To walk in another man’s shoes is to comprehend his life. Not his golf game. During my round this weekend, though, my brain conveniently stifled this nuance. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. It would happen to explain my habit of dedicating 30 ft. putts to Earl Woods, all of which I went on to miss.* (It did not explain why I neglected to engage the cart parking break while running to pick up a club. But that’s another story…)
However, if anything is to blame for such irreverence on my part (my bad, Earl), the Nike Tiger Woods Air Zoom TW 2009 golf spikes I wore certainly deserve the lion’s share. For just as red capes induce thoughts of flying for some, sporting the Air Zoom’s (worn by Tiger Woods himself on tour) made me feel like… well, like Tiger. That, and occasionally carrion; based upon the wolf-eyed looks of jealousy I’d catch from Patrick while plodding along the course.
My suspicion is that these reactions are common symptoms of instances where average consumers gain access to elite products. Feature wise, a DARPA’s grant worth of technology built into the Air Zoom’s listed below certainly enhances the mystique of these shoes.
- Ballistic mesh uppers
- Full-length poron sockliners
- Full-grain leather upper
- Lateral stabilizers for balance and smooth weight transfer
- Nike Zoom unit in heel for low-profile, super-responsive cushioning
- Power channel outsoles
- WaterSheild Plus technology to keep foot dry
- Forefoot flex channels
- Q-Lok technology
- Scorpion Stinger spikes
Really though, this terminology boils down to three basic take away’s: comfort, stability, and traction. These are the core functions golf shoes were designed to provide in the first place, and the Air Zoom’s have each in spades.
Those strengths alone, however, aren’t the true reason you’d buy these shoes. Sure, you’d repeat the qualities over and over to yourself as you walk to the register, sayng “it’s exactly what I need to improve my game.” At the end of the day, though, deep in recesses of our consciences, we really know it’s all about the looks.
Throwing traditionalist style off the cliff, the Air Zoom TW 2009’s spot on blend of athleticism and flash is stunning. One glance, and suddenly the classic saddle back seems so passé, and a small voice in your head begins repeating “my… precious…”
Don’t feel guilty for this weakness. In golf, confidence is everything. So even if wearing them doesn’t improve your drive by 200 yards, they’re assured to at least enhance the sense that you belong out on the course. That, and that alone can be the difference between a well-struck drive from a crowded tee box or a wild shanked launch deep into the woods.
I may not have the game of Patrick Tuttle, but walking in Tiger’s shoes sure made me think it was possible and honestly, that felt great. Saturday also happened be one of the best rounds I’ve played in my short tenure as a golfer. Coincidence? I think not.