MONDAY  | JANUARY 22, 2018
by Adam Schupak

Last summer, when I visited Carl's Golfland, one of the premier golf retail stores in America, I got a behind-the-scenes tour that included passing by the storage of enough golf shoes for Oprah Winfrey to comfortably hand a pair to everyone through the gates at this week's Farmers Insurance Open. ("You get a pair! You get a pair!")

Derek Bildstein, vice president of merchandising at Carl’s Golfland, is selling those shoes on site and via online orders in record numbers. He told me that the store's average selling price of footwear has increased $6 in the past year and $18.50 since 2015. 

 



by Alex Miceli

I recently attended a golf event where the speaker was asked about what could be done to grow the game.

The answers were familiar: make the game more accessible, lower the cost and speed up play.

Those are the usual responses to a question that has been asked ad nauseam during the past 15 or so years, as participation has dropped from its turn-of-the-century highs.

As I drove away from the event, I wondered whether the correct question had been posed. Perhaps the better query would have been, Why aren’t we more focused on retention versus growing the game? Why aren’t we trying to make the experience so enjoyable that golfers can’t wait to play again?

 


‘Real golf’ demands commitment

Kudos to Ken Byers and his spot-on “get off my lawn” comments regarding spoiled and demanding millennials (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 19). 

Real golf is outdoor recreation, a time to enjoy nature's offerings, an opportunity to challenge yourself in all conditions and occasionally beat the course. It is not and should never be an entertainment medium. It requires hard work and patience to gain the skills to really appreciate its virtues.

 


3

Score made by Jon Rahm, a birdie, on the fourth playoff hole Sunday to outlast Andrew Landry and win the PGA Tour’s CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, Calif. Rahm shot 5-under 67 on PGA West’s Stadium Course to tie Landry (68) at 22-under 266. After each made pars on the first three playoff holes – the par-4 18th twice and the par-4 10th – Rahm rolled in a 12-footer on their fourth playing of the 18th of the day to win. Rahm, 23, of Spain, has won four worldwide tournaments in 12 months – two n the U.S. and two on the European Tour. He has gone 1-2-1 in his past three starts: DP World Tour Championship, Sentry Tournament of Champions and the CareerBuilder. Rahm is projected to move up one spot, to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, as he heads to Torrey Pines this week to defend his title in the Farmers Insurance Open.

 


Revealed: By the PGA Tour, plans for a new 187,000-foot headquarters on existing Tour property at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The headquarters, to be designed by Foster + Partners of London, will house the Tour’s 750-plus employees. Work is expected to be completed in 2020.

Out: Until the Masters, Brooks Koepka, who cites a partially torn tendon in his left wrist. Koepka, 27, the reigning U.S. Open champion, rolled to a nine-stroke victory in the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament in Japan in November before he finished last in two limited-field events, the Hero World Challenge in December and the recent Sentry Tournament of Champions. He is No. 8 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

 



RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

The Grill Room Golf Show powered by Vertical Groove Golf 

Kizzire on top 

Patton Kizzire's playoff victory in Hawaii, the ballistic-missile scare, a preview of the CareerBuilders Challenge and a quick look at Rory McIlroy's return to competition in Abu Dhabi. In Groove Up with Vertical Groove Golf, it's all about the new Vertical Groove 3-wood. In the Feature Interview with Morning Read's Alex Miceli, Bob Bubka and Alex discuss the new tax implications in 2018, with a little Tiger Woods talk for good measure.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

More than 40,000 golf industry professionals are expected to be in Orlando, Fla., this week for the 65th PGA Merchandise Show, organizers announced. The show, which begins with Demo Day on Tuesday at Orange County National Golf Center in nearby Winter Garden, will run Wednesday-Friday at Orange County Convention Center. Past PGA champions and other notable golfers and celebrities will be among the attendees.

 

Lamkin has been named among the top 100 businesses in golf in the National Golf Foundation’s biennial industry listing, the grip manufacturer announced. The NGF considers the most influential, successful and innovative companies for the list.

 

Under Armour Eyewear will introduce its new lens during this week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla., the company announced. The UA Tuned Vision Performance and Recovery System is a collection that the company says heightens contrast and provides better visual definition.

 

Provision Events will provide interactive experiences at four of the PGA Tour’s West Coast events, the company announced. PVE has been commissioned by the Farmers Insurance Open, Waste Management Phoenix Open, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Genesis Open.

 


CALENDAR
January 20-23
Men’s amateur: Latin America Amateur
Prince of Wales CC, Santiago, Chile
January 21-24
Web.com Tour: Bahamas Great Abaco Classic
Abaco Club, Great Abaco, Bahamas
January 23
Industry: PGA Show Demo Day
Orange County National Golf Center, Winter Garden, Fla.
January 24-26
Industry: PGA Merchandise Show
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.
January 25-28
PGA Tour: Farmers Insurance Open
Torrey Pines GC (South), La Jolla, Calif.
European Tour: Omega Dubai Desert Classic
Emirates GC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
LPGA: Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic
Paradise Island, Bahamas
January 26-28
Men’s amateur: Jones Cup
Ocean Forest GC, Sea Island, Ga.

      
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