Business World News Notes

By Casey BiererAugust 27, 2005, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: Casey Bierer is The Golf Channel's new Business Reporter. He will file regular Business Edge columns so be sure to check back for his latest offerings.
 
Aldila Stops Duplication of the Green Shaft
Aldila, Inc., a leader in graphite golf shafts, announced that Global Sports Technology, Inc. has agreed, under threat of law suit by Aldila, to discontinue its sales of golf clubs with shafts colored with Aldilas proprietary Vapor Mirror Green. Aldila has been using this distinctive color for its very popular NV Series shafts for the past several years, and has extensively promoted this green as its trademark and trade dress.
 
According to Mike Rossi, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Aldila, Global Sports Technology is a distributor of Golf equipment who recently introduced a Tour Collection line with shafts labeled Shaft By Apollo and having a substantially identical shade of green, and Aldila immediately gave notice of its objections based on state and federal laws protecting trademarks and trade dress. Through counsel, Global Sports Technology last week informed Aldila that the green copy shafts have been discontinued, as Aldila had demanded.
 
This distinctive green shaft has become well known as Aldilas trademark, and the remarkable success of touring professionals using the NV Series has attracted particular attention to our shafts and this color, said Mike Rossi. We intend to take all necessary and appropriate actions to protect our exclusive rights to this color, he said.
 
The NV product features exclusive aerospace materials and Aldila's unique Micro Laminate TechnologyTM that provides the player enhanced power, consistent flex and precise feel. The Aldila NV is available for woods, hybrid clubs, and irons in a variety of weights and tip sizes.
 
Nike Golf Creates Beast in New SasQuatch Driver
Nike SasQuatch driverGlimpses of yellow have begun appearing on the PGA Tour -- yellow tracks belonging to the new Nike SasQuatch (SQ) 460 Driver, with its visually distinctive head design and yellow sole design. The SasQuatch sightings have occurred in the last month as a number of Nike Golf's Tour Staff, including Stewart Cink, K.J. Choi, Rory Sabbatini, Paul Gow, Carl Pettersson, John Cook, Franklin Langham and Stephen Ames, have recently tested the SQ Tour 460 version of the new driver on the PGA Tour.
 
Nike says their club wizard, Tom Stites, has designed the ideal ratio between the width of the clubface and the depth of the club head. The SasQuatch geometry pushes the breadth-to-face length ratio up, resulting in a larger, more forgiving sweet spot. Through geometry and Max Back Center of Gravity (CG) technology, Nike Golf says, theyve been able to achieve a lower, deeper CG without the use of weights. With its CG set back, low and deep, the SasQuatch is a highly engineered, streamlined instrument of size, power and forgiveness.
 
Nike Golf utilizes Powerbow technology, which provides the visual cue of the Max Back CG's radical geometry. According to Nike, the Powerbow technology placed on the back of the driver expands the perimeter of performance making it easier to get the ball up and hit it straight. Nike says the Powerbow adds a trailing volume of mass to apply more power and control to the ball without overstepping the 460 cc legal limit.
 
Nike says to get a hotter response and greater consistency, the SasQuatch has a face of layered yet tightly compressed titanium called NexTi, developed exclusively for Nike Golf.
 
The SQ 460 is available November 1, 2005 at golf shops and golf specialty stores nationwide and has a suggested retail price of $359. A tour model, SQ Tour 460, will be available in stores February 1, 2006 and carry an SRP of $419.
 
Fairway & Greene a Winner
Fairway & Greene has been selected as the winner of the Top Mens Vendor award by the highly respected Association of Golf Merchandisers for the third consecutive year in an annual survey of its members. The survey is designed to greatly assist AGM in gathering important industry statistics and determining the needs of its members for future educational initiatives.
 
AGM is a professional association of golf-related vendors and professional vendors located all over the world. Their mission is to educate golf retail buyers, merchandisers and golf professionals, elevate the golf merchandising profession and enhance communication between golf buyers and vendor partners.
 
To be selected to receive this great award for the third consecutive year is truly an honor, especially from an impressive organization such as AGM, states Todd Martin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Fairway & Greene.
 
NGCOA Announces Financial Benchmarks Program
The National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) has begun a comprehensive initiative to measure the games key financial benchmarks. The program provides accurate and consistent industry measurements to help golf course owners and operators evaluate the performance of their facilities, compare their results to competitors and operate more efficiently.

Based on information provided by participating owners and operators, the reports measure participation, revenues and course utilization on a monthly and rolling basis. The information will be confidential to participating owners and operators, who can use it not only for operational purposes, but also for financing needs (whether buying or selling), or when providing information to analysts and media.

A timely, accurate and unbiased set of industry metrics helps our members and other key stakeholders make informed operational, marketing and purchasing decisions, said Mike Hughes, executive director of the NGCOA. This is the type of information decision makers in other industries rely on to understand and analyze trends. We believe these financial benchmarks quickly will become one of the most important management tools in our industry.

The NGCOA is working with Golf Datatech, a noted golf industry market research firm, to collect and report the financial benchmarks.
 
