It’s official — Rory McIlroy is a free agent.

The Acushnet Company, manufacturer of Titleist and FootJoy brands, announced that McIlroy endorsement contract with the company will not be extended, ending Dec. 31, 2012.

“Our goal has been to provide Rory with the best equipment and service that would help him be the best player he could possibly be,” said Wally Uihlein, Chief Executive Officer, Acushnet Company. “He has been a great ambassador for the Titleist and FootJoy brands, and in turn, we are proud of how our equipment has contributed to his success. We wish Rory all the best, both personally and professionally, going forward.”

McIlroy has used Titleist and FootJoy equipment since turning professional as an 18-year old in September 2007. He personally thanked Uihlein in an Acushnet press release, as well as all of the tour staff and employees at Titleist and Footjoy for “everything they have done for me since I turned professional.”

“I have enjoyed five very exciting and successful years with the company and I will always appreciate the contribution Titleist has made in helping me become the player I am today,” McIlroy said.

Talk has been strong on GolfWRX since early September that McIlroy would leave Titleist and join Nike. Click here for read the “Five reasons with McIlroy could join Nike.” 

It is rumored that a deal between McIlroy and Nike could be worth as much as $250 million, although there is no news from Nike at this time. Click here to read why “Rory McIlroy isn’t worth $250 million, but he should take it.”

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour/pre-release equipment” forum.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals.

He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.


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  1. With Rory switching equipment companies there certainly will be a transition period, but with his talent it won’t be very long. All who are reading this love the game of golf and are well aware of Rory. But for those who don’t watch golf really don’t know who Rory is, but they certainly know who Tiger is. I am a golf professional and my wife barely knows who Rory is. If he ends up with Nike they will make him known by many more.

  2. I find it crazy that you are arguing with me. When is the last time you’ve seen a player that is paid by another OEM use a Nike product like guys do with balls, Scotty’s and vokeys all over. Heck, Phil uses a Titleist fairway wood as Callaway’s big dog. Fowler as Cobra’s ace still uses Vokey wedges and a Scotty putter.

  3. Nike makes garbage equipment. Take Tiger Woods out and you are left with Carl Pettersson, Molinari and a bunch of guys that only play in the John Deere Classic and other tournaments nobody cares about.

    Nike markets to the weekend rec golfer, Titleist markets to the avid golfer.

  4. I think it will be a good overall move for Rory. Nike likes to have top players and will pay them because they can. Tiger still places top 10 in events and STILL is the face of Nike and gold. However as in life people will eventually start to fade and a company will need the next face. Sooooo…. que Rory to step in towards the end of Tigers dominance and have Rory take over in the next few years. Tiger will still be around and Rory is young enough to help Nike pick up wins on the circuit. OH and that plastic putter they call the Method…… Stewart Sink wins the British Open with that Plastic putter and Charl Schwartzel winning the Masters….. Nuff Said!

  5. Danny

    Give me a set of wilson staff blades, 8802 putter, callaway warbird driver and a top flite and I’ll show you its not the equipment.

    As for your comment about Titleist selling more balls that Nike, no kidding…they are a bigger house hold name in that market. And you wonder why they dont offer player those huge contracts????they cant, they dont have the money to do so. Nike is a company that prints money, titleist isnt.

    Your comment about ask stricker about asking stricker about the pro-v vs. the nike at the ryder cup, cant really give you a firm answer on who’s ball performed worse, they both played like garbage that tournament.

    -Best regards

  6. hahaha!! You have no clue of what you are talking about Danny. Nike compare is self to any other compagnie out there. McIlroy, if he is the next one, will win whit any clubs. At this level, guy’s d’ont leave a brand JUST for money. By the way Phil is sooooo good whit Calaway. You are probably a lefty!!!

  7. A. Tiger is used to the Tour-D and wins with it….why change from that…..A bunch of Pros still use old versions of the Jesus ball (pro-v) cause they are used to it or feel the newer versions suck.
    B. Stricker is trash anyways and shouldn’t of been picked. Didn’t matter what ball he was using…useless point u tried making there.
    C. 2009 Awards for Tiger….with his inferior putter…nuff said
    PGA Tour Player of the Year
    PGA Player of the Year
    PGA Tour Money Leader
    Vardon Trophy
    Byron Nelson Award
    Mark H. McCormack Award
    FedEx Cup winner
    Golf Writers Association of America Player of the year

  8. and finally, Tigers game has never been the same since Nike forced him to use that mini golf rubber putter of theirs. He picked that thing up at Toys R Us back in 08 and hasn’t made a putt since

  9. Classic example here: Titleist makes a product that speaks for itself. It’s tried and true and consistently sells because of it. nike needs to pay billions of dollars to get newbies to golf to buy their products because they are marketed better. It’s like saying McDonalds makes a better burger than Morton’s.

    Ask Stricker how the Nike ball compared to the Pro-V in the Ryder Cup. Trash

  10. I’ve bagged 2 Nike drivers and hit enough of their balls to know trash. Phil was right when he said Tiger plays with inferior equipment. All Nike does is make you pay for the logo. There is a reason Tiger doesn’t even play a ball they sell. They can’t consistently make winning products like other brands.

  11. Haters gonna hate. People just love to either hate Tiger or Nike. Most people haven’t even swung a Nike iron or wood etc but love to talk trash about them. I really don’t get it. And yeah Danny I’m sure his game will fail just like Tiger’s did when he went to Nike…..How many wins has he had since then? Your worthless comment pulls no weight.

  12. I certainly will not put a Nike club in my bag even if Rory shound win another 20 majors with those clubs – assuming he will join Nike. Bit sad to see him shift but it will be interesting to see how this will affect his game and if he can put his own initials on the clubs. Fair play to Titleist not wanting to compete with herendous $ deals.

  13. Titleist has had a history of helping players achieve stardom (Tiger, Phil, Duval, Ernie, Rory, etc.) only for those players to jump ship for big money equipment deals. I applaud Titleist for having a brand strategy and sticking to it. However, you can’t fault those players for cashing in on their success.