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Home Daily Golf Briefs Daily Pulse for May 16, 2018

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Web Street Golf Daily Pulse
VOLUME 8, NUMBER 96                                                         
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “It means a lot, but it's something I want to have for a long time, it's not something I just want to have once. It's not something I want to do it once. I want to do it for a really, really long time. I want to have it for a really long time because that means I'm playing better than everybody else for an extended period of time.”

BRAIN TEASER: Who leads the PGA TOUR in driving distance?

BLINDED BY SCIENCE? The R&A and the USGA have launched a project to analyze distance in golf and gather perspectives from the worldwide golf community. The Distance Insights project will examine distance through a multi-pronged approach that includes global stakeholder engagement, third-party data review and primary research. Focus groups and discussion forums will play an important role in the project, to secure a broad range of perspectives throughout golf. Anyone interested in the topic can provide feedback by visiting randa.org/distanceinsights or usga.org/distanceinsights or by emailing either organization directly.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “Distance in golf is a complex issue, which is widely debated at all levels of the sport. It is important that we collate all of the relevant data and hear the many different perspectives on this issue that exist in the international golf community. We intend to conduct this process openly, comprehensively and promptly and will work with all of the key stakeholders to ensure we have a fully rounded view of distance and its implications.”

“The topic of increased distance and its effects on the game have been discussed for well over a century. We believe that now is the time to examine this topic through a very wide and long lens, knowing it is critical to the future of the game,” said USGA CEO Mike Davis. “We look forward to delving deeply into this topic and learning more, led by doing right by golf, first and foremost.”

Stakeholder groups invited to participate in the project include amateur and professional golfers, worldwide professional golf tours, golf course owners and operators, golf equipment manufacturers, golf course architects, golf course managers and others.

The organizations will seek distance-related data on pace of play, golf course construction and maintenance practices, the evolution of equipment, golf course design and player enjoyment and participation. The R&A and the USGA will engage a range of golf industry stakeholders during 2018, with plans to deliver a report during 2019.   

BELIEVE WHAT YOU WANT TO BELIEVE: The National Golf Foundation (NGF) has released its latest installment of the Golf Industry Report. Golf's participation base remains stable; it reported, with an estimated 23.8 million people who played golf on a course in 2017 -- the same as a year earlier. Another 8.3 million played exclusively off-course at facilities like Topgolf, driving ranges or in indoor simulators, putting the game's overall participant pool at more than 32 million. This group could or should be classified as virtual golfers and a reasonable doubt should be present in determining whether they will convert to on course players in the future. Nevertheless, the NGF is happy to include them into its pool of players the industry can count on as its paying customer base.

There were 456 million rounds of golf played in 2017, according to the NGF, an average of 19 rounds per golfer. Total golf course supply declined by 1.5%, with the opening of 15.5 new 18-hole equivalent golf courses and 205.5 course closures, in a continuation of a correction in supply and demand. The U.S. has 14,794 facilities with 75% being public facilities and therefore open to all players. 

Other 2017 highlights from the Golf Industry Report are:
• There are almost 20 million committed golfers who account for approximately 95% of all rounds-played and spending. 
• The average price paid for an 18-hole round at public golf facilities is $34
• Juniors (6-17) and young adults (18-34) comprise more than 37% of all on-course golfers, with 2.7 million junior participants and 6.2 million young adults. These groups make up 69% of the off-course only participant pool. 
• There are 5.8 million women who played golf on a course in 2017. Women account for 24% of the on-course golfer base and 41% of off-course only play.
• Newcomers to golf are increasingly diverse: 35% are female, 26% are non-Caucasian and 70% are under the age of 35. 
• The number of golfers age 65-and-over increased 13% to 3.6 million in 2017. This number will continue to increase as the balance of Baby Boomers cross this milestone.

For more information and context on the 2018 Golf Industry click here.

WEB GEMS:

R.I.P.: It had been an awful day, so far as Bob Goalby was concerned, so he took it out on the doors, the walls, the medicine cabinet. Anything that wouldn’t hit back was a target. “I was angry, so I was slamming everything,” said Goalby, whose first-round 75 at the 1958 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach left him well off the lead. There was a lot of golf to be played, but he was a 29-year-old PGA TOUR rookie – and a rather precocious one, at that. “I never paid attention to Doug (Ford), who I was rooming with. He had played earlier, and he just sat there watching me make an ass of myself. Finally, he looked at me and said, ‘Who do you think you are that you don’t think you can shoot 75?’ ” Then 35, Ford was a PGA TOUR veteran who had already won the 1955 PGA Championship and 1957 Masters, but these were the days when money was tight, and roommates a necessity. “We went out to eat that night and finally I said, ‘Doug, what did you shoot?’ He said, ’77,’ and so I felt even worse. Here I was, acting like a jerk having shot 75. But that’s the way Doug was. He was always there for the guys who needed a little help.” The story personified Ford, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame who died Monday evening at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. READ MORE>>>

BUSTED: Krista Glover, the wife of PGA Tour player Lucas Glover, was arrested on Saturday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and charged with domestic battery and with resisting arrest without violence. According to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, Krista Glover, 36, attacked and injured Hershey Hendley, Lucas Glover’s mother, and spent the night in the St. Johns County Jail. Glover was released on $2,500 bond on Sunday. READ MORE>>>

TIMING IS EVERYTHING! Jay Monahan might have been overly ambitious when he said he hoped to have next year’s PGA Tour schedule ready to announce at The Players Championship. The commissioner is not in a big rush, and there remain a few moving parts. And it goes beyond finding a title sponsor for the Houston Open. READ MORE>>>

BIG COMMITMENT: The Charles Schwab Cup Championship announced today a 10-year agreement with Phoenix Country Club to serve as host of the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs finale through 2027. The season-ending tournament, which debuted at the club in 2017, will call Phoenix Country Club home for the next decade, with the 2018 event set to be contested the week of November 5-11. READ MORE>>>

ANSWERS: “It means a lot, but it's something I want to have for a long time, it's not something I just want to have once. It's not something I want to do it once. I want to do it for a really, really long time. I want to have it for a really long time because that means I'm playing better than everybody else for an extended period of time.”--Justin Thomas on being world #1.

It might come as a surprise to many that Trey Mullinax (319.8 yards) is currently leading the PGA TOUR in driving distance. Tony Finau (316.6) and Luke List (316.1) follow him rounding out the top three. The TOUR average is 294.5 yards. Mullinax best finish this season is T2 at the Valero Texas Open. Finau best finish is second place at the Safeway and a T2 at the Genesis Open. List’s best performance is a second place finish at the Honda Classic.

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