We've seen some huge gear stories already in February...
TaylorMade Up For Sale – Tour Gear Round Up
After a very busy January in the tour equipment world, will things settle down in February? It doesn’t look like it!
January saw some huge stories like Jon Rahm moving to Callaway, Justin Thomas being dropped by Ralph Lauren and Tommy Fleetwood officially signing with TaylorMade.
For everything that happened last month visit our January Transfer Window round up.
So far in February we’ve already seen the governing bodies propose drastic equipment changes and TaylorMade being put up for sale.
TaylorMade up for sale
TaylorMade has been put up for sale by its owners KPS Capital Partners, which bought the brand from adidas back in 2017.
The New York City-based KPS, a private equity firm, bought TaylorMade for $425m and it has been reported that it could be sold for $2bn, according to valuations.
The brand has shedded big names like Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm and Jason Day in recent years, with its star names now Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff.
The equipment free agent left Honma at the start of 2020 and went back to using mainly TaylorMade clubs.
Rose was using a TaylorMade driver and 3 wood, a Cobra 5 wood, TaylorMade irons, Titleist wedges, an Axis1 putter and TaylorMade ball last year.
However, after initially going back to his 2015 TaylorMade irons, Rose has put in a new set of Mizuno MP20 blades this week in Saudi.
Mizuno irons have had huge success with free agents in recent years, most notably with Brooks Koepka who won all four of his Majors using Mizunos.
Koepka has, as it stands, switched the Mizunos out for Srixons to start 2021.
Sticking with Rose, his fellow Englishman Laurie Canter has his old irons in the bag.
Canter uses the Rose Proto Honma blade with the ‘Rose’ name scratched out.
He is currently at a career-high 94th in the world after four top-5 finishes in his last nine starts on the European Tour.
The former World No.1 moved to Callaway to start 2021 and initially had 13 Callaway clubs in the bag…until now.
The Spaniard has made the transition into an Odyssey flat stick, a yet-to-be-released two-ball-style mallet.
As well as all 14 clubs, Rahm also used a Callaway ball.
The Aussie put an AutoFlex driver shaft worth $790 in the bag at the Farmers Insurance Open.
The Korean-made shaft, pink and black in colour, is said to contain KHT – Korean Hidden Technology.
Rory McIlroy played with Adam Scott at Torrey Pines and said talk about the shaft dominated his Christmas dinner, with his dad very interested in it as his fellow members at Seminole all seem to be using one.
“Don’t get me started about that shaft,” Rory McIlroy said.
“All I heard about at Christmas dinner from my dad was this AutoFlex golf shaft.
“All I heard at Christmas dinner was my dad saying, ‘Can you get me one of these?’ Everyone is hitting it 20 yards longer.
“I swear, it’s all I heard about.”
The Englishman won the Dubai Desert Classic, his 15th European Tour title, using Titleist woods.
Casey is a non-contracted free agent and spoke about how the new TSi3 driver has helped him drive it like he used to when he was World No.3.
“I’ve switched drivers. So part of the reason for the good performance the last two weeks, I finished 8th last week in California and then obviously win today,” Casey said.
“I put a new driver in, and I don’t often talk about equipment, but I put a Titleist driver in the bag. Don’t ask me the exact specs, TSi3 or something like that, but I feel like I’m driving the golf ball like I did when I was playing my best golf, when I was 3 in the world or whatever, and that’s — I feel like this rejuvenation.”
The former Nike staffer uses Mizuno irons, Titleist wedges, a Scotty Cameron putter and a Pro V1 ball, which he is contracted to use.
Related: Paul Casey What’s in the bag?
The parent company of Titleist and FootJoy has responded to the proposed equipment changes by the R&A.
The company’s CEO, David Maher said that equipment innovation is a “great contributor” to enjoyment of golf at all levels.
Maher also said his initial response to the new proposals is focused on the change to the golf ball testing process, which “introduces a wide range of complexities.”
As mentioned above and in our January Transfer Window round-up, Koepka put the Srixon ZX7 irons in the bag.
That remains the case and he has also put the brand new TaylorMade SIM2 driver in to start February.
Koepka has played around with his drivers over the last year or so, going from a TaylorMade M5 to the Callaway Mavrik, then back to the M5 and now into the SIM2.
We did suspect that he may go as far as signing with Srixon, but as of yet there has been no announcement or any further speculation.