Justin Rose, the world's number one player, for this week at least, is leaving TaylorMade and will be using HONMA clubs for the 2019 season. No I'm serious!

So how did this happen? How did a little known Japanese brand poach Rose away from his equipment sponsor of 20 years?



Let's start with Honma. The name comes from the Honma brothers who started making clubs in the 1959 in Japan. The company went tits up in 2005 but were bought up by Chinese hairdrying magnate "Mr Liu" (yep hangover-esque) nine years ago and went public on the Hong Kong stock market in 2016.  Known as a "luxury" brand in Asia they now average sales of $250 million.

Since 2016 Honma have taken on a large number of ex TaylorMade staff.  There's former TaylorMade big boss for 14 years Mark King, a long time supporter of Rose through bad times and good. King will head up Honma in America in 2019.

Other former TaylorMade high earners to fly the coup and join Honma are Jeff Letorneau, John Kawaja and Tom Cismoski.  All in all it makes quite a team.

And then there's the money!!  Tiger Woods' manager Mark Steinberg is also Justin Rose's agent and he is sure to have agreed a sweet deal.

That leaves TaylorMade left with just a few names.....Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy.  Don't feel too bad for them!!



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