Golf Equipment News* ADAMS SET TO MARKET HIGH-COR DRIVER
Count Adams Golf as another company banking on the U.S. Golf Association
adopting its proposal on COR. The Plano, Tex.-based manufacturer will
introduce a driver, the GT 363R, that exceeds the current COR statute of
.830 yet falls short of the proposed .860 limit. Adams will bring the club
to market on July 1, more than two weeks before the July 15 end of the
USGA's notice and comment period on the proposal.
The driver carries a suggested retail price of $299 and features a beta
titanium face. As with other Adams woods, weighting in the heel is used in
an effort to promote a squarer club face at impact. The 363cc driver will
be available in both graphite and graphite tip shafts.
Bringing the driver out before the proposal is enacted is a risk, but
Chip Brewer, CEO of Adams Golf, believes it is a minimal risk, and one
"We understand that there is a high probability that the proposal will
be adopted as written," said Brewer. "As such, I don't think we should
push technically inferior product."
Brewer indicated that he expected to see further price compression on
existing models. "I think the majority of golfers will either defer their
purchase of a new driver until January 1, 2003 or simply buy now," said
Brewer. "But there is a market based on price and there will be some good
bargains out there for those looking for a good deal."
Callaway Golf has had the high-COR ERC II on the market for more than a
year, and TaylorMade has announced plans to start selling its high-COR
drivers Aug. 1.
* POLO ADDS TO GOLF DIVISION
By Annmarie Dodd
Polo Ralph Lauren has made two changes in the management of its
specialty division, promoting Andy Bell and adding Scott Mahoney. The
specialty segment of the company encompasses better men's specialty
stores, as well as Polo Golf.
Bell, formerly senior director of sales for Polo Golf, is now senior
director of operations for the specialty division. He will work with the
company's men's and women's design, merchandising, sales and customer
service staffs to improve operations.
Mahoney, now VP of golf, recently transferred from a VP sales post in
Polo's dress furnishings division. He will oversee the men's and women's
Polo Golf sales staff. Polo Golf is sold at 1,700 better green grass and
resort shops across the U.S. and at select Polo Ralph Lauren stores. Both
Mahoney and Bell report to John Kirwan, senior VP of the company's
* WEBB WINS WITH ALL TITLEIST EQUIPMENT
Karrie Webb was all Titleist in her first win of 2002. Webb used
Titleist's Pro V1 ball, 975J (9.5 degrees) driver, Titleist 975F 3- and
5-wood, 690 Forged irons (3-PW) and Titleist Vokey wedges (52, 58
degrees). Webb also used a Scotty Cameron prototype putter in her victory.
In the overall counts, Callaway hit the trifecta, with wins in drivers,
fairway woods and irons, while sister company Odyssey took the top spot in
putters. Titleist won the ball count. Wedge figures were not available.
* NEW SHOPS HELP NIKE
Nike Golf executives said they credit the firm's new apparel concept
shops with helping the brand grow in seven product categories and jump 70
percent in sales for the last year.
Nike Golf opened 150 in-store apparel shops, ranging from 50 to 1,400
square feet, in green-grass and off-course shops in 2001 and is expecting
to open another 100 by the end of the year.
David Hagler, Nike's category business director for apparel, said the
shops allow the company the chance to "tell the technical story" and make
clear the differences between the brand's Dry-FIT, Clima-FIT, Therma-FIT
and Storm-FIT collections.
"The Concept Shops have been a tremendous boost to the awareness of Nike
Golf apparel," Hagler said. "The presentations also demonstrate the style
and breadth of our lines."
Nike Golf first opened 75 in-store apparel shops in 2000. In addition to
the 325 in-store shops and a total of 815 smaller Nike Golf in-store
apparel displays the company plans to have operating by year's end, the
Beaverton, Ore. firm is planning other shop concepts for its golf
accessories and hard goods.
Nike Golf did not provide sales and profit numbers to illustrate recent
* FORRESTER'S AND JONES GOLF MERGE
The Yoshida Group, a Portland-based diversified company, has acquired
Forrester's, a golf outerwear firm that will join Jones Golf, a mainstay
in the collegiate and high school bag market, in the company's sports
With the acquisition, the two companies will merge all operations into
Jones Golf headquarters in Portland. They will operate as separate brands,
but will share a sales force of 30 that John Anderson, national sales
manager for Forrester's, will direct. Matt Guthrie, president of Yoshida
Group and GM of Jones Golf, will oversee both brands. Ryan Rombalski will
remain Forrester's CEO.
Jones,was acquired by the Yoshida Group in April 2001. The Yoshida Group
has in its portfolio Prison Blues blue jeans, multiple snowboard
manufacturers and an art gallery, along with other enterprises. No price
was released for the deal.
* INDUSTRY NOTES: FEDEX RE-UPS WITH PGA TOUR
FedEx Corp. announced today a four-year extension of its sponsorship of
the PGA Tour FedEx St. Jude Classic. The world's largest express package
carrier also became the official shipping company of the PGA Tour.
Reed Exhibitions, organizers of PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions, said
that it ranked first in Tradeshow Week's annual ranking of top 10 trade
show organizers for the third year in a row.
* INDUSTRY NAMES: WOODS NO. 2 IN FORBES LIST
Tiger Woods ranked second in the Forbes Magazine celebrity index of
Power 100, earning an estimated $62 million a year from endorsements. The
magazine said also that the golfer had 378,000 web hits and more than
50,000 press clips. The No. 1 spot sent to teen pop queen Britney Spears,
who beat Woods only in the web hits category with 997,000.
Tom VanHaaren has been named Eastern VP of Sales for The Double R
Corporation. Double R makes and markets Joey Rodolfo's women's Resort Two
and men's JR 1879 collections.