Quiet But Persistent Business Buzz at Augusta National

By Adam BarrApril 10, 2002, 4:00 pm
The latest from Augusta:
 
Under the giant oak tree behind the clubhouse at Augusta National Golf Club, manners are genteel but fashion rules are relaxed. Where else could the most powerful people in golf feel perfectly comfortable in a fine blazer, a snappy tie ' and a baseball cap?
 
Many of those caps are emblazoned with golfs most recognizable brand names: Callaway, TaylorMade, Titleist and more. And although this is not a week for high productivity, golfs leaders come to see, be seen, and drink up the fabled atmosphere at golfs cherished rite of spring.
 
Geniality reigns. You may see ideological rivals chatting, even laughing (U.S. Golf Association officers and equipment company executives, for example). Any meetings with potential for brow-furrowing occur off-site.
 
Buzz becomes louder as the competition days approach.
 
CALLAWAY TO POST STRONG FIRST QUARTER: Advance word on Callaways first quarter financial numbers have the company feeling proud. The income statement wont be released until Thursday, April 18, but inside sources say to expect gross sales of $245 million. That works out to about 41 cents per share, about what Callaway expected. Considering the sluggish economy for big-ticket and recreational goods in the wake of September 11, the results are pleasing, say Callaway higher-ups.
 
Typically, either the first or fourth quarter yields the lowest gross sales for premium golf companies. If thats true and the summer is strong, could Callaway crack a billion this year?
 
Callaway also reports that its Odyssey 2-Ball putter is moving so well at retail that sales of that model would make it the worlds third biggest putter company all by itself. Odyssey claims a 45 percent market share in on-course golf shops.
 
THE TAYLORMADE-MAXFLI HORIZON: Look for TaylorMade-adidas Golf to exercise its option to buy all of Maxfli and Slazenger some time this summer, say sources close to the situation.
 
Late last year, TMaG set up a complex transaction that gave it effective ownership of Maxfli for five years, with an option to make it permanent. TaylorMade moved its golf ball production to Maxflis Westminster, S.C. plant and gave its Pontotoc, Miss. plant to Maxfli seller Dunlop Slazenger Group. (DSG promptly shut down that plant.)
 
What will happen if TMaG indeed takes the reins for good? Well, dont expect the Maxfli Noodle golf ball, or anything like it, to hang around. TaylorMades focus has been on making the best golf equipment for the best players, and polishing its image to match. Thats how it would handle the Maxfli brand.
 
So Maxfli clubs would vanish, and golf balls would be positioned as serious, high-performance products worthy of matching up with TaylorMade clubs. But its likely TMaG wouldnt completely meld the companies; the strategy would be to maintain Maxflis brand integrity and position it under the adidas umbrella. And even though adidas, the worlds second-largest sporting goods company, would be the corporate parent, the golf brands would probably be organized under the TaylorMade master brand, to take advantage of TMs strong golf pedigree.
 
HAD TO BE THE SHOES: Cocktail parties and dinners are a big part of Masters week. Most of them are pleasant but normal-looking affairs ' but count on Nike to set itself apart. In a lovely home not far from Augusta National, Nike had a party Tuesday night that featured the now-famous Annika Sorenstam red golf shoes displayed in a glass box. Annika stopped by later in the evening; I had to resist the temptation to ask her to put on the shoes, click the heels together, and say Theres no place like Stockholm.
 
Annika is also in town this week to accept an award from the Golf Writers Association of America, whose annual dinner is Wednesday night. Ill be there to lead the standing ovation when my colleague George White steps up to collect his well-deserved writing award.
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More sun, dry conditions expected early at Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 9:14 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – An atypically dry Scottish summer is expected to continue this week at The Open.

There’s a possibility of a few showers Thursday and Friday, but otherwise conditions are expected to remain dry with temperatures around 70 degrees and winds in the 15-20 mph range.

The forecast for the opening round at Carnoustie is sunshine with clouds developing later in the day. The high is expected to be around 70 degrees, with winds increasing throughout the day, maxing out at 18 mph.

There’s a chance of rain overnight Thursday and into Friday morning, but it’s not expected to slow down the fiery conditions.

It’s been one of the driest summers in recent memory, leading to fairways that are baked out and fescue rough that is lighter and thinner than in previous years.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 8:40 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on GolfChannel.com.  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; GC.com=GolfChannel.com or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

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Lincicome grouped with two rookies in Barbasol

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 9:54 pm

Brittany Lincicome will tee it up with a pair of rookies when she makes her first start in a PGA Tour event Thursday at the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, is scheduled to go off the 10th tee at 9:59 a.m. ET in the first round with Sam Ryder, 28, and Conrad Shindler, 29. They’re off the first tee Friday at 2:59 p.m. ET

Lincicome will become just the sixth woman to play in a PGA Tour event, joining Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie.

“The first three or four holes, I’ll be a nervous wreck, for sure,” Linicome said.