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"You lose a lot more in golf than you win. So when you do win, you have to enjoy it. I'm going to go back home and enjoy it with my friends and enjoy it with my family and, yeah, I love being from Northern Ireland. I tell everyone how great it is. For me, it's the best place on earth. I'm obviously biased, but I love it back there and I love the people."

 

 

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A group of 42 amateur men and women golfers competed in the first R&A Nine Hole Championship Final at Royal Birkdale today.

The group participated in a handicap pairs competition at the famous Southport links just five days before The 146th Open gets underway, playing the 10th to 18th holes.

Following a successful pilot at Royal Troon last year, more than 7,000 amateur golfers entered qualifying events across Great Britain and Ireland to reach the Final at the host venue of The Open.

Pauline Rostron, from Formby Ladies, and Sally Pearson, from Chester, (pictured) were the overall winners and were both thrilled to play in a nine hole competition on the eve of golf’s original Championship.

The victorious pair returned a winning combined net score of 70.5 to be crowned champions in front of family and friends in the Royal Birkdale clubhouse.

“I feel totally exhilarated and also completely surprised!” said Sally, who was celebrating her 36th birthday as she took on the back nine of Royal Birkdale. “I love nine hole golf – it is much quicker. Even if you have a bad nine holes it doesn’t ruin your day. You can get around after work and I can’t encourage people enough to play nine hole golf.”

Pauline added, “I’m absolutely ecstatic – it’s fabulous. It’s a little bit of history.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to play here again – but to win as well is fantastic. If you can play after work in the summer – nine hole golf is much quicker.”

The R&A continues to work with national golf bodies in Great Britain and Ireland to promote nine hole golf as a quick and enjoyable way to play golf either socially or competitively.

Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Working for Golf at The R&A, said, “We have had a wonderful first Great Britain and Ireland wide Nine Hole Final here at Royal Birkdale today.

"Everyone genuinely enjoyed themselves – they appreciated being here and they revelled in the challenge of playing Royal Birkdale on the eve of The Open.

“It wasn’t all about what happened here today. It’s about promoting nine hole golf throughout Great Britain and Ireland and beyond. This event should serve as a reminder to golf clubs that golf, whether social or competitive, can be played more quickly if it’s played over nine holes. That’s the real message behind this event.”

 

Louise Solheim, wife of PING Founder Karsten Solheim, has passed away in Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of 99. “Today we lost a very special woman who touched and improved the lives of so many,” said John A. Solheim, Karsten and Louise’s youngest son and PING’s Chairman & CEO. “Our mother was a blessing to everyone in so many ways. She had a special quality that gave her the ability to bring a smile to everyone’s face and she handled every situation with grace. We looked to her for guidance in all aspects of our lives and she always took great care to advise us, building our confidence to make decisions ourselves. We will miss her dearly. Our entire family is at peace knowing she’s now in God’s care.”

Louise was a soft-spoken, gracious lady who worked side-by-side with Karsten to build PING into one of the most successful golf equipment companies in the history of the game while raising a family of four children. She chose to remain off stage and left the spotlight to Karsten. She vowed the day she was married to put Karsten’s desires and those of their family ahead of her own. She did it willingly and joyfully without the need for recognition. “I most definitely wanted it this way,” she often said.

“Our mother preferred working behind the scenes,” said Allan D. Solheim, the middle son. “Karsten’s tinkering with putter designs in our garage began as a hobby, but it quickly turned into a thriving business. From the beginning, my mother assumed the administrative side of the business, allowing Karsten to focus on club designs. She was blessed with an incredible memory, which Karsten relied on regularly. Whether it was remembering someone’s name or the specifics of an event, she always had the answer. Together, they made an amazing team that formed the foundation for PING today.”

Despite her desire to maintain a low profile, her countless contributions are widely recognized and deeply engrained in PING’s history. She is credited with naming the most famous putter in golf -- the PING ANSER -- which has been used to win more than 500 professional golf tournaments around the world. Her role in creating the Solheim Cup in 1990 opened the door to bringing women’s professional team golf to a world-wide stage for the players to show off their shot-making skills while competing for the honor of their countries.

Her numerous honors include an Honorary Doctorate degree from Arizona State University (1992), the LPGA’s Commissioner’s Award (1994), Swedish Golf Federation Distinguished Service Award (2003), Arizona Golf Hall of Fame (2004), Arizona State University Regents Award for Outstanding Service to Higher Education (2004), Honorary LPGA member (2005) and Honorary Ladies European Tour member (2011).

“Louise had a keen business sense that she combined with a generous heart,” said Karsten Louis Solheim, the oldest son. “She was guided by the Bible and wanted every action to be pleasing to God. She believed God had been exceptionally good to us and wanted to make sure as a company we gave back. She was especially thoughtful in her administration of the Solheim Foundation. I worked closely with her over the years and she applied a wise and fair approach to the distribution of the funds, always making sure the beneficiary’s values and missions led to the betterment of people’s lives.”  

Born June 6, 1918, in Spokane, Wash., Louise was the only child of John Louis Crozier, a teacher and inventor, and his wife, Nellie, who died of scarlet fever a month after giving birth to Louise. She and Karsten met in 1936 in church and were married that same year. Both devout Christians, they remained active in church throughout their lives. At the time of her passing, Louise was a member of Bethany Bible Church in Phoenix.

An honor student in high school, Louise worked various jobs over the years as she and Karsten moved around the country while he continued his engineering career. In the early 1950s, she worked for Convair (now General Dynamics) in its wind tunnels, calculating and plotting test results for the aerospace engineers. Her title was “Computer.” Shortly after moving to Syracuse in 1954, she took a position with the Eastern Milk Producers Dairy Cooperative, where her job included editing the company newsletter. It turned out to be her favorite job of all. Her last position before PING became a full-time pursuit for her family was assisting John Conlan, a two-term State Senator from Arizona who later became a U.S. Congressman.

Louise was preceded in death by Karsten (February, 2000) and their daughter, Sandra Solheim Aiken (December, 2013). She is survived by her three sons: John A. Solheim, Karsten Manufacturing Corporation Chairman, President & CEO; Allan D. Solheim, retired Karsten Manufacturing Executive Vice President and current board member; and Karsten Louis Solheim, retired Karsten Manufacturing Executive Vice President and current board member. Louise was blessed with 14 grandchildren, 47 great grandchildren and 14 great, great grandchildren.  

 

 

 

adidas announced it finally has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its TaylorMade, Adams Golf and Ashworth golf brands. The new owner of the assets is a newly formed affiliate of KPS Capital Partners, LP. The price was US$ 425 million, which is approximately half of 2016’s annual sales of 892 million euros. The funding of the transaction is half in cash and the remainder in a combination of secured note and contingent considerations. The terms and value support the argument that adidas was more than motivated to unload TaylorMade. 

 

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed later in 2017. Once completed, the transaction will trigger adidas to record a non-operational loss in the high-double-digit to low-triple-digit million euro range, which will be reported in discontinued operations as part of the company’s 2017 results. This further supports just how motivated (some could argue desperate) adidas was to wash its hands clean from the golf business.

 

“TaylorMade is a leading global golf brand with an exceptionally strong market position. We would like to thank all TaylorMade employees for their many contributions to our company and wish them all the best for a successful future under their new ownership. At the same time, we welcome all adidas Golf employees who will be integrated into our adidas Heartbeat Sports Business Unit,” said Kasper Rorsted, CEO of adidas AG. 

“Within our long-term strategy ‘Creating the New’, our focus is clearly on our core competencies in footwear and apparel and on our two major brands adidas and Reebok.” 

 

 

 
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