Web Street Golf Daily Pulse
VOLUME 7, NUMBER 73
Thursday, April 13, 2017
ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “The romantic in me is delighted for Sergio. His career deserved it, his golf deserved it and he is a creative player. Those kinds of players seem to be rewarded by the golfing gods at Augusta.”
BRAIN TEASER: This player has won five times on the PGA TOUR over his career, is a former world #1 and has six top-3 finishes in his last eight starts at the RBC Heritage but never won it. Can you who it is?
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: FOX Sports, the domestic broadcast partner of the United States Golf Association, announced it will air more than 140 hours of live coverage across eight 2017 USGA championships, including more than 45 hours on FOX, FS1 and FOX Deportes and continuous live streaming on FOX Sports Go from the 117th U.S. Open at Erin Hills, in Erin, Wis. FOX Sports will also provide live coverage from the U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open, four USGA amateur championships and the 46th Walker Cup Match.
The Men’s U.S. Open is the crown jewel (figuratively speaking) in this portfolio of golf events for Fox. However, it hasn’t seen much success since taking over the broadcast duties. Its been widely reported the contract value it paid is in the neighborhood of $100 million annually. Last year the U.S. Open on Fox drew 3.8, which is less than half of what the 2017 Masters just reported. Overnight rating for CBS during Sunday’s final round of the Masters was 7.6. It represents a 13-year low for the event, according to figures released by the network. Maybe Fox can put a call into Tiger and see if he’s interesting in sitting in the play by play booth, if his back forces him to remain inactive? That would certainly give fans an added reason to tune in!
HUH? COBRA PUMA GOLF has introduced the Heritage Collection – including a Limited Edition Wood Grain KING F7 driver, a chestnut herringbone pattern Driver Cap, along with apparel and footwear. The collection is designed to pay tribute to the history of golf and its icons. There is some irony here that shouldn’t be overlooked. COBRA and more specifically PUMA typically feature a younger, “fresher” appearance that a millennial audience would gravitate towards with the help of Rickie Fowler. Therefore, going with a back to the future look isn’t exactly the company’s wheelhouse or its “North Star” compass in terms of its branding path. Regardless of this, the company is enlisting Bryson DeChambeau to bring the collection to life.
The COBRA KING F7 Wood Grain driver, which immediately conjures up recollections of the 2013 Cleveland Classic XL driver (how did that do?) promises all the technological advantages of today, but cosmetically altered to give the appearance of a persimmon driver head. Really? Its 2017 and the appearance of persimmon is going to move the needle for somebody?
In addition, during round one of the 2017 RBC Heritage this week, DeChambeau (should he get some face time on television?) will be outfitted from head-to-toe in the “heritage look” featuring a PUMA Golf button cardigan, Tailored Golf Chinos, Ignite Spikeless Sport shoes in a throwback brown colorway and his Tour Driver Cap designed with chestnut herringbone fabric. Meanwhile, if this somehow inspires you to emulate the look consider the retail prices:
• COBRA KING F7 Driver – Limited Edition Throwback – available 4/14; $349
• PUMA IGNITE Spikeless Sport shoes Brown - available now: $120
• PUMA Tour Driver Cap – Limited Edition Throwback – available 4/14; $40
• PUMA Tailored Golf Chino – White Pepper available now; $80
• PUMA Stretch Belt – Quarry/Oatmeal/Peacoat – available now; $30
DON’T COUNT YOUR CHICKENS BEFORE THEY HATCH: Further evidence that we live in a different world speaks to continued emphasis golf manufacturers place on the validation process for products. Like it or not, today’s market doesn’t seem to care the way it once did about what was used to claim major championships. In 2016, Danny Willett and Henrik Stenson (both Callaway representatives) won majors for the first time respectively. It didn’t seem to make any difference to the brand or company’s annual sales. Callaway’s 2016 metal wood sales were down 9.1% or $20.4 million. Iron sales registered a 2.7% ($6.4 million) increase over 2015. Hardly anything to get excited over, despite winning two out of the four majors!
In 2015, Titleist won the first three majors (thank you Jordan Spieth times two and Zach Johnson at St Andrews), yet its hard goods business didn’t see any surge in sales. Meanwhile, Johnson catapulted his win as a jumping off point at the end of the season for the new kid on the block, PXG! Amazing in that his second major should garner some future discussion for his potential inclusion into the World Golf Hall of Fame and the once life long Titleist player elected to ditch most of what he used to be successful for unknown economic and performance reasons! In 2014, Rory McIlroy, then of Nike Golf, won the Open and PGA Championships. We now know what that meant for Nike Golf.
TaylorMade, which boasts seventeenth consecutive years as the #1 driver at the Masters, has seen one of its players win a major every year since 2012. Justin Rose (2012 US Open), Martin Kaymer (2013 US Open), Jason Day (2015 PGA Championship), Dustin Johnson (2016 US Open) and now Sergio Garcia (2017 Masters) have all carried the mail using the company’s products. TMaG’s overall sales, however, have been in reverse for several years. In 2016, it reported a 10 million euro haircut and its believed TMaG had a loss in the area approaching EUR100 million in both 2014 and 2015. Clearly, winning a big one doesn’t influence consumer sentiment that way it once did, if in fact it ever did!
DARE TO BE DIFFERENT! Some golf executives might be well versed to consider taking the road less traveled in an effort to grow their business. Looking outside the industry is a good starting point to see how others have found ways to exceed expectations! Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos is pointing to a service no one asked for that has bode well for his now famous “customer-centric” approach. Presently it isn’t profitable, which aligns with many golf companies! READ MORE>>>
PADDY OPENS UP: Harrington on Masters champ Garcia: "He was a very sore loser and continued to be a very sore loser." READ MORE>>>
FINAL NUMBERS: 2017 Masters final prize money distribution. READ MORE>>>
ANSWERS: “The romantic in me is delighted for Sergio. His career deserved it, his golf deserved it and he is a creative player. Those kinds of players seem to be rewarded by the golfing gods at Augusta.” --Paul McGinley.
On April 15, 2012, Luke Donald lost the number one ranking to Rory McIlroy when he failed to finish inside the top 8 at the RBC Heritage. It cut short his second term as the world's number one player at four weeks. He has six top-3 finishes in his last eight starts at the RBC Heritage. His best finish at Harbour Town is 2nd (2014) and T2 (2016/2011).
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