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TaylorMade and Sergio Garcia part ways after 15 years… where to next?

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When we recently spotted Sergio Garcia with a custom Odyssey Toulon putter, and then later using a Callaway Mack Daddy wedge in competition (pictured below), it seemed to be only a matter of time that TaylorMade and Garcia would soon part ways. That day has now come, as TaylorMade announced in a statement today that the Garcia-TaylorMade marriage has ended after 15 years.

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“Today, after a memorable 15 year partnership with Sergio Garcia, we have mutually agreed on a release from the remaining years of his TaylorMade contract,” a TaylorMade spokesperson told us. “It has been an honor to play a role in his performance throughout his career, including The Players Championship, 19 worldwide wins, Ryder Cup heroics and his 2017 Masters win. We congratulate Sergio on a career year and wish him all the best for the future.”

Using a bag full of TaylorMade golf clubs, Garcia won the 2017 Masters to get himself off of the “best player without a major” list. As highlighted by TaylorMade’s statement, since 2003 when he joined TaylorMade from Titleist, Garcia also won The Players Championship, had 19 worldwide wins, and constantly tormented Team USA in the Ryder Cup on alternating years.

As his recent club testing decisions imply, the most likely candidate for Garcia’s next club sponsor would be Callaway, but the company has yet to comment on the matter. We’ll update this story as more information becomes available.

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75 Comments

75 Comments

  1. LEWIS

    Nov 3, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Looks like its mizuno irons now guys

  2. Forsbrand

    Oct 11, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Is I because he has just been advised that Rory and tiger are major shareholders in Taylormade, part of eh private equity buyout?

  3. Mister Tom

    Oct 11, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Contrary to a lot of people here, my opinion is this isn’t a decision that Garcia made. This isn’t his decision. This is a young man’s game and the needle is being pushed due to all the “2011” high-school graduates. Adidas, Taylormade, Nike, etc, are looking to use their sponsorship dollars with player brands that grow the game and grow their revenue, and Garcia isn’t growing a brand’s awareness despite having the Masters under his belt. People aren’t buying Adidas shoes or Taylormade clubs because Sergio sports their logo, they are because Dustin Johnson carries the gear.

    Sponsorship for a young man is an island paradise and an old man’s graveyard. For example, Phil isn’t moving the needle much, and I would imagine Callaway has or is renegotiating his contract terms. I mean, how can Callaway afford to continue to pay Mickelson $35MM/yr, and why would they? He cannot hit a fairway, so why would that help Callaway’s driver sales?

    All this talk about Tiger and his new “irons” and his swing? Seriously? The game has moved on and has embraced the young guns.

    • Thomas A

      Oct 11, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Callaway just signed Phil to a career contract. Sergio definitely moves the needle internationally.

  4. smitty

    Oct 11, 2017 at 1:16 am

    TM dumped Sergio to make way for Tiger’s comeback…. and they are betting a big bagful of $$$$$ on the Resurrection of The Tigerman.

  5. Shane

    Oct 10, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Sergio Garcia had a lot of talent but has under performed over the years and it was not due to equipment. In light of his Masters win Garcia probably wanted more money and TM said no because from a marketing perspective they don’t need him as they have new blood like John Rahm to capture the Spanish market.

  6. alvin

    Oct 10, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Sergio Sergio, I bought TM clubs because of you!!
    I love you Sergio but what should I do with my new TM clubs now that you are leaving TM?
    I’m verklempt ….. oooh Sergio

  7. UnclePhil

    Oct 10, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    I just read that Target is making a strong run at him with his own custom line of Northwesterns!

  8. Reno

    Oct 10, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Who cares.

  9. golfraven

    Oct 10, 2017 at 8:20 am

    I think he also lost it after recent putter incident. Please give him a ‘decent’ putter for heaven’s sake!

    • Boyo

      Oct 11, 2017 at 7:39 am

      It’s not the arrow it’s the Indian.
      Head case. What a waste of talent.

      • ibo

        Nov 8, 2017 at 2:02 am

        $46M throughout his career. 20 international victories including a The Players and The Masters. Truly a waste of talent.

  10. golfraven

    Oct 10, 2017 at 8:17 am

    I guess Sergio can’t hit it as far as the driver promises (he should hit it longer than Rory after what TM claimed in recent years) so he is taking off the hat and quits it – simples. I can’t blame him, who wants to have the shortest in the bunch?

