One of the more frequent thread topics that pops up in the forum is the question, "If you could have any company to sponsor you as a professional golfer, who would you choose?" Because most of us don't have a prayer of ever being sponsored by a major golf company, it's interesting to hear the responses. The great thing about this question is that the answers don't have to be rational or well thought out. You can be a huge Nike fan simply because they sent you a free bag tag when you made a hole-in-one. Or you can be a fan of Callaway because you're a big Phil Mickelson guy. Many people like a certain brand because of their other product, Nike running shoes, for example. I even know some people who are fans of certain brands because of the colors (not a phenomenon that's confined to golf either, I have a friend from New Jersey who is a die-hard Miami Dolphins fan because he liked the team's colors as a kid).
It's no secret that all brands have strengths and weaknesses. Mizuno is known for their great irons, but their woods have traditionally been nothing special (though they have made strides the last few years). TaylorMade lays claim to the number one drivers in golf (if you believe the marketing), but they haven't customarily offered much in the way of irons for low handicappers. Cleveland's wedges have long been some of the best sellers in the business, but the rest of their clubs have lagged behind.
Then there are all of the smaller companies. Scratch Golf specializes in wedges, though they also offer hybrids. Adams is the most popular hybrid brand on the Champions Tour, but they have yet to made huge inroads into the rest of the industry. Furthermore, there are droves of boutique brands who'll charge you an premium just for their name and some smooth lines.
I set out to see what five brands I would chose if I was a pro and had to play with just one company, and to answer this oft-asked forum question once and for all (for me at least). I neglected money, so that smaller companies without the resources of Titleist still had a shot. As to not eliminate about 80% of brands right off the bat, I decided not to include apparel as a requirement, but as more of a bonus. Here are my top five.
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