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McIlroy, Acushnet will not renew equipment deal



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.



  1. Pingback: – 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


    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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Tour News

Tiger Woods fires second-round 76, will miss Genesis Open cut



Tiger Woods’ trip to Los Angeles is over sooner than he’d hoped. Woods fired a 5-over 76 during the second round of the Genesis Open to miss the presumed cut at Riviera by four strokes (the second round won’t be completed until Saturday morning due to darkness).

Hopes were high Woods would continue to build on a T-23 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as the driving woes that plagued him at Torrey Pines followed him to the Riv, despite changing shafts in his TaylorMade M3.


Wayward off the tee, Woods made eight bogeys Friday, unable to grind out a decent score as he did with his opening-round 1-over 72. He was unable to rely on his putter the way did in this first round, three-putting back-to-back holes (No. 11 and 12). A stretch of three straight bogeys sunk Woods’ hopes of hanging around for the weekend.


We won’t have to wait long to see the Big Cat back in action, however, as Woods committed to next week’s Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida. Woods most recently put a peg in the ground at the course in 2014, where he ultimately withdrew due to back spasms.

The 79-time PGA Tour winner hasn’t teed it in back-to-back weeks since 2015, so while fans may not be encouraged by his play, at least he continues to be free from any issues with his surgically repaired back.

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Tour News

Tiger Woods shoots an opening-round 72 (1-over) at the 2018 Genesis Open



After hitting just 17 fairways all week at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open, where he finished T23, Tiger Woods switched driver shafts and added 0.75 degrees of loft in his TaylorMade M3 driver ahead of the 2018 Genesis Open this week. He went from using a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX shaft, to a Matrix TP6HDe shaft — he used a TP7HDe shaft back in 2015.

So how did the switch work out for him at Riviera CC on Thursday?

Well, he hit driver 9 times during his round of 72 strokes; four went right — one of which got lost in a tree and he had to re-tee — one went left, and four found the fairway. He hit 8-of-14 fairways in total; no Fred Funk, but an improvement. Woods’ bigger issue on Thursday, actually, was that he hit only 7 greens in regulation, leaving himself a few tricky up-and-downs. Despite hitting only 38 percent of greens, Woods managed to make 5 birdies, and he continues displaying prowess on the greens (1.784 Strokes Gained Putting, and 82 feet worth of putts made).

He also showed some flashes of old Tiger with Arnie-esque follow through.

Of course, that means he missed the fairway way right, and he did go onto bogey the hole, but the shot made for some excitement on golf twitter, at least.

According to @RandallMellGC, Tiger described his round in a post-round interview: “I fought hard. I made a few simple, silly mistakes, bad shots here and there, missed on the wrong side, made a few birdies as well. 1-over’s not bad.”

Yea, that’s about right.

Tiger currently sits at T66, and six shots off the leader. Lots of golf to play, but he’ll likely be contending with the cutline come Friday afternoon. How do you think Tiger will finish this week at the 2018 Genesis Open?

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Custom Camerons, wedge stampings, a 6-hybrid, and Tiger wearing Tennis shoes?



Yesterday, we brought you shots of Thomas Pieters’ iron stamping, Adam Scott’s new (shorter) wand, and more.

Today, we’ve got some more choice shots from the range at Riviera from Tuesday’s practice. Strap in for a sampling from a cornucopia of WITB shots and a helping of Tiger Woods (who we feature in two galleries). We also discussed his new driver shaft yesterday, so if you missed that piece, check it out.

On to the pictures.

First up, Wesley Bryan looks to be gaming an some Anthony Taranto artistry with his 54-degree Mack Daddy 4 wedge. Do work, indeed!

Ted Potter, Jr. won more than a million dollars at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week. But as the check hasn’t come yet, he hasn’t been able to buy Goo Gone to take the tape residue off the bottom of his putter.

A custom Cam for Rafa Cabrera Bello.

…and William McGirt.

#GrindGoals (Luke Donald’s 60-degree Mizuno T7)

Vijay Singh looks to have gotten his foot stuck in a bear trap, and yet he’s still practicing!

The most famous putter in golf, and Nike Vapor Advantage tennis shoes for Tiger?

Apparently, all the weight modification available on PXG 0311 irons was insufficient for Charl Schwartzel.

When your name scripting matches your sponsor’s script…

This is not the WITB of a 20-handicapper, rather Camilo Villegas may be the only Tour pro gaming a 6-hybrid.

So much is going on with Camilo Villegas’ irons…

You’ve seen custom stampings, but how about Bubba Watson’s custom shaft and custom shaft graphic?

When you’re the only PGA Tour professional to own a candy store, your wedge imagery reflects that fact.

The Big Cat browsing GolfWRX on mobile, no doubt…

If you’d like to dig deeper, we have two galleries of range photos from the Riv, plus 13 (!) WITB threads. Dig in!

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19th Hole