It seems like it’s all the rage at the moment for players to not be tied down to golf equipment deals – even this year’s three major champions haven’t put pen to paper with any specific brand.
And, as always, it got us thinking – what if we were in a position to pick and choose the gear we would want to make our millions with? Join us, if you will, as we drift off into our latest golf fantasy…
James Savage: I’d play TaylorMade woods, Mizuno irons, Vokey wedges, TaylorMade Spider putter, Pro V1 ball. That’s what I’m currently using after testing pretty much everything available. I’m a big fan of FJ apparel and shoes – it’s what I currently wear on the course and don’t want to change.
Alex Perry: I love the FJ gear but I’ve always been an Adidas fanboy. All my life, whether it be football, cricket, tennis or golf, I’m a sucker for those three stripes.
James Savage: I’d like a deal with Under Armour for off the course comfort.
Matthew Beedle: Under Armour is basically all I wear anyway. In the bag I’d go with TaylorMade driver and 3-wood, keep my trusty steel-shaft hybrid and then go with Titleist irons, Vokey wedges and a Scotty Cameron blade putter.
Mark Townsend: Mixed bag for me: Callaway driver, Ping fairway woods, Mizuno irons, Cleveland wedges and a Yes! putter. And of course the Odyssey chipper.
Alex Perry: Can we get through one discussion without that bloody chipper making an appearance?
James Savage: What are the Cleveland wedges for?
Mark Townsend: The 106-yard kill-zone dart.
James Savage: When 30 yards from the pin?
Mark Townsend: I’m not even going to dignify that with a response. Clothing wise something Scandinavian. Not that they suit me or my fat stomach but I just like them. I would, as always, be most keen to get the trousers right – something to accompany a pair of Ecco spikeless shoes.
Steve Carroll: TaylorMade M2 driver and hybrids. Mizuno MP5 irons – if only I was good enough to hit them – and then Titleist Vokey SM6 wedges and a Scotty Cameron Futura 7M putter.
Alex Perry: You’re the hottest new talent on tour, Steve. You can hit anything!
Steve Carroll: I’ll buy anything.
Alex Perry: You don’t need to buy anything!
James Savage: I like to change at least one club every week though so being pinned down to a deal is making me a bit nervous. Maybe if I could stay brand-neutral with my 19-degree hybrid I’d be OK.
Alex Perry: I briefly considered TaylorMade’s millions but no amount of money could make up for a bunch of melons tweeting “Welcome to the faMily” at me. My first ever set of hand-me-down clubs from my grandad were Ping and I’ve stayed loyal throughout my amateur career. Sure, they can’t offer me as much money, but I have a bond with Ping that money can’t buy.
Craig Middleton: I think you’re taking this far too seriously.
Alex Perry: We can all dream.
James Broadhurst: I’m happy to chase the TaylorMade big bucks. They can sort me out through the whole bag. As for apparel, I love anything Nike.
Matthew Beedle: So you basically want to be Rory McIlroy.
James Broadhurst: No comment.
Dan Murphy: A man I played behind for 18 holes a few weeks ago has left a lasting impression on me…
Alex Perry: Here we go…
Dan Murphy: He was a member and I had never played the course before so I was watching what he was doing. He was also really good, with one of those swings that’s in slow motion. He was wearing a very expensive jumper, a cashmere number, high V-neck, in a colour I couldn’t quite pin down. Something pastel between light brown and fawn. Whatever fawn is. White polo underneath. Grey slacks. It was slightly marred by his white spikeless Adidas trainers, which were fine, but didn’t quite match the rest of his outfit. I would like to look and play like this man, but with a pair of plain white or black Ecco World Class or FJ Classics.
Alex Perry: What about you, Craig? Let me guess, Puma ensemble and Srixon clubs?
