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It’s Official: Rory McIlroy is with TaylorMade

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While Rory McIlroy didn’t specify exactly what he meant in his tweet at 11:02 a.m. Tuesday morning, “Final tweaks are made,” it was clear from the the presence of a custom TaylorMade Staff Bag in the photo that he had signed an endorsement contract with golf equipment manufacturer TaylorMade.

Minutes later, the official details from TaylorMade hit inboxes. Rory had signed a long-term contract with the company, and he would switch to a full bag of TaylorMade clubs, including a TaylorMade golf ball.

Earlier this year, it appeared that McIlroy was primed to signed an equipment contract with a different company. He was using Callaway’s new Epic metal woods and muscleback irons, as well as a custom Odyssey putter. There was also some Titleist equipment in his bag: the company’s new wedges and its Pro V1x golf ball. By Masters time, McIlroy had switched out his Callaway fairway woods for new TaylorMade models. 

McIlroy’s equipment saga was the result of Nike’s decision to exit the golf equipment business in August, which left the four-time major champion an “equipment free agent.” He said he would take his time — maybe as much as a year — to find the absolutely best equipment for his game. Nine months later, the search has ended with TaylorMade.

“My future rests firmly in my hands,” McIlroy said. “That’s why I choose TaylorMade. I’ve been around the game long enough and have tested most clubs on the market, but I have never been as excited about equipment as I am right now.” 

McIlroy’s TaylorMade Clubs

Rory_McIlroy_WITB_2017_Feat

  • 2017 M2 Driver (9.5 degrees)
  • 2017 M2 Tour Fairway (13.5 degrees)
  • 2017 M2 Tour Fairway (19 degrees)
  • P750 Tour Proto Irons (3-4),- “Rors Proto” Irons (5-9)
  • Milled Grind Wedges (48, 54, 60 degrees)
  • TP5x Golf Ball / #22

Related: See all the TaylorMade clubs McIlroy is using this week at The Players

TaylorMade’s press release about the signing of McIlroy is filled with the typical hyperbole, and rightfully so for a company that currently has equipment deals with the top-3 ranked golfers in the world (Dustin Johnson, McIlroy and Jason Day), but there’s also some interesting tidbits.

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 12.25.16 PM

For one, TaylorMade has designed a custom set of irons for McIroy called the “Rors Proto” that he will use as his 5-9 irons. And for those who think they can swing like McIlroy, TaylorMade passed along his launch monitor data with his new TaylorMade 2017 M2 driver.

246590-rorsnumbers-467282-large-1494277485-1

  • Ball Speed: 181 mph
  • Launch Angle: 12.3 degrees
  • Spin Rate: 2119 rpm
  • Average Carry Distance: 315.8 yards
  • Average Total Distance: 338.5 yards.
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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. The Real Swanson

    May 10, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Tosser.

  2. King of Carlsbad

    May 10, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Can Rory still collect when TM goes bankrupt?

  3. Teddy

    May 9, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    I guess the Epic driver wasn’t so “Epic” for Rory…

  4. H

    May 9, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Let the TM dominance-Titleist take down finally come to its conclusion!

  5. Wenz

    May 9, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Fairly sure his driver is 8.5 stamped with the actual loft being 8.25 as written in sharpie.

  6. Tony Rich

    May 9, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Sellout……while he is chasing the money everywhere he goes…guys like Willett, Stenson and a guy named Walker are winning majors. He dominated tournaments with his Titleist sticks. He has become a question mark since joining Nike and now this. Stats said he hit 20% of his fairways last year using Taylor Made low CG driver, doubt he will improve on that.

  7. Moses

    May 9, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    I didn’t know Rory was a “6 time” major champion.

  8. Judge Smells

    May 9, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    I heard Wilson was in there right until they discussed the compensation involved

  9. Greg V

    May 9, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Looks like he’s opening his left hand at the top of the swing, in the picture. Could be trouble, although Bobby Jones got away with it.

  10. AndyUK

    May 9, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Watched the live interview with him earlier today where he stated he was excited to play the TP5 ball as it was much more suited to his game and windy conditions compared to the Pro V. Said he spend 10 days of intensive testing. Kick in the teeth to Titleist, which is no bad thing.

