Connect with us

News

TaylorMade to skip 2019 PGA Merchandise Show

Published

on

The 2019 PGA Merchandise Show will be missing a very familiar face, as TaylorMade has announced that it will not be involved in the annual event. The news will come as a disappointment to many, as TaylorMade had previously created much buzz at the show, often showcasing their new product line with an elaborate exhibition each January at the event. At the 2017 PGAM Show, TaylorMade announced the news that Tiger Woods had signed with TaylorMade.

According to TaylorMade’s CEO, David Abeles, the decision to skip the event next year is due to ongoing investment into growth initiatives that will add value to the game of golf.

“After conversations with TaylorMade Professional Staff members and key leaders within the golf industry, we will be investing into growth initiatives that we believe will create even greater value for the game of golf. As a result of our additional spend, we have decided not to attend the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show.”

Abeles stated how TaylorMade’s lack of involvement in the show based in Orlando will present the opportunity for TaylorMade to invest in the “support of PGA Professionals across the country,” while also acknowledging how the news of TaylorMade’s lack of participation in the PGA show would come as a blow to many.

“While this may be disappointing to some, we hope that you appreciate our excitement to expand our partnership in new ways.”

Not since Acushnet (Titleist, FootJoy) decided to skip the event from 2004-2008 has the PGA Merchandise Show lost such a big name.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about it in our forums.

Your Reaction?
  • 88
  • LEGIT16
  • WOW47
  • LOL16
  • IDHT4
  • FLOP10
  • OB12
  • SHANK239

Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Bert Gwaltney

    Nov 29, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    I remember when Pig said, no thanks, didn’t hurt them at all.

  2. DaveyD

    Nov 11, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Not really news. They gotta do what they gotta do.

  3. Rich Douglas

    Nov 10, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    I smell bankruptcy.

  4. Read

    Nov 7, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    Maybe they can use some of that “saved money” to run a show on the Golf Channel and let some amateur hacks design a driver for them…OR HAS THAT BEEN DONE?

  5. RT

    Nov 6, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    That is maybe because —- Lack of something that’s really new and different or lack of funding ,or paying out too much for players ???? Either way it doesn’t matter I don’t play their product..

  6. B. Ferguson

    Oct 27, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    As an Adams fan, pardon my alligator tears . . .

  7. Golf Golf Golf

    Oct 25, 2018 at 6:28 am

    The show would be time wasted for TM to come out with 5 new models of irons in that week.

  8. bob carroll

    Oct 24, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    the show originally was for new product that was introduced at the show. before the internet, you had to go to the show to see all the new stuff. it was also a great vacation for the northern pro’s. go to the show, play golf in warm weather and write it all off. now there really is no reason to go unless you live up north.

  9. Garry Pierce

    Oct 24, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    My experience as a retailer.. Oct is when new products were released and I had the stuff in stock already. By the end of Jan. The “new line” was already 60 days into what I call the 180 main sales period. After that the wow factor is gone. The PGA Show was a “work” vacation I could right off. Half day st the show, 5 days of golf

  10. rymail00

    Oct 24, 2018 at 3:38 am

    Maybe they are realizing that all $$$ going into the PGA Show just isn’t worth the cost? With social media now a few “leaked pics” on twitter, Instagram etc. Stirs up as much buzz as or even more than stock PGA Show pics. At the show you hear everything about a club, but slow leaks makes people keep checking back in for a just a tiny bit of more details, and again it’s basically free.

    Honestly like 5-6 years ago I was so amped for the PGA Show photos etc. but every year that pasts it’s just less and less interesting IMHO.

    I’m curious if this will maybe make other large OEM’S start to reconsider spending all this cash that can be done over the internet for free with “leaked pics from pros etc.”

    I dont know, just a thought.

  11. Brad

    Oct 23, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    In other words, money is too tight at TaylorMade for them to attend the show. Given how many pros they are paying on the PGA to play their clubs, and that Adidas offloaded TM last year because of how that business was a drag on their bottom line – this is no big surprise.

    The only thing that would surprise me is if TM is NOT bankrupt or put on the block again (for an even lower price) within the next 3-4 years.

    • Robb

      Oct 24, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      Their business model has changed significantly since they were acquired last October. If they are sold again it will be for a profit not due to bankruptcy I promise that.

