Nike has announced that it is to stop selling golf clubs, balls and bags after its golf division has seen sales fall over the last few years.
However, the company insists that it is to accelerate innovation in golf clothing and footwear.
In the late 1990s, the company invested heavily in the sport, most notably with the sponsorship of Tiger Woods, with his first contract with the sport manufacturer in 1996 worth around $40 million.
However, Woods has notoriously suffered a slump over the past few years and in 2013, Nike signed a sponsorship deal with Rory McIlroy which was said to be worth $100 million for the five year duration of the contract.
Despite this, along with heavy spending on marketing, Nike has still continued to struggle in the golf sales market.
Last year, the companyâs golf unit sales fell by 8% to $706 million, which was a decline for the third year in succession.
Following the announcement, world number four McIlroy tweeted: Sad for @nikegolf employees that worked so hard and made genuinely great golf equipment. Your support will always be appreciated #TeamNike
However, the company also insisted that it has plans to partner with some more of the top golfers in the world.
President of Nike Brans, Trevor Edwards, stated: We’re committed to being the undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel.
“We will achieve this by investing in performance innovation for athletes and delivering sustainable profitable growth for Nike Golf.”
Meanwhile, earlier in the year, Nikeâs rival Adidas also announced that it is to sell the majority of its golf business with its brands Ashworth, Adams and TaylorMade (which Adidas bought in 1997) all being made available for sale.
In the US, the popularity of golf has witnessed a sharp decline in the years following the peak of Tiger Woods.