After Half a Season

With 22 PGA Tour events in the books before the corona virus-induced cancellations and Masters postponement we are now halfway through the 2019-2020 season. Unknowns abound starting with whether more tournaments will be cancelled or will some, as they are saying with the Masters, be played later?

Obviously with what seems like the whole world going into quarantine fans understand the need for this but that doesn’t take away the disappointment of missing out on what was shaping up as an exciting runup to the first major and then golf’s favorite event the Masters itself.

Fans conditioned to the Thursday through Sunday golf telecasts must make do with re-televised past tournaments or be reduced to watching “Wheel of Fortune” and hoping against hope for a “Caddy Shack” rerun.

For someone writing about the game and not wishing to parrot others or engage in the handwringing over the schedule disruption, the list of related but germane topics is a veritable desert. On the assumption most of our readers are affected similarly here are a few clearly unimportant statistics to possibly provide some quiet satisfaction to the golf deprived.

Don’t read too much into any of these numbers but they could come in handy playing the 19th hole.

WYNTK First Half 2019-2010 PGA Tour Season

Two Two-time Winners So Far
Justin Thomas, who is on the Titleist endorsement staff, won the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges and the Tournament of Champions while Brendon Todd carrying a Ping G410 LST driver, Titleist irons and a SIK putter took the top spot at the Bermuda Championship & Mayakoba Golf Classic.

Speaking of Endorsements
Many assume the driver company able to boast the most wins would the same as it has been for several years in the past, i.e., TaylorMade. For the 2018-2019 season players using one of their drivers won 18 events with Callaway users totaling 9 wins and Titleist at 7. In our 2019-2020 half season the somewhat surprising leader is Ping with 9 wins compared with only 5 for all last season. If you’re interested, Callaway which is the bestselling driver brand has but 2 this season, Titleist with by far the largest endorsement staff has 8 and the perennial top driver company TaylorMade has 3 wins in the 22 events.

Winning Golf Balls No Surprise
Five golf ball brands have won in the first half of the PGA Tour season. Taylormade has two victories while Bridgestone, Callaway and Srixon have one each. The remaining 17 events were won by players playing either Titleist Pro V1 (seven) or Titleist Pro V1x (10). In case you’re interested, for last season’s 46 tournaments including the Zurich Classic of New Orleans team event, the numbers were Titleist-26, TaylorMade-7, Srixon-5, Callaway-5 and Bridgestone-4.

Scotty Cameron Tops in Putters
Again without putting undue emphasis on these numbers, Titleist’s Scotty Cameron division has racked up eight wins, Ping six, Odyssey (part of Callaway) three as has SIK courtesy of Brendon Todd’s two victories. TaylorMade completes the list with two wins.

Finally, the Money
The Tour’s best didn’t go away from TPC Sawgrass with a total loss for the week. According to PGA Tour regulations if only one round of an event is completed prize money is cut in half and split amongst the players. In the case of The Players Championship, the $15 million purse was sliced so each of the 144 competitors received just over $52,000.

TMaG’s Back to the Future

I have been playing this game long enough to remember when driving range drivers became mainstream. It was 40 years ago, and Gary Adams had this thing called the “Taylor Made Pittsburgh Persimmon.”

The head was cast from stainless steel, it had a 12° loft and hit the ball a mile even for those of us in the “swing challenged” category. Back then going to a driving range wasn’t a TopGolf experience. The clubs were old, dinged, chipped and one of the first things you did was sight down the shaft to make sure it was somewhere near straight. In general clubs were pathetic but as bad as they were, I cringe to think about the golf balls where often round was not an option. Continue reading

Club Companies on a Roll

The past year was a good one for golf equipment companies lead by the two largest Acushnet Holdings Corp. (NYSE: GOLF) and Callaway Golf (NYSE: ELY). Acushnet owns the largest selling brand of golf balls, Titleist, plus FootJoy (shoes/clothing) Scotty Cameron (putters), Vokey Design (wedges) and Links and Kings (accessories). Callaway sells both clubs and balls and owns TravisMatthew (clothing), Jack Wolfskin (outerwear), OGIO (bags) and Odyssey (putters). Continue reading

TaylorMade’s New Spider

You can pardon a clubmaker boasting a little when for 10 years they have made one of the game’s most popular putters and in recent times, consistently week to week the most played single model on the PGA Tour. TaylorMade Golf may have been pushed from the top metal wood sales spot by Callaway and have unfulfilled plans to carve out a bigger chunk of the Pro V1 market share from Titleist with the TP5, but by any standard the Spider putter and its descendants most notably the Spider Tour has been a smashing success.

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Monday After the 2019 Show

Rumors and hyperbole are as much a part of the annual PGA Merchandise Show as the lines for morning coffee. This report though is about our view of the more significant information about the Show and the industry gleaned during four days from Tuesday’s Demo Day through Friday’s closing. Continue reading

Another Unique Design—M5 & M6 Irons from TaylorMade

 

After TaylorMade Golf made the announcement of a pair of drivers with a feature not seen since the days of persimmon woods and balata-cover balls, namely face screws in the M5 and M6 models, its not too surprising they would come up with another example of uniqueness and innovation in the new M5 and M6 irons. Continue reading