When Tiger Woods returns to action this week — his first tournament play since Fall 2015 — he’ll come equipped with a prototype of his latest signature golf shoe, the Nike TW ’17.
“This shoe is an absolutely integral part of my return to the sport I love and have missed so much,” Woods says. “Nike really got in the zone with me. I knew Tobie and I were on to something special back when I tried on the first prototype. I feel supreme support from this shoe which leads to the utmost confidence when I step onto the course.”
Since July 2015, Woods and the Nike team, led by Tobie Hatfield, Nike Senior Director of Athlete Innovation, reimagined the 14-time major champion’s signature footwear. The team leveraged the additional time they had with Woods to start at the very beginning and address his needs as his rehab progressed.
Below are some of the key moments that informed the design and creation of the TW ‘17:
JULY 2015: SULPHER SPRINGS, WEST VIRGINIA
Woods and Hatfield meet over dinner during the Greenbrier Classic and agree on positioning for the Nike athlete’s next generation of footwear — they didn’t want to simply update his current shoe. During the discussion, Woods reveals his new swing has shifted his dominance from his left leg to his right.
OCTOBER 2015: JUPITER, FLORIDA
Hatfield delivers four options of an initial prototype shoe to Woods at his home in Florida. The prototypes all address the need of keeping his feet more secure and locked down in his shoe. Woods selects one of the concepts to move forward with.
FEBRUARY 2016: JUPITER, FLORIDA
Hatfield and Carl Madore, Innovation Design Lead for Nike Golf footwear, share four varied options of the prototype for Woods to assess. Woods hits on a simulator, and is intrigued by the duo’s strapping system concept — designed to help keep him secure through his swing and a full day of golf.
APRIL 2016: GRANITEVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA
Nike delivers a polished product to Woods, who begins his own wear testing on the course. Since returning from surgery, it’s the only golf shoe Woods has worn.
The Nike TW ’17 will be available in Spring 2017. Stay tuned to @nikegolf for more information.
Editor’s Note: The post above is from a press release from Nike Golf.