Rex Hoggard - November 6, 2012


Hoggard attended a Nike Summit last night in Orlando in which the company unveiled its latest VRS Covert Driver which is red and is adjustable. Nike was very quiet about the possibility that Rory McIlroy has already signed with the company although they did say that their stable of PGA TOUR players would be expanding in 2013. McIlroy is technically under contract with Titleist until January 1, 2013 so no one would be able to say publicly that McIlroy has signed with Nike until the beginning of next year.

For a long time, Nike has been a company that is more known for its shoes and apparel than its golf clubs and golf balls but Nike has said that they want to gain more prominence for its equipment and the debut of this new driver as well as a new advertising campaign is a way to do that.

Tiger Woods began switching to Nike equipment in 2000 and did not completely change over to Nike equipment until the 2010 Open Championship when he began using a Nike putter after using a Titleist putter for many years. It is quite possible that Rory McIlroy would start using all Nike equipment immediately which could be very interesting and would strike some as risky.

James Driscoll is 120th on the 2012 PGA TOUR Money List and he was in a similar position in 2011 when he began the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in 125th on the Money List before moving to 114th with a T12 finish at Disney. Driscoll has said that he has been so nervous during these weeks that he gets physically sick and Hoggard said that Driscoll is just one example of the stress that comes with the end of a PGA TOUR season.

Since Boo Weekley did not need a Sponsor’s Exemption, Patrick Reed from Augusta State University received the final Exemption. Reed has earned his way into 11 PGA TOUR events either through Monday qualifying or Sponsor’s Exemptions and he has the potential to move into the equivalent of the top 150 on the Money List which would earn Reed partial status for the 2013 season. Patrick Reed is really one of the more underrated great stories of 2012 in golf.