Sergio Garcia and TaylorMade announced an end to their 15-year relationship back in October, with the scuttlebutt suggesting Garcia would be moving over to Callaway in what could be his final big equipment deal as the reigning Masters champion.
It appears those rumors have some serious validity, as Garcia is using Callaway equipment in practice rounds for this week’s season-ending European Tour event, the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Garcia is using a Callaway driver, Apex irons with the Garcia logo stamped on them, Callaway wedges and a Toulon Design putter. The Spaniard suggested no major changes in the nature of the equipment, just needing to dial in.
“To be totally honest, what I’ve been working on with the last couple of weeks, it’s felt great,” he said Tuesday in Dubai. “So I don’t see any major changes. It’s just a matter of seeing how it feels on the golf course during a tournament, and distance control, those kind of things that we need. By what we’ve been doing, it’s felt great. So I don’t think it should be any problems there.”
The most complicated part of an equipment switch like this, Garcia said, is changing golf balls.
“The numbers have been really good with the balls that Callaway has brought to me,” he said. “Now it’s just a matter of trying it on the golf course and trying it on tournament play, and seeing how it reacts and seeing how it feels. Then if there’s any changes that need to be made, then we have time in the off-season to get it sorted out. Hopefully we won’t have to.”
Garcia indicated he hasn’t inked an agreement with Callaway yet but that they are the frontrunners for an equipment deal moving forward.
Garcia also spoke about the nature of walking away from TaylorMade, suggesting the decision, as both parties said in their initial statement, wasn’t one-sided.
TaylorMade, which was owned by adidas AG, was purchased by KPS Capital Partners in May, and private-equity firms have a propensity to look at all costs and contracts in place once they take over the company. With long-term deals in place for Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose, as well a deal with Tiger Woods, Garcia may well have been an odd-man out of sorts.
“I guess all companies change, and the politics with TaylorMade have changed now after leaving Adidas,” he said. “We couldn’t come to an agreement. So I understand that it’s also difficult when you have so many top players, to keep all of them. You know, unfortunately we were in that package.”