EXECUTIVE WOMEN WEIGH IN ON AUGUSTA ISSUE: Although there has been some question among her critics as to whether Dr. Martha Burk, head of the National Council of Womens Organizations, truly represents American womens desires on the issue of membership at Augusta National Golf Club, at least one constituency has spoken up and wants to be counted.
The Executive Womens Golf Association, which claims 17,000 members in 104 chapters in the United States and Canada, issued a carefully worded statement Sept. 27 saying that while it respects private association rights, Augusta National steps into the public arena when it stages the Masters. Written in a way that seems to favor encouragement over shrillness, the EWGA statement urges the club to admit women sooner rather than later.
The exclusion of women is particularly disturbing to the EWGA, the statement continues, since our membership consists primarily of business women who love the game of golf and value its importance in their careers.
The EWGA was founded in 1991 and is based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Its declared mission is to promote and foster a spirit of acceptance, dignity and respect for career-oriented women golfers.
Augusta National officials had no comment on the EWGA statement.
MORE NEW CALLAWAY PRODUCTS: In addition to the recently announced Great Big Bertha II driver, Callaway Golf will soon be ready with fairway woods for that line, new X-series irons, and a new family of putters under the Odyssey label.
The X-16 irons join the Steelhead group of stainless steel Callaway irons. This version is all about the weight ' moving it, that is, to the outsides of the club for improved forgiveness. A special notch design helps distribute the weight, Callaway says, as well as the variable face thickness and 360-degree undercut features Callaway has used on earlier designs.
Compared to the X-14, an earlier Callaway stainless introduction, the 16s have shorter blade lengths and wider top lines, again to move the weight to where designers wanted it. There is a Pro Series X-16 available too, with less offset and a little more of a bladey look, all with the intention of creating the lower, more boring ball flight skilled players often prefer.
Both sub-models have a satin finish and a sandblasted hitting area.
Shipping is scheduled for January. Suggested retail for a set of eight irons, in either sub-model, will be $1,120 for graphite shafts and $880 for steel.
The new Odyssey putters, called DFX, come in five head shapes. All of them will contain the soft Stronomic face insert that was so popular in the Rossie and other putters in the Dual Force line from Odysseys pre-Callaway days. But the latest Stronomic has been reformulated to feel good against the newest golf ball covers, made from urethane and other updated materials, Callaway says.
A full range of length options will be available in the DFX line, Callaway says. Loft for all putters is three degrees; lie angle is 70 degrees. Suggested retail will be $140 each; look for January arrivals in your pro shop.
New fairway woods are ready to match the resurrected and redesigned Great Big Bertha II titanium driver. These clubs have a weight distribution story as well; a weight chip inside each clubs sole keeps the center of gravity down where it should be, say Callaway designers. Loft options go all the way to 11-wood for right-handers (to 7-wood for lefties). Suggested retail for each club will be $440 when they arrive in stores in January.
TEE BOXES FOR THE SCHOOL LUNCHBOX CROWD: When the Pine Lakes Golf Course on Jekyll Island, Ga. reopens Oct. 7, there will be three new sets of tees at lengths not usually found: 5,012 yards; 3,543 yards; and 1,808 yards.
The course added the toddler tees as part of the Personal Tee program, developed by childrens clubmaker U.S. Kids Golf three years ago to encourage participation ' and a desire to stay with the game ' among kids and beginners.
To a kid or a beginner standing on the tee of a 400-yard hole, the green looks like its in the next state, said Dan Van Horn, founder and president of U.S. Kids. How much fun could it be to take 20 minutes to play the hole and make a 13 when dad makes a 5? No wonder kids leave the game, families become frustrated trying to play together and course owners complain about how long it takes kids to play.
The program is in place in some way at more than 300 courses, but Pine Lakes is the first to have the new tees on all 18 holes. U.S. Kids has held its kids championship there. The Personal Tee program is a component of Van Horns plan to add instruction and competition to his equipment business, hoping each element will feed interest in the other two.