Sneakerheads on the Links

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Sneakerheads on the Links

Brands known for sneakers first, like Nike and Adidas, have made golf shoes for years now. Under Armour has even joined the fray with a Jordan Spieth model. Nike has had much success with their Tiger Woods signature shoe and there was even a brief stint of a Jordan line of golf shoes in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. But those didn’t look like the super-popular retro numbered editions made famous on the court by MJ himself; but they do now! Recently, golfing sneakerheads have had their dreams come true, while simultaneously creating nightmares for their wallets. Nike and Jordan have been launching, in limited releases of course, the same kicks his airness wore on the court but in golf spike form. Just like the hoop versions at your favorite sneaker retailer, Nike controls the narrative. They are extremely hard to get, sell out in minutes online, and immediately go for double and triple the cost on the secondary market. As a fellow sneakhead myself, I know that these are a smart investment. You will never lose money on a signature pair of Jordans. But I wear 99% of what I purchase and have never really felt the urge to go through the motions to flip a pair. Flippers are resellers who do just that…purchase shoes and other highly sought after collectibles just to make a profit. It’s what creates the exclusivity of a certain item but is also a frustrating hurdle when you actually want to purchase something for yourself; especially something that is already available in limited quantities. Many sneaker retailers have put raffle systems in place at their brick and mortar stores, but when something is launched online, like these golf shoes, the flippers call on “bots” to do the dirty work for them. These bots hack the website at launch time and buy up many pairs, placing online customers in a virtual “waiting room” which more times than not, crashes the site. Extremely frustrating, yes, but it does create such a euphoric feeling the seldom times you are able to get through the checkout process and you receive that oh so amazing confirmation page. 

Pictured are some pairs from a fellow Golf HQ staffer’s personal collection. At Golf HQ we have been lucky to carry the Jordan ADG shoe and had great success with it, but that model is strictly a golf shoe, where these are golf versions of MJ’s most popular on court sneaks. Their hoop counterparts have all been “retro released” a few times. This means they have been released years after they debuted with subtle comfort improvements. That’s nice to hear since Jordan himself said that his Jordan 1’s would be “full of blood” after a game. I don’t care if it was 1985, that’s just gross and ain’t nobody got time for that. I personally can tell you that aside from being amazing to look at; they provide incredible comfort and on-course function. The red-black-white high tops (far left) are the for mentioned 1’s. They are Michael’s first signature shoe from 1985. Now boasting incredible comfort and stable support, they go for around $1500 on the secondary market. Next to those is my favorite series to collect, the Jordan 11’s. This patent leather design is famous due to being the shoe Jordan wore in his 95 season when he returned from playing baseball. This is a low-top version which is a perfect look for the links and I love the translucent bottom. Next to those is my 2nd favorite version to collect, the Jordan 3’s. Every fan knows that cement detail. I actually don’t own a pair of 5’s, the last pair, but I would be thrilled to add those one day. This is known as the “fire red” colorway and were worn by MJ in 1990. 

Vijay pushing buttons Vijay Singh was never one to shy away from controversy or piss off fans and peers alike, but I may have Vijay’s back in his latest situation. Current PGA Champions Tour (Senior) player Vijay Singh made the decision to tee it up in the Korn Ferry Tour’s “KF Tour Challenge” which is the tour’s first event since halting play due to Covid19. The event will take place in Singh’s backyard at the Dye’s Valley course in Ponte Vedra. He can literally drive his golf cart to the course each day and sleep in his own bed. Vijay has received some backlash and criticism for this decision, including some Twitter fire from Korn Ferry Tour member Brady Schnell.

The Korn Ferry Tour is the minor league of the PGA Tour if you will, and the stepping stone to the big show. But the tour is not short on talent and many of the game’s hall of famers earned their card by way of the former Tour. Schnell, who has one KF Tour win and 2 PGA Tour top-25 finishes to his credit, stated that Vijay doesn’t need the money and shouldn’t be taking a spot away from a young, aspiring mini-tour player. He then went on to call Singh a turd. A turd. He apologized for the turd hurdling but he still stands by his thoughts on the matter. I understand Schnell’s intent and get what he is saying. That one spot in that event could be life changing for a young player trying to make to the PGA Tour, in both his bank account and confidence level. But I disagree. Vijay is a 2-time major champion and hall of famer, and for a long time contributed to the PGA Tour’s success which directly financially supports the Korn Ferry Tour. He has earned his spot.

Vijay is just looking for a place to compete before his Champions Tour schedule resumes. He has always been one of the game’s most ruthless competitors. We don’t even know what Vijay will do with his prize money. Maybe he’ll donate it to Covid19. Maybe he’ll give it all to his caddie. Maybe he will give it all back to the tour. Ok, probably not. I have never been a fan of his, as his list of things to hate far outweighs the list of things to like, but Singh has earned the right to play in any event sanctioned by the PGA Tour. Nobody has mentioned the fact that his appearance may help the event with ticket sales and overall attention. The more eyes on the Korn Ferry Tour, the better. And to say Vijay is a shoo-in to win is a stretch. There is a lot of young, world-class talent on that tour and now they will be hungry to beat the old man with the 2 majors. 

Enjoy the game and each other,

Written by Head Golf Professional Seth Zipay
Design and Published by Craig Walton

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