CLEAR THE LOADING DOCK: The T-40 fairway woods from Nike will reach stores this week. Nike touts the club as a lift-maker, largely because of a 40-gram weight plug in the sole that takes the heft back and down.
Tour users of the club include John Cook, Pat Perez, and recent winner Trevor Immelman.
There are oversize and tour versions in 3-, 4-, 5-, 7- and 9-wood lofts (that covers 15 through 23 degrees). Suggested retail: $279 per club with graphite shafts, $229 with steel.
CALLAWAY TALLIES UP: Annual financial results are in for Callaway Golf, and the company has once again managed to increase net income on decreased sales.
Net sales for 2002 were $792.1 million, down 3 percent from $816.2 million in 2001. But net income for 2002 was $69.4 million ($1.04 per share), a 19 percent jump from $58.4 million (84 cents per share) in 2001, the company reported Feb. 6.
For the fourth quarter of 2002, net sales were $122.5 million, up 16 percent from the $105.3 million in net sales for the comparable period in 2001. But Callaway took a net loss of nearly $5.6 million (8 cents per share) in 2002s fourth quarter. The year before, Callaway weathered a fourth-quarter net loss of nearly $9.2 million (14 cents per share).
Sales of woods in 2002, at $310 million, were off 21 percent compared to 2001 for Callaway. But putter, accessory and other items accounted for $172.6 million in sales for 2002, up 45 percent from 2001. Golf ball sales, at $66 million in 2002, were up 20 percent over 2001.
The ratio of domestic sales to international didnt move much in 2002: U.S. sales were $438.7 million, down 1 percent compared to 2001, and international sales were $353.4 million, down 5 percent versus the year before.
INCREASING WATTAGE FOR FIRST TEE: A year ago, 21 Edwin Watts Golf Shops started taking in used equipment from golfers and began turning it over to The First Tee, the national program that encourages kids to take up the game. The tally after 12 months: More than 3,500 clubs, bags and balls have been donated.
To be able to collect more than 3,500 items to help kids learn to play golf is a tribute to our loyal customers who donated the equipment, and of course to the staffs at the 21 stores said Ronnie Watts, co-president and co-founder. We look forward to an even bigger year in 2003.
Watts plans to add more stores to the program as First Tee chapters open in new markets. For now, stores participating in the program can be found in Jacksonville, Fla.; Palm Beach, Fla.; Palm Harbor, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; Atlanta; Baton Rouge, La.; Birmingham, Ala.; Ridgeland, Miss.; Memphis, Tenn.; Dallas; Houston; San Antonio; and Virginia Beach, Va.
NEW INDUSTRY GROUP ELECTS OFFICERS: Women in the Golf Industry, a group dedicated to curing the under-representation of women in the golf business, has elected its first-ever officers.
They are: Alyson Ramsey, tournament director of the New Jersey State Golf Association, president; Gail Billingsley, marketing director for Reed Exhibition, the company that runs the PGA Merchandise Show, first vice president; Karen Cantrell, president and CEO of Lady Golf retail stores, second vice president; Rose Harper-Elder, owner of The Grass Ceiling, recording secretary; Barb Hanson, owner of Corporate Golf Services, corresponding secretary; and Deborah Thode, executive assistant at Palmer Course Design, treasurer.
CLOSING THOUGHT: Does a practice bunker in the back yard increase a homes resale value?