News from the Business World

By Casey BiererDecember 16, 2005, 5:00 pm
CHICAGO, Ill. -- Wilson Golf has introduced the Wilson Staff Ci6 (Control) irons to its premium line of clubs for 2006. Looking to become the iron company for all, regardless of handicap, the Ci6 irons are specifically designed for the 10-16 handicap golfer looking for increased control and added distance. The new Ci6 irons complement the current Wilson Staff iron family (Forged, Performance and Distance) first introduced last season.
Wilson Staff Ci6 irons
The new Wilson Staff Ci6 irons
The Wilson Staff Ci6 irons blend the strongest attributes of the Wilson Staff Pi5 (Performance) iron and Wilson Staff Di5 (Distance iron) irons. Both the Pi5 and Di5, as well as the Wilson Staff Fi5 (Forged) irons, will remain in the line for 2006. The design of the Ci6 irons features a head size larger than that of the Pi5 but still smaller than the Di5. The progressive top-line and offset are wider and greater than the Pi5, but thinner and less than the Di5, respectively. The Ci6 stainless steel, midsize cast club head features a full back cavity, small undercut and low center of gravity across the entire set.
The Wilson Staff Ci6 irons also feature a new Elastomeric Damping layer applied to the entire back cavity which, according to Wilson, reduces vibration and decreases overall resonant frequency of the head when striking the ball. This patented layer, says Wilson, also provides 1/3 more vibration damping, which in turn produces softer and truer feel at impact as the technology is designed to replicate the feel of striking a ball as if it were hit by a forged blade.
The new Wilson Staff Ci6 irons are designed specifically to that golfer with a 10-16 handicap, said Angus Moir, Global Business Director, Wilson Golf. The Ci6 are for the player seeking maximum control with a more traditional look and Wilsons patented Elastomeric Damping layer provides a much truer feel. With the addition of this set of irons, we have improved the Wilson Staff family of irons and now truly have an iron for everyone. At one time, Wilson Staff was the iron company, and now with Forged, Performance, Control and Distance irons, we feel we are on the way back to once again earning that recognition.
The new Wilson Staff Ci6 irons will be available in steel or graphite shafts and each shaft option is designed to maximize control and produce launch and trajectory characteristics sought by the golfer. The new Taper Tech C1 steel shaft from True Temper features tri-section construction and progressive tip length to a .370-inch tip. The stiffer tip in the mid to short irons produces a lower launch angle and more control, while a higher kick point in the low to mid irons promotes higher launch and greater distance.
The Nano Tech graphite shaft that was introduced last year has been improved, according to Wilson, to feature Nano construction across not just the tip, but the full length of the shaft. The infusion of nano particles produces a stronger and more torisionally stable shaft, and the .370 tip, which also includes progressive tip length, optimizes ball flight across the set.
The new Wilson Staff Ci6 Irons will be available in early 2006 at pro and golf specialty shops for $499 in steel (RL, R, S, X) and $599 in graphite (RL, R, S, X).

Sun Mountain Speed Cart
Sun Mountain Speed Cart
Missoula, Montana - Sun Mountain, the inventors of the easily collapsible push cart, Speed Cart (r), have introduced a self-propelled, electric version of this top-selling cart called Speed E Cart(tm). Speed E Cart allows golfers the enjoyment and health benefits of walking the course while the cart carries the clubs. Speed E Cart operates with cruise control and dynamic braking that keep the cart at a consistent speed. Golfers just walk behind and steer. Speed E Cart folds down into a compact package that fits into a car trunk or cart locker. Speed E Cart is available in black, metallic silver and metallic orange with a full-suggested retail price of $799.
Speed E Cart is an electric cart driven by a 24V motor, hidden inside the front wheel. Sun Mountain says the motor is silent and extremely efficient. The motor is powered by a small battery which goes the distance for over 18 holes. The Speed E Cart motor is controlled by a set of buttons placed on the cart's handle. The buttons include power on/off, start/stop, buttons to increase and decrease speed to set a walking pace, which the motor is programmed to maintain across varied terrain; plus three timer buttons that allow the cart to be sent ahead unassisted 15, 30 and 60 yards. When powered off, the Speed E Cart can be pushed as a manual Speed Cart for peace of mind when maneuvering in the parking lot or around the clubhouse and to eliminate the chance of being stranded on the course with an out-of-charge battery.

SAN DIEGO, CA ' Lamkin Corp., a major supplier of grips to the golf industry, has hired leading engineering professional Norman A. Assali to head up the companys engineering and product development departments.
Lamkins new director of engineering and product development, Assali comes to Lamkin from Ingersoll-Rand/Schlage, where he spent the last 10 years leading the commercial and residential security and safety industry in product design, productivity efficiency and continuous improvements in achieving operational excellence. He is a black-belt champion in the six-sigma program, a training program developed to help businesses achieve extraordinary results by reducing costs, increasing revenues, improving process speeds, raising quality levels and deepening customer relationships.
Norman is a great asset to our organization, says Bob Lamkin, president and CEO of Lamkin Corp. His dedication to his work and clear business focus will help us as we continue to provide golfers with the latest technical advances in golf grips. We are happy to have added a team player who can bring so much to the table, for both Lamkin and Lamkin customers.

CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA ' According to Nickent, the first week the DC Ironwood was introduced to the PGA Tour, at the last full field event of the 2005 season, it helped catapult the family of 3DX hybrids to # 1 on the PGA Tour. Even the 2004 British Open champion who helped make hybrids famous with his hybrid play switched over to the new 3DX DC after just two days of testing, says Nickent.
Nickent DC Ironwood
Nickent DC Ironwood
To create an even hotter and more forgiving hybrid, Nickent thinned the face of the 3DX DC, creating a higher C.O.R. than the original 3DX Ironwood. A plasma welding process was used to help redistribute the weight to the extreme perimeters of the club head. Forty grams of weight were moved down and back in the head using two tungsten-polymer fused inserts (XW Inserts). Thats almost 60% more adjustable weight in the club head than in the leading adjustable weight hybrid.
The XW Inserts are a fusion of polymer and tungsten. By using polymer around the outside of the insert, Nickent says they have the ability to vary the mass of the insert without being bulky and taking away from proper club head design. XW Inserts are also used to move the center of gravity of the head to insure proper weight distribution and eliminate pull hooks.
Hybrids have become popular because they offer the golfer more ball flight options than long irons or high lofted fairway woods, said Nickent Senior Vice President John Hoeflich. Now the new 3DX DC family-of-hybrids give the player even more choices to be certain that they have the right club for every shot from 150 to 250 yards. With all of our loft options and different launch characteristics, we have left no doubt that we are the unanimous King of Hybrids.
The 3DX DC Ironwood has 14 hybrid lofts, one club every 1.5 degrees from 14 to 26. The 3DX family-of-hybrids features three high performance shafts from the worlds premier shaft manufacturers. The 75 gram Aldila NV hybrid shaft is used, making Nickent the only manufacturer to offer this stable yet easier to load genuine NV shaft. Also available in graphite is the UST Golf high-performance SR2 graphite shaft. For players who prefer the weight and feel of steel, the Nippon 950 shaft is available in an S/R shaft option. MSRP is $199 on the NV stock option, $169 for the UST SR2 and $179 in the Nippon 950 shaft.
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Teenager Im wins season opener

By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 10:23 pm

South Korea's Sungjae Im cruised to a four-shot victory at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, becoming just the second teenager to win an event on the Tour.

Im started the final day of the season-opening event in a share of the lead but still with six holes left in his third round. He was one shot behind Carlos Ortiz when the final round began, but moved ahead of the former Player of the Year thanks to a 7-under 65 in rainy and windy conditions. Im's 13-under total left him four clear of Ortiz and five shots ahead of a quartet of players in third.

Still more than two months shy of his 20th birthday, Im joins Jason Day as the only two teens to win on the developmental circuit. Day was 19 years, 7 months and 26 days old when he captured the 2007 Legend Financial Group Classic.

Recent PGA Tour winners Si Woo Kim and Patrick Cantlay and former NCAA champ Aaron Wise all won their first Tour event at age 20.

Other notable finishes in the event included Max Homa (T-7), Erik Compton (T-13), Curtis Luck (T-13) and Lee McCoy (T-13). The Tour will remain in the Bahamas for another week, with opening round of The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic set to begin Sunday.

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Mickelson grouped with Z. Johnson at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 8:28 pm

He's not the highest-ranked player in this week's field, but Phil Mickelson will likely draw the biggest crowd at the CareerBuilder Challenge as he makes his first start of 2018. Here are a few early-round, marquee groupings to watch as players battle the three-course rotation in the Californian desert (all times ET):

12:10 p.m. Thursday, 11:40 a.m. Friday, 1:20 p.m. Saturday: Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson

Mickelson is making his fourth straight trip to Palm Springs, having cracked the top 25 each of the last three times. In addition to their respective amateur partners, he'll play the first three rounds alongside a fellow Masters champ in Johnson, who tied for 14th last week in Hawaii and finished third in this event in 2014.

11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Jon Rahm, Bubba Watson

At No. 3 in the world, Rahm is the highest-ranked player teeing it up this week and the Spaniard returns to an event where he finished T-34 last year in his tournament debut. He'll play the first two rounds alongside Watson, who is looking to bounce back from a difficult 2016-17 season and failed to crack the top 50 in two starts in the fall.

11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker

Reed made the first big splash of his career at this event in 2014, shooting three straight rounds of 63 en route to his maiden victory. He'll be joined by Snedeker, whose bid for a Masters bid via the top 50 of the world rankings came up short last month and who hasn't played this event since a missed cut in 2015.

