FORE! golf equipment switches GONE WRONG on the PGA Tour...

Justin Rose terminates his equipment deal with Honma Golf after little more than a year...

Andy Roberts's picture
Sun, 24 May 2020

Think of golf equipment switches on the PGA Tour like Premier League football transfers. Some work out, earn you tons more money and add silverware to your cabinet, while others, well... make you look a shadow of your former self. 

Can you really blame a new set of sticks for a lethagic run of results, or is it more just a coincidence that it fell in line with a loss of confidence with the swing? 

Only the player in question would be able to give you an honest answer to that, but either way, the results for the following four players took a serious nosedive immediately after they switched brands. 

Let's take a closer look at them, starting with the most recent of them all...

JUSTIN ROSE

Brand switch: TaylorMade to Honma Golf

It will likely go down as one of the most peculiar golf equipment switch of all time. 

Rose had played TaylorMade clubs for the majority of his golf career but decided to transfer to Honma in January 2019 in a bid to help get the Japanese brand on the map on the PGA Tour. 

READ: JUSTIN ROSE ENDS EQUIPMENT DEAL WITH HONMA GOLF

"Coming off one of my best years professionally," said Rose at the time of his signing with Honma. "I wanted to make it a point to get better. I believe Honma equipment and the legendary Honma craftsmanship can help make me better."

Rose was also supposed to be involved heavily in some of Honma's upcoming club designs, and the brand even produced the TR20 440 Justin Rose Sakata 7 driver.

The new partnership seemed to work perfectly straight out the gate for Rose as he went on to win the Farmers Insurance Open just weeks after putting pen to paper.

But then things gradually started going pear-shaped for the Englishman, who has now fallen from World No.1 to a current 14th position.

Eight top-10 finishes around the world since that win in January 2019 is nothing to be ashamed about, but it's Rose's recent form that has been a major cause for concern for someone so typically consistent, especially off the back of three missed cuts in his last four starts. 

During the Honda Classic two weeks ago, rumours began to circulate that Rose was going to leave HONMA after he removed his clubs in favour of TaylorMade clubs, and a couple of other branded clubs. 

Rose and Honma onfirmed their split this week, with Rose now becoming a free agent. 

SERGIO GARCIA

Brand switch: TaylorMade to Callaway 

It wasn't the biggest surprise to see Sergio Garcia transfer to another golfing powerhouse in the shape of Callaway, but what was a surprise was his major dip in form. 

Garcia, the 2017 Masters winner, ended his two-year relationship with Callaway golf clubs and ball at the start of this season when claiming the partnership "wasn't the fit that we thought it would be for me."

RELATED: SERGIO REVEALS WHY HE LEFT CALLAWAY

The Spaniard was a regular in the world's top 10 when he was with TaylorMade, but by the time of his contract termination with Callaway had fallen out of the world's top 35. 

Garcia did win twice on the European Tour with Callaway but he failed to win a single PGA Tour event with the company's clubs and ball in his bag. 

He is currently a free agent in the golf equipment world and his adidas Golf bag is now filled with a PING driver, irons, wedges and putter, TaylorMade fairway woods, and Titleist ball. 

We await to see if anyone will snap up Garcia come the end of the season. 

NICK PRICE

Brand switch: Golden Ram to Atrigon 

Nick Price was in the form of his life in 1994, winning an incredible six times including two majors at The Open and US PGA Championship.

Unsurprisingly following those performances, the Zimbabwean spent 44 consecutive weeks as the World No.1. 

Then in 1995, he binned his favoured Golden Ram irons and decided to mix things up by signing a 10-year deal with Atrigon, reportedly worth in the region of $25 million. 

The only club Atrigon made at the time was a driver. The plan had been for Price to design a set of signature irons, but that for whatever reason fell through. 

So too did Price's game as he failed to win a single tournament and made just five top-10 finishes in 18 tournaments. 

Price walked out and then joined up with Goldwin. 

From then on, Price went on to win just three more times on the PGA Tour and twice on the European Tour before joining the Champions Tour in 2007 where he won four times. 

CURTIS STRANGE

Brand switch: Macgregor to Maruman

Another peculiar golf equipment switch came after Curtis Strange successfully defended his US Open title in 1989. 

The American started playing around with his swing and then ended his longtime deal with Macgregor in favour of Maruman. 

Strange had won at least once a year on the PGA Tour from 1983 to 1989, but then once switching manufacturers went on to post just six top-10 finishes in 20 tournaments. 

Looking at his earnings in the first year with Maruman, he had picked up almost half a million dollars less than the year before, and he never went on to win another PGA Tour event. 

It just goes to prove that famous golf adage... "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

What do YOU consider to be the worst golf equipment switch of all time? Share your thoughts and comments on our social media channels over on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

 

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