• "We'll have to wait and see what happens," said Oliver Fisher
• Archerfield Links released a statement on its position with Nike
NIKE GOLF | OLIVER FISHER
Nike staff players on the European Tour were, like the rest of the golfing world, taken totally by surprise when news broke that the manufacturing giant was to cease its production of golf clubs, balls and bags.
Last night’s release rocked the golf industry to its core with a change in emphasis focusing more towards apparel and footwear, leaving huge question marks surrounding which clubs the likes of Rory McIlroy and 14-time major winner Tiger Woods would turn to next.
But while McIlroy and Woods are the big-money poster boys for Nike Golf, the decision will also impact on the rest of the company’s staffers across all of the main tours.
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Oliver Fisher, Tommy Fleetwood, Lucas Bjerregaard and Scott Jamieson are the Nike athletes in action at this week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Paul Lawrie Match Play – and Fisher revealed players had no inkling about the news.
“We haven’t heard anything yet so we have to just wait and see really,” Fisher told bunkered.co.uk after defeating Peter Uihlein at the 22nd hole in the first round of the Paul Lawrie Match Play. “It’s the first we found out, through the media and whatever has been released so I guess we’ll find out in due course. I’m under contract with them so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
The irony is that this week’s European Tour event is being held at Archerfield Links, the European HQ of Nike’s custom fit operation. The facility opened two years ago and contains the highest technological advancements in fitting, with Rory McIlroy saying it took custom fitting to ‘another level’.
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The East Lothian venue has subsequently released a statement saying it will stand by the company.
“We were informed last night that Nike has decided to shift its focus away from equipment, including clubs, balls and bags and accelerate the growth opportunities in apparel and footwear,” the statement read.
"Nike remain a very firm partner with Archerfield Links" - Statement
“Naturally, this has an impact on the Performance Centre. However, Nike remain a very firm partner with Archerfield Links. Without question, we would never have been able to build the best Performance Fitting Centre in Europe without their help and vision.
“While we are disappointed with their decision, it gives us the opportunity to look at how we can alter our offering and provide an even better service to our members and customers in the years to come.
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“We are fortunate to have the most up to date technology through our partnerships with Trackman, SAM Putt and Gears. This will allow us to provide golfers of all ages and ability the opportunity to enjoy fittings and tuition that is second to none.
“We will continue to stock Nike apparel and footwear in the shop and through our partnership with TPEGS and our team of professionals, we will focus on developing an even stronger offering going forward.
“We wish everyone at Nike our very best wishes. Angus Moir and the team have done an outstanding job. We are grateful for all their help and support with the development of the facility and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Nike Golf :: Your thoughts
How do you feel about Nike keeping their players in the dark over the announcement? And what do you make of the relationship Archerfield Links is maintaining? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.