(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
By Joel Beall
Although equipment switches are hot news items in golf, a player changing ball companies rarely garners waves. Of course, Bubba Watson is not your average bird, and his move to Volvik—a manufacturer known for its brightly-colored rocks—last January was one of the more interesting stories in the ball realm in quite some time.
Alas, the two entities have parted ways, as Watson is returning to the Titleist ProV1x at this week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
“My contract is done with Volvik. I do not have a ball deal as we sit here today,” Watson said to reporters in Las Vegas. “So I can play with whatever ball I want to. My deal was up, and so I’m ball-free.”
Watson’s comments were a bit surprising: Volvik announced at the Tournament of Champions it had signed the two-time green jacket winner to a multi-year deal. However, given the 38-year-old’s struggles—he’s coming off one of his worst campaigns in his career, missing the cut in three of the four majors and failing to advance to the third leg of the FedEx Cup—circling back to what’s worked in the past is understandable.
“My goals are to be better than that. It was a frustrating year when it came to the golf,” Watson admitted. “It was a great year off the course, but a frustrating year.”
Watson is making his season debut at TPC Summerlin. His best finish in two previous appearances is a T-14 in 2007.