Nike rightly recognized that signing Tiger Woods and getting into the golf biz was a good move. Even handing Tiger forty million for the first five years was, for them, a bargain after Tiger proved his mettle as a pro and dominated the golf world.
Then they threw ten million at Michelle Wie before she'd won anything bigger than a junior tournament. It might have made them money. It might have been a bust. But it convinced me to continue avoiding Nike products like the plague. Who do you think pays for those huge endorsement deals? The consumer does.
Nike throwing money around like water just forced the other golf manufacturers to do the same. Who's paying for it? We are. The competition has now become such that every club manufacturer has to keep coming up with a new model club, often reinventing the wheel in the process, and we, the consumers, have lapped it up. But eventually even golfers perhaps start to get the message. All those new clubs haven't changed their game a lick, despite all the testimonials by golfers shilling for their sponsors.
As far as Nike and Adidas--and anyone else for that matter--looking to extricate themselves from the golf business goes--good riddance. They haven't grown the game, they've made it worse in my estimation.
Grand old courses are being made obsolete because these "entrepreneurs" have made equipment that the top players can use to hit the ball way farther and straighter than the good old days when men were men and the sheep were nervous. Courses start to get judged by their length instead of their shot value. And the average golfer just remains average but pays more.
I may sound like some sort of Trumpian character talking about making golf great again, but golf was better in the old days before golfers only want to play if they can use a motorized cart and listen to the radio. Golf might be in trouble. But it isn't in trouble because Nike, or Adidas, or many golf operators have decided it isn't profitable enough. Golf is in trouble because golf wasn't ever intended to be about profit.