Business Edge for Friday Feb 23
COEFFICIENT OF COMPETITION: No surprise here. Golfsmith International has introduced a new, nonconforming driver for the U.S. market under its Lynx label. The Parallax Hi-COR will feature a 310 cc beta-titanium head. It's the work of Golfsmith design chief Tom Wishon. Three models will be available, each designed with a specific face thickness to suit a range of swing speeds between 75 and 120 miles per hour.
But unlike the Callaway ERC II, which started the nonconforming furor and carries a suggested retail price of $625, the suggested retail for the Lynx club will be $300 with a graphite shaft. That's also by design; Golfsmith wants to take advantage of the interest in nonconforming clubs among potential buyers who don't want to spend at the Callaway level.
TEMPERED OUTLOOK: Last year was a good one for golf shaft giant True Temper Sports. But the company's chief is cautious about 2001.
'Although 2000 was a very good year for True Temper, we have a cautious outlook for 2001,' said Scott Hennessy, president and CEO of the Memphis-based company. 'Retail sales of golf equipment have been sluggish to flat for the last several months, and the industry continues to consolidate at both the retail and OEM level.'
True Temper has sales of $110.6 million in 2000, up from $92.2 million the year before. Net income last year was $5.6 million, up from just $1 million in 1999.
Some say Hennessy is overcautious in light of the interest in True Temper's new BiMatrx shaft, the metal-graphite hybrid Mark Calcavecchia used with a Ping head to win the Phoenix Open in January. True Temper introduced the shaft in January, and Adams Golf has it in its new woods. But the flatness he cites is on the minds of many manufacturers as the season opens.
A BEAR IN THE DESERT: Jack Nicklaus has begun work on his first golf course in the Middle East. The as-yet unnamed course will be the central feature of the Dubai Investments Park, a development of Dubai Investments PJSC, a leading development and investment firm in the United Arab Emirates.
Nicklaus Design has 210 courses open for play in 27 countries. The new course is expected to open this year.
STAT DU JOUR: Average number of fairway woods carried in the bags of PGA Tour players: 1.3; Senior PGA Tour players: 1.9; LPGA players: 2.6. (Source: The Darrell Survey Golf Equipment Almanac 2000)
Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage
Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.
Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.
Swipe to see what’s up in my world. It’s long-winded.... short version, we lost the baby. Had to share this since we had shared the news already. I know you’re all so supportive and kind. I just couldn’t face it before. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. #ihavealotoffeelings #andphotostocatchupon
“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”
The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.
“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
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:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18
Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf
Well, this is a one new one.
According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:
“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”
Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.
“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.
The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.
“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”
The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.
Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.
Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.