Rory McIlroy and Acushnet, parent company of Titleist and FootJoy, have released a joint statement saying that the player will not be re-signed by the brand for the 2013 season.
After weeks of speculation regarding the future of the world number one, Chief Executive Officer of the Acushnet Group Wally Uihlein confirmed they will not be extending the deal past December 31, 2012.
"Our goal has been to provide Rory with the best equipment and service that would help him be the best player he could possibly be," said Uihlein.
"He has been a great ambassador for the Titleist and FootJoy brands, and in turn, we are proud of how our equipment has contributed to his success. We wish Rory all the best, both personally and professionally, going forward," he added.
The Northern Irishman, who won his second Major this year at the USPGA Championship, has trusted Titleist equipment since turning professional in September 2007 and the 23-year-old was quick to acknowledge the contribution of one of the most iconic brands in the game.
"I would like to thank Wally Uihlein and all of the tour staff and employees at Titleist and FootJoy for everything they have done for me since I turned professional in 2007,” said McIlroy.
"I have enjoyed five very exciting and successful years with the company and I will always appreciate the contribution Titleist has made in helping me become the player I am today.”
Rumours have been rife in recent weeks that McIlroy could be heading to the Nike Golf stable, something which Nike Golf have refused to comment on.
Six-time major winner Nick Faldo, speaking on Golf Channel’s 'Morning Drive', has already sounded the alarms for the upcoming equipment switch. “I call it dangerous,” he said.
“I’ve changed clubs and changed equipment, and every manufacturer will say, ‘We can copy your clubs; we can tweak the golf ball so it fits you.’ But there’s feel and sound as well, and there’s confidence. You can’t put a real value on that. It’s priceless.
“You have to be very, very careful. You easily could go off and do this and it messes you up because it just doesn’t quite feel the same. When you’re striping it, it’s fine. But as soon as doubt comes in…I’d be very cautious. I’d love someone like him, in his position, to sell the bag. That bag is worth a fortune; it’d be on TV all the time. Stick with the clubs that you know best, that you believe the best.
“It’s really important. It’s the feel and confidence of knowing that your equipment will perform how you want it to perform on Sunday afternoon. You can’t mess with that at such a young age.”
For McIlroy, his new equipment is just the latest in a series of changes over the past 16 months. Since winning the 2011 U.S. Open, the 23-year-old has also switched agents and taken up PGA Tour membership.