Business Edge 1801


The latest:
NO, CANADA: For the time being, at least, Callaway Golf will have to leave the Royal Canadian Golf Association alone. A United States District Court judge in California dismissed Callaway's suit against the RCGA on the grounds that the U.S. court does not have jurisdiction over the RCGA.
Callaway had sued the RCGA alleging restraint of trade with respect to the Callaway ERC drivers. The drivers do not conform to the U.S. Golf Association's limits on spring-like effect off the face of the club. Once the USGA listed the Callaway clubs as nonconforming, the RCGA followed suit, relying on USGA test results instead of testing independently.
The suit arose after Callaway introduced its first ERC last March in Japan. That club was intended to be marketed everywhere but the United States. In October, Callaway introduced another nonconforming club, the ERC II, which is intended for sale worldwide.
Personal jurisdiction is a threshold issue in any lawsuit. Therefore, the dismissal is not a ruling on the merits of the case. Callaway plans an appeal.
REDOING THE CATALOG AT ADAMS: After the introduction of its new hybrid-shafted Tight Lies GT irons last fall, Adams Golf plans a whole new product line, including drivers, fairway woods and wedges.
No one questions the club-design savvy of company chairman and CEO Barney Adams. But investors have been critical of the financial performance. Adams stock, which trades on NASDAQ under the symbol ADGO, has been mired below a dollar per share for some time. Does Adams hope the new line will jump-start the stock performance?
'I care deeply about Wall Street, but I don't have any control over it,' Adams says. 'But this will be the first time in the history of Adams Golf that we've had a complete sales force and complete product line at the same time. So it's kind of a new beginning for us.'
As usual, Adams cares deeply about product too. But he's not giving away too much too soon.
'As far as the driver goes, my goal has always been to have a driver where the head plays as long or longer than anyone else,' Adams says. 'In addition, we're looking at a shaft technology that's superior in and of itself. And that's all I can say right now. But I'm also proud of the fact that suggested retail will be $100 less than anyone else.
'The wedges are classic Watson signature wedges that will have the GT shafts in them; they're just beautiful. And the fairway woods will be a little longer than irons, which will make them more playable.'
The new entries will make their debut at this month's PGA Merchandise Show, Jan. 26-29 in Orlando.
STAT DU JOUR: To err with a forged iron is human, but the forgiveness of investment cast clubs is divine. More than 90 percent of recreational players use cast irons. On the PGA Tour, cast still beats forged, but less handily: 65 percent of Tour players use cast clubs. Source: The Darrell Survey Golf Equipment Almanac 2000.