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Morning 9: Golf ball biz big for 4 American towns | Tringale’s massive distance gains (and good advice for you)

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com; @benalberstadt on Instagram)

September 25, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans. Might want to stick to the jumbo packs of toilet paper and steaks next time you’re at Costco…
1. Bloom off the K-Sig rose for good?  
Apparently resurrected from the dead, the Kirkland Signature golf ball is once again deceased (seemingly by its own hand).
  • Our Gianni Magliocco…”Golfers who purchased Kirkland Signature four-piece balls are in line for a full refund after Costco began reaching out to customers of the product via email.”
  • “The original four-piece Kirkland Signature four-piece balls proved a success on their release back in 2016, but the new line has come under fire this summer, with the ball’s cover taking the brunt of the criticism.”
  • “Customers have claimed that the balls are prone to cutting up after short use, while the balls are currently rated 2 out of 5 from customers on Costco’s website.”
  • “In an email shared on Twitter by user @gerencher, which shows Costco actively refunding customers, the company stated that “Feedback we received since the item went on sale shows that some of the balls do not meet the high standards that are expected for the Kirkland Signature brand.”

Full piece.

All this said, good on the company for honoring its vaunted guarantee after serving up a batch of-what’s the technical term?- piece-of-shit golf balls.
(Refund letter from Costco’s VP/GMM Merchandising in the image above)
2. One-arm Murray
Golf Channel’s Jason Crook on a wounded Bill Murray tuning up for the Dunhill Links…”Murray, 69, was reportedly involved in a four-vehicle crash on Tuesday in St Andrews, but he didn’t let that stop him from getting some practice in, even if it meant he could only use one hand.”
“While no one was seriously injured in the crash, the “Caddyshack” actor showed up for his practice round at St. Andrews with a bandaged hand and a makeshift sling made out of a dress tie.”
Of course the sling was made out of a tie. That’s a given! Get well, Bill! (and never change)
3. Golf ball biz big for four American towns
Excellent feature from Bomb & Gouge on the place (and prominence) of the premium golf ball business in the U.S… “Unlike the rest of the equipment in your bag, the golf ball is still largely made in America. Not Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam or China. Rather, it’s New Bedford (Titleist) and Chicopee (Callaway) in Massachusetts. Or Covington (Bridgestone) in Georgia. Or Liberty (TaylorMade) in South Carolina. About nine out of every 10 premium golf balls sold in the United States come from one of four factory towns in three states.”
  • “Each of these operations mixes the highly technical elements of modern golf-ball manufacturing with workers whose multigenerational legacies often stretch back to the Great Depression. It’s these sophisticated manufacturing enterprises that have become the pride-and in some cases, the engine-behind these small towns, and in turn these small towns continue to propel the biggest ball companies, making a combined half-a-billion balls a year.”

Full piece.

4. Inside Tringale’s massive distance gains 
PGATour.com’s Sean Martin…“Tringale’s clubhead speed increased 8.6 mph — from 111.3 to 119.9 mph — from 2018 to 2019. That’s the largest single-season increase in clubhead speed since the TOUR started recording radar data in 2007.”
  • “It was by far the largest increase last season, as well. The second-largest was 5.1 mph. No one else increased their clubhead speed by more than 4 mph.”
  • “…No one came close to Tringale’s improvement in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee last season, either. Tringale improved that statistic by 1.2 strokes gained per round. Sung Kang had the second-biggest leap, and he gained just 0.65 strokes per round.”
  • “To be honest, it’s been more of a byproduct than a goal,” Tringale said. “I got my body to work more in sequence. By doing that, I can let loose a little more and still be under control. I can swing harder and swing faster without the fear of it causing more errant shots.
  • Read the full piece to find out how you too can boom the golf ball! (seriously, though, quality, actionable advice for more clubhead speed)

Full piece.

