Products You Might Have Missed

By Brian HewittJanuary 30, 2009, 5:00 pm
ORLANDO, Fl.--For the golfer who has everything..there is this stuff:
Some of it is cute, some of it is humorous, some of it is clever, some of it is irrelevant and some of it is..well.well let you decide. And then well add our own wiseacre remarks.
What all the following products have in common is they are currently on display at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.
(bullet) Loud Mouth Golf: This companys product is bad pants. Actually Loud Mouths David Halldorson doesnt think theyre so bad.
Theyre magic pants, he said Friday. Electric pants. Fun.
A pair of them will set you back $89. And the biggest seller to date is the Disco Balls model which comes in a white or a black background.
Comment: These are the only pants this writer has ever seen that should require the wearer to yell Fore when he puts them on.
(bullet) Gabby Golfer: The worlds first talking golf club. Its a novelty product. It costs $49.95. Its a full-sized driver. And, no, says Gabby Golfers Karlis Ewing, its not meant to be used on a golf course.
The club has an internal tape loop that is set to deliver a phrase every time you swing it. Phrases like, What a slice, making sandwiches? Or Nice hook for fishing.
And no, the Gabby Golfer does not come in R or X-rated versions.
Comment: Ewing said he wanted to bring the Gabby Golfer to a tryout for Golf Channels Fore Inventors Only show but the product was still in development at the time. People love it, Ewing said of his driver.
(bullet) Birdieball: Billed as the most accurate and rewarding practice ball in golf..only flies about 40 yards with every club.
Comment: Not sure whats so rewarding about a ball that goes the same distance with every club. But, hey, entrepreneurial spirit is important in these times.
(bullet) Cape Madras: Mens and womens pants and shorts and skirts and Capris.
Comment: Maybe Cape Madras will expand to tennis. Wouldnt you love to see Rafael Nadal in madras Capris?
(bullet) Gem-Dandy Accessories: Tour brand belts, wallets, small leather goods, corporate gifts and hosiery.
Comment: Hosiery? Not immediately known whether Gem-Dandies come in a thigh high.
(bullet) Go-Go Caddy: This is a detachable mount and rack to carry golf clubs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Comment: When its cart paths only I want to see the ranger tough enough to tell a guy on a Harley to get his hog the hell off the fairway.
(bullet) Golftini: Womens apparel with the logo of a martini glass.
Comment: Best selling color is assumed to be olive.
(bullet) Golfoholic: This encompasses a large array of products including apparel, golf bags and fine leather goods.
Comment: No truth to industry rumors of an imminent merger between Golftini and Golfoholic (although it might not be a bad idea.)
(bullet) L.o.f.t.: Golf duds catering to the average golfer. Target player is the more than 50 million golfers who do not regularly break 100.
Comment: Long live the chop.
(bullet) Ocean Cleanse: used to detoxing huge amounts of body stress toxins. Product requires a two-gallon tub of tap water to eliminate toxins through the pores of your feet.
Comment: Butch Harmon was unavailable for comment.
(bullet) Orange Whip Trainer: Its designed to create an athletic swing. Company says its also a great core workout.
Comment: Sounded like a Vegas nightclub act at first.
(bullet) Paratemps Eccentrique, Inc.: These guys make square umbrellas.
Comment: Their timing was good this week since it was raining when the show closed Thursday and when it opened Friday. Am thinking Huey Lewis would be a great endorser of this product: Its Hip To Be Square.
(bullet) Teach-N-Towel: Designed to aid players in fundamentals of set-up and alignment and ball placement.
Comment: But is it big enough to wrap around your waist if the doorbell rings while youre in the shower?

(Bullet) Tilley Hats: They are washable, packable and come with a four-page owners manual and free insurance against theft and loss. Guaranteed for life against wearing out.
Comment: This is my favorite by far: An insured hat with a users manual. Are you kidding me? Wonder if that covers acts of god, like a big wind.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
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USGA receives more than 9,000 U.S. Open entries

By Will GrayApril 26, 2018, 4:31 pm

The field of contestants for golf's most democratic major has been set.

The USGA announced that it received 9,049 entries for this year's U.S. Open, with the deadline for entry expiring at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday. That total includes 515 applications on the final day, 115 in the final hour and a buzzer-beater from Drew Caudill, a 32-year-old pro from Mount Vernon, Ohio, who beat the entry deadline by only 23 seconds.

This marks the seventh straight year that the USGA has received more than 9,000 entries, but the total marks the second straight year of a decline in applications. At least 9,860 players entered each year from 2013-16, topping out in 2014 when 10,127 applications were received. But last year there were 9,485 entries for Erin Hills, and this year's return to Shinnecock yielded only one more application than the USGA got in 2005.

