I have been fortunate to visit some really exciting places in the golf world, but few compare to an experience at Nike Golf’s research and development facility called The Oven. In 2010 I had the opportunity to tour The Oven and see where, for lack of a better phrase, “the magic happens.” It was incredible to see how much time, technology and passion goes into developing the Nike Golf line. So when I was asked to come back to The Oven for the reveal of a new initiative by Nike, I jumped at the opportunity.
I saw some teasers on Facebook and Twitter about a new app that Nike had developed, and it got my wheels turning. Could this be the big reveal? Sure enough it was. There was a group of about twenty of us and we were all there for the launch of Nike’s new NG360 iPhone app. Seems silly to have so much media over a little app, but I should have known better because nothing Nike does is little. This is no ordinary app, this is like having a built in stats tracker, swing coach, personal trainer and club fitter all in one and all at your fingertips, and all for free.
During the presentation we had the pleasure of meeting the people and minds behind this new app and it seemed as if each person was more passionate than the next. This is something I have come to expect from Nike Golf. During my previous visit to the Oven you could see the pride these engineers have in the products they produce, and it was the exact same way with the group of people we met this time around.
So let’s talk about this app. The first component is the stats tracker. The first thing you will need to do after you download the app from iTunes is to download the course from your state, or whatever state you last played golf. Then you can track your stats from that specific course. You can record your score, fairways hit, greens in regulation, etc. This is a great way to follow your progression on the course and see how your game is developing.
The next section has to do with your swing. This part is really cool because you can actually video tape your swing and then analyze it. What I love most about this part is that it shows you how to make your swing work for you, not a tour players swing, not your neighbors swing, but your swing. It’s like having your own personal swing coach.
Next they cover fitness, and this section was heavily discussed at the presentation. Fitness is a big part of being an athlete and the golf swing has some unique body movements so a workout for a body builder will not be the same as for a golfer. The fitness tips and tricks they provide are golf specific and from what I saw and heard from Nike tour pro Lucas Glover, these moves are effective. Nike will have specially certified fitness experts giving you advice on the best ways to build your body to help improve both your health and your game. This is a section I know I will be spending a lot of time with. It was so interesting to watch them do an exercise and realize that it totally mimicked the golf swing, color me impressed.
Finally, it covers equipment and this section is called My Gear. From the way it was explained in the presentation this is going to be built upon a lot in phase two of the NG260 app. Nike’s goal is to get to know the athlete better, and be able to find the perfect fit equipment for their game. Once you have the right swing, and the right range of motion you will need the right gear.
Once again I had a great time at The Oven. I know I already said it, but the passion this company has for its brand is simply amazing and is honestly something I am not sure can truly be conveyed in words. Nike has made it apparent they are a company looking to stay ahead of the curve and they seem to be successful at it so far. With society being in the media and social networking age, Nike has decided instead of running away from modern day philosophies and instead they are embracing it as only Nike can do, with innovation and creativity. One thing everyone kept stressing during the entire presentation was that this app is just phase 1, “this is just the beginning” they kept saying. I am excited to see what’s in store for the next phase.