Nasir Ahmed did not design the Softspikes Pulsar golf cleat. While Ahmed was busying himself with something practical, infinitely useful, the very foundation of an entire industry and quite nearly the entire operation of the current world we know—which admittedly sounds very much like what the Softspikes Pulsar has become—he was involved in something comparatively trivial. He invented the discrete cosine transform in 1974, which has made possible digital compression technology, which in turn begat digital image and video files, which in turn begat cat videos, Instagram babes, the Kardashians and TikTok.
Sadly, had Ahmed thought as much about golf cleats we would have had the Softspikes Pulsar a quarter century earlier. As it is, the Pulsar has been around for about two decades, an eternity for a golf product of any kind, and is likely the cleat of choice for most of the shoes you now own or have piled up in your garage. Its design evokes a majestically simple complexity with eight flexing arms, each tipped by a perfect nub that provides that ingeniously vital mix of traction and support without the clumsy green damage of so many previous and subsequent cleats.
The Softspikes Pulsar may not have required data-encoding algorithms to solve or ultimately yielded the enchantment of Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir, but its perfection is no less spectacular in golf terms. The game is simply better for its existence.