1:10 p.m. Thursday, 12:40 p.m. Friday, 12:10 p.m. Saturday: Patton Kizzire, Bill Haas

Kizzire heads east after a whirlwind Sunday ended with his second win of the season in a six-hole playoff over James Hahn in Honolulu. He'll play alongside Haas, who won this event in both 2010 and 2015 to go with a runner-up finish in 2011 and remains the tournament's all-time leading money winner.

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Mackay still a caddie at heart, even with a microphone

By Doug FergusonJanuary 16, 2018, 7:34 pm

HONOLULU – All it took was one week back on the bag to remind Jim ''Bones'' Mackay what he always loved about being a caddie.

It just wasn't enough for this to be the ultimate mic drop.

Mackay traded in his TV microphone at the Sony Open for the 40-pound bag belonging to Justin Thomas.

It was his first time caddying since he split with Phil Mickelson six months ago. Mackay was only a temporary replacement at Waialae for Jimmy Johnson, a good friend and Thomas' regular caddie who has a nasty case of plantar fasciitis that will keep him in a walking boot for the next month.

''The toughest thing about not caddying is missing the competition, not having a dog in the fight,'' Mackay said before the final round. ''There's nothing more rewarding as a caddie, in general terms, when you say, 'I don't like 6-iron, I like 7,' and being right. I miss that part of it.''

The reward now?

''Not stumbling over my words,'' he said. ''And being better than I was the previous week.''

He has done remarkably well since he started his new job at the British Open last summer, except for that time he momentarily forgot his role. Parts of that famous caddie adage – ''Show up, keep up, shut up'' – apparently can apply to golf analysts on the ground.

During the early hours of the telecast, before Johnny Miller came on, Justin Leonard was in the booth.

''It's my job to report on what I see. It's not my job to ask questions,'' Mackay said. ''I forgot that for a minute.''

Leonard was part of a booth discussion on how a comfortable pairing can help players trying to win a major. That prompted Mackay to ask Leonard if he found it helpful at the 1997 British Open when he was trying to win his first major and was paired with Fred Couples in the final round at Royal Troon.

''What I didn't know is we were going to commercial in six seconds,'' Mackay said. ''I would have no way of knowing that, but I completely hung Justin out to dry. He's now got four seconds to answer my long-winded question.''

During the commercial break, the next voice Mackay heard belonged to Tommy Roy, the executive golf producer at NBC.

''Bones, don't ever do that again.''

It was Roy who recognized the value experienced caddies could bring to a telecast. That's why he invited Mackay and John Wood, the caddie for Matt Kuchar, into the control room at the 2015 Houston Open so they could see how it all worked and how uncomfortable it can be to hear directions coming through an earpiece.

Both worked as on-course reporters at Sea Island that fall.

And when Mickelson and Mackay parted ways after 25 years, Roy scooped up the longtime caddie for TV.

It's common for players to move into broadcasting. Far more unusual is for a caddie to be part of the mix. Mackay loves his new job. Mostly, he loves how it has helped elevate his profession after so many years of caddies being looked upon more unfavorably than they are now.

''I want to be a caddie that's doing TV,'' he said. ''That's what I hope to come across as. The guys think this is good for caddies. And if it's good for caddies, that makes me happy. Because I'm a caddie. I'll always be a caddie.''

Not next week at Torrey Pines, where Mickelson won three times. Not a week later in Phoenix, where Mackay lives. Both events belong to CBS.

And not the Masters.

He hasn't missed Augusta since 1994, when Mickelson broke his leg skiing that winter.

''That killed me,'' he said, ''but not nearly as much as it's going to kill me this year. I'll wake up on Thursday of the Masters and I'll be really grumpy. I'll probably avoid television at all costs until the 10th tee Sunday. And I'll watch. But it will be, within reason, the hardest day of my life.''

There are too many memories, dating to when he was in the gallery right of the 11th green in 1987 when Larry Mize chipped in to beat Greg Norman. He caddied for Mize for two years, and then Scott Simpson in 1992, and Mickelson the rest of the way. He was on the bag for Lefty's three green jackets.

Mackay still doesn't talk much about what led them to part ways, except to say that a player-caddie relationship runs its course.

''If you lose that positive dynamic, there's no point in continuing,'' he said. ''It can be gone in six months or a year or five years. In our case, it took 25 years.''

He says a dozen or so players called when they split up, and the phone call most intriguing was from Roy at NBC.

''I thought I'd caddie until I dropped,'' Mackay said.

He never imagined getting yardages and lining up putts for anyone except the golfer whose bag he was carrying. Now it's for an audience that measures in the millions. Mackay doesn't look at it as a second career. And he won't rule out caddying again.

