Nike Fairway Woods On the Way
CLEAR THE LOADING DOCK: The T-40 fairway woods from Nike will reach stores this week. Nike touts the club as a lift-maker, largely because of a 40-gram weight plug in the sole that takes the heft back and down.
Tour users of the club include John Cook, Pat Perez, and recent winner Trevor Immelman.
There are oversize and tour versions in 3-, 4-, 5-, 7- and 9-wood lofts (that covers 15 through 23 degrees). Suggested retail: $279 per club with graphite shafts, $229 with steel.
CALLAWAY TALLIES UP: Annual financial results are in for Callaway Golf, and the company has once again managed to increase net income on decreased sales.
Net sales for 2002 were $792.1 million, down 3 percent from $816.2 million in 2001. But net income for 2002 was $69.4 million ($1.04 per share), a 19 percent jump from $58.4 million (84 cents per share) in 2001, the company reported Feb. 6.
For the fourth quarter of 2002, net sales were $122.5 million, up 16 percent from the $105.3 million in net sales for the comparable period in 2001. But Callaway took a net loss of nearly $5.6 million (8 cents per share) in 2002s fourth quarter. The year before, Callaway weathered a fourth-quarter net loss of nearly $9.2 million (14 cents per share).
Sales of woods in 2002, at $310 million, were off 21 percent compared to 2001 for Callaway. But putter, accessory and other items accounted for $172.6 million in sales for 2002, up 45 percent from 2001. Golf ball sales, at $66 million in 2002, were up 20 percent over 2001.
The ratio of domestic sales to international didnt move much in 2002: U.S. sales were $438.7 million, down 1 percent compared to 2001, and international sales were $353.4 million, down 5 percent versus the year before.
INCREASING WATTAGE FOR FIRST TEE: A year ago, 21 Edwin Watts Golf Shops started taking in used equipment from golfers and began turning it over to The First Tee, the national program that encourages kids to take up the game. The tally after 12 months: More than 3,500 clubs, bags and balls have been donated.
To be able to collect more than 3,500 items to help kids learn to play golf is a tribute to our loyal customers who donated the equipment, and of course to the staffs at the 21 stores said Ronnie Watts, co-president and co-founder. We look forward to an even bigger year in 2003.
Watts plans to add more stores to the program as First Tee chapters open in new markets. For now, stores participating in the program can be found in Jacksonville, Fla.; Palm Beach, Fla.; Palm Harbor, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; Atlanta; Baton Rouge, La.; Birmingham, Ala.; Ridgeland, Miss.; Memphis, Tenn.; Dallas; Houston; San Antonio; and Virginia Beach, Va.
NEW INDUSTRY GROUP ELECTS OFFICERS: Women in the Golf Industry, a group dedicated to curing the under-representation of women in the golf business, has elected its first-ever officers.
They are: Alyson Ramsey, tournament director of the New Jersey State Golf Association, president; Gail Billingsley, marketing director for Reed Exhibition, the company that runs the PGA Merchandise Show, first vice president; Karen Cantrell, president and CEO of Lady Golf retail stores, second vice president; Rose Harper-Elder, owner of The Grass Ceiling, recording secretary; Barb Hanson, owner of Corporate Golf Services, corresponding secretary; and Deborah Thode, executive assistant at Palmer Course Design, treasurer.
CLOSING THOUGHT: Does a practice bunker in the back yard increase a homes resale value?
Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ
Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
After Turkey call I will be heading over to Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter, to play golf (quickly) with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson. Then back to Mar-a-Lago for talks on bringing even more jobs and companies back to the USA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.
Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong
HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.
Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.
''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''
Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.
Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.
''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''
Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.
Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).
''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''
Day (68) just one back at Australian Open
Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.
Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)
What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.
Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.
Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.
Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.
Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball
Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.
In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.
"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’
Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.
“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.
“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’
Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.