I certainly have had a man-crush on Rory since we met at Fairmont St Andrews, and my wee dog took off with his headcover. Watching the two of them running through an empty clubhouse, Rory fearing his headcover would be shredded, Marley enjoying being chased by anyone, but this Irsih kid was very fast. Since that day (2009) he has become the world’s best golfer, #1. As I feared he’s about to change his equipment, from Titleist to Nike. For $250 million, I don’t think it’s the right move.
Sure Nike will make clubs “the same as your Titleist”. Maybe he can play Titleist balls, keep his putter, and give back a few million. Nike has had trouble making good high-end clubs and balls, they even shine differently. David Duval almost has a set he likes, “2013 might be my year”. Tiger’s Mizuno/Titleist irons were not easy to replace, his Titleist drivers even harder. Anyway, I hope Rory’s game stays great! Sean Foley is not part of the deal.
Rory’s already thinking like a Nike player – instead of supporting the HSBC event (and Professional golf’s gravy train) which is starting today, he’s in Bulgaria cheering on his girl friend. Of course, he’s already made a couple million from his exhibition on Monday, and probably made another 200 million from Nike, but is money everything! Yep, I guess the kid’s doing OK, but most of the world’s top 20 are playing the HSBC. But the #2 golfer, Tiger Woods, isn’t playing either, he’s in Singapore or Shanghai or somewhere, trying to cash another #2 million dollar cheque.
Is pro golf really this recession proof? I remember when I was Pro in Jamaica and received a bonus equal to my annual pay. I told my wife “they can’t afford to pay the pro that much every year”. I was right, but I ended up in Scotland.