  11. Jacked_Loft

    Oct 10, 2017 at 4:21 am

    More than likely it’s because that Sergio originally signed with Adidas, and the TM contract was part of the total deal. Now that Adidas and TM have parted, TM would probably have to pay more for SG than before, and that would be just too much all factors considered.

  12. Robert Parsons

    Oct 9, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    He’s in talks to go under contract as I type.

    Nobody signs players like we do. Period.

  13. Robert Parsons

    Oct 9, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    How soon till your post is removed?

    Nobody deletes posts like we do. Period.

  14. Jack Nash

    Oct 9, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Only a matter of time before he stepped away from the garbage. He got them their Major, now he smartens up.

    • Steven

      Oct 10, 2017 at 11:07 pm

      That garbage is the best driver and 5 wood I’ve hit in my life. It’s kind of stupid to call the best drivers on the PGA Tour garbage.
      And the Champions Tour Players who don’t get paid to play a driver? Most are using M2. They seem to like the garbage a lot.

      • Boyo

        Oct 11, 2017 at 7:40 am

        You mean the driver that they are paying the most to the players to use. These guys could use anything.

  15. M. Vegas

    Oct 9, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Where’s the acid faces that want Sergio with Mizuno

    • Brian

      Oct 10, 2017 at 9:44 am

      You mean “where’re”, right? “Where is the acid faces…” Does that sound right to you?

      • M. Vegas

        Oct 10, 2017 at 2:17 pm

        No, I like where’s…
        I feel like that’s how I would say it if I was talking

        • DT

          Oct 10, 2017 at 3:32 pm

          Since “acid faces” is plural, “where are” is grammatically correct.

  16. Steve Hamer

    Oct 9, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    there club are made for them not we get in the stores no mater what name is on them

  17. Garry Pierce

    Oct 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    I lost respect for him when hawked a luger in the cup, he is a.
    LOSER

    • Sergio

      Oct 9, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      you are the loser. he won a lot of tournament, how about you?

    • JThunder

      Oct 9, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      He sold a gun during the Ryder Cup?

    • Boyo

      Oct 11, 2017 at 7:44 am

      I call him spit boy. If he’d have done that in my group I’d have kicked his a$$.

  18. Bob Parsons

    Oct 9, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I’d like to welcome Sergio Garcia to the PXG family.

    • Darren Rovell

      Oct 9, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      Sources Close to ESPN: Sergio to PXG on a 15 year deal worth up to $690 million.

      • Garry Pierce

        Oct 9, 2017 at 2:59 pm

        I can’t believe that Parson’s going to pay that kind of money. I don’t see his irons at the courses where the guys that have the cash to buy them. Las Vegas – Palm Springs – LA area or in Phoenix. Where they selling?

      • moses

        Oct 9, 2017 at 3:04 pm

        .690 million. Fixed it for ya. 🙂

    • William Boulton

      Oct 10, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Congrats
      Great player
      I’d like to try your clubs anytime soon

  19. WestPhi

    Oct 9, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    I wonder if PXG will take a stab at him…?

    • henry

      Oct 9, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      Parsons claims “to PXG” when any player becomes available. I mean for gods sake they just signed Paige Spirinac, whose only job in golf is to look pretty.

  20. DaJudge

    Oct 9, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Sergio is abandoning TM because he doesn’t want to be associated with a company that sells Fake-Forged P-790 cast steel body clubs. It’s simply unethical and devious and Sergio is a man of principles.

  21. Joe Mcgillicuti

    Oct 9, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Wake up and get in touch with reality guys. He’s already overpaid and now that he won the Masters, his price tag has gone up per his agent. He’s on the back 9 people. And now that he is married, that old work ethic will be a tad bit harder to execute. TaylorMade got his best years out of him. Callaway usually overpays guys like this after he’s been squeezed of all the juice. Once the kid comes, priorities will REALLY change

    • ND Hickman

      Oct 9, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      Let’s be frank. Does it really matter to us which club he plays? All credit to him. We wish him well.

  22. Boss

    Oct 9, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Aaaaaah I see. It’s just more money that Callaway are willing to pay, for a guy who just won a major, who has that power of negotiation that TM wasn’t willing to give that extra bit more in renegotiation. Such a shame. The agents have so much power.

    • Matt

      Oct 9, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      This is a TM decision. They’re letting almost all their players go.

    • JThunder

      Oct 9, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      What’s “such a shame” about any of this? It’s two multi-million dollar companies fighting over a millionaire wearing their hat. Want some better examples of shameful behavior by millionaires? I bet I could find a few.

  23. Jack Matthews

    Oct 9, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Interesting. I wonder if he does go to Callaway. It seems like their new driver (GBB Epic) is becoming very popular on tour. Also, I wonder if “playing what the pros play” is as important as it was a decade ago. It’s clear the OEMs are fighting it out for market share now that the club business is in somewhat of a decline. I guess having big name endorsers is still one way to compete.

  24. TBone

    Oct 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Wish he’d go back and to titleist. The 818 line is so pure.

    • rymail00

      Oct 9, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      That’d be cool. But Titleist seems to get them early and then they go to OEM’s who offer more.

  25. Tom54

    Oct 9, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I see nothing wrong with Sergio switching golf equipment. Let’s face it to all us avid golf nuts can you honestly say you’ve stayed with one brand for 15 years. That’s half the fun trying the newest items out on the market regardless of who makes them. Other than being paid why should they be any different.

  26. Matt

    Oct 9, 2017 at 11:53 am

    TM rumored to be going to a four (star) player sponsorship system. DJ, Rory, Rahm and JDay. Not sure what will happen to Rose, Woods etc, but Rosey likely to be the next to jump ship. They just need to spread the announcements out so it doesn’t look as bad.

  27. AceVenturi

    Oct 9, 2017 at 11:50 am

    He is going to Callaway, 100%.
    This will hurt TaylorMade as not only they’ve seen a major drop in sales and marketshare in every major region due to the Epic story, but also gets corroborated by one of their major Icons changing bag mid-contract. Sergio has been in TMs advertising each year for the last 15.

    • Boyo

      Oct 11, 2017 at 7:49 am

      Who cares about a company that brings out “THE NEXT TECHNOLOGICAL BREAKTHROUGH” every 6 months?

  28. Duncan Marc

    Oct 9, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Maybe he got tired of being asked to switch clubs every 6 weeks….

    • Shane

      Oct 9, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Exactly. MAYBE he asked for more, or it was just time for a change. Funny how everyone seems quick to call the guy out! Always liked the guy and wish him the best, wherever he winds up!

      • cgasucks

        Oct 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm

        Yeah…no matter which OEM he winds up with he’ll be fine career wise…

      • Boyo

        Oct 11, 2017 at 7:49 am

        You’d play with a guy that spits in the cup?

  29. Richard Tickle

    Oct 9, 2017 at 11:21 am

    i bet he go pxg they make best clubsin all of golf. BOOMBABBY!

    • PAUL

      Oct 9, 2017 at 11:46 am

      YOURE ALL WRONG! i HAVE HEARD fROM rEPUTABLE SOURCE HES GOING TO wILSON sTAFF!

      • Mike

        Oct 27, 2017 at 1:40 pm

        Paul that wouldn’t surprise me one bit, Wilson make good irons, but he might just try Srixon ??? progressive iron makers

    • ILoveHateGolf

      Oct 9, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      I’ll bet he doesn’t. Regardless, at least a little effort on the grammar would be appreciated, Richard. Jesus….

      • Richard Trickle

        Oct 9, 2017 at 12:47 pm

        lEAVE jESUS OUT OF THIS. yOU BEET hE doeSNT GO pXG hUH? rEAL SMART GUYYV YOU arE!

        • cgasucks

          Oct 10, 2017 at 10:47 am

          Fentanyl is a very bad drug..please get help. Besides Wilson can’t afford Garcia…PXG…possibly..

  30. cgasucks

    Oct 9, 2017 at 11:14 am

    If Garcia switched when his TM contract expired it makes a lot of sense and no one will bat an eye. But in this case Garcia got out in mid-contract which will leave a lot of questions on the table…just like Mickelson when he left Titleist for Callaway in mid-contract.

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Equipment

Everything you need to know about TaylorMade’s new GAPR Lo, Mid and Hi clubs

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The Golden Years of wood-style hybrids and hybrid innovation in the marketplace are over, Tomo Bystedt, the Senior Director of Product Creation for TaylorMade, told GolfWRX.

