Rory Sabbatini

Adams Golf movin’ on up by rorysabbatini
February 6, 2008, 4:23 pm
Filed under: PGA tour | Tags: ,

Sabbatini’s switch to Plano-based company takes it to next level

With Tiger tracks across his back, Rory Sabbatini has vowed silence. He told reporters last week he isn’t giving interviews about challenging Tiger Woods, or about his withdrawal from the Target World Challenge, or about anything else.

“I’ll let my clubs do the talking,” he said.

That’s fine with Plano-based Adams Golf. The equipment company makes the clubs that are doing the talking.

Having made its name primarily on game-improvement clubs, Adams is well represented on the Champions, LPGA and Nationwide Tours. Sabbatini’s signing headlines the company’s first foray onto the PGA Tour.

Adams also nabbed popular Australian Aaron Baddeley, Q-school graduate Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey of Golf Channel’s Big Break and Tour player Brad Elder of Dallas.

That’s a big statement by the little old equipment company from Texas.

“As we continue to grow, we figured we really need to venture onto the PGA Tour for the exposure, brand growth and all the fun and exciting and scary things that go with that,” said Chip Brewer, Adams’ president and CEO.

“You sit here and wonder if you need PGA Tour presence to go to the next level, and you can argue both sides. But the truth is nobody’s done it without it.”

Memo to Adams officials: Shoot a TV spot that starts with Sabbatini highlights. … Cut to a scene of reporters firing questions in a big scrum. … Zoom in on Sabbatini’s Adams golf bag. … Fade to words, “Letting our clubs do the talking.”

After Woods and Phil Mickelson, few players garner as much attention as Sabbatini. A Southlake resident, he has never shied from letting his opinion ring. For saying he wanted to go head-to-head against Woods and that Woods was “more beatable than ever” last year, Sabbatini received gobs of criticism. Of course, many of those writers criticize other players for not challenging Woods.

Sabbatini is also coming off his best season. He won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and posted nine other top-10s. He was the only player to finish in the top 10 in all four FedEx Cup playoffs.

A four-time winner on Tour, Sabbatini was renegotiating with Nike when he made the switch. He knew some of Adams’ tour reps and liked the Adams Idea a3 irons, Brewer said.

“He’s one of the top players in the world, and he moved to our brand of equipment for the right reasons,” Brewer said. “He likes our people and our product because he thought it was the best thing for him professionally.”

As part of the deal, Sabbatini is wearing the Adams hat, carrying the Adams staff bag, using the Idea a3 irons, an Idea Pro hybrid and the Insight driver. Perhaps most important for Adams was getting a top Tour player who uses game-improvement irons instead of blades.

Baddeley, a two-time winner, had been with MacGregor. He is wearing the Adams hat, carrying the staff bag and using two Adams fairway woods. He is experimenting with other Adams clubs.

In addition to its new lineup, Adams opened the season with the top count among hybrids at the Mercedes-Benz Championship, according to the Darrell Survey. And winner Daniel Chopra used an 18-degree Idea Pro hybrid.

For Adams, that says a lot.