5. Bahamas Strong Pro-Am
Golf Digest’s Brian Wacker…”Golf and the courses on the islands are low on the priority list, but the game has a deep connection in that part of the world with the Bahamas a popular destination for everyone from the casual fan to PGA Tour player. Which is why those in the golf community are trying to do what they can to get the people there, several hundred of whom work at Baker’s Bay, The Abaco Club and other courses, back on their feet.”
  • “On Oct. 8, Brad Faxon and Justin Leonard will co-host a pro-am at Old Marsh Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Among those already committed to play are Justin Thomas, Jack Nicklaus, Jessica Korda, Ernie Els, Greg Norman, Lucas Glover, Billy Horschel, Jaye Greene, Corey Conners, Brett Quigley, Marina Alex and Charl Schwartzel. Funds raised will go directly toward relief efforts.”

Full piece.

6. Pettersen + Easterbrook? 
The AP’s Doug Ferguson…”Suzann Pettersen is now linked forever with Syd Easterbrook, an English golfer and little more than a footnote in Ryder Cup history.”
  • “At the core of what made the Solheim Cup so special was it being decided by the final shot of the tournament at Gleneagles on Sept. 15. Pettersen rolled in a putt from just over 6 feet to beat Alex Marina, 1 up, and give Europe the victory. The ending became even better when Pettersen, a captain’s pick, announced her retirement.”
  • “…to make a putt from the last match on the course to determine who wins? That happened only once before, way back in 1933.”
  • “Horton Smith, who the following year became the first winner at Augusta National, dispatched Charles Whitcombe to level the matches at 5½ points each. It came down to Easterbrook and Denny Shute, who were all square playing the final hole at Southport and Ainsdale.”

Full piece.

7. New Trump Scotland course greenlighted
BBC Report on the approved track and surrounding development…”Plans for a second golf course at US President Donald Trump’s resort in Aberdeenshire have been approved.”
  • “The 18-hole MacLeod course would be built to the south and west of the controversial original course, which opened at Menie in 2012.”
  • “Councillors on the Formartine area committee approved the plans for the second course by eight votes to four.”

Full piece.

8. Smart putter grip
Golf Digest’s Mike Stachura…”In cooperation with gripmaker SuperStroke, Arccos unveiled an adapter that allows its sensors to work with the company’s CounterCore and Traxion putter grips. SuperStroke’s Countercore grips allow the user to counterbalance their putter grips with a weight that fits in the butt of the grip. That weight prevented the Arccos sensor’s post from screwing securely on the top of the grip. Likewise, the SuperStroke Traxion putter grips feature a “Tech Port” that allows for counterbalancing the grip.”
9. Long-term commitment to swing changes key
Good stuff from Andrew Wright at National Club Golfer...
“It’s hard to jump full throttle into something that you’re not quite sure is going to work.” This statement from Danny Willett in his post-victory interview jumped out to me as something that amateurs of all levels can learn from.
  • “…I’m not saying that you need a huge swing overhaul to improve your golf, but if you’ve gone to the effort of seeking the advice of a professional, it’s vital that you commit to the instruction you’ve been given.”
  • “If it takes major champions years to reap the rewards of a change, then why do we give up at the first sign of trouble?”
  • “We’re all human and this game will get the better of us more often than not. Our swings, which feel great one day, can feel completely alien the next. You would be in an elite group of one if you didn’t experience this at some point so it’s important to stay positive and keep your eyes on the prize – whatever that may be.”

 

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Morning 9: Improving golf coverage | Oral history of TW’s “best shot” | Nichols: Charity matches were great…but why no women?

