WE HAVE A POOL AND A PONDbut a pond isnt good for Titleist. The Acushnet Co., maker of Titleist and Pinnacle golf balls, is suing Nitro Leisure Products, alleging that Nitros business of reselling balls recovered from ponds and other hazards infringes on Acushnet trademarks, among other things.
In a complaint filed in federal court in California, Acushnet accuses Nitro of grinding the trademarks off of found balls, then stamping them with various trademarks, with the result that some non-Acushnet balls are stamped with a Titleist or Pinnacle brand.
Nitro must have been tipped off; it filed its own complaint against Acushnet Jan. 10, but has not served it yet.
THE HOGAN HAND: The Hawk himself didnt often wear a golf glove, but his name will be on a new one this year. Spalding Sports Worldwide will bring out the Apex glove under its Ben Hogan brand in February. The glove, made with Australian reserve leather, will retail for $20.
LONG IRONS BEGONE: Japanese company Kasco is so confident in its new K2K utility club that it wants golfers to trade in their long irons. For the companys Long Iron Redemption Program, golfers will be able to attend demo days, where they can hit their long irons and then try the K2K, which is designed to make long approaches easier. K2K buyers will then be invited to turn in their long irons for a discount on the K2K.
No word yet what will happen to all those long irons.
AGENT BUYS EXECUTIVE: Executive Sports, that is. Ken Kennerly, chief of Floridas International Golf Partners, has bought tournament management company Executive Sports International. ESI works on 25 PGA Tour, Senior PGA Tour and LPGA events, including The Memorial Tournament and the McDonalds Championship.
On the agent side of his business, Kennerly represents Hale Irwin, Duffy Waldorf, Glen Day, Kirk Triplett, Brandel Chamblee, Robin Freeman, Dicky Pride and others. Also on the roster are broadcasters Jack Whitaker and Charlie Rymer, and instructor Dean Reinmuth.
SIGNINGS: Hat, sleeve, and chest space is a typical sell for endorsements, but wrist space is relatively new. Tiger Woods wears a Rolex, and now so will expected LPGA sensation Beth Bauer. Her other endorsers are Cleveland Golf, Tommy Hilfiger and Callaway Golf.
Callaway has signed 2000 U.S. Amateur champion Jeff Quinney to play its clubs and balls. Its a head-to-almost-toe deal, including bag and hat, and an Odyssey putter. Along with Ty Tryon, Nick Dougherty and Charles Howell III, Quinney continues Callaways efforts to get more youth into an endorsement staff that includes the young-at-heart Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.