Viktor Hovland is the latest to prove the horses-for-courses theory.
Up until earlier this week Hovland was the No. 1-ranked amateur and the reigning U.S. Amateur. In August, Hovland won the Amateur at Pebble Beach to earn an invitation at this year's Open at Pebble. This time around, Hovland tied for 12th and set the record for the lowest 72-hole score (280) by an amateur in the event’s history.
On Wednesday, Hovland signed an endorsement agreement with Ping.
“We’ve been impressed with Viktor since we first met him when he was a freshman at Oklahoma State,” said Chance Cozby, Ping's vice president of sports development. “During his time in Stillwater, he played PING equipment at various times and we continued to keep in touch with him through our regular visits to the school."
Hovland switched to Ping's new G410 LST driver for the Open and led the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee by nearly two full strokes.
Also on Wednesday, Hovland's Oklahoma State teammate Matthew Wolff signed a multi-year endorsement agreement to play TaylorMade’s metalwoods, irons, wedges, putter and TP5x golf ball.
As a sophomore this season, Wolff won a school record six times with a 68.7 scoring average — the lowest in the history of college golf — and won an NCAA Individual title.
◼ Today marks the end of Callaway's blind auction for a one-of-a-kind Odyssey Toulon Memphis Stroke Lab putter. The “Pitch in at Pebble” putter [image on home page] features a laser engraved image of Callaway staffer Tom Watson’s chip in at the 1982 U.S. Open, as well as the years that Pebble has hosted the U.S. Open.
Titleist introduced its T200 and T300 irons at this week's Travelers Championship. [Photo: Titleist]
◼ For the third time in four weeks, Titleist has rolled out new clubs — this time the T200 and T300 irons.
The introduction comes on the heels of Titleist introducing T100, 620 CB and 620 MB irons at the U.S. Open, and the new U-500 and U-510 utility irons and TS hybrids at the Memorial Tournament two weeks prior.
◼ Gary Woodland played a new Titleist Pro V1 ball in winning the U.S. Open. Preferring more spin for control, Woodland first put the ball into play at the Wells Fargo Championship.
◼ Odyssey won the putter brand count at the U.S. Open with 60 in play — 14 more than the nearest competitor. Among those carrying an Odyssey was Xander Schauffele, who switched from a Stroke Lab R-Ball gamer to the Stroke Lab Tuttle. Schauffele tested the Tuttle head extensively prior to the Open liked "how the three lines are designed all the way from the front to the back of the putter head to help frame the ball for the proper setup and better alignment," according to Callaway officials.
◼ The putter market got a little more crowded with the L.A.B. Golf's introduction of the BLāD.1 putter, a blade putter that features the company's Lie Angle Balance technology that reportedly eliminates torque from the putter design.
“After many, many prototypes, we’re excited to launch a putter specifically for blade lovers,” said L.A.B. Golf CEO Sam Hahn of the putter that was inspired by the bullseye-style putters that were first introduced more than 70 years ago.
“Bringing Lie Angle Balance to BLāD.1 wasn’t easy, but we were fully committed to making it happen,” said Bill Press, L.A.B. Golf’s founder and senior vice president of research and development. “In every sense, this was a passion project for us. We asked ourselves, ‘Can we really offer the feel and simplicity of a bullseye and include all the benefits of Lie Angle Balance?’ We weren’t going to stop until we figured it out.”
The putter is available in both stainless steel and brass models.