Cranking up sales of Adams Golf products through TaylorMade's global distribution network is job No. 1 for John Ward, the newly appointed president of Adams.
That's the mission that was assigned to Ward by TaylorMade CEO Mark King. But in a recent interview, King also provided a glimpse of how the Adams brand might be positioned in the future and the role it could play in TaylorMade-Adidas' overall growth.
"When you get to where are with metalwood (market share) at 50 percent, more growth on top of that is going to be challenging," King said. "That's one reason why we bought Adams. We think we can grow metalwood share through Adams in a very fast way. Positioning Adams as a friendly brand for more golfers gives us a big, broad base to sell a lot more metalwoods."
King, however, envisions the investment made in Adams really will produce dividends as the industry's push to grow the game influences the evolution of the equipment marketplace.
"I really believe somewhere in the next 3 to 10 years, I think you're going to see a big opportunity for all golf equipment companies to make products for non-traditional golfers ...
Stuck without a spare $250,000 for a Ferrari Spider automobile? One alternative: a Ferrari golf metalwood, the product of a new collaboration between Ferrari and Cobra Puma Golf.
New Ferrari cars can be found in the $250,000 to $350,000 price range, and the alliance between Ferrari and Cobra Puma has produced some high-priced items of its own.
A redheaded Ferrari golf driver (Ferrari is famous for its red cars) will carry a suggested retail price of $2,000. The price tag for a Ferrari Luxury Bag will be $2,400. The leather used for the bag is the same kind used for the seats in Ferrari GT cars.
All the Ferrari-Cobra Puma products will be available in July, including apparel such as $120 polo shirts and $250 jackets patterned after the interior of a Ferrari car.
Shoes, which are the nucleus of the Puma empire, will sell for $600 and are handcrafted in Italy with full-grain leather upper and sole. The stitching is designed after a Ferrari interior.
This isn’t the first collaboration between car companies and golf. Carmakers have prominently associated themselves with professional golf tournaments for more than 50 years.
Buick first stepped into ...
Placing the uninitiated golfer on the first tee of a course stretching 7,000 yards or more makes as much sense as letting a newly licensed driver on a German autobahn.
But that’s exactly how our sport welcomes beginners who still are trying to get their swings in gear.
As if it weren’t difficult enough to sort countless swing thoughts or avoid ball-sucking hazards, new golfers often clog open fairways, unleashing the wrath of frustrated players waiting behind them.
It’s little wonder the game isn’t growing.
But the American Society of Golf Course Architects and the PGA of America have proposed a fix for the problem, a plan to create what is obviously missing: Bunny slopes – or golf’s version of them.
Raising awareness in the golf industry of the need for beginner facilities – staples at virtually every ski resort – is the mission of First Links, a new grant program designed to help existing course owners add such amenities to their properties.
“What we really need is something in between going to a driving range and stepping up to a championship golf course,” said John LaFay, president of the ASGCA Foundation.
Hoping to join an industry-wide ...
David Holland, like many Bay Area golfers, loves Sharp Park Golf Course. On May 19, he plans to be at the legendary course to celebrate the 80th anniversary of this Alister MacKenzie design. However, when most golfers return to work the next day, they’ll leave the course behind them.
For Holland, 63, Sharp Park has become his work – maybe even his calling. He tried retiring after working for the U.S. Forest Service for 34 years – the last four as national recreation, heritage and wilderness director. Then he went to work for San Mateo County, spending six years as parks director before becoming assistant county manager last year. Now much of his time is spent studying Sharp Park’s finances and operations to determine whether San Mateo should consider taking over the course on a day-to-day basis. The beleaguered course, owned and managed by San Francisco even though it sits outside of city limits, is at the center of a legal and political fight for its life.
Many of those who know Sharp Park consider it a national treasure. Holland counts himself among those who would welcome the chance to place it on firm footing – but only if it ...
For Suzy Whaley, the weeks preceding the 2003 Greater Hartford Open weren’t as blissful as they might have been for any male New England PGA pro who qualified for the PGA Tour stop.
The ultimate prize for the men was an honor for Whaley, too, but one fraught with stress.
Stepping up to the first tee meant entering a man’s world, making Whaley just the third woman in history to compete in a Tour event.
How well she fared would reflect upon not only her, but the PGA of America and elite female golfers. Whaley agonized about participating until she had a chat one night with her daughter Jennifer, then 9. Whaley always had preached “seize opportunities and not be afraid,” a principle she learned through Title IX – the legislation that paved Whaley’s road with a golf scholarship to the University of North Carolina.
But that evening, Jennifer turned the tables.
“So, why wouldn’t you play?”
Right then, Whaley went all in.
“I realized the impact I could have,” she says. “I wanted to show people that I’m going to prepare the best that I can,and no matter the result, be proud that I ...
