NIKES GOT A BRAND NEW BAG: Three new golf bags from Nike will be available Sept. 1. The Tour Air Carry will have dual straps that use Nikes Air technology and a proprietary flexible stand system. Suggested retail will be $175.
The Verdana cart bag is designed for women, Nike says. It has a removable accessory pouch, and the entire bag is one inch shorter to accommodate shorter womens clubs. Its also 25 percent lighter. Suggested retail will be $140.
And evidently the Sunday bag is not dead. The Skinny Bag, suggested retail $50, is designed for those coupla-club days. It weighs just two pounds.
Nike claims to be the leader in the $125 million-per-year golf bag category with 19 percent of the market. (The company cites data from industry metrics company Golf Datatech.)
INKS A-FLYIN: Well, theres endorsement money out there somewhere. Wilson Golf continues to gather Senior PGA Tour pros to play its True golf ball; Wayne Levi will join Ben Crenshaw and Bill Kratzert on the Wilson staff. Levi turned 50 Feb. 22; he has already had four top-10 finishes. He has racked up more than $394,000 in earnings.
And Tom Lehman has signed a deal with Pro Tour Memorabilia to produce photographs and memorabilia of his career. Pro Tour is the official collectible company of the PGA Tour. At first, the Lehman collection will include signed photos, balls, clubheads, PGA Tour flags and similar items.
PGA AND JACK FIRST-TEE IT UP: The PGA of America and Jack Nicklaus have donated $210,000 to 25 First Tee chapters to promote their efforts to bring golf to kids who might not otherwise have gotten into it.
The lucky recipients of $10,000 PGA teaching grants are First Tee chapters in Ft. Smith, Ark., Plymouth, Minn., Salina, Kan., Elkton, Fla., Olympia, Wash., Minneapolis, Tulsa, Okla., Smyrna, Tenn., Chattanooga, Tenn., Sacramento, Calif., Columbus, Ohio, , Gladstone, Ore., Hartford, Conn., Galloway, Ohio, northeastern Illinois and Wisconsin.
Receiving $5,000 PGA/Nicklaus teaching grants are First Tee chapters in Davenport, Iowa, Memphis, Tenn., Columbus, Ga., Trinity, Texas, San Antonio, Columbus, Ohio, and two chapters in Knoxville, Ky.