The Golfer of the Year – an award Ballesteros won on three occasions in 1986, ‘88 and ‘91 – is voted for by the golf media. He beat off competition from Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Rookie of the Year Jon Rahm...
Ian Poulter parts company with Cobra PUMA
The polarising Englishman has played under the brand since 2006, when Cobra was owned by Acushnet, a parent company of Titleist.
Poulter revealed the news last night via his Twitter page, saying:"I can officially say i am No longer a @cobragolf or @PUMAGolf endorsed player. I will let you know my New endorsement partners very soon."
He added: "I've had a very good eight years with Cobra/Puma but it's time to move on. Very exciting new chapter."
Poulter has been one of the most prominent ambassadors of the Cobra PUMA brand, making appearances in magazines and television adverts alongside stablemates Rickie Fowler and Jesper Parnevik.
The Englishman is remaining tight-lipped about his next move, but confirmed he would make an announcement soon. However, there are only a select few equipment brands which could take Poulter right now, in large part due to the hefty signing on fee he will likely command since being heavily popularised by his Ryder Cup heroics and TV exposure.
And whoever signs him will also need to make room to accommodate his own clothing range, IJP Design, which he wears for all his games. Such a move will surely rule out the likes of Nike, which insists its athletes are clad from head to toe in the brand.
Could TaylorMade be the most obvious destination? It would look likely, especially as Poulter used to play with the brand when he first broke into the European Tour. But again the issue of clothing may prove to be a stumbling block with parent company adidas, although Martin Kaymer has been allowed to use its TaylorMade clubs yet wear a different brand’s attire.
And then there’s Callaway. The brand had a very aggressive marketing campaign last year as it moved to sign more pros, and the company is now flooded with talented golfers. There is no clothing conflict to concern either party, though, so the two could be a nice fit if that was where Poulter wanted to take his career and Callaway were happy to fork out for his services.
It’s a surprising turn of events, and we await with interest which equipment brand Ian Poulter chooses.