Craig Middleton: Well you will be surprised then. Like Mark I’ve got a mixed bag: Callaway GBB driver and Titleist 915 3-wood. I’ll keep my Srixon utility clubs and then go with the TaylorMade M2 irons, Cleveland RTX wedges – with the 58 cranked down to a 57 because that’s what all the good players say, isn’t it? Nike Method blade putter. For apparel I’ll start with FJ clothing, then I’ll get a contract with Nike to wear their shoes.
Alex Perry: Is there anything uglier and more uncomfortable than a Nike golf shoe? The Air Jordans aside, of course.
Craig Middleton: They are gorgeous and really comfortable, thank you.
Alex Perry: In terms of style, I don’t think many have really got it right on the golf shoe front. Nike, Puma, Mizuno – if you’re reading, call me.
James Savage: I think FJ are doing just fine with their market share in golf. And the others aren’t short of takers in the grand scheme of things. I’m not sure I’d trust anyone I’d only seen wearing a 15-year old pair of Icons.
Alex Perry: The FJ AWD casual I have now are brilliant and I really like them, as I do my SIX year old Icons. But golf shoes are becoming less about style and more about being like football boots. Exhibit A: Those orange Nike Lunar shoes that Thomas Pieters was wearing at the Masters.
James Savage: A summer, one swallow does not make.
Alex Perry: We have different tastes. Get over it.
James Savage: Ecco have a load of stylish shoes.
Alex Perry: That they do. Ecco and FJ are the only brands doing golf shoes right – in my opinion.
Mark Townsend: I would agree that five years ago shoes, spikeless or otherwise, were better looking. Then again my favourite shoe dates back over 30 years…
Dan Murphy: The Adidas Cruisers?
Alex Perry: Shut up and take my money.
James Savage: With Puma, Nike and Adidas making golf shoes it’s inevitable they are going to be like trainers, running shoes and football boots.
Alex Perry: I think football boots will go full circle and in a couple of years everyone will be wearing black Adidas World Cups, and I believe the same will happen with golf shoes. I can just see DJ in those Cruisers…
James Savage: On a serious note, shoes are possibly the most important thing to consider before signing this deal. All brands make really good clubs that, once custom fit, will work out on the course. Shoes from some brands simply don’t fit my feet very well. I’m playing five rounds a week so comfortable shoes are paramount.
Alex Perry: Agreed. And nothing fits my boat feet as well as my 2011 FJ Icons.
James Savage: However, if someone put a deal on the table that involved me wearing a cap, I’m not signing it. I don’t wear caps. I’ve tried but, like Craig, I don’t have a cap-head.
Craig Middleton: Yeah no cap. I’d rather people see my disgusting balding head than wear a cap. I look like I’ve just been let out of care.
Alex Perry: Better get a sunscreen sponsorship then. I’m all for the Robert Rock cap-less look. But I’d play in a tutu if someone paid me enough money.
James Savage: Make sure it’s custom-fit.
Alex Perry: I’d sign with Audemars Piguet so I’d have my initials on my arm. I can’t decide if that’s cool or naff.
Mark Townsend: Naff. You don’t even wear a watch. First deal signed would be a bucket hat to go with my Scandinavian Noir look.
Alex Perry: I’m quite fond of the Mercedes logo. That would look good on my top.
James Savage: I’ll be seeking some sort of commercial partnership with Volterol.
Dan Murphy: I have been trying to think who my ideal sponsors would be and how many logos I would sport.
Alex Perry: AP on one arm, however naff Mark says it is, and Mercedes on the other. That would look good.
Dan Murphy: So you could have AP on one arm, play Titleist AP1 irons. You wouldn’t use AP2 irons because it doesn’t really work. I wonder if you would get an honorary spot at the AP Invitational.
Alex Perry: And get the Associated Press to cover it.
James Savage: I’m mulling over offers from KFC and Taco Bell.
Alex Perry: I might go retro. Get the Nintendo logo running up the side of my bag.
Dan Murphy: I’ve decided to turn this on its head and get a Golf Foundation logo on my tour bag and say that it’s more important for me to put something back at this stage of my career.
Steve Carroll: Selfless.