New year, new club deals for handful of tour pros
Some former major champions and many others will play new clubs and balls as well as don new apparel, headwear and gloves in 2014 as the annual rite of January that has golfers signing with new equipment sponsors is now in full gear.
Vijay Singh has signed on with start-up Hopkins Golf. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images
The first 10 days of 2014 have seen plenty of signatures inking contracts. Among the more recognizable names are Ernie Els going to Adams Golf (he'll use a combination of Adams and sister company TaylorMade's equipment); Vijay Singh, who is headed to start-up Hopkins Golf to play its wedges as well as wear its hat and use its staff bag; and former LPGA No. 1 Yani Tseng, who signed on with Callaway. Among the full bag of Callaway/Odyssey clubs Tseng will play are the company's new Big Bertha driver, Apex Pro irons and Odyssey ProType #1 putter.
Other notables moving on include former Masters champ Trevor Immelman (TaylorMade, which also signed Scott Langley) and FedEx Cup champ Henrik Stenson who will play Callaway this coming season. Stenson is joined in the Callaway stable by Harris English, Matteo Manassero and Lydia Ko, among others. K.J. Choi, who has been without an equipment deal the past few years, hooked up with Srixon on a contract that has him playing the company's ball, wearing its glove and having the logo on his apparel and staff bag.
Among those opting to stay put were U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, who re-upped with TaylorMade while Graham DeLaet signed a three-year extension with Titleist and FootJoy. DeLaet, however, also inked a contract with Cobra-Puma to wear its hat, apparel and accessories. The company also added Will MacKenzie with a similar deal that also includes wearing the company's footwear. /p>
Some other "free agents" have yet to be signed or announced. That just means this rite of January lasts a little longer for some than others.