We round up the latest equipment news from the January transfer window as golf returns for 2021
Tour Gear Round Up: Golf January Transfer Window 2021
New year, new equipment?
January is here and once again that means that numerous professional golfers will be moving around and signing new deals.
We've already seen a huge move with Jon Rahm heading to Callaway and there are sure to be more changes announced and spotted as the month rolls on.
There have also been a number of exciting gear launches, players switching into new equipment and controversies, like Ralph Lauren discontinuing Justin Thomas' sponsorship.
Week 4 - Dubai and Torrey Pines
Jason Day - free agent
It was finally confirmed this week that Jason Day is indeed a free agent after leaving TaylorMade following 14 years with the company.
We had our suspicions after the former World No.1 was left off of TaylorMade's 2020 Christmas card and it is true.
The 2015 PGA Champion has a very mixed bag ahead of his first start of the year, with a Ping G425 driver, a TaylorMade SIM Max 3 wood, Mizuno JPX 919 Tour irons, Artisan wedges, an Odyssey 2-ball putter and a Bridgestone Tour B XS ball.
Sergio Garcia returns to Master-winning irons
The all-time Ryder Cup record points scorer has gone back to his TaylorMade P750 irons that he won The Masters with in 2017.
Sergio split with Callaway at the end of 2019 and initially went to a mostly-Ping setup, although he now has a near-full bag of TaylorMades plus Titleist wedges.
The Englishman previously had a metalwoods deal with TaylorMade but that looks to be over now.
He has the Titleist TSi3 driver and a TSi2 3 wood in the bag, along with his trusty Mizuno MP5 irons, Titleist wedges and a Scotty Cameron 'For Paul Use Only'.
He has a ball deal with Titleist and plays the Pro V1.
The South African plays in Dubai this week and we noticed he has his TaylorMade staff bag from the 2016 Open at Royal Troon.
The bag was designed to pay tribute to The Open's iconic yellow scoreboard.
We were big fans at the time and still are.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat's hybrid from 2010
We spotted the Thai using a very old-school hybrid in the form of the Callaway Diablo Edge Tour, which was released back in 2010.
He has it fitted with the UST Mamiya ProForce AxivCore shaft. Classic.
Week 3 - Abu Dhabi and The American Express
Brooks Koepka using Srixon
A potentially huge story to follow in these early 2021 weeks and months is Brooks Koepka.
The free agent has been pictured by GolfWRX with Srixon ZX7 irons in his bag as well as a Srixon driver (headcover at least).
Koepka won all four of his Majors as a free agent using Mizuno irons.
It remains to be seen what he puts into play this week in California - watch this space - but could Koepka perhaps even sign with the brand?
We did see Noelle Zavaleta, marketing for Srixon/Cleveland, recently tweet: "I have some BIG NEWS that I can’t say just quite yet."
It's all just speculation at the moment! Stay tuned to the Golf Monthly website as always.
Update 28/01/21: Koepka was using Srixon irons in California but not a Srixon driver, sticking with his TaylorMade M5.
TaylorMade officially announces Fleetwood signing
The Englishman has officially been announced as a TaylorMade staffer and will make his first start of 2021 in Abu Dhabi.
Fleetwood is testing TaylorMade wedges and putters at the moment, with his TaylorMade clubs as follows...
- SIM2 10.5 driver, Diamana DF 70 TX
- SIM2 13.5 Rocket #3 fairway, Diamana DF 70TX
- SIM2 18.5 #5 fairway, Diamana DF 80TX
- P7TF proto 3-PW, Project X 6.5
- TP5X (2021) #19
Related: Tommy Fleetwood What's in the bag?
TaylorMade also provided a great look inside Rory McIlroy's golf bag:
Related: Rory McIlroy What's in the bag?
Rose back to his old TaylorMade irons
The Olympic Gold Medallist went back to his TaylorMade P730 irons after splitting with Honma and he has just put an even older set back in the bag.
Rose currently has the TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB blades from 2015, along with TaylorMade woods, Titleist wedges and his Axis1 flat stick.