For the vast majority of entrants, the next step is a spot in 18-hole local qualifying which begins April 30 and runs through May 17. The fortunate few advance from there to 36-hole sectional qualifiers, played May 21 in Japan and June 4 across 11 other sites in the U.S. and England.

A total of 54 players are already exempt into the 156-man field, including 12 former winners. The only remaining ways to earn an exemption from qualifying are to win either The Players or BMW PGA Championship next month, or be ranked inside the top 60 in the Official World Golf Rankings on either May 21 or June 11.

The U.S. Open will be played June 14-17 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., which is hosting the event for the first time since 2004.

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Report: Houston Open may move to Memorial Park in '19

By Will GrayApril 26, 2018, 3:48 pm

Still without a permanent spot on the PGA Tour schedule, the Houston Open appears to be on the move.

According to a report from the Houston Business Journal, there is a proposal in place to shift the tournament downtown in 2019, returning to Memorial Park Golf Course which previously hosted the event from 1951-1963.

While formal relocation plans have not been announced, the tournament officially reached the end of an era this week when the Golf Club of Houston, which has hosted the event since 2003, informed the Houston Golf Association that it would no longer serve as tournament host moving forward.

"We received notice this week from the Golf Club of Houston regarding the club's decision to no longer host a PGA Tour event," read an HGA statement obtained by "Currently, the HGA's focus is on securing a long-term title sponsor. The Golf Club of Houston has been a great venue for the Houston Open dating back to 2003 and we look forward to maintaining a great relationship with the club."

Such a move would be a win for Houston mayor Sylvester Turner, who has expressed an interest in returning the tournament within city limits. The Golf Club of Houston is located in Humble, a suburb 20 miles northeast of downtown.

"This move would place the tournament on center stage in downtown Houston, creating a central location for the city to rally around," read marketing materials cited in the Business Journal report. "Houston Proud Partners of the Houston Open would have the opportunity to collaborate with the Houston Golf Association on this historic move and make a lasting statement that would be seen for generations."

The Houston Open's lineage dates back to 1946, but its future remains in question. Shell Oil ended its 26-year sponsorship of the event in 2017, and this year it was played without a title sponsor and financed in part by the HGA.

The tournament has also carved out a niche with its pre-Masters slot on the schedule, where it has been played every year but once since the advent of the FedExCup in 2007. But next year that coveted position will go to the Valero Texas Open, leaving Houston's place on a revamped 2019 schedule in question.

The Houston Open remains one of only two tournaments on the current Tour calendar without a title sponsor. Earlier this week Charles Schwab signed a four-year deal to sponsor the Fort Worth Invitational beginning in 2019, and a report this week indicates the other unsponsored event, The National, may be on the verge of moving from the Washington, D.C. area to Detroit.

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With baby on the way, Piller WDs from Zurich

By Ryan LavnerApril 26, 2018, 2:45 pm

AVONDALE, La. – With wife Gerina set to give birth to their first child, Martin Piller figured he’d need to check his phone every few holes at the Zurich Classic.

He didn’t even make it that far.

Piller withdrew before the start of the first round Thursday.

Piller’s partner, Joel Dahmen, who only got into the field because of Piller’s status as the team’s A player, was allowed to remain in the event.

Piller was replaced in the field by Denny McCarthy. The new team of McCarthy-Dahmen will tee off at 2:36 p.m. ET.

The format change at the Zurich should make things easier for the new teammates. The first round is now best ball, not alternate shot.

The only event that Gerina, a three-time U.S. Solheim Cupper, has played this season was the Diamond Resorts Invitational in January. The couple’s baby was due May 3, and she said that she plans to take off the entire year.

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China's Jin (64) leads by one in Beijing

By Associated PressApril 26, 2018, 12:28 pm

BEIJING – Daxing Jin took a one-stroke lead at the China Open after shooting an 8-under 64 Thursday in the first round.

Jin's bogey-free round at the Topwin Golf and Country Club included six birdies and an eagle on the par-5 eighth. The 25-year-old Jin is playing in only his eighth European Tour event and has made the cut only once.

Matt Wallace (65) had an eagle-birdie finish to move into a tie for second with Nino Bertasio, who also produced a bogey-free round. Alexander Bjork and Scott Vincent (66) were a further stroke back.

Defending champion Alexander Levy, who won last week's Trophee Hassan II in Morocco, is in a large group five shots off the lead at 3 under.