GOLF BALL WINNERS.AND LOSERS: Even with allowances for sluggish cold-weather sales in the northern states, January's golf ball numbers could raise an eyebrow or two. Some highlights from the on-course/off-course golf shops report by golf industry statistical gurus Golf Datatech:
Nearly 730,000 dozen golf balls left the shelves in January, down from more than 764,000 in January 2000.
Titleist's overall unit share of the market is off slightly month-to-month, from 28.7 percent to 27.7 percent - but the new Pro V1 jumped from 3.7 percent of the market to 4.9 percent.
Precept's MC Lady, now a cult favorite, sold an alarming 32,000 dozen in January, giving it a unit share of 4.4 percent of the on-course/off-course market, up from 3.1 percent in December. The next best-selling SKU in the Precept family was the MC Spin, which sold a little less than 8,000 dozen.
With all its ball models, Nike held steady from December to January at 5.6 percent of the on-course/off-course unit share, but the Tour Accuracy - the model Tiger Woods plays - sold more than 12 thousand dozen and inched up in share from 1.5 percent in December to 1.7 percent in January.
SCOURING THE SHELVES FOR STRATAS: In other golf ball news, Spalding Sports Worldwide reports that its new Strata Tour Ultimate model is sold out for new orders through April 23. The ball started shipping Feb. 12. Spalding credits interest in the new ball for 1.6 million hits on its website, www.Stratagolf.com. The Chicopee, Mass.-based sporting goods company is calling the Tour Ultimate the best new product introduction in the company's history.
BADD GUYS: The latest to sport the swoosh will be Australasian Tour Order of Merit winner Aaron Baddeley, who has signed a three-year endorsement deal to play Nike golf balls and wear Nike gloves and shoes. Like Tiger, he'll play the Tour Accuracy golf ball.