf clubs that are currently available to its Tour staff and consumers are: Nike’s forged titanium drivers; forged blade-style irons; forged pro combo irons; T-40 fairway woods; and forged wedges. Nike Golf will introduce its ‘Blue Chip’ putter series and CPR hybrid clubs later in the season.

Nike Golf European Tour vehicle specifications

Internal machinery:

Fujikura Frequency Machine.

This machine helps to read the flex of a shaft when already installed into a players club such as a Driver or an Iron which may not be a Nike Club, thus enabling a replica to be build with Nike components or indeed build a “Back Up” as accurate as possible.

The Green Machine.

This Machine has been used from the beginning of Nike’s program in club building technology. Nike believes this to be the most accurate machine for reading the loft, lie, face angle, Length and Off set of any iron, putter or wood.

Mitchell Loft & Lie Gauge

Used for securing the Iron for bending.

HP-100 Shaft Puller.

This helps the Technician to separate the head of a golf club from the shaft as easily as possible and more importantly it reduces the risk of breaking or melting the shaft in the separation enabling the shaft to be used again.

Drill Press.

This machine helps to accurately ream and clean a head in preparation for building.

Hot Melt Machine.

This machine is used for the application of “Hot Melt” to the interior of the metal wood head. The process is used to accurately swing weight the metal wood and also to reduce or enhance the sound quality and feel.

Chop Saw.

Machine used to accurately cut steel or graphite shafts

Swingweight Machine.

Small machine used to measure the swing weight of a club.

Grinder.

This machine is used in many applications but mainly for tip preparation on shafts and for specific head grinding requirements made by many of Nike’s top professional players.

Ferrule Turner.

This machine is used for turning down ferrules on metal woods and irons.

Grip Station.

This machine is used for installing grips on to golf clubs it consists of a sink, pump and tank. The machine grasps the club in the pneumatic vice which holds it secure, then uses recycled grip solution to help install the grip. The whole process makes it possible to grip a set of irons in under 10 minutes and have the player hitting the clubs in under 20 minutes.

The Green Machine, Fuji and Swing weight scale have been calibrated so that they are exactly the same in Europe, Japan and the U.S.

The Nike European Tour vehicle carries on board all machinery and components necessary to build a club and have it in the players hands in the least amount of time possible.

The vehicle also carries all of Nike’s other products such as gloves, balls, shoes, apparel and accessories. Along side the workshop there is a lounge area for the players and staff to relax. The lounge comprises of satellite TV, an audio system, a games console and work area.

The vehicle dimensions are:

Length 12 metres, Width 2.5 metres, Height 4 metres, Weight 18 tons.

The vehicle will be driven by Peter Powell and Tour representative Chris Turner. Powell will be over seeing the day-to-day running of the vehicle on the Tour and, as head technician, be hands on with the players every week.

Nike Golf www.nikegolfeurope.com.

In related news...