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1. Match-inspired innovations for improving golf coverage
Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan with a few thoughts…Mid-round interviews…There’s no really good reason beyond mild annoyance to the players that this couldn’t work, even in the current COVID-19 environment, provided that safe social distancing is practiced. In the major team sports, coaches are obliged to give interviews, and players will occasionally speak at halftime or between periods. There are no “coaches” in that same sense in golf, but the game happens at a slower pace, and a 60-second walking interview between holes is not too much to ask. I don’t think there’s a reasonable argument that it’s overly disruptive, especially if planned in advance.”
  • …”Mic’d up players and caddies…In exhibitions past, we’ve witnessed players with live microphones, but the purpose behind it is dreaded “banter,” which typically comes across as hollow, forced and not very funny. But if players and caddies wore mics during a round, producers could find riveting audio that captures natural conversation or impromptu strategy sessions. Phil serving as a mentor for Tom Brady was riveting and hopefully stokes our appetite for similar mid-round insight…”
2. An oral history of Tiger’s “best shot” 
Cameron Morfit for PGATour.com…(This is just the introduction to a fantastic piece that talks to Bob Weeks of TSN and Steve Williams, among others!)…”Had it slipped between Tiger Woods’ 6-iron and golf ball, one rogue grain could have sunk his hopes of winning the RBC Canadian Open in 2000, becoming the first since Lee Trevino in 1971 to win golf’s Triple Crown – the U.S., British, and Canadian Opens in the same year.”
  • “So was it the ultra-fine margin? The stakes? The absurdly improbable physics of the shot itself?”
  • “Yes. Yes. And yes. All of these things compelled Scott Verplank, among others, to call it “the greatest shot I’ve ever seen in my life,” Woods’ 218-yard masterstroke from the wet sand at the par-5 18th at Glen Abbey. Woods’ caddie Steve Williams would return to the bunker once the commotion had died down, still struggling to get his head around what he’d seen. Others have made the same pilgrimage and tried to visualize what Woods had, tried to feel what Woods felt, for this was magic.”
3. Thrive? Struggle? Survive? 
Golfweek’s Adam Schupak contemplates what’s ahead for the golf industry…”These are strange times living through a global pandemic. Suddenly, golf courses are packed in a way the industry hasn’t experienced since Tiger Woods was revolutionizing the game in the late 1990s and former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem was predicting 50 million golfers by 2020.”
  • “Well, that didn’t happen, but golf has been given this new-found seal of approval highlighting its healthy aspects and its ability to provide safe recreation. As courses across the country re-open there is pent up demand among golfers to get out and play. Tee sheets are mostly filled and former golfers and those trying out the sport for the first time are emerging out of the woodwork desperate to be in the sunshine and doing something, anything that has been deemed “COVID OK.” There is renewed belief that golf can grab a bigger piece of the pie among recreational and entertainment options.”
4. Where were the women?
Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols wonders…How can there be downside to two Sundays of golf taking center stage and raising mega-money for COVID-19 relief?”
  • “Well, there is no a downside, but it could’ve been more. As LPGA player Mel Reid tweeted during the TaylorMade Driving Relief Challenge, the broadcasts could’ve represented all of golf.”
  • “They could’ve included women.”
  • “…It would’ve been great to see an LPGA player and her sponsorship partners get in on the action in a similar fashion.”
  • “The TaylorMade event could’ve been a mixed-team format. Maria Fassi and Paula Creamer are both in Florida. Some of TaylorMade’s female stars could’ve also called in during the broadcast as Jon Rahm did. Staffers who could’ve called in include Natalie Gulbis, Muni He and Charley Hull. Sung Hyun Park, who speaks limited English, was involved in a charity exhibition in South Korea with current No. 1 Jin Young Ko. Women’s golf frequently takes center stage in that part of the world.”
5. 80% of golf retail open
From the NGF Q…”The number of physical golf retail outlets that are back in business continues to increase – from off-course stores and specialty club-fitters to green grass pro shops.”
  • “Approximately 66% of golf course pro shops are open at facilities that are open to play, the equivalent of almost 9 million square feet, although some states and counties have limitations on the number of customers permitted at one time. That percentage is up from 36% at the start of the month, but is unchanged over the past week as pro shops in at least 10 states (including Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois and New York) have government mandates that say they must remain closed inside to customers.”
  • “Meanwhile, approximately 79% of off-course golf retail stores were open (in terms of total square footage) through May 25. This is up from 73% last week and 59% two weeks ago. In early April, only about 4% of the 6.5 million square feet of total off-course golf specialty space was open to in-store traffic. Roughly 81% of all off-course retail stores are now open to customers.”
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GolfWRX Classifieds Spotlight (05/27/20): Adams, Mizuno, Ping

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Gator5 – Adams CMB Irons

Forged – check, Multi-Material construction – check, cool as all heck because these clubs are sweet and Adams made some really cool gear – check!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Adams CMB Irons

Member Ksears – Brand New Mizuno MP20 Irons

Did someone say brand new Mizunos??? What else could you really want from a forged blade beside being meticulously crafted and forged in Japan – as well as being priced lower than retail.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link hereMP 20 Irons

