The equipment carousel continues to go round-and-round, as now Japanese superstar Ryo Ishikawa signs a new equipment deal. The deal is with Callaway Golf. Phil, Ernie and Ryo? It happened. Ishikawa joins the Carlsbad, CA company after playing his first years of professional golf with Yonex clubs. Yonex is a Japanese club manufacturer which also focuses on tennis and badminton (Phil is a former Yonex-er). Ishikawa used his Yonex clubs to climb up the World Rankings starting as a 16-year old. Now a 21-year old, Ryo has decided to make the move to Callaway.
Ishikawa is one of the world’s pure super talents. He is in the same talent category as Rory McIlroy. For the next few sentences, I will be making a Ryo Ishikawa list of accomplishments and achievements – so strap in. At the age of 15, Ryo became the youngest golfer to win on the Japan Golf Tour. He turned pro in 2008 and soon thereafter became the youngest player to break into the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings, in history. During his time playing in Japan, Ryo has won 10 events. Remember, in 2010 Ishikawa fired a 58(!) during a Japan Tour event. He posted a top-20 finish in last spring’s Masters tournament and is poised to start making impacts in major championships regularly. He is one of only a few talents who come through in a generation. He has a complete golf game. Hopefully the change to Callaway helps him dig a little deeper into his fortune of un-mined talent.
Callaway has reported Ishikawa will be playing the RAZR Fit Xtreme driver with 8.5 degrees of loft. He will couple that with a 15 degree X Hot fairway wood and an 18 degree X Utility Prototype iron. He will play the new X Forged Irons (3-PW) and X Forged wedges (50 and 58 degrees). He will cap it all of with an Odyssey putter in the bag. Ryo will also be a head-to-toe, walking Callaway billboard sporting caps, shirts, gloves and footwear.
With Callaway leaders Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els aging, it is obvious they are making an intentional – as well as an international – youth movement. Signings of Gary Woodland, Nicolas Colsaerts, Chris Kirk and Andres Gonzalez show that Callaway is starting to prepare for a PGA Tour future without Phil and Ernie. You know Callaway; this future may not be for another 10 years judging by the state of these gentlemen’s golf games. Phil and Ernie can still move the meter.
But, Ryo. Expectations for the Japanese sensation are only moving up-the-ladder with this decision to sign with a major American equipment company. Ryo is one of the world’s super talents and many people around the game are ready to see his talent come further into fruition.
Yo, Ryo? Whoa!