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.
Email your thoughts to Casey Bierer
What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.
While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.
As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.
Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.
And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.
And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.
McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.
The Ryder Cup topped his list.
Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.
When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.
“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”
McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.
Or similar assertions from TV analysts.
“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.
And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.
The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.
Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.
And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.
Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.
The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.
The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.
More bulletin board material, too.
Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.
The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.
It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.
The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”
Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.