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Home Daily Golf Briefs Daily Pulse for January 10, 2019

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Web Street Golf Daily Pulse
VOLUME 9, NUMBER 4                                                           
Thursday, January 10, 2019

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “I won twice last year, so if I can win three times and add a major, that would be very successful year, I think. But I've just got to keep checking the boxes as my agent says. As long as I can do that hopefully the results fall my way and the confidence starts to kick in and I can really start working in overdrive. And hopefully if that all goes well, then my second major will come. But I just got to be patient with it.”

BRAIN TEASER: Who did Justin Thomas use to carry his bag at the 2018 Sony Open?

BALL BUSTER: Golf is a really, really tough business. While it appears sexy from the outside looking in, history has proven the seasonal nature of it only exacerbates the hyper competitive challenge of making money. Perhaps the most demanding of all the categories within the equipment sector is golf balls. One company absolutely dominates and has so for decades. It’s questionable whether any of its competitors make money in this category since the 800-lbs gorilla has a market share that has been impenetrable. When $6 out of every $10 spent on balls goes to one company and you still have two other brands in front of you, the task is pretty daunting. But it hasn’t stopped TaylorMade from trying.

According to the company, significant enhancements have been made to its TP5 and TP5x golf ball models for 2019. “With the new TP5 and TP5x golf balls, we knew there was an opportunity to make them even faster. Our research into the driver and ball interaction at the moment of impact along with the development of a new material (HFM) has given us the ability to more efficiently convert compression into speed, at any swing speed. The new Speed-Layer System (SLS) controls spin rates that is critical for driver, iron and wedge performance,” stated Eric Loper, Director of Golf Ball R&D.

TaylorMade’s said it weaved a new High-Flex Material (HFM) into its proprietary 5-layer ball construction. According to the company, HFM is the fastest material it has ever used and described it as essentially a tightly wound spring that when compressed generates more rebound energy for more ball speed. It would be interesting to get the USGA’s opinion on this, but alas we’ll take TaylorMade’s word. The spring characteristic of HFM increases the force on the driver face, further increasing the speed of the golf ball when it leaves the driver face, TaylorMade said.

If you’re wondering which model might be best for you, the TP5 has a softer feel (85 compression), launches lower on iron shots and has more spin around the greens (+300 compared to TP5x at 100 yards & +200 at 30 yards) while the TP5x has a firmer feel (97 compression) and will generate higher launching iron shots TaylorMade said.

The 2019 TP5 and TP5x will be available at retail on 2/15/2019 at an MSRP of $44.99 USD per dozen. Borrowing a page out of its competitor’s playbook, TaylorMade has brought on 55 dedicated golf ball fitters to perform over 100,000 fittings in 2019. Bridgestone was the first company to deliver golf ball fittings and eventually dragged Titleist into the fray. TaylorMade is not only slow but late getting to this aspect of the selling process. Whether it produces results, time will tell.
 
HAVING A BALL: At the end of its third quarter last year, Callaway Golf reported it was the #2 golf ball brand with 16.5% market share. Reported sales were up 21.8% or $29.4 million, in nine months of 2018. As it looks to continue its momentum in the category in 2019, it has introduced ERC Soft. According to Callaway, it is its longest golf ball and features a new Hybrid Cover. Yes, distance remains the number one and frankly only selling feature being put forth by manufacturers despite the background noise something might be addressed to this demon. The ERC Soft hits retail February 8th and is priced at $39.99 per dozen.

If the ERC Soft isn’t for you, Callaway also has Supersoft golf balls. The name pretty much sums it up. The company line on the new Supersoft combines Callaway’s lowest compression with a new softer cover and optimized HEX Aerodynamics for lower drag. Together it promotes, wait for it, longer distance! The new Supersoft also scheduled for retail on February 8th at $22.99 a dozen.

WEB GEMS:

ISSUE OR NO ISSUE? Scott McCarron is the first PGA Tour player to sign an endorsement deal with a hemp oil manufacturer, the company sponsoring him announced. Hemp oil contains cannabinoids that some people believe provide health and recovery benefits. It can contain a minute amount of THC, the psychoactive compound in recreational marijuana products. READ MORE>>>

MIGHT PASS: The grandiosely-named World Golf Championships (WGC) have, in some eyes, never really been more than glorified PGA Tour events and now one former major champion at least is thinking of totally eliminating them from his schedule. READ MORE>>>

ANSWERS:  “I won twice last year, so if I can win three times and add a major, that would be very successful year, I think. But I've just got to keep checking the boxes as my agent says. As long as I can do that hopefully the results fall my way and the confidence starts to kick in and I can really start working in overdrive. And hopefully if that all goes well, then my second major will come. But I just got to be patient with it.”--Jason Day

Jim “Bones” Mackay – the former longtime caddie to Phil Mickelson carried the bag for FedExCup Champion Justin Thomas in his Sony Open title defense last year.

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