Their Own Words ECCO Golf Shoes

By Casey BiererNovember 23, 2007, 5:00 pm
Editors note: ECCO's roots in defying convention run deep. 40 years ago in the small southern Jutland town of Bredebro, Denmark, Karl Toosbuy pioneered a revolution in footwear, choosing comfort over conformity. Tired of having his feet mold to his shoes, he charged that the foot should lead the shoe. A new type of footwear was born.
 
ECCO approaches design a little differently. They design from the inside out: inside every comfortable shoe is a foot. Outside, you'll find inspiration from nature and fashion trends, the simplicity of Scandinavian design, environmental circumstances, and all the ways you run through the day. That's all important. ECCO responds with shoes that take you from work to play, from casual Friday to tee time on Saturday and back through that great hiking trail on Sunday. ECCO design their shoes to live up to all your functional needs. And inside it all is a comfortable foot.

 
A conversation with Ed DiStefano, Fitting Specialist, ECCO
 
Casey / Q:

Ed, tell us about this ECCO van.
 
Ed / A:
The van is called the Tour and Tech van. The purpose of it is to do promotional events and to go to our vendors for educational training. We have basically a mini showroom in here where can do fitting for either our TOUR players or promotional events at golf courses where well set up with a tent and the van. And we have this big TV in the van that will play various ECCO brand videos. The van also travels and works with our sales reps helping them at their accounts and training them in fitting techniques as well. The goal is to get the outreach to the consumers and also to be able to service our TOUR players. The entire 2008 line is right here in this van. If ECCO Golf makes it I can show it to you here.
 
Casey / Q:
What is the philosophy behind ECCO golf shoes?
 
Ed / A:
I can sum up what is so special about ECCO golf shoes in one word. Comfort. We guarantee out of the box comfort with no break in period and that is due to the fit. The fit is snug in the instep and then generous in the toe box area. And the reason that works so well is because thats the way a persons foot is naturally shaped. And because there is extra room up front in the toe box area, the minute the golfer puts the shoe on theyre ready to play 18-holes or even
36-holes without a problem.
 
Casey / Q:
Take us through an example of what you do to fit a golfer for ECCO golf shoes.
 
World Class Ecco
World Class ECCO model.
Ed / A:
Lets take a narrow foot, for example. For most golfers with narrow feet it is difficult to get a good fit in a golf shoe. And with ECCO having a more generous toe box, you might think its tough for us to fit a narrow foot. But actually, we can do it quite well. So the first thing I do as a fitter is to measure the foot properly and then get some other informationlike what other shoes have you been wearing. Once I have that information I can zero in on what style in our line will fit you best. And for a narrow foot I pretty much know I am going to fit the golfer in either our new Classic series or in our World Class model shoe. Both these model shoes have the type of a last (fit) that will allow me to customize the shoe to a narrow foot.
 
Casey / Q:
Use your World Class model as the example for a custom fit.
 
Ed / A:
OK. Well use the World Class as an example that we will fit to a narrow foot. What I have to do is take volume away from the shoe. And I do that by changing the inlays in the shoe. The great thing about our product is that the inlays are fully removable. They are meant to be changed in and out for fitting and also can be replaced from time to time to keep the shoes fresh and new feeling.
 
Casey / Q:
What types of inlays do you have?
 
Ed / A:
There are a couple different kinds of inlays. There is the PU Wedge inlay which can take up to 6 millimeters of volume away from the shoe. But that might be too much for someonemake the instep area a little too snug. So another option is to leave the original inlay in the shoe and add a second inlay on top of it. That inlay on top of inlay will take 3 millimeters of volume away from the shoe which is a happy medium between the two. And generally speaking, with these two types of fitting options, we can fit a golfer very comfortably in to a shoe.
 
Casey / Q:
And if a golfer has the opposite problema very wide foot?
 
Ed / A:
For a foot that is very wide we would try and add volume to the shoe by going with a thinner inlay. Also, because some of our shoes have different instep depths, I would be able to select one of our models that has a higher instep and that will help accommodate a wider foot. So because of the selection of shoes in the line we have to choose from and knowing what last fits what type of foot ' and then the different options we have with inlays ' just about any type of foot can be comfortably fit in an ECCO golf shoe.
 
Casey / Q:
What kind of schedule does this van have?
 
Ed / A:
The vans schedule is set 14 months in advance. I know pretty much where Im going to be 14 months in advance of the van being there. Its not 100 percent etched in stone. Things do change, obviously. For example, Im waiting to here about the LPGAs Kingsmill tournamentdoing the pro-amif all the pro-am players are getting a pair of ECCO shoes. That tournament is in the first week of May next year, I think. If that comes through I will have to adjust the schedule a little bit. So, stuff like that comes up and when it does we make changes to the schedule. But most of the time we know where the van is going to be pretty far in advance.
 
