Why Justin Rose’s new equipment deal with Axis1 Golf is so unique
The last time Justin Rose hoisted a PGA Tour trophy, it was one year ago this week at the Famers Insurance Open, which just happened to come a week after the former U.S. Open champion inserted a bag full of Honma gear and Axis1 Golf’s putter.
Rose returns this week to Torrey Pines with new Honma gear in the bag, along with an official agreement to continue using the Axis1 Rose putter he helped develop going forward, the putter manufacturer announced on Monday.
“I had great success using the Axis1 last year and am excited to partner with the most innovative brand in the field,” said Rose. “While helping to create this putter, I saw the technology that sets it apart from the rest and I believe it can revolutionize the market.”
Rose is the latest high-profile name to sign a putter-only deal, joining Stever Stricker, who inked a similar agreement with Odyssey Golf last season. Rose’s decision to sign with Honma in 2019 opened up the opportunity to play an Axis1 prototype putter that had been months in the making, going back to when he was still under contract with TaylorMade.
“Obviously being 14 clubs previously I couldn’t use it, but that was one of the big reasons why I was looking for a bit more flexibility going forward, so I can move with the times a little bit,” Rose said last year. “If there’s areas of my bag that I want to experiment with I now have that little bit of flexibility in there to do that. And the putter was one part of it.”
Rose began using the putter last year at the then-Desert Classic in Palm Springs and went on to record his best season with the putter while improving in a number of key statistical putting categories, jumping from 43rd to 3rd in one-putt percentage and 73rd to 8th in three-putt avoidance. He even improved four spots in Strokes Gained: Putting, finishing the season 17th on Tour.
“We couldn’t have a better ambassador to represent our brand,” said Luis Pedraza, Axis1 Golf’s founder and CEO. “Justin is incredible to work with and immediately recognized the difference this technological innovation can make – for every golfer. We worked with him to fine-tune our putters and created the Axis1Rose. The synergy of our relationship is paying off, helping to create a new global brand of putters.”
Since the Axis1 Rose was launched at retail, the company has seen a massive spike at retail due to increased visibility. Also playing into the rise in popularity of the putter is the fact that Rose’s exact putter is the same one currently available to recreational golfers.
“The Axis1 Rose model has been extremely successful both in the green grass and retail channels globally since its launch, and gives consumers the rare ability to walk into a golf shop and buy the exact same product that’s both designed and used by one of the best players in the world,” said Phil Long, Axis1 Golf’s vice president.
The company is best known for its highly technical head design that places the center of gravity directly on the center of the face and aligned with the axis of the shaft to keep the face square at impact. The technology is designed to mitigate misses and increase directional consistency.