Business World News Notes

By Casey BiererAugust 27, 2005, 4:00 pm
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.
 
Aldila Stops Duplication of the Green Shaft
Aldila, Inc., a leader in graphite golf shafts, announced that Global Sports Technology, Inc. has agreed, under threat of law suit by Aldila, to discontinue its sales of golf clubs with shafts colored with Aldilas proprietary Vapor Mirror Green. Aldila has been using this distinctive color for its very popular NV Series shafts for the past several years, and has extensively promoted this green as its trademark and trade dress.
 
According to Mike Rossi, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Aldila, Global Sports Technology is a distributor of Golf equipment who recently introduced a Tour Collection line with shafts labeled Shaft By Apollo and having a substantially identical shade of green, and Aldila immediately gave notice of its objections based on state and federal laws protecting trademarks and trade dress. Through counsel, Global Sports Technology last week informed Aldila that the green copy shafts have been discontinued, as Aldila had demanded.
 
This distinctive green shaft has become well known as Aldilas trademark, and the remarkable success of touring professionals using the NV Series has attracted particular attention to our shafts and this color, said Mike Rossi. We intend to take all necessary and appropriate actions to protect our exclusive rights to this color, he said.
 
The NV product features exclusive aerospace materials and Aldila's unique Micro Laminate TechnologyTM that provides the player enhanced power, consistent flex and precise feel. The Aldila NV is available for woods, hybrid clubs, and irons in a variety of weights and tip sizes.
 
Nike Golf Creates Beast in New SasQuatch Driver
Nike SasQuatch driverGlimpses of yellow have begun appearing on the PGA Tour -- yellow tracks belonging to the new Nike SasQuatch (SQ) 460 Driver, with its visually distinctive head design and yellow sole design. The SasQuatch sightings have occurred in the last month as a number of Nike Golf's Tour Staff, including Stewart Cink, K.J. Choi, Rory Sabbatini, Paul Gow, Carl Pettersson, John Cook, Franklin Langham and Stephen Ames, have recently tested the SQ Tour 460 version of the new driver on the PGA Tour.
 
Nike says their club wizard, Tom Stites, has designed the ideal ratio between the width of the clubface and the depth of the club head. The SasQuatch geometry pushes the breadth-to-face length ratio up, resulting in a larger, more forgiving sweet spot. Through geometry and Max Back Center of Gravity (CG) technology, Nike Golf says, theyve been able to achieve a lower, deeper CG without the use of weights. With its CG set back, low and deep, the SasQuatch is a highly engineered, streamlined instrument of size, power and forgiveness.
 
Nike Golf utilizes Powerbow technology, which provides the visual cue of the Max Back CG's radical geometry. According to Nike, the Powerbow technology placed on the back of the driver expands the perimeter of performance making it easier to get the ball up and hit it straight. Nike says the Powerbow adds a trailing volume of mass to apply more power and control to the ball without overstepping the 460 cc legal limit.
 
Nike says to get a hotter response and greater consistency, the SasQuatch has a face of layered yet tightly compressed titanium called NexTi, developed exclusively for Nike Golf.
 
The SQ 460 is available November 1, 2005 at golf shops and golf specialty stores nationwide and has a suggested retail price of $359. A tour model, SQ Tour 460, will be available in stores February 1, 2006 and carry an SRP of $419.
 
Fairway & Greene a Winner
Fairway & Greene has been selected as the winner of the Top Mens Vendor award by the highly respected Association of Golf Merchandisers for the third consecutive year in an annual survey of its members. The survey is designed to greatly assist AGM in gathering important industry statistics and determining the needs of its members for future educational initiatives.
 
AGM is a professional association of golf-related vendors and professional vendors located all over the world. Their mission is to educate golf retail buyers, merchandisers and golf professionals, elevate the golf merchandising profession and enhance communication between golf buyers and vendor partners.
 
