Golf Channel to Deliver Comprehensive Coverage of the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show, "The Major of Golf Business," Tuesday-Friday, Jan. 24-27

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJanuary 20, 2017, 2:02 pm

Golf Channel Signs Long Term Agreement to Continue Live Coverage of the PGA Merchandise Show

Bubba Watson, John Daly and Annika Sorenstam Headline Guests Appearing on Golf Channel During PGA Show Week

 Morning Drive, Golf Central to Give Viewers Insider Access Featuring Interviews with Industry Leaders and Insight on the Latest Products and Trends for 2017

 Golf Channel Instruction Programs to Originate from On-Site: School of Golf at Demo Day, The Golf Fix from the Merchandise Show Floor

 

ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 19, 2017) – Golf Channel announced plans for its comprehensive coverage of the 64th PGA Merchandise Show – the largest golf convention and business gathering in the world – with nearly 20 hours of news and instruction coverage Tuesday, Jan. 24 – Friday, Jan. 27. Golf Channel’s coverage will span across the four days, beginning Tuesday with the “PGA Show Outdoor Demo Day” from the Orange County National Golf Center & Lodge driving range in Winter Garden, Fla., and continuing Wednesday-Friday at the PGA Merchandise Show from the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Coverage will provide viewers with an insider look at the PGA Show, featuring live interviews with industry leaders, professional golfers from the world’s major tours, PGA of America members and a comprehensive overview of the latest products and trends for 2017 from some of the nearly 1,000 golf brands exhibiting on-site throughout the week. Scheduled guests include Bubba Watson, John Daly, Annika Sorenstam, Colin Montgomerie, Bryson DeChambeau, Russell Knox and Nancy Lopez, among others.

Golf Channel, the PGA of America and PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions, a division of Reed Exhibitions, also announced today a long-term extension for Golf Channel to continue expansive live coverage of the PGA Merchandise Show.

“The PGA of America is delighted that Golf Channel will further deliver to its viewers special access into the PGA Merchandise Show, as well as a unique perspective about its dynamic impact on the game,” said PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua. “As we kick off the 2017 golf year and celebrate the PGA Professional, the PGA Merchandise Show will highlight the vital role PGA Members and our 41 PGA Sections nationwide have in advancing and growing the game.”

“The PGA Merchandise Show is the largest gathering of the golf industry every year, and Golf Channel continues to elevate its coverage to give our viewers a comprehensive first-look at the latest trends in the game, including equipment and fashion,” said Phil Piazza, senior vice president, programming, Golf Channel. “The week also provides an opportunity to showcase the significant contributions the PGA of America and its more than 28,000 PGA Professionals provide in continuing to make the game more accessible for golfers nationwide.”

PGA SHOW OUTDOOR DEMO DAY COVERAGE

Golf Channel’s coverage of “Demo Day” will begin Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 7 a.m. ET with Morning Drive airing live and on-site to highlight the latest in golf equipment from the expansive driving range at Orange County National. Lauren Thompson, Charlie Rymer and Matt Ginella host Morning Drive, featuring interviews and product demonstrations.

PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW FLOOR COVERAGE

Coverage of the PGA Show will transition indoors to the Orange County Convention Center, Wednesday-Friday, Jan. 25-27 to give viewers an all-access tour of the PGA Show and the nearly 1,000 golf brands exhibiting on-site. In addition to Morning Drive, the network’s evening news show, Golf Central, also will provide on-site reports throughout the week, with featured interviews and segments originating from the PGA Show floor.

PRODUCTION ELEMENTS

Coverage from the Convention Center will originate from a large, multi-purpose space elevated above the PGA Show floor, with three set configurations for interviews, along with a putting green and a golf simulator for product demonstrations. Golf Channel also will feature the “Fly Cam,” a unique camera technology made popular in televising football and other sports. Suspended above the PGA Show floor, the Fly Cam will span more than 700 feet, giving viewers an aerial viewpoint of the vast floor and the exhibitors.

