Business World News Notes
In the wake of the destruction in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina, officials of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) announced that the Golf Industry Show and their respective education conferences will be conducted in Houston in February 2006.
The conferences and trade show were to be in New Orleans in accordance with its east-central-west rotation of Orlando-New Orleans-Anaheim/San Diego. The dates will remain the same as were planned: the GCSAA Education Conference (Feb. 6-11), the NGCOA Solutions Summit (Feb. 8-10) and the Golf Industry Show (Feb. 9-11). GCSAAs annual member golf tournament, the GCSAA National Golf Championship and Golf Classic will be played at five Houston-area golf courses (Feb. 4-6) as had been originally scheduled.
Our first concern is with the people of the gulf coast, GCSAA CEO Steve Mona said. Our intent was to conduct the activities in New Orleans if at all possible. However, with New Orleans officials announcing the cancellation of all convention activities through March, it forced us to select an alternative location. We found that Houston offered the necessary housing, meeting and trade show space; and enabled us to keep the same dates we had for New Orleans.
Mona and NGCOA CEO Mike Hughes said their associations plan to return to New Orleans in 2009 as part of the regular rotation.
SOLHEIM CUP-INSPIRED GOLF SHOES BY ECCO
ECCO, the official footwear sponsor of the 2005 European Solheim Cup team, introduces two specially designed, limited edition shoes inspired by The Solheim Cup.
Incorporating elements of the U.S. and European Union flags, these shoes will be worn by members of both teams ' including ECCO staff players Juli Inkster (USA) and Iben Tinning (EUR) ' during the event at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana.
Based on ECCOs comfortable and fashionable sport outsole, and retailing for $140, the shoes will be available to the general public at the Crooked Stick golf shop and are currently on sale at ECCOs U.S. web-site.
The Solheim Cup is the ideal showcase for the ECCO brand as it brings together elite players from Europe and the U.S., says Per Aagren, General Manager of ECCOs golf division. Were proud to provide ECCO comfort and style to both teams and look forward to what is certain to be an excellent event.
ALDILA SIGNS CREAMER TO ADVISORY STAFF
SAN DIEGO, CA - Aldila, Inc. (NASDAQ; ALDA), a leading designer and manufacturer of high performance graphite shafts, has announced that it has added LPGA Tour star, Paula Creamer, to its Advisory Staff.
Creamer, 19, one of the games hottest prospects and a two-time winner on this years LPGA Tour, currently uses Aldilas latest Pink NV Graphite shafts and is testing other company products.
She joins an Aldila Advisory Staff that includes Nick Price, 3 time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member, 2002 PGA champion Rich Beem, Champions Tour star and CBS Sports announcer Gary McCord and coach Peter Kostis
We are delighted that Paula has agreed to join our Advisory Staff and look forward to working together for many years to come, said Mike Rossi, Aldilas Vice President of Marketing and Sales. Rossi went on to say, Paula is one of the new stars of womens golf and is already instantly recognisable all around the globe. All of us at Aldila wish her the best this week as she represents the United States on the Solheim Cup Team.
Creamer is the youngest player on the LPGA Tour and has already won 2 events in her 19 career starts as a professional as well as winning her first event on the JLPGA in Japan. In addition, she has eight top-10 finishes and has become the quickest player in LPGA history to cross the $1 million mark in career earnings. Last week, Creamer clinched the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award. She has missed only one cut this year and is ranked third on the ADT Official LPGA Money List.
EDWIN WATTS SUPPORTING BREAST CANCER RESEARCH
Ft. Walton Beach, FL. - Edwin Watts Golf announced that it will donate 5% of all September-October sales of womens products bearing the pink ribbon insignia indicating a manufacturers support in the battle against breast cancer to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
'October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we are proud to be able to make a contribution to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to help in the fight against breast cancer,' said Edwin Watts, CEO and co-founder of Edwin Watts Golf. 'This two-month commitment is also a way to join and support the golf equipment and apparel manufacturers who generously donate a portion of their sales to the worthy cause.'