To be selected to receive this great award for the third consecutive year is truly an honor, especially from an impressive organization such as AGM, states Todd Martin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Fairway & Greene.
 
NGCOA Announces Financial Benchmarks Program
The National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) has begun a comprehensive initiative to measure the games key financial benchmarks. The program provides accurate and consistent industry measurements to help golf course owners and operators evaluate the performance of their facilities, compare their results to competitors and operate more efficiently.

Based on information provided by participating owners and operators, the reports measure participation, revenues and course utilization on a monthly and rolling basis. The information will be confidential to participating owners and operators, who can use it not only for operational purposes, but also for financing needs (whether buying or selling), or when providing information to analysts and media.

A timely, accurate and unbiased set of industry metrics helps our members and other key stakeholders make informed operational, marketing and purchasing decisions, said Mike Hughes, executive director of the NGCOA. This is the type of information decision makers in other industries rely on to understand and analyze trends. We believe these financial benchmarks quickly will become one of the most important management tools in our industry.

The NGCOA is working with Golf Datatech, a noted golf industry market research firm, to collect and report the financial benchmarks.
 
Padraig Harrington Hosts Youth Clinic
Padraig HarringtonWilson Golf and Padraig Harrington, the eighth-ranked player in the world and a Wilson Staff professional, hosted a golf clinic recently at Sand Ridge Golf Club in Chardon, Ohio to benefit the children of the Cleveland Chapter of The First Tee.
 
Harrington, the popular Irishman is a two-time winner this year on the PGA Tour and a veteran of three Ryder Cup competitions. He has posted nine victories on the European Tour since turning pro in 1995.
 
I love taking part in events that include children and the kids from the First Tee were great, said Padraig. Their enthusiasm for the golf and everything the sport represents is tremendous. Its very exciting and rewarding for me to help children and teenagers new to the game, and that is what The First Tee is all about.
 
Wilson Golf, who made an equipment donation to the Cleveland Chapter, is an avid supporter of The First Tee, the World Golf Foundation initiative dedicated to enhancing the lives of young people through golf. This year Wilson is donating $100 to The First Tee for every birdie recorded by Harrington on the PGA Tour, raising $10,600 for his 106 birdies to date. Last year Wilson donated $23,760 to the organization based on birdies by Wilson Staff professional Jesper Parnevik.
 
There are so many children today that dont have the opportunity to learn and play golf, and The First Tee is all about giving kids that opportunity, said Angus Moir, Global Business Director, Wilson Golf. The First Tee is tremendous for golf and the golf industry, and we are proud to support them with events like this.
 
Accu-Length Receiving Strong Results
In two months since being introduced to new and existing clients, Accu-Length's Consumer Awareness Program has enabled the rapidly-growing junior golf club company to form and strengthen strong retailing bonds while seeing a significant spike in its business.
 
The program, which started in mid-May and recently concluded, has united select retailers with Accu-Length in a television campaign that has been running in the retailer's area. Participants in the program were required to order a minimum amount of Accu-Lengths products and take delivery soon thereafter to be eligible.
 
'We couldn't have asked for any better results than what has been achieved,' says Rick Rutter, President, COO and Founder of OnTrack Sports, LLC, Makers of Accu-Length, the only Expandable Junior Golf Clubs. 'Retailers are extremely pleased with the traffic that the campaign has helped bring into their stores. At the same time, consumers have been pouring into our retail partners to see what Accu-Length is all about.
 
Accu-Length says it is the only expandable junior golf club on the market. A one-of-a-kind spacer system allows Accu-Length to grow with the junior golfer without any sacrifice to the product's quality. Accu-Length's product line is known for its professional quality, with stainless steel heads and filament wound graphite shafts.
 
Accu-Length Expandable Junior Golf Clubs was named the Best New Equipment Product at this year's PGA Merchandise Show.
 