Member 1hellaofashot – Ping G410 7 Wood

Speaking from experience let me just say this “stop denying the inevitable and embrace the 7 Wood” It’s endlessly versatile, more forgiving than a hybrid, and because this one for sale is a Ping G410 it is adjustable. Here’s your chance to dial in your own par 5 killer.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Ping 7 Wood

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds 

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Morning 9: Match 2: The most-watched golf telecast ever | Rory: Players don’t want fan-less Ryder Cup | Justin Thomas aces broadcast debut

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@attsportsnetpit
1. 5.8 million average viewers for The Match
AP report…”Two of the biggest names from the PGA Tour and the NFL proved to be must-see TV.”
  • “Turner Sports said the Sunday telecast of “The Match: Champions for Charity” attracted an average of 5.8 million viewers across four of its networks. Turner says it was the most-watched golf telecast in cable TV history.”
  • “It said the previous record was 4.9 million viewers on ESPN at the 2010 Masters, the year Tiger Woods returned to golf for the first time since the scandal in his personal life.”
  • “Woods and Peyton Manning scored a 1-up victory over Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady at Medalist Golf Club, a match that featured high entertainment with shots and with words, along with raising $20 million for COVID-19 relief funds.”
2. Shackelford’s take
A few observations from the scribe…“While still an overnight, it easily bests the previous week’s relief fund match that drew a 1.5 and total of 2.3 million viewers across three channels, including a 1.5 rating on NBC and a .24 on Golf Channel).”
“More incredibly, this means The Match 2 out-rated any major championship round on cable.”
“Given a so-so promotional run-up, a slow start to the show (caused in part by a slight weather delay) a dreary day to watch, and a long telecast, the rating is a stunning statement about the remaining star power of the contestants.”
3. JT’s TV debut
Adam Woodard at Golfweek…”That said, whenever he decides to put down the clubs, he should immediately pick up a mic.
The former Alabama star made his broadcast debut as an on-course reporter on TNT/TBS alongside CBS Sports’ Amanda Balionis on Sunday during The Match: Champions for Charity, which saw Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning defeat Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. Thomas received rave reviews from golf Twitter during and after the event. He was brilliant. His rapport with Woods and Mickelson allowed them to open up on a different level compared to the original The Match in 2018.”
“Most importantly, Thomas didn’t overdo anything. Unlike some broadcasters, he knew fans weren’t watching for him and he never once tried to steal the spotlight. He didn’t speak just to talk. When he had something to say, it was insightful or funny. Like a golfer picking out which holes he can attack and score on, Thomas picked his spots on where to interject throughout the broadcast like someone who’s been doing it for years, let alone a day.”
4. Tiger looked terrific 
Bob Harig writes…”For the first time in 98 days, we got to see Woods in action. And the last time we saw him, he didn’t look good. Woods shot 77 at Riviera Country Club on Feb. 16 and finished last among those who made the cut at the Genesis Invitational. And he complained that his back was stiff”
  • …”Woods hasn’t played since but neither has anyone else. And the time off has done him some good.”
  • “Woods didn’t miss a fairway. His swing looked smooth and in rhythm. He hit some deft pitch shots and a really nice long bunker shot. And all of this in difficult, rainy conditions.”
  • “It was just a charity match, but he looked pretty good. Who knows when Woods will resume his schedule when the PGA Tour returns next month, but his game looks good to go.”
5. Rory McIlroy: ‘Majority of players’ want 2020 Ryder Cup postponed until 2021 
Adam Woodard at Golfweek…”Rory McIlroy has a hunch about the Ryder Cup, and it’s one that golf fans around the world aren’t going to like.”
  • “In an interview with BBC Sport, the world No. 1 said: “My personal hunch is that I don’t see how it is going to happen, so I do not think that it will happen.”
  • “Wisconsin’s Whistling Straits is scheduled to host the 2020 Ryder Cup Sept. 25-27, but amid the coronavirus pandemic the event would most-likely take place without fans (if held at all).”
  • “I think the majority of players would like to see it pushed back until 2021 so that they can play in front of crowds and have the atmosphere that makes the Ryder Cup so special,” explained McIlroy. “The players are the ones that make the Ryder Cup. If they are not on board with it and don’t want to play then there is no Ryder Cup.”
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