Michigan Golf News|
January 31, 2003, vol. 3, no. 5
Edited by Art McCafferty
First of all, our apologies for the multiple copies of the January 10th issue of the Michigan Golf News you received. As you may have suspected, it was not of our doing. As many of you know, the Internet was struck with a number of viruses and worms last week. Our service was one of the victims. Our Internet Service Provider, Rick Rountree, isolated and corrected our problem, but not before it had sent out 10 identical January 10th newsletters to our over 4000 subscribers. Rick gave us some additional security procedures to protect our site from further such problems. Art
__/ MGN ON THE ROAD
__/ MICHIGAN GOLFER TV SHOW-PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW
__/ NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS FROM THE 2003 PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW-TERRY MOORE
__/ ING HONORS NIKE
__/ GRENELEFE IS BACK
__/ TRIPLE PLAY ON THE WAY
__/ ANDERSON, JULIAN, PALMER, LAIDLAW HONORED
__/ DICKS SPORTING GOODS TO BRING BACK WALTER HAGEN GOLF CLUBS
__/ THE "HAIG" TO BE PLAYED AT TC'S ELMBROOK THIS SUMMER
__/ TOM BENDLELOW HISTORIANS UNITE, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR MYTHS
__/ USGA FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEARLY $2 MILLION IN GRANT AWARDS
TO JUNIOR GOLF PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS IN 27 STATES
__/ BAY MILLS OPEN TO BE TELEVISED LIVE ON THE GOLF CHANNEL
__/ QUOTE OF THE WEEK
__/ GOLF CALENDAR
MGN ON THE ROAD
Orlando-A Report from Terry Moore and Art McCafferty
PGA Merchantise Show
The big news at the PGA Merchantise show were the no shows. When giant Ashushnet, maker of Titleist, Footjoy and Cobra and other mega industry leader Ping, pulled out of the show, it was as Terry Moore of Sportserv, said, "a body blow". Perhaps it will serve as a warning shot to show promoters who have constantly raised prices and now have seen their display footage shrink from 1.1 million to a little over 700,000. In times past, the show was hectic, isles were full and it was difficult to take it all in. Last week, the isles were wider, there was more open space, much smaller booths, but unfortunately fewer buyers.
Michigan companies that had booths included, Clock Tower Press with President Charles Gelman, Skip DeWall and Brett Marshall selling their wares; Bohning with Dale Voice company VO of Sales and Marketing, The Umlex Group with Tim Ummel who was showing their new Nicklaus Art product and Larry Peck of the Buick Scramble, who gets to hang out with Honory Tournament Chairman, Tiger Woods during the Scramble wrapup in Orlando. Ferris State University and their Golf Management Program representatives were on hand as well as a group representing Handicomp.
On hand at Clock Tower Press to sign copies of their book were Ron Garland of "Golf Nuts" and Dennis Walters, author of "In My Dreams I Walk With You", Bradley Klein, author of "Donald Ross: A Man and His Golf Courses" and Sidney L. Matthew, who was promoting his new book, "The Life and Times of Bobby Jones.
Andy Schepper and Dennis Hunter of Summit Sports were on hand to make some quick purchases and then head out to Las Vegas to attend a ski show. Summmit Sports is the new name for a number of Play it Again Sports shops that are changing names and images. Play it Again Sports, was actually doing more business with new sports equipment than used. Schepper, said that," People, were surprised that Play it Again Sports offered new equipment, and we had to change that perception with a new name. Don Jagota and Ed Baker from Tee Time King were on hand to glad hand potentional clients. Peter Allen of Hornung's was at his usual stand meeting with his clients.
Golf professionals in town to stock up were Tamara and Craig Peters of Lakewood Shores Resort, Dave and Lisa Harner of French Lick Resort in Indiana, Tom Wiederman, of The Quest GC in Houghton Lake. Mike Husby of the Loon and Judy Mason of Wild Bluff GC, Greg, Harmon and Harley Hodge of Rustic Glen in Ann Arbor, Darin Philport of Hidden River Golf and Casting Club, Larry Bowden and Steve Helmer were cruising the isles looking for golf clothing for The Natural.