Special displays of the products will be set up in every Edwin Watts Golf store to inform and encourage consumers to help breast cancer research with a purchase of the designated equipment, apparel and accessories. Among the items will be Wilson Golfs Hope line of clubs and balls, an assortment of Kate Lord apparel and accessories including polos, visors, caps and a special gift box with a divot tool and ball markers, and a pink Gund bear head cover.
For more than 20 years, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has been a global leader in the fight against breast cancer through its support of innovative research and community-based outreach programs. Working through a network of U.S. and international Affiliates and events like the Komen Race for the Cure, the Komen Foundation is fighting to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by funding research grants and supporting education, screening and treatment projects in communities around the world.
Nickent Golf Names Grundberg National Sales Manager
Jim Grundberg has been brought on to help manage the growth Nickent Golf is experiencing since they became a brand seen regularly on the PGA Tours. According to Nickent, in the last 6 months they have opened over 2000 new accounts.
Grundberg served as the vice president of sales for Odyssey Golf from 1995-1999. At Odyssey, Grundberg directed the worldwide sales and marketing of the putter company. In his 17 years in the golf industry, he has also worked for Cutter and Buck, Taylor Made Golf and Wilson Sporting Goods in a variety of sales, marketing and product development positions.
The signing with Nickent was music to Grundbergs ears. After Odyssey was acquired by Callaway Golf, he spent five years in executive level sales roles in Nashvilles music industry, including executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Gibson Guitar. But his heart never left the golf club industry.
'I am delighted to be joining the Nickent Golf team and thrilled to be back on the equipment side of the golf business, said Grundberg. In Nickent I see a brand that is turning heads with its leadership in the hybrid category with the 3DX and the putter category with the PIPE Putter. They are poised for strong future growth based on the overall quality, innovation, and performance of its products.
UST Showcases New Putter Shaft
FORT WORTH, TX ' United Sports Technologies unveiled its all-new Frequency Filtered prototype putter shaft on the Champions Tour with victorious results. In its first-ever outing on a pro tour, the new graphite putter shaft ' won the Pro-Junior division of The Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.
Still only available as a Tour prototype, the new Frequency Filtered putter shaft is the result of a joint venture between United Sports Technologies and Alabama-based Balance Certified, an equipment technology company known for its Pro-Balance shaft weighting system. According to UST, the goal was to design a system that significantly improved a players ability to perceive or feel exactly where ball impact occurs on the putter face. UST says this feedback to the player results in improved putting ability since the player quickly learns to stroke more putts on the putters sweet spot.
Pankewich describes the new Frequency Filtered shafts as being analogous with stereo equipment. When listening to your radio, any static noise just gets in the way of the quality of sound, he says. A good sound system which filters out the static noise leaves you with only sounds that are meant to be heard. This is similar to what happens with the Frequency Filtered shaft. There are many different types of vibrations that occur when a putt is struck. Some of these vibrations are always there, but dont provide the player any useful feedback about the putt. I equate these vibrations to static noise on your radio. The Frequency Filtered shaft filters out these static noise vibrations, leaving only vibrations that provide feedback about how the putt was struck. Your feel becomes clearer.
FOOTJOY ADDS NEW ESTATE COLLECTION
The 2004 introductions, including the Contour Series and the FootJoy LoPro Collection continue forward into the 05-06 line, but with revamped styling and color offerings. Completely new this year for women is the Estate Collection by FootJoy. The 10-style range offers five unique patterns utilizing premium materials and a wide array of fashion-forward colors. Eight of the styles are cleated while two are spikeless for enjoyment on-and-off the golf course.
The Estate Collection was carefully crafted with the finest materials sourced throughout the world, said Jack Erickson, Vice President of Golf Footwear Worldwide. The development goal was to offer unique looks that would stand apart from anything available in the market. Our design team had a lot of fun putting this group of shoes together, and our market research results have been overwhelmingly positive.
The Estate Collection will carry a suggested retail price of $160 and will be available October 1, 2005.
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Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia
Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.
Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.
Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.
Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.
It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.
The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.
''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''
They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.
''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''
Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.
''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''
Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.
Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.
Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. 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.