On Sunday June 10th, 2012 I was privileged to be invited to the Nike Golf TW13 event in San Francisco, California. The shoes launch comes at the perfect time, the weekend before the US Open and a week after Tiger Woods tied Jack Nicklaus for his 73rd PGA Tour win.
The event took place at the beautiful TPC Harding Park, a PGA Tour stop; that was designed by Willie Watson and named after President Warren Harding. Unlike President Harding’s low rankings while in office, this course is highly ranked and highly challenging, especially for someone of my golfing capabilities.
The event started with an introduction from Nike about the days events and they then walked us through the story and innovation of Tiger Woods 13th signature shoe. The whole concept of the shoe is to “Free Your Swing”; basically Nike is building upon the philosophy of their Nike Free platform and incorporating it into the game of golf. Innovation Kitchen Director Tobie Hatfield, the originator of Nike Free and one of the greatest shoes ever the Presto; was the lead innovator on the project. Tobie walked us through his process and gave us a great Q&A session where he broke the project down even further. Stay tuned for a forth coming article where I breakdown the design and innovation and evolution of the TW13 and what my impressions are of it.
After Tobie was finished presenting we broke for lunch. During which Tobie joined me at our table where we discussed the process of the TW13 even further. It could have been the worst food I have ever had and that lunch still would have been perfect. To be able to sit and talk with a designer I have been inspired by for many years was amazing.
After lunch we broke down into groups of fours where we played the most challenging game of golf of my life. I must admit I am not an avid golfer, I play about twelve times a year on your average par 3 courses sprinkled throughout the Midwest. But in the past year playing golf for me has become a major focus as I can not play basketball to the once average level I use to play and I have matured enough to respect the game of golf in my age. So I went into this round of eighteen with a positive mentality that quickly faded into a lets just try and not lose a ball today once I realized the average hole on the course was no shorter than about 400 yards from the white tees. Thank god I was grouped with what was dubbed as the “sneakerheads” as our playing levels were quite comparable.
The event was amazing and I learned so much not just about the product but about the game as well. I also met and connected with many people that have influenced me for quite some time. Take your time and look through the photos and come back Thursday for a full review and breakdown of the Nike TW13! Thank you to everyone at Nike Golf that put on a great event and thank you Tobie for taking the time to talk with us!
In case you were wondering I didn’t lose a ball, quite the feat!