On the media side were Jack Berry, of the Michigan Golfer, Phyllis Barone of Golfer's Guide, Vartan Kupulian of Detroit News, Bob Thomas of Fore Magazine, Cindy Cockburn of C.C. Communications, Chris Hill of Great Lakes Golf, free lancer Sally Sportsman, Tom Cleary of All About Golf and Kevin Frisch with his new camera representing Golf Marketing Services.
MICHIGAN GOLFER TV SHOW-PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW
While we give our host Bill Shelton the week off, our reporters Thad Gutowski and Phyllis Barone report back from the PGA Merchandise Show. In this week's show we talk with Stuart Hall of the Wire, visit Glenn Pierce, CEO and Tres Hill, CIO, of UpLink Corporation and David Hamilton VP of Sales for Club Car and check out their new I.Q and GPS system. We take a look at a clothing line from Firethorn with VP of Sales Jeanene Ness, check out Clock Tower Press and the head Golf Nut, Ron Garland and get updated on the Buick Scramble with Larry Pek. We also speak with Ron Skenes, Communication Manager of EZ-GO and note their alliance with ProLink.. Damian Ryan, Director of Golf for the Irish Tourism Board, invites us to Ireland to golf and attend the upcoming 2006 Ryder Cup and Tim Ummel talks about his newest endeavor, Nicklaus Art. All in all a great show for those that could not make golf's Greatest Show on Earth.
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS FROM THE 2003 PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW
By Terry Moore
This year marked my 20th year attending the Show. I first attended the Show when it was held in Miami and let me tell you I sure don't miss those bottlenecks on the expressways. As Art McCafferty has already noted, this Show has incurred some recent dips after a near meteoric rise as a trade show. No doubt, the PGA of America smartly sold this Show at a "high price" several years ago when the golf business, trade exhibitions, and the U.S. economy were all at a peak. And, as mentioned, when some of the big manufacturers decided to opt out of this year's event, Reed Exhibitions, the new producer and manager, had still yet another hurdle to overcome this year.
Yes, Show attendance was noticeably down from previous years and there were some embarrassing gaps and spaces in several spots on the floor. (Were these "carpeted greenbelts" or the result of last-minute booth cancellations or no-shows?) Yes, the buying habits of many pros and off-course retailers have changed over the years. Most buyers and reps get together for their ordering in the fall and no longer wait for the Show to do business. As such, it's not imperative for many buyers to be at the Show to stock their shop or store with the "latest" goods and products. On the exhibitor's side, the cost and expense of the show have risen significantly over the years and in a flat golf economy it's only natural some companies would cut their budgets.
Finally, in the doom-and-gloom dynamics, there's the floundering U.S. economy and the continuing undertow of 9/11 and corporate scandals that have rocked the golf business and its minions' financial portfolios. Remember those good old days when golf was supposed to be "recession proof?" In the January 26 edition of the Orlando Sentinel, I read this report: "Travel to Central Florida for both tourism and business meetings have slumped since 9/11/01. Hotel occupancies are still languishing and what's more all 4 of Walt Disney World's theme parks endured '02 attendance levels below those of '01." On top of the growing threat of war, it's no wonder that the Merchandise Show has been hurt just like many other sectors of the economy.