BEDMINSTER, N.J. – There’s nothing more fascinating in journalism than seeing public people up close. Who knows what’s real and what’s for show these days, especially with someone as media savvy as Donald Trump, who seems to have made a second career out of being a spectacle – this after having established himself as a real estate tycoon. Somewhere along the line he also managed to make himself into a golf entrepreneur. And that’s what brought him (and me) to his Trump National Golf Club here.
The ostensible purpose was a news conference with the U.S. Golf Association to announce that his course has been awarded the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open. Trump, attired in his trademark charcoal suit, white shirt and red tie and with his wedge of sandy red hair perfectly coiffed, clearly was humbled and honored to have made it officially to the national stage.
For anyone who has watched him in one of his feuds with Rosie O’Donnell, demanding to see President Barack Obama’s birth certificate or as mogul in his “Celebrity Apprentice” TV gig, it was almost as if he had been transformed into staid, respectful form. Maybe ...
Nobody thought getting Rio de Janeiro ready for the 2016 Olympic Games would be easy, least of all for golf.
After a closely-watched public bid to award design of the proposed championship venue went to American course architect Gil Hanse last month, Rio 2016, the committee responsible for building the course (and other sports venues), has yet to move forward. It doesn’t own the land that has been identified as the course site, and the committee can’t persuade the city to come up with the money to acquire the land and build the course.
The 220-acre site in the Barra district southwest of downtown Rio and near the proposed Olympic Village is intended not only to serve as venue for the 2016 golf competition, the first in the Olympics in more than 100 years, but is planned as a public-access “legacy” course to help promote golf development in a city with no other daily-fee course. The city doesn’t own the land and has been forced to negotiate with the title holder, entrepreneur Pasquale Mauro.
The city is reluctant to seize the land by eminent domain. It would prove too politically sensitive to claim private land for such ...
Augusta National deserves to be taken to task for its male-only membership policy. So do other male-only clubs that enjoy commercial success or wield power in golf despite discriminating against half the world’s population.
It seems incredulous that here we are in the 21st century and Augusta still doesn’t have female members. The world was rightly indignant 20 years ago when Augusta was found to have no black members. Yet we somehow turn a blind eye to Augusta’s steadfast chauvinism.
I don’t really have a problem with single-sex golf clubs per se. I don’t understand them and wouldn’t want to belong to one. However, if a group of women want to, say, form a darts league, or a photography club, or rock climbing club, or whatever, and want to associate with their own sex, they should be able to do so. And if they want to formalize that darts league and charge an annual subscription, draw up a constitution and perhaps buy a place where they can indulge in this pastime, then why should society tell them they must invite men to join?
So it follows that if a bunch of men want to ...
Want a radical solution to grow the game? Let children play for free.
It’s time to own up to an unpleasant truth – golf is not growing in the western world. It’s shrinking. That’s why we should set the kids free.
There’s never been a better time to join a golf club in the British Isles. There was a time, say, 15 years ago when clubs in my area to the north of London had long waiting lists. No more. Those same clubs are openly advertising for membership. Many have dispensed with joining fees. Yet many are struggling to attract new members.
Some clubs are even going to the wall. Lamerwood in Hertfordshire was a lovely course when it opened in 1996. I had the pleasure of playing there with Retief Goosen. Those were heady days, when clubs like Lamerwood had marketing money to spend on a future U.S. Open champion.
Drive past Lamerwood now and sheep graze on what used to be fairways. Only the discerning eye can pick out what were formerly tees, greens and bunkers. Lamerwood was one of many courses in this part of Hertfordshire looking for business that has long since ...
DORAL, Fla. – They were told to be prepared for the phone call at 6:30 a.m., so Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner did just that Wednesday morning. They were ready. Then they remained ready, only to wait . . . and wait . . . and wait . . . and wait.
And when finally after several hours the phone rang?
“I had all I could do to hold back the tears,” Hanse said.
Always an unheralded name in an industry that is populated by high-profile and highly visible personalities, Hanse heard news from the other end of the phone that he had hoped for, but perhaps had been considered a long shot for – he had won the bid to design the course that will be used when golf returns to the Olympics in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
In winning the bid, Hanse Golf Course Design was chosen over proposals put in by Hall of Famers Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam, Greg Norman and Lorena Ochoa, Gary Player, Peter Thomson, as well as acclaimed architects Robert Trent Jones II, Tom Doak and Martin Hawtree.
If there was surprise when the decision was announced by the Rio 2016 selection committee, it wasn’t so much a reflection on ...
If you ask me, Callaway Golf has been waiting for Chip Brewer since July 5, 2001. That’s the day Ely Callaway died of pancreatic cancer.
It has taken almost 11 years, but the right guy finally has the job of president and CEO of Callaway Golf. It’s not that Callaway executives of the past decade have been unqualified. To the contrary, some of them have been brilliant.
