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Home Daily Golf Briefs Daily Pulse for March 14, 2018


Web Street Golf Daily Pulse
VOLUME 8, NUMBER 51                                                         
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “I never rooted against an opponent, but I never rooted for him either.”

BRAIN TEASER: How many times did Arnold Palmer win on the PGA TOUR?

HERE WE GO AGAIN! A week after the distance report was released TaylorMade made its position known regarding the findings. “We have meticulously reviewed the USGA and R&A’s 2017 Distance Report and discussed its findings with key stakeholders. Additionally, we have carefully considered the inferred implications that the study may have on the game moving forward. The TaylorMade Golf Company firmly opposes any potential rollback of product performance or bifurcation of the rules in any form as we believe these movements will be detrimental to the game at every level,” stated David Abeles, CEO, TaylorMade Golf on a statement.

“We are optimistic about golf’s future and we believe that the growth initiatives our industry has invested in are beginning to drive participation momentum in our sport. Any separation from the rules or any step backward in performance would be disadvantageous to the growth of the game. For millions of golfers of all skill levels, we believe innovation and technology lead to better performance, and better performance brings more joy to the game for all who play it.

“As the discussion around bifurcation and rollback formalizes, we look forward to having a seat at the table to lend our voice. Until then, we will continue to create the best performing products for all golfers.”

Clearly there are differing views within the golf industry with respect to where the game is headed. Each constituent has its own agenda to protect as does the governing bodies of the game. It remains to be seen whether there is any traction to the distance topic or simple an overreaction to an anomaly.

Keep in mind that despite the increase in distance gained, specifically off the tee, it hasn’t impacted scoring on the PGA TOUR. The extension of the complicated topic is where is the harm or foul if you subscribe to the belief the ball goes too far due to current equipment or somehow think some courses are obsolete because of it!

Here are a few fun facts regarding this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational worth keeping in mind regarding the distance issue. Pay particular attention to the year and what equipment might have been used to accomplish these feats!

Best 18-hole score: 62 (Gary Player/R3/1976; Andy Bean/R2/1981; Greg Norman/R2/1984; Adam Scott/R1/2014).
Best 36-hole score: 130 (Andy Bean/1981; Tom Watson/1981; Adam Scott/2014).
Best 54-hole score: 197 (Andy Bean/1981).
Best 72-hole score: 264 (Payne Stewart/1987).

THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Topgolf has received plenty of attention in the last couple of years. Some thing it is the pipeline of future recreational players in the game. Others see it as simply a derivative of Dave & Busters (PLAY: NASDAQ) where food and drinks are sold with the backdrop of a modernized driving range. Regardless where you stand on the company’s prospects, it certainly knows how to capture an audience. Now the company is coming to the small screen

Shotmakers, premiering Monday, April 9th on the Golf Channel, is a new golf competition that promises blending entertainment, golf and technology throughout the competition.

Surrounded by the Topgolf experience in Las Vegas, nine co-ed teams of two will pair up in head-to-head competitions that test precision, distance and control, all while facing intense pressure and strategic decision-making. The 18 competitors include a former PGA TOUR professional, mini-tour professional golfers, an Olympian, former collegiate athletes, a former World No. 1 World Long Drive competitor, a trick-shot artist, decorated military veterans, and champions from the Topgolf Tour.

The competition will utilize Toptracer by Topgolf, the leading technology used on PGA TOUR televised broadcasts that immediately shows players their ball’s flight, speed, distance and curve on screen, as well as the games made popular at the 41 Topgolf venues around the world. Teams will compete for cash and prizes in each competition and will be eliminated until one team is left standing as the champion of Shotmakers.

“Topgolf is proud to partner with Golf Channel for Shotmakers. This show advances our mutual commitment to growing the game through original content that inspires and entertains our audiences,” said Topgolf Media President YuChiang Cheng. “Through Shotmakers, Topgolf blends our unique brand experience with sports, creating compelling content that can be enjoyed by everyone.” The series will also be distributed across Golf’s international platforms, airing in more than 60 countries worldwide.

GIRL POWER: The R&A is continuing its commitment to increase participation in golf among women and girls by providing funding to support the appointment of new development managers in Australia, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. An initial three-year funding package of £75,000 per nation has been agreed between The R&A, Golf Australia, England Golf, the Golfing Union of Ireland / the Irish Ladies’ Golf Union, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf for the recruitment and appointment of experienced sports development staff.

In Scotland, the funding is being matched by the Scottish Government and VisitScotland as part of The 2019 Solheim Cup project. Great Britain and Ireland international Maria Dunne has taken up the post in Ireland, with England Golf appointing Lucy Blakey, a former Project Officer with Lincolnshire County Sports Partnership.

Wales Golf has appointed Simon Lu who joins from Race Equality First, while Scottish Golf has employed Carol Harvey, previously a Regional Development Officer with Netball Scotland. Meantime, Chyloe Kurdas has been appointed to the position at Golf Australia, with her most recent role being AFL Victoria Female Football Development Manager.

Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development at The R&A, said, “Women and girls continue to be an under-represented group throughout golf across the world and more work needs to be done to attract more of them into the sport at a time when we need to boost participation levels.

“We believe that there is a real opportunity, working with our affiliates, to develop inclusive and inspiring participation initiatives which show that golf is a fun and enjoyable leisure activity that can provide many social and health benefits for women and families.”


LIFE BEFORE CHILDREN! Winning a Masters did not change Sergio Garcia but the Spaniard was poised to have his life turned upside down on Tuesday as he discussed his Green Jacket defense while in a Texas hospital awaiting the birth of his first child. As unflustered and cool as he was last April at Augusta National when he defeated Justin Rose for a first major title, Garcia offered no hint of the jitters that come with impending fatherhood. “It has been an eventful morning,” Garcia told reporters on a conference call from Austin, Texas. “About an hour and a half ago, Angela’s water broke, so we are at the hospital right now.” READ MORE>>>

TWO GIANTS: Tiger Woods spoke with sentiment and respect until a twist at the end. Woods hit safely onto the green during the opening round of the 2010 HSBC Champions in Shanghai, stepped to the side and looked over at Ernie Els shifting his hips to settle that 6-foot-4 frame over his shot. “You know, I’ve probably been around this guy longer than anyone on tour,” Woods said that day, perhaps reminiscing about his final major as an amateur, the 1996 British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, when he sought out Els for advice on whether to turn pro. “And after all these years,” Woods said with a hint of a smile, “you still forget just how (expletive) big he is.” They both are giants for what they’ve done for their sport. Their final act will be as captains of the Presidents Cup in 2019 at Royal Melbourne. READ MORE>>>

ANSWERS: “I never rooted against an opponent, but I never rooted for him either.”--Arnold Palmer.

Arnold Palmer won 62 times on the PGA TOUR, including seven major championships.