Casey / Q:
And you work with retailers that carry ECCO shoes, right?
 
Ed / A:
Many of the off-course retailers we work with ' Golf Galaxy, Golfsmith, PGA Superstore, Edwin Watts ' book the van to make an appearance for a day and we can fit a large number of golfers that way. Then the retailer places a custom order for their customer with the details we got from the fitting in the van. And what I have found is that most of the time on the retailers Web site, they will list a schedule of what companies are making appearances at their store throughout the year. So thats a good way to see if the ECCO van is going to be at a store in your town or neighborhood. There is also a PR company ' Buffalo Communications out of Washington, D.C. ' and I submit my schedule a month in advance to them and they help get the word out and market the vans appearance in whatever area I am going to be in.
 
Casey / Q:
What about private clubs?
 
Ed / A:
There are also some appearances that dont get any publicity at all. And those are when the van goes to a private club and has a fitting day just for the membership. We dont advertise or market those appearances to the general public because they are member-only events.
 
Casey / Q:
You told me you have actually made appointments with individuals for fitting.
 
Casual Cool Ecco
Casual Cool Hydromax ECCO model.
Ed / A:
Thats right. I have made appointments with individual customers, believe it or not. Lets say I am going to be in a certain area of the country visiting a golf store. And I know after that appearance is over I am going to drive to my next scheduled location. Well, if a golfer lives in between and they make an appointment with me Ill stop and fit that golfer. And then they will take the fitting information to their local PGA Professional who can place the order for them or a golf store in their area where ECCO is carried and the retailer will place the order for them. And, of course, they can go on-line to order the shoes directly from ECCO.
 
Casey / Q:
What about the custom fitting partthe inlays?
 
Ed / A:
If the fitting requires a customization like we talked about for a narrow foot or a wide foot, I will give the golfer the inlays right out of the van and when they receive their shoes from ECCO they just put the inlays in however we decided for the proper fit. I keep a large and varied inventory of inlays in the van so we can make sure people are properly fitted.
 
Casey / Q:
There are ECCO outlet stores as well, correct?
 
Ed / A:
Absolutely. Another option is for a golfer to go to one of our ECCO outlet stores. ECCO outlet stores are company owned and they carry the entire golf line in those stores. So if I custom fit a golfer in the van and give them the inlays they need, they can then go find one of our ECCO outlet stores and get the shoes there. They will also order a particular shoe and size if they dont happen to have it in stock. And these outlet stores also have people who work there who can help fit you as well. I am not the only fitting option for ECCO shoes. I actually have traveled to every one of our ECCO outlet stores and I have trained the people who work there how to custom fit golf shoes.
 
Casey / Q:
Why is it so important for a golfer to have a golf shoe that fits properly?
 
Ed / A:
If a shoe is not properly fit then it is going to bother the golfer and the golfer is going to think about the shoe that isnt fitting rather than about their golf game. Its going to be a negative. Its going to detract from the golf experience and may actually lead to a poorly played round. So it is very important to have a pair of golf shoes that fit properly. And with all the various options we have for fitting, I happen to think that ECCO is the way to go in golf shoes. Weve done our job at ECCO when you dont think about your golf shoes at all because they are so comfortable you just play golf and dont even think about what shoes you have on your feet. If you arent thinking about your feet or your shoes when you are playing golf then we have done our job at ECCO.
 
Casey / Q:
The ECCO shoes I see you wearing, Ed, dont have golf cleats in the bottom. They look like little nubs. Whats up with that?
 
Ed / A:
I am wearing our World Class model golf shoe but Ive replaced the golf cleats with street caps. Our golf shoes are so comfortable that a lot of people buy our shoes, take the golf cleats out, and put in what are called street caps. Champ makes our street caps for us. They go in the place of the golf cleat and then you can wear the shoes around just like normal street shoes. That says a lot about the comfort and quality of ECCO golf shoes.
 
Casey / Q:
Tell us something about ECCO leather and the process you guys use to make your golf shoes.
 
Ed / A:
We make our own leather at ECCO. We are one of the largest producers of leather on the world. BMW and Coach buy their leather from ECCO to make their products. Wilson makes their baseball gloves with our leather. We treat all of our leathers with a vegetable oil tanning process which makes it water resistant and hydro-phobic. Additionally, we are the only company in the world that uses a direct injection process to adhere our outsoles to our uppers which forms a water tight bond between the two. The uppers get placed in to a mold and then the urethane is direct injected under low pressure for about 40 seconds and in that time a chemical reaction takes place fusing the outsole to the upper. As a result there is never any separation or cracking and there is a complete water tight bond. In addition to the leather being treated some of the models have a Gortex liner as well. So, its all the highest quality leather and the most sophisticated manufacturing techniques in the business. That all goes in to the making of ECCO golf shoes.
 
