News and Notes from the Business World
The new Idea a2 and a2 OS hybrid irons are a progression of hybrids and irons integrated into one set of irons. The alternative to a conventional set make-up blends hybrids and regular irons. According to Adams Golf, this takes the guesswork out of putting hybrids in your bag by replacing hard to hit long & mid irons with easy to hit hybrids.
Chip Brewer, CEO, states, We believe hybrid sets are the future because they deliver easier-to-hit long irons for all golfers and easier-to-hit mid irons for the majority of golfers.
Tour professionals have had hybrids integrated into their sets for years because tour reps have calibrated loft, lie and launch conditions on hybrids to fit perfectly with their iron sets. According to Adams Golf, 60% of the Champions Tour is playing a hybrid and almost 50% of the PGA and Nationwide pros are using them.
The new a2 and a2 OS are also offered in womens models in an 8-piece and a 12-piece set make up.
Nike Golf Follows SQ Driver Launch with SasQuatch Fairway Metals
The new Nike Golf SasQuatch (SQ) Driver, has some yellow tracks following in its footsteps -- Nike Golf's new SasQuatch (SQ) Fairway Metals. These new Fairway Metals feature the same SasQuatch geometry as the recently-announced driver - and the yellow tracks of the visually distinctive head design and yellow sole design continue to spread on the PGA Tour as some of Nike Golf's Tour Staff begin to add the SasQuatch Fairway Metals to their bags, alongside the SQ Driver.
The SQ Fairway Metals incorporate Nike Golf's new geometry with PowerBow technology. Nike claims the new SasQuatch geometry moves the center of gravity (CG) lower and farther back than the traditional fairway metal. According to Nike, the CG location is lower than the equator of the golf ball making it easier to hit the ball in the air for distance and accuracy.
To lower the CG, the SQ Fairway Metals feature a shallower face and head profile. Nike Golf engineers have saved 11 grams of weight due to the cold-rolled Custom 455 stainless steel used in the clubface. Nike says all of this combines to enhance perimeter weighting and increase the Moment of Inertia, which helps resist clubhead twisting on impact.
The steel shaft is the Speed Step Light/Constant Weight Steel Shaft by True Temper. Its high-strength alloy makes this steel shaft 30% lighter than traditional steel shafts for increased clubhead speed and distance. The Speed Step shaft also incorporates a soft tip profile to promote higher ball flight.
The graphite shaft is the Diamana Shaft for SasQuatch by Mitsubishi Rayon, a high-performance golf shaft built for a blend of power and stability. This shaft is lightweight and has an optimized tip profile for distance and accuracy.
The SQ fairway metals will be available November 1, 2005 at golf shops and golf specialty stores nationwide with a suggested retail of $215 for steel and $239 for graphite.
ECCO Introduces New Mens Golf Shoes for Spring/Summer 2006
Danish shoemaker ECCO introduces its Spring/Summer 2006 mens collection of classic, causal and sport model golf shoes featuring four completely new styles alongside several returning favorites.
Endorsed by international Tour stars Colin Montgomerie, Thomas Bjorn, Aaron Baddeley and Thongchai Jaidee, the new golf collection continues ECCOs 40-plus-year manufacturing and distribution run. Each model features water- and weather-resistant leather and extra cushion provided by PU-injected midsoles for shock absorption. Available in many popular colors and adaptations of traditional solid and two-tone saddle designs, the collection retails for $120 to $400.
Weve experience consistent growth by providing golfers the comfort and performance they desire in a broad range of styles and colors, says ECCO golf division General Manager Per Aagren. With its advanced technology and many distinct looks, the 2006 mens collection continues to distinguish ECCO as the preferred shoe of discerning players.
ECCO golf shoes are are made using a direct-injection process unique to ECCO in the golf industry.
