Today, at his U.S. Open press conference Tiger Woods unveiled the secret behind the prototype ball from Nike Golf that he has been competing with the past month - a three-cover golf ball construction, the first performance ball of its kind on Tour. Nike Golf will introduce the new construction at retail next week under the name Nike One.
In his quest to create the perfect ball - long off the tee, wind boring and controllable from the fairway, with extraordinary responsiveness around the green - Nike Golf's lead golf ball engineer Rock Ishii discovered that by combining three covers of varying width and material composition with an incredibly hot core, near-perfection could be attained. In short, the Nike One is arguably the most complete golf ball ever created.
"It's aptly named because this is the one ball that does it all," said the world's No. 1 golfer Tiger Woods who also worked with Ishii on his first ball technology switch - to the solid core Tour Accuracy TW in 2000.
Ishii solicited Woods for feedback on the new construction design during the developmental stages of the Nike One, which resulted in Woods' adoption of the new ball as a prototype.
"Rock continues to deliver and impress. Nike Golf and Rock have created something revolutionary, a complete performance ball for everyone who wants to raise the level of their game."
Over the past four years, golf ball technology has evolved from a primarily wound-ball construction to the solid core/two piece construction to the double-core/four piece construction. The features typically resulted in a ball that was relatively long off the tee or responsive around the green but no one had created a ball that could benefit golfers at the highest levels of performance at both ends of the course.
"That Holy Grail, if you will, has always eluded engineers," said Stan Grissinger, Category Business Director for Nike Golf's golf ball division. "We think the Nike One is as close as anyone has come to reaching perfection, and that ideal is now only slightly out of reach."
Throughout extensive R&D studies, Ishii determined that by meticulously varying the layers or covers surrounding the core he could induce different reactions from the ball when struck, and thus he opened the path toward the creation of a perfect ball.
Last fall, at about the same time Nike Golf introduced its hottest core to date, Ishii settled on a combination of three covers that, when applied to the new core, worked in concert to provide optimum results. It's the first ball with three covers that is designed to respond to swing speed and club angle to maximize distance and regulate spin. In layman's terms, the Nike One is designed to react based upon where the golfer is at on the golf course.
Nike Golf's proprietary blend of highly responsive polybutadiene that supplies explosive distance - variations popular in Nike Golf's Super Series and TA2 golf balls
In Tiger's words - "A faster core for longer distance."
Designed to transfer maximum energy to an extremely hot core for high velocity
In Tiger's words - On drives, fairway woods and long irons shots: "You want to generate maximum power to the center of the ball. The inner cover transfers energy to the core for great distance."
Designed to control approach shots with target accuracy and reduce sidespin to minimize mis-hits
In Tiger's words - On middle iron shots: "You need to be aggressive without sacrificing control. The middle cover is firmer, so the ball responds for me with true accuracy."
Designed to enhance touch and increase spin, aerodynamically cut through the wind for maximum carry, and last all day
In Tiger's words - On short irons and wedges: "You try to hit a target, either to stop it or let it run a precise distance. The outer cover isolates impact, creating excellent spin and feel."
While Woods will put the Nike One technology in play at the U.S. Open this week, golfers will not have to wait long to get their hands on the most complete ball we have ever seen. The first shipments of the Nike One (SRP: $57/dozen) will reach retail locations in mid-June.
Golfers should check with their local on and off-course retailers to determine who will have quantities available and when. It is anticipated that some retailers will be establishing wait-lists to determine the allocation of the first shipments.
Due to the expected requests for "the exact ball that Tiger Woods plays," Nike Golf will make a version of the Nike One with Woods' specifications in very limited quantities. The Nike One TW will give Tiger fans the opportunity to tee up a ball with the same spec as the World's No. 1 player.
The difference in the Nike One and the Nike One TW lies with Woods' desire to play a ball that has a lower trajectory than what the average golfer may play. The cover of the Nike One TW is slightly softer to enhance Wood's creative short game and the spin rate is slightly higher. The end result of the Nike One is a ball that flies higher than what Woods uses in competition but responds comparably from the fairway and around the green.
June 10, 2003
Tiger Woods announced Wednesday that he will not play golf for the remainder of 2009, after a specialist concluded Woods re-injured his left knee at Bay Hill. "I'm obviously disappointed," Woods said. "I was ... eager to return to the Masters at Augusta National and compete in the remainder of my 2009 schedule."
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