Colin Montgomerie will make an unusually early start to his 2004 European Tour year with new clubs in his bag.
The seven time Volvo Order of Merit winner, who has claimed 32 career victories and six Ryder Cup appearances, will compete under the Yonex banner in this week’s South African Airways Open at Erinvale.
Anxious to try his new equipment in competitive conditions, he will use the new Cyberstar Power Brid driver (10.5 deg loft) and 3- (15 deg) and 5- (19 deg) fairway metals, plus a set of cavity-back V-Mass 270 (Cyberstar) irons (2-PW).
The driver features a carbon graphite crown, fused with a 6-4 titanium sole and forged titanium face. Yonex claims it launches the ball higher and spins it less.
The irons feature a cavity backed SUS 431 semi-soft steel head and tungsten weighting and like the drivers and fairway metals, will have a prototype Yonex carbon graphite shaft, developed by Yonex engineers specifically for the Scot and low-handicap amateur golfers.
Says Montgomerie, who has switched from playing Ben Hogan clubs and will travel to Tokyo for the official announcement after competing in South Africa: "I have spent the winter break testing the Yonex clubs and have been very impressed. They boast cutting edge technology, which is very important in this day and age.
"The driver is extremely long, yet very accurate. I'm also very excited by the irons. They're perfect for my game.
"Indeed if I were to design a set myself these irons, with the Yonex graphite shaft, would be the result. In doing the testing I have done an unusual amount of practice for this time of year which I am hoping will stand me in good stead at my first event in South Africa."
Keiichiro Yanagi, Yonex UK’s managing director, commented: "Colin is a world class, high profile player and we are looking forward to working with him, not just in terms of the promotion of our brands but with our new product developments."
Montgomerie will also wear the Yonex visor and glove.
*Other European tour players competing in South Africa, starting Thursday, include the holder, Tim Clark, Lee Westwood and Paul Lawrie.