Is a Cold Wind Blowing Through the Golf Industry

By Adam BarrJuly 31, 2001, 4:00 pm
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WORRY AT THE COMMAND POST: Usually, we hear rumblings of golf industry discontent first from the trenches, the golf retail stores. And although retailers would always be happy if they were selling more, lately its the execs at the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who are furrowing their brows in unison.
 
No one wanted to be quoted on the record about this, but theres a lot of worry about how 2001 will turn out. Some say it could be as bad as 1998, when even the biggest companies had to batten down their hatches and readjust earnings forecasts downward.
 
The numbers dont tell a clear story. Rounds played, long accepted as the primary driver of golf ball sales, have been down more than 5 percent year-to-date versus 2000, says Golf Datatech, the Kissimmee, Florida-based industry measurement company. In May alone, rounds were down 1.8 percent, and in at least two months this year, the numbers were down in all 15 regions of the United States that Datatech measures.
 
Yet golf ball sales are better in 2001 than they were a year ago, both in dozens sold and dollars. In May, for example, 2.5 million dozen balls moved, said Datatech, a 2.9 percent jump from May 2000. Dollar sales were up 6 percent to $65.1 million.
 
Whats with the goofy numbers? Theories abound. Some say the rounds numbers are a result of trashy weather this spring; others say the golf industry is too quick to blame the weather, and that a claim of weather woes is safe because its hard to dispute. There is also the possibility that the rounds numbers are accurate, but some other force is artificially driving ball sales: Casual experimentation may be leading consumers to try Pro V1s, CBs and MC Ladies.
 
If those dire theories are true, the product pipeline is overfilled in many segments, and there wont be enough retail sales to empty it out in time for strong wholesale activity in the second half of the year. Private comments from industry leaders indicate expectations of storm clouds on the sales horizon.
 
There have been some bright spots: Adams Golf had a good second quarter, with sales of more than $18.7 million, a 51 percent increase over the second quarter of 2000. But the company is still in the red, although not so deeply. And Callaway Golf had a record first half, with sales jumping 6 percent to $515 million. But the second quarter numbers were down; sales were just under $254 million, a 13 percent decrease from the $290 million in sales for the second quarter of 2000.
 
Seen from one point of view, every cloud seems to have a black lining, at least for now. Caution is in the cold wind, and if anything is selling well, its probably nails ' for battening down hatches.
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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.