Casey / Q:
Thanks for taking the time to show me the ECCO line, Ed, and for telling me about ECCO golf shoes.
 
Ed / A:
Thank you, Casey.
 
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G-Mac has Ryder Cup on mind with Genesis in grasp

By Rex HoggardFebruary 18, 2018, 2:12 am

LOS ANGELES – Graeme McDowell is four years removed from his last start in a Ryder Cup and golf is more than seven months away from this year’s matches, but then it’s never too early to start daydreaming.

Following a third-round 70 that left him tied for third place and just two strokes off the lead at the Genesis Open, McDowell was asked if the matches are on his mind.

“I feel like I've got a lot of things to do between now and getting on that team,” he said. “Standing here right now it's probably not a realistic goal, but if I continue to play the way I'm playing for the next few months, it may start to become a realistic goal.”


Full-field scores from the Genesis Open

Genesis Open: Articles, photos and videos


McDowell began his week at Riviera Country Club fresh off four consecutive missed cuts and has drifted to 219th in the Official World Golf Ranking. But his play this week has been encouraging and the Northern Irishman has always relished the opportunity to play for Europe.

“Deep down I know I'm good enough, but I've got to show, I've got to put some results on the board, I've got to take care of my business,” he said. “The greatest experience of my career bar none, and I would love to play another couple Ryder Cup matches before it's all said and done.”

McDowell does have a potential advantage this year having won the French Open twice at Le Golf National, site of this year’s matches.

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Bubba on McGrady block: 'Just trying not to get hurt'

By Will GrayFebruary 18, 2018, 1:56 am

LOS ANGELES – A detour to the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game didn’t keep Bubba Watson from leading this week’s Genesis Open, although an on-court brush with Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady nearly derailed his chances for a third tournament win.

Watson enters the final round at Riviera with a one-shot lead over Patrick Cantlay after firing a 6-under 65 in the third round. The day before, the southpaw left the course around lunch time and headed across town to participate in the All-Star festivities, where during the celebrity game he tried to score 1-on-1 over McGrady.

Watson’s move into the lane went about as well as you’d expect given their five-inch height disparity, with McGrady easily blocking the ball into the stands. According to Watson, he had only one thought as McGrady came barreling towards him across the lane.

“When I saw him, all I saw was, ‘This is my moment to get hurt,’” Watson said. “This big tank is about to hit me, and I was like, ‘Just knock it into the stands. Just don’t touch me.’ So it worked out, he didn’t touch me so it was good.”


Full-field scores from the Genesis Open

Genesis Open: Articles, photos and videos


Watson’s attempt went against his wife Angie’s advice to avoid the paint area, but it provided a fun moment for a player used to carving up fairways and greens – not to mention the guy who played 15 seasons in the NBA.

“Well, he’s got like just under 800 blocks for his career, so I gave him one more, you know?” Watson said. “It was just, it was a blast. I wanted to see how good he was, see if he could miss it. He hasn’t played in a while.”

Watson took some heat on Twitter from his PGA Tour peers for the rejection, but few were still laughing as he rocketed up the leaderboard Saturday with five birdies and an eagle. Now he has a chance to win this event for the third time since 2014 – even if he doesn’t plan to go toe-to-toe with McGrady again anytime soon.

“Some guys wanted to try to win MVP, so I was trying to pass it and let them have their fun and their moment,” Watson said. “I was just trying not to get hurt.”

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Spieth on third-round 69: 'Putter saved me'

By Rex HoggardFebruary 18, 2018, 1:37 am

LOS ANGELES – Jordan Spieth has spent the last few weeks talking about his putting for all the wrong reasons.

Two weeks ago when he missed the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open he lost 3.76 shots to the field in strokes-gained putting, and last week he wasn’t much better.

It looked like more of the same at the Genesis Open when he lost about a half stroke to the field on Day 1 with 29 putts, but since then his fortunes on the greens have gotten progressively better.

“I thought each day last week I progressed,” said Spieth, who needed just 24 putts on Friday and moved into a tie for 20th after taking 26 putts on Day 3.


Full-field scores from the Genesis Open

Genesis Open: Articles, photos and videos


Spieth said he started to feel things turn around at Pebble Beach after working with his swing coach Cameron McCormick and Steve Stricker, who has become something of a putting sounding board for players on Tour.

“I got set up really nice. I got really comfortable on the greens even though they were very difficult to putt last week and this week,” said Spieth, who rolled in a birdie putt of 14 feet at No. 12 and a par putt of 35 feet at No. 14. “Any putt, I either made it or I left it just short today. It was one of those days that with the way I struck the ball, it was an off day, but that putter saved me and allowed me to shoot the lowest score so far this week.”