But they haven’t been golf guys in the Ely Callaway sense of the word. They haven’t been infectiously enthusiastic in an outgoing, extroverted, passionate, aggressive, golf-is-the-center-of-the-universe manner.
Ely Callaway was one of a kind, and I’ve told this story before.
It was 1999. I was in Beaverton, Ore., gathering information about Nike Golf. The Tiger Slam was one year away.
My phone rang. It was Ely Callaway. He wanted to talk about my column that had appeared in the most recent print edition of Golfweek.
“Go ahead, Ely,” I said. “I’ve got plenty of time.”
He replied, “Good, because I want you to come down here (to Callaway headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif.). I want to talk face-to-face.”
Callaway then dropped a bomb: He wanted to send the ...
NBC Sports Group promoted producer Molly Solomon to serve as executive producer and senior vice president, production and operations, of its Orlando-based Golf Channel unit.
Solomon, who will report to Golf Channel president Mike McCarley, will oversee all production of tournaments, news and original shows. She is the first woman to serve as executive producer for a national sports network, according to NBC.
Solomon, 43, a nine-time Emmy Award winner, serves as NBC’s coordinating producer for the Summer Olympics in London. For the next several months, she will split time between that job and and her new duties with Golf Channel. A Golf Channel spokesman said that Solomon will relocate to Orlando after the Summer Games.
The move marks NBC’s continuing makeover of Golf Channel. McCarley, a former NBC Sports marketing executive, was installed as president in February 2011.
Late last year Golf Channel announced several key personnel moves. Tom Stathakes, senior vice president, production, programming and operations, left the network. Some of his duties were assumed by Tom Knapp, a former Golf Channel executive who returned to the network as senior vice president, programming. Several other management moves also were made at that time.
California kids now have an unusual avenue into the LPGA’s first major: a Tuesday qualifier. The winner of the inaugural fresh&easy-Kraft Foods Legacy Junior Challenge on March 27 will receive a sponsor exemption to play in the Kraft Nabisco Championship … two days later.
It’s an interesting twist to the championship’s traditional exemptions for top amateurs and juniors. Twenty hand-picked juniors will play alongside LPGA legends in an 18-hole event on the Arnold Palmer Course at Mission Hills Country Club. Legends who have already committed include Kathy Whitworth, Nancy Lopez, Amy Alcott, Beth Daniel, Betsy King, Pat Bradley and Meg Mallon.
Juniors must fill out an online application to be eligible for selection. The event is only open to junior girls ages 13-18 who live and attend middle school or high school in Southern California. Applicants must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a Handicap Index of 2.0 or lower. She must play high school or junior golf in Southern California and provide a personal statement showing leadership/community service and a letter of reference.
Application deadline is Feb. 29 at 5 p.m.
Donald Trump is upset about a proposed wind farm off the coast of his mammoth Scottish golf resort and housing development. But he won’t let his concerns get in the way of a planned June 28 opening of Trump International Golf Links Scotland in Aberdeen.
The property sits on Scotland’s northeast coast on the North Sea and long has been coveted by proponents of renewable-energy, wind-driven turbines. But plans for the 11 structures, which would rise 65 stories high and be located 1.5-2.5 miles offshore, have been met with resistance from regional tourism and golf officials concerned about what they claim will be ruined views. Chief among the critics is Trump, who is concerned that his $1.184 billion golf course, luxury hotel and real-estate community will be compromised in the process.
Trump has not withheld his fury from Scottish and local planning officials tasked with responsibility for evaluating the wind turbines. He reportedly has written to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond decrying the turbines as “disastrous and environmentally irresponsible” and as an “ugly cloud hanging over the future of the great Scottish coastline.” Now, Trump has threatened to halt progress on the hotel and housing ...
Has the golf bubble finally burst in Europe? That would seem to be the evidence from a recent survey.
In 2011, there was a decline in the number of European golfers for the first time in 20 years. “The Golf Participation in Europe 2011 Survey,” produced by KPMG’s Golf Advisory Practice, found Europe suffered a net loss of 46,000 golfers last year, with the total number of registered golfers falling below 4.4 million (minus 1 percent). The United Kingdom & Ireland suffered the biggest loss, with numbers down by 42,700, or 3.1 percent.
Sweden and Spain also had golfers leaving the fairways in significant numbers. Sweden’s golf population fell by 21,000, a 4.1 percent reduction. Spain lost 9,700, a 2.9 percent drop.
“While the growth of golf started to slow down after 2005, last year was the first time there was an actual decrease in registered golfers,” said Andrea Sartori, head of KPMG’s Golf Advisory Practice. “The decline can be attributed to two factors: the reduction in the number of golfers in some of Europe’s largest golf markets, especially the UK and Ireland, and the lack of dynamic growth ...