Padraig Harrington Hosts Youth Clinic
Padraig HarringtonWilson Golf and Padraig Harrington, the eighth-ranked player in the world and a Wilson Staff professional, hosted a golf clinic recently at Sand Ridge Golf Club in Chardon, Ohio to benefit the children of the Cleveland Chapter of The First Tee.
 
Harrington, the popular Irishman is a two-time winner this year on the PGA Tour and a veteran of three Ryder Cup competitions. He has posted nine victories on the European Tour since turning pro in 1995.
 
I love taking part in events that include children and the kids from the First Tee were great, said Padraig. Their enthusiasm for the golf and everything the sport represents is tremendous. Its very exciting and rewarding for me to help children and teenagers new to the game, and that is what The First Tee is all about.
 
Wilson Golf, who made an equipment donation to the Cleveland Chapter, is an avid supporter of The First Tee, the World Golf Foundation initiative dedicated to enhancing the lives of young people through golf. This year Wilson is donating $100 to The First Tee for every birdie recorded by Harrington on the PGA Tour, raising $10,600 for his 106 birdies to date. Last year Wilson donated $23,760 to the organization based on birdies by Wilson Staff professional Jesper Parnevik.
 
There are so many children today that dont have the opportunity to learn and play golf, and The First Tee is all about giving kids that opportunity, said Angus Moir, Global Business Director, Wilson Golf. The First Tee is tremendous for golf and the golf industry, and we are proud to support them with events like this.
 
Accu-Length Receiving Strong Results
In two months since being introduced to new and existing clients, Accu-Length's Consumer Awareness Program has enabled the rapidly-growing junior golf club company to form and strengthen strong retailing bonds while seeing a significant spike in its business.
 
The program, which started in mid-May and recently concluded, has united select retailers with Accu-Length in a television campaign that has been running in the retailer's area. Participants in the program were required to order a minimum amount of Accu-Lengths products and take delivery soon thereafter to be eligible.
 
'We couldn't have asked for any better results than what has been achieved,' says Rick Rutter, President, COO and Founder of OnTrack Sports, LLC, Makers of Accu-Length, the only Expandable Junior Golf Clubs. 'Retailers are extremely pleased with the traffic that the campaign has helped bring into their stores. At the same time, consumers have been pouring into our retail partners to see what Accu-Length is all about.
 
Accu-Length says it is the only expandable junior golf club on the market. A one-of-a-kind spacer system allows Accu-Length to grow with the junior golfer without any sacrifice to the product's quality. Accu-Length's product line is known for its professional quality, with stainless steel heads and filament wound graphite shafts.
 
Accu-Length Expandable Junior Golf Clubs was named the Best New Equipment Product at this year's PGA Merchandise Show.
 
SofTrak Synthetic Putter Greens on a Roll
SofTrak Synthetic Putting Greens says some of the worlds best players are selecting SofTrak for installation and use in the comfort and convenience of their homes (Fred Couples, Steve Flesch, Bruce Lietzke, etc). SofTrak is also a top choice of families (virtual country club in the backyard, something all ages can enjoy, etc), avid everyday golfers (for game improvement, as replica greens of famous or favorite golf holes, etc), commercial businesses (practice ranges, bed & breakfasts, etc), college golf programs (Clemson, Rider, SW Missouri State, Princeton, etc) and non-profit organizations (Payne Stewart Memorial/The First Tee of the Ozarks, etc).
 
VersaSport International, exclusive supplier of SofTrak, recently installed two SofTrak greens at the Payne Stewart Memorial/The First Tee of the Ozarks facility in Branson, Mo.
 
We were able to expose over 2,400 inner-city kids to the game of golf this summer; many for the first time, says Mark Parry, Director of the Payne Stewart Memorial/The First Tee of the Ozarks. We used the SofTrak greens all summer and they responded very well. They will get more and more use as the years roll by and they have the durability and realistic performance qualities we need.
 
SofTrak says a rapidly growing trend SofTrak installers are encountering is the request of replica greens by avid golfers. The attached image is of a SofTrak green that replicates the 14th hole at the King & the Bear Course in Florida.
 
Heavy Putter Introduces A-1 Model
Heavy Putter, played exclusively by the Nationwide Tours leading money winner (through July 23), releases this new, center-shafted blade design offering the same features that distinguish all Heavy Putter models ' heavy-mass putter heads and a Weight Management System consisting of a heavy upper-shaft insert and interchangeable tip weights to create a patented balance point. According to Heavy Putter, the balance point is 75 percent higher than conventional putters.
 
'The introduction of the A-1 is the next step in our goal to provide golfers what they want ' a putter that looks great, feels great and helps them make more putts of all lengths, says Steve Boccieri, President of Heavy Putter.

Heavy Putter says the standard Heavy Putter total weight of 885 grams (roughly two pounds) is the heaviest among USGA-conforming putters and roughly twice the weight of conventional putters.
 
The fourth product in the Heavy Putter line, the A-1 is available in various standard, mid- and long-putter lengths for men and women in both right- and left-handed models. MSRP is from $259.
 
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Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

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.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

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

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

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.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.