Each year on the PGA Tour there is always a little shuffling and it has become its own version of the rumor mill that circulates in the offseason of other sports. Back in early December THP broke a story about Graeme McDowell making a change that had many scratching their heads. G-Mac was fresh off of a huge battle with Tiger Woods in which he came from behind to knock off the iconic athlete on the final day. This was the final nail on an incredible year as he had already taken home his first Major trophy at the US Open earlier in the year at Pebble Beach. McDowell was making a switch from Callaway Golf to Srixon/Cleveland Golf and walking away from the company he won his first major with and people were asking why.
Was it the money? Was it confidence in certain equipment like the Cleveland wedges that he used in college? Was it the golf ball that he has been raving about? Nobody knows the answer to that outside of G-Mac himself, but one thing our readers are quick to point out…G-Mac is SPONSORSHIP GOLD! Here are a couple of recent items that McDowell has written on his Twitter feed over the last couple of days.
“Cleveland/Srixon are making some fantastic equipment. The Z star ball is fantastic and the new ZTX irons are beautiful. Start of a new era”
“Used the Cleveland Launcher today. My old FT Tour first 2 rds”
“Using the same 588 Cleveland wedges that I used in college. They are the best. I have 47, 51 and 58 degree lofts all with standard bounce.”
“And I’m hoping that 2010 was more about the Indian than the arrow!!!!!!!”
“New Srixon gear is feeling great guys. Thanks for asking. In the bag are Srixon ZTX2 irons and Cleveland 588 wedges 47 51 and 58 lofts.”
“Also 13 degree #Cleveland Launcher fairway wood and of course the #Srixon Z Star golf ball. Feeling great and looking forward to the week.”
What you have here is a guy that seems to understand his role with the company and even more than that, cherishes it. McDowell has one thing that many sponsored athletes fail to have and it is something that cannot be taught. CHARISMA. He understands that interaction changes things and understands how to convey a message without being a “salesman”. Let’s face it, he put items in his bag for play this weekend that are not even part of his original deal. To hear about more this switch, check out this great interview that McDowell recently did. It really shows off his personality and what Srixon/Cleveland is getting with this guy in their stable of tour staffers.
He answered any critics he might have had of the switch with a course record tying performance in the first PGA Tour event of the season. Putting up a 62 on the board and making things incredibly interesting with a top 3 finish to start out the year. Let’s take a look at what McDowell finished the 1st tournament of 2011 with in his bag.
Driver – Cleveland Launcher Ultralite W/ Miyazaki C. Kua 59 & Callaway FT-Tour
FW Wood – Cleveland FL 13*
Hybrid – Adams Idea Pro 17* & 21*
Irons – Srixon Z-TX2 (4-9 irons)
Wedges – Cleveland 588 – 47, 51, & 58
Putter – Odyssey White Hot #7
Ball – Srixon Z-Star Diamond