It’s become commonplace the past few years to hear Jack Nicklaus criticize today’s high-tech golf balls for being too long. The Golden Bear, in fact, has been a long-time advocate of rolling back the Overall Distance Standard for balls set by the U.S. Golf Association.
But such an action isn’t on the horizon, so Nicklaus is launching his own line of golf balls. The three-ball line, which will be available at retail (and in more than 200 Nicklaus Design courses nationwide) is comprised of Nicklaus Black, Nicklaus Blue and Nicklaus White. Each of the balls, according to the Nicklaus Companies, is designed to accommodate three skill levels of player, using the traditional tees from which they typically play.
A percentage from every golf ball sold in those shops will be donated directly back to the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation to support pediatric programs and hospitals nationwide, while visitors to Nicklaus.com will have the ability to support the Foundation with voluntary contributions.
“We all know that the game of golf can be challenging enough, so we are trying to simplify the decision-making process of selecting the right golf ball and at the same time provide consumers the highest-quality golf balls and at a price that encourages charitable support,” Nicklaus said. “By buying these balls, players will get the added benefit of supporting these wonderful charities that help children in need as well as the families that dearly love them.
“The idea of creating three balls corresponds to the teeing areas golfers typically play. The Nicklaus White ball is designed for the players who might typically play the forward or white tees. Nicklaus Blue is designed for players who would typically play the middle or blue tees. And, finally, Nicklaus Black is designed for the single-digit or better golfer who generally plays from the back tees.”
The introduction of a Nicklaus-designed and branded golf ball is the latest venture since Nicklaus partnered with Howard Milstein in 2007 to help further the growth of the Nicklaus Companies. Milstein is Chairman and CEO of New York Private Bank & Trust, and is actively involved in the Nicklaus Companies as Co-Chairman along with Jack Nicklaus.
“For more than three years, we have contemplated entering the golf ball business, so over that time, I have been researching and testing golf balls,” Nicklaus said. “There are a lot of very good balls on the market, but I was not able to find a ball that fully met my expectations and hopes-not just for me or other professionals, but more important, for the everyday golfer. So I simply decided not to enter the business until I found that ball. Well, I found that ball. Actually, I found three.
“These golf balls are designed for every level of play, from the everyday or recreational golfer-be it men, women, children, or seniors-to the tour professional. No matter the age or ability, there is a golf ball to fit your game.”
The strategy behind the balls, Nicklaus said, is simple.
“Skill level is an extremely important factor when selecting the right golf ball,” Nicklaus said. “From the tees you play, we know your swing speed; this is paramount when choosing a golf ball. But no matter the percentage of players who know their swing speed, 100 percent of them know the tees they play.”