Nike Golf's timing could hardly be better, as the company revealed the details of the latest edition of its Tiger Woods golf shoes the day after Woods won The Players Championship while wearing the shoes in competition for the very first time.
The TW '14 shoes, like those that preceded them, were designed with testing by and input from Woods himself. The result, Nike says, is a shoe that further enhances the fit, feel and function of the TW '13 model.
''I train with Nike Free technology all the time,'' said Woods, referring to the extremely light weight and flexibility in some Nike running shoes that mimic the feel of running barefoot. ''I love training in it, running in it, lifting in it. So I asked, 'why can't I play golf in it?'''
And with that, Nike designers set to work creating a Nike Free-inspired golf shoe tailored to maximize Woods' game.
''In the TW '14, he wanted more stability with mobility and we've accomplished that by using Nike's Dynamic Flywire technology which moves with him, but stabilizes his foot when he swings,'' said Tobie Hatfield, Athlete Projects Innovator in Nike's Innovation Kitchen. ''We also increased breathability of the shoe by using a full mesh tongue."
The outsole of the TW '14 is designed to mimic and conform to the natural motion of the foot and still deliver the protection and traction of a lightweight performance golf shoe. This outsole allows the golfer to maintain contact with the ground longer, better harnessing the energy of the foot to the shoe and, therefore, the shoe to the ground.
''These shoes provide freedom of movement and allow me to release more power through my swing,'' said Woods.
The TW '14 will be available in a customizable NIKEiD version – making it the first Nike golf shoe with a NIKEiD version – which allows golfers to create their own combination of breathability and traction. The waterproof upper is made of multi-stretch synthetic leather for weather protection and durability, while the breathable upper (available exclusively via NIKEiD) features lightweight mesh to help keep feet comfortable on hot days.
The TW '14iD will preview on May 20 and be available at retail on June 7 with a suggested retail price of $225 per pair. The regular TW '14 model will be available on June 7 (the Cool Grey/Black-Vivid Blue-Venom Green models will debut on Aug. 1) with a suggested retail price of $220 and a street price of $180.
For more information, visit www.nikegolf.com.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo appears to be cutting down on his links time this offseason.
Romo, long known as one of the best celebrity golfers out there, played with Tiger Woods in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February, but apparently is sitting out a lot of his other usual offseason outings. The reason seems to be related to the six-year, $108 million contract he signed at the end of March, making him the highest-paid player in Cowboys history.
Soon after giving Romo that contract, Cowboys Owner/General Manager Jerry Jones said he expected his quarterback to focus even more on football all year round.
"Tony is going to have more time, more presence, not only in the offseason but when the season starts, beginning Monday, assuming we played Sundays," Jones told The Dallas Morning News. "He's going to have more time on the job. A part of what we agreed with was extra time on the job, beyond the norm. That doesn’t mean that he didn't have a lot of time on the job, but extra time on the job, Peyton Manning-type time on the job."
No word out of Big D on how much golf, if any, Romo is getting in these days. But according to ESPN Dallas, he's been skipping such high-profile events as PGA Tour pro-ams and the qualifiers for the U.S. Open and HP Byron Nelson Championship, where he's been a regular presence in recent years.
As a long-suffering Cowboys fan, I'm not sure what I think about this development. The truth is, Romo has always been quite active with his team and teammates during the offseason, even as he enjoyed his fair share of time on the golf course, despite the widespread perception that he paid more attention to golf than to football between seasons.
Of course, I’m hoping for as many wins as possible – especially late in the season when the Cowboys traditionally struggle. But it seems to me that there's plenty of time for both football and golf during the offseason, and that the best quarterback is a healthy and well-rounded one.
Since its introduction in 2009, the Micro-Cart from Sun Mountain has proven one of golf’s most popular push carts. Its secret, of course, is the light weight that makes it so easy to maneuver around the course, and the new edition weighs in at only 13 pounds.
In trying to make 2013 version even lighter than previous models, Sun Mountain decided to add a fourth wheel to the original three-wheel design. The benefit of this extra wheel, along with the cart’s low center of gravity, is better stability on side hills without the need for tracking adjustments. The wheels come with low-maintenance solid foam tires and an adjustable front axle to accommodate the largest of golf bags.
The Micro-Cart's lightweight anodized aluminum frame folds and unfolds in two easy motions, and offers variable handle-height positions. It also contains a strapless bag bracket; the standard Sun Mountain Micro-Paq for additional storage; and a console with padded valuables tray, ball and tee holders, magnetic scorecard holder and a drink holder.
The standard Micro-Cart is available in four colors (red, black, blue and silver), while the Micro-Cart Sport is available in three bold color combinations (black/yellow, charcoal/red, black/lime and charcoal/pink). Both versions carry a suggested retail price of $189.
For more information, visit www.sunmountain.com.