In recent years TaylorMade has shifted its strategy regarding its tour staff players, focusing on obtaining and retaining as many of the game’s best players as possible instead trying to top the overall tour count on a weekly basis. Now it seems it is extending that “best-player” focus to the LPGA. This week, the company announced it had signed Nelly Korda, the No. 2-ranked player in the Rolex Women’s Ranking. The multi-year deal will have Korda playing a bagful of TaylorMade clubs along with its TP5 ball, wear TaylorMade-branded headwear and have a company-branded staff bag. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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An eight-time winner on the LPGA (including one major championship) as well as an Olympic gold medallist and Aramco Team Series champ in Spain, Korda, previously with Titleist, fits in nicely with the company’s tour strategy.
“I signed with TaylorMade because of their proven ability to elevate the game of the best golfers in the world,” Korda said. “In testing with the TaylorMade tour team, it was clear that not only was I working with high-performing equipment, but also a team that shared my passion for working as hard as possible to be in the best position to win.”
The announcement came a day after Korda revealed via social media that she had signed a deal with Nike to wear its apparel.
Although Korda continues to test equipment, her set-up for this week’s LPGA 2023 opener, the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona, appears to include a 9-degree TaylorMade new Stealth 2 HD driver as well as Stealth 2 fairway woods and a split set of P770 and P7MC irons along with a pair of Milled Grind 3 wedges. The company did not say whether Korda would start out with one of the company’s putters.
According to TaylorMade, Korda preferred the draw-bias HD driver because it fit her desired shot shape off the tee. The P770s in the longer iron provided the height she was seeking while the P7MCs in the short irons delivered consistent distance control.
“Nelly sets a standard of excellence that we are motivated to match by putting the highest performing equipment possible in her hands each week she competes,” said TaylorMade CEO David Abeles. “We are looking forward to working with Nelly towards accomplishing her goal of more major championships and victories on the LPGA Tour in the years to come.”
In addition to signing Korda, the company is also reported to be close to a deal with another LPGA star, Brooke Henderson. Stay tuned.