We all know how it works. The big brands pay bucketloads for players to use their gear, hoping it will move the sales needle. The more notorious the player, the larger the transaction.
But recently there’s been a new development, largely thanks to Nike’s decision to leave the equipment market.
The Swoosh’s former employees were left without club sponsorships, and while many re-signed lucrative contracts – such as Rory and Tiger to TaylorMade – some still remain unsigned, and a glance in their bag enearths a jumble of equipment.
This is not common on Tour. While you’ll see the odd player wielding an old club in contradiction to their sponsorship (Stenson’s fairway wood) most are loyal to one brand.
It's also rare to see old clubs on Tour, mostly because the new stuff performs better. Furthermore, brands do not force their players to use new equipment but it’s certainly suggested. Often with money.
Interestingly, these mixed bags have served players well, with many finding their best form. Patrick Reed won his first major at the Masters, Brooks Koepka nabbed two, Tommy Fleetwood won the Race to Dubai, Francesco Molinari won the Open and Paul Casey won his first event at March’s Valspar Championship since 2015. Draw from that what you will.
Brooks Koepka – world number four
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees)
3 Wood: TaylorMade M2 Tour HL (16.5 degrees)
Driving Iron: Nike Vapor Fly Pro (3)
Irons: Mizuno JPX-900 Tour (4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52-12F, 56-10S, 60-08M)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Tour Only T10 Select Newport 2
Francesco Molinari – world number six
Driver: TaylorMade M4
3-wood: TaylorMade M3 13˚
Irons: TaylorMade P790 2/4, P750 5-PW
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind 50˚, 56˚, Hi-Toe 60˚
Putter: Bettinardi Dass BBZero
Tommy Fleetwood – world number 11
Driver: TaylorMade M3 8.5°
Fairway woods: Nike Vapor Fly
2 iron utility: TaylorMade GAPR LO
4 iron: Nike VR Forged
Irons (5-9): Nike VR Pro
Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged 48°, 52°, 56° and 60°
Putter: Odyssey #3 White Hot Pro
Patrick Reed – world number 12
Driver: Ping G400 LST 10°
Fairway: Nike VR Pro Ltd. Edition 15°
Driving Iron: Titleist 716 T-MB (3-iron)
Irons: Callaway X Forged 2013 (4), Callaway MB-1 (5-PW)
Wedges: Artisan (51 and 56°), Titleist Vokey SM5 (61°)
Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro 3
Paul Casey – world number 15
Driver: TaylorMade M4 10.5°
3 wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 15°
Hybrid: TaylorMade M3 21°
3 iron: Mizuno MP-25
Irons (4-PW): Mizuno MP-5
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 52°, 56° and 60°
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Circle T