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Nike Golf: The Rise of the Modern Golf Athlete

In 1984 the very first business plan for a golf arm to the Nike company was presented to Phil Knight, the founder and then owner of the multinational sports brand. Little did people know the drama that this would make when, in 1996, Nike signed the up and coming golf superstar Tiger Woods. Nike Golf had arrived and have since gone from strength to strength, now they are firmly on the list of the best equipment and apparel manufacturers.

Made for Athletes

2016 is a big year for Nike Golf and they are attempting to inject some youth into the sport with their new line of apparel. Nike have always celebrated the athlete and signing Tiger was the perfect symbol of this. The mission statement of the company is ‘to bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete in the world’ they go on to say ‘if you have a body you’re an athlete’. This is a company who push technology to bring innovation to sport and athletic performance.

RZN 4.0

One of the most radical launches in the 2016 range has to be the RZN 4.0 golf balls. Nike RZN is a proprietary material that the company have developed which features in their Vapor irons and also is also the core of their golf balls. The most marked feature of the newly launched RZN Black and RZN Platinum balls is the fact that they have 13,558 dimples. No that’s not a typo and yes we counted them. They have added micro-dimples, forty of them per dimple, to the ball claiming that this provides even more distance and stability in-flight. Rock Ishii, Nike’s chief golf ball designer said, “What the micro-dimples do is help with aerodynamics, especially the last portion after the apex. It helps the ball maintain lift while reducing drag force.” Primary observations from the testing of this are that engineers saw around 160rpm more spin from shots from 40 yards and under.

Vapor Fly

Vapor Fly Woods

Nike have also updated there Vapor Fly line of woods and irons for this season. Firstly, you’ll see that they’ve had a paintjob and are now blue and luminous yellow rather but are the changes more than skin deep? The Vapor drivers come in three options the Pro, the Flex and the Fly. Across the board Nike have made the crowns thinner and the faces ‘livelier’ providing increased ball speed at impact. By shifting the centre of gravity downwards they have also created a higher launching driver which should give average golfers more distance with ease.

Vapor Fly irons

Vapor Fly Irons

As far as the irons go they have added the aforementioned RZN 4.0 material into the head behind the face. This material, as it does in the golf balls, will aid energy transfer from the club to the ball at impact but also saves and allows redistribution of weight. By moving weight around to the perimeter of the club off-centre hits become better and less drastically different to pure strikes.

Remember, if you buy any of this new gear to add it to your bag in All Square and let your friends know!

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