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Acushnet And McIlroy Announce Mutual Admiration, But No Future Together

They really, really like each other. Just not enough to continue working together. For Immediate Release...


Fairhaven, MA (October 30, 2012) - Acushnet Company, which manufactures the Titleist and FootJoy brands, and Rory McIlroy, jointly announced today that McIlroy's relationship with Acushnet will not extend beyond December 31, 2012.  McIlroy has trusted Titleist and FootJoy equipment throughout his professional career that commenced as an 18-year old in September 2007.

"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 Wally Uihlein, Chief Executive Officer, Acushnet Company. "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."

"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.”

This is not a huge surprise given Acushnet's tradition of not severely overpaying one player to use their stuff (Davis Love exempted). But the mutual statement is unusual.

From Doug Ferguson's story:

Even as McIlroy was getting courted by other companies, Titleist did not put up a big fight. The company has a history of putting the brand before the player, as it did with Woods, Mickelson, David Duval after he reached No. 1 in the world and Sergio Garcia.

It prides itself on having the most tour players use its golf ball, though it also has some 80 players around the world under contract to use its golf balls and golf clubs. This year might have been particularly costly, however, especially with incentive clauses in the contracts. It had six players from the top 16 in the world as full staff players – McIlroy, Adam Scott, U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, Jason Dufner, Steve Stricker and Nick Watney.

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Reader Comments (16)

bids WANTED!
10.30.2012 | Unregistered Commentersmails
The long standing rumor is that a Nike hat will replace the Jumeriah hat.
10.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteven T.
Has to be Nike.

Maybe Tiger is getting a recruitment fee?
10.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTighthead
If he goes to nike be interesting to see the deal (i.e. does it include bag). Also word on the street is titlist is potentially losing several higher profile players this year
10.30.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
Hello Nike. No one else can afford him. it's a one two punch. Nike Tour starts 2013. Coming soon 18 hole exhibition matches, made for TV specials. rory moves next door. Places giant crash pad around his fire hydrant, just in case. 2014 a new sitcom on golf channel...Tiger and Rory Eat Mac n Cheese. Win win for golf.
10.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterA3
word is that if he signs for Nike then they are insisting that they are his ONLY sponsor.
Wonder who will pay to sort that out?
10.30.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchico
Titleist left Davis Love 2 years ago.
10.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Changing ammunition is one thing, changing weaponry is another.
Titleist also lost Tiger, Phil, Ernie and others. They will survive. Nick Watney is supposed to be with Nike next year as well. Titleists biggest mistake was paying DL3 45 million over 10 years from 2001-2010. Wonder what the ROI on that deal was?
10.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
Someone please let me know the last time they saw a Nike club in anyone's bag???
10.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJW

Just yesterday I teed it up with a guy playing Nike irons.

But guess what? He was hitting them because his childhood chum is a pro ball player that receives free stuff from Nike...the ball player buys titleist clubs and gives the Nike crap away to his buddies.
Have any "blind" testing of clubs and balls been carried out?
It must matter to pros and they can tell what ball without looking at it but for me white and dimpled is my only specification. And the ability to float would help.

''Tiger and Rory Eat Mac n Cheese.''



I'm starting to ''see'' the advantage of the yellow balls.
10.31.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
As I (sadly) own no equipment I have no dog in this fight but:

People generally buy what they have grown up playing, which is what their parents bought them as their first set. And if you are a newbee looking to buy and do research you'll generally run into very entrenched opinions based on the name. In the GD and other equipment tests, nike stuff does well - as does every other major manufacturer. This isn't 30 years ago, or even 10, all of the mainstream equipment is good.
10.31.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
Hopefully he won't have to wear those dreadful duck-billed sneakers that Tiger wears.
10.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Another thought on those that think Rory changing gear is a bad idea I give you this from earlier this year an 8 event run that Rory had with his current gear.....

T40, 2, MC, MC, MC, T7, MC, T10, T60

He generally played pretty bad for 8 events over a 16 week stretch with the gear he has used for years and is perfectly fit for. If he has a stretch like that with his new gear next season many people, including here, will totally over react and completely ignore this stretch of play in 2012. Just saying.
10.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan

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