WEEKEND WITH ARNIE: Well, Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday, actually, but it will probably feel like a weekend. The American Society of Golf Course Architects is offering limited spots in its spring Architects Forum March 10-12, 2003, at Arnold Palmers Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Fla.
For a mere $7,500, course design enthusiasts get to stay at Bay Hill, play golf with the King, and talk about everything from proper green drainage to the tyranny of flat lies in the fairway. The program also features noted course designers Alice and Pete Dye.
Definitely a gift for the golfer who has everything. Call the ASGCA at 312-372-7090 for more information.
NIKE PREPARES BIG TOUR PUSH: A new golf ball model, the details of which it wont divulge yet, has Nike signing tour players left and right, say sources close to the company. Upwards of 50 new staff players will be added between now and mid-January, including some big names. The mystery ball is expected to make its debut at the PGA Merchandise Show Jan. 24-27 in Orlando.
OCTOBER ROUNDS DOWN: Americans played 6.3 percent less rounds in October than they did in the same month in 2001, says the latest survey sponsored by the National Golf Course Owners Association and industry metrics leader Golf Datatech. The year-to-date drop in rounds is 2.3 percent.
Some regional losers: Middle Atlantic (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania), 15 percent; West North Central (Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas), 23.1 percent; and West South Central (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas), 18.5 percent. Winners: Florida, 6.9 percent; Pacific (Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Hawaii), 5.4 percent.
Business may not be what it could be, but weather may be culprit too, considering the time of year. Witness Canada: Rounds are down in every province or region except British Columbia, where they are up 14.1 percent. Ask any Vancouverite, and he or she will tell you that the proximity of the Pacific Ocean can keep things warm enough to permit golf year round ' although you may want a rainsuit.
TIME FOR SHARPENING: This will be the last Business Edge of 2002. Our re-honed Edge will return Jan. 8, 2003. Thanks for all your support this year. Keep those news notes, comments, and suggestions coming. You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just click here.
Happy Holidays! ' Adam Barr