SCHOOL OF GOLF & THE GOLF FIX SHOW PRODUCTION FROM ON-SITE

Two of Golf Channel’s signature instruction programs will take their show on the road in conjunction with PGA Show Week. A new episode of School of Golf will be shot on Tuesday, Jan. 24 from the PGA Show Demo Day at Orange County National, which will air that night at 8 p.m. ET, hosted by Martin Hall and Blair O’Neal. On Thursday, Jan. 26, The Golf Fix will shoot its episode from the PGA Show floor at Golf Channel’s dedicated set, scheduled to air Monday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. ET. Hosted by 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year Michael Breed, the show will include special guests and interactions with the live audience.

GOLF CHANNEL ACADEMY INSTRUCTION / LONG DRIVE COMPETITION

Wednesday from 1-4:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel Academy coaches will provide on-site instruction clinics at Golf Channel’s simulator set on the Show floor. In addition, members of the World Long Drive Association will be on-hand for long drive competitions for Show attendees.

GOLFNOW EXHIBITING AT BOOTH #2173

GolfNow, the industry’s leader in golf-related technology and services, will be exhibiting Wednesday-Friday from Booth #2173. In addition to showcasing advanced technologies that have created the largest tee-time marketplace in golf, GolfNow also will be educating course owners and operators about innovations and services designed to help them run their businesses more efficiently and successfully. GolfNow Business experts will be on hand at GolfNow’s 2,400-square-foot booth, offering its course partners technology demonstrations, as well as consultation on any of the GolfNow Services: GolfNow Plus, a top-line focused consultative performance system for golf courses, including marketing, sales and automated pricing; GolfNow Answers, a call center for golf courses, answering customer calls day and night; and GolfNow Ride, a no-cost purchasing program that saves course operators from 6-35 percent on items they buy day-to-day, such as food, office supplies and agricultural products.

DIGITAL & STREAMING

Golf Channel’s PGA Merchandise Show coverage will be available to stream via Golf Channel Digital Tuesday-Friday. Comprehensive online editorial coverage also will be available throughout the week, with contributions from writers Jay Coffin, Rex Hoggard and Will Gray. Matt Adams, Chantel McCabe and Bailey Mosier will provide video coverage for Golf Channel Digital. Golf Channel’s social media platforms will keep viewers engaged in the conversation about what’s generating buzz at the #PGASHOW throughout the week via the network’s social media channels – @GolfChannel and @GCMorningDrive on Twitter, @GolfChannel and @GCMorningDrive on Instagram and GolfChannel and GCMorningDrive on Facebook.

BROADCAST TEAM

Golf Channel’s expansive coverage of the PGA Merchandise Show will utilize several on-air personalities from the network’s news division, beginning with Matt Ginella, Charlie Rymer and Lauren Thompson offering coverage of the PGA Show Outdoor Demo Day on Tuesday. In addition to Rymer and Thompson, Wednesday-Friday coverage from the PGA Show Floor will include Matt Adams, Ginella, Damon Hack, Gary Williams, Cara Robinson, Chantel McCabe and Blair O’Neal.

PGA Merchandise Show Week Programming Schedule: Jan. 24-27 (All Times Eastern)

Tuesday

Morning Drive

7-10:45 a.m. (Live)

10:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m.   (Replay)

Tuesday

Golf Central

5-6 p.m. (Live)

11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.   (Replay)

Tuesday

School of Golf

8-9 p.m.

 

Wednesday

Morning Drive

7-11:30 a.m. (Live)

 

Wednesday

Golf Central

5-6 p.m. (Live)

11 p.m.-Midnight   (Replay)

Thursday

Morning Drive

8:30-11:30 a.m. (Live)

 

Thursday

Golf Central

7-8 p.m. (Live)

 

Friday

Morning Drive

8:30-11:30 a.m. (Live)

 

Friday

Golf Central

7-8 p.m. (Live)

 

Monday

The Golf Fix

7-8 p.m.

 

 

-NBC Sports Group-

Open Qualifying Series kicks off with Aussie Open

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 4:24 pm

The 147th Open is nearly eight months away, but there are still major championship berths on the line this week in Australia.

The Open Qualifying Series kicks off this week, a global stretch of 15 event across 10 different countries that will be responsible for filling 46 spots in next year's field at Carnoustie. The Emirates Australian Open is the first event in the series, and the top three players among the top 10 who are not otherwise exempt will punch their tickets to Scotland.

