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Home Daily Golf Briefs Daily Pulse for March 16, 2017

Web Street Golf Daily Pulse
VOLUME 7, NUMBER 53                                                         
Thursday, March 16, 2017

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “Arnold Palmer, above everything else, behind all the adulation, was a professional golfer. Sometimes it's hard to remember that, given all the amazing things he's done and the profile he's had in so many other areas of philanthropy, aviation, etcetera. Even more so, back in the 1960's, he and Jack Nicklaus formed the modern day PGA TOUR and one of the reasons that they segregated from the commendable organization of PGA professionals was to provide the touring players the Tour players, the opportunity to be masters of their own destiny. For those that basically wanted to hold out the very strong ideal that Arnold and Jack encouraged them to do, which is to be independent contractors. That is the essence of the PGA TOUR today and the essence of the activation of that is players entitlement to basically establish their own schedules based on their own values and ambitions.”

BRAIN TEASER: Can you name Arnold Palmer’s first and last PGA TOUR victories?

WE SALUTE YOU! Arnold Palmer’s contribution to The Open is being celebrated this week with the Claret Jug trophy going on display at the first playing of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard since he passed away. Palmer was Champion Golfer of the Year on two occasions, winning The Open at Royal Birkdale in 1961 and successfully defending the title when the Championship was staged at Royal Troon the following year. At Royal Birkdale, his famous 6-iron shot from the base of a bush onto the green on what is now the 16th hole is commemorated by a plaque.

In recognition of the key role Palmer played in supporting The Open, The R&A has commissioned two commemorative Champions’ medals of his victories in 1961 and 1962 and a special players’ badge, which it will present to the Arnie's Army Charitable Foundation later this year. At the Centenary Open at St Andrews in 1960, Palmer was pursuing the grand slam, after winning the first two major championships of the year, but lost out by a single stroke to Australia’s Kel Nagle.

An enormously popular figure with the fans, Palmer’s determination to come to Britain to win The Open inspired other leading American players to follow in his footsteps. He paid an emotional farewell to his many fans at The Open from the Swilcan Bridge in St Andrews in 1995 but returned to take part in the Champion Golfers’ Challenge in 2015.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We have given a great deal of thought to how we can show our appreciation for Arnold’s immense contribution to The Open over many years and were pleased to provide the Claret Jug to form part of the exhibition celebrating his career at Bay Hill this week. His back-to-back victories in The Open in 1961 and 1962 featured some of the most exciting and thrilling golf in the Championship’s history. As The Open returns to Royal Birkdale this July, Arnold’s victory there will be at the forefront of our minds and we are planning further tributes at the Championship.”

DARE TO POKE THE BEAR: While the golf world waits to see Tiger Woods play again, one of his new sponsors is offering up a glimpse of him. Bridgestone Golf has a new national marketing campaign featuring the man himself that highlights the performance benefits of its products over other brands. Titled “The Herd,” a series of commercials on NBC/Golf Channel and across the web depicts the “herd-mentality,” common among consumers with notions that the best golf ball is the one played by the most Tour players. Bridgestone is going directly after Titleist and its ProV1 franchise. The Bridgestone Tour B330 Series is being touted as being 44% straighter and 6.9 yards longer than the Titleist ProV1 Series. The claims are based on ball fitting data Bridgestone collected over 13,434 fittings from February 2015 – September 2016.

According to Bridgestone, more than 75 extras participated in the filming in South Africa, representing a scavenger hunt on a golf course for the most popular ball on Tour. What they find is Woods hitting a tee shot while the narrator proclaims “you can’t beat the pack by playing the same ball as the pack.” It concludes with the new slogan: “Dare to be better, Dare to Bridgestone.”

“The imagery and language are bold, powerful and communicate how golfers need a break-away-from-the-pack mentality to gain a true competitive edge,” said Corey Consuegra, Senior Director of Marketing of Bridgestone Golf. “This is our first broadcast spot featuring Tiger Woods, the perfect iconic figure to carry the message.”

Additional “break-a-way-from-the-pack” leaders include Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar, Fred Couples, Nick Price, Bryson DeChambeau and Hudson Swafford.

LOYALTY: Mastercard, which has been the presenting sponsor of the Arnold Palmer Invitational since 2004, has extended its sponsorship through 2020. “Mastercard is proud of the truly collaborative relationship we have built with the PGA TOUR and the API over the past 14 years,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard. “As the pinnacle of our PGA TOUR partnership, we look forward to continuing to honor Mr. Palmer’s legacy through our support of his tournament as well as the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, and Arnie’s Army."

Separately, Mastercard and the PGA TOUR have extended their exclusive marketing relationship as the Official Payment System of the PGA TOUR through 2022. “Mastercard has been a valuable partner of the PGA TOUR for more than 20 years and has done a terrific job of utilizing our relationship to implement innovative programs to benefit its cardholders,” said Tom Wade, Chief Commercial Officer of the PGA TOUR. “We are excited to announce this extension and to work with Mastercard to further enhance the golf experience for its cardholders.”

WEB GEMS:

HONORING THE PAST IN THE FUTURE: The European Tour's Players' Player of the Year Award has been renamed The Seve Ballesteros Award. The award is voted for by European Tour members at the end of each season and will now carry the name of five-time major winner Ballesteros, who died in 2011. The first recipient of the award is READ MORE>>>

A RED SWEATER TO THE WINNER: Palmer used to greet the winner on the 18th green. Instead of getting a blue blazer, the winner now will get a red cardigan, like the King once wore. READ MORE>>>

ANSWERS: “Arnold Palmer, above everything else, behind all the adulation, was a professional golfer. Sometimes it's hard to remember that, given all the amazing things he's done and the profile he's had in so many other areas of philanthropy, aviation, etcetera. Even more so, back in the 1960's, he and Jack Nicklaus formed the modern day PGA TOUR and one of the reasons that they segregated from the commendable organization of PGA professionals was to provide the touring players the Tour players, the opportunity to be masters of their own destiny. For those that basically wanted to hold out the very strong ideal that Arnold and Jack encouraged them to do, which is to be independent contractors. That is the essence of the PGA TOUR today and the essence of the activation of that is players entitlement to basically establish their own schedules based on their own values and ambitions.” -- Alastair Johnston, CEO and chairman of Arnold Palmer Enterprises

His first PGA TOUR victory came at the 1955 Canadian Open and his final time inside the winner’s circle was the 1973 Bob Hope Desert Classic.

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