What Was the Nike Tour in Golf?

Golfer Stewart Cink playing in the 1996 US Open
David Cannon/Getty Images

"Nike Tour" was the name of the PGA Tour's developmental tour - what today is called the Web.com Tour - for half-dozen years in the early part of that tour's existence.

The feeder tour for the PGA Tour went by the name "Nike Tour" beginning in 1993 and continuing through 1999, at which time a new title sponsor took over and the tour changed names.

  • Tour's title sponsor preceding Nike: Ben Hogan Golf
  • Tour's title sponsor succeeding Nike: Buy.com

The Nike Tour Was the Second-Level Tour in USA Men's Golf

As noted, the Nike Tour was the developmental tour, or "feeder tour," of the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour is the pinnacle in men's golf; the Nike Tour was the second-highest in the pecking order of men's golf tours based in the United States.

Nike Tour's Sponsor Was Not Nike Golf

The title sponsor of the Nike Tour was not Nike Golf, however; it was Nike, Inc. Nike Golf did not yet exist in 1993, and Nike Inc. did not make golf clubs or golf balls at that point, only shoes and apparel.

Nike launched its Nike Golf division only after signing Tiger Woods to an endorsement deal in 1996. (In 2016, Nike announced it was leaving the golf club business.)

Nike Tour's Players of the Year

Who were the Players of the Year on the tour during the years it was named the Nike Tour? Here is the list for those years:

  • 1993 - Sean Murphy
  • 1994 - Chris Perry
  • 1995 - Jerry Kelly
  • 1996 - Stewart Cink
  • 1997 - Chris Smith
  • 1998 - Bob Burns
  • 1999 - Carl Paulson

Nike Tour Still Exists - Only the Name Has Changed

The PGA Tour's developmental tour is still going strong and more entrenched than ever as one of the next-highest tours in men's golf. After Nike dropped its sponsorship of the tour, Buy.com took over. Nationwide Insurance followed and today the tour is named after Web.com. For more about the tour's history, see the Web.com Tour profile page.