Michigan Golf News |
February 3, 2006 Vol. 6, No. 5
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BAY MILLS RESORT AND CASINO/WILD BLUFF GOLF COURSE
WEST MICHIGAN GOLF SHOW
MICHIGAN GOLF SHOW, ROCK FINANCIAL SHOWPLACE, NOVI, MARCH 10-12
SHANTY CREEK RESORT & CLUB
Edited by Art McCafferty-Producer/Publisher, GLSP
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__/ MG ON THE ROAD
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MG ON THE ROAD
Orlando-PGA Merchandise Show
The show has struggled to re energize itself over the past five years. Smaller attendance, the impact of electronic commerce, a fall off of participation from some of golf's bigger companies and the plethora of smaller state shows have all contributed to the dilemma. The show has fought back with outside equipment demonstrations, more room for vendors in the closed space and more educational seminars. They also used to be up against the Superbowl in some years and you could have hosted a driving range seminar in there without fearing for show goers safety. My friend, Peter Allen, from Hornung's, indicates that he does not write much business at all at the show and that Hornung has drastically scaled back the size of their booth. With email, cell phones and other forms of communication at his disposal, he is able to get his business done in Michigan before the show.
What's new? It is always s hoot going through the new product area and as in year's past there are a lot of things to spend your golf dollar on. There was Bed Head Pajamas, Ballzee greeting cards, golf hat cases, ball marker golf hats, butt head covers, club safe, the usual outbreak of breakthrough putters, Drycard, a waterproof score care, presumable for places like Seattle, Eric Dickerson's Magic Belt which has audio replay of his sideline banter while on Monday Night Football, flagsticks where you can insert advertisements, a green friendly golf belt that also contains a divot repair tool, nude tees and Voodoo Visions Head Covers. These and many more products are on their way to a golf store near you.
Having said all of that, the PGA show does herald the start of our own slate of golf shows. WMGS kicks off our state's show dates. The show is held in the very nice Devos Center. This is followed by the Lansing show in the Lansing Center and then the massive Michigan Golf Show at the new Rock Financial Showplace. Let us all hope for a great start to a great year.
World No1 Tiger Woods has criticised the PGA Tour's plans for a World Championships from next year. The championships will comprise four tournaments featuring the world's leading players, and they will all be held in the US.
"Golf is a global sport now," Woods told the UK's Guardian newspaper. "Look at the world rankings - there are players from all over the world, and that's indicative of how our game has changed. We have a responsibility to play round the world and to grow the game as much as we can."
George O'Grady, chief executive of the European Tour, has promised to fight the PGA's decision, with many top European players set to spend more time playing in the US. Woods' opinions carry huge weight in golf given the commerical impact his rise to prominence has had on the sport.
JACK BERRY'S IRELAND GOLF-PART II
As golf popularity continued its upward spiral, other state tournaments were added; the LPGA Oldsmobile Classic at Walnut Hills in Lansing, The Farmers Charity Classic in Grand Rapids, The Futures Tour first in Milford and Grand Rapids and then later at Ann Arbor, the Bay Mills Open in Brimley and the Ford Senior Players Championship in Dearborn. These were heady times in Michigan. However, with the announcement that the Ford Senior Players Championship will bow out after this year, we find we are back where we started, with the Buick Open.
In spite of the oft-heard (and not entirely accurate) refrain that the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando "lacks buzz and fanfare" due to a number of big-name equipment manufacturers no longer exhibiting at the Show, I still find the Show a worthwhile experience. Heck, I'm from a cloudy and cold Michigan and it's held in Florida in January-- what more motivation do I need? Admittedly, not having certain big club companies in attendance remains a problem for Reed Expositions, the owner and organizing body. Yet at the same time, there's plenty of other lower profile but innovative companies and concerns exhibiting at the Show that warrant one's attention. And despite all of the nay saying, the Show still is a nexus for industry networking, media exposure (especially due to The Golf Channel's coverage) and information gathering. Anyway, here are a few of my favorite tidbits from last week's Show:
"The Unauthorized State of the Industry:" Expertly and entertainingly led by Pellucid's Jim Koppenhaver and Edgehill Consulting's Stuart Lindsay, this fast-moving, one hour presentation was informative, insightful and candid. Space limitations don't permit me here to capture their many cogent observations and fact-based trends for the still lagging golf industry but I'll mention a few for now: 1) One adverse affect of the recent number of "plow unders" (i.e. courses sold for development) is that golf is losing some of its "bunny slopes" for novices; 2) Golfers are "more bears than squirrels," meaning courses shouldn't discount rounds in the spring when golfers really want to play. 3) The play rate for golfers is still declining, in fact the median rate of frequency is only eight (8) rounds per year! 4) If present trends hold true, 50% of avid golfers in 2010 will be 65 years and older. So any current "senior" rates below age 65 are destined for financial woes for operators. 5) Based on forecasts, it will be 6-7 years for the golf industry to reach equilibrium between supply and demand.
