By Elliott Heath published
It's new gear season once again where some of the biggest golf brands release new equipment and many of the world's best players put new gear into their golf bags. Last January was a big one, with Jon Rahm's move from TaylorMade to Callaway, Tommy Fleetwood signing with TaylorMade and Jason Day splitting with TaylorMade being some of the biggest stories.
We also saw Justin Thomas being dropped by Ralph Lauren and early changes from Sergio Garcia (TaylorMade) and Brooks Koepka (Srixon) that resulted in signings later in the year.
So far in 2022 things have been much quieter on the transfer front, although there is a long wait until the DP World Tour kicks off in Abu Dhabi on 20th January so we do expect stories to keep on rolling throughout the month. The Tournament of Champions is a limited field event in Hawaii so we'll also see more PGA Tour players tee it up in week 2 at the Sony Open.
Abraham Ancer to Callaway
The Mexican WGC winner had an incredible year in 2021 that featured his win in Memphis as well as six other top-10s on the PGA Tour. He also reached a career-high of 11th in the world last year. For 2022 he has penned a deal with Callaway, but will no doubt continue to use his Miura irons as a stakeholder in the Japanese company. Ancer has signed a multi-year agreement with Callaway and will play the brand's woods as well as an Odyssey Putter and will wear a Callaway hat.
“I’m excited to officially join Callaway, and after playing their equipment over the past several years, I feel really confident about making the switch,” Ancer said. “The performance from their drivers is always impressive, their putters are outstanding, and I’ve developed a strong relationship with their Tour Team. This is a great fit for me, and I can’t wait to get this new year started.”
Yuka Saso to Callaway
Callaway has unveiled another big-name signing in the form of 2021 US Women's Open champion Yuka Saso. The World No.8 has signed a multi-year agreement and will play a full bag of Callaway products from woods to irons, wedges to golf ball, and an Odyssey putter.
“I’m so happy to join Callaway, and to work with their outstanding Tour team as I start the next phase of my career with their equipment,” Saso said. “From their drivers to their golf balls, the performance really stands out to me in testing and out on the course. I feel confident that this is the best setup for my game, and I’m looking forward to a great year.”
Patrick Reed to PXG?
The Texan looks to have joined PXG judging by the cap he was wearing in his practice round at the Tournament of Champions. Reed already has an agreement with Grindworks to use the Japanese company's irons and he may well have another deal that could be announced in the near future with PXG.
Reed has been using a PXG driver out on Tour since October but it remains to be seen if he has officially signed or whether he is simply wearing the company's cap. At last year's Tournament of Champions he did wear both G/FORE and Titleist caps and didn't sign with either brand (although he has a Titleist ball deal). If it is announced that he has signed with the brand, which we assume he has as the cap also has a Grindworks logo, it will be interesting to see which clubs he uses as his Grindworks deal relates to his custom irons. Stay tuned on this one.
Titleist Vokey SM9 wedges
Tour seeding has begun for the upcoming Vokey SM9 wedges from Titleist, with players putting them in the bag this week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. The Vokey SM8 was one of the best golf wedges on the market so we expect big things from the SM9.
We already know that the likes of Jordan Spieth, Max Homa and Garrick Higgo have them in the bag and many more Titleist players will surely follow suit in the coming weeks including Justin Thomas (who may have them in already), Cameron Smith, Ian Poulter and Bernd Wiesberger as well as many non-Titleist staffers.
TaylorMade Stealth on Tour
The brand new 'Carbonwood' TaylorMade Stealth drivers were revealed at the turn of the year and we'll get a good glimpse of them on Tour this week as players begin to put them in their bags. We saw Tiger Woods play it at last month's PNC Championship and we know that Collin Morikawa has put the Stealth Plus straight in, having used the original SIM driver for most of 2021. Daniel Berger also looks to be using the Stealth in Hawaii.
Callaway Rogue ST on Tour
Callaway also unveiled a brand new driver in the form of the Rogue ST, which is looking to be very popular in Hawaii. It's so popular that even Kevin Kisner seems to have put it in the bag after using the 2015 Callaway GBB driver all the way up until this week.
We've seen the Rogue ST in the bags of World No.1 Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, new signing Abraham Ancer, Marc Leishman and Talor Gooch as well as many others.
New Cobra driver
We're expecting to hear more on the new Cobra driver, which we can see here pictured in the hands of Bryson DeChambeau at Kapalua. Bryson is clearly a big fan to put it in straight away and we think it is the driver he used to hit his record 221mph ball speed pre-Christmas. Whilst no details have been released yet, we do know that it will replace the outgoing Radspeed.
Golf.com's Jonathan Wall has had it confirmed that Adam Scott and Jimmy Walker no longer have full bag deals with Titleist. Scott has played the brand's clubs for his entire career so it will be very interesting to see where he goes next, whether that be down the free agent route or signing with another company.
The Aussie usually plays somewhere in January so we'll know more about his equipment setup when we next see him. Both he and Walker have continued their deals to use Titleist balls according to Wall.
Received confirmation that Adam Scott and Jimmy Walker are no longer Titleist staffers through the bag. Ball, shoe, glove deals are still in place, though. That doesn't mean they won't have Titleist gear in play, but they'll have the ability to test other products as well.January 4, 2022
Bettinardi re-signs five players
Bettinardi has re-signed five players to multi-year deals. Jason Kokrak, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Matt Kuchar, Patty Tavatanakit, and Albane Valenzuela have all continued their deals with the fine-milled putter brand.
“We are thrilled to have our core brand ambassadors back and representing Bettinardi Golf in 2022 and beyond,” said Executive Vice President of Bettinardi Golf, Sam Bettinardi. “All five of these players have helped contribute 14 victories to our companies’ total of 95 wins since 1998, and we look to continue adding the finest players representing us around the globe.”
NEW ADIDAS SHOES?
Both Daniel Berger and Xander Schauffele have been pictured with adidas golf shoes that we don't quite recognise this week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Berger was wearing a sneaker-style spikeless model whilst Xander looked to be wearing a more traditional spiked shoe. We haven't seen any details on what they might be so perhaps we can expect some news in the coming weeks and months.
The Englishman has once again changed manufacturers, having gone from TaylorMade to Callaway to now Titleist over the past few years. The former European Open champion looks to have signed a full bag deal featuring TSi metals, 620 MB irons, Vokey wedges and a Scotty Cameron putter.
NEW YEAR…NEW GOALS…NEW CLUBS @TitleistEurope @Titleist 🏌🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/QjxvclqmkhJanuary 4, 2022
Make sure to continue checking back on this page throughout January as the gear stories continue to roll in.
Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, 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 has also covered three Open Championships on-site including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats between 3-5. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Honma TR20
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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