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McIlroy, Acushnet will not renew equipment deal

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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 GolfWRX.com. 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.

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Pingback: GolfWRX.com – McIlroy, Acushnet will not renew equipment deal | Golf Products Reviews

  2. Sean

    Nov 2, 2012 at 10:26 am

    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.

  3. Danny

    Oct 31, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    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.

  4. Danny

    Oct 31, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    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.

  5. Joseph

    Oct 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    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!

  6. obvioustroll

    Oct 31, 2012 at 10:07 am

    danny is a troll. Tiger is nr2 and second on money list with “thrash” equipment…

    just ignore haters and move on.

  7. roger

    Oct 31, 2012 at 8:43 am

    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

  8. Facundo

    Oct 31, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Nike is like Apple, you pay only for the logo… I´m sorry Rory, your going on the wrong way.
    Money is not everything in live……

  9. Patrick

    Oct 31, 2012 at 8:08 am

    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!!!

    • Facundo

      Oct 31, 2012 at 8:48 am

      By the way, why Rory, Tiger and Phil they played Titleist in the beginning. They could have used Nike…

  10. Jeff

    Oct 31, 2012 at 4:14 am

    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

  11. Adam

    Oct 31, 2012 at 1:37 am

    He should take the money, then never break the top 50 again like Michelle Wie.

  12. Danny

    Oct 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    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

  13. Danny

    Oct 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    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

  14. Danny

    Oct 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    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.

  15. Jeff

    Oct 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    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.

  16. jason

    Oct 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    sad to see him leave. i really like him on titleist. i hate nike and i was hoping for rory to stick with titleist

  17. Danny

    Oct 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Nike is trash. Once he goes to them his game will fail just like Tiger’s did.

  18. El Guapo

    Oct 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    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.

  19. memphisunited

    Oct 30, 2012 at 10:29 am

    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.

  20. Patrick

    Oct 30, 2012 at 9:33 am

    What next?? Rory and Tiger in a Nike commercial…..

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Pro golfer Hosung Choi has the most ridiculous golf swing you’ll ever see

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Professional golfer Hosung Choi, playing in the third round of the Kolon Korea Open at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, has set the golf Internet on fire with his wildly entertaining golf swing. And while it may look ridiculous, he’s currently sitting at 8-under for the event through three rounds, only two shots back of the leader. It’s worth noting that the top two finishers in the Korea Open will earn a spot in the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie next month.

Enjoy the videos of his golf swing below!

Top-100 swing instructor and GolfWRX’s resident swing expert Tom Stickney has this to say about Choi’s golf swing: “The club goes up and away with a nice rerouting motion from the top into a perfect delivery and impact position. It’s obvious that this guy can play from those two positions, however, I’m not sure about the dismount. Nor can I even guess why he does it…I’m betting he was self-taught and made that move from day one. Great lesson to all the “golf swing” centric people playing today, why change it if it brings you to the dance?!?!”

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Marty Jertson, Ping’s Director of Product Development, qualified for the PGA Championship

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The top 20 professionals from the PGA Professional Championship–contested last weekend at Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses in Seaside, California–are heading to the PGA Championship later this year.

Perhaps you saw Ryan Vermeer, at 5 under, was the medalist. What you may not have seen however, is something particularly cool for golf equipment geeks: Ping’s Director of Product Development, Marty Jertson, qualified–and he did so in spectacular fashion: the 37-year-old birdied the last three holes to finish T9.

Not bad for an engineer!

Also noteworthy: Ping confirmed Jertson played the company’s yet-to-be announced i500 irons in his 3, 4, and 5-irons, which will reportedly be available mid-summer. Yes, they confirmed that the rumors are true; Ping’s new iron will be called i500.

Related: We did a podcast with Jertson at the PGA Show, we also interviewed him back in 2017.

 

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Reddit AMA alert: Anthony Taranto, Callaway’s wedge art maestro, on his favorite designs, WITB

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If you’ve been around GolfWRX for any period of time, you’ve seen Anthony Taranto’s work. The Callaway wedge specialist is tasked with designing some of the coolest wedge decorations in the game.

Taranto did a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) yesterday, and The Wedge Art Wizard (as he introduced himself) didn’t disappoint.

Here are a few highlights (edited for spelling)

Remoolg asked: How did you start working at Callaway and get into this specific position?

AT: Back in 1999 Callaway had a job fair for their new golf ball plant Mr. Callaway was opening. I made it though many layoffs and reorganization. I was good at building clubs and I was placed in the pro tour department about 12 years ago. About 4 1/2 years ago I discovered this technique for sandblasting art onto wedges and now here we are.

Loudshorts asked: What’s the most odd art request you’ve put on a wedge and what’s the most common?

AT: Most odd: Probably Michelle Wie’s Harry Potter-themed wedges

I didn’t know anything about Harry Potter at the time so I had to do some research. Accio birdies!
Most common would just be old fashioned stamping of players initials.

Bunny said: Billy Idol, never pictured him as a golfer. What kind of design did he want on his clubs?

AT: He asked for his logo, which is this cool crown with a lightning bolt:

Iamrobert_paulson asked: What wedges are in your bag? Can we see pics?

AT: I’m gaming MD4’s: 45° (46 bent to 45), 50°, 55° (54 bent to 55), and 60°. Design wise: Skull & Crossbones and lots of stars.

Dr. Troutman asked: What is your favorite custom set you’ve ever done?

AT: Putting me on the spot! It might be these that I just recently made. Figured out how to evolve the sand blasting technique and start doing layers. Really happy with how these came out:

You can check out the full AMA here.

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