News Notes from the Business World


Editor's Note: Casey Bierer is The Golf Channel's new Business Reporter. He will file regular Business Edge columns so be sure to check back for his latest offerings.
FIDRA Moves to Cleveland
In a move related to the acquisition of Cleveland Golf by Quiksilver, its golf apparel brand, FIDRA, has joined Cleveland Golf in its new Huntington Beach office. The move, which was completed on August 1st, will give FIDRA additional office support while allowing it to remain a distinct and individual company. It will continue to operate with its own marketing, design, and sales force, while much of its support operations, such as accounting, I.S. and shipping, will be shared with Cleveland Golf.
Also, Greg Hopkins, President/CEO of Cleveland Golf, will assume the role of President/CEO of FIDRA. Partnering with FIDRA is a great move for us, and I am eager to start working together, said Hopkins. The FIDRA brand represents the true spirit of the core golfer, and we think the match is going to be very popular with our customer base.
Business is strong, says Harris MacNeill, President of Massachusetts based MacNeill Engineering Worldwide. The privately owned company was founded by the MacNeill family in 1931. CHAMP designs and manufactures golf spikes as well as cleats and spikes in every athletic venue and distributes those products worldwide.
MacNeill said, Its a two-horse raceCHAMP and SoftSpikes. And our tour exposure, with the highly identifiable color nature of the Scorpion spike, is creating tremendous visibility for us. Harris also told me that the USGA and PGA have for years been toying with a soft spike only policy on tour. Naturally, the best players in the world have widely differing views on the subject. Some players have been playing their whole careers in metal spikes, and unless forced to do so, have no desire to change.
Enter CHAMPS Pro-Scorpion solution. MacNeill says, Weve taken our extremely successful Scorpion technology and added a metal tip. Its kind of a hybrid spike. Its something professional golfers may be willing to go to as a stop-gap measure before completely getting out of metal spikes. Clearly, its not intended for general consumersits a tour product.
Golf Galaxy
Golf Galaxy has gone public and now trades under ticker symbol GGXY. Golf Galaxy opened its first store in Bloomington, Minn., in April of 1997. The company founders combine over 70 years of retail experience with a passion for golf. There are currently 45 Golf Galaxy stores. According to Ron Hornbaker, Sr. VP of Sales and Operations, Were in the perfect position to grow smartly and aggressively. This fall and towards the end of the year well see more exciting new store openings as well as store re-modeling. I really like what the direction Golf Galaxy is headed in. When you walk in our stores you can feel the difference. There is serious attention being paid to the little detailsand the little details make the difference.
True Temper
Chad Hall heads up Tour operations for True Temper and Graffaloy. He wants you to know Retief Goosen switched from his Mitsubishi shaft and won last weeks PGA Tour event, The INTERNATIONAL, playing a prototype Grafalloy Blue shaft that was originally made for John Daly (extremely stiff). Over the past month Grafalloy composites have captured 7 wins: 1 PGA Tour, 3 Champions Tour (including 2 majors) and 3 Nationwide Tour titles.
Wally Uihlein Honored
For those of you who didnt hear earlier in the week, its worth repeating. Acushnet Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wally Uihlein, long-time senior executive of one of the worlds foremost sports equipment companies and a respected industry statesman, has been named recipient of the 2005 PGA Distinguished Service Award. Besides providing honored leadership to Acushnet Company, Mr. Uihlein has been very closely involved, professionally and personally, with junior golf through his significant and long-term involvement with the American Junior Golf Association. For more than 25 years, Mr. Uihlein has helped lead the charge to grow golf around the world through the AJGA.
The PGA Distinguished Service Award, inaugurated in 1988, honors outstanding Americans who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf. It is The PGA of Americas highest honor.
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