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Web Street Golf Daily Pulse

VOLUME 1, NUMBER 25

Friday February 5, 2010

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “The main question is, 'Do I know anything you don't? I can't confirm or deny anything, because I don't know.”

PRIMING THE PUMP: It appears the equipment business is picking up. While its still early to predict how consumers will respond in the true selling season, foundries are preparing to meet potential demand. Dynamic Precision and Advanced International have garnered contract orders worth NT$160 million (US$5 million at US$1: NT$32) and NT$800 million (US$25 million), respectively, so far. Also, O-Ta has secured orders worth around NT$400 million (US$12.5 million), according to a report out of Taipei. READ MORE>>>

BIG BROTHER: United States Golf Association senior technical director Dick Rugge said the process the organization uses to set equipment standards in golf is designed to protect the game, not "kill" it, as Phil Mickelson said earlier this week.

"The USGA does a lot to improve the game," Rugge said Thursday. "As far as someone accusing us of killing the sport, I'm not going to get into a response to Phil Mickelson on that. He's entitled to his own opinion.” READ MORE>>>

MEMBERS WANTED: Golf Club Holdings, LLC and the PGA TOUR announced the introduction of THE TOUR CLUB. Owned and operated by Golf Club Holdings, LLC under license from the PGA TOUR, THE TOUR CLUB is the first national sports entertainment club membership. Included in membership is a network of luxury residences, private and resort golf courses, previously considered inaccessible golf-centric experiences, VIP access to PGA TOUR events, TOUR-level golf instruction and event concierge services.

“The PGA TOUR has always held a special position in the world of golf. Through our strategic alliance with THE TOUR CLUB, a wider range of companies and individuals will be able to benefit from our three professional tours and the TPC Network,” said Timothy Hawes, PGA TOUR Senior Vice President, Retail Licensing. “The integration of residences, academies, and comprehensive golf experiences, make corporate and family membership truly innovative solutions.” READ MORE>>>

WEB GEMS:

TIMES DO CHANGE: Last year’s Northern Trust Open was under siege for allegedly spending frivolously taxpayer dollars. Under the heading of no such thing as bad PR, the worm has turned this year, perhaps thanks to 2009, the Wall Street Journal reports. Advance ticket sales were up 35% and hospitality sales -- that would be those big tents used for corporate entertaining -- are up 50%. READ MORE>>>

PLAY IT AGAIN SAM: The shot wasn't heard round the world, but the reverberations are still being felt some two decades later.” I caused the whole groove controversy," Mark Calcavecchia said from his West Coast home in Phoenix earlier this week. "Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus went crazy and that was the whole start of it. READ MORE>>>

PARDON THE INTERRUPTION: U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello is asking President Obama for help with the sale of Kokopelli Golf Course in Marion. READ MORE>>>

THE WEEKEND UPDATE: A trio of champions are playing in the same group at Riviera, all of them with memories of winning in vastly different ways, starting with Phil Mickelson. He's the only guy who didn't win the Northern Trust Open in a rain suit. READ MORE>>>

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: If you like what you have seen with the Daily Pulse, help spread the word. Pass along your copy. Its free and all anyone needs to do is send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it asking to be put on the distribution list. It is a complete opt in or or out system.

ANSWER: Wade Dunagan, executive director of the WGC Match Play event in Tucson where reports are calling for the competitive return of the world’s #1 player.

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 (Thursday, 11 February 2010 08:47)

 

Web Street Golf Daily Pulse

VOLUME 1, NUMBER 24

Thursday February 4, 2010

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “Any player is entitled under these rules to play a Ping Eye 2 wedge designed before 1990 if he so chooses. There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing that violates the rule. There is no hidden direction to players or side direction not to play that club, so there is absolutely no basis to criticize a player for doing so. None. And to do so in our view is inappropriate.”

STUCK IN REVERSE: Wilson Golf has not aged well. The once iconic brand with a rich legacy continued to have trouble maintaining its market position in 2009. Its Finnish parent company, Amer, released its 2009 financial results that chronicle the ongoing slide for its golf business.

