While they were active in the industry and still making golf clubs, it was clear to see that Nike wasn't going to be a sheep! Their hybrids were striking in design and brought new technology to an (at the time) stale category. A testament to this is the opinion held by some that Nike clubs still hold up in the market today and that they left the game far too early!
The stand out family in the hybrid category is the Vapor. The eye-popping Volt colour made these clubs stand out on the rack, while the huge cavity (for a hybrid) showed Nike wanted to help the golfers not just their golfing brand advocates. By cutting weight out of a cavity in the rear of the hybrid, Nike was able to increase forgiveness and offer a stiffer club head using their Fly-Brace technology to transfer more energy back to the ball for more speed and distance. This technology was carried over from the Covert range of metal woods which were Nike's breakout moment and when they became a contender in golf club manufacturer.
Amazing the Vapor and Covert were some of Nike more conventional hybrid designs. Nobody can forget the 'Square' trend in design they started with their SUMO range. The square design allows MOI to be maxed out as weight was placed in the extreme corners of the head. The design was derived from the driver used on the PGA Tour by KJ Choi which turned head on the range as a result of the noise it made.
During their time in the golf club market, (having stopped club and ball manufacturer in 2016), Nike clubs were used by greats such as Tiger, Rory and Koepka who racked up Major wins and countless tournament wins until exiting the market in a shock move. Despite their stay being relatively short (too short according to some) Nike certainly made a splash in the golf hardware market. Little did they know of the legacy they'd leave when they signed a fresh-faced, Tiger Woods, for the astronomical fee of $40m for five years.
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