It may strike some as odd that Jack Nicklaus, perhaps as strident a critic of the distance the golf ball goes at the elite level as there is, would introduce his own line of golf balls. But Nicklaus wasn't thinking about tour players using his latest products. He was thinking about me and you. And, as it turns out, even him.
Nicklaus Golf announced this week that it will introduce three new golf balls, aimed at maximizing distance and feel for three different levels of players. The three balls are called Nicklaus White, Nicklaus Blue and Nicklaus Black, and the idea is that golfers should choose the ball based on the tee they normally play. The White and Blue versions are Surlyn-covered multilayer construction balls. The Blue is aimed at swing speeds of 90-110 miles per hour, while the White is aimed at speeds under 90 miles per hour. The Black is a multilayer construction with a urethane cover and aimed a clubhead speeds over 95 miles per hour.
The marketing of the balls includes a charitable component, as well. A portion of each sale will benefit the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation, which champions the health, safety and well-being of children nationwide. The balls can be ordered now on www.nicklaus.com
Nicklaus, who said he chose the balls based on his own play-testing as well as that of his sons and members of his club, answered the perceived incongruity between his past attacks on golf ball distance and his entry into the golf ball business this way:
"For years, I have been very vocal about the golf ball. What people don't understand is that my philosophy has always been to maximize the impact the ball can have on playability and enjoyment for the majority of golfers. My biggest concern has been golf at the highest level, and the need to put some limiting specs on the ball used by Tour players--who make up only .08% of those who play the game--because golf courses are often negatively impacted by the need to lengthen courses to accommodate their length. But for the majority of golfers, I want the ball to go as far as it possibly can, and even more important, with consistency. Many average golfers play a golf ball that is not appropriate for their game and because of that, there is often great disparity between their good shots and the mishits.
"But when it comes to distance, heck, no one out there is searching more for added length than I am. I can tell you today that I want the longest and most consistent ball available, because, like you, I want more distance and better control. With that, we are introducing golf balls designed to deliver the maximum benefits within the USGA's rules and specifications."