Amer reported, 2009 net sales in golf fell 15% to EUR 66.7 million, down EUR 11.9 million from the EUR 78.6 million it reported in 2008. The breakdown of sales by market, according to Amer, was: the Americas 44%, EuropeMiddleEastAfrica 44% and Asia Pacific 12%. In local currency terms, the Americas fell by 25%, the EMEA fell by 4%, and Asia Pacific fell by 19%. The biggest product categories were clubs, representing 59% of net sales, and balls 26%. Net sales of clubs fell in local currencies by 15%, and balls by 21%, it said. Amer added that Wilson Golf's strategy is to focus on the iron category.

A brief look in the rear view mirror for the golf business reflects its challenges in remaining fresh with consumers. Revenues back in 2002 were EUR 213.3 million and slumped in 2004 to EUR 141.2 million. Last year’s results are only mostly higher that its first quarter sales back in 2003 of EUR 62.2 million...

 


THE FAST LANE: Srixon Sports has added some speed to its golf ball roster. “The new TRISPEED and TRISPEED TOUR golf balls bring added performance without sacrificing distance,” said Chris Beck, Brand Manager for Srixon. “With these two new offerings, golfers can find an upgrade from the 2-piece ball they are currently playing without having to pay the higher costs associated with urethane balls.” READ MORE>>>

COULD A NEW STAR BE BORN? Srixon Sports has two new additions Z-STAR golf ball micro-brand franchise. “The new Z-STAR and Z-STAR X Tour Yellow golf balls are currently being tested by numerous PGA and Nationwide TOUR players, who are presently playing the Srixon Z-STAR series of balls,” said Chris Beck, Brand Manager for Srixon. “The response from our tour staffers has been overwhelmingly positive. We understand that players at all levels of the game want to lower their scores and the Tour Yellow balls have definitely peaked the interest of our tour players, as well as consumers.” READ MORE>>>

GET A GRIP: FootJoy has introduced a new glove to its line up. "The new SPIDR2 has been designed and developed for players looking for maximum grip and control with a progressive new look in a golf glove,“ said Maria Bonzagni, Senior Director of Golf Glove Marketing, FootJoy. "The integration of SPIDR2's proprietary innovative materials provides a powerful grip advantage for nearly every playing condition." READ MORE>>>

ITS RIDICULOUS: Phil Mickelson wants to see pressure on the USGA over its new groove rule. See for yourself what Mickelson is talking about.


A SIGN OF THE TIME$: Adidas America Inc. has made an adjustment to its headcount as part of a U.S. restructuring at its Portland headquarters. READ MORE>>>

NOTES: Dallas Country Club has tapped John Fought Design for a major renovation. Ka’anapali Golf Resort has been named one of the “100 Best Golf Shops” in the United States by Golf World.

WEB GEMS:

OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN: U.S. captain Corey Pavin announced four assistants for the Ryder Cup, including two players who have never competed in the matches against Europe. READ MORE>>>

ON THE MOVE? Tiger Woods is leaving the rehab center in Mississippi where he reportedly has been treated for sex addiction... READ MORE>>>

STILL #1: Troubled Tiger still tops Forbes brand list. READ MORE>>>

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: If you like what you have seen with the Daily Pulse, help spread the word. Pass along your copy. Its free and all anyone needs to do is send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it asking to be put on the distribution list. It is a complete opt in or or out system.

ANSWER: PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem.

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 (Thursday, 04 February 2010 16:44)

 

 

Web Street Golf Daily Pulse

VOLUME 1, NUMBER 23

Wednesday February 3, 2010

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “It's a massive coup for Ping, isn't it, that people can hit their 20-year-old clubs better than their current manufacturers.”

AS YOU MIGHT HAVE EXPECTED: PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem addressed the media on the topic of the groove controversy. In his usual manner, Finchem was calm, cool and collected in articulating the complicated subject other than blood coming from one of fingers. According to the Commissioner, the Ping EYE2 wedge generates approximately 20% more spin than what the condition of competition rule prefers. Individual performances are somewhat varied, however, based on differing components, such as swing speed and launch angle, he said.