Spieth’s third-round 69 is his best of the week and moved him to within seven strokes of the lead, which is held by Bubba Watson.

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Bouncing back: Watson seeks a third Riviera win

By Rex HoggardFebruary 18, 2018, 1:25 am

LOS ANGELES – Yeah, but can Tracy McGrady smoke a 7-iron from 203 yards to kick-in range for eagle on Riviera Country Club’s opening hole?

The way Bubba Watson’s mind drifts there’s no telling if, as he began his day at the Genesis Open, he revisited his play from Friday night at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. If he did, it would have been an apropos conclusion after McGrady sent his weak floater into the cheap seats midway through the second quarter.

Either way, Watson made it clear playtime was over on Saturday. The eagle at the opening par 4 ½ sent Watson on his way to a third-round 65 and the outright lead at the Left Coast event that’s starting to feel like a second home for the lefthander.

In 11 starts at Riviera, Watson already has two victories. A third on Sunday could get folks talking about renaming the layout Bubba’s Alley. Or not.

What is certain is that Watson has emerged from a funk that sent him tumbling outside the top 100 in the world ranking and he’s done it in quintessential Bubba style.

If Friday’s detour to the celebrity game received worldwide attention it was only a snapshot of Watson’s Tinseltown itinerary. He taped a segment for Jay Leno’s Garage show, visited with Ellen DeGeneres and watched a taping of The Big Bang Theory. You know, L.A. stuff.

Oh, and he’s curved and carved his way around Riviera with signature abandon.

“You've got to hit shots from every different angle, you've got to move it right to left and left to right, so it's just fun,” said Watson, who also led by one stroke when he won here in 2016, his last victory on the PGA Tour. “Then the greens are the equalizer so it makes me look like I putt as good as the other guys.”


Full-field scores from the Genesis Open

Genesis Open: Articles, photos and videos


He “hammered” a 7-iron from 203 yards at the first to 1 ½ feet for his opening eagle, chipped in at the sixth to begin a run of four birdies in five holes and played the three par 5s in 3 under to move into a familiar spot after enduring his worst season on Tour in 2017 when he failed to advance past the second playoff event.

That he’s turned the tide in Los Angeles is as predictable as it is peculiar. Despite Watson’s record at the Genesis Open, Riviera wouldn’t seem to be the tonic for all that ails Bubba.

Ask a player - any player will do - the keys to playing Riviera and the answers range wildly from it being a bomber’s course to the need for ball-striking precision. But the word that comes up with regularity is "patience."

“Patience and pretty much just not being stupid, to be honest,” Justin Thomas said when asked the key to his third-round 67 that left him tied for eighth place. “Just stop trying to hit at pins with 5-irons and 6-irons, and when I hit in the rough, realize just try to make a par. When I get in places, when I'm out of position, realize that sometimes even bogey is what I need to make.”

While that thought dovetails with conventional wisdom, Watson’s not exactly known for his patience.

“Oh, for sure I do. Haven't you seen me in the last 12 years?” Watson laughed when asked if he had patience on the course. “The tougher the golf course, the more focus I have. The tougher the shot, I've been able to focus better. When I get my mind on something, I can focus and do pretty well at the game of golf.”

While Bubba drifts between artist and antagonist with ease, both on and off the golf course, his primary challenge on Sunday is the picture of thoughtful composure.

Patrick Cantlay, who returned to the Tour last season after struggling with back issues for years, began the third round with a share of the lead but quickly faded on the front nine. He rallied on the closing loop with birdies at Nos. 10, 11 and 18, where he capped his day with a 54-footer that assured him a spot in Sunday’s final threesome. Although he’s just 25 and playing his first full season on Tour, Cantlay’s approach to the game is patently different from Watson’s.

“I feel like if I can just engage and not worry about where I am on a particular hole or what's going on and I just engage and stay present in whatever I'm doing at that particular time, it all turns out better than what you would expect,” explained Cantlay, who attended nearby UCLA and played dozens of practice rounds at Riviera. “Making sure you stay present and having that confidence in yourself that if you just click in and focus, it all will be good and that's kind of the head space I'm in.”

It will be a clash of wildly contrasting styles on Sunday – Watson, who admitted he “(doesn’t) focus very well,” and Cantlay, whose approach to the mental side of the game borders on the clinical.

One player relishes the challenge of hyper-focus, the other is Bubba, but that’s not to say Watson is void of patience, only that he needs to be properly motivated.

“Like last night when Tracy McGrady was coming at me, I was focused on not getting hurt and I didn't, so it worked out,” Watson smiled.

And besides, T-Mac can’t bomb it like Bubba.