    • Joseph A Smith

      Nov 11, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      I see that you think the brand will tank. I disagree. There are a lot of smart people who work there. The PGA show literally costs TM MILLIONS (Plural). All I know is that I wish I had $425 million laying around- I would have jumped at that price. KPS will make them mean and lean and then flip them for double that in 4-6 years. Arguably the strongest tour staff (DJ, Rory, Day, Rahm, Rose (For the time being) and of course TW). They went big with the needle movers and cut back on sponsoring the 237th best player in the world. You know why? Nobody cares what driver that guy is playing. Callaway is top dog right now. That will change. If I were a betting man- Honma is the next brand to take off. Have a good night!

  12. Tom

    Oct 23, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    Are they going to use the money they are saving by skipping the Show to invest in and promote 10″ diameter cups like a former TM CEO was suggesting to grow the game? hahahaha!

  13. Tom

    Oct 23, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Uh Oh, guess we now know how TM’s sales went this year.

  14. WITB Enthusiast

    Oct 23, 2018 at 9:06 am

    I actually like the thoughts…. “invest in the support of PGA Professionals across the country,” and “the decision to skip the event next year is due to ongoing investment into growth initiatives that will add value to the game of golf.” However, I will just say I’m VERY INTERESTED to see if this investment and growth initiative really add value. Will Taylor Made be putting all of those dollars to work or just saving them. That’s ok too…. maybe just not fully wanting to say they are trying to save money.

  15. Scott

    Oct 23, 2018 at 1:00 am

    there is a mutual benefit to TM and the club professionals selling the kit to attend the show. This is very shortsighted CFO bean-counting management.

  16. MAPA

    Oct 22, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    {{{{{{{ OMFG }}}}}}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

News

GolfWRX takes a behind-the-scenes look at the Callaway ball plant

Published

on

In Chicopee, Massachusetts, there is an unassuming red brick building that predates the existence of every modern golf OEM. From the outside, it could be confused for any other American manufacturing facility if not for the proudly displayed Callaway sign. Inside, there are over 400 hard-working people producing the highest quality golf balls using state-of-the art manufacturing techniques and tools — this red brick building is the Callaway golf ball plant.

To understand what you see when you first enter the ball plant, it’s best to first understand why it is here in the first place. When I initially asked this question to one of my tour guides, Vincent Simonds, the Senior Director of Global Golf Ball Operations, his answer started with a story that predated cars…it was at this point I knew that these guys mean business.

The modern history, however, starts in 2003 when Callaway purchased Top-Flite brand and subsidiaries, and with it purchased the entire Top-Flite manufacturing facility. In its it heyday, Top-Flite/Spaulding was producing its full line of clubs and balls out of this building, and that included equipment made for Bobby Jones. Chicopee, Massachusetts, was essentially the center of the golf club technology universe.

Part of the original Spaulding golf club factory

Letter from Bobby Jones discussing the advantage of the newly designed ball

Page 2 of the Letter from Bobby Jones

When its comes to balls, most modern golfers don’t equate Top-Flite with premium equipment or breakthroughs, but during this time period the ball plant in Chicopee was responsible for just as many technology and scientific breakthroughs as its modern Callaway self.

One Example is Bob Molitor. In 1972, Molitor developed the first two-piece golf ball with a Surlyn cover by combining the right amounts of various ionomers. This allowed golf balls to have much greater durability and along with it improved distance. This development is part of the reason the USGA had to establish the “One Ball Rule” because players would switch out depending on the hole since there was a huge distance advantage to this Solid Core Surlyn Cover design. Imagine that – the USGA having to change rules to accommodate a new technology, seems to me our current daily discussions about bifurcation aren’t something so new after all.

There were a lot of other great innovations over the years that lead to new technology making its way into the bags of players all over the world, one of which caused a revolution that we still benefit from today. In the 90s Top-Flite, under the Strata brand, cracked the code of merging the soft, high-spin “tour ball” performance with the lower-spinning, longer-flying, and more durable “distance ball”, this three-piece ball was like two balls in one. Strata’s design team accomplished this feat by placing a soft polyurethane cover on a Top-Flite distance ball, and then added a thin layer between the cover and the core that encased the ball’s already large and solid rubber core. In short, the modern golf ball was born. 

This brings us back to the modern day Callaway ball plant, a facility where the average employee tenure exceeds 20 years, and where every single premium Callaway Ball on the planet is made. The thing I quickly realized upon entering the plant for the first time is the pride every person has for their role in making world class golf balls. This sense of pride, and a friendly, yet hard-working environment is something I witnessed before at Callaway’s Carlsbad facility too — a testament to the company’s corporate leadership and the culture that they promote everyday. The “Victory Flag,” as they call it, was flying high thanks to Xander Schauffele’s win just a few days before my visit. 

The start of production begins with materials formulation

I was able to observe a pre-shift meeting, and you would think that based on the discussion of machine tolerances, quality control, & equipment inspections this plant is making parts for a yet-to-be-seen shuttle being sent into space, but they’re talking golf balls. Speaking to the tolerances the plant works within, the in-house machine shop had some amazing equipment, including some things I unfortunately could not share through pictures. This equipment works with the tolerances of less than the 1/30th the thickness of a Post-It Note. For example, each single side to a cover mold for the Chrome Soft line takes more than 30 hours of machine time to complete — an amount of time which might seem excessive, but when you think of the speed and forces impacting a golf ball from first driver strike and along its parabolic trajectory, we really are talking space shuttle physics.

Some of the most impressive equipment has nothing to do with the performance of the balls but rather how they look. I’m talking here about the Truvis patterned balls. What was perceived by many golfers at first as a gimmick (and something than even some Callaway management believed would be a fad) has proven to be an absolute slam dunk. The pentagon pattern provides a tangible benefit by creating an optical illusion that makes the ball look bigger (and easier to hit) especially out of the rough, and also gives visual feedback for short game shots and putting.

Let’s just say that what started as a toe dip with one machine has turned into an area of the plant with more than a dozen machines,  and Callaway is also producing Truvis balls with custom colors and logos — they’re not just printing pentagons anymore.

GolfWRX Truvis

For actual production, every ball starts as raw materials, and compounds are precisely mixed in house, allowing Callaway to control the entire production process. The amount of materials engineering and chemistry I witnessed was way beyond what I was expecting, and to be frank, I went in with already high expectations. After initial mixing each batch is tested and sent to the next step.

Mixing Station

Pre cut core “slugs” ready for baking

Ever wonder why the cores of various golf balls from a single OEM are so bright and differently colored? It’s actually done to make each material identifiable in the process and give production staff another way to make sure materials get to the right manufacturing line. Of all the questions I asked, this one had the most simple answer.

Callaway ERC ( Left ) vs. Chrome Soft ( Right )

The next step is the “cooking” process of the inner core. Each oven press is precisely controlled for pressure and temperature along multiple areas of each unit, this ensures a core that comes from the outer part of the press is formed and “cooked” to the exact same spec as one from the middle. The same process is used for both parts of the dual core.  

Hydraulic press “oven” for producing cores

 

Cores post-pressing and still hot

Callaway utilized a proprietary manufacturing and molding technique to ensure exact specifications are met for centering the core and achieving correct cover thickness. Once the covers are in place, we officially have a golf ball, but we’re not done yet. There are still more quality control checks done by machine as well and humans to once again ensure each ball that leaves the plant is built to the highest quality standards and will perform just like the one before it.

Chrome Softs just after the cover process – Still very warm to the touch as the urethane cools

Even the final paint and clear coat are highly engineered to resist staining, sheering, and stay on during deformation. To quote of one my tour guides, “The force applied to the cover and paint on the ball by a wedge would be like taking a hatchet to the paint on the side of your house.” It might seem like a simple process, but to ensure full coverage of sphere requires some pretty unique tools to get the job done.

This brings us to the new Triple Track Alignment system and how it was developed to help golfers play better. The new system helps improve alignment on putts from all lengths and it also happens to be on Callaway’s longest ball to date: the ERC Soft.

The alignment aid wraps 160 degrees around the ball and offers three parallel lines with high contrast (no more need to try and draw that long Sharpie line around your ball).  For those who choose to putt without the Triple Track alignment, Callaway considered you too, since the other 200 degrees around the ball unsure that you won’t see those lines from address.

Triple Track Alignment visible vs hidden

Every shot taken means something to someone, whether it be a golfer trying to break 100 for the first time, or a tour professional lining up a putt on Sunday afternoon of a major championship. The golf ball is the one piece of equipment a golfer will use on every shot, and each person at the Callaway ball plant in Chicopee, Massachusetts, is proud to put their name behind it, even if you don’t see those names on the box.

