Who Will Rory McIlroy Choose as his New Sponsor?

While one of Nike’s marquee golfers may or may not return to the PGA Tour in December, the other one is trying out new clubs.

Tiger Woods is probably more concerned with how his body will hold up than what clubs he’ll use once he starts playing again, supposedly at the limited-field Hero World Challenge, Dec. 1-4. But Rory McIlroy is in China right now testing a new driver and fairway woods to replace the clubs he’s currently using.

Two months ago, Nike said it was getting out of the club and ball business, which means its line-up of players—including Woods, McIlroy, Paul Casey, Tony Finau, and Michelle Wie—has to find new sticks to play. Rory McIlroy is teeing it up in the HSBC Championship in Shanghai this week with a TaylorMade M2 driver, 3 wood, and 5 wood, and says that when his season ends after the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship Dubai, Nov. 17-20, he’ll test clubs from many of the major companies.

“The hardest part will be the golf ball,” McIlroy told the AP. “I need something that works. And right now, the Nike golf ball works with the TaylorMade driver and woods, but it also works with everything else in my bag, which is perfect.”

Rory said that Nike has enough golf balls for him to last a couple of years, but at some point you’d think he’d have to switch those, too. You also have to think some company is going to pay him big bucks to do so.