Justin Rose made shockwaves last year when leaving TaylorMade to sign an equipment deal with Honma, but one thing that went under the radar was the presence of a little known Axis1 putter in his bag.
The Axis1 Golf Rose Proto putter was the flatstick Rose used when winning the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines last year, and 12 months on as he returns to Torrey Pines as the defending champion the relationship has become a whole lot more permanent.
That’s because Rose has signed on the dotted line of a two-year agreement to use the Axis1 putter, with the putter-only deal accompanying his 13-club arrangement to exclusively play Honma drivers, woods and irons on tour.
“I had great success using the Axis1 last year and am excited to partner with the most innovative brand in the field,” Rose said of the confirmation of the deal. “While helping to create this putter, I saw the technology that sets it apart from the rest and I believe it can revolutionise the market.”
He previously said of his decision to start using the Axis putter last year: “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.
“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 has had significant input into the creation of the Rose prototype putter he will be using throughout 2020, a campaign which he started by recording a runners-up finish behind Matt Kuchar in the Singapore Open on the Asian Tour.
The Rose Proto, which appears as the Rose-B this year, is described by Axis has been the first perfect balance and torque-free putter. To the everyday golfer, it is all about creating accuracy and feel and ensuring the club head remains square throughout address and through the stroke.
The Rose putter is a fang mallet design with a noticeably square chrome face. The black fang teeth contrast with the face, as do the two white sights lines and black central alignment aid on the putter head.
“We couldn’t have a better ambassador to represent our brand,” said Axis1 Golf founder and CEO Luis Pedraza. “Justin is incredible to work with and immediately recognised 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.”
It is little surprise why Rose wanted to make the arrangement with Axis something more permanent after the figures of his debut year using the putter. Rose moved from 21st to 17th in the strokes gained putting category on the PGA Tour last season, and flew to 8th from 73rd in both the one-putt percentage and three-putt avoidance standings.