No.1 Ranked Amateur Signs With TaylorMade Ahead Of Masters Debut

The Japanese sensation signs exclusive deal with Taylormade on the eve of Masters debut

Keita Nakajima practice round at Augusta National
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Keita Nakajima, the World No.1 amateur, has been unveiled as the latest TaylorMade staffer. As part of the agreement, Nakajima will exclusively play TaylorMade equipment as well as wear TaylorMade apparel. 

Up until 01 January 2022, amateur golfers were prohibited from endorsement deals unless they gave up their amateur status. Changes to the Rules of Amateur Status now mean that players can cash in on their "name, image and likeness" - collectively referred as "NIL" - with Nakajima taking full advantage of that. 

The Japanese superstar in the making now joins Scottie Scheffler as the latest TaylorMade poster boy and the Californian based firm now boasts the top-ranked professional and amateur athletes in the male game. 

As revealed by Golf.com, David Abeles, TaylorMade CEO and President, was delighted at the appointment: "Keita’s decision to join Team TaylorMade reflects our continued commitment to putting the most innovative golf equipment in the hands of the game’s best players across all tours and levels.

“At his young age, Keita has already shown the golf world his immense talent and winning mindset during his ascension to becoming and sustaining the World’s No. 1 Amateur Ranking. Keita’s authentic approach to the game aligns hand in hand with that of our philosophies at TaylorMade and we could not be more thrilled to be a part of his continuing journey to the professional golf ranks and beyond.”

As well as the Netflix cameras following his every move, he will now tee it up at Augusta National with his new equipment and the 22-year old is excited by that: “TaylorMade equipment has been an integral part of my wins and success so far in my career and I am proud to formally be a part of Team TaylorMade,” he said. “The people at TaylorMade have made me feel like family from the beginning and I am excited to join their team of athletes on tours across the world using the highest performing equipment in golf.”

Nakajima hails from Japan and is a golfing sensation destined for the very top of the game. The phenom became amateur World No.1 in April 2021 and remains in that position today - eclipsing the 60-week record previously set by Jon Rahm.

He is the reigning Asia Pacific Amateur Champion and has made two appearances on the PGA Tour - finishing T28 at the ZOZO Championship in 2021, which was won by his idol, Hideki Matsuyama, and 41st at the Sony Open in Hawaii. 

James Hibbitt
James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.