· Heavy Putter: With a huge infomercial campaign set to run on The Golf Channel, expect to see a sales surge for this company that made its debut at the Show last year. With an overall heavier weight, this putter does indeed lend for using one's larger muscles in the stroke. This year the company brought out an impressive-looking Matte Series with dark gray head and with an adjustable tip-weight kit.
· Q-Roll Putter: Now headed up by ex-Ashworth and former Swing Dynamics executive Andrew Tarlow, this is another putter company with a solid and convincing product with excellent feel. The key feature is a patented Radius Face design that affords more topspin in the stroke.
· Drycard: Sounds too simple to be true but here's an answer to wet, soggy and unusable paper scorecards. Inspired by New Zealand currency, this waterproof and durable Drycard material works just fine in rainy and humid conditions. So say goodbye to the days when an embarrassing "snowman" was carded and then thankfully washed away by a godsend downpour.
· Mark Mender: For those frustrated by golfers not fixing their ball marks correctly here's a smart product. Instead of the usual long prong tool that could harm the green's root structure, this product uses pinchers to more gently repair the mark. Now how do you get Bubba to use the dang thing?
· Tri-Bag: This British-made bag and cart combo product is ideal for those looking for a well-made carry bag with the option of a convenient and space-saving "pull cart." Especially well designed is the slickwheel system by which the wheels are detachable in one easy snap. In a landscape of sedentary American golfers prone to ride, the Tri-Bag fights a needed but uphill battle.
· Srixon: Hate to admit it, but this was the only ball company I stopped to see. Last season, I really liked the performance and feel of the Z-UR so I was curious what's on the horizon for 2006. Besides the Z-URS there's a new AD333 ball which features a thinner cover than its predecessor and a large "soft Energetic Gradient Growth core", whatever that means. The result, according to Srixon, is a ball that launches higher, with less spin and more ball speed. Big Srixon news is the signing of Jim Furyk to play its ball and forged wedges this year. Also, Treetops Rick Smith is a Srixon guy and he was signing autographs in his usual affable way.
· Wales: Ireland has been on a roll the past decade and rightfully so due to its stellar collection of links courses and the upcoming Ryder Cup. But Wales is making a nice move inside and along the rail in the overseas travel market. It had a major presence at the Show touting its seaside courses as well as the celebrated 2010 Ryder Cup venue, Celtic Manor. Savvy traveler Jack Berry highly recommends a Wales golf holiday and that's good enough for me.
· Visiball: This product has been around for a while but I came upon it only this year. Essentially this is a pair of eyeglasses specifically aimed at finding golf balls more quickly in the rough. The spectral selective lens eliminates most colors (think fall golf and leaves) while enhancing white objects. In competitive situations this product could be a valuable accessory saving both time and penalty strokes. Only fly in the ointment is that Visiball is not approved by the USGA as it currently violates Rule 14. But Visiball is appealing and hopes to hear back soon. Until then, it lurks in the same forbidden territory as non-conforming drivers and balls.
"It is an honor to support the U.S. Ski Team and to play a part in helping these athletes achieve their dreams,* said Jim MacInnes, president and general manager of Crystal Mountain.
Taken and edited from a Crystal Mountain release
College coaches including Bruce Cunningham of Eastern Michigan University and Cindy Trout of Western Michigan University will discuss college recruiting, scholarships and give a snapshot to what it is like to play competitive golf at the college level.
The deadline for online registration at http://www.michigan.pga.com is
Clients on board for this season include:
GLSP creates video products for four markets, golf, travel, skiing and
running. Shows scheduled on other channels for this year include:
The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.
Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories a hour (Don't try this at home,maybe at work)
The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It's like a human jumping the length of a football field.
The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds. (What could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)
Butterflies taste with their feet. (Something I always wanted to know.)
The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.
Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people. (If you're ambidextrous, do you split the difference?)
Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump. (okay, so that would be a good thing)
An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
Starfish have no brains.
Polar bears are left-handed.
(If they switch, they'll live a lot longer) Thanks and a Tip of the Tam to Dr. Jack Minzey for passing these on.
Jim Flick: Boyne
Dave Pelz: Homestead
Judy Mason: Treetops
Jim McLean:Grand Traverse Resort
Scot Wilson: Crystal Mountain Resort
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