True Confession: I’m a nerd for golf equipment. I could spend hours in a Golfsmith or Edwin Watts testing clubs. That’s why today’s announcements of PGA TOUR pros and their new equipment have me up at 1:00 am!!!
By far the biggest splash of the day was made by Nike Golf who announced (via Twitter) that they were expanding their roster:
It has been heavily rumored that Rory McIlroy has signed with Nike, but neither McIlroy nor Nike has confirmed this. McIlroy’s Titleist contract expired at the end of 2012. It seems pretty obvious that the silhouette in the middle is McIlroy’s. Nike did unveil two of their new additions today, also via Twitter, they are also on Nike’s website:
1) Kyle Stanley from Titleist, who looks like he is about to crack his driver over someone’s head
2) Nick Watney also from Titleist, paired with Stanley in the photo, obviously ready to cut a promo for their next tag-team match for the championship belts:
Nike also announced that they would have more announcements coming January 7:
I expect Nike to reveal the names of the two silhouettes on the right of the supposed McIlroy silhouette in the middle of the “team photo” above. Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard tweeted this nugget later in the day:
What’s happening in Abu Dhabi on January 14 to warrant such an announcement you ask? Well, it is the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, after all. And wouldn’t you know it? Both Rory McIlroy AND Tiger Woods will be in the field. At that point the worst kept secret in golf will be made official: that Rory McIlroy has signed a head-to-toe apparel, shoe, club, ball, bag and hat deal with Nike Golf for about eleventy billion dollars. (Click here for Robert Lusetich’s original story)
In other equipment news…
Cink also updated his Twitter bio with new Equipment details. He will actually be using a mixed bag of clubs from three companies (TaylorMade, Titleist, Ping) and a Titleist ball.
Chris Kirk announced his new deal with Callaway Golf:
One of the dominoes from McIlroy’s Nike deal is Oakley, his former apparel company, filling their roster. They announced the addition of Masters Champion Bubba Watson from Travis Mathew, reported by Emily Kay of SB Nation here.
Oakley also tweeted this welcome to 2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson on Decemeber 20:
There are other unconfirmed rumors of tour players and their new equipment deals. Expect to see many more announcements in the coming days as the PGA TOUR season kicks off at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui and the European Tour resumes its season in the Middle East. For now, here is a list of rumored equipment switches. Check back for more updates:
- Lucas Glover from Nike to TaylorMade
- 2012 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year John Huh from PING to TaylorMade
- Gary Woodland from Titleist to Callaway
- Ryan Moore from Adams Golf to TaylorMade (*Note: TaylorMade recently acquired Adams Golf, so this may be more of an “internal” move.*)