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Most-watched May ever on Golf Channel

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ORLANDO, Fla. — With the latest Nielsen data pointing to last month as the most-watched May ever for Golf Channel, viewership for the network is off to its best start in its 17-year history.

Coming off its best year ever in 2011, Golf Channel continues to build on its momentum with a strong start to 2012. Based upon five-plus quarters of growth since becoming part of the NBC Sports Group, Golf Channel is the fastest-growing network on cable (among networks serving 80 million or more U.S. homes). Through May, average viewers are up 20 percent over 2011 and 52 percent over the same time period two years ago. Four out of five months in the books so far this year — and the last consecutive four months — have set a “most-watched” record for that month.

Month – % Increase vs. 2011 – % Increase vs. 2010

February – Most-Watched Ever – 19% – 70%

March – Most-Watched Ever – 28% – 105%

April – Most-Watched Ever – 14% – 34%

May – Most-Watched Ever – 33% – 26%

TOURNAMENT COVERAGE GOING STRONG:
PGA TOUR coverage on Golf Channel is up 19 percent over this time last year. Early round telecasts of every PGA TOUR event in May scored an all-time Golf Channel best for at least one round:

• Wells Fargo Championship Round One (0.9 household rating /907,000 average viewers) was the most-watched first round of this event since 2005 (including 2 years on USA Network and 5 years on Golf Channel). The round also was up 63 percent over last year.

• THE PLAYERS Round Two (1.8/1,804,000) was the most-watched early round for the event on record (including 5 years on USA Network, 7 years on ESPN, and 5 years on Golf Channel) and up 86 percent over 2011. This contributed to the most-watched week of THE PLAYERS in the history of Golf Channel, which included the network’s signature Live From news coverage.

• HP Byron Nelson Championship Round Two (0.7/708,000) also was the highest-rated and most-watched early round at this event since 2005 (including 2 years on USA Network and 5 years on Golf Channel) and up 34 percent over last year.

• Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Round Two (0.7/700,000) was the highest-rated and most-watched of any early rounds of this event since 2005 (including 2 years on USA Network and 5 years on Golf Channel).

Viewership for the LPGA Tour and European Tour on Golf Channel is up over last year and up 26 percent and 79 percent, respectively, over 2010.

NON-TOURNAMENT PROGRAMMING UP:
Tournament coverage on Golf Channel also has been complemented by news, instruction and original entertainment, all of which are up over the same time period last year and significantly over two years ago:

% Increase vs. 2011 – % Increase vs. 2010

Originals – Monday Primetime – 64% – 41%

Golf Central – 25% – 105%

Morning Drive – 36% – 160%

Instruction – 12% – 31%

MAY MOST-WATCHED: Golf Channel averaged 112,000 viewers per day during May, spurred by compelling PGA TOUR coverage and strong performances from the network’s original entertainment series:

• The second episode of Big Break Atlantis (May 21) was the highest-rated and most-watched (0.3/349,000) original entertainment program in primetime this year and of any Big Break Episode Two in four years.

• The Feherty episode featuring guest Donald Trump (0.2/215,000) was the highest-rated Feherty premiere this season. The series has bolstered the network’s primetime Monday lineup of original shows, which is up 64 percent over 2011.

DIGITAL KEEPS PACE:
GolfChannel.com continues to attract new users in 2012, with page views up 41 percent and unique users up 58 percent so far this year over last year. Page views for the site’s mobile application are up 368 percent over 2011.

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

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Equipment

Top 5 golf grips of all time

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Tour Velvet Cord Golf Grip

Grips might seem simple, but there is a lot that goes into making good ones. From formulating compounds, and adding color, to creating tooling to make sure they hit all of the required specs. Grips are often the most overlooked part of a golf club, and they shouldn’t be. The grip is the singular connection you as a player have with your clubs, and it should offer equal amounts of control and comfort, depending on how often you play and the weather conditions.

Yes, golfers generally pay a lot of attention to their putter grip,s but when it comes to the rest of a set, many golfers will just say “give me whatever is stock,” which is not a great idea.

These are the top-five grips of all time.

Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Tour velvet Cord Grips

How could we begin to talk about great grips without starting with the Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord? It’s the gold standard of durable all-weather performance. A soft rubber infused with a tight-weave cotton twill fiber (cord) adds additional traction that you just can’t get from an all-rubber grip on its own. It’s the most-used cord grip on tour and a favorite of golfers needing weather defying traction. (Honourable mention the classic non-corded Tour Velvet)

Winn Grips Excel

Winn Excel soft golf grip

The Winn Excel might not be the most durable or best all-weather grip ever made, but I challenge anyone to find a grip that offers greater comfort for fair-weather golfers, or players needing maximum shock absorption. The Winn Excel is Winn’s number-one selling grip of all time by a large margin, and speaking from experience, I have installed my fair share of full cases of these back in my big box retail golf days. From Winn “The Excel grip has been hailed by arthritic and hand fatigue sufferers as the reason they can still play golf.” With that in mind any product that is able to help golfers enjoy the game more belongs on the list!

Lamkin Crossline Cord

Another cord grip might seem like an odd addition to the list, but hear me out. Grip aficionados will tell you right away why they prefer the Lamkin Crossline Cord over others on the market. The taper is slightly different, the cord is a bit rougher, and for those in need of anything bigger than a standard grip—the Lamkin Crossline Cord is the ONLY full cord grip on the market that comes in an oversized option (weighing in at a whopping 76g). That alone makes it unique and earns its spot in the top five.

Iomic Sticky

Iomic Stick Golf Grips

Bold, colorful, and tacky are all words best used to describe the Iomic Sticky grip. It was one of, if not the first, mainstream grips in North America to offer a HUGE selection of color options and there’s a scientific reason why. Iomic grips are made from an elastomer resin, which is neutral in color: this means that any change to the color won’t change the weight of the grip, and that means you can mix and match up your set without having to worry about changing feel. It also gives grip designers endless freedom to come up with wild combinations too. According to Iomic, the elastomer resin offers a number of distinct advantages over rubber which includes lower torque, greater durability, and all-weather traction.

Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound

Golf Pride New Decade golf grips

Easily making its way into the top five is the Multi-Compound or as many call them the NDMCs. This grip was a game-changer for Golf Pride and the industry as a whole. It made grips “show up” on TV and got regular golfers to rethink their grip buying habits from just plain rubber to multi-material colorful options. From a performance perspective, the NDMC offers the best of both worlds, cord on the top (gloved hand) and a softer material under the bottom hand for additional traction and comfort.  Still considered a premium option, you can find New Decade grips on a lot of OEM stock products.

What do you think GolfWRXers? Are their any grips you think belong in the top five that aren’t included? Any that are included you don’t think should be?

 

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Tour professionals and their Vokey wedges”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from SMAC43 who created a topic dedicated to Tour player’s love of Vokey wedges. SMAC43 asks fellow members just why so many Tour pros choose to play Vokey wedges, and WRXers weigh in with their reasoning.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say on the topic at the link below.

  • Downtown_Brown_4: “I think it has a lot to do with Aaron Dill. He’s able to take feedback from the players and custom grind anything they could ever want.”
  • straightshot7: “Vokey is probably what most of them played with as a junior and in college. Some guys don’t like to tinker with their short game equipment. Vokey is tried and true.”
  • Matty01984: “Vokey’s definitely seem to be the most popular wedge out there, and they have been for some time. The grind options and the guys that Titleist have working for them are definitely a big part of that. Interesting to see them cropping up in bags of guys that are on staff with other companies.”
  • Pepperturbo: “Remember, next to putters, wedges are the most used clubs on the PGA Tour. For that reason, Tour players replace wedges multiple times per year. A few players with contracts have been known to replace them every two-three months. However, if a tour player uses forged wedges, they are replaced more often because the sole and grooves wear quite fast with excessive use; cast not so much. I played forged for years before switching to Vokey SM6 when they were introduced; still have them in the bag too, even though I practice near daily with the LW. Last but just as important. Even though wedge grooves wear a good player can still spin the ball. Spin is about how you impact the ball and speed.”

Entire Thread: “Tour professionals and their Vokey wedges”

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Whats in the Bag

Henrik Stenson WITB 2019

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henrik stenson witb 2019

Equipment is accurate as of the 2019 Houston Open.

Driver: Callaway Epic Flash (9 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow Prototype 6.5 62 (unconfirmed)

henrik stenson witb 2019-driver

3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow Prototype 6.5 62

henrik stenson witb 2019-3-wood

5-wood: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 80 TX

henrik stenson witb 2019-3-wood

Irons: Callaway Legacy Black (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour120 X

henrik stenson witb 2019-3-wood

Wedges: Callaway MD3 (46-08S), Callaway Jaws MD5 (52-10S, 58-08C)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour120 X

henrik stenson witb 2019-3-wood

Putter: Odyssey O Works #7
Grip: Garsen Max

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Wrap Cord

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