2005: No Show for Burrows Golf

Burrows Golf made some of the loudest noise at the 2004 PGA Merchandise Show with a splashy news conference touting its product introductions and a 9,600-square-foot booth that was as busy as it was big. But this year, Burrows was nowhere to be seen.

Company founder and chief executive officer Bruce Burrows told Golfweek he skipped the 2005 exhibit because the show was being held “at the wrong time of year” and because of the “changing markets of the golf industry.”

“It’s some of the reasons why Titleist and TaylorMade stayed away as well,” he said.

Vendors and others who do business with the clubmaker tell a different story, however, asserting Burrows Golf has fallen on hard times.

According to the sources, the company owes substantial amounts of money to suppliers and other companies, and virtually has ceased operations of the business that produced the M.A.C. driver. Burrows counted among its endorsers Ben Crenshaw, Bruce Lietzke and, until recently, Thomas Bjorn, who left for Callaway Golf late last month.

The sources say that Burrows is seeking to license the technology he employed in his clubs as well as the acclaimed Quick-Fit shaft system. Those assets could have value, and Burrows may be able to sell those rights.

“The company does owe a lot of people money,” said an executive whose company is among those seeking payment from Burrows.

Several suppliers told Golfweek they had not been paid by Burrows since early fall 2004.

News of trouble at Burrows circulated widely at the 2005 PGA Show, but it apparently has yet to reach the company’s endorsers.

Scott Sayers, Crenshaw’s agent, says he knows nothing about vendors not being paid. “Ben’s still with (Burrows),” he adds. “He’ll be playing their driver and fairway woods next week.”

Lietzke wore a Burrows Golf hat during last week’s Turtle Bay Championship in Hawaii.

– John Steinbreder

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