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Home 2009 Archives Archives VOLUME 12, NUMBER 50

 

Web Street Golf Report

VOLUME 12, NUMBER 50

Monday, December 14, 2009

ONE COMPANY CUTS ITS TIES WITH TIGER: Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, announced that it will not continue its sponsorship agreement with Tiger Woods. With ending its six year relationship, the company issued the following statement, “However, given the circumstances of the last two weeks, after careful consideration and analysis, the company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising.  Accenture said that it wishes only the best for Tiger Woods and his family.

Accenture said it would continue to leverage its “High Performance Business” strategy and “High Performance Delivered” positioning in the marketplace.  The company will immediately transition to a new advertising campaign, with a major effort scheduled to launch later in 2010.

MOVING FORWARD: True Temper Sports, Inc., has completed its financial restructuring plan, originally announced on September 30th. The plan, which was approved by the Company’s lenders in September, was formally confirmed by the U.S. Court in Delaware, and completes the Company’s debt restructuring under the court’s oversight. True Temper said over 80% of its indebtedness was eliminated. It also obtained a new revolving credit facility led by GE Capital.

“This is an extremely positive outcome for our Company, and the completion of our financial restructuring certainly marks the beginning of a new day for True Temper Sports,” said Scott Hennessy, President and CEO. “We are very well positioned for the future and a capital structure that will now enable us to accelerate our global growth initiatives. We are also pleased that our plan was fully implemented with no impact to our employees, customers, or suppliers; and that our underlying operations remained unaffected by this balance sheet restructuring.”

Hennessy also said his business appears to be improving. “It has certainly been a challenging year for the entire industry, but we are now seeing clear signs of recovery in our business,” he said. “The current level of demand is requiring us to increase our production output and recall a number of our furloughed manufacturing employees, as we expect this trend to continue. We are budgeting for a double digit rebound in sales revenue over the next few months, and substantial improvement throughout 2010,” Hennessy continued.

“The overall growth for next year should be driven by favorable economic and industry factors, in addition to our own new product line-up, which is arguably the most robust in our Company’s history. We believe True Temper is more than ready to not only maintain but to grow our leadership position for years to come.”

SHORT STROKES: Months after returning as a independent “boutique golf company” Bettinardi Golf has unveiled its 2010 new putter lineup, which includes the introduction of a new Country Club (CC) Series putter line. "We are eager to re-establish our brand presence and provide an authentic golf experience with unmatched products fully made in the U.S.A. and we’re equally committed to catering to the golfer and customer who wants the best of the best,” stated Bob Bettinardi.

The first-ever CC series model is a heel-toe designed putter finished in Satin Nickel that offers a customization component, an emblazoned logo on the sole of the putter to showcase a club, association or school. In addition, any CC putter created for a Club recognized as a “Top 100” will receive special engraving and a “Top 100” headcover. The suggested retail for the CC putter is 325.00

The 2010 BB Series includes five putter models, all plated with a black nickel finish. Each model in the series is milled with a single sightline to aid with alignment and has a three-degree loft. Every BB putter has a pistol style grip and a patented Black Bettinardi Head cover. The BB putter series (suggested retail 275.00) includes:

BB1: A traditional heel-toe weighted design has a rounded shape with soft edges throughout.

BB8: A sharper more sleek appearance with a neck that is milled in a heel basis position to promote additional toe hang.

BB25: A modern blade style, the BB25 is a fresh take on a traditional design with a slightly tapered body and a single flange further enhancing the 100% CNC milled flow neck.

BB26: This center shafted heel-toe weighted design incorporates elements from the BB1 but with a center shafted zero offset. The BB26 design is slightly thicker in appearance at address.

BB32: A face balanced mallet, this design has a classic pear shaped profile at address. The unique flange achieves maximum perimeter weighting, according to the company, for optimum performance. Its spud neck has a double bend shaft. Available in left and right hand.

