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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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Remember not all that long ago when belly putters were the rage. After the USGA nixed that since it didn’t like the look, it was then a shift to counterbalanced models. The idea being that maintaining resistance to twisting (MOI) was the way to making more putts drop. Now another part of the club is coming under scrutiny to make players better or perhaps enjoy the game a little more.

Odyssey says its Stroke Lab (picture the late Robin Williams’ routine on golf) is about challenging common, well-established putter norms with ideas that promote improved performance.

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Does anyone see anyone else playing Mizuno metal woods even outside of the occasional player on the PGA TOUR? Then again not many play the brand’s metal woods on TOUR even though they can get paid to do so. Nevertheless, Mizuno has introduced the ST190 woods. According to the company, the ST190 is, “highly anticipated,” which isn’t even open for debate. But in the world of perception is reality; Mizuno proclaims it has quietly been a pioneer of metal woods for the entire golf industry. From the Ti100 (golf’s first mass-production titanium driver), the Masters winning T-ZOID, MP-001 with composite crown, and the MP-600 with sliding weights – Mizuno has introduced many metal wood technologies widely adopted by the industry. How many of these models have you tried or owned?

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TaylorMade appears to be banking on those that bought the M1, M2, M3 or M4 to buy the new M5 or M6. Will they? But if you didn’t buy the original M1, M2, M3 or M4 then will you be inclined to buy the M5 or M6? TaylorMade’s answer to Callaway’s Epic Flash or Titleist’s TS2 and TS3 is the M5 and M6. Typically, companies will extend a product name when it has inherent equity in it. In recent years, as pointed out previously, Callaway has distanced itself from the competition inside the metal woods category. Given TaylorMade’s once strong popularity within the category, it doesn’t take a leap of faith to suggest Callaway’s gain, in part, has been thanks to TaylorMade’s loss. So decide for yourself if the name M5 or M6 will get it done in terms of retail curb appeal. So what’s the different in M5 or M6 from previous generations? 

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2018 was another good year for Callaway Golf. The company has seen strong support for its products by recreational golfers. Jailbreak technology was followed by Epic and Callaway has boasted its market share has been higher than any other brand in golf. In the last two years alone, Callaway’s metal woods business has increased from $216 million at the end of 2016 to $308 million in 2017. Final numbers for 2018 will be released in early February and its expected to surpass last year’s levels. The metal woods category is important for several reasons. It offers the greatest profit margin but it also creates momentum that often spills into other equipment categories, which leads to additional sales. Going into 2019, Callaway has added a new technology called Flash Face to help golfers produce more ball speed for more distance. 

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2018 was another good year for Callaway Golf. The company has seen strong support for its products by recreational golfers. Jailbreak technology was followed by Epic and Callaway has boasted its market share has been higher than any other brand in golf. In the last two years alone, Callaway’s metal woods business has increased from $216 million at the end of 2016 to $308 million in 2017. Final numbers for 2018 will be released in early February and its expected to surpass last year’s levels. The metal woods category is important for several reasons. It offers the greatest profit margin but it also creates momentum that often spills into other equipment categories, which leads to additional sales. Going into 2019, Callaway has added a new technology called Flash Face to help golfers produce more ball speed for more distance. 

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Anyone remember Golf 20/20? It was an initiative back in 2000 that was endorsed and blessed by then PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. It was intended to grow the game and drive golf’s popularity into the same stratosphere as the NFL and Nascar by 2020. Like it or not but 2020 isn’t that far away anymore! So for those of us that still have a memory, consider these facts. NBC Sports Group reported the final round coverage of the TOUR Championship on Sunday (3:00-6:15 p.m. ET) earned a 5.21 overnight rating. The telecast was up 206% vs. 2017 (1.70). It also represents the highest-rated telecast in the history of the FedExCup Playoffs (2007-’18) and the highest-rated PGA TOUR telecast in 2018 (excluding majors). Now consider this, in the same broadcast window, the Seahawks versus Cowboys game drew a 15.3 overnight rating. Later that evening, the Lions versus Patriots game drew a 13.6.

Back in 2000, Finchem reported the following: “The fan base continued to grow. Our television ratings are up. We did do some very exciting research at Golf 20/20 this year and are learning more about our fan base. Just to give you one example, we've seen an increase in 400 percent in the size of the Hispanic interest in our fan base over the last three years and the Latino press and media has created a fairly significant boost in Hispanic interest, to go along with the very strong increase in interest of African Americans. All of our key indicators were up in 2000. Our ratings, our on-site attendance, our charity donations, all of these indicators were up, whether Tiger was playing or not, interestingly enough.”

In last Thursday’s issue, Martin Ayers of Northbound Golf stated, “They talk about growing the game, what they mean is growing the business. The game is devouring itself.” His words take on greater meaning in the context of the networks/Tour touting the ratings bonanza Tiger Woods represents. History has proven that professional golf has struggled to generated consistent rating improvements that suggest it has delivered on its promise to grow the game’s popularity with non-golfers. Meanwhile, it’s been incredible at driving its sponsorship rates sky high! Isn’t it ironic that Nike Golf decided two years ago to abandon the equipment business purely for financial reasons?

 
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