OK, with that all that bad news being said, where,s the good news about the Show? Well, in my opinion, there's plenty of that if one takes a step back and looks around. First, there's Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center. I mean, who can argue that both the area and the venue are not nearly ideal for a golf trade exhibition? Moreover, the Convention Center is undergoing a tremendous expansion that will easily accommodate an even a bigger show than the PGA Merchandise one, the 2004 "Super Show" for the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. Orlando has a first-class airport and infrastructure, plenty of reasonably priced airfares getting there, a wealth of hotels and attractions and, in spite of a few days of record-breaking low temperatures, an agreeable climate. Plus, it sure doesn't hurt to have it be home of The Golf Channel which reported from and about the PGA Show daily. When I got back to Michigan, several of my golf cronies told me how they watched segments about the Show on TGC. It was obvious by their comments and questions that such media coverage whetted their appetite for the coming golf season. And this coverage is on top of the sizable print media allotted to the Show. Where would you find such comparable media exposure aiding and abetting the golf industry short of a major tournament?
And besides all of the merchandise, isn't a national trade show worthwhile for its networking and educational benefits alone? I looked over the program and found a number of intriguing sessions and seminars about technology, state of the game, consumer habits, strategic planning, web optimization, competing against retail giants et al. Sure, one can learn about some of these topics in print or locally but you wouldn't have a cross-section of participants and facilitators from across the nation. As someone once said, if you want to learn, listen carefully to a wide array of talented and experienced voices. So to me, the Show still provides some invaluable opportunities and assets. If there wasn't a PGA Merchandise Show, there'd be a host of industry leaders and experts saying, "You know, we gotta start a national trade show to place our industry on the same footing and platform as all the other major business groups."
With my space and your attention span running short, here are some brief notes and comments on some items that caught my eye in Orlando:
The Demo Day held at Orange County National Golf Center & Lodge,s 42-acre driving range was a big hit on Wednesday with several thousand pros and invited guests in attendance taking advantage of 120 hitting bays, stocked with newest equipment and shafts, for more than 40 companies. This was a winner of a Show feature and was a well-deserved PR and promotional bonus to all those participating companies. Kudos to Reed Exhibitions for making it happen.
New Product Center nicely and efficiently captures new and innovative products in one confined area. Sure saves on aisle mileage and there,s always something notable and inventive here with over 300 items on display. I noted the Sunbuster sunglasses by Gustbuster, Ltd; the EyeLine Putting Alignment System; Handicap Golf Clubs for the disabled; heated golf mitts that plug into a golf car (must be a heckuva extension cord for walkers!) by Gerbing,s; Match-Play wooden award plaques by Tee Mark Inc.; and countless other knick-knacks.
Wilson Golf made a smart pre-emptive PR strike when it held a product introduction and media preview of its line of new Staff True Golf Balls and Deep Red II Drivers at the Richard Petty Driving Experience under the apt theme of "Velocity Matters.o/oo Wilson Golf keeps plugging along and is making acute in-roads in the highly contested premium golf ball market. Teaming with DuPont, Wilson will be offering two True ball lines that consist of a HPF polymer, a new thermoplastic material, that allows it to make a four-piece, high performance ball~that still offers True,s "perfectly balanceo/oo properties~while no longer sacrificing any distance. I played with two different types of the new True balls and they were both impressive.
The Big Names of Taylor Made, Nike, Callaway, Spalding all seemed to take advantage of some of their more notable absent brethren. Every time I went by these booths there was a beehive of activity. I really liked the design of both Taylor Made,s and Nike,s booths. Nike had a terrific display showcase of Tiger memorabilia, including his "Perfect Attendance Lettero/oo and "100% Vocabulary Testo/oo given him by his first-grade teacher Mrs. Martin.
Biggest New Kid on the Block must go to MAC by Burrows Golf Inc. of Valencia, CA with its Powersphere clubhead. Company founder Bruce Burrows, who holds more than 200 patents worldwide in golf, electronics, and even water dispensing (how about water avoidance?) was creating quite the buzz at the Show. MAC stands for Magnitude Amplification Cavity which claims to refocus "the powerful shockwaves generated in the clubhead at the point of impact to create more power and accuracy.o/oo Only time and performance will tell but there were some good comments about the club coming out of the Demo Day.