In addition to tournament qualifying opportunities, the R&A will also conduct four final qualifying events across Great Britain and Ireland on July 3, where three spots will be available at each site.

Here's a look at the full roster of tournaments where Open berths will be awarded:

Emirates Australian Open (Nov. 23-26): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

Joburg Open (Dec. 7-10): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

SMBC Singapore Open (Jan. 18-21): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

Mizuno Open (May 24-27): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

HNA Open de France (June 28-July 1): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

The National (June 28-July 1): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (July 5-8): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

The Greenbrier Classic (July 5-8): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (July 12-15): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

John Deere Classic (July 12-15): Top player (not otherwise exempt) among top five and ties

Stock Watch: Lexi, Justin rose or fall this week?

By Ryan LavnerNovember 21, 2017, 2:36 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Jon Rahm (+9%): Just imagine how good he’ll be in the next few years, when he isn’t playing all of these courses for the first time. With no weaknesses in his game, he’s poised for an even bigger 2018.

Austin Cook (+7%): From Monday qualifiers to Q-School to close calls on the Web.com, it hasn’t been an easy road to the big leagues. Well, he would have fooled us, because it looked awfully easy as the rookie cruised to a win in just his 14th Tour start.

Ariya (+6%): Her physical tools are as impressive as any on the LPGA, and if she can shore up her mental game – she crumbled upon reaching world No. 1 – then she’ll become the world-beater we always believed she could be.  

Tommy Fleetwood (+4%): He ran out of gas in Dubai, but no one played better on the European Tour this year than Fleetwood, Europe’s new No. 1, who has risen from 99th to 18th in the world.   

Lexi (+1%): She has one million reasons to be pleased with her performance this year … but golf fans are more likely to remember the six runners-up and two careless mistakes (sloppy marking at the ANA and then a yippy 2-footer in the season finale) that cost her a truly spectacular season.


FALLING

J-Rose (-1%): Another high finish in Dubai, but his back-nine 38, after surging into the lead, was shocking. It cost him not just the tournament title, but also the season-long race.  

Hideki (-2%): After getting blown out at the Dunlop Phoenix, he made headlines by saying there’s a “huge gap” between he and winner Brooks Koepka. Maybe something was lost in translation, but Matsuyama being too hard on himself has been a familiar storyline the second half of the year. For his sake, here’s hoping he loosens up.

Golf-ball showdown (-3%): Recent comments by big-name stars and Mike Davis’ latest salvo about the need for a reduced-flight ball could set up a nasty battle between golf’s governing bodies and manufacturers.

DL3 (-4%): Boy, the 53-year-old is getting a little too good at rehab – in recent years, he has overcome a neck fusion, foot injury, broken collarbone and displaced thumb. Up next is hip-replacement surgery.

LPGA Player of the Year (-5%): Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu tied for the LPGA’s biggest prize, with 162 points. How is there not a tiebreaker in place, whether it’s scoring average or best major performance? Talk about a buzzkill.

Titleist's Uihlein fires back at Davis over distance

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 12:59 am

Consider Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein unmoved by Mike Davis' comments about the evolution of the golf ball – and unhappy.

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, the outlet which first published Davis' comments on Sunday, Uihlein took aim at the idea that golf ball distance gains are hurting the sport by providing an additional financial burden to courses.

"Is there any evidence to support this canard … the trickle-down cost argument?” he wrote (via Golf.com). “Where is the evidence to support the argument that golf course operating costs nationwide are being escalated due to advances in equipment technology?"

Pointing the blame elsewhere, Uihlein criticized the choices and motivations of modern architects.

"The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate," he wrote.

The Titleist CEO even went as far as to suggest that Tiger Woods' recent comments that "we need to do something about the golf ball" were motivated by the business interersts of Woods' ball sponsor, Bridgestone.

"Given Bridgestone’s very small worldwide market share and paltry presence in professional golf, it would seem logical they would have a commercial motive making the case for a reduced distance golf ball," he added.

Acushnet Holdings, Titleist's parent company, announced in September that Uihlein would be stepping down as the company's CEO at the end of this year but that he will remain on the company's board of directors.

