Nike and TaylorMade Lead The Way In 2013 Player Signings


When you mention January transfers most people instantly think of the big money movers in football’s Premier League, but the European and PGA Tours also see their share of player transfers between equipment manufacturers.

While Rory McIlroy’s expected move from Titleist to Nike – for a reported £200m over 10 years – will grab all the headlines, there have been plenty of other moves before the new season begins.

Most notable are the switches by McIlroy’s former Titleist co-staffers Nick Watney, Kyle Stanley and Seung-Yul Noh all to Nike and Gary Woodland and Chris Kirk, who are both moving to Callaway.

The other key movers in the winter season have been TaylorMade, who have signed a host of names including two major champions.

2009 Open Champion Stewart Cink moves from Nike and will play TaylorMade’s R11S, Rocketballz fairway and Ghost putter, while 2009 US Open Champion Lucas Glover also moves from Nike to TaylorMade.

Other TaylorMade signings include Ryan Moore (Adams Golf), John Huh (PING) and Robert Rock, who excitedly tweeted on New Year’s eve: “Only 7 minutes to go so best get it done before! @TaylorMadeTour for 2013/14! Rocketballz! New gear!”

2012 PGA Tour winners Watney and Stanley, both out of contract, have joined Tiger Woods and co in the Nike stable.It will be Watney’s first equipment change in his 10 year professional career. The five-time PGA Tour winner will use Nike equipment as well as wear the brand’s clothing and footwear.

Stanley, 25, who won the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open at Scottsdale, will also get the full Nike treatment. He said: “It has always been a dream to be a Nike Athlete.  Nike is the most powerful sports company in the world. They want to have the best athletes on board and it¹s an honour to be a part of that and represent them.”

Here’s a peek into Watney’s bag:

Driver: Nike VR_S Covert (11.5-degree, neutral)
Fairway woods: Nike VR_S Covert 3-wood (14-degree) and 5-wood (18-degree)
Irons: Nike VR Pro Combo (3-PW)
Wedges: Nike VR Pro (55- and 59-degree)
Putter: Nike Method Prototype
Ball: Nike 20XI
Apparel: Nike Golf Tour Performance Collection
Footwear: Nike Lunar Control II

And here is what Stanley will be using:

Driver: Nike VR_S Covert (9.5-degree, neutral)
Fairway wood: Nike VR Pro Limited Edition 3-wood (15-degree)
Irons: Nike VR Pro Combo (2), VR Pro Blades (3-9)
Wedges: Nike VR Pro (52-, 56- and 60-degree)
Ball: Nike 20XI X
Apparel: Nike Golf Tour Performance
Footwear: Nike Lunar Control II

Inside Stewart Cink’s new bag:

Driver: TaylorMade R11S 10.5º KuroKage shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz 15º Aldila RIP shaft
Irons: Ping i20 irons X100 shaft;
Wedges: Titleist Vokey 52º, 57º and 62º
Putter: TaylorMade Ghost
Ball: Titleist ProV1

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