Business Edge for Tuesday March 6 2001

By Adam BarrMarch 6, 2001, 5:00 pm
The latest:
GOLF BALL WINNERS.AND LOSERS: Even with allowances for sluggish cold-weather sales in the northern states, January's golf ball numbers could raise an eyebrow or two. Some highlights from the on-course/off-course golf shops report by golf industry statistical gurus Golf Datatech:
Nearly 730,000 dozen golf balls left the shelves in January, down from more than 764,000 in January 2000.
Titleist's overall unit share of the market is off slightly month-to-month, from 28.7 percent to 27.7 percent - but the new Pro V1 jumped from 3.7 percent of the market to 4.9 percent.
Precept's MC Lady, now a cult favorite, sold an alarming 32,000 dozen in January, giving it a unit share of 4.4 percent of the on-course/off-course market, up from 3.1 percent in December. The next best-selling SKU in the Precept family was the MC Spin, which sold a little less than 8,000 dozen.
With all its ball models, Nike held steady from December to January at 5.6 percent of the on-course/off-course unit share, but the Tour Accuracy - the model Tiger Woods plays - sold more than 12 thousand dozen and inched up in share from 1.5 percent in December to 1.7 percent in January.
SCOURING THE SHELVES FOR STRATAS: In other golf ball news, Spalding Sports Worldwide reports that its new Strata Tour Ultimate model is sold out for new orders through April 23. The ball started shipping Feb. 12. Spalding credits interest in the new ball for 1.6 million hits on its website, The Chicopee, Mass.-based sporting goods company is calling the Tour Ultimate the best new product introduction in the company's history.
BADD GUYS: The latest to sport the swoosh will be Australasian Tour Order of Merit winner Aaron Baddeley, who has signed a three-year endorsement deal to play Nike golf balls and wear Nike gloves and shoes. Like Tiger, he'll play the Tour Accuracy golf ball.

Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

“Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

“I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”

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PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

PGA Tour:

The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.


We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.

Full-field scores from the Joburg Open

Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm