News and Notes from the Business World
The new Idea a2 and a2 OS hybrid irons are a progression of hybrids and irons integrated into one set of irons. The alternative to a conventional set make-up blends hybrids and regular irons. According to Adams Golf, this takes the guesswork out of putting hybrids in your bag by replacing hard to hit long & mid irons with easy to hit hybrids.
Chip Brewer, CEO, states, We believe hybrid sets are the future because they deliver easier-to-hit long irons for all golfers and easier-to-hit mid irons for the majority of golfers.
Tour professionals have had hybrids integrated into their sets for years because tour reps have calibrated loft, lie and launch conditions on hybrids to fit perfectly with their iron sets. According to Adams Golf, 60% of the Champions Tour is playing a hybrid and almost 50% of the PGA and Nationwide pros are using them.
The new a2 and a2 OS are also offered in womens models in an 8-piece and a 12-piece set make up.
Nike Golf Follows SQ Driver Launch with SasQuatch Fairway Metals
The new Nike Golf SasQuatch (SQ) Driver, has some yellow tracks following in its footsteps -- Nike Golf's new SasQuatch (SQ) Fairway Metals. These new Fairway Metals feature the same SasQuatch geometry as the recently-announced driver - and the yellow tracks of the visually distinctive head design and yellow sole design continue to spread on the PGA Tour as some of Nike Golf's Tour Staff begin to add the SasQuatch Fairway Metals to their bags, alongside the SQ Driver.
The SQ Fairway Metals incorporate Nike Golf's new geometry with PowerBow technology. Nike claims the new SasQuatch geometry moves the center of gravity (CG) lower and farther back than the traditional fairway metal. According to Nike, the CG location is lower than the equator of the golf ball making it easier to hit the ball in the air for distance and accuracy.
To lower the CG, the SQ Fairway Metals feature a shallower face and head profile. Nike Golf engineers have saved 11 grams of weight due to the cold-rolled Custom 455 stainless steel used in the clubface. Nike says all of this combines to enhance perimeter weighting and increase the Moment of Inertia, which helps resist clubhead twisting on impact.
The steel shaft is the Speed Step Light/Constant Weight Steel Shaft by True Temper. Its high-strength alloy makes this steel shaft 30% lighter than traditional steel shafts for increased clubhead speed and distance. The Speed Step shaft also incorporates a soft tip profile to promote higher ball flight.
The graphite shaft is the Diamana Shaft for SasQuatch by Mitsubishi Rayon, a high-performance golf shaft built for a blend of power and stability. This shaft is lightweight and has an optimized tip profile for distance and accuracy.
The SQ fairway metals will be available November 1, 2005 at golf shops and golf specialty stores nationwide with a suggested retail of $215 for steel and $239 for graphite.
ECCO Introduces New Mens Golf Shoes for Spring/Summer 2006
Danish shoemaker ECCO introduces its Spring/Summer 2006 mens collection of classic, causal and sport model golf shoes featuring four completely new styles alongside several returning favorites.
Endorsed by international Tour stars Colin Montgomerie, Thomas Bjorn, Aaron Baddeley and Thongchai Jaidee, the new golf collection continues ECCOs 40-plus-year manufacturing and distribution run. Each model features water- and weather-resistant leather and extra cushion provided by PU-injected midsoles for shock absorption. Available in many popular colors and adaptations of traditional solid and two-tone saddle designs, the collection retails for $120 to $400.
Weve experience consistent growth by providing golfers the comfort and performance they desire in a broad range of styles and colors, says ECCO golf division General Manager Per Aagren. With its advanced technology and many distinct looks, the 2006 mens collection continues to distinguish ECCO as the preferred shoe of discerning players.
ECCO golf shoes are are made using a direct-injection process unique to ECCO in the golf industry.
The new introductions are:
World Class Wing Tip GTX: This latest addition to the limited edition World Class Collection combines modern comfort and classic style. The Wing Tip GTX includes overlays and a stitched, perforated trim. The shoes feature a water-repellant leather outsole and GORE-TEX membrane. ($400 retail price; available in black/white, cognac/bison)
Casual Cool Hydromax:: This shoe draws clear influence from modern street shoe fashions. A completely new ECCO outsole features numerous additional traction bars alongside wider lacing for an athletic fit and feel. There is a shock point in the heel, and a direct-injected PU midsole combined with a hard-wearing TPU outsole. ECCO Hydromax leather provides water repellence and perspiration resistance. ($150 retail price; available in black/black/ice white, orange/orange/royal, espresso/espresso/safari, white/black)
Casual Cool GTX: Modern technology, style and comfort in one all-weather package, the Casual Cool GTX covers a wide-range of last. The shoe features a low profile, subdued color combinations, XCR GORE-TEX membrane and performance textile. ($190 retail price; available in black/silver/white, white/silver/silver)
Sport Saddle Hydromax : Continuing ECCOs work with traditional saddle, this water-resistant shoe features aggressive, athletic styling and angular modern lines. The design is enhanced by a hi-tech, see-through 3D outsole and a shock-absorbing PU midsole with the ECCO Swing Stabilizer. ($170 retail price; available in cognac/bison, white/cognac/bison, black/cognac/bison)
Maruman Launches New Majesty Prestigio Line
Maruman Golf USA, North Americas exclusive distributor for Maruman Golfs line of golf equipment, has reported a phenomenal response to the recent introduction of its new Majesty Prestigio FV-R woods and irons.
