By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
Phil Mickelson is still the face of Callaway Golf, but there’s no question the Carlsbad, Calif. based company is looking towards the future, after it announced the signing of 21-year-old Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa to a multi-year deal on Thursday at a press conference in Japan.
“I am very happy to join the Callaway team,” Ishikawa said. “I believe the wonderful innovation and support Callaway gives to its many great staff players with help me grow as I compete on the PGA TOUR this year.”
According to Callaway, Ishikawa will have an 8.5 degree RAZR Fit Xtreme driver, 15 degree X Hot fairway wood, 18 degree X Utility Prototype iron, 2013 X Forged irons (3-PW), X Forged wedges (C-grind) in 50 and 58 degrees, and an Odyssey putter in the bag. He’ll also wear Callaway-branded apparel, caps, gloves and footwear.
The Ishikawa signing continues Callaway’s recent youth movement over the last few weeks. While the 21-year-old is the youngest addition to the staff, recent Callaway signings Gary Woodland, Nicolas Colsaerts, Chris Kirk and Andres Gonzales are all 30 or younger.
“Ryo is an exciting, young international talent who has proven he can compete and win at the highest level,” Chip Brewer, Callaway Golf President and CEO, said. “And not only is he an accomplished golfer, Ryo is an extraordinary and generous young man. We are proud that he has chosen our products for their exceptional performance, and we are excited to welcome Ryo to Team Callaway.”
As a 15-year-old, Ishikawa became the youngest golfer to win a men’s tournament on the Japan Golf Tour in 2008. He also won the Japan Golf Tour’s The Crowns event in 2010 with a record-setting 12-under 58 during the final round. Ishikawa will open his 2013 season at the Humana Challenge.