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Nike Golf Detects Manufacturing Variance in SUMO2

BEAVERTON, Ore. (16 March, 2007) – Nike Golf has discovered that an unauthorized manufacturing variance occurred such that the Characteristic Time (CT) measurement of a number of drivers fell out of Nike Golf’s approved engineering specifications. While the result of this variance is an additional distance benefit of only 1 to 2 yards, it lies outside of the parameters as established by the USGA. There is no impact on the safety or durability of the product. 

As a result, a number of SUMO² drivers manufactured may not conform to USGA regulations.  As a precaution, another conforming SUMO² driver has already been submitted to the USGA to be approved for placement on the conforming list.  Nike Golf anticipates that it will complete the approval process with the USGA by March 19.    In addition, Nike Golf is implementing the Nike Golf SUMO² Conformance Program -- the primary element of a Nike Golf action plan to ensure marketplace conformity to USGA regulations of the highly popular SUMO² driver. In the absence of a published protocol, Nike Golf is taking the lead for the industry by voluntarily conducting this testing and replacement program that could serve as a model for other manufacturers. Nike Golf also expects other manufacturers' products to be tested by the USGA in the future.  

Nike Golf was notified by the USGA in late February 2007 that there was a potential concern pertaining to the CT of SUMO² drivers in the marketplace.  CT is a measurement that predicts the potential for a spring-like effect on a driver’s face. 

On receipt of this notification, Nike Golf immediately embarked on a full and thorough investigation into what transpired since the original product submission and the USGA’s October 2006 approval prior to manufacturing.  It was subsequently revealed that during early production, an unauthorized manufacturing variance occurred. “Nike Golf is a company that cares about fair golf competition, and that our customers have complete confidence that the club in their bag conforms to the Rules of the game,” said Nike Golf President Bob Wood.  “As such, we are working with the USGA to implement a process to replace any SUMO² driver.  It is Nike Golf’s commitment to do the right thing for golfers in an open and straightforward manner.”  

“The USGA always places the golfer as its number one priority.  We appreciate Nike Golf’s cooperation in this process and its plan for exchanging product,” said Dick Rugge, Senior Technical Director for the USGA.  The purpose of the Nike Golf SUMO² Conformance Program is to recommend to golfers that they send their purchased SUMO² drivers to Nike Golf in exchange for a new SUMO² driver that features a defining mark of full compliance to USGA regulations.  This will be done at Nike Golf’s expense. 

The Nike Golf SUMO² Conformance Program will instruct golfers who want to take the opportunity to be assured of the conformity of their SUMO² driver to take the following steps beginning March 26 to April 30, 2007:

In addition to the SUMO² Conformance Program, Nike Golf also has taken the following actions to comply with the USGA regulations in ensuring that all SUMO² drivers are fully conforming:

This action plan only will apply to the SUMO² driver.  The Nike Golf SUMO driver and Sasquatch driver, and all other Nike Golf products are fully conforming. 

With respect to the entire Nike Golf Tour Staff, this issue has no relevance due to the individual fitting and testing through Nike Golf’s Fort Worth club research and development facility before any product goes into an athlete’s bag.   All Nike Golf athletes have USGA conforming product, including K.J. Choi who has been using the SUMO² driver since October when he won the Chrysler Championship.

About Nike Golf Located in Beaverton, Oregon, Nike Golf designs and markets golf equipment, apparel, balls, footwear, bags and accessories worldwide. Nike Golf is passionately dedicated to honoring and respecting the traditions and heritage of the game, and to providing committed golfers with the absolute best equipment in the game. In 2007, Nike Golf’s PGA Tour Staff has one victory, seven top-10 finishes and one international victory.  In 2006, Nike Golf accumulated 16 PGA tour victories and 67 top-10 finishes, as well as one victory on the Nationwide Tour and 11 additional international wins.   For more information on Nike Golf, visit our Web site at www.nikegolf.com. Editors and journalists in the U.S. seeking editorial information and downloadable images, visit www.nikegolf.com/presscenter.  For international journalists, please contact Nike Golf's public relations representative in respective countries for information.