|Sweet Golf Alabama
||Some call it “LA” but they aren’t referring to that city in Southern California. They
are talking about the southern end of the great state of Alabama, the part near
the Gulf of Mexico…Lower Alabama.
|60th PGA Merchandise Show
||It was 1954. An avid golfer nicknamed “Ike” was President, tail fins on “land
yachts” were all the rage, “I Love Lucy” was the number one television show
and a relative unknown destined to become “The King,” one Arnold Daniel
Palmer, won the United States Amateur Championship.
|Anchored Putting Not the Problem
||A few days have passed since the R&A and USGA dropped their bomb shell
(or more properly a ‘smart bomb’) on anchored putting.
|Golf Needs Callaway
||Phil Mickelson likes them. Other players are enthusiastic and Callaway Golf
(NYSE:ELY) employees are pumped up at the prospect of having a new iron,
the X Forged, to help the company return to its glory days as the dominant
equipment maker, a position relinquished to adidas’ (PINK:ADDYY)
|Favorite golf balls
||If you are on a quest to maximize your game having the latest clubs in the bag
is not be the final factor.
|Vaseline on the clubface
||I’ve been accused of being an equipment geek. I’m not totally sure about that
but I am interested in modern technology and materials as they are expressed
in the engineering and design of clubs.
|Solheim’s three ball proposal is a
bad idea - Not player friendly
|Just before Christmas PING’s CEO John Solheim made his proposal public
calling for the USGA to adopt rules mandating three classes of golf balls – one
that would go the same distance as today’s, one 30 yards less and one 30
|Eight irons into par fours...not
|Last year Barney Adams pushed the idea golfers play from tees that are too
long for their ability and should move up a set, at least
|PING at 50
An interview with John Solheim
|Time changes many things but not everything. More than fifty years of love with
devotion, from a manufacturer, shows that time does not change the quest for
a better idea or a product; in fact, some things just last.
|Gifts fore golfers
||Getting a gift for golfer is simple, right? Just swing by the local big box retailer
and pick up some golf balls and you’re done. Not true.
|Improve your game - Eat right
||What you eat and drink won’t instantly give you 300-yard drives or the ability to
sink every 3-footer but can at least give you the chance to perform your best.
|Callaway's problems run deep
||Callaway Golf (NYSE:ELY) has a new President and Chief Executive Officer.
Anthony Thornley took over after George Fellows resigned “for personal
reasons” but there is little doubt he was asked to depart.
|USGA's Groove rule no big deal
||If the true test of a man’s intelligence is how much he agrees with you Michael
Johnson, equipment writer for Golf Digest, is a genius.
|Big names in PowerPlay Golf’s first
|On Memorial Day, before the beer, hotdogs and fireworks, the Golf Channel
broadcast the first big time golf event played under the rules of PowerPlay Golf
- a relatively new and potentially significant tournament format.
|You'll use every club in the bag
||“You’ll use every club in the bag,” is a compliment pertaining to a golf course’s
design and playing characteristics and taken to mean that in order to score
well you will need a variety of shots not just, “Hit it hard. Go find it and hit it hard
|"From Sticks and Stones"
||Frank Thomas is not afraid to tell it like it is. His approach has from time to
time ruffled golf establishment feathers and though Thomas could not be
characterized as vituperative in the least, there is still a strong tendency
among those whose feathers are out of place to “shoot the messenger.”
|TMaG took a huge risk and is
reaping an immense reward
|Most columnists make predictions from time to time, i.e., a supposedly
educated guess as to future outcomes. Sometimes this is rather hard to do
but in the case of TaylorMade Golf’s success with their white-headed R11 and
Burner Superfast 2.0 drivers, it was easy.
|Golf in a strange town - Or, how to
find a place to play
|Every golfer has been in the situation of being in a strange town, wanting to
play but not knowing what courses are nearby or anything about them, much
less basic information such as how to contact a good course.
|Coming this summer – PowerPlay
Golf...More gender equity
|Some say what golf needs is more gender equity, i.e., evening the playing field
between men and women to create more fun and competition plus attracting
new players to the game.
|Acushnet aces Callaway
||With the golf business continuing to see few gains, it makes sense for major
equipment companies to spend their resources finding new and better
|The ball business ten years after
|A lot has happened in the golf ball business in the past ten years. In October
of 2000 Acushnet introduced the Titleist Pro V1 which for touring professionals
and better amateurs was a game changer – longer, as much or more spin
and more durable compared to the balata covered balls then in use.
|Women golfers come up short in
the ‘Fairness Test’
|According to the “fairness test” devised by Arthur D. Little and Jann E.