In the "top this" golf story category, it was a treat to run into Grand Rapids pro Randy Ernst who only the day before joined a foursome at The Medalist GC at Hobe Sound with Greg Norman, GR attorney and Medalist member Gary McInerney and club member Ray Pitts. From the tips of this most penal yet plush layout, Ernst played a respectable yet somewhat unnerving round in front of the Great White Shark who carded a one-under par 71.
" State of the Game" PGA of America's CEO Jim Awtrey made some astute observations in his remarks on Friday. I particularly liked his thoughts about encouraging existing players to simply play more golf. Awtrey said: "The real issue is getting people to play more golf, and to do this, we must address the challenges that keep people from playing more golf, things like time and the need to spend more of that time with families."
Well, now that we're all back in snowy Michigan there's plenty of time to ponder that weighty matter.
ING HONORS NIKE
Nike Golf was the only multiple winner in the 10th Anniversary ING Industry Honors, presented Saturday at the PGA Merchandise Show. Bob Wood, president of Nike Golf, won the Business Achievement category over two other nominees, Ruffin Beckwith of World Golf Foundation and Gary Tolton of Zero Restriction. Nike's other winning entry was in the TV Commercial category, where the spot featuring David Duval and the retrieving dog took top honors.
Taken from a news release from Linda Jamison
GRENELEFE IS BACK
We escaped the incredible congestion of Orlando for a few days last week and journeyed south about thirty minutes to real beauty and solitude: The Grenelefe Golf and Tennis Resort near Haines City.
Recently purchased by Westgate Resorts, General manager Peter O'Malley and his very competent staff including golf professional Eddie Frye, are well on their way to making Grenelefe once again, a first-class golf vacation destination. With convenient access to Orlando's world-famous attractions, Grenelefe's 150 one and two bedroom villa-style suites are comfortably spaced throughout 1,000 nature-filled acres.
Known for great golf on three distinctly different courses, we too took on the South course, which was in exceptional condition from tee-to-green. The other two courses are being completely renovated and are expected to be ready for play very soon. Talks are under way with Robert Trent Jones Jr. to supervise the work planned on Grenelefe's original course designed by his famous father.
But there is more to Grenelefe than great golf. A lot more: 16 championship tennis courts; a complete fitness center; 17 nature trails equipped with exercise stations; a 50,000 square foot conference center; 4 free-form pools each with a Jacuzzi; the Lancelot sports bar/grill; and the very well appointed Camelot for truly outstanding dining. When you are ready for a change of pace head for the marina on adjacent Lake Marion for trophy-size large mouth bass with Captain Jim Dowling.
For more information go to http:/www.westgateresorts.com or call 866.438.2496
Submitted by Michigan Golf News reporters Thad Gutowski and Anita Novak
TRIPLE PLAY IN GAYLORD
Lots of things have changed in the Gaylord Golf Mecca since last fall. Mike Husby headed a group that bought the Loon, while the Lake GC is now back under the Michaywe marketing banner. Don White will be the Director of Golf for both courses. The Lake, Michaywe and The Loon, will market themselves as the Triple Play. We will be hearing a great deal from this formitable marketing group at the golf shows.
ANDERSON, JULIAN, PALMER, LAIDLAW HONORED
GWAA member Dave Anderson, Hall of Famer Arnold Palmer and former PGA TOUR pro Jeff Julian are the recipients of our William D. Richardson, Jim Murray/ASAP and Ben Hogan awards, respectively, while member Renton Laidlaw has been honored with the PGA of America's Lifetime Achievement in Journalism award. Anderson, a New York Times columnist since 1971, won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished sports commentary and was the '98 PGA Lifetime Achievement honoree - among other things. Julian has battled ALS since being diagnosed in 2001, but played in seven events last year and continues to work for awareness of the wasting disease. Palmer was chosen for his incredible decades-long relationship with writers and broadcasters. Laidlaw, longtime golf writer-turned-Golf Channel-analyst, is the first European journalist to win the PGA's award.