ITS NEVER EASY: While the Obama administration is talking up the employment opportunities, despite an ongoing murky economy, one golf company was left with the difficult decision to reduce its head count. Callaway Golf (ELY: NYSE) confirmed it has made some changes to its internal staffing but would not reveal the actual number of employees that were affected.

“As part of an ongoing mission to optimize our structure and support Callaway Golf's long term business objectives, we recently instituted several changes that included reassigning a number of employees within the organization, as well as a reduction in workforce,” company spokesman Tim Buckman shared with Web Street. The contributing factors to the decision are believed to be the current economic conditions and consolidation in retail doors within the golf industry in 2009.

Meanwhile, one person has agreed to extend his stay with the company for an additional year. According to a recent filing with the SEC, George Fellows, Callaway’s CEO’s employment contract was extended to December 15, 2012.

BE SMART, WORK SMART: As the year winds down, 2009 has proven to be a challenging year for nearly all businesses and industries. With it soon to be viewed through the rear view mirror, many lessons for future years may be an indirect result and perhaps benefit for those living through it. The game has been changing in front of our very eyes. Costs and efficiencies are two staples for any successful business, but given the unforeseen market conditions over this year and potentially lingering into 2010, the two points can never be understated. Finding a way to create greater results with less to work with has become the new business strategy many are faced with.

Never-Search, Inc., a software publisher, believes it can help generate greater productivity for sales reps. “While we already know we have the most accurate golf course locations of any map, we continue to make it better,’ said Keith Kreft, President, Never-Search, Inc. “Golf sales personnel will enjoy the benefits of this invaluable sales lead tool immediately. With the Business Edition software, every piece of information about retail shops, driving ranges and golf courses are at their fingertips, allowing them to efficiently locate, qualify and contact golf facilities in new or unfamiliar areas, or run effective telemarketing or email campaigns.”

The company has recently updated its Business Edition version and a number of enhancements have been included. The nearly 30,000 business golf course email addresses, which appear on the map, are now categorized and prioritized. Categories include; CEO’s, GM’s and assistant GM’s, Directors of Golf, Pro’s and assistant Pro’s, Buyers, general information, administration and business contacts, Instructors, Superintendents and assistant Superintendents, Tournament directors, Event coordinators, FB managers, Membership directors, and tee times.

“In addition, we have also added subfolders for all of the off-course Retail Store chains having more than 10 stores,” Kreft pointed out. “This allows any combination of the 23 chains along with the independent retail stores to be individually selected for display on the map. The operation is identical to the golf course sub-categorization which allows the Private, Military, Resort, Municipal, Semi-Private, and general Public courses to be independently selected for display on the map.”

The newest course additions appear in a folder titled “Latest 250” to allow existing business customers who have already spent time qualifying courses in areas or territories, to easily identify and review the newer additions separately from courses they may have already spent time investigating.

“This has been a huge undertaking, especially with the number of course closures and course ownership and name changes, but I believe our customers will appreciate the new enhancements,” said Kreft. “It’s all about saving time, and improving efficiencies. Golf sales reps using our software are getting in at least one more call a day, so they are knocking on 20 to 30 percent more doors. Our proximity-based viewing cuts down on travel and planning time. In this economy, who can afford not to explore every niche and cranny… and do this effectively.”

Never-Search has also enhanced its Personal Edition, which includes a new folder that allows golfers to quickly find and identify courses with Golf Digest ratings between 5 and 3 stars, along with links to the Golf Digest write-ups on these courses. The golf course information boxes now display categorized email addresses for general information, Tournament directors, Event coordinators, Membership directors, tee times, and lodging. Guest policies for private clubs and resorts have also been added.

The Never-Search for Golf Personal Edition is available for $39.95, while the Business Editions range from $99.00 to $495.00 depending upon coverage. Both the Personal and Business editions are available from www.Never-Search.com and existing subscribers only need to click on the maps Update button to refresh all of the golf information and receive the enhancements. Readers of Web Street can receive a 10% discount through the end of December on any new orders by using the promo word GOLFBIZ.

Customers can also download a free trial version of the product (credit card not required) or order a trial DVD if they prefer that installation method. Once someone has registered and downloaded the latest travel data, the software works with or without an Internet connection. The purchase price includes free updates of all the data for one year.

THINK GREEN: The Phoenix Open has gone from banking to waste management (some might argue they are in the same industry given the ways of the world in the past 12 to 24 months) with its latest title sponsor. The Thunderbirds and PGA Tour jointly announced that Waste Management, Inc. (WM: NYSE), the largest environmental services provider in North America, would be the sole title sponsor of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the new name for the FBR Open, beginning with the 2010 tournament.

“We are thrilled to have Waste Management on board as our new title sponsor,” said Thunderbirds Big Chief John Felix. “Our new relationship with Waste Management will allow the Thunderbirds to continue our philanthropic efforts in the Phoenix community for years to come.”

The Waste Management Phoenix Open will be a major platform for showcasing Waste Management’s Think Green solutions. "It is our plan to implement our service at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in partnership with the PGA Tour and the Thunderbirds and eventually turn this major sports event into the greenest tournament on the PGA Tour.  It is our plan to showcase practical reduction and recycling solutions and raise awareness about solutions that fans and communities can incorporate into their businesses and lives,” said David Aardsma, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Waste Management.  “We hope the fans will not only come to watch great golf but also get some tips on being green.” The agreement is said to be a six-year deal with Waste Management, Inc. Financial terms of the agreement will not be released. Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services.

ME COSTA, SU COSTA: The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) has added a stop in the San Diego area to its schedule next year. The LPGA Classic Presented by J Golf will be held March 22-28 at La Costa Resort and Spa. “We are thrilled to once again showcase the best golfers in the world in the San Diego area,” incoming commissioner Michael Whan said. “The support of J Golf and a respected venue like La Costa Resort and Spa will go a long way toward making this a first-class event.”

The $1.7 million LPGA Classic Presented by J Golf is a 144-player event will be the third tournament overall, in 2010 for the LPGA season.

FOR THE KIDS: Cleveland Golf/Srixon has introduced a new Junior Series set of golf clubs for children, which will be available in three different sizes. It has been designed specifically for boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 14 years old. Each club features similar technology found in Cleveland Golf’s standard equipment and each set configuration has been modified to help fit the junior golfer into the most suitable head weights and lengths for his or her age and height. The driver, hybrid and irons have lightweight composite shafts to help reduce the overall weight to help generate club head speed. Each set also includes a lightweight, durable stand bag, which features a 5-pocket layout, integrated hip pad and dual carry strap.

The Junior Series sets carry a minimum advertised price of $119 for the SMALL set (3-6 yr olds), $149 for the MEDIUM (7-10 yr olds) and $179 for the LARGE (11-14 yr olds).

GET IN THE GROOVE: It hasn’t been the type of year many were expecting and 2010 looks like it might be a continuation of more of the same. One thing for certain is changing when the calendar turns the page to January. PGA Tour players are being told to change their equipment, specifically the grooves in irons that have 25 degrees or more of loft. This condition of competition passed down by the ruling bodies in the game ensures two different sets of rules will be in effect since the majority of players who maintain a handicap won’t have to abide by these same decisions. Confusion is a distinct possibility as Tour players adjust to their new tools and recreational players wonder how it might affect their game.

EIDOLON Golf Founder/President Terry Koehler has published, “The Spin Zone - The Real Truth About Grooves'' a 24-page ebook devoted to the subject. "Over the past year or more, there has been a tremendous amount of misinformation about the new grooves rule,'' said Koehler, a 30-year golf industry veteran. “ "While I have addressed this topic in my blog (www.TheWedgeGuy.com) and speaking engagements, it was a pleasure to present a no-holds-barred book that strips away all of the misinformation and misconceptions surrounding the new rule and provides readers with the cold, hard facts. There is no other place where a golfer can get this kind of detailed information and background on one of the more important rule changes in the history of golf.''

