Jamie Kennedy
By Jamie Kennedy

A month after visiting Nike's new Performance Fitting Centre at Archerfield Links in East Lothian, I was back to tour the newly opened facility and meet Rory McIlroy.

Having looked for a venue for more than four years, Nike began work on their first-ever Performance Fitting Centre last year around the time of the Open Championship at Muirfield. Now, just less than a year on, the facility is opening its doors to the public.

Inside Nike's Performance Fitting Centre

When we arrived, we were met by Nike Golf president Cindy Davis and Nike Golf Europe's Marketing Manager, Daniel Schenk. Both spoke of their excitement and anticipation of the facility. Schenk posed a question to all those in attendance:

Is the experience of getting custom fit for golf clubs more rational or emotional?

He explained why he, and everyone at Nike Golf, believe it is both. Golfers want to improve their games, but they also want their clubs and their experience to feel a certain way. The Performance Fitting Centre is designed to do cater to both the rational and emotional side of custom fitting.

Along with other golf media members and a small army of Nike Golf staff, I took the short walk from the impressive Archerfield clubhouse to the back of the range. A walk lined with typically East Lothian high grass and Nike Golf flags.

Inside Nike's Performance Fitting Centre

The Performance Fitting Centre is the first of its kind for Nike and offers Tour players and golfers of all abilities the ultimate fitting experience. Looking onto the 3,000 square-foot building from the front, you can see the three high-tec fitting bays, additional hitting bays and an outdoor hitting area.

Inside Nike's Performance Fitting Centre

Along with the centre itself, Nike have invested in a new putting green and perhaps the world's first chip-and-run green, designed to help players improve, and get fitted for, their short game.

Inside Nike's Performance Fitting Centre

Steps away from the putting greens, you enter the centre passing photos of Nike's stable of golfers including Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie.

As I said before, the centre is as much about a Nike Golf experience as a fitting venue. The first room you walk into is an open plan Nike Golf lounge area, where players can relax, watch TV, wait for a fitting session or learn about Nike Golf.

Inside Nike's Performance Fitting Centre

All around the entire building are displays showcasing Nike latest and greatest innovations. From the cavity-back Covert 2.0 woods, to the Lunar Control shoes, to the new RZN family of balls, players can wander around the building and learn about the products and the story of their design.

For a moment it's easy to forget this is a fitting centre and not a Nike Golf museum.

Inside Nike's Performance Fitting Centre

On the other side of the room is a state-of-the-art indoor putting studio. Featuring the latest SAM analysis and teaching system designed to help you improve your putting or get fitted with a new Nike putter. The system can measure and analyse 28 of the most important parameters in your putting stroke and help Nike staff fit you with a putter specifically suited to your stroke.

It was impossible to walk past this corner of the building and not roll a few putts.

Inside Nike's Performance Fitting Centre

Moving past the back side of the building and through to the hitting bays, you get your first view through the centre and down the manicured driving range at Archerfield.

The swish hallways again feature an array of memorabilia, images and equipment from Nike's most popular athletes.

Inside Nike's Performance Fitting Centre

And just a few steps from there, one of those very athletes was warming up.

Inside Nike's Performance Fitting Centre

In Scotland for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen, Rory McIlroy had flown in to East Lothian to visit and officially open the new Performance Fitting Centre.

He worked his way through his bag and told us about what equipment he currently has in bag. He finished by hitting a ceremonial first tee shot. Schenk told us that Nike Golf will install a plaque commemorating the day at the spot where Rory's drive finished.

For those interested, that plague will be 320.3 yards down the middle of the range!

Inside Nike's Performance Fitting Centre

Inside the bay where Rory hit was all the latest Nike equipment for fitters to use to help golfers find the best set-up and clubs for their games.

If Nike make it, you can be fit for it at this centre. From the latest drivers and irons, to putters and even shoes and apparel can be measured up and fitted for your game.

Each of the three fitting bays is installed with the very latest technology to help with lessons and fitting. V1 video software and TrackMan launch monitors give you all the numbers you could ever want to help you improve.

Inside Nike's Performance Fitting Centre

Whilst there are three dedicated fitting studios, Nike have built four more indoor bays and an outdoor hitting area for golfers to practice, warm-up or test out their new equipment.

Inside Nike's Performance Fitting Centre

Regardless of whether you are a rational golfer or an emotional golfer, this facility houses everything you need to be fitted for the latest Nike products. The centre is officially open to the public today and prices and packages range from £75 for a 60-minute fitting session up to £950 for the ultimate, 3-day fitting experience which includes two nights accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner at Archerfield.

To learn about the Nike fitting and tuition packages, visit Archerfield's website.


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