SofTrak Synthetic Putter Greens on a Roll
SofTrak Synthetic Putting Greens says some of the worlds best players are selecting SofTrak for installation and use in the comfort and convenience of their homes (Fred Couples, Steve Flesch, Bruce Lietzke, etc). SofTrak is also a top choice of families (virtual country club in the backyard, something all ages can enjoy, etc), avid everyday golfers (for game improvement, as replica greens of famous or favorite golf holes, etc), commercial businesses (practice ranges, bed & breakfasts, etc), college golf programs (Clemson, Rider, SW Missouri State, Princeton, etc) and non-profit organizations (Payne Stewart Memorial/The First Tee of the Ozarks, etc).
 
VersaSport International, exclusive supplier of SofTrak, recently installed two SofTrak greens at the Payne Stewart Memorial/The First Tee of the Ozarks facility in Branson, Mo.
 
We were able to expose over 2,400 inner-city kids to the game of golf this summer; many for the first time, says Mark Parry, Director of the Payne Stewart Memorial/The First Tee of the Ozarks. We used the SofTrak greens all summer and they responded very well. They will get more and more use as the years roll by and they have the durability and realistic performance qualities we need.
 
SofTrak says a rapidly growing trend SofTrak installers are encountering is the request of replica greens by avid golfers. The attached image is of a SofTrak green that replicates the 14th hole at the King & the Bear Course in Florida.
 
Heavy Putter Introduces A-1 Model
Heavy Putter, played exclusively by the Nationwide Tours leading money winner (through July 23), releases this new, center-shafted blade design offering the same features that distinguish all Heavy Putter models ' heavy-mass putter heads and a Weight Management System consisting of a heavy upper-shaft insert and interchangeable tip weights to create a patented balance point. According to Heavy Putter, the balance point is 75 percent higher than conventional putters.
 
'The introduction of the A-1 is the next step in our goal to provide golfers what they want ' a putter that looks great, feels great and helps them make more putts of all lengths, says Steve Boccieri, President of Heavy Putter.

Heavy Putter says the standard Heavy Putter total weight of 885 grams (roughly two pounds) is the heaviest among USGA-conforming putters and roughly twice the weight of conventional putters.
 
The fourth product in the Heavy Putter line, the A-1 is available in various standard, mid- and long-putter lengths for men and women in both right- and left-handed models. MSRP is from $259.
 
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U.S. Amateur playoff: 24 players for 1 spot in match play

By Associated PressAugust 15, 2018, 1:21 pm

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Cole Hammer and Daniel Hillier were tied at the top after two rounds of the U.S. Amateur, but the more compelling action on Tuesday was further down the leaderboard.

Two dozen players were tied for 64th place after two rounds of stroke play at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. With the top 64 advancing to match play, that means all 24 will compete in a sudden-death playoff Wednesday morning for the last spot in the knockout rounds.


U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos


They'll be divided into six foursomes and start the playoff at 7:30 a.m. on the par-3 17th at Pebble Beach, where Tom Watson chipped in during the 1982 U.S. Open and went on to win.

The survivor of the playoff will face the 19-year-old Hillier in match play. The New Zealander shot a 2-under 70 at Spyglass Hill to share medalist honors with the 18-year-old Hammer at 6 under. Hammer, an incoming freshman at Texas who played in the 2015 U.S. Open at age 15, shot 68 at Spyglass Hill.

Stewart Hagestad had the low round of the day, a 5-under 66 at Pebble Beach, to move into a tie for 10th after opening with a 76 at Spyglass Hill. The 27-year-old Hagestad won the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur and earned low amateur honors at the 2017 Masters.

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Hammer in position (again) to co-medal at U.S. Am

By Ryan LavnerAugust 14, 2018, 10:37 pm

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Cole Hammer is in position to go for a rare sweep in this summer’s biggest events.

Two weeks ago, Hammer, an incoming freshman at Texas, was the co-medalist at the Western Amateur and went on to take the match-play portion, as well.

Here at the U.S. Amateur, Hammer shot rounds of 69-68 and was once again in position to earn co-medalist honors. At 6-under 137, he was tied with 19-year-old Daniel Hillier of New Zealand.