''It will always be tempting,'' he said. ''I'll always consider myself a caddie. Right now, I'm very lucky and grateful to have the job I do.''

Except for that first week in April.

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The Social: The end was nigh, then it wasn't

By Jason CrookJanuary 16, 2018, 7:00 pm

The star power at the Sony Open may have been overshadowed by a missile scare, but there were plenty of other social media stories that kept the golf world on its toes this week, including some insight on Tiger Woods from a round with President Obama and some failed trick shots.

All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

By now you've undoubtedly heard about the false alarm in Hawaii on Saturday, where just about everyone, including most Sony Open participants, woke up to an emergency cell phone alert that there was a ballistic missile heading toward the islands.

Hawaiian emergency management officials eventually admitted the original message was mistakenly sent out, but before they did, people (understandably) freaked out.

As the situation unfolded, some Tour pros took to social media to express their confusion and to let the Twittersphere know how they planned on riding out this threat:

While I would've been in that bathtub under the mattress with John Peterson, his wife, baby and in-laws (wait, how big is this tub?), here's how Justin Thomas reacted to the threat of impending doom:

Yeah, you heard that right.

“I was like ‘there’s nothing I can do,'” Thomas said. ”I sat on my couch and opened up the sliding door and watched TV and listened to music. I was like, if it’s my time, it’s my time.”

Hmmm ... can we just go ahead and award him all the 2018 majors right now? Because if Thomas is staring down death in mid-January, you gotta like the kid's chances on the back nine Sunday at Augusta and beyond.

Before the Hawaiian Missile Crisis of 2018, things were going about as well as they could at Waialae Country Club, starting with the Wednesday pro-am.

Jordan Spieth might have been the third-biggest star in his own group, after getting paired with superstar singer/songwriter/actor Nick Jonas and model/actress Kelly Rohrbach.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more photogenic group out on the course, and the "Baywatch" star has a gorgeous swing as well, which makes sense, considering she was a former collegiate golfer at Georgetown.

As impressive as that group was, they were somehow outshined by an amateur in another group, former NFL coach June Jones.

Jones, who now coaches the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, played his round in bare feet and putted with his 5-iron, a remedy he came up with to battle the yips.

Former NFL and current CFL coach June Jones: A master of 5-iron putting?

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on

Considering he made back-to-back birdies at one point during the day, it's safe to say he's won that battle.

With Tiger Woods' return to the PGA Tour about a week away, that sound you hear is the hype train motoring full speed down the tracks.

First, his ex-girlfriend Lindsey Vonn told Sports Illustrated that she hopes this comeback works out for him.

“I loved him and we’re still friends. Sometimes, I wish he would have listened to me a little more, but he’s very stubborn and he likes to go his own way," the Olympic skiier said. "I hope this latest comeback sticks. I hope he goes back to winning tournaments.”

Vonn also mentioned she thinks Woods is very stubborn and that he didn't listen to her enough. That really shouldn't shock anyone who watched him win the 2008 U.S. Open on one leg. Don't think there were a lot of people in his ear telling him that was a great idea at the time.

We also have this report from Golf Channel Insider Tim Rosaforte, stating that the 14-time major champ recently played a round with former president Barack Obama at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., where he received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.

The Farmers Insurance Open is sure to be must-see TV, but until then, I'm here for all of the rampant speculation and guesses as to how things will go. The more takes the better. Make them extra spicy, please and thanks.

These poor New Orleans Saints fans. Guess the only thing you can do is throw your 65-inch TV off the balcony and get 'em next year.

Here's two more just for good measure.

Farts ... will they ever not be funny?

Perhaps someday, but that day was not early last week, when Tommy Fleetwood let one rip on his European teammates during EurAsia Cup team photos.

Fleetwood went 3-0-0 in the event, helping Europe to a victory over Asia, perhaps by distracting his opponents with the aid of his secret weapon.

Also, how about the diabolical question, "Did you get that?"

Yeah Tommy, we all got that.

Ahhh ... golf trick shot videos. You were fun while you lasted.

But now we’ve officially come to the point in their existence where an unsuccessful attempt is much more entertaining than a properly executed shot, and right on cue, a couple of pros delivered some epic fails.

We start with Sony Open runner-up James Hahn’s preparation for the event, where for some reason he thought he needed to practice a running, jumping, Happy Gilmore-esque shot from the lip of a bunker. It didn’t exactly work out.

Not to be outdone, Ladies European Tour pro Carly Booth attempted the juggling-drive-it-out-of-midair shot made famous by the Bryan Bros, and from the looks of things she might have caught it a little close to the hosel.

PSA to trick-shot artists everywhere: For the sake of the viewing public, if you feel a miss coming on, please make sure the camera is rolling.

Seriously, though, who cares? Definitely not these guys and gals, who took the time to comment, "who cares?" They definitely do not care.