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Tour players are known to be fanatical about their equipment – endlessly testing, tweaking and adjusting to get the most out of their games. Decisions to change equipment aren’t taken lightly, but every year, as the calendar flips from December to January, a handful of pros make significant changes to what’s in their bags. With the PGA Tour season now in full swing,here’s a look at some of the notable changes in clubs, golf balls and apparel being made by some of the bigger names in the game.
Tiger now rolling with Bridgestone, swinging with Taylormade
No news has dominated the new golf season more than the return of Tiger Woods after more than a year away from the game due to injury. During that hiatus, Nike announced its departure from the hard goods business, so while Tiger will still wear the swoosh, he had been inundated with offers to play nearly every brand of clubs and golf balls. Ultimately, Woods signed onto play the Bridgestone B330-S golf ball just before his December return, and added his oldScotty Cameron putter and newTaylorMade woods to his bag. In January, he officially announced a partnership with TaylorMade, and will work with the Carlsbad, California-based company to design a set of irons and wedges to debut later this season. “Finding the right golf ball is extremely important,” Woods said. “It’s an essential part of my equipment, and the Bridgestone B330-S ball is hands-down the best for my game. About his new clubs, he said, “They’re allowing me to take my time, and we’re going to develop my irons and make the irons and the blades that I want and that will fit my game.”
Rory makes wholesale changes throughout
Nike’s exit from the golf club business also meant four-time major championship winner Rory McIlroy was in high demand, and he has started 2017 with three different brands rep-resented in his bag. The defending Tour Championship winner is playing GBB Epic Sub Zero woods and ApexMB irons from Callaway, Titleist Vokey wedges, an Odyssey putter and Titleist Pro V1x balls. “I want to play the new Pro V1x ball, and I know the Callaway driver works the best with it,” McIlroy told the website NoLayingUp.com. ”I also know my Nike irons don’t work as well with the Titleist ball because of the groove format.”
Bubba in living color with Volvik
Bubba Watson has never been afraid to do things differently, as evidenced by the pink Ping driver in the two-time Masters champion’s bag. In January, he debuted three new colorful golf balls from Volvik – playing pink,pearl blue/white and green versions of the S4 model. It’s not just the optics that Watson is after, of course –he was sold by the ball’s performance.“I was naturally intrigued by the colors Volvik offers,” Watson said.“Then I started testing the ball and saw what I could do with it. It does every-thing I want it to: go high, go low, curve, spin. And it has the distance I’m looking for.”
Clothes make the man for Jason Day
While Jason Day will continue playing the TaylorMade clubs and ball that helped him climb to No. 1 in the world, he’ll be outfitted in Nike apparel from head to toe after signing a deal with the company reportedly worth $100 million.” Joining Nike is a dream come true,” Day said. “The brand is synonymous with the world’s best athletes. I’m honored and can’t wait to be part of the team and working closely with Nike to take my game, and the sport of golf, to even higher levels.”
Michelle Wie Joins Callaway Tour team
Equipment changes weren’t limited to the men’s game as Michelle Wie recently signed with Callaway and will be carry-ing the Great Big Bertha Epic driver and3-wood, Big Bertha Alpha hybrid, ApexPro irons, Mack Daddy Forged wedges, a custom Odyssey 2-Ball Fang putter andChrome Soft X golf balls.