Thomas Pieters using Titleist
The Belgian split with Callaway at the end of 2019 and remained faithful to his Callaway gear last year on the most part.
However, starting 2021 he has a Titleist staff bag, Titleist woods, irons, wedges and a Scotty Cameron putter.
He has the TSi3 driver, 620MB irons and SM8 wedges.
Tyrrell Hatton re-signs with Ping
The Englishman has re-signed with Ping on a new multi-year contract, the company has confirmed.
“There’s a comfort level with the people at Ping and with their clubs tee to green that gives me a lot reassurance and confidence that I’m always in a good position to play my best golf,” Hatton said.
“I have enjoyed working with Ping for a number of years now, and the team know exactly what I need to compete at the highest level.
"I’m excited for the future knowing that I will continue to have Ping as part of my team”.
New Callaway signings
Callaway has announced a number of new European Tour signings, with Adri Arnaus, Ross McGowan, David Howell, Justin Walters and Rikard Karlberg all joining the company.
Justin Thomas dropped by Ralph Lauren
The World No.3 has had his sponsorship with Ralph Lauren discontinued after his homophobic slur at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
It remains to be seen where Thomas goes from here, although he was pictured still wearing Ralph Lauren RLX this week in the first practice day for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
However, he was then wearing Peter Millar polo shirt and pullover on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the brand confirming that they do not have an agreement with him and Thomas must have purchased the clothing himself.
Titleist TSi hybrids
The new Titleist TSi hybrids – which the brand says advances the technology and performance that has made Titleist the most played hybrid on the PGA Tour – make their tour debut this week at the American Express Championship.
This marks the start of Titleist’s tour seeding and validation process for the new models, adding to the continued momentum of TSi drivers and fairways across the worldwide professional tours.
Titleist say that "validating product performance with the game’s best players is a critical step in the development of all high performance Titleist golf equipment."
Ecco S-Three 'Iceman' shoes
Ecco has unveiled these special edition S-Three 'Iceman' shoes, which Henrik Stenson will be wearing in Abu Dhabi.
Paying homage to Stenson’s nickname, 'The Iceman’ shoe comes in black and white colourways, featuring an icy blue and white colouring in the midsole, as well as cracked leather uppers - developed by world-leading innovators, Ecco Leather - that represent shards of shattered ice.
The tongue also comes complete with a special edition tag reading: Henrik Stenson The Iceman.
They will be available to purchase in the Spring.
Ladies European Tour player and Sky Sports pundit Inci Mehmet has signed with Cobra/Puma for 2021.
The company has also signed Ewen Ferguson and Olivia Cowen.
Week 2 - Sony Open
Keith Mitchell - New Mizuno driver
Mizuno staffer Keith Mitchell, who won the 2019 Honda Classic using a Mizuno driver, was spotted using the new STZ driver during the Sony Open.
Mitchell led the field in driving distance with 326 yards.
Update: 20/01/21 - Mitchell has signed a three-year contract extension with Mizuno to play the company's metalwoods, irons and wedges.
Danny Lee to PXG
The Kiwi is one of a number of new signings for PXG and was using the company's clubs and wearing its logo on his cap during the Sony Open.
New signings for the company are Danny Lee, Jim Herman, Sung Kang, Luke List, Henrik Norlander, Adam Schenk, Kyle Stanley and Hudson Swafford.
The American finished T2nd at the Sony Open using an older Callaway Great Big Bertha driver from 2015.
It is the same driver that the former Callaway staffer was using back in the 2015 season, so it's clearly a trusty club for him.
Week 1 - Tournament of Champions
Jon Rahm - Callaway
World No.2 Jon Rahm has joined Callaway after three-and-a-half years with TaylorMade.
The Spaniard has also left adidas and will now wear Travis Mathew apparel.
Rahm is set to use 14 Callaway clubs including prototype woods, prototype irons, an Odyssey putter and a Chrome Soft X ball.
He shot 59 in his first round with the new clubs in Arizona.
