Professionals typically change clubs in the off-season when there is time for proper fitting and so they can develop some confidence in their new gear before the important tournaments are played.
Charles Howell III (left), who defeated Mickelson in a playoff to win the 2007 Nissan Open at Riviera Country Club, went that route in December by switching from Callaway to Bridgestone. The In the Bag portion of Howell's official Web site still says, "To Be Announced Soon," but according to Bridgestone representatives he is now playing the soon-to-be-released J36 Cavity Back 3- through 6-iron and J36 Blade 7-iron through PW, as well as the Bridgestone WC Design Sand Wedge (54°). Howell also switched to the Bridgestone Tour B330-S golf ball. Interestingly, he did not have Bridgestone woods in his bag at the Mercedes-Benz Championship last week; Howell used a TaylorMade r7 SuperQuad TP driver, TaylorMade Burner fairway wood and a Ping Redwood putter.
The No. 11-ranked player in the world, Rory Sabbatini (right), got under the skin of Tiger Woods at the Wachovia Championship and again at the Target World Challenge. This season Sabbtini will be swoosh-less, having parted ways with Nike Golf and started a new relationship with Adams Golf.
According to a media release on Sabbatini's Web site, he is now playing the Adams Insight driver, Idea Pro hybrid and Idea a3 irons. Sabbatini appeared to be using the yet-to-be released Odyssey Black Series i#9 putter.
While Sabbatini may have switched clubs, he's still wearing skull belt buckles -- David Dusek (Photos: Howell/Jonathan Ferrey/WireImage.com; Sabbatini/Jeff Gross/Getty Images)