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Home Daily Golf Briefs Daily Pulse for February 8, 2018

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Web Street Golf Daily Pulse
VOLUME 8, NUMBER 27                                                         
Thursday, February 8, 2018

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “I think 11 is not enough. I think it's very small. And I'm not being disrespectful to anyone else, just, in my mind, I look at 11 and I think that's like a very small number of wins. I want to be a multiple Major champion. It would be nice to get the Grand Slam, for sure. But anything above 20 is good. You’ve got to set yourself a high, high goal.”

BRAIN TEASER: Distance is a passionate topic in golf. Longer means harder is the typical conventional thinking. While most if not all the focus is on one end of the spectrum, can you name the shortest course, in terms of yardage, that was played on the PGA TOUR schedule in 2017?

NO TIME TO REST: Callaway Golf reported 2017 sales grew by 20% or $178 million from 2016, coming in at $1,049 million. In 2016, Callaway’s sales were $871 million. For the fourth quarter of 2017, Callaway’s net sales increased $28 million to $192 million compared to $164 million for the same period in 2016. The 17% increase in net sales was attributable to the EPIC driver and fairway woods, according to the company, and increased net sales of gear, accessories and other primarily as a result of the it's recent acquisitions of OGIO and TravisMathew.

"2017 was another exciting year for Callaway Golf," remarked Chip Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Callaway Golf Company. "On a full year basis compared to 2016, our net sales increased $178 million (20%), our gross margins increased 160 basis points, and our Adjusted EBITDA increased 72% to $100 million. These results were fueled by the success of our 2017 product line, including the EPIC woods and irons, and reflect the benefits of our strategy of investing in areas tangential to golf as the OGIO and TravisMathew acquisitions led a $100+ million increase in net sales in our Gear, Accessories and Other operating segment."
 
Brewer continued, "Admittedly, our success in 2017 has made 2018 a high hurdle, but we believe we are up to the challenge. Looking ahead, we are encouraged not only by improving golf industry fundamentals but also by the strength of our 2018 product line. The initial enthusiasm surrounding the Rogue line of woods and irons has been strong due to the new and improved Jailbreak Technology that we incorporated into the driver as well as the fairway woods and hybrids.  Our 2018 iron lineup is our strongest ever and we are also excited about the great leap in Graphene technology in our new Chrome Soft golf balls. Lastly, our brand momentum remains strong and we believe we continue to be the #1 golf club brand both in the U.S. and on a global basis."

Callaway reported net income of $41 million in 2017 compared to $190 million in 2016. The prior year’s net was aided by an income tax provision, which inflated the results. In the fourth quarter of 2017, Callaway reported a loss of $19.4 million.

Looking back at 2017, metal wood sales were $307.9 million, an increase of $91.8 million from 2016. Iron sales were $250.6 million, down 10% from 2016. Putter sales came in at $84.6 million (down 3.6%), while golf ball sales were $162.5 million, up 6.8% or $10.3 million. Where Callaway made its biggest move was in the heading of gear/accessories/other, which reported revenues of $243 million, an increase of $106.5 million or 78% from 2016.

Domestic sales for Callaway came in at $566.4 million, up 26.5% form the previous year. European sales were up 13.6%, Japan up16.7% and the rest of Asia up 14.1% for the year.

The Company estimates full year 2018 net sales growth of 6% - 8%.  The increase is driven by 2-3% growth in the core business with the balance coming from a full year of TravisMathew operating results as well as continued double-digit growth in that business. This assumes a flat to slightly improving overall market and slight favorability in foreign currency rates. Callaway estimates first quarter 2018 net sales growth of 18% - 21%. The increase is driven by launch timing in the core business as well as the addition of the TravisMathew business. For those curious, first quarter 2017 net sales were $309 million, a 13% increase over the first quarter of 2016.

ART: Miura Golf has introduced its MC-501 Muscle Cavity irons. "When Shinei Miura and the design team were creating the MC-501, their aim was to improve ball muriamc501contact and control," says Hoyt McGarity, President of Miura Golf.  "Although blade models typically target a specific skill set, Shinei wanted this new model to appeal beyond just the low-handicap player.

"We are very excited about the first new offering of this Miura Golf model since we introduced the 1957CB Series," he added.  "More new products from Miura Golf are on the way in 2018." 

As the longest heel-to-toe blade model ever produced by Miura, the MC-501 is suited for blade and cavity back players, according to the company, who want to improve shot forgiveness on off-center strikes. The company said its engineers repositioned 20 grams toward the sole, thus increasing its width and strategically redistributing the clubhead's center of gravity to help shots get airborne with more ease. The MC-501 also incorporates Yoshitaka Miura's Y-grind sole that blunts and softens the clubhead's leading edge, to improve turf interaction.

The MC-501 will be available in 3-PW, with a MAP price of $260 per club, when it officially hits the market on February 20, 2018.

MOTHER NATURE: Golf courses washed into the sea and a doubling of the number of rain-affected cricket matches are among the trends picked up in an alarming report on how climate change is disrupting British sport. The R&A, golf’s rule-makers, say extreme weather is now a “huge factor” affecting the domestic game and has contributed to a 20 per cent drop in playing time in Scotland over the past 10 years. The governing body also estimates that 80 links courses are at risk from coastal erosion. Steve Isaac, the R&A’s sustainability director, says: “Golf is impacted by climate change more than most other sports. We are witnessing different types and timings of disease, pest and weed outbreaks. The future threats are very real, with course managers having to show adaptation if we are to maintain current standards of course condition. It is something we take very seriously.” READ MORE>>>

WEB GEMS:

WHY NOT? Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is making his PGA Tour debut next month in the Dominican Republic — playing, not broadcasting. READ MORE>>>

NO THINKING ALLOWED: Jordan Spieth is trying to get back to the point that he stops thinking when he gets over a putt, and the AT&T National Pro-Am might provide the ideal environment for him. The real advantage might be the other pro in his group. His partner for the fourth straight year, Dustin Johnson, rarely thinks at all. READ MORE>>>

ANSWERS: “I think 11 is not enough. I think it's very small. And I'm not being disrespectful to anyone else, just, in my mind, I look at 11 and I think that's like a very small number of wins. I want to be a multiple Major champion. It would be nice to get the Grand Slam, for sure. But anything above 20 is good. You’ve got to set yourself a high, high goal.”--Jason Day.

Last season, all three courses at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am ranked inside the top-five for shortest course on the PGA TOUR. Pebble Beach GL (host course) was the shortest course on TOUR playing at 6,816 yards (scorecard yardage). Meanwhile, last season, the field averaged 264.9 yards from the tee, ranking as the shortest Driving Distance (all drives) of any course. Pebble Beach GL was one of two courses (Stadium Course) where the field hit less than 10.0% of the drives over 300 yards. According to ShotLink, players hit only 8.96% of the total drives over 300 yards at Pebble Beach GL during the 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

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