The new introductions are:
World Class Wing Tip GTX: This latest addition to the limited edition World Class Collection combines modern comfort and classic style. The Wing Tip GTX includes overlays and a stitched, perforated trim. The shoes feature a water-repellant leather outsole and GORE-TEX membrane. ($400 retail price; available in black/white, cognac/bison)
Casual Cool Hydromax:: This shoe draws clear influence from modern street shoe fashions. A completely new ECCO outsole features numerous additional traction bars alongside wider lacing for an athletic fit and feel. There is a shock point in the heel, and a direct-injected PU midsole combined with a hard-wearing TPU outsole. ECCO Hydromax leather provides water repellence and perspiration resistance. ($150 retail price; available in black/black/ice white, orange/orange/royal, espresso/espresso/safari, white/black)
Casual Cool GTX: Modern technology, style and comfort in one all-weather package, the Casual Cool GTX covers a wide-range of last. The shoe features a low profile, subdued color combinations, XCR GORE-TEX membrane and performance textile. ($190 retail price; available in black/silver/white, white/silver/silver)
Sport Saddle Hydromax : Continuing ECCOs work with traditional saddle, this water-resistant shoe features aggressive, athletic styling and angular modern lines. The design is enhanced by a hi-tech, see-through 3D outsole and a shock-absorbing PU midsole with the ECCO Swing Stabilizer. ($170 retail price; available in cognac/bison, white/cognac/bison, black/cognac/bison)
Maruman Launches New Majesty Prestigio Line
Maruman Golf USA, North Americas exclusive distributor for Maruman Golfs line of golf equipment, has reported a phenomenal response to the recent introduction of its new Majesty Prestigio FV-R woods and irons.
Designed by Maruman Golf ' a Pacific Rim based manufacturer of ultra-premium golf equipment ' the new Majesty Prestigio FV-R driver and fairway woods feature titanium altered on the nanoscale (1000 nano structure) and the use of fullerene, a Nobel Chemistry award-winner that was first introduced to golf by Maruman. (Fullerenes are carbon-cage molecules found to exist in interstellar dust and in some geological formations on Earth.)
Marumans new Prestigio FV-R driver integrates a 1.6mm-thin titanium face with a fullerene titanium body constructed by high-precision welding and ultra-sonic peening, a process which Maruman claims achieves greater strength than material alterations or heat treatments. According to Maruman, the fullerene titanium increases material strength by 20 percent, greatly reduces energy loss at the time of impact with the ball and enhances the Coefficient of Restitution (COR) by 0.025. Maruman says the Prestigio FV-R fairway woods are a perfect match to the driver. They also feature a titanium face and fullerene titanium body. Completing the series, the Prestigio FV-R irons are forged from 17-4 stainless steel and super-hard maraging steel.
The new Prestigio FV-R woods and irons are easily one of the most successful product launches for Maruman, a premium golf club manufacturer which has always been a considered a leader in state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge designs, says Mike Matheny, president of Maruman Golf USA. The technology integrated into these woods and irons are truly unlike anything golfers have seen before, and were very excited about the enthusiasm and feedback were receiving from golf shops and individual golfers. Discriminating golfers are demanding real advancements in technology, and Maruman has delivered across the board.
Prestigio FV-R drivers are available in lofts of 10.5 and 12 degrees and 13 degrees (ladies model) while the fairway woods are available in 3-, 4-, 5-, 7- and 9-woods. Both Prestigio FV-R driver and fairway woods are assembled with Marumans all-new Fullerene shafts. The Prestigio FV-R irons are available in 3- through 9-iron, plus PW, AW, AW51 and SW. MSRP is $2,000 for the driver, $1,790 for fairway woods, and $6,000 for irons.
IMG and Hemisphere Development to Create Sports Resort
Sports marketing and management agency IMG signed an exclusive deal with Hemisphere Development LLC to develop regional Sports Resort Communities. The deal was announced today by Bob Kain, President of IMG, and Todd Davis, Chief Executive Officer of Hemisphere. The venture will develop its first real estate project at Lakeview Bluffs, located on 1,100 acres along Lake Erie in Lake County Ohio.
IMG is delighted to be involved with this landmark project in our own community, says Kain. Cleveland, where IMG was founded in 1960, is a great location for the active, family-oriented and recreational development we envision.
Lakeview Bluffs encompasses more than a mile of Lake Erie shoreline, and offers breathtaking views of the Grand River, explains Davis of Hemisphere. Combining the sites real estate potential with IMGs sports and entertainment prowess will create a high-energy atmosphere delivering a unique destination to visit and live.
The developments principal feature will be the IMG Resort Academies, which will provide world-class instruction in all major sports, including golf, tennis, soccer, baseball and basketball. The facility also will integrate comprehensive health and wellness programming designed by leading medical experts. This complex will emulate the IMG Academies located in Bradenton Florida, the multi-sport training institute for elite athletes, but will focus training on sports enthusiasts and families.
IMG has designed its inaugural IMG Signature Golf Course as another major amenity, featuring holes perched on bluffs 40 feet above Lake Erie and running along the Grand River corridor.
According to IMG and Hemisphere, Lakeview Bluffs also will feature a boutique resort hotel, cascading down a bluff overlooking Lake Erie to a crescent shaped beach, a world-class spa, corporate meeting facilities, and a comprehensive health and fitness campus. IMG will stage a variety of special events at the resort annually, including both regional and national competitions. Other recreational amenities include a culinary academy, vineyard and winery, and a trout club with teaching streams for fly fishing. The Lakeview Bluffs grand opening is expected in Spring 2008.
Bobby Jones Player Series Clubs Now Available at The Golf Warehouse
The Golf Warehouse announced it will serve as the exclusive Internet golf retail store for the new Bobby Jones Golf Players Series woods from legendary club designer Jesse Ortiz.
Were very excited to begin this partnership with a company whose heritage can be traced directly to historys greatest gentleman golfer, says Mark Marney, CEO of TGW. These clubs provide excellent look, feel and playability and are certain to be a hot item.
Designed to focus specifically on Ortizs skill as a master craftsman, the Bobby Jones Players Series for men features classically shaped, shallow, fairway woods. All woods feature Carpenters 465 steel alloy faces, milled to 1.6 mm thickness. Available in a variety of lofts, the fairway woods come standard with Graphite Design YS-6 series shafts.
Also available are two, deep forest-green finished, 440 cc drivers (9.5- and 10.5-degree lofts) featuring graphite composite crowns for maximum rear weighting and two weighted screws to provide neutral or draw bias options for golfers. The Russian BT-23 beta titanium faces are also milled, heat treated and formed to Ortizs trademark bulge and roll specifications.
Showcasing a sleeker, aerodynamic look, and a unique, patent-pending profile, the companys womens line is designed to maximize playability and enjoyment for mid- to high-handicap golfers. Featuring the same technology as the mens Players Series, the 400 cc composite crowned driver has a generous 14 degrees of loft to maximize launch angle. Beginning with the 18-degree 3 wood, each club is gapped 5 degrees in loft and 1.0 inches in length. The 3 and 5 woods are traditional fairway woods, while the 7, 9 and 11 are hybrids. Each club may be purchased separately.
Email your thoughts to Casey Bierer
Molinari hopes to inspire others as Rocca inspired him
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Francesco Molinari was 12 years old when Costantino Rocca came within a playoff of becoming Italy’s first major champion at the 1995 Open at St. Andrews.
He remembers being inspired by Rocca’s play and motivated by the notion that he could one day be the player who would bring home his country’s first Grand Slam title. As he reflected on that moment late Sunday at Carnoustie it sunk in what his victory at The Open might mean.
“To achieve something like this is on another level,” said Molinari, who closed with a final-round 69 for a two-stroke victory. “Hopefully, there were a lot of young kids watching on TV today, like I was watching Constantino in '95 coming so close. Hopefully, they will get as inspired as I was at the time, watching him vie for the claret jug.”
Molinari had already made plenty of headlines this year back home in Italy with victories at the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, and the Quicken Loans National earlier this month on the PGA Tour.
A major is sure to intensify that attention. How much attention, however, may be contingent on Sunday’s finish at the German Grand Prix.
“It depends on if Ferrari won today. If they won, they'll probably get the headlines,” Molinari laughed. “But, no, obviously, it would be massive news. It was big news. The last round already was big news in Italy.”
Molinari won’t have any competition for the front page on Monday; Ferrari didn’t win the German Grand Prix.
Schauffele on close call: Nothing but a positive
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Playing in a final group at a major for the first time, Xander Schauffele awkwardly splashed out of three pot bunkers, went out in 40 and still somehow had a chance to win at Carnoustie.
Playing the 17th hole, tied with Francesco Molinari, Schauffele flared his approach shot into the right rough and couldn’t get up and down for par. He dropped one shot behind Molinari, and then two, after the Italian birdied the final hole.
Just like that, Schauffele was doomed to a runner-up finish at The Open.
“A little bit of disappointment,” he said. “Obviously when you don’t win, you’re disappointed. Hats off to Francesco. I looked up on 17 and saw he got to 8 under, which is just incredible golf and an incredible finish.”
Schauffele did well to give himself a chance. The 24-year-old was in the final group with Spieth, but both youngsters fell off the pace after rocky starts. The Tour’s reigning Rookie of the Year birdied the 14th but couldn’t convert a 15-footer on the treacherous 16th that would have given him a one-shot cushion.
“It’s going to go in the memory bank as a positive,” he said. “I had a chance to win a major championship. I was in the final group. I had to face a little bit of adversity early in the round, and I still gave myself a chance. Anyone can look at it however they want to, but I’m going to look at is as a positive moving forward and try to learn how to handle the situations a little better next time.”
They came, they saw and Molinari conquered The Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – From a perch above the 17th tee, next to a three-story grandstand that may well be the tallest structure on the Angus coast, the 147th Open Championship unfolded with more twists and turns than a Russian novel.
It was all there like a competitive kaleidoscope to behold. In quick order, Rory McIlroy’s title chances slipped away with a whimper, a par at the last some 100 yards to the left of the 17th tee. Tiger Woods, seemingly refreshed and reborn by the Scottish wind, missed his own birdie chance at the 16th hole, a half-court attempt near the buzzer for a player who is 0-for-the last decade in majors.
Moments later, Kevin Kisner scrambled for an all-world par of his own at No. 16 and gazed up at the iconic leaderboard as he walked to the 17th tee box, his title chances still hanging in the balance a shot off the lead.
Francesco Molinari was next, a textbook par save at No. 16 to go along with a collection of by-the-book holes that saw the Italian play his weekend rounds bogey-free. He also hit what may have been the most important drive of his life into what a Scot would call a proper wind at the 17th hole.
Xander Schauffele, who was tied with Molinari at the time at 7 under par, anchored the action, missing a 15-footer for birdie at the 16th hole. Moments later the Italian calmly rolled in a 5-footer for birdie at the last to finish his week at 8 under par.
All this unfolded over a frenzied final hour of play at Carnoustie, offering just a taste of what the other four-plus hours of play resembled.
“I couldn't watch Xander play the last two holes, to be honest,” said Molinari, who became the first Italian to win a major. “That's why I went to the putting green, because I probably would have felt sick watching on TV,”
Carnoustie may not be the fairest of the Open rotation courses, but it certainly delivers the dramatic goods regularly enough.
Woods’ prediction earlier in the week that this Open Championship would come down to no fewer than 10 would-be champions seemed hyperbolic. It turns out he was being conservative with his estimate.
All total, 11 players either held a share of the lead or moved to within a stroke of the top spot on a hectic Sunday. For three days Carnoustie gave, the old brute left exposed by little wind and even less rough. Earlier in the week, players talked of not being able to stop the ball on the dusty and dry links turf. But as the gusts built and the tension climbed on Sunday, stopping the bleeding became a bigger concern.
If most majors are defined by two-way traffic, a potpourri of competitive fortunes to supercharge the narrative, this Open was driven in one direction and a cast of would-be champions with a single goal: hang on.
A day that began with three players – including defending champion Jordan Spieth, Kisner and Schauffele – tied for the lead at 9 under, quickly devolved into a free-for-all.
Kisner blinked first, playing his first three holes in 3 over par; followed by Spieth whose poor 3-wood bounded into a gorse bush at the sixth hole and led to an unplayable lie. It was a familiar scene that reminded observers of his unlikely bogey at Royal Birkdale’s 13th hole last year. But this time there was no practice tee to find refuge and his double-bogey 7 sent him tumbling down the leaderboard.
“I was trying to take the burn out of the equation by hitting 3-wood to carry it. It was unlucky. It went into the only bush that's over on the right side. If it misses it, I hit the green and have a birdie putt,” Spieth said.
Schauffele’s struggles coincided with Spieth’s, with whom he played on Sunday, with a bogey at the sixth sandwiched between a bogey (No. 5) and a double bogey (No. 7).
This opened the door to what the entire golf world has awaited, with Woods vaulting into the lead at 7 under par, the first time since the ’11 Masters he’d led at a major, and sending a low rumble across the course.
Since Woods last won a major, that ’08 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines on one leg, Spieth and Schauffele, who Tiger spotted four strokes on Sunday, graduated from high school; McIlroy went from phenom to four-time major winner and Donald Trump was transformed from being a TV celebrity to the President of the United States.
But the fairytale only lasted a few minutes with Woods playing Nos. 11 and 12 in 3 over par. They were the kind of mistakes the 14-time major champion didn’t make in his prime
“A little ticked off at myself, for sure. I had a chance starting that back nine to do something, and I didn't do it,” said Woods, who finished tied for sixth but will have the consolation prize of moving into the top 50 in the world ranking to qualify for the last WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone in two weeks.
But as Woods faded, McIlroy made a familiar move, charging in an eagle putt at the par-5 14th hole to tie Molinari and Schauffele at 6 under par. The Northern Irishman would run out of holes, playing the final four in even par to finish tied for second, but the moment wasn’t lost on him.
“It was great, just to be a part of it and hear the roars. Tiger being back in the mix. You know, everything,” McIlroy said. “There's a lot of big names up there. It was nice to be a part of it. For a while, I thought Tiger was going to win. My mindset was go and spoil the party here.”
By the time the final groups reached Carnoustie’s finishing stretch it was a two-man party, with Molinari proving for the second time this month that boring golf can be effective.
Although he’d won the European Tour’s flagship event in May, Molinari decided to add the Quicken Loans National to his schedule because of his precarious position on the FedExCup points list (122nd) – he won that, too. The week before the Open, he fulfilled his commitment to play the John Deere Classic, a requirement under the PGA Tour’s new strength of field rule, and finished second.
Although his track record at The Open was nothing special – he’d posted just a single top-10 finish in his first 10 starts at the game’s oldest championship – his machine-like game was always going to be a perfect fit for a brown and bouncy links like Carnoustie and a topsy-turvy final round.
“I told his caddie earlier this week, because I didn’t want to say it to [Molinari], I have a good feeling this week,” said Molinari’s swing coach Denis Pugh. “It was the perfect combination of clarity and confidence.”
With the sun splashing against the baked-out fairways, Molinari emerged from the clubhouse, wide-eyed and a little dazed after what could only be described as a major melee, his no-nonsense, fairways-and-greens game the perfect tonic for an Open that defied clarity until the very end.
Spieth and Schauffele were put on the clock Sunday
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Contending in a major championship on what is largely considered the toughest major championship course can be hard enough, but as Jordan Spieth reached the 10th tee box, he was given another layer of anxiety.
Spieth, who was playing with Xander Schauffele on Sunday at Carnoustie, was informed that his group had fallen behind and been put on the clock. On the next tee, he was given a “bad time” for taking too long to hit his drive.
“I handled it OK, but looking back, you know, that was a turning point in the round,” said Spieth, who played Nos. 10 and 11 in even par and finished tied for ninth after a closing 76. “If you get 1 under on those two holes with a downwind par 5 left [No. 14], it's a different story.”
Spieth, who began the day tied for the lead with Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under, had dropped out the top spot with a double bogey-7 at the sixth hole. He was tied for the lead when officials put his group on the clock.
“I took over the allotted time on the tee on 11 to decide on 3-iron or 3-wood, but throughout the day, I think I played the fastest golf I've probably ever played while contending in a tournament,” he said.