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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Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters
Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.
Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.
In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.
Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.
“I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”
Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking.
Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup
In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.
Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.
Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.
“If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”
McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.
“The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”
September can’t get here quick enough.
Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.
There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.
In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.
Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)
On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.
“I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”
The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”
Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.
Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.
The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.
The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.
“My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.
Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.
After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.
It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.
Tweet of the week:
Welp I didn’t get hit by a ballistic missile today so that’s a plus! #imalive— John Peterson (@JohnPetersonFW) January 14, 2018
It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”
The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.
Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake
Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.
While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.
“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.
Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.<
DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi
Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.
“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”
Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).
“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.”
Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.
Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace).
“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”