From Golfweek – Adam Schupak
Callaway Golf announced that it has granted Charles Howell III a release from his endorsement contract.
Howell had played Callaway products since he turned professional in 2000, and had been prominently featured in the companyâ€™s media campaign. He earned his second career PGA Tour victory this year and finished 18th on the money list with $2,832,091.
Company officials acknowledged that Howellâ€™s contract wasnâ€™t set to expire, but wouldnâ€™t say how many years were left on it. Howell requested to be let go of the remaining years of the contract earlier this week. Callaway drew up the paperwork over the last 48 hours and it was signed this morning.
â€œHe was part of our plan for â€˜08,â€ said Nick Raffaele, Callawayâ€™s vice president for sports marketing. â€œWhy heâ€™s leaving, youâ€™d have to ask him.â€
Howell and his agent, Thomas Parker at of Professional Advisory Group, couldnâ€™t be reached for comment.
The off-season is a typical time for Tour players to test out new equipment and sign endorsement deals. Speculation exists that Howell is being courted by Nike.
Raffaele said the company intended to spend the money it had allocated for Howell on other players.
â€œItâ€™s still open season,â€ Raffaele said. â€œThereâ€™s a lot of guys who still want to be in our camp.â€
Charles Howell III is apparently quite the equipment ho. So I’m sure he’s going to be loving this ‘free agency’ period, where he’ll have a chance to try out equipment from all the major OEMs. Current speculation indicates that he’ll end up with TaylorMade, as he has apparently been drooling over the newest SuperQuad prototypes.