Designed by Maruman Golf ' a Pacific Rim based manufacturer of ultra-premium golf equipment ' the new Majesty Prestigio FV-R driver and fairway woods feature titanium altered on the nanoscale (1000 nano structure) and the use of fullerene, a Nobel Chemistry award-winner that was first introduced to golf by Maruman. (Fullerenes are carbon-cage molecules found to exist in interstellar dust and in some geological formations on Earth.)
Marumans new Prestigio FV-R driver integrates a 1.6mm-thin titanium face with a fullerene titanium body constructed by high-precision welding and ultra-sonic peening, a process which Maruman claims achieves greater strength than material alterations or heat treatments. According to Maruman, the fullerene titanium increases material strength by 20 percent, greatly reduces energy loss at the time of impact with the ball and enhances the Coefficient of Restitution (COR) by 0.025. Maruman says the Prestigio FV-R fairway woods are a perfect match to the driver. They also feature a titanium face and fullerene titanium body. Completing the series, the Prestigio FV-R irons are forged from 17-4 stainless steel and super-hard maraging steel.
The new Prestigio FV-R woods and irons are easily one of the most successful product launches for Maruman, a premium golf club manufacturer which has always been a considered a leader in state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge designs, says Mike Matheny, president of Maruman Golf USA. The technology integrated into these woods and irons are truly unlike anything golfers have seen before, and were very excited about the enthusiasm and feedback were receiving from golf shops and individual golfers. Discriminating golfers are demanding real advancements in technology, and Maruman has delivered across the board.
Prestigio FV-R drivers are available in lofts of 10.5 and 12 degrees and 13 degrees (ladies model) while the fairway woods are available in 3-, 4-, 5-, 7- and 9-woods. Both Prestigio FV-R driver and fairway woods are assembled with Marumans all-new Fullerene shafts. The Prestigio FV-R irons are available in 3- through 9-iron, plus PW, AW, AW51 and SW. MSRP is $2,000 for the driver, $1,790 for fairway woods, and $6,000 for irons.
IMG and Hemisphere Development to Create Sports Resort
Sports marketing and management agency IMG signed an exclusive deal with Hemisphere Development LLC to develop regional Sports Resort Communities. The deal was announced today by Bob Kain, President of IMG, and Todd Davis, Chief Executive Officer of Hemisphere. The venture will develop its first real estate project at Lakeview Bluffs, located on 1,100 acres along Lake Erie in Lake County Ohio.
IMG is delighted to be involved with this landmark project in our own community, says Kain. Cleveland, where IMG was founded in 1960, is a great location for the active, family-oriented and recreational development we envision.
Lakeview Bluffs encompasses more than a mile of Lake Erie shoreline, and offers breathtaking views of the Grand River, explains Davis of Hemisphere. Combining the sites real estate potential with IMGs sports and entertainment prowess will create a high-energy atmosphere delivering a unique destination to visit and live.
The developments principal feature will be the IMG Resort Academies, which will provide world-class instruction in all major sports, including golf, tennis, soccer, baseball and basketball. The facility also will integrate comprehensive health and wellness programming designed by leading medical experts. This complex will emulate the IMG Academies located in Bradenton Florida, the multi-sport training institute for elite athletes, but will focus training on sports enthusiasts and families.
IMG has designed its inaugural IMG Signature Golf Course as another major amenity, featuring holes perched on bluffs 40 feet above Lake Erie and running along the Grand River corridor.
According to IMG and Hemisphere, Lakeview Bluffs also will feature a boutique resort hotel, cascading down a bluff overlooking Lake Erie to a crescent shaped beach, a world-class spa, corporate meeting facilities, and a comprehensive health and fitness campus. IMG will stage a variety of special events at the resort annually, including both regional and national competitions. Other recreational amenities include a culinary academy, vineyard and winery, and a trout club with teaching streams for fly fishing. The Lakeview Bluffs grand opening is expected in Spring 2008.
Bobby Jones Player Series Clubs Now Available at The Golf Warehouse
The Golf Warehouse announced it will serve as the exclusive Internet golf retail store for the new Bobby Jones Golf Players Series woods from legendary club designer Jesse Ortiz.
Were very excited to begin this partnership with a company whose heritage can be traced directly to historys greatest gentleman golfer, says Mark Marney, CEO of TGW. These clubs provide excellent look, feel and playability and are certain to be a hot item.
Designed to focus specifically on Ortizs skill as a master craftsman, the Bobby Jones Players Series for men features classically shaped, shallow, fairway woods. All woods feature Carpenters 465 steel alloy faces, milled to 1.6 mm thickness. Available in a variety of lofts, the fairway woods come standard with Graphite Design YS-6 series shafts.