Based on data collected from the company’s myRoundPro app and TrackMan data from its fitting facility, called “The Kingdom,” Bystedt says TaylorMade has found that most golfers are “not very good” with irons higher than a 5-iron, and while some hit the 3 wood very well, they struggle with 5/7/9 woods and hybrid-style clubs. Bystedt also acknowledges that Tour players have moved away from hybrid-style golf clubs as we know them, and into driving-iron-style clubs instead; they provide better control and offer greater distance in certain conditions, he says.

So, golfers of all skill levels need to fill the gap between a 5-iron and a 3-wood, and thus, TaylorMade has designed a new family of golf clubs called GAPR, pronounced “gapper.”

The family consists of a GAPR Lo, a GAPR Mid and a GAPR Hi. The clubs are made with C300 faces and 450 stainless steel bodies, with the company’s familiar SpeedFoam between the faces and bodies for durability of the face and to improve overall sound and feel due to the vibration dampening qualities of the foam. They also have “blind slots,” according to Bystedt, or in other words, speed slots on their soles that are not bore-thru slots. Each of the GAPR irons have adjustable loft sleeves, as well.

TaylorMade’s new GAPR clubs will be available on August 24 and sell for $250 apiece with stock KBS graphite shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grips. More specs and info on each of the offerings below.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about GAPR irons in our forums.

GAPR Lo

We’ve spotted Tiger Woods testing a GAPR Lo at Carnoustie, and Bystedt says other big name pros including Dustin Johnson are testing it, as well. There are a few GAPR Lo irons that have a fixed hosel that are floating around in Tour bags, but the retail versions have an adjustable hosel.

The GAPR Lo irons have a weight port (filled with either steel or tungsten weights) placed in the back for head weight purposes and are not interchangeable weights by the user. The head shape of the GAPR Lo is slightly bigger than the P-790 UDI clubs, according to Bystedt, and more similar to the Tour Preferred UDI. That’s because player feedback suggested the P-790 UDI was a bit too small, and players wanted a slightly bigger size.

Retail offerings of the GAPR Lo will include 17, 19 and 22 degree options, ranging from 40.25 inches to 39.25 inches, respectively.

GAPR Mid

The GAPR Mid iron has a bigger profile than the GAPR Lo, and has CG (center of gravity) lower in the club head for higher launch and more forgiveness. The weight port is on the sole of the club, as opposed to the back cavity as seen on the GAPR Lo iron. The soles are also wider, making these more playable for players from the turf.

The GAPR Mid irons are offered in 18, 21 and 24 degree lofts, ranging from 40.25 to 39.25 inches, respectively.

GAPR Hi

TaylorMade’s GAPR Hi irons have an even bigger profile and wider soles than the GAPR Mid irons, and the CG is lower and deeper for an even higher launch and greater forgiveness. The shaping of the club is like the child of a driving iron and a wood-style hybrid; according to a TaylorMade press release, it “features modern Rescue shaping with a high-toe, peanut shaped clubhead.” It also has bulge and roll on the face to help with off-center hits. Additionally, the SpeedFoam in the GAPR Hi is slightly less dense than the rest of the offerings, according to Bystedt, because the density of the original foam was raising CG and deadening sound too much; he calls it “SpeedFoam lite” in the GAPR Hi.

The GAPR Hi is offered in 19, 22, 25 and 28 degree lofts, ranging from 40.75 inches to 39.25 inches, respectively.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about GAPR irons in our forums.

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Hand-painted Callaway Create headcovers are now up for auction

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As part of its Callaway Create platform, Callaway teamed up with artists from around the globe to produce 32 hand-painted headcovers. The headcovers are each hand-stitched and weather-proofed by Seamus Golf in Portland, Oregon.

Below are a few examples, but check out the website here to see all of the designs.

Each of the 32 headcovers are individually named by the authors, given names such as “Banana Slice,” “Cartpool Karaoke” and “Freaky Fourball,” among other creative, golf-related names.

The headcovers are now available at auction, and the proceeds will serve to benefit Bunkers in Baghdad. Here is more information about the organization, as per the Callaway website:

All auction proceeds go to Bunkers in Baghdad, an organization dedicated to sending new and used golf balls, clubs, and equipment to our troops around the world, with a focus on the brave men and women currently serving in combat zones. Bunkers also supplies golf equipment to our vets and warriors around the country to aid in their recreation and rehabilitation.  It has collected and shipped 9 million golf balls and 700,000 golf clubs to our troops, vets and warriors in more than 65 countries around the world and all 50 states.

