Pros advice

Ian Poulter splits from Cobra PUMA

In a surprise move, Ian Poulter has quit Cobra PUMA Golf in favour of a new equipment manufacturer.

The Englishman is a polarising figure in the golfing world among fans of the sport, who have seen him play under the brand since 2006, when Cobra was owned by Acushnet, a parent company of Titleist.

Poulter revealed the news last night via his Twitter page, saying: "I've had a very good eight years with Cobra/Puma but it's time to move on. Very exciting new chapter."

Poulter has been one of the most prominent ambassadors of the Cobra PUMA brand, making appearances in magazines and television adverts alongside stablemates Rickie Fowler and Jesper Parnevik.

The Englishman is keeping tight-lipped about his next move, but confirmed he would make an announcement soon. However, don’t expect the player to be inundated with offers. Only a few equipment brands could take Poulter right now, in large part due to the big money signing on fee he will likely command since being heavily popularised by his Ryder Cup heroics and TV exposure.

And whoever signs him will also need to make room to accommodate his own IJP Design clothing range which he wears for all his games. Such a move will surely rule out the likes of Nike, which insists its athletes are seen wearing the brand at every event.

TaylorMade is a possibility, especially as Poulter used to play with the brand’s equipment when he first broke into the European Tour. But again the issue of clothing may prove to be a stumbling block with parent company adidas, although Martin Kaymer has been allowed to use its TaylorMade clubs yet wear a different brand’s attire.

And then there’s Callaway. The brand had a very aggressive marketing campaign last year as it moved to sign more pros, with the company now flooded with talented golfers. Does it want another player on its books? There is no clothing conflict to concern either party, though, so the two could well be a nice fit if that was where Poulter wanted to take his career and Callaway was happy to reach back into its pockets for his services.

Titleist may well give Poulter what he needs and it’s tipped he could be heading there. He already uses the brand’s Pro V1 balls, so the relationship is strong already.

Where will Poulter go? Should he have gone at all? We’ll keep you updated as this story develops so check back regularly for more breaking news and other interesting stories from the world of golf.