Also available are two, deep forest-green finished, 440 cc drivers (9.5- and 10.5-degree lofts) featuring graphite composite crowns for maximum rear weighting and two weighted screws to provide neutral or draw bias options for golfers. The Russian BT-23 beta titanium faces are also milled, heat treated and formed to Ortizs trademark bulge and roll specifications.
Showcasing a sleeker, aerodynamic look, and a unique, patent-pending profile, the companys womens line is designed to maximize playability and enjoyment for mid- to high-handicap golfers. Featuring the same technology as the mens Players Series, the 400 cc composite crowned driver has a generous 14 degrees of loft to maximize launch angle. Beginning with the 18-degree 3 wood, each club is gapped 5 degrees in loft and 1.0 inches in length. The 3 and 5 woods are traditional fairway woods, while the 7, 9 and 11 are hybrids. Each club may be purchased separately.
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf
Well, this is a one new one.
According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:
“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”
Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.
“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.
The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.
“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”
The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.
Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.
Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.
PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation
Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.
The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.
The statement reads:
The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.
Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.
The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.
The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.
The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.
Good time to hang up on viewer call-ins
Golf announced the most massive layoff in the industry’s history on Monday morning.
Armchair referees around the world were given their pink slips.
It’s a glorious jettisoning of unsolicited help.
Goodbye and good riddance.
The USGA and R&A’s announcement of a new set of protocols Monday will end the practice of viewer call-ins and emails in the reporting of rules infractions.
“What we have heard from players and committees is ‘Let’s leave the rules and administration of the event to the players and those responsible for running the tournament,’” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status.
The protocols, formed by a working group that included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, also establish the use of rules officials to monitor the televised broadcasts of events.
Additionally, the protocols will eliminate the two-shot penalty when a player signs an incorrect scorecard because the player was unaware of a violation.
Yes, I can hear you folks saying armchair rules officials help make sure every meaningful infraction comes to light. I hear you saying they make the game better, more honest, by helping reduce the possibility somebody violates the rules to win.
But at what cost?
The chaos and mayhem armchair referees create can ruin the spirit of fair play every bit as much as an unreported violation. The chaos and mayhem armchair rules officials create can be as much a threat to fair play as the violations themselves.
The Rules of Golf are devised to protect the integrity of the game, but perfectly good rules can be undermined by the manner and timeliness of their enforcement.
We have seen the intervention of armchair referees go beyond the ruin of fair play in how a tournament should be conducted. We have seen it threaten the credibility of the game in the eyes of fans who can’t fathom the stupidity of a sport that cannot separate common-sense enforcement from absolute devotion to the letter of the law.
In other sports, video review’s timely use helps officials get it right. In golf, video review too often makes it feel like the sport is getting it wrong, because timeliness matters in the spirit of fair play, because the retroactive nature of some punishments are as egregious as the violations themselves.
We saw that with Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this year.
Yes, she deserved a two-shot penalty for improperly marking her ball, but she didn’t deserve the two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had no idea she was signing an incorrect scorecard.
We nearly saw the ruin of the U.S. Open at Oakmont last year, with Dustin Johnson’s victory clouded by the timing of a video review that left us all uncertain if the tournament was playing out under an incorrect scoreboard.
“What these protocols are put in place for, really, is to make sure there are measures to identify the facts as soon as possible, in real time, so if there is an issue to be dealt with, that it can be handled quickly and decisively,” Pagel said.
We have pounded the USGA for making the game more complicated and less enjoyable than it ought to be, for creating controversy where common sense should prevail, so let’s applaud executive director Mike Davis, as well as the R&A, for putting common sense in play.
Yes, this isn’t a perfect answer to handling rules violations.
There are trap doors in the protocols that we are bound to see the game stumble into, because the game is so complex, but this is more than a good faith effort to make the game better.
This is good governance.
And compared to the glacial pace of major rules change of the past, this is swift.
This is the USGA and R&A leading a charge.
We’re seeing that with the radical modernization of the Rules of Golf scheduled to take effect in 2019. We saw it with the release of Decision 34/3-10 three weeks after Thompson’s loss at the ANA, with the decision limiting video review to “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standards. We’re hearing it with Davis’ recent comments about the “horrible” impact distance is having on the game, leading us to wonder if the USGA is in some way gearing up to take on the golf ball.
Yes, the new video review protocols aren’t a panacea. Rules officials will still miss violations that should have been caught. There will be questions about level playing fields, about the fairness of stars getting more video review scrutiny than the rank and file. There will be questions about whether viewer complaints were relayed to rules officials.
Golf, they say, isn’t a game of perfect, and neither is rules enforcement, though these protocols make too much sense to be pilloried. They should be applauded. They should solve a lot more problems than they create.
Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change
Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.
David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.
“Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.
Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.
“I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”
Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.
The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.
Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.
Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:
1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.
2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.
While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”