In his first start of 2021, Rahm looks to have a new Callaway driver, Mavrik Sub Zero fairway woods and is still using his TaylorMade Spider X putter as things stand.
He also has his new Chrome Soft X in number 10, that's because his birthday is on the 10th of November and the best player on a football pitch is the number 10.
Rahm also looks to be wearing Nike Air Jordan shoes.
Related: Jon Rahm What's in the bag?
Tommy Fleetwood - TaylorMade
An early move pre-Christmas was Tommy Fleetwood to TaylorMade, essentially filling the gap left by Rahm.
Fleetwood had been a free agent since Nike left the equipment market in August 2016 but he was using TaylorMade irons and fairway woods.
TaylorMade announced the signing with this superb shampoo-inspired video:
Patrick Reed leaves Nike
The Texan has left Nike and currently looks to be without a cap and apparel deal after we found out that he was not signing with G/FORE.
Reed was wearing G/FORE on the practice days this week in Hawaii but the company confirmed to us that he had not been sent product.
In the opening round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions, he was pictured wearing a Titleist/FJ cap.
We'll surely find out more as the weeks and months play out.
New TaylorMade Driver
Both World No.1 Dustin Johnson and PGA Champion Collin Morikawa have a brand new TaylorMade driver in the bag this week.
We also saw both Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood using the same (or very similar) model in clips posted on social media.
McIlroy is making his first start of the year in Abu Dhabi later this month where we'll also likely see Tommy Fleetwood too.
We also got a look at the new staff bag and headcovers -
Sticking with Morikawa, he has also put in the new TaylorMade FCG (Forward Centre of Gravity) putter in the bag.
The American is a tried and true blade guy according to TaylorMade and "has been intrigued by the benefits of high MOI mallets."
Here are his clubs to start the year:
• SIM2 Max 9° Driver • SIM2 13.5° Rocket 3wd • SIM Max 19° Rescue • P•7MC Irons (4-6) • P•730 Irons (7-PW) • Milled Grind 2 Wedges (56° and 60°) • Spider FCG Putter • TP5 Golf Ball
Dustin Johnson re-signs with TaylorMade
The Masters champion has signed a contract extension with TaylorMade, having been with the company since 2007.
DJ was also pictured holding the brand new driver, which he is using this week in Hawaii.
Here's what's in Dustin's bag to start 2021 -
• SIM2 Max 10.5° Driver • SIM2 3HL 3wd • SIM Max 21° 7wd • P•730 Irons (3-PW) • Milled Grind Wedges (52° and 60°) • Spider IB Tour Limited Putter • TP5x Golf Ball
Justin Thomas - New Titleist Driver and Pro V1x
JT has added the new TSi3 driver as well as the 2021 Pro V1x ball.
He has been testing the ball since Thanksgiving and it has helped him flight his long irons slightly higher.
With his driver, combined with a Fujikura Ventus Red 6X, Thomas has gained 'at least 2mph' ball speed with the TSi3 vs the TS3.
Scott has put in a shorter putter and gone to the arm-lock method in Hawaii.
He is also not wearing his usual Titleist/FJ cap but Golf.com's Jonathan Wall has confirmed he is still a Titleist staffer.
The World No.13 is still using his TaylorMade MC irons that were released back in 2011.
Berger used them in high school and went back to them last year after becoming a free agent.
The American also has the TaylorMade SIM driver in the bag after using the Callaway Mavrik last season.
An interesting equipment story to follow at the start of 2021 is Jason Day.
Has he left TaylorMade? We're not sure but we may soon find out.
We can't seem to find his profile page on the TaylorMade website and he was also left out of the company's Christmas card.
Paul Lawrie - New Wilson ball
The 1999 Open champion has confirmed he will be using the Wilson Staff Model ball this year on tour.
It was released last year and is the company's first premium golf ball.
Check back on this page throughout the month to keep up with the latest golf January transfer window news
For all the latest golf news, check the Golf Monthly website and follow our social media channels @golfmonthlymagazine on Facebook and @golfmonthly on Twitter and Instagram
Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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