Rory McIlroy could be playing Nike Golf equipment well into 2017.
Speaking ahead of The Barclays 2016 at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course, McIlroy said he isn’t in a hurry to find a new equipment manufacturer after Nike shocked the golf world the week after the PGA Championship in announcing it would cease making golf clubs, balls and bags.
“It was a shock to all of us. I got a call two hours before it was announced,” McIlroy said Wednesday.
He added, “We’ll see where we go from here. I’m not going to commit to anything. I wouldn’t be surprised to see me not go with manufacturer for a year or two, just sort of play with what I want to play, play with what I’m comfortable with, and go from there.”
The Ulsterman said that he has a comfort level with the Nike equipment since switching for the 2013 season.
“Obviously working with the Nike guys over the last number of years, they have gotten to know me and my specific tendencies and what I like in golf clubs,” he said. “No reason to start changing just because I can.”
Nike will continue to maintain a tour truck presence on the PGA Tour through at least the playoffs. After that, Nike staffers, who are still under contract to Nike to wear their apparel, may be on their own.
McIlroy said he has been able to at least stock up on the Nike RZN Platinum golf balls he has been using this year.
“I’ve got them to save me three years’ worth of golf balls, so at least I’ve got a golf ball that I like and that I know that I can play well with,” he said.
Considering McIlroy plays about 20 tournaments per year, and he uses at least six balls per round (if he doesn’t lose one), the four-time major winner needs at least 40 dozen per year just to play competitively. He would need more for practice. Multiply that all by three years, and it’s a fairly safe assumption that McIlroy has in upwards of 200 dozen at his disposal.
While McIlroy is reluctant to make wholesale equipment changes, McIlroy has already made a switch with one club in his bag. He’s switched from his Nike putter to a Scotty Cameron Go Lo model.
Though the former world No. 1 said he won’t make his equipment changes in piecemeal fashion and he’s in no hurry to find a new equipment sponsor, the Nike announcement didn’t stop a multitude of manufacturers from inundating his parents’ Northern Ireland home with clubs to try.
“I haven’t been home, but apparently my parents’ house has been inundated with golf equipment from different manufacturers,” he said, drawing laughter. “I haven’t asked for it, but it’s there.”