Daniel Berger will make his first start of 2017 at the SBS Tournament of Champions as a member of Callaway’s Tour staff. The 23-year-old was officially unveiled on Wednesday after agreeing to terms on a multi-year deal that will see him use Callaway clubs, balls, gloves and an Odyssey putter going forward.
The 2015 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year is coming off the best season of his professional career that saw him move to 34th in the Official World Golf Ranking, notch his first TOUR win at the FedEx St. Jude Classic and finish 25th in the season-long FedExCup Playoff standings.
“I joined the Callaway Tour Staff because of the equipment,” Berger said. “And more than anything I wanted to play the new (Epic) Driver. I’m excited for the year to get underway.”
Berger, who was on staff with TaylorMade for his first three years as a professional, will have a completely new bag setup this week in Hawaii that includes Callaway’s new GBB Epic driver and fairway wood, Apex CF 16 (3- and 4-iron) long irons, Apex Pro 16 mid and short irons (5-PW) and MD3 wedges. He’ll also switch from a Titleist Pro V1x ball to Callaway’s Chrome Soft X prototype.
Rounding out the bag setup will be a custom Odyssey Versa 2-Ball putter that replaces the TaylorMade Ghost Corza mallet he’s used going all the way back to junior golf. Berger finished sixth on TOUR last season in putts from five feet and 17th in three-putt avoidance.
To ease the putter transition, Odyssey reps added three black lines to the top of the head, along with a single black circle instead of the standard 2-Ball design, that gives the mallet a similar look at address to Berger’s old Ghost Corza.
“We’re thrilled to have Daniel join our Team,” Callaway SVP of global sports marketing, Tim Reed said. “We had a tremendous year in 2016 that included 3 major wins, 26 worldwide Tour wins, Jim Furyk’s 58, Patrick Reed’s dominance at the Ryder Cup, Danny Willett’s triumph at Augusta, and Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson’s unforgettable duel at The Open. And with our deep roster of proven winners and exciting young players like Daniel, we know that 2017 can be even better.”
Rob Brooks @golfnation_
Sources: pgatour.com, Callaway Golf, Odyssey Golf