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Home Daily Golf Briefs Daily Pulse for May 12, 2017

 

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Web Street Golf Daily Pulse
VOLUME 7, NUMBER 94                                                         
Friday, May 12, 2017

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “It's pretty hard out there, it's only going to get firmer and faster. 12-under usually wins around here, so you’ve got to try and reach that number and if I can, great.”

BRAIN TEASER: Three players have won THE PLAYERS while ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings. Can you name them?

OFF TO A GOOD START: Acushnet reported its first quarter financial results this morning. The company reported first quarter net sales of $433.6 million, down 1.4% year over year, or 0.8% in constant currency terms. However, net income came in at $38.1 million, up $14.4 million year over year.

"So far in 2017, the global golf industry is in a good place,” reported Wally Uihlein, Acushnet President and CEO. “While the first few months of industry sell-in are always affected by items like weather patterns and retail trends, the outlook continues to be promising as the golf season gets underway around the world. At Acushnet, our proven strategy, focus on the dedicated golfer and strong relationships with trade partners continue to be important differentiators and keys to our ongoing success. The results to date are encouraging and, as we measure ourselves over the longer term and across cycles, we are pleased with our ongoing progress and remain optimistic about the future."

Titleist golf ball sales improved by 2.9% as a result of strong demand for the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x balls launched in the first quarter of 2017, the company said. Titleist golf clubs sales decreased 11.7% in the quarter. Demand for the 917 drivers and fairway models was offset by lower sales of Vokey wedges, irons and Japan-specific VG3 clubs, which are each in their second year of their two year product cycle. Titleist golf gear sales increased 7.2%, while FootJoy golf wear decreased by 1.7%. According to the company, a decline in footwear was partially offset by increases in apparel and gloves.

“It is a solid beginning to the year for both Titleist and FootJoy fueled by new product innovation and supported by our global reach and sound execution by our Associates,” said David Maher, Acushnet COO. “This is a good first step and we remain on track to meet our 2017 goals. Our U.S. business performed well and we showed continued growth outside of the U.S. as we implement our strategy worldwide. A highlight was the successful launch of the 2017 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls. Players on the worldwide professional tours have swiftly converted to these new models and golfers in all markets are excited about the performance advancements.”

Consolidated net sales in the United States decreased by 3.0% primarily as a result of the U.S., off-course, retail channel being impacted by reduced store count compared with last year due to the retail disruption in 2016. Acushnet posted year-on-year gains in net sales in regions outside the United States of 0.3%, up 1.6% on a constant currency basis, with Korea up 24.1% and EMEA up 0.8%, offset by Japan down 10.6%.

BELIEVE WHAT YOU WILL? According to SGB media, a year ago, TaylorMade was losing around $75 million. The New York Post echoed this sentiment as it also reported the equipment maker lost $75 million a year ago. TaylorMade spent 164 million euros in 2016 research and development expenses, according to its parent company’s annual report. One thing is certain; these numbers will have to change in order to please the new owners!

WHO’S YOUR CADDY? Can golf coexist with artificial intelligence? Will it help the game? One company is betting on it. Arccos Golf has launched golf’s first artificial intelligence platform, Arccos Caddie. Powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, Arccos Caddie harnesses advanced analytics to help golfers of all skill levels shoot lower scores by making smarter, data-driven decisions on the course.

Arccos Caddie says it has over 61 million shots hit by its community, along with precise elevation data and 386 million geotagged data points on more than 40,000 courses. The data also accounts for weather conditions, including forecasted wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, temperature and more. The platform can be used by anyone, on nearly any hole in the world, regardless of whether a golfer has previously played the course, according to the company.

“Every shot in golf involves a decision-making process, and the caddie’s role has historically been to help you make more intelligent choices. Today, however, less than 3 percent of players have access to a caddie,” said Sal Syed, CEO and Co-Founder of Arccos. “Everyone else is missing out on a crucial source of information that can help inform every shot. With Arccos Caddie, we’re democratizing the caddie experience through the power of A.I. and the Microsoft Azure cloud.”

Arccos named Microsoft as its Official Cloud Partner in January 2017. Together, they are dedicated to creating artificial intelligence technologies that will move the connected golf category forward, taking it mainstream and this starts with Arccos Caddie.

“Arccos Caddie is the first platform in sports that truly harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to help players make smarter decisions,” said Mike Downey, Director, Principal Evangelist – Sports at Microsoft. “Through the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, Arccos Caddie instantly digests unique data sets and delivers actionable advice to any golfer, from beginners to pros seeking to make the PGA TOUR.”

Exclusive to those who have played five rounds with the Arccos 360 connected golf system, Arccos Caddie will be offered on a subscription basis. The platform officially launches May 22. For more information, please visit: www.arccosgolf.com.

“Golfers using Arccos improved their handicap by an average of 2.77 strokes last year,” added Syed. “With the introduction of Arccos Caddie, we expect this trend to reach even more dramatic heights.”

LIVING THE DREAM: In April, the USGA reported it accepted 9,485 entries for the 2017 U.S. Open Championship at Erin Hills. Safe to say these individuals are pursuing their dreams. However, the number of dream chasers drops significantly by the time you reach middle age. Case in point, the USGA reported it accepted 2,680 entries for the 38th U.S. Senior Open Championship, scheduled for June 29-July 2, 2017 at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Mass. The U.S. Senior Open is open to professional golfers, and amateurs with a handicap index not exceeding 3.4 who is 50 years of age at the start of championship play.

WEB GEMS:

ROOKIE TIED FOR THE LEAD: Mackenzie Hughes arrived at the TPC Sawgrass with no scar tissue and played his first round at The Players Championship with no bogeys. Pretty simple, eh? The Canadian rookie shook his head and laughed. Even after going bogey-free in his debut Thursday for a 5-under 67 to share the lead with William McGirt, Hughes saw enough of the Players Stadium Course to realize that surprises lurk around every corner. "There's just not really a moment where you can let up," Hughes said. READ MORE>>>

ASIAN INFLUENCE IN EUROPE: The European Tour Qualifying School will venture to Asia for the first time this year, with Malaysia’s Saujana Golf & Country Club hosting a First Stage Qualifier. Built on the site of a former palm and rubber plantation, the picturesque venue was the brainchild of former Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who in 1982 ordered a government task force to set up a golf club in his nation’s capital to attract investors to the area. More than three decades later and the first event on the 2017 Qualifying School calendar will take place on the Palm Course – which played host to the 2017 Maybank Championship – where a maximum of 78 hopefuls will begin their quest for a place on the European Tour.  READ MORE>>>

ONE TO FORGET: A golfer hoping to qualify for this year's U.S. Open returned a score that would leave even a novice red-faced, stumbling to a humiliating 55-over-par 127 during a local qualifying event at Silver Lakes in Alabama. READ MORE>>>

ANSWERS: “It's pretty hard out there, it's only going to get firmer and faster. 12-under usually wins around here, so you’ve got to try and reach that number and if I can, great.”--Defending champ, Jason Day on TPC Sawgrass.

Three players have won THE PLAYERS while ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking: Greg Norman (1994), Tiger Woods (2001 and 2013) and Jason Day (2016).

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