Kevin Na is in action at the PGA Tour’s 2021-22 season opener in Napa this week, fresh off the disappointment of not receiving a Ryder Cup Captain’s pick he felt he might get.
Following an opening round of 3 under par, the American told Golfweek’s Adam Schupak about receiving the bad news from Steve Stricker and explained how he’d have been an ideal partner for Bryson DeChambeau.
“If I had Bryson DeChambeau as my partner hitting driver, I’d be stuffing wedge in there or short irons. I’m a good putter, a good chipper.
“I mean, so all these years you’re telling me that the U.S. team has been struggling because they had lack of length? No, if anything it has been putting, guys able to make putts under the gun. But it’s over.”
Na has been one of the best wedge players and putters consistently over the past few years, and his argument that he could have capitalized on Bryson’s monstrous drives in foursomes action – a format the American side have always struggled with – certainly has plenty of merit.
The 38-year-old looked to have made himself hard not to pick after East Lake, where he had tied the lowest score after four rounds but revealed to Schupak that he felt Stricker had his mind made up before the event.
“It didn’t matter what happened at the Tour Championship. (Stricker) already had his mind set. That’s my personal opinion. I think it would have been great if I played for the team. I think I could have really brought some good energy and I could’ve really contributed and disappointing that I won’t get the chance to do that.”
Safe to say, Na isn’t too pleased with the decision, but he’s ready to work even harder to make the next U.S. team
“It’s a captain’s call. I respect his decision. Do I disagree? Yeah, I disagree. I just have to play better.”
Lamborghini set to build golf carts with solar panels
One of the most iconic high-performance car brands has officially entered the golf cart business. That’s right, Lamborghini is partnering with Kinetic Green Energy, an Indian electric-vehicle manufacturer.
Kinetic Green CEO Sulajja Firodia Motwani told Bloomberg Television that their new venture would create “beautifully differentiated golf carts,” which will also feature solar panels.
It is not a surprise to see luxury car brands enter this space, as golf carts are reportedly a $3 billion market.
The Lamborghini-Kinetic Green golf cart collaboration has yet to attach an official name to their partnership. Distribution is set to begin in 2020, and the golf carts are expected to be sold at airports, hotels and resorts.
LPGA pros react with ambivalence to USGA’s new driver-length rule
The USGA announced earlier this week that they would be implementing a local rule that limits the driver shaft to 46 inches. While Phil Mickelson was among some of those who were in outrage with new stipulation, LPGA tour pros were far more ambivalent.
The Korda sisters commented on the controversial issue during their press conference for the Aramco Team Series. “No drama,” Jessica stated. “It doesn’t affect us,” Nelly added. This appears to be a common response in the women’s game, which caters to a more finesse and strategic style of play, as opposed to the “bomb and gauge” approach that many PGA Tour pros have employed.
“I would only see something like that as a problem if 90 percent of the field played with something like that. I don’t really see it as a big point. You can do way more with other things– limiting driver heads or balls, stuff like that. I don’t think this rule will change much, especially in the women’s game,” said Anne van Dam, who also happens to rank first on the LPGA Tour in driving distance.
Sophia Popov seemed to sum up the LPGA’s common sentiment best, “I don’t care, because I don’t have a drier that’s longer than 46 inches. I know I heard some criticism on the men’s side, but for us, the shorter the driver is, the harder you can hit it. I don’t think it’s that big a deal… It’s something I just watch from afar and watch on Twitter and laugh about.”
Introvert vs Extrovert – Study shows what brand golfers buy based on personality type
A recent study conducted by Stephen Smith, chief psychologist at the UK-based Sports Psychology Ltd (SPL), sought to determine the brand preference of golfers based on them having either an extrovert or introvert personality.
As reported by FirstCallGolf’s Ken Klavon, Smith, who has worked as a psychologist to professional athletes in golf, Formula One, rugby, and football, posted a short questionnaire with questions on golf equipment preferences focused on around 15 brands, followed by a level of personality questions.
The study focused on three main character identification questions for the personality section: Introvert versus Extrovert, Pragmatic versus Visionary, and Logical versus Idealist.
After receiving “hundreds upon hundreds” of responses, the data, matched up with their favored golf equipment, showed the following results:
Ping was the preferred brand of 40% of those who were identified as introverts, while Titleist was next up for introverts, with 18% of those naming the brand as their favorite.
Callaway and TaylorMade were brands that 40% of those identified as extroverts chose as their favourites.
Smith’s data also concluded that “60 percent of golfers are sensory pragmatics who will be driven by the look, feel and sound of any equipment” and that golfers are by and large a group of consumers driven by a futuristic vision.
Amongst his takeaways, Smith said:
“This study shows that golf needs to be much more sophisticated in its understanding of the customers it is connecting with, and in the way it communicates to build that connection.
How do you get personalities to react to something, particularly a piece of equipment? No doubt the 2020s may be the decade when the psychology of design will be as important as the engineering that underpins it.”
Find out more about the study here.
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