  11. Lewi

    May 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Looks to me, he has sold out to the highest bidder, used callaway through choice and the brand has boomed, Taylormade had no choice but to buy him to try and reverse the trend.
    Rory said he was staying club free for at least a year, amazing how money talks and changes people’s minds. Money obviously means more to him than titles

  12. golfraven

    May 9, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    You would think that Tiger and Rory now come as a pack of two. You cannot sign them up seperately. This is a big hit to Callaway and somehow the Epic line is loosing the charm since more and more players not hitting those drivers anymore. Wonder how much Tiger invested in TM and maybe Rory is joining to bail him out or both will take over TM. I guess Tiger will need to suck it up if Rory gets his signature clubs (irons and maybe wedges in the future).

  13. Tourgrinder

    May 9, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Can somebody with more TaylorMade insight than me please let me in on the secret as to why more pros seem to be gravitating toward the M2 rather than the M1. Even those with an M1 driver seem to choose M2 fairway models and hybrids. But…the M2 driver seems to be preference for pros such as DJ, Rahm, Rose, Tiger Woods, and now McIlroy, plus many, many others. I’ve probably overlooked a boatload of other pros using the M2 rather than the M1. I thought the M1 was the flagship model and the M2 was the game-improvement model, if you could call it that.

    • SH

      May 9, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      We all want to find fairways and the M2 is a tad more forgiving for most. Besides, with all the hot melting, it’s not like these heads don’t have weight near the front

  14. Ibo

    May 9, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    I’d be excited too while pocketing $10M a year on top of $20M more from Nike.

    • Aaron

      May 9, 2017 at 6:49 pm

      This is technically inaccurate. Nike will supplement whatever Taylormade pays Rory to equal the amount they would have paid him (had he continued using their clubs). He’s technically making the same amount of money, just from two companies instead of one.

      • Earl

        May 16, 2017 at 12:31 am

        Well THAT is technically incorrect. For every amount above what Nike are paying RM, they will take “a percentage” out of his pay. So he is earning more.. just not the full 10 mil more.

  15. King of Carlsbad

    May 9, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Hard to understand how TM has the budget for these signings. They are losing close to 9 digits a year and can’t find a buyer. Odd…

  16. Chris

    May 9, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Taylormade’s player staff bill must be huge now, Rory, DJ, Jason Day, Sergio, Justin Rose…….

  17. chinchbugs

    May 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Can Nike just buy TaylorMade already….

  18. Philip

    May 9, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Sure he is playing the best equipment for his game, and it has nothing to do with him selling himself to the highest bidder … there is always more swampland for sale :o)

  19. Tom1

    May 9, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    exciting times……

  20. Eric

    May 9, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    He is using TMAG Proto Blades (saw a pic on instagram). Who knows who made them. Probably Miura. Just kidding, I have no idea.

  21. Soggy golfer

    May 9, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    I don’t see him playing TM irons maybe with the exception of the tour preferred blades. I feel like he has always played a firmer feeling iron and the TM P series is extremely soft. I know some really good players that tried them after a firmer feeling set (myself included) and it was counter productive.

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News

New troops: PXG announces additions to tour staff for 2021

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Earlier this week, it was the Brooklyn Nets making big news in the NBA with player acquisitions. Now in the golf world, it’s PXG, who is also adding to its roster with a number of new players on both the PGA Tour and the Korn Ferry Tour.

The newest members of the PXG roster, which they like to call “troops” are

  • Jim Herman
  • Sung Kang
  • Danny Lee
  • Luke List
  • Henrik Norlander
  • Adam Schenk
  • Kyle Stanley
  • Hudson Swafford

Speaking to the switch, Sung Kang said

“PXG makes some of the best performing equipment in golf. I know, with the support of Bob Parsons, his team, and PXG clubs, that I am going to be able to take my game to the next level!”

The professionals from the Korn Ferry Tour joining current PXG staffers Scott Langley and Grant Hirschman include

  • Kevin Dougherty
  • Nicolas Echavarria
  • KK Limbhaust
  • Justin Lower
  • Seth Reeves
  • Charlie Saxon

“Between grit and their love of the game, every one of these new players brings something special to the course. We are proud to welcome them all to the PXG Troops and honored that they have chosen to put PXG in play.” -PXG founder and CEO Bob Parsons.

