Bubba Watson switches back to Titleist balls as Volvik deal ends

Bubba Watson Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Bubba Watson switches back to Titleist balls as Volvik deal ends

Equipment

Bubba Watson switches back to Titleist balls as Volvik deal ends

On Jan. 3, 2017, Volvik announced that Bubba Watson had signed a multi-year endorsement deal with the company and would play the four-piece S4 ball going forward. But on Tuesday in Las Vegas, during his press conference before the Shriners Hospitals For Children Open, Watson said he no longer will use Volvik balls.

“My contract is done with Volvik,” the two-time Masters champion said. “I do not have a ball deal as we sit here today. So I can play with whatever ball I want to. My deal was up, and so I’m ball-free. So I don’t have a ball deal. … I’m just going to go back to what I grew up with, so I’m playing Titleist.”

Watson will play a Titleist Pro V1x, but he did not work with company representatives in Las Vegas before switching to it. Watson made the change to the Pro V1x on his own.

Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson’s strokes gained averages over the last five years. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

Statistically, 2017 was a disappointing season for Watson. Perennially one of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour, Watson finished 20th in driving distance average at 305.8 yards, down from 310.6 the previous season. As the chart above shows, his average in all of the strokes gained statistics except putting (which remained negative) went down. Watson played in 22 events, made 14 cuts and earned four top-10 finishes.

The Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x are the most-played balls on the PGA Tour, and Watson will not be the only pro to use the balls without an endorsement deal with Titleist. Notably, Brooks Koepka won the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills using a Pro V1x without a ball deal.

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