Contracted Professionals

In the early days of the European Tour the best young amateurs would be offered FREE clubs, hats, clothes and golf balls by well known manufacturers such as Titleist, Mizuno, Calloway, Ping, Nike etc so that when they turned professional and hopefully became successful their BRAND would be seen on TV’s across the land when any large golf tournaments were played.

When they did turn professional these players would also be rewarded with a contract to play a certain brand of clubs or clothing and for the better players this could be worth more that the average player could earn in a year giving them a head start in the professional ranks and for the very best players this could be a six figure sum.

Now this didn’t always work out as expected and I remember that at the end of 1987 Ian Woosnam was world number one and had been 242 under par for the year playing Mizuno clubs and switched to a new manufacturer called Maruman (who no one had heard of) and started 1988 playing that badly with the new clubs that he actually had a set of Mizuno club made but stamped with the name Maruman.

Things have now changed significantly and may of the worlds best players now prefer not to be contracted to one manufacturer, no matter how big they are and the result is that many have a mixture of woods, irons, wedges and putters from different manufacturers that best suit their games and the likes of Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood and Patrick Reid are just a few examples.

They do of course make a whole bunch of money from winnings and other endorsements and appearance money so don’t have to be beholden to one manufacturer.

How times have changed!