Class of 2011: The groups before The Group

By Mercer BaggsNovember 20, 2017, 9:00 pm

We’ve been grouping things since the beginning, as in The Beginning, when God said this is heaven and this is earth, and you’re fish and you’re fowl.

God probably wasn’t concerned with marketing strategies at the time and how #beastsoftheearth would look with a hashtag, but humans have evolved into such thinking (or not evolved, depending on your thinking).

We now have all manner of items lumped into the cute, the catchy and the kitschy. Anything that will capture our attention before the next thing quickly wrests said attention away.

Modern focus, in a group sense in the golf world, is on the Class of 2011. This isn’t an arbitrary assembly of players based on world ranking or current form. It’s not a Big Pick A Number.

There’s an actual tie that binds as it takes a specific distinction to be part of the club. It’s a group of 20-somethings who graduated from high school in the aforementioned year, many who have a PGA Tour card, a handful of who have PGA Tour wins, and a couple of who have major titles.

It’s a deep and talented collective, one for which our knowledge should continue to expand as resumes grow.

Do any “classes” in golf history compare? Well, it’s not like we’ve long been lumping successful players together based on when they completed their primary education. But there are other notable groups of players, based primarily on birthdate, relative competition and accomplishment.

Here’s a few on both the men’s and women’s side:

BORN IN 1912

Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
Feb. 4, 1912 Byron Nelson 52 5
May 27, 1912 Sam Snead 82 7
Aug. 13, 1912 Ben Hogan 64 9

Born six months within one another. Only a threesome, but a Hall of Fame trio that combined for 198 PGA Tour wins and 21 majors.


BORN IN 1949

Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
Sept. 4, 1949 Tom Watson 39 8
Dec. 5, 1949 Lanny Wadkins 21 1
Dec. 9, 1949 Tom Kite 19 1

Only 96 days separate these three Hall of Fame players. Extend the reach into March of 1950 and you'll get two-time U.S. Open winner Andy North.


BORN IN 1955

Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
Jan. 30, 1955 Curtis Strange 17 2
Jan. 30, 1955 Payne Stewart 11 3
Feb. 10, 1955 Greg Norman 20 2

Another trio of Hall of Fame players. Strange and Stewart were born on the same day with Norman 11 days later. Fellow PGA Tour winners born in 1955: Scott Simpson, Scott Hoch and Loren Roberts.


WITHIN A CALENDAR YEAR, 1956-57

Birthdate Player LPGA wins Major wins
Feb. 22, 1956 Amy Alcott 29 5
Oct. 14, 1956 Beth Daniel 33 1
Oct. 27, 1956 Patty Sheehan 35 6
Jan. 6, 1957 Nancy Lopez 48 3

A little arbitrary here, but go with it. Four Hall of Famers on the women's side, all born within one year of each other. That's an average (!) career of 36 tour wins and nearly four majors.


EUROPE'S BIG 5

Birthdate Player Euro (PGA Tour) wins Major wins
April 9, 1957 Seve Ballesteros 50 (9) 5
July 18, 1957 Nick Faldo 30 (9) 6
Aug. 27, 1957 Bernhard Langer 42 (3) 2
Feb. 9, 1958 Sandy Lyle 18 (6) 2
March 2, 1958 Ian Woosnam 29 (2) 1

The best 'class' of players Europe has to offer. Five born within a year of one another. Five Hall of Fame members. Five who transformed and globalized European golf.


WITHIN A CALENDAR YEAR, 1969-70

Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
Sept. 12, 1969 Angel Cabrera 3 2
Oct. 17, 1969 Ernie Els 19 4
May 12, 1970 Jim Furyk 17 1
May 12, 1970 Mike Weir 8 1
June 16, 1970 Phil Mickelson 42 5

Not a tight-knit group, but a little more global bonding in accordance to the PGA Tour's increased international reach. Add in worldwide wins – in excess of 200 combined – and this group is even more impressive.


BORN IN 1980

Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
Jan. 9, 1980 Sergio Garcia 10 1
July 16, 1980 Adam Scott 13 1
July 30, 1980 Justin Rose 8 1

Could be three future Hall of Fame members here.

Editor's note: Golf Channel's editorial research unit contributed.