Nick Faldo, the three-time Open (‘87, ’90, ‘92) and Masters (’89, ’90, ‘96) champion has joined the Nike Golf Tour Staff. The multi-year relationship will be equipment-based including clubs, ball and bag. Nike Golf will also become a major partner in the Faldo Junior Series as part of the agreement.
According to Faldo, the jump to Nike Golf was triggered by the introduction of the company’s new TA2 golf ball and the great reputation of master club maker Tom Stites.
“Nike has embraced golf in the manner you would expect from one of the world’s leading sports brands,” said Faldo, a 26-year veteran of the European Tour. “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 trajectoryTA2 LNG and the mid-trajectory TA2 SPN golf balls to determine best results based upon his swing speed and launch angle. More than 60 players across all major professional tours are expected to switch to the TA2 from Nike Golf in 2003. The TA2 will be available across Europe from March 2003 and will retail at £35 and €59.40 per dozen.
Faldo is also expected to be one of the many players putting Nike Golf’s new Forged Pro Combo Irons into play in 2003. The ‘wildly popular’ Pro Combo irons, the most recently introduced club design from Tom Stites and his team, 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.
“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 Golf’s done it on a few occasions already.”
It is likely that Nike Golf will design three 9.5-inch lightweight Staff bags for Faldo to correspond with the three professional tours he travels most – the European Tour, the PGA and the Australian 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 in 2003, with stops in Australia and Asia and for the three Majors and other top tournaments in the U.S.
“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 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. The terms of Nike Golf’s participation are still being finalised.