These players join a long list of PXG staff players, which also includes LPGA Tour players Lydia Ko, Katherine Kirk, Austin Ernst, Christia Kim, Brittany Lang, Haley Moore, Celine Boutie, Ryann O’Toole, Gerina Piller, Jennifer Song, Linnea Ström, and Mina Harigae.

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Sony Open Tour Truck Report: CH3 newest Ventus Black convert, free agent testing, and Srixon has two new staffers

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With no tour trucks on site until the West Coast Swing begins next week, we had to scrape and claw for every morsel of information for this week’s report. And with the time difference in Hawaii, we may get more info this evening and will update accordingly.

That said, let’s dig into this week’s Tour Truck Report.

Titleist

Charles Howell III put a new Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X in his Titleist TSi3. He was also testing new 4-irons to find a recipe that gapped a bit better with his Ping G410 7-wood and Titleist T100 5-iron.

TaylorMade

Lots of players staff and non-staff players going into SIM2.

Staff

  • Nick Taylor: SIM2 w/ Fujikura Atmos Blue 6 X

Non Staff:

  • DJ Trahan: SIM2
  • Danny Lee: SIM2
  • XJ Zhang: SIM2

Non Staff Testing

  • SIM2/SIM2 Max: Jim Herman, Luke List, Henrik Norlander, James Hahn, Sung Kang, Kyle Stanley, Hudson Swafford

Collin Morikawa has the new TP5 Prototype ball in play and Sergio Garcia is in the new TP5X Proto.

Callaway

Jim Furyk went to a long stick with a 47-inch (tipped 3/4) Callaway Epic Proto Driver (9 degrees) with a Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X.

Will Gordon is also in the new Callaway Epic Proto (9 degrees) with a Ventus Black 6 X and was seeing ball speeds reach 190 mph.

Callaway announced the signing of Tyler McCumber who will be in a full bag of Callaway gear in 2021. We will update on what landed in the bag ASAP.

Si Woo Kim switching to a prototype Odyssey OG Putter

Srixon

Keegan Bradley added the new Srixon ZX7 irons (4-PW) replacing his trust Z745’s. The new irons come equipped with Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts.

Srixon also added two new staff members for 2021 PGA Tour veteran KJ Choi and 27 year old Matt Neismith.

Matt Neismith WITB

ZX7 Driver 9.5: Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X

ZX Utility 18: Fujikura Atmos Blue Hybrid 85 X

Z-FORGED (4-PW): Nippon Modus 125 X

Wedges RTX Zip Core (50, 54, 58): KBS 610 Wedge 115g

K.J Choi WITB

ZX7 Driver 9.5

ZX7 (5-PW)

Wedges RTX Zip Core (50, 54, 58) w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Free Agents

Not in the field at Sony, but two notable free agents Ryan Moore and Jason Day are in the midst of building new bags. Nothing is secure by any stretch but see below for what we heard they have been testing thus far.

Jason Day

Ping G425 LST Driver, Mizuno JPX921 Tour irons

Ryan Moore

TaylorMade SIM2, Titleist TSi2 and 3 fairways, Mizuno irons (multiple), Vokey Wedges

Also…

Vijay Singh put in a brand new Callaway Epic Proto driver at 46.5 inches with a Fujikura Atmos Black 5 TX shaft.

In regards to players who have signed with new companies, here is the list

PXG

  • Sung Kang
  • Jim Herman

Srixon

  • Matt Neismith
  • KJ Choi

Titleist 

  • Joseph Bramlett
  • Fabian Gomez
  • Nelson Ledesma
  • Troy Merritt
  • Sam Saunders

Callaway 

  • Jon Rahm
  • Tyler McCumber

TaylorMade 

  • Tommy Fleetwood

Ping

  • None
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Sentry TOC Tour Truck Report: New sticks, new companies, and Patrick Reed buys his own threads

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Happy 2021! The PGA Tour is at Kapalua for the Sentry Tournament of Champions, and with the electricity around the Rahm Callaway signing and new TaylorMade gear hitting the streets, there is a ton to track.