The free ebook is available at www.groovesurvey.com, and golfers can participate in “The Great Groove Survey.” Koehler promises to share the results of the survey with golf’s ruling bodies and the media when enough results are tabulated to ensure statistical relevance. It represents the only opportunity the vast worldwide golf population will have to be heard on this issue.

DOWNSIZING: Standard & Poor's has announced some changes to its various indices. Three S&P 500 constituents will switch places with three S&P MidCap 400 constituents, and three S&P MidCap 400 constituents will switch places with three S&P SmallCap 600 constituents. Callaway Golf (ELY: NYSE) is moving to the S&P SmallCap 600 index. It was a part of the S&P MidCap 400 index. The transfer is necessitated due to a change in market capitalization. The S&P SmallCap 600 is represented by companies that have market caps below $500 million, while the S&P MidCap 400 are for companies between $1 billion and $3 billion.

STOCK WATCH: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10,471.50 on Friday picking up a 0.8% gain for the week. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index added less than 0.1%, while the Nasdaq fell 0.2% for the week.

TRAVEL:

FORGET WINTER, HEAD TO THE BEACH! On a budget? Looking for an escape? One location offers both for those who might be inclined to side step Old Man Winter, at least for a little while. The popular “Best Ever Golf School Package” offered by Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, S.C., has added a nine-hole playing lesson for free.

The package, which has been offered without a playing lesson since the summer of 2009, combines deluxe accommodations, golf on Pawleys Plantation’s award-winning Jack Nicklaus-designed course, daily breakfast, and three days of golf school at the on-site Phil Ritson-Mel Sole Golf School, which is currently ranked one of the top five golf schools in America. From now through February 24th only, the package will also include a 9-hole playing lesson, which is a $200 value.

The price of the “Best Ever Golf School Package” will remain steady at $799 per person for December, January and February. Based on double occupancy (taxes inclusive), it includes three nights accommodations in a luxurious one-bedroom suite, two rounds of golf with carts on Pawleys Plantation’s signature Jack Nicklaus course, three breakfasts, and three-days of golf instruction at the highly acclaimed, on-site Ritson-Sole Golf School. The free 9-hole playing lesson by a Ritson-Sole instructor will be conducted on the Nicklaus course.

“This package is an extraordinary value,” said Jann Walker, director of marketing at Pawleys Plantation. “ A playing lesson gives a golfer the opportunity to put what he's learned in the golf school to work on the course under the watchful eye of his instructor. That time on the course can be invaluable in terms of increased understanding of course strategy and management.”

Pawleys Plantation’s on-site golf school has several instructors including owner and Golf Magazine Top Teacher, Mel Sole. Class size is limited to four students to ensure plenty of individual attention. Unlike most golf schools, students are not moved to different instructors for chipping, putting, iron play, etc. Each class stays with its own instructor throughout all parts of the full swing and short game, and the resulting rapport and continuity means maximum improvement.

“A package like this would cost three or four times as much at any other Top 25 golf school,” said Walker. “Mel's commitment to making top instruction affordable is one of the reasons that Golf Magazine says the Ritson-Sole Golf School is one of the best values among America’s top schools.”

Additional information is available at www.pawleysplantation.com or by calling Pawleys Plantation at (800) 367-9959. More information on the Phil Ritson–Mel Sole Golf School is available by calling (800) 624-4653 or online at www.ritson-sole.com.

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IS BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, BUT IT IS NOT GUARANTEED. THE OPINION EXPRESSED IS THAT OF TERRY MCANDREW AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A SOLICITATION TO BUY OR SELL SECURITIES IN ANY OF THE COMPANIES DISCUSSED WITHIN THIS NEWSLETTER. CONTENTS OF THIS NEWSLETTER MAY NOT BE REPRINTED OR REBROADCAST WITHOUT THE EXPRESSED WRITTEN CONSENT OF TMAC GOLF

 

Last Updated (Wednesday, 03 February 2010 09:08)