 

Your Reaction?
  • 149
  • LEGIT17
  • WOW8
  • LOL0
  • IDHT4
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK7

Continue Reading

News

Phil phires a 60 | Lowry leads in Abu Dhabi | Bernhard the bricklayer’s son

Published

on

By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

January 18, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1.  Desert Classic
A “rusty” Mickelson leads with nothing less than a 12-under 60…
Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner…”If this is his idea of rusty, it could be another special year for Phil Mickelson…Before heading out to begin his 28th year on the PGA Tour, Lefty alerted his 250,000-plus Twitter followers that he was “excited” and “fresh” and “ready to get started,” but also, um, “rusty,” which is a golfer’s subtle way of suggesting that expectations should be lowered. Mickelson even told his playing partner, Aaron Wise, the reigning Rookie of the Year, as much before the round: “I’m rusty, so don’t expect much.”
  • “But Mickelson has been doing the improbable for nearly three decades now, and so maybe it shouldn’t have been such a complete surprise that in his first round of 2019, at 48 years of age, with no expectations, he carded his lowest score in relation to par in his long and decorated Tour career – a 12-under 60, to take the lead Thursday at the Desert Classic.”
  • “It was kind of a lucky day in the sense that I did not feel sharp heading in,” Mickelson said afterward. “Sometimes it’s just one of those days when it clicks.”
2. Meanwhile, on the LPGA Tour…
AP Report…”Nearly three months after Lewis became a mother, and six months after she last played on tour, she opened with seven birdies on Thursday for a 5-under 66 that left her one shot behind Brooke Henderson and Eun-Hee Ji at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.”
  • ”Pleasantly surprised,” Lewis said. ”Had pretty low expectations going into the day. Just really made a lot of putts. I had some weird shots, which I knew was going to happen having not played in a while. I don’t know where it came from, but I’m going to take it.”
  • “Henderson overcame a slow start with a bogey on the second hole and a par save on No. 3 at the Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons. She birdied five of her last eight holes for a 65 to tie Ji, who had a bogey-free round.”
  • “The tournament – the first season-opener in Florida for the LPGA since 2015 – is only for LPGA winners each of the last two years.”
3. European Tour
A report from The National...”Shane Lowry has a three-shot advantage to take into Saturday’s final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.”
  • “A birdie at the 18th gave him a round of 67 to leave him on -17, three ahead of South African Richard Sterne.”
  • “An eagle on the final hole from Ian Poulter lifted the Englishman to -12 and gives him hope he can prevail on Saturday.”
  • “Pablo Larrazabal will start the final round on -11 ahead of a quartet of Maximilian Kiefer, Thomas Pieters, Soren Kjeldsen and Scott Jamieson.”
4. The bricklayer’s son
Bernhard Langer’s “My Shot” runs in Golf Digest this month.
A few morsels…
  • “My father built our house. When I was a boy, he would call on me to help him lay bricks. I would shovel the material for the mortar into a small mixing machine, then join him in laying the bricks, setting them carefully, one by one, using string to make sure everything was straight. I consider it a miracle to have come this far.”
  • “WE CADDIES were given four hand-me-down clubs to share. There was a 2-wood, 3-iron and 7-iron, all with bamboo shafts, and a putter with a shaft bent like an archer’s bow. By the time I was 12, I saved enough money to buy a new set of Kroydon irons. They weren’t top of the line, but they were shiny, new and all mine. I added a Blue Goose model putter that had a small indentation in the head. It was a magical putter, and I quickly became the best putter at the course, Golfclub Augsburg, and possibly all of Germany. One day the putter went missing. I frantically went through the members’ bags, and sure enough, found my Blue Goose with the indentation. But I was in a terrible situation. I couldn’t confront the member-he surely would deny everything, and I would be fired. So I kept it to myself. I never did get the Blue Goose back. I’ve spent the past 50 years looking for a putter that suits me as well.”
5. Latin American Am
AP Report…“Alvaro Ortiz of Mexico had an ideal start Thursday in hopes of turning his fortunes in the Latin American Amateur Championship, opening with a 6-under 66 to build a three-shot lead after the opening round.”
  • “Ortiz has been runner-up in the Latin American Amateur the last two years. He finished five shots behind Joaquin Niemann of Chile last year, and he lost in a three-man playoff to Toto Gana the previous year.”
  • “The winner earns a spot in the Masters in April, and is exempt into the final stage of qualifying for the U.S. Open and British Open.”
6. Pins in at Augusta National? Maybe…
Golf Channel’s Nick Menta…”Will players really be allowed to putt with the pins in during at the Masters?”
  • “Asked that question Thursday at the Latin America Amateur Championship, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley didn’t say no.”
