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Home Daily Golf Briefs Daily Pulse for August 8, 2017

 

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Web Street Golf Daily Pulse
VOLUME 7, NUMBER 154                                                       
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “I really don't feel any added pressure whatsoever. It's easy to say right now, but if it happens great. If it doesn't, then that's my next and probably last lifelong goal as a professional golfer would be to win the career Grand Slam. I don't need to be the youngest. I'm sure going to give it my best but I don't feel any added pressure because of that. We'll go to Quail Hollow, a place that has Bermuda greens, a place which I really love but it has made a lot of changes so we have to get there and learn it.”

BRAIN TEASER: On what course did Jimmy Walker win last year’s PGA Championship?

ITS A SMALL WORLD: The Asian Tour has become an affiliate of The R&A enabling both bodies to work more closely together to support the development of golf in Asia. The R&A will provide support over three years towards the Asian Tour’s developmental tour and will engage with the tour on Rules education and development projects. The tour will now also be represented at The R&A’s quadrennial International Golf Conference in St Andrews.

“We are delighted that the Asian Tour has become affiliated to The R&A and look forward to supporting its efforts to assist more elite amateur players to make the step-up to the professional ranks,” said Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A. “One of our goals in Asia is to create more pathways for talented young players to emerge and strengthening our partnership with the tour will enable us to provide greater support in this important aspect of the sport.”

Josh Burack, Chief Executive Officer of the Asian Tour, remarked, “In 2010 we set up the Asian Development Tour and since then it has expanded to over 20 tournaments per annum. The ADT provides a tremendous pathway onto our main tour and the world stage of golf. Working with The R&A will help us to secure some playing slots for top amateur players in Asia to compete against our professionals on the ADT.  We will also receive support from them in enhancing the expertise of our Rules officials and we are proud of this partnership as we further promote and strengthen golf in Asia.”

The Asian Tour will join The R&A’s global network of more than 150 affiliates to promote and develop golf in accordance with the official Rules of Golf and the Rules of Amateur Status. The Asian Tour is the first tour outside Europe to become an R&A affiliated body. It joins the European Tour and Ladies European Tour which are existing R&A affiliates.

BACK TO THE FUTURE: Cleveland Golf has introduced Launcher Woods and Irons. Brian Schielke, Marketing Director at Cleveland Golf, explained why the company’s woods and irons are back: “When we looked into the woods and irons markets we saw a major disconnect. Prices are increasing dramatically while golfers aren’t seeing significant performance gains. So we set out to create new woods and irons with true performance benefits that are obvious the moment a golfer swings one of these clubs.

“When it comes to drivers, a big part of the problem is excessive adjustability. These features are nice for some golfers but are quite heavy, positioning weight in less than ideal locations. It’s a major tradeoff in performance. By replacing those features with a lightweight hosel and weight positioned low and deep within the head, we built the Launcher HB driver with more forgiveness and incredible distance that will clearly show up on a launch monitor.”

The new Launcher HB Driver ($299.99 MAP), Fairway Woods ($219.99 MAP) and Hybrids ($199.99 MAP) employ a redesigned HiBore Crown, an ultra-lightweight hosel, according to the company, Flex-Fin Technology, Low and Deep Weighting and a Launcher Cup Face. “Hosel sleeves and weight ports offer versatility, but don’t maximize distance. In fact, while adjustability has become increasingly popular over the last 5 years, average driver distance is down 10.7 yards,” said John Rae, VP of R&D Cleveland Golf

The Launcher CBX Irons offer a forgiving cavity back design, the company said. Progressive shaping, Feel Balancing Technology and a V shaped sole work in tandem to offer increase forgiveness, according to the company. Tour Zip Grooves and Laser Milling produce high levels of spin from the fairway and the rough, according to the company, providing improved control around the course.

The fully hollow Launcher HB Irons uses a high-strength steel face, HiBore Crown, and hybrid-like design to help launch the ball higher and farther than typical cavity back irons. Launcher Woods and Irons will be available for pre-sale at select retailers on Aug. 28, 2017 and will launch throughout North America on Sept. 15, 2017.

MARKET FORCES! Callaway Golf is re-launching its Apex Black Irons. Initially launched last summer as a limited edition, custom option offering, the product quickly sold out the company said. The combination of an all-black finish and Apex performance was extremely well received by golfers, and due to overwhelmingly popular demand Callaway is re-introducing this line to the market.

The Apex Black Irons will be available starting on August 18th. The custom set options are 4-PW, 5-PW, 4-AW, 5-AW. It is priced at $1,299 for steel shafts and $1,499 with graphite.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOLF STORES GONE? Over the past decade the golf equipment business, not unlike most of the US Retail environment, has undergone a radical transformation, with consolidation replacing expansion as the industry’s watchword.  Whereas the US golf market once had more than 1,600 Off Course Specialty stores, today only +/-750 remain.  While the Off Course channel remains the heart and soul of golf club sales and sells more than its fair share of bags, balls, shoes and apparel, its overall reach declined substantially with READ MORE>>>

THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN’: City Manager Mike Ortega outlined in a 10-page memo to council members Friday that the city has worked to reduce operational expenses and increase revenues by handing off the day-to-day golf operations to a private management company. “We know the face of golf is changing and rather than reacting to what appears to be part of the national trend of a reduction of rounds of golf played, I would like to look at this as an opportunity to chart a path forward,” he said.

The competition for golfers with the nine private, six semi-private, 10 public, nine resorts, and one course on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base suggests there are more courses than the community needs. The National Recreation and Parks Association suggests that nationally there should be 18 holes for every 50,000 people. The math suggests the Tucson metro region needs 22, not 40 courses.

“The golf course building boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s has resulted in what appears to be an oversaturation of the golf market,” Ortega told the council. Even shutting down one course, he argues, doesn’t mean that players won’t use another city-run course. “The city’s five courses are competing against each other for market share,” Ortega wrote. The series of public meetings scheduled for this month is the starting point of a larger community discussion, with the council expected to consider options in the coming months.

Without making changes to the city’s long-term plans for the courses, the city won’t have the $25 million it needs over the next 15 years for deferred capital maintenance issues at the courses. “It is likely that golf in the current format will continue to operate with a thin financial margin and make minimum repairs to keep the courses open. Funding will not be available to make significant repairs and improvements to keep the courses a quality experience,” he said. READ MORE>>>

WEB GEMS:

TIME TO CHANGE? Players are allowed to wear shorts during practice rounds at the PGA Championship. That won't be necessary in two years when it moves to May. The PGA of America is moving its major championship to May for the first time in 70 years when it goes to Bethpage Black on New York's Long Island in 2019 as part of a long-term plan that involves a major shift in the golf calendar, including The Players Championship going back to its March date, The Associated Press has learned. The catalyst behind the movement was golf's return to the Olympics, along with the PGA Tour's desire to wrap up its FedEx Cup before the NFL begins. READ MORE>>>

ANSWERS: “I really don't feel any added pressure whatsoever. It's easy to say right now, but if it happens great. If it doesn't, then that's my next and probably last lifelong goal as a professional golfer would be to win the career Grand Slam. I don't need to be the youngest. I'm sure going to give it my best but I don't feel any added pressure because of that. We'll go to Quail Hollow, a place that has Bermuda greens, a place which I really love but it has made a lot of changes so we have to get there and learn it.”--Jordan Spieth.

Jimmy Walker won the 2016 PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club. His winning score was 14-under par and he beat Jason Day by one shot.

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