Leeming, women golfers are being asked to play courses that are generally
more than 1,000 yards too long for them to reach greens in regulation.
|2011 PGA Merchandise Show a big
|The most recent iteration of the PGA Merchandise Show is in the books and
this one, the 58 th, was a smashing success perhaps even signaling a
renewed positive view of the golf business
|"You play those clubs? Sure hope
you can putt lights out."
|Most golfers know playing with properly fitted clubs is a good idea. Whether
there’s a need for a minor lie adjustment or the possibility of gaining 20 yards
off the tee…it’s a good idea.
|Its Time To Do Something For The
Game Of Golf
|One the most knowledgeable leaders in golf speaks his mind about golf's
problems and a reasonable fix everyone can live with.
|PGA Merchandise Show Harbringer
|It’s still six weeks to the opening of the golf industry’s “rite of spring,” the
annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla. scheduled for Jan. 27-29,
2011. The doom and gloom prevalent in the industry however may be giving
way with some signs pointing to an improvement, if not in business perhaps
|Lies, damn lies and statistics. The
case against the groove change
|Mark Twain, who didn’t have a very high opinion of golf wrote, "Figures often
beguile me particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which
case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force:
'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'"
|The 246 TRUE LINKS Barnbougle
Dunes, Cabot Links and St.
|It could be expected if one put George Peper, for 25 years the editor-in-chief of
GOLF Magazine, and Malcolm Campbell, previously editor of Golf Monthly,
together to write a book about golf courses the result would be outstanding.
|Golf & Happy Meals - Not at all
|Following on the heels of the news the great city of San Francisco has
outlawed Macdonald's’ Happy Meals the next item in my in-basket was
information from the World Golf Foundation (WGF).
|Tour Edge competes very
|The golf equipment business is dominated by a few large companies so
maybe a smaller firm such as Tour Edge Golf of Batavia, Illinois might be at a
|Happy birthday Pro V1
It’s been 10 years
|In October 2000 the introduction of Acushnet Golf’s Titleist Pro V1 changed the
golf ball business and immensely strengthened Acushnet’s dominant
position in the marketplace.
|Box-groove wedges set sales
records-Hurry will supply lasts
|There’s a story making the rounds the sales of wedges with “square or box”
grooves have been strong in anticipation of the imposition of the new rule from
the United States Golf Association.
|The best course designer you've
never heard of
|If one thinks about the greatest golf course architects of the modern era the list
would probably contain names such as Doak, Dye, Fazio, Hills, Jones and
Jones II and plus perhaps players turned architect like Palmer, Nicklaus and
|Retailing down but now is the time
to gain market share
|TMaG says Burner 2.0 irons are the start.
|Georgian College golf Management
||Meet Jack Nicklaus. Visit St. Andrews and play the Old Course. And earn a
business degree from the only four-year golf management program in North
|Golf's biggest problem
||The overwhelming problem facing the golf industry is finding new players
while retaining those who already play and it’s no secret a solution has not
|Curiouser and curiouser
||Driving distance through the looking glass - The debate about the distance the
best players in the world are hitting the golf ball seems for now to be on hold.
|Bump and run is coming back
||Economics will dictate a different game. The British Open at St. Andrews last
week showed the future of golf; bump and run rather than hop and stop.
|Edwin Watts in Sears stores open
||Fighting “let their fingers do the walking on their keyboards”
||It was the opinion of many, this writer included, the United States Golf
Association’s changing of the allowable dimensions of grooves on club’s with
more than 25 degrees of loft (essentially 5-iron and up) was a bad idea.
