MACKENZIE TO BE USGA PRESIDENT: Minnesota trial lawyer Reed K. Mackenzie has been nominated to succeed Trey Holland as president of the U.S. Golf Association. He will be officially elected to a one-year term at the USGAs annual meeting in February. (USGA nominees are usually elected without incident. They typically serve two one-year terms.)
Mackenzie, who has been a member of the USGA Executive Committee since 1992, has also served on the Implement & Ball Committee since that time. He was I&B chairman between 1994 and 1997.
Some equipment manufacturers have privately included Mackenzie on the list of equipment-limitation hardliners, a matter of special concern in this age of debate over golf ball distance and spring-like effect in driving clubs. But Mackenzie doesnt believe his presidency will intensify the USGAs agenda ' or soften it.
Im sure it wont, Mackenzie said Thursday from his Minneapolis office. Im supportive of what were trying to do, and I dont plan to steer anyone in any particular direction.
Mackenzie also said he plans to continue discussions between the USGA and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews with an eye toward harmonizing the ruling bodies disagreement over spring-like effect in drivers. The USGA currently limits the coefficient of restitution in such clubs; the R&A does not.
Rumors circulated in the equipment industry over the summer that USGA officials encouraged prominent golf clubs to not stock Callaway Golfs non-conforming ERC II driver in their pro shops. Mackenzie said that never happened.
Our policy has been to never talk about particular clubs or particular manufacturers, but to encourage the application of the Rules of Golf across the board, Mackenzie said.
Callaway introduced the ERC II in October 2000. On December 8, 2000, the USGA issued a press release reiterating that scores turned in for a USGA Handicap must be made in conformance with the Rules of Golf, including rules concerning equipment. The release did not mention specific clubs or manufacturers, but referred readers to an online list of nonconforming equipment.
CLUB CAR LAYOFFS: Golf car power Club Car has had to cut its work force for the first time in the companys 39-year history. The Augusta, Georgia company, which splits about 90 percent of the golf car market with crosstown competitor E-Z-GO, laid off 25 employees. Club Car blamed depressed golf course demand for the decision. Many of its customers are shelving golf car purchase plans as a result of business downturns caused by the September 11 terrorist attacks, Club Car said.
Club Car still employs more than 1,000 people, mostly at its Augusta headquarters.
GOLDEN BEAR ENDORSES HYPERTENSION DRUG: He seems calm enough, but even Jack Nicklaus, 61, has to keep a lid on high blood pressure. Now the Bear of Gold has signed on to endorse Altace, a drug hes been taking for a year now to control his own blood pressure. Under the multi-year deal, Nicklaus will appear in print and television ads starting next year.
The parties wouldnt comment on the details of the deal, but they characterized it as one of the most extensive of Nicklaus career.