Here is a list of who had new gear in the bag to kick off the year.

Titleist

Justin Thomas finally put the new Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees) into the bag fully equipped with a Fujikura Ventus Red 6 X. The Ventus Red is gaining popularity little by little with Adam Scott and now Thomas switching into it. The new set up saw JT keeping his launch constant from the old TS3 set up all while going from 176 to 179mph ball speed and dropping spin from 2300 to 2100.

Richie Wereksnki also added a Ventus Red 6 X to his yet-unreleased Titleist TSi4 (10 degrees @9.25, D1 SureFit)

Lanto Griffin joined the long driver crowd with a fresh new TSi2 (9 degrees) with a Project X HZRDUS Black 65 6.5 @46 inches.

Adam Scott made some fairway wood switches adding a 15-degree TSi2 3-wood with an old-school Fujikura P95 and a TSi2 7-wood with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 10 TX.

TaylorMade

Dustin Johnson tested the new SIM2 and SIM2 Max heads in 9 and 10.5 degrees. The world No. 1 tried both heads with his trusted Speeder 661 Evolution and a Ventus Black 6 X. DJ will also put the SIM2Max HL (16.5) 3-wood in play with a Fujikura Ventus Black 9 X.

Collin Morikawa tested SIM2 (10.5) and SIM2 Max (9). Word is on course he was going back and forth between the SIM2 (10.5 degrees @9) and his current gamer SIM (8 degrees @8.5) both with the MCA Diamana D+ Limited 60 TX. Morikawa also has a new Spider FCG putter in the satchel as well as the new Sim2 3-Wood ([email protected]) with an MCA Diamana D+ Limited 80TX

Ping

Cameron Champ switched into the new Ping G425 LST (10.5) with a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green (Hulk) 70 G 6.5 TX.

Michael Thompson is now in the new Ping G425 LST (10.5) with a Fujikura Ventus Black 6X.

Joaquin Niemann also added the new Ping G425 LST (10.5) with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7 TX.

Tony Finau added swing weight to his entire set over the winter. The reason was to reduce a left miss, and after some tweaking, he ended up adding two to three swing weights across the board. The irons went from D3 to D5+ (D5.5).

Mackenzie Hughes put the new Ping G425 Max (9) in play with a Project X Hzurdus T1100 60G 6.5.

Callaway

Jon Rahm showed up with a whole bag of new Callaway gear

Driver: Callaway Proto Triple Diamond (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX

4-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (16.5)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX

5-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (18 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI (Black) 8 X

Irons: Callaway UT Proto (3), Callaway Apex Proto (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

  • TBD on UT or 5 Wood

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Forged JPN (52-8, 56-12, 60-10)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

Marc Leishman added a prototype Odyssey putter to his bag. The putter has an OG White Hot insert, and sources tell me Leishman loved the feel of the face straight away.

Xander Schauffele put a new Callaway Triple Diamond Prototype driver in play. The 9-degree (@8) head is loaded with his usual Graphite Design Tour AD BB 7X (custom black finish) shaft. Xander, like Rahm, also has the new Apex Prototype irons in play with Nippon Pro Modus3 130 X. The irons are rumored to have less offset, thinner top line, shorter blade length, and no Flash Face Cup.

Srixon

Hideki Matsuyama swapped shafts in his Srixon ZX5 driver (9.5 degrees) from a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 TX into a Graphite Design Tour AD MD 8X XX (that’s right). The prototype shaft is a modified XC with a soft butt section and a very stiff tip.

Free Agents

On the fashion front, Patrick Reed who parted ways with Nike at the end of 2020, showed up in head-to-toe G/Fore apparel. The coolest part about the story is that Reed was such a fan of the brand that instead of signing a deal or expecting it for free, the 2018 Masters Champion went online and put all of his gear on the old AmEx like everyone else. According to my source, he’s loved G/Fore clothing for a long time and insisted that he get it like everyone else. Well done, PR.

This is what a representative from Team G/Fore had to say

“We are happy anytime we hear someone is enjoying our products and though Patrick is not on our roster for 2021, we are glad to learn he enjoys our gear!”

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