PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — When Justin Thomas tees it up at next week’s CJ Cup in South Korea and the Zozo Championship the following week in Japan, he’ll do so in a specially designed pair of FootJoys. The shoes, called the Icon Shield Tip, feature a Bahamian flag design wrapped around the back with the words “Bahamas Strong” on the side.
It’s a tribute to a place that Thomas considers a second home and a show of continued support to relief efforts on the islands, particularly Great Abaco, in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm with winds of 185 mph that devastated the region on Sept. 1.
Thomas broke in the shoes, designed by Roly Padron of Miami-based Nomad Customs, on Tuesday at Old Marsh Golf Club, where he was one of several players on hand for the Bahamas Strong Pro-Am, an event organized by Brad Faxon and Justin Leonard along with PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh to raise money for rebuilding efforts. If Padron’s name sounds familiar, it should—his designs also have been seen on the feet of World No. 1 Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Gary Woodland, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Tony Finau, among others.
“They’re pretty sweet,” Thomas said of the new kicks. “I can’t wait to wear them these next few weeks.”
He’s also doing more than just wearing the shoes. In addition to having made an initial donation to the relief organization Convoy of Hope and playing in the event on Tuesday, Thomas announced that he is donating $1,000 for every birdie he makes the rest of 2019. At the Safeway Open, he tied for fourth, making 18 birdies and an eagle along the way. Next up is the CJ Cup, a tournament he won two years ago.
As for the shoes, Thomas said it’s a way of keeping the message out there with a long way to go before things return to normal in the Bahamas.
“It’s pretty unbelievable for them, losing everything like that,” Thomas said. “Hopefully we’ll continue to raise some money and they can start building everything back up.”