“It would mean a lot, especially after being medalist at the Western Am,” Hammer said afterward. “It’s pretty special.”

No stroke-play medalist has prevailed in the 64-man match-play bracket since Ryan Moore in 2004. Before that, Tiger Woods (1996) was the most recent medalist champion.  


U.S. Amateur: Articles, photos and videos


On the strength of his Western Am title, Hammer, 18, has soared to No. 18 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He credited his work with swing coach Cameron McCormick and mental coach Bob Rotella.

“Just really started controlling my iron shots really well,” said Hammer, who has worked with McCormick since 2015, when he qualified for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay as a 15-year-old.

“Distance control with my wedges and all my iron shots, playing different shots, has become really a strength in my game. I’ve really turned the putter on this year, and I’m seeing the lines and matching the line with the speed really well. I think that’s been the key to my summer.”

A two-time New Zealand Amateur champion, Hillier is ranked 27th in the world. He said that, entering the tournament, he would have been pleased just to make it to match play.

“But to come out on top, it’s amazing,” Hillier said. “Cole is a really good golfer and has been playing well lately. So, yeah, I’m in good company.”

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Tee times, TV schedule, stats for Wyndham Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 14, 2018, 9:55 pm

It's the last tournament of the PGA Tour's regular season as the top 125 in the FedExCup points list advance to next week's playoff event. Here's the key info for the Wyndham Championship. (Click here for tee times)

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.


Purse: $6 million

Course: Sedgefield Country Club (par 70, 7,127 yards)

Defending champion: Henrik Stenson. Last year he defeated Ollie Schniederjans by one stroke to earn his sixth career PGA Tour win.


Notables in the field

Henrik Stenson at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Henrik Stenson

• Missed the cut last week at the PGA Championship

• Six top-10 finishes this year, including T-5 at the Masters and T-6 at the U.S. Open


Sergio Garcia

• Eight missed cuts in last 10 PGA Tour starts

• Currently 131 in FedExCup standings (33 points back of 125th)


Webb Simpson

• Five top-10 finishes in this event since 2010 (won in 2011)

• 56 under par in last five years in this event (best of any player in that span)

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Faldo: Woods told fellow Masters champ 'I'm done' in '17

By Will GrayAugust 14, 2018, 7:42 pm

Fresh off his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship, it's easy to get caught up in the recent success and ebullient optimism surrounding Tiger Woods. But it was not that long ago that Woods even hitting another competitive shot was very much in doubt.

Six-time major champ Sir Nick Faldo shed light on those darker times during a recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show when he relayed a story from the 2017 Masters champions' dinner. The annual meal is one of golf's most exclusive fraternities, as only the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club is allowed to dine with the men who have each donned a green jacket.

Last spring Woods had not yet undergone spinal fusion surgery, and Faldo explained that Woods at one point turned to an unnamed Masters champ and grimly assessed his future playing chances.


Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


"I know he whispered to another Masters champion, two Masters dinners ago, 'I'm done. I won't play golf again,'" Faldo said. "He said, 'I'm done. I'm done, my back is done.' He was in agony. He was in pain. His leg, the pain down his legs, there was nothing enjoyable. He couldn't move. If you watched footage of him, he couldn't even get in and out of the golf cart at the (2016) Ryder Cup when he was a vice captain."

But Woods opted for fusion surgery a few weeks later, and after a lengthy rehab process he returned to competition in December. His 2018 campaign has been nothing short of remarkable, with a pair of runner-up finishes to go along with a T-6 result at The Open when he held the outright lead on the back nine on Sunday.

After apparently even counting himself out, Woods is back up to 26th in the latest world rankings and appears in line to be added as a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup next month.

"What he's been able to do is unbelievable," Faldo said. "To turn this aruond, to get this spine fusion, it's completely taken away the pain. To have this mobility is absolutely amazing. Great on him, and great for golf."