Click here to enter the auction, and click here to read more about Bunkers in Baghdad.

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Full details on Ping’s new i500 and i210 irons, and Glide Forged wedges

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In recent weeks, we’ve spotted a number of different Ping irons and wedges. We saw Tony Finau testing an i500 driving iron, we saw Bubba Watson using Glide Forged wedges, and we also spotted photos of a new i210 iron. The problem was, Ping wasn’t giving up any information on the new clubs, so we didn’t know when or if they’d would be released to the public, or what was different about the new products.

Now, we have all of the info on the Ping i500 and i210 irons, and the Ping Glide Forged wedges. We were lucky enough to have Marty Jertson, Director of Product Development at Ping and a recent 2018 PGA Championship qualifier, on our Two Guys Talking Golf (TG2) podcast to explain the designs and technology for the three different product releases. Snippets from the full podcast are embedded below. Additionally, we provide all of the necessary spec and pricing information.

All of the products are now available for custom fitting or pre-order at authorized Ping shops around the United States.

Click here for comparison photos against PXG, Artisan and P-790 clubs.

Ping i500 irons

The Ping i500 is actually quite similar to the G700 iron, which also has a hollow-body construction, but yet the i500 has a sleeker-shaped profile. The i500 irons are built with C300 maraging steel faces and 17-4 stainless steel bodies; Ping says this design increases ball speed, lowers spin and creates higher-flying shots.

Available in 3-PW and UW, the Ping i500 irons will sell for $175 per club with a steel shaft and $190 per club with a graphite shaft. Stock steel shafts will be the True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 (R300, S300), stock graphite shafts will be the UST Mamiya Recoil ES SMAC (760A, 780R, 780S), and a number of aftermarket shafts are also available at no upcharge. The stock grip is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet (Blue -1/16 inches, Red -1/32 inches, Aqua -1/64 inches, White Std., Gold +1/32 inches, Orange +1/16 inches).

In-hand photos of the new Ping i500 irons

Ping i210 irons

Replacing the i200 irons, the new i210 irons are made from 431 stainless steel, and they have a larger and softer elastomer insert. The bigger insert is said to not only increase perimeter weighting for greater forgiveness, but also to help fine-tune swing weight and create an overall softer feel. The shaping of the irons have also been refined, according to Ping.

Available in 3-PW and UW, the Ping i210 irons will sell for $137.50 per iron with a steel shaft, and $152.50 per iron with a graphite shaft. The stock steel offering is a True Temper Dynamic Gold 120 (S300, X100), the graphite offering is an Alta CB (Soft R, Regular, Stiff), and there are a number of aftermarket options with no upcharge.

In-hand photos of the new Ping i210 irons

Ping Glide Forged wedges

Forged from 8620 carbon steel, the new Ping Glide Forged wedges have a “sleek, high-spinning blade-style design with a soft, pleasing feel,” according to a Ping press release. They’re the product of Louis Oosthuizen, Stan Utley and Todd Anderson working with Ping Engineers to develop a wedge with greater feel and versatility, says Ping. Like the Glide 2.0 wedges, the new Glide Forged wedges have wheel-cut grooves, which have a sharp edge radius to increase friction for more spin and trajectory control.

The new Glide Forged wedges are also customizable with different graphics, stamping and paint fills, which are highlighted below.

  • Graphic Options: Mr. PING logo, American flag, Arizona desert scene, Boomerang
  • Stamping Options: 1) Up to three characters (A-Z, 0-9) in one of three locations (toe, center or heel); 2) Two characters applied in scattered fashion; 3) Mr. PING logo scattered.
  • Paint-fill options: Black, Gold, Brown, Orange, Purple, Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, White, Silver, Maroon

Check out ping.com/glideforgedcustom to design your wedges.

Ping’s new Glide Forged wedges are available in 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60 degree lofts, and they will sell for $217.50 per wedge with a steel shaft and $232.50 per wedge with a graphite shaft. The stock steel shaft will be a True Temper Dynamic Gold S300, the graphite shaft will be an Alta CB (Soft R, Regular, Stiff), and there are more aftermarket shafts available at no upcharge.

Listen to the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

In-hand photos of the new Ping Glide Forged wedges.

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