||Bobby Jones described Pinehurst as, “the St. Andrews of United States golf,”
and the best known venue in this small North Carolina village is Pinehurst
Resort, home to Donald Ross’ famous Course No. 2.
|Fathers Day gifts
||June 20th is Father’s Day and as it often does this annual celebration of male
parenting falls on a significant day in the golf calendar…the final Sunday of the
|New era for golf retailing?
||Any journalist receives press releases. Emails, faxes, telephone calls from
people with an agenda, usually to get you to write something nice about their
newest, latest and greatest whatever. That’s OK though; they have a job to do
but frankly most of these epistles, whatever form they take, get ignored,
tossed, deleted and waste canned.
|LPGA not out of the woods
||Let’s see, the world’s number one female golfer is hanging up her spikes for
what seem like pretty straight forward reasons-desire (i.e., lack of) and family.
Lorena Ochoa can be congratulated for making a life decision though at 28
years of age she was no doubt gong to be in the Hall of Fame except now she
won’t have had the request ten years on the LPGA Tour to qualify. She leaves
with the memory of the previous world number one Annika Sorenstam’s
retirement still fresh.
|MacGregor back at Golfsmith
||A lot of golfers felt a twinge of sadness when the venerable club manufacturer
MacGregor bit the dust after spending its’ last years traveling down a tortured
path of mismanagement and misfortune.
|Titleist Aces Callaway
||The announcement yesterday that latest chapter in the long running feud
between Acushnet Company and Callaway Golf over the latter’s claim
Acushnet’s Titleist Pro V1 violates Callaway patents appears to be a win for
|Look Great-Play Great
||Loiter a while near the first tee of any course in America and you quite probably
will come to the conclusion a lot of American golfers have no sense of style,
are apathetic about what they wear or both.
|A Nice Follow Through…The Life of
a Club Professional
|Today there are programs for young men and women who wish careers in golf
however in even the recent past the pathway to being a golf professional was
not always as clear and certainly today’s career seekers have better resources
|You Must Play It As It Lies
||The first rule of golf is, “play it as it lies.” This rule is true in the golf business
as well as the game, especially today. Change is a constant in life, but roller
coaster changes appear to be the norm for the golf industry, at least for a
while. The economy and the golfer’s time are the factors determining if or will
he or she tee it up.
|WE ARE GOLF - image fixing
||To golfers Florida is a wonderful place to live or visit or watch their favorite
professionals tee it up and with more than 1,200 golf facilities the state has
the largest golf economy in the country
|Absent Tiger Woods puts grooves
|At last week’s PGA Merchandise Show two topics dominated many
conversations with the first being the Tiger Woods debacle. His fall from grace
and his return to the PGA Tour was discussed endlessly with a significant
minority raising the question of “if he will return” rather than “when.” However,
since speculation is at best only grist for tabloids, the second and less
sensational topic was the controversy over the groove change imposed on
|PGA Merchandise Show
||The 57th PGA Merchandise Show closed Saturday and the Monday morning
QB sessions can now begin. The Show is much more than equipment
manufacturers, clothing purveyors and accessory makers all trying to get
|World Golf Hall of Memories
||A few days before the Induction Ceremony for the 2009 class into the World
Golf Hall of Fame Jack Peter, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive, took
the time to sit down for an interview covering a wide range of topics.
|Tiger troubles taking away from
|Tiger Woods’ troubles have been covered in the past two weeks, ad nauseam,
but there’s another story, that of the LPGA and while it may not have the appeal
of auto accidents and sex in its own way it is important.
|FarmLInks is First Class
||“Unique” is an overworked word but the FarmLinks Golf Club at Pursell Farms
is unique. It’s a one-of-a-kind, award winning golf experience far from the
maddening crowd located in rural Fayetteville, Alabama south of Birmingham.
||I had heard about Limestone Springs in northern Alabama so was eagerly
looking forward to a visit and found once off the interstate the drive gave a
prelude to the Appalachian Mountains foothill terrain cradling the course.
|Take Something Away
||The USGA has spoken. The grooves on shorter clubs will change forever, or at
least until the Far Hills experts change their minds – again. But that’s another
|OK So Now Its Grooves
||Sept. 30, 2009 - With the USGA changing the rules for grooves from the current
square design to a V-shape which harkens back to those in play a generation
ago every golfer should be aware of a few facts.
||Sept. 15, 2009 - I’ve lived in Florida for a long time and enjoy its many benefits
starting with the weather and can even deal with the tourist traffic or the visitors
themselves…most of the time.
|The Macho Purchasing Syndrome
||Sept. 10, 2009 - Recently, while searching for a putting stroke I had somehow
mislaid, an acquaintance walked onto the practice putting green with the latest
and greatest magic wand flat stick.
|Phresh is Fresh
||Sept. 2, 2009 - One might not think of Canada as a hot-bed of fashion but that’
s not necessarily true, case in point being a six year old Toronto company by
the name of Phresh.
|Florida’s Golden Hills & the US
|Sept. 1, 2009 - USGA championships seldom are held in Florida. The
Sunshine State certainly doesn’t lack worthy venues but our national golf
association conducts it’s championships in the summer time and Florida, in
the summer, can be…well, pretty hot.
|Pete Dye at French Lick
||May 26, 2009 - Prior to playing the new Pete Dye designed course at French
Lick Resort (French Lick, Indiana) I asked the designer, Pete Dye, what I could
expect. His answer proved to be on the money.
|Golf-Nation.net To Launch
||April 22, 2009 - Veteran golf journalist Mike Purkey has a new idea for a
web-based golf networking site scheduled to launch May 15. Golf-Nation.net is
designed to connect golfers around the world and put golfers in touch with
each other according to location, schedule, handicap, age and/or home
|Mental Health for Your Game
||Sept. 20, 2008 - There are plenty of golf psychology books on the market and I’
m sure each in its own way has a place for those golfers who want to score
better through better self-management.
|Adams Book a WOW
||August 9, 2008 - Most golfers know who Barney Adams is, the inventor of the
Tight Lies club who started Adams Golf to provide players easy to hit hybrids.
|'Just Hit It' -
|If golf has an iconoclast it has to be Frank Thomas and while preparing to
write the review of his new book “Just Hit It,” which was to include his
comments from our recent interview, this quotation from another Thomas Q&A
arrived via email.
|Talk About A Leap of Faith!
||March 15 2008 - In response to the USGA change to the Rules of Golf allowing
for adjustability of clubs three of the most prominent club manufacturers have
announced drivers with user-replaceable shafts…some coming prepackaged
and others as individual components.
|Golf's Ups & Downs
||Feb. 2, 2008 - From time to time I like to check in with the National Golf
Foundation for their information on the health of the game, but always with the
memory of how a couple of decades ago the organization foresaw a
phenomenal surge in participation. They cited an immediate need for
construction of one new course per DAY to provide places to play for the
millions of new golfers.
||Golf is a frustrating game, even for the top players in the world. Golfers, almost
without exception, say they want to improve but
the fact is most golfers don’t do much to actually accomplish that goal.
|So You Want to Play Better? Try
TaylorMade Performance Lab for
Properly Fitted Clubs
|Mar. 1, 2008 - Just about every golfer imagines hitting soaring, accurate shots
and putts drilled dead in the center of the hole. It’s natural, even though in our
heart of hearts we know we’ll quite probably never attain the proficiency level of
|Different Strokes for Different
|Mar. 10, 2008 - Putting…Like the lyrics in the 60’s hit “Everyday People,” it’s all
about “different strokes for different folks.”
|Magnesium - the Metal du Jour?
||Feb. 18, 2008 - It would appear there is a new battle brewing in the intensely
competitive driver market and two club makers are leading the way. Tour Edge
and Nickent have introduced #1 woods with crowns made of magnesium, a
distinct departure from the normal titanium or carbon composite construction.