2000 Golf Equipment Sales Show Marked Improvement
SURVEY SAYS: The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association's report on 2000 predicts that once all the counting is done, golf manufacturers' wholesale domestic sales for that year will have been more than $2.8 billion. That's a definite improvement from the slump years of 1998 and 1999, when sales fell short of $2.7 billion. And unlike many observers within the golf industry itself, the SGMA projects nearly $3 billion in sales for 2001.
For the record, golf's $2.8 billion in 2000 was more than the whole outdoor category ($1.7 billion) and way more than baseball/softball ($430 million, on a steady rise from $390 million in 1996) and tennis ($245 million, up from $240 million in 1996 after a slide to $215 million in 1998).
The SGMA report admits that the net number of golfers in the United States didn't change much throughout the 1990s (they count 28.9 players as of the end of the decade, 28.2 when it opened). But the number of frequent players, those who tee it up 25 times or more per year, was up to 7.5 million in 1999 from 6.6 million in 1993, the report says.
The National Golf Foundation believes there's a pool of 40 million Americans who don't play golf but would like to; the SGMA relies on this data and others to predict solid sales in 2001. A lot of people in the industry hope the NGF is right. Remember one of the goals PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem stated at the Golf 20/20 conference in November? A billion rounds per year by the year 2020. Americans now play about 575 million rounds per year, says the NGF.
THIS IS A FIRST: It's also a demonstration of the lengths companies will go to associate themselves with golf. In the mail this morning, I received a can of beer. If I had known in college that you could do this, I might be in a different business now.
Seriously, though, the can was a promotion for Anheuser-Busch's Michelob brand. Selected cans of Michelob and Michelob Light will feature embossed golf ball decorations, and the cardboard case packaging on 18-packs will show famous golf holes, such as the island-green 17th at the TPC at Sawgrass.
The special cans will be on sale through Aug. 31. A portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit PGA Tour charities.
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18
Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.
With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.
Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.
The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.
In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.