Nevertheless, Finchem outlined one of the three things that can take place to overcome the current situation. The first was maintaining status quo, which wouldn’t change anything. The second scenario is to have John Solheim of Karsten Manufacturing offer the Tour and the USGA charity by agreeing to remove the product for Tour use, which would contradict a prior settlement agreement that his late father made. “And I've spoken to John Solheim,” said Finchem. “My understanding is he'll be meeting with the USGA potentially in the next week. I hope that meeting occurs. And I can only hope that progress is made in that regard.” John Solheim issued a statement, which acknowledged the conversation and maintained that a further dialogue was appropriate. “PGA Tour Commissioner Finchem and I had a brief discussion and he shared his belief that the 1993 settlement agreement allowed his organization to utilize the protocol to consider a special rule that would ban Ping EYE2 irons and wedges. While we strongly disagree with their interpretation of the agreement, we agreed further dialogue on the topic was healthy. We hope to speak again in the next week or so. I’ve also been in contact with the USGA and expect to meet with them as well,” Solheim said.

The third option appears to have some opposition from Solheim, who is holding some important cards in this high stakes matter. “We do have this process available to us in the agreement that we entered into, which allows us after we follow a certain process, which involves asking an independent committee for an evaluation of promulgating a rule that would differ in some respects to the USGA rule,” said Finchem, “which would give us the ability after that process is successfully completed, to take out the language that would require us to allow Ping Eye 2s manufactured before 1990 to be used.”

So Finchem offered some alternatives, the most viable one representing divine intervention from John Solheim’s Karsten Manufacturing company, makers of Ping clubs. However, it appears someone else, who carries some weight in golf circles, has another idea on how to overcome this impasse..

LEFTY SAYS USGA’S NEW RULE DOESN’T PASS THE SMELL TEST: Once upon a time, the tag line was, “These guys are good.” It morphed to, “Anything is possible.” Sounds like another way to describe the wedge controversy. That is until Phil Mickelson decided it was time someone spoke out about in straightforward terms. Mickelson who has displayed an all for nothing, riverboat gambler style in attacking pins wasn’t about to back away from this topic. Fan love him or love to make fun of his risky strategy on the golf course when it occasionally backfires, should stand and applaud him for taking a stand on a subject he is quite passionate about.

“I have been very upset over the way the entire groove rule has come about and its total lack of transparency,” Mickelson began. “I'm very upset with the way the rule came about, the way one man essentially can approve or not approve a golf club based on his own personal decision regardless of what the rule says. This has got to change,” he continued. “To come out and change a rule like this that has a loophole has got to change. It's ridiculous. It hurts the game, and you cannot put the players in a position to interpret what the rule has meant. That's why we have a decisions book, to decide this stuff.”

Mickelson was adamant that the USGA made a mistake with its decision to implement a condition of competition rule in 2010. “This should have been decided well before this came out. It put me and it put all players in a bad spot, and it needs to be changed. This rule-making process needs to be changed.”

Meanwhile, Mickelson is offering an olive branch of sorts this week by declaring he won’t use the Ping EYE2 wedge in defense of his title at Riviera CC. “I respect these players out here. I like and respect these players. And last year when my wife and I were at one of our low points, these players came together and did one of the nicest things that could have ever been done to show support, and it meant tons for me. And out of respect for them, I do not want to have an advantage over anybody, whether it's perceived or actual. So this week I won't be playing that wedge. My point has been made. I won't play it,” he said.

But he isn’t backing down from his position on the subject. “But if these governing bodies cannot get together to fix this loophole, if players stop using this wedge, which would stop the pressing of the issue, then I will re-look at it and put the wedge back in play,” he said. “But I hope that players continue to play the wedge. I hope that the governing bodies get forced into changing their rule-making process. I hope there's more transparency amongst the governing body. We cannot have one man have arbitrary power over this. It's frustrating for players, and it's extremely frustrating for manufacturers, and I hope all this stuff gets changed. If there's no pressure amongst these organizations to make changes, I will immediately put the club back in play,” Mickelson stated.

