Nuggets, Volume Three

More little tidbits of info show us that Tiger is still the best and that even guys who are the worst in one stat can still win tournaments.

The Numbers GameAnother edition of Nuggets for this week’s The Numbers Game. I’ve stuffed the column full of numbers and tidbits I collected while perusing stats and columns around the web. From majors to the “other” Singh, this week should provide even a golf nut with a couple facts they weren’t aware of.

2006 PGA Tour Season Review

The 2006 PGA Tour season left golf fans with a lot of memories, some good and some bad.

Thrash TalkThe 2007 PGA Tour season will begin in a little over a month, and The FedEx Cup will be in full swing. Before that, it’s time to officially put the 2006 season to rest. As usual, there were a lot of great memories mixed in with some bad ones. New golfers emerged onto the scene, while some of the big guns limped their way throughout the season.

Tiger added two more major championships to his trophy case, and Phil added one more as well. A young Aussie stepped up in a big way to win a major championship of his own, and the Europeans once again had their way with the United States in the Ryder Cup. All these memories and more made 2006 a great season. I’ve picked out some of the most memorable storylines from the past year, and I hope you enjoy!

Ping Launches Redwood Milled Putters

A new line of milled stainless steel putters has been introduced that updates classic Ping designs with the precision and feel of a one-piece milled head.

Bag DropI guess it’s true that what goes around, comes around. The early Ping cast putter models have been among the most adapted in the world, often in very expensive milled carbon and stainless steel versions. Now the circle is joined as Ping introduces its own line of milled stainless putters.

Karsten Solheim pioneered the manufacturer of investment cast club heads for putters and irons back in the 1960s. Over the years they’ve been cast in manganese bronze, stainless steel, and beryllium copper. While the designs and details, like inserts, have proliferated, they’ve always been cast… until now.

Silly Season Excitement

The LPGA Tour spiced things up at the ADT Championship, and Tiger lost in a playoff. That’s a pretty solid week of golf.

Thrash TalkFootball season is entering crunch time, and many golf fans have gone into hibernation until 2007. That’s usually the case for me as well, but it’s been a little different this year. I’ve realized there are a lot of quality tournaments around the globe to keep me excited deep into the calendar. This part of the golf season is usually referred to as the silly season, but that can’t be farther from the truth.

I’ve never watched the LPGA Tour in November prior to 2006, but I’ve watched the last two events this season. The ADT Championship this past weekend was one of the most exciting LPGA Tour event I’ve ever watched. It seemed like I was watching a major championship instead of a regular event, and that’s a bonus this time of year.

Callaway Reworks Online Sales

In the slow growing golf market, the relationship between manufacturers and retailers has become almost adversarial. Will Callaway’s recent move calm the waters or fan the flames?

Bag DropCallaway Golf introduced a new wrinkle in club marketing a couple weeks ago that, if nothing else, is pretty innovative. They’ve become the first manufacturer to sell their clubs and accessories online directly to consumers.

But perhaps the bigger news is that they’re attempting to channel those sales through traditional brick-and-mortar retailers.

Among those I know in the golf retail business, Callaway hasn’t engendered a lot of love. Their sales policies are often viewed as restrictive and unhelpful in achieving reasonable margins. The new concept sounds good, but will it work? Here’s the story…

QuickRange GPS Review

This GPS unit will talk to you and give you yardage to the center of the green just like a caddy. You’re still on your own to decide what club you need to get it there.

QuickRange GPS LogoWith the USGA decision to allow the use of distance measuring devices, the market for laser range finders and GPS units has grown considerably in the last year with companies coming out with various approaches to help golfers judge distance. Can a talking GPS unit be far behind?

Well, look no further as it has already arrived with the QuickRange GPS unit. The QuickRange GPS bills itself as “the simplest distance to green device available” and while that may be true in some areas, there are still some issues that hopefully will be resolved in future versions.

Celebrity Deathmatch – Carolyn Bivens vs. Tim Finchem

TV contracts, performance enhancing drug tests, promoting some of histories best players… how will the two commissioners handle themselves? Who will win this brutal Celebrity Deathmatch?

ProFilesNothing gets your blood boiling more than a showdown between two stodgy golf executives. And because I love to give people what they want, you get a front-row seat to our second celebrity deathmatch. This time LPGA Tour Commissioner Carolyn Bivens and PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem square off in the battle of the golf execs.

2006 in Numbers

There were some players that surprised us with their play and some that disappointed. Tiger and Lorena Ochoa were on another level in 2006.

The Numbers Game2006 was marked by extrordinary play from a number of players. Some we’ve come to expect it from, and some we wouldn’t. This week in The Numbers Game, I thought I’d show some facts and figures from these players and just how impressive and sometimes ugly it got.

Move Over Annika

Annika Sorenstam wasn’t necessarily ready to pass the torch, but Lorena Ochoa took it anyway.

Thrash TalkAnnika Sorenstam decided to play golf with the men this past weekend. The world’s number one female golfer teamed with Fred Couples at the Merril Lynch Shootout and finished in last place. While Sorenstam was playing a silly season event, Lorena Ochoa was winning her sixth LPGA Tour event of the season in dominant fashion (by ten shots to be exact).

The win was Ochoa’s third in a row, and she clinched the LPGA Tour Player of the Year title in the process. Annika and Karrie Webb have combined to win every player of the year award since 1996 which definitely blew my mind. I figured at least one golfer would have snuck in there and stolen the award in that ten-year time period. That makes Ochoa’s 2006 season even more impressive.