Well, the 2015-16 season of the PGA Tour is completed, just in time for football to take over the sports consciousness of America, with only the biannual Ryder Cup (run by the PGA of America not the PGA Tour) this week to give fans a look at international competition. Given Team USA’s undistinguished record since 1995 it still should generate lots of attention since the Americans are heavily favored.
Dustin Johnson took the season money title with $9.3 million but Rory McIlroy was the big money winner for the year with almost $5.8 million for fourth place in official money but cashing $10 million bonus in unofficial money for winning the FedExCup. Last year’s overall winner Jordan Spieth slipped to sixth on the money list with just over $5.5 million.
However, we thought it might be interesting to look at how the various club companies made out this past season as represented by the number of wins by players using their drivers. After all, for the full line club makers, drivers are the flagship and glamour product receiving the most attention by the media and fans.
According to our research TaylorMade Golf, which has been put up for sale by parent adidas, easily took first prize with 15 wins with Titleist second at 10 wins. Oddly enough Titleist’s is also facing an uncertain future with parent company Acushnet is being spun off though the schedule for the initial public offering has not been announced.
In third place with eight wins is Callaway Golf and in fifth with five wins is Nike Golf. Without Tiger Woods for the last 13 months, Rory McIlroy carried the hopes of many Nike fans with two of the wins including the Tour Championship but as most readers already know, Nike has made the decision to no longer manufacture and sell clubs, balls and bags. For the 2016-2017 season there will be a bit of scrambling as Nike tour staff players look for new club contracts.
In the way of a surprise Parson’s Xtreme Golf had two wins with staff member Ryan Moore being picked for the Ryder Cup team to join another PXG player Zach Johnson. Not bad for a brand new company.
And in case it’s of interest, this weekend the 24 Ryder Cup players run the gamut of club endorsement contracts. Callaway Golf staffers lead the list with seven, then TMaG with five, Titleist-3, Ping-2, PXG-2, Nike-2, Bridgestone-2 and Cobra-1.
All of the above is perhaps interesting and may even be worth further discussion when the snow is flying but don’t read too much into either of the lists. Endorsement contracts are a business deal worth a lot of money to players and in the end it mostly has to do with the ability of the player using the clubs.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?