  • “Under the new Rules of Golf, which went into effect on Jan. 1, players are now allowed to leave the flagstick in while on the greens, as Bryson DeChambeau so eagerly demonstrated.”
  • “Addressing the possibility of Augusta National going against the Rules of Golf during Masters week, Ridley first thanked the USGA’s Mike Davis and R&A’s Martin Slumbers for their work, then preached a message of “consistency” at the game’s highest levels.”
  • “We will, as we always do, collaborate with the governing bodies. We will talk about those local rules and conditions that will be implemented,” Ridley said.”
  • “We think it’s important that there be some consistency in top championship golf, and so you should expect that the Masters Tournament, from a rules perspective, will look very much, if not the same, as what you’re seeing in the major championships and the professional tours.”
7. The weirdest lies in golf history
Great stuff here from Coleman Bentley rounding up some of the most absurd lies (and resultant shots) in golf history (although it’s hard to believe there’s any way his list could be comprehensive, but hey, headlines, and you have to admire the effort)
  • “Golf is a game of minutely controlled chaos. Atoms crashing into atoms. Weight swooping into inertia. A ballet of bounces, spins, kicks, and ricochets that goes wrong just as often as it goes right. The beauty of a such an unpredictable game-one of inches, not yards-however, is that when it goes right it’s spectacular and when it goes wrong, well, it’s equally spectacular. Beg to differ? Well, keep on begging, because as the weirdest, wildest lies in golf’s weird, wild history prove, chaos is a beautiful thing indeed.”
  • “Shane Lowry – 2018 Abu Dhabi Championship…Before Shane Lowry could tie the course record at the 2018 Abu Dhabi Championship, he first had to conquer Trash Heap Corner. P.S. If no one’s taking that couch, we might know a guy who’s interested.”
  • “Phil Mickelson – 2014 Barclays Championship…The Leave: Just to the left of Big Jeff’s Hotdog Haus. One day Phil Mickelson will save par from the surface of the moon. We’re sure of it. Until then, his walkabout at the 2014 Barclays Championship will have to suffice.”
8. Kang & McNealy
A couple of Las Vegas-based golf pros are a couple!
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell...”Danielle Kang watched Maverick McNealy with special interest when he was mic’d up on Golf Channel’s telecast of the Web.com Tour event in the Bahamas earlier this week.”
  • “They are dating.”
  • “Kang wasn’t sure whether to reveal McNealy is her boyfriend, but she couldn’t help herself.”
  • “He’s a dork,” she cracked when asked to review his running dialogue on Golf Channel. “But he’s my dork.”
  • “She was applying the Kang needle. Both she and McNealy live in Las Vegas. She said they met at a golf course there, The Summit Club.”
  • “He’s a sweetheart,” Kang said. “I have so much respect for him and vice versa.”
  • Aww!
9. Back in black!
Titleist 718 AP2 Black and AP3 Black released in limited quantities. Previously only available in a traditional chrome finish, the new Titleist 718 AP2 Black and Titleist 718 AP3 Black irons are finished with a sleek, high polish black PVD coating. The irons feature True Temper AMT Onyx shafts stock.
  • Titleist has unveiled new 718 AP2 Black and 718 AP3 Black irons in limited black finish that will be available to purchase from March 1.
  • Previously only available in a traditional chrome finish, the new Titleist 718 AP2 Black and Titleist 718 AP3 Black irons are finished with a sleek, high polish black PVD coating. The irons feature True Temper AMT Onyx shafts stock. The shafts’ powder coat matte black finish aims to minimize glare (in addition to looking cool). An all-black Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grip is standard as well.
  • Speaking on the move to release the irons in black, Josh Talge, Vice President, Golf Club Marketing said
  • “One request we heard from both tour players and amateurs, particularly those who have gravitated toward our Jet Black Vokey SM7 wedges, was if they could have these same irons in a darker finish. Our team spent a lot of time making sure the aesthetics were done just right. It’s a look that you just have to see.”
Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Equipment

Brooks Koepka with Mizuno JPX 919 irons, TaylorMade M5 driver in the bag at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Published

on

Brooks-Koepka-Mizuno-JPX919

Brooks Koepka is in action this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship equipped with a new driver and set of irons.

Golf.com’s Jonathan Wall broke the news, via Twitter, that Kopeka has TaylorMade’s new M5 Driver in his bag this week, as well as Mizuno’s JPX 919 Tour Irons.

The three-time major champ used TaylorMade’s M3 460 Driver and Mizuno’s JPX 900 Tour irons throughout 2018, and it appears as if Koepka is happy to make the transition to both manufacturers latest additions of those series of clubs right from the get-go in 2019.

Brooks-Koepka-Mizuno-JPX-919

Koepka is currently T13 after two rounds of play at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and sits five shots off the lead.

 

Your Reaction?
  • 51
  • LEGIT6
  • WOW1
  • LOL5
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP3
  • OB2
  • SHANK6

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending