FootJoy closing golf shoe plant in Brockton Mass

By Adam BarrJuly 1, 2009, 6:01 pm
Sad news from Brockton, Mass., as the down economy claims another victim – this one a venerable bastion of quality and pride. FootJoy will close its golf shoe plant here in about six weeks, resulting in the loss of 103 manufacturing and support jobs. The company will also discontinue its Classics line, which was the main product made at the Brockton facility.
 
FootJoy’s golf shoe plant in this quiet town south of Boston is the last footwear factory in the former shoe capital of the world. Dozens of three-story brick buildings with big, rectangular windows and hardwood floors housed thousands of machines that clacked away, shift after shift, since the early 1900s. At one time, fully half of the country’s footwear came from Brockton.
 
Lately, FootJoy’s recently updated factory on Field Street produced the high-end models Classics Tour and Classics Dry. These were Goodyear-welted shoes, using a special process (and machinery) to join the upper, a comfort foot bed made of cork and a material called Poron, and the sole of the shoe with an extremely strong fastening system – call it “power sewing.” The result was a rim, or lip, along the bottom perimeter of the sole, almost like the running board on an old-style Buick. This was how the sturdiest dress shoes were once made, and the appearance and performance resonated for decades with discerning golfers.
 
Rapid advancements in epoxies have yielded huge performance gains in golf shoes, both in durability and waterproofing. So-called “cement” shoes have become the standard in the sport, and they make up most of FootJoy’s line now. From a competitive point of view, FootJoy felt compelled to shut down Classics and its related dress and casual lines.
 
“This was a very difficult decision made necessary by the declining demand for premium welted, leather soled golf footwear,” said Jim Connor, president of FootJoy. “While this factory produced a small portion of our worldwide supply of golf shoes, some of our craftsmen and women were from several generations of shoe makers. All of us at FootJoy are deeply saddened by this outcome.”
 
And touring the plant, which I did several times, you could feel it. The people who made these shoes, whether they cut the leather, assembled the insoles, handled the welting or watched quality control, had pride coming off of them like heat waves off a summer highway. The building itself, until its recent update, spoke of New England in another time: the well-worn floors, grooved by hundreds of carts carrying shoe parts, each set tagged so that every person who handled the more than 80 steps involved in the process would know what they were making. Those parts might have just come from the third floor to the second down a steel chute, where smart-stepping men and women took picked them up and took them to third-generation shoemakers at their machines and tables. There, they worked in summer sunlight streaming in through open windows, not with the repetition of drudgery, but with the confidence of craftsmen. It was industry with a distinctly human touch, hard to find these days in golf, or anywhere.
Getty Images

Women's NCAA finals: Arizona vs. Alabama

By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 11:49 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – It’s the SEC vs. the Pac 12 for the women’s NCAA Championship; Alabama vs. Arizona, to be more specific.

Both the Crimson Tide and Wildcats cruised in their respective semifinal matches Tuesday at Karsten Creek. Alabama easily beat USC, 3-1-1; Arizona defeated match-play juggernaut Stanford, 4-1.

Alabama’s top three players, Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight were unstoppable forces in both matches on the marathon day. Stacked in the top three positions in the semifinals all three won their matches on the 17th hole, making the last two matches inconsequential.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage


Arizona, the eighth seed, won as decisively as second-seeded Alabama, but needed a miracle to be in this position in the first place.

Junior Bianca Pagdanganan drained a 30-footer for eagle on the last hole of stroke play on Monday to get the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor, which they won on the second hole. Then on Tuesday, presumably running on fumes, they downed top-seeded UCLA in the morning, then crushed Pac-12 foe Stanford in the afternoon.

Pagdanganan, Gigi Stoll and Hayley Moore each won both matches for Arizona on the hot, draining day.

“I don’t want to let them down so I do my best to rise to the occasion,” Pagdanganan said.

Said Arizona coach Laura Ianello: “How many players, when you tell them under pressure that you need them, can really handle it,” Ianello said about Pagdanganan. “This kid can.”

Getty Images

NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:30 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals were contested Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live finals action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals (Click here to watch live)

Getty Images

Fort Worth Invitational: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 10:30 pm

The PGA Tour makes the short drive from Dallas to Fort Worth and Colonial Country Club. Here are the key stats and information for this week. Click here for full-field tee times.

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 4-7PM 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: $7.1 million

Course: Colonial Country Club (par 70, 7,209 yards)

Defending champion: Kevin Kisner. Last year he defeated Jordan Spieth, Sean O’Hair and Jon Rahm by one stroke


Notables in the field

Jordan Spieth

• Finished T-2, 1st and T-2 in last three starts in this tournament

• 52 under par at Colonial last five years (best of anyone by 27 strokes in that span)

• 100 birdies/eagles made here last five years (most of anyone in that span)


Rickie Fowler

• First start since missed cut at The Players

• More missed cuts (3) than top-10 finishes (2) in 2018


Jon Rahm at the 2018 WGC-Mexico Championship.

Jon Rahm

• Finished T-2 in this tournament last year (66 in final round)

• 17 top-5 finishes in 46 official worldwide individual starts as professional


Webb Simpson

• First start since Players victory (fifth PGA Tour win)

• Fifth on Tour in strokes gained: putting this season (177th two seasons ago)

Getty Images

Maguire's storied Duke career comes to an end

By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 8:39 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – After losing in the quarterfinals here at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Duke coach Dan Brooks gathered his team and walked back toward the 18th hole. He wanted to get away and deliver a parting speech to senior Leona Maguire, one of the most important players in program history.

“I feel like I didn’t say enough, and I feel like I didn’t say it right,” he said afterward. “I guess that’s inevitable when dealing with a player who has meant so much.”

Maguire’s heralded Duke career came to an end Tuesday when she and her teammates dropped their quarterfinal match to Southern Cal, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2. Maguire did her part, winning, 1 up, against USC’s Jennifer Chang, but it still wasn’t enough.

Maguire will go down as one of the best players not just in Duke’s storied history, but all time in college golf. She’s a two-time Player of the Year. She finished with the best scoring average (70.93) in Division I women’s golf history. She had a record 32 competitive rounds in the 60s. She spent 135 weeks at the top of the World Amateur Golf Rankings, another record.

The 23-year-old from Ireland is the rare collegian who turned down guaranteed LPGA status to return to school to earn her degree and try to win a NCAA title with twin sister Lisa, the team’s No. 5 player. Ultimately, they never reached the championship match.

“I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said softly outside the clubhouse. “The experiences, the memories, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Maguire said that she’s turning pro soon and has a full schedule upcoming. She’ll play the ShopRite LPGA Classic and then try to capitalize on her full status on the developmental Symetra circuit.

Asked about her potential at the next level, Brooks said that Maguire can be a future Hall of Famer.

“She’s the hardest worker and the smartest player I’ve ever coached,” he said. “I’m really going to miss her.”