Tiger’s indefinite break from golf and planned comeback couldn’t have been timed better for struggling golf retailers. Thank God! His long, necessary time away from the game came in the winter months when balding, white, middle-aged men weren’t purchasing golf gear, anyway.
“Selfishly, this is perfect,” said Martin E. Hanaka, chairman and chief executive of Golfsmith, a 74-store golf and tennis retail chain. “The season’s kicking off. The Masters is the No. 1 event. Spring is blooming. People are itching to get out there.”
Woods is the star of Nike Golf, which produces apparel including his high-end TW shirts, pants, sweaters, jackets and vests. Victory Red, which evokes the shirt color that Woods wears on Sundays, is a golf club brand within the broader Nike line.
But will people be itching to run out and buy the TW equipment and apparel? The answer is probably yes and no. If an 28-handicap duffer likes the feel of Tiger’s Victory Red clubs better than another brand, then he’ll most likely purchase them. But I’m sure there’s a minority that’s so scarred from the scandal, they’ll boycott anything Tiger-related. As for gear, I don’t see consumers running out to buy TW-stamped clothes right away. But if he plays well, it will be business as usual.
Here’s a question I’d like to ask readers, though — will you be sporting your TW gear when Tiger returns? I have a TW hat and as much as I am a fan of Tiger’s golf game and would like to see him win The Masters (though I don’t see that happening), I feel like it’s going to take a while for me to shake the filth off and wear it again. For some reason, I can’t erase “golden shower” from my memory quite yet. But that’s just me.