Not even Tiger Woods could help Nike Golf make money on their equipment business.
Knowing that, perhaps it's not so shocking then that Nike announced after the 2016 PGA Championship that they would be getting out of the hard goods -- clubs, balls and bags -- of the sport and sticking to their highly successful (and higher margin) apparel lines.
Nike founder Phil Knight confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg News that Nike's equipment side never found the black.
“It’s a fairly simple equation, that we lost money for 20 years on equipment and balls,” said Knight, who left Nike's board as chairman in 2016. “We realized next year wasn’t going to be any different.”
However, that doesn't mean Nike wasn't making boatloads of money on golf apparel, which has been part of the company's DNA dating back to Seve Ballesteros wearing the brand in the 1980s. The Nike staple includes Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka. They're just not playing equipment anymore.
As for Woods, Knight said he began recruiting Woods at age 17 -- three years before he turned pro.