Taken from the The Golf Writers Association of America, Inc. newsletter Melanie Hauser Sec/Treas.
No. 257 January 2003
DICKS SPORTING GOODS TO BRING BACK WALTER HAGEN GOLF CLUBS
We met with Walter Archie, Vice President of Product Development of Dicks Sporting Goods, one of the largest sporting goods chains in America. They recently brought out a line of Walter Hagen clothes have have purchased the Hagen golf club license from Wilson. They plan to roll out the Walter Hagen line as a premier club, sometime in early 2004. Dick's hope to capitalize on the attention that "The Haig" will get during the upcoming Ryder Cup. Walter Hagen was captain of the first seven Ryder Cup teams.
Jim Kaplan, a Chicago publisher, who recently reprinted the Walter Hagen Story, was on hand to lend his thoughts and support to the project.
THE "HAIG" TO BE PLAYED AT TC'S ELMBROOK THIS SUMMER
We just received word from Dave Krause, that a group of golfers in Traverse City are planning a vintage club (hickory) outing at Elmbrook Golf Course in late June. Elmbrook is Traverse City's oldest course. The event will benefit TC's Heritage Museum, and will be called the "Haig". Their intent is to begin to assemble a Walter Hagen Exhibit within the museum.
If anyone has any suggestions, you can get with Dave at (231)938-1968 or Dkbk3855@aol.com
TOM BENDLELOW HISTORIANS UNITE, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR MYTHS
We receive a request from Jerry concerning the Rochester Golf Club. He indicated that word had it that Tom Bendelow had something to do with designing the Rochester Golf Club. The course is fronted by both Michelson and Vardon streets. Apparently, Vardon was named after the famous Harry Vardon and Michelson after someone connected with Bendlelow and Charles Fisher (GM Body by Fisher). If anybody has any information, would you get with Jerry.
USGA FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEARLY $2 MILLION IN GRANT AWARDS
TO JUNIOR GOLF PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS IN 27 STATES
The United States Golf Association Foundation has awarded 63 grants totaling $1,928,151 to organizations in 27 states and the District of Columbia. This is the first of three groups of grants awarded each year by the USGA. More than 55,000 participants are projected to benefit from these grants.
"Many aspects of golf can be used to effectively convey life lessons," said USGA President Reed Mackenzie. "Through these grants, the USGA shows its continued dedication to providing unique opportunities for those who might not otherwise have access to the game."
A complete list of all grants from the winter 2003 Grants Committee Meeting can be found below. For more information on the USGA Foundation's "For the Good of the Game" Grants Program, contact the grants office at (719) 471-4810 or email@example.com. For a more detailed list, including program summaries and contact information, please visit our Web site at www.usga.org/foundation.
The lone Michigan grantee was The Midnight Golf Program of Detroit, that received $9,000.
Taken from a USGA press release.
BAY MILLS OPEN TO BE TELEVISED LIVE ON THE GOLF CHANNEL
Mike Husby, Tournament Director for the Bay Mills Open met with the people of the Golf Channel while at the show and is really pumped about this year's open. The Golf Channel will televise the four day tournament live. The $258,000 prize money is the most on the Canadian Tour this year and insures Bay Mills as the hottest stop on the tour. Mike also indicated that Sault Ste. Marie, Canada will be hosting a stop on the Canadian Tour. They will play the event on the Sault Ste. Marie CC in mid June.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"This week was a success and a testament to the will of the golf industry to jump start business and growth of the game in the new year," said PGA Golf Exhibitions Vice President and Show Manager Christopher McCabe.
