Tiger Woods won’t be swinging Nike drivers anymore.
In a surprise announcement Wednesday, Nike said it will no longer make golf clubs, balls or bags, and instead focus on accelerating innovation in its golf footwear and apparel.
Wednesday’s succinct statement didn’t address further plans for innovation in the apparel and footwear side of the golf business, but last week the retailer unveiled looks for the PGA Championship.
Gold champ Rory McIllroy, who will compete for his fifth major, will don Nike’s MM Fly Swing knit stripe polo, the modern tech woven pant, and the Lunar Control 4. The Fly Swing polo is made with Nike’s Dri-Fit fabric, ergonomic seams, allover mesh and back collar perforations for breathability.
A review of the polo on Nike’s website said: “The venting and breathability of the shirt on warm days is worth the money all by itself, but the dri-fit and quality of the garment makes this unit a must-have for the course, out with your honey, or whatever activity you may have in mind to look good and be comfy all in one!”
As Nike “transitions” out of selling golf equipment, it’s setting its sights on improving its wearable offering.
“We’re committed to being the undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel,” Nike Brand president Trevor Edwards, said in a statement. “We will achieve this by investing in performance innovation for athletes and delivering sustainable profitable growth for Nike Golf.”
And though golf equipment brands are already vying for the spot as Tiger’s new club supplier, the athlete who has been a long-term Nike loyalist will still wear the brand on the course.
“Athletes like Tiger, Rory and Michelle [Wie] drive tremendous energy for the game and inspire consumers worldwide,” president of Nike Golf Daric Ashford said. “Over the past year the MM Fly Blade Polo, the Flyknit Chukka and Air Zoom 90 have all connected strongly with golfers. We’ll continue to ignite excitement with our athletes and deliver the best of Nike for the game.”