Mickelson made an effort more than once to educate the media that his concerns are more than simply the groove topic. “I think it was a ridiculous rule change and even worse timing. It's cost manufacturers millions of dollars. It continues to cost them money as we now have to hire people to scan, document and store data of every club of every groove on every single club. It was unnecessary. It was an attempt to show power. And the arbitrary judgment of one man can take a conforming club and rule it non-conforming based on his emotion, this type of lack of transparency has got to change. It's killing the sport. It's killing the manufacturers, the players. We don't understand the rule, and it needs to be changed,” Mickelson stated.

Somewhere in the universe the late Ely Callaway must be smiling... Stay tuned, this topic isn’t going away.

AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR: Callaway Golf President and CEO, George Fellows, issued a company statement on Phil Mickelson.

“There has been a lot of discussion surrounding Phil Mickelson's use of one older model Ping wedge during the Farmers Insurance Open,” Fellows began. “Normally I would not comment on such matters, but in this instance I would like to clarify any misunderstandings and help everyone work together to solve the problems that Phil helped highlight.

“I think everyone should know by now that Phil has not done anything wrong. He did not violate any rule or regulation regarding equipment, as confirmed by the PGA TOUR.  Those who offered misinformed statements at the start of last week have since issued retractions and apologies. In addition, Phil did not violate his contract with Callaway, and he never would. Phil has been our partner and friend for many years, and we continue to work very closely with him, as we do with all of our staff professionals. Phil’s love for the game of golf is demonstrated in the way he conducts himself both on and off the course.

“I sincerely hope that any misinformed speculation about a nonexistent wrongdoing does not detract from the fact that Phil did something very much right. The stature and respect that Phil has earned throughout his career allowed him to produce a focused attention on several problems currently being faced by the Tours, players and others as they implement an unprecedented rollback in groove specifications.

“While Callaway Golf did not support this rollback, we recognize that we all need to work together regarding its implementation. In this regard, we applaud the statement by John Solheim of Ping indicating his willingness to work with Commissioner Finchem to address the Ping wedge issue specifically. We think this highlights the natural partnership that exists between the PGA TOUR and the equipment manufacturers who work very closely with the players. We all recognize the importance of how the game is portrayed by the best players, and have a shared interest in preserving that image. Thus, Callaway, like Ping, hopes to be able to work with the PGA TOUR and all the professional tours to solve the problems created by this rollback in the Rules of Golf. We thank Phil for his courage in bringing this issue to the fore.”

A NEW RESOURCE: On the heels of the recent launch of BLACK WIDOW Grips, the company today unveiled www.bwgrips.com. “We are very excited to launch this new website to promote the excellent performance features and benefits of BLACK WIDOW Grips,” said John Hohman, Softspikes’ VP of Marketing.  “Our team at Softspikes has worked very hard on the development of this site, and we are confident our customers will be intrigued by our bold designs and functional technology.” READ MORE>>>

TWEET, TWEET: Joe Ogilvie offers another option on the groove debate via his Twitter account: “There is a 4th alternative to the groove rule: swallow the ego, do a mea culpa and suspend the groove rule immediately.”

WEB GEMS:

COULD IT BE? The Melbourne Herald is reporting when Tiger Woods will return to competitive play. READ MORE>>>

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: If you like what you have seen with the Daily Pulse, help spread the word. Pass along your copy. Its free and all anyone needs to do is send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it asking to be put on the distribution list. It is a complete opt in or or out system.

ANSWER: Lee Westwood who added, "I've spent most of my life trying to take spin off the ball so I'm not about to put in 20-year-old clubs. I think the up-to-date stuff that Ping manufactures are far superior to the stuff of 20 years ago."

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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, 28 March 2012 22:39)

 
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