BETWEEN ALL THE CHAT, A NEW GOLF BALL: With all the talking, it was easy to be distracted from the fact that Lee Trevino was introducing a new Spalding golf ball during Mondays Battle at Bighorn. Trevino was playing the new Top-Flite Tour, a value-priced, three-piece ball that he helped develop.
In keeping with the soft-ball trend, the new balls core is only 66 compression (remember when 90 and 100 were the only choices?) and a cover made of a material called Spintack, which provides shot-stopping control, Spalding says. The intermediate layer is a firm ionomer, which Spalding says provides extra distance.
The ball will be in the $20-per-dozen price group, and is meant to compete with Titleists NXT and HVC, Callaways CB1, the Maxfli Noodle and Precepts MC Lady.
Spalding introduced a new premium segment ball, the Ben Hogan Apex, at the U.S. Open in June.
WAIT; I THOUGHT THEY WERE ON DIFFERENT TEAMS: Just for the Battle of Bighorn, it seems. Jack Nicklaus and Sergio Garcia will each design a golf course for the new Wildflower Resort Co. project in Grand Prairie, Texas, near Dallas. The courses will be ready in late 2004.
Jacks company has done 250 courses in 27 countries and 35 states. This will be Sergios first. Garcia will use the design support services of Nicklaus company, just as fledgling designer Ernie Els agreed to do about a year ago.
Jack has been personally involved with 208 of those 250 courses, including the redesign of the courses at the Dallas Athletic Club. But this will be his first original signature design in the Dallas area.
MORE GREEN SPACE: Golf authorities expect there will be 15,994 regulation 9- or 18-hole golf courses open by the end of 2002, an increase of 1.8 percent over 2001. But that rate is slower than 2000 to 2001, which was 2.3 percent, and 1999 to 2000, which was 3.2 percent. Observers cite the adjustment of building activity to demand as a reason for the slowing.
These and other facts are available in the new Golf 20/20 Industry Report for 2001, which can be found on the Golf 20/20 website, www.golf2020.com. Golf 20/20, the 20-year growth initiative started in 2000, is a project of the World Golf Foundation.