02/07-09 London Golf and Travel Show, London, CA http://www.golf-show.com
02/07-09 Cleveland Golf Show-Cleveland http://northcoastgolfshows.com/
02/07-09 Gibraltar Golf Show-Taylor, Gibraltor Trade Center
02/14-16 Chicago Golf Show-Chicago- http://www.imggolfexpo.com/
02/21-23 IMG National Golf Expo I-X Center, Cleveland, OH
02/21-23 Atlanta Golf Show -Cobb Galleria, Atlanta, GA
02/21-23 West Michigan Golf Show-Grand Rapids
02/21-23 Cleveland Golf Show-Cleveland http://www.imggolfexpo.com/
02/21-23 Cincinnati Golf Show-Cincinnati- http://northcoastgolfshows.com/
02/24-25 NGCOA Annual Trade Show-Palm Springs, CA
02/28-3/02 5th Annual Lansing Golf Show-Lansing Center
02/28-3/02 Indiana Spring Golf Show-Indianapolis
03/07-09 11th Annual Michigan Golf Show-Novi Expo Center
03/07-09 Wisconsin Golf Show
03/15 Midland Golf Show- Holiday Inn Conference Center
05/06 Fuller Cup-Prestwick Village Golf Club, Highland
05/20-23 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships, Birck Boilermaker Golf
Complex (Purdue University) in West Lafayette, Indiana
06/02-03 Taylor Made/adidas State Pro-Am- Boyne Highlands Resort
06/10-11 Club Car Michigan Senior Open- Bedford Valley
06/16-22 Farmers Charity Classic, Egypt Valley GC, Ada
06/17-21 Michigan Amateur Championship, Belvedere GC, Charlevoix
06/23-26 Detroit Newspapers Michigan Open-The Bear at Grand Traverse Resort
06/30-07/02 Michigan Girls Championship
06/30-07/01 ESPN Par 3 Shootout-Treetops Resort
06/30-07/03 Great Lakes Junior Masters Golf Championship, Stonebridge, Ann
07/07-08 Shanty Creek Classic, Bellaire
07/07 Father and Son Championship, Paint Creek, Lake Orion
07/14-16 Detroit Newspapers'sThe Michigan Women's Open-Crystal Mountain Resort
07/14-15 GAM Women's Mid Amateur Championship, Glacier Club, Washington
07/08-14 Ford Senior Players Championship, TPC of Michigan, Dearborn
07/21/23 Detroit Newspapers Tournament of Champions-Boyne Mountain Resort
07/28-31 Michigan Junior Boys Championship, Battle Creek CC, Battle Creek
07/28-29 Michigan Senior PGA Championship,The Loon, Gaylord
07/28-08/03 Buick Open, Warwick Hills GC-Flint
08/11-13 GAM Championship, Grand Haven GC, Grand Haven
08/18-20 Michigan PGA Championship-Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire
08/18-19 GAM Women's Championship, Clio CC, Clio
08/18-24 Bay Mills Open, Brimley-Wild Bluff GC
08/25-26 GAM Women's Senior Amateur Championship, Crystal Mountain,Thompsonville
08/28-29 GAM Men's Mid-Amateur Championship, Treetops, Gaylord
09/08-11 Lincoln Mercury Classic-Pine Lake CC
09/03-04 GAM Men's Senior Amateur Championship, Lakewood Shores Resort, Oscoda
09/13-14 Michigan Net Amateur Championship, Pilgrim's Run
09/20-21 Atlas Matches, The Loon, Gaylord
09/30 Tournament of Club Champions (Men and Women) Egypt Valley, Ada
10/19-21 The GOLF 20/20 Conference, World Golf Village, Florida
Tour and Association Calendars
Golf Association of Michigan http://www.gam.org/champ/schedule.cgi
Michigan Section PGA http://www.Michigan.PGA.com
Golf Course Superintendents Association of America http://www.gcsaa.org
Canadian Tour- http://www.cantour.com
European Tour- http://www.europeantour.com
Hooters Tour- http://www.ngahooterstour.com
Futures Tour- http://www.futurestour.com
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