Callaway Golf has announced the signing of Ryo Ishikawa to a multi-year contract. Ishikawa, a ten-time winner on the Japanese Tour by the age of 21, joins Callaway as a full staff professional and will play the company’s equipment, including its new Razr Fit Xtreme driver and the Odyssey putters Ishikawa has relied on throughout his career, including for nine of his professional victories.
Beyond the equipment, the Japanese ace will also wear Callaway-branded apparel, caps, gloves and footwear. Terms of the contract will not be disclosed.
“I am very happy to join the Callaway team,” said Ryo Ishikawa. “I believe the wonderful innovation and support Callaway gives to its many great staff players with help me grow as I compete on the PGA Tour this year.”
In May of 2007, when Ishikawa was just 15 years and eight months old, he became the youngest golfer to win a men’s tournament on the Japan Golf Tour, winning the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup. Since then his rise to golf stardom in Japan has been swift and steady.
Ishikawa turned professional in 2008 and, by the end of that season, had become the youngest player to break into the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings. He went on to dominate the 2009 season in Japan and, in September of that year, became the youngest golfer to ever reach the top 50 on the Official World Golf Rankings.
“Ryo is an exciting, young international talent who has proven he can compete and win at the highest level,” said Chip Brewer, President and CEO, Callaway Golf. “Not only is he an accomplished golfer, Ryo is an extraordinary and generous young man. We are proud that he has chosen our products for their exceptional performance, and we are excited to welcome Ryo to Team Callaway.”
Ishikawa played several events on the PGA Tour for the first time in 2009. He caught the attention of the American golfing community at the 2010 US Open, where his pink attire and low scores piqued interest in the Japanese phenom. His best major performance came at The Masters in 2011, where he finished tied-20th.
Further endearing him to the golfing public across the globe, Ishikawa announced in March 2011 that he would donate his 2011 tour earnings -plus an additional 100,000 yen for every birdie he made – to the Japan earthquake relief efforts.
His first event in 2013 as a Callaway staff professional will be the Humana Challenge in California., followed by the Farmers Insurance Open, also in ‘The Golden State’.
Originally published on bunkered on January 10, 2013.