AUGUSTA, GA – APRIL 08: Patrick Reed of the United States celebrates after making par 18th green during the final round to win the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2018, in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
By Joel Beall
Patrick Reed, as noted by Golf Digest equipment guru Mike Johnson, is a rare breed of major champion. Specifically, one without an equipment sponsorship. It’s not unheard of; after Nike discontinued its hard goods business in late 2016, swoosh endorser Brooks Koepka won the 2017 U.S. Open with a mixed bag at Erin Hills.
But Reed’s situation is a bit different. His previous deal with Callaway expired at the end of last season, and instead of signing with one company, Reed decided to use this freedom to his advantage.
“You know, the biggest thing was, I wanted to be different, wanted to try something different this year,” Reed said to CNBC. “There are so many great companies out there, especially golf manufacturers and club wise, when you go on these big deals like this, you kind of get stuck on, you have to use all of the same equipment.
“They all make pretty good ones, but you have to give up something.”
Aiding Reed’s ambition is an apparel deal with Nike, bestowing some safety to tinker with his set.
“Soon the equipment side, I’m out there, just doing whatever I want,” Reed said. “It was a risk, but it was a risk that turned out to be the right one.”
That would be putting it lightly.
For what it’s worth, Reed has five different companies in his bag: Ping (driver), Nike (3-wood), Titleist (3-iron, wedge), Callaway/Odyssey (irons, putter) and Artisan (wedges).