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Tiger Woods said he hopes to play in the Safeway Open, Oct. 13-16, at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California. Woods also intends to compete in the Turkish Airlines Open, Nov. 3-6, in Antalya, Turkey, and the Tiger Woods Foundation-run Hero World Challenge, Dec. 1-4, at Albany in the Bahamas. He will participate in the Tiger Woods Invitational presented by USLI, Oct. 10-11, on the Monterey Peninsula.

"My rehabilitation is to the point where I'm comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do," Tiger said. "Whether I can play depends on my continued progress and recovery. My hope is to have my game ready to go.

"I'm looking forward to going to California for my foundation event and Safeway. I'm also excited to return to Turkey and Albany. It could be a fun fall. It was difficult missing tournaments that are important to me, but this time I was smart about my recovery and didn't rush it. It was great spending time with my children Sam and Charlie, and also working on a lot of projects including golf-course design, the upcoming 20th anniversary of my foundation and my book about the 1997 Masters. But I missed competing. I want to thank all the fans for their kindness and concern. I've been a pro about 20 years, and their support has never waned."

 

Follow the money” is a catchphrase popularized by the 1976 motion picture All The President's Men. In the context of the movie, the phrase was attributed to Deep Throat, the informant who took part in revealing the Watergate Scandal. However, the term has stuck throughout time and is a variation of the old adage, money talks and you know what walks!

While Nike has decided to step away from golf, it remains the anomaly. In a recent Securities and Exchange filing, Fila reported its intention to acquire an additional 20% from exiting investors in the Acushnet Company, owner of Titleist and FootJoy brands. The disclosure was an amendment to the initial public offering that is currently being conducted. Upon completion, Fila’s new position will represent a 53% holding in Acushnet and therefore it becomes a controlled company as defined by the SEC. It’s a safe assumption that Fila is committed to being a long-term investor in the company and would want Acushnet to maintain current strategic direction, thus the reason for adding to its original investment.

Within the filing, Acushnet’s six-month operating results were also disclosed. It reported net sales of $902.9 million, an improvement of 4.6% from 2015. Operating Income was $125.7 million, up 10.3%, while net income came in at $41.4 million, up 54.8% from 2015. 

 

In case you missed it in making an early exit into the Labor Day holiday weekend, Phil Knight was on ESPN’s Mike and Mike show. The co-flounder of Nike Inc was questioned about the decision to exit selling golf equipment and he said this: “It was kind of an easy financial decision [to shut down Nike golf]. It was a really tough emotional decision. It was hard emotionally. It was hard emotionally for Tiger. I spoke to him a couple times. He was upset, and I was upset. It was something we would have rather not have happened, but the financial reality just led us to it.”

Since the news broke, more than a month ago, no one has come forward and made an argument that Nike is making a really bad decision that it might regret one day. In fact, you don’t get to $32 billion in annual sales and net income of nearly $4 billion making a lot of dumb decisions or for that matter hiring a lot of stupid employees. It was purely a financial decision, based on nearly two decades of operations. The first reason for going into business should be to make money. Once that is accomplished it becomes an exercise in attempting to make more. But that doesn’t seem to resonate with very many in golf. 

Here’s the really bad news behind Knight’s candid comments. The competition doesn’t seem to be picking up on this. This isn’t intended to imply everyone should pull up stakes and exit golf. However, the harsh reality is that its lack of growth prospects has made it even more challenging to make money not only today but in the future. If you don’t acknowledge there is a problem, its impossible to over come it.

In a Bloomberg article, Callaway Chief Executive Officer Chip Brewer is quoted as saying, “Golf is not going anywhere. It’s never going to be for everybody. But the energy around the sport now I believe will be appealing to millennials, and will continue to grow.” Nike Inc, respectively, believes otherwise. Considering its annual revenue base is 32 times greater than Callaway’s along with its $5.4 billion sitting in cash, its figured out a thing or two over the years. In Callaway’s 2016 second quarter it realized a one-time gain of $17.6 million from the sale of a portion of its investment in TopGolf. In 2015, Callaway’s entire bottom line was $14.6 million. In 2014, it was $16 million. Does that tell you anything? Callaway made its original investment in TopGolf in the fourth quarter of 2006, when it had George Fellows as its Chief Executive Officer. It was never anticipated to deliver a financial windfall let alone surpass net income from continuing operations. It was hoped that it would give the company an inside track into new players entering the game and therefore give it a leg up when it came to future equipment purchases! How’s that been going?

For those keeping score at home, Callaway’s net sales in 2006 were $1.018 billion with net income of $23.3 million. In 2015, revenues were $844 million and a net profit of $14.6 million.

 

 

 

 

NIKE, Inc. announced that it will accelerate innovation in its Golf footwear and apparel business and will partner with more of the world’s best golfers. With this new focus, Nike Golf will transition out of equipment — including clubs, balls and bags.

“We’re committed to being the undisputed leader in golf footwear and apparel,” says Trevor Edwards, President, Nike Brand. “We will achieve this by investing in performance innovation for athletes and delivering sustainable profitable growth for Nike Golf.”

“Athletes like Tiger, Rory and Michelle drive tremendous energy for the game and inspire consumers worldwide,” said Daric Ashford, President of Nike Golf. “Over the past year the MM Fly Blade Polo, the Flyknit Chukka and Air Zoom 90 have all connected strongly with golfers. We’ll continue to ignite excitement with our athletes and deliver the best of Nike for the game.”

It remains to be seen what clubs and balls Rory and Tiger, when he comes back, will play in 2017.

 

Callaway Golf reported business is better than expected. Sales grew in its second quarter by $15 million versus a year ago. The improvement came largely from two categories. Iron sales were up $4.1 million and golf ball sales grew by another $6.1 million during the reporting period. Filling in the other segments, metal wood sales grew by $1 million, while putter were up $592,000 and the category of gear/accessories/other delivered an increase of $3.2 million as compared to 2015’s second quarter.

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