Nike Golf has announced the expansion and technical enhancement of its full service, state-of-the-art research and design (R&D) facility located in Fort Worth, Texas. The growth of the 31,500 square-foot equipment development location reflects Nike Golf’s remarkable advancement within the golf industry.
The Nike Golf R&D facility, construction for which originally broke ground in October 2002, has now increased its square footage by 3,500 square feet from 28,000. A critical component for the continuing future growth of Nike Golf, the facility is dedicated to research & design for the development of performance golf clubs as well as the testing of both clubs and golf balls.
Commonly referred to as “The Oven,” the Nike Golf facility is where Tom Stites, Nike Golf’s director of product creation of clubs, and his staff of engineers and technicians develop, research and test the innovative technology that has helped Nike Golf to become one of the fastest growing companies in the history of the golf industry. Rock Ishii, Nike Golf’s product director for golf balls and his staff of engineers and technicians also utilise the facility as the primary location for ball testing. In conjunction with club testing, the ball team obtains launch parameters, track trajectory and measures actual carry, roll and dispersion.
Hand in hand with the creation of new products, the facility is vital for Nike Golf’s talented tour staff members, who go to Fort Worth for testing and fitting to ensure that they are personally equipped to perform at their very best.
“This expansion represents Nike Golf’s commitment to excellence in advancing the technology of golf equipment,” said Bob Wood, president of Nike Golf. “We have an incredibly gifted club and ball development team. It is important to provide them with the resources they need to continue to design and create superior products such as the revolutionary SasQuatch driver, the thriving Slingshot franchise, and the remarkably successful Nike One balls.”
In concert with the expansion is the addition of new technologically-advanced equipment that takes Nike Golf’s research and testing to the next level. The new equipment includes:
- Mechanical Golfer – A computer-controlled robot called Miya V is used to test club and ball performance. Measures the dynamic impact of club on ball in various positions (high face, mid face, low face, heel, centre and toe impacts). Provides testing of all positions at various launch conditions for ball speed, club speed, launch angle and ball spin. Weather conditions are also monitored and the actual carry and roll for each test is recorded. The robot’s purpose is to quantify overall club and head performance through repeatability.
- State-of-the-Art Putting Lab – A multi-camera putting studio used for putting stroke and putter analysis. The high-speed cameras are used to measure a putting stroke as well as evaluate the roll and skid of the ball off the putter’s face.
- Track Man – A radar-based ball flight tracking system that analyses ball trajectory.
- Launch Monitors – Used to measure player launch conditions for ball speed, spin rate and launch angles.
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