For decades, beginning in the 1950s, Etonic was the Avis of golf shoes to FootJoy's Hertz. Both were based in Massachusetts, both sprung from that area's strong heritage in shoe making, and both transitioned from street shoes to become golf shoe specialists. Together they dominated the market.
Fred Funk, one of the shorter hitters on the PGA Tour (which, at 49 years of age and 5'8", is not altogether shocking), is feeling left out these days. He believes that the modern golf ball gives players who swing 115 or 120 MPH a "boost." More specifically, as he said in a recent interview, "You just get this huge gain hitting the ball a certain speed."
Unfortunately, despite what Fred and others believe, the facts on this issue have recently been made quite clear. The USGA, on April 11, dispelled some commonly held beliefs in an article called "Myths About Golf Equipment and Performance." The first myth was "Golfers with faster swing speeds get disproportionately greater distance benefits from new golf balls that have been introduced after 2000."
Phil Mickelson won a few events with two drivers in his bag. Since winning the Masters on Sunday, I've received no less than four or five emails from Edwin Watts, TGW, and other online golf retail stores urging me to buy a second driver.
Do these retail outlets think golfers are that stupid? Are golfers really that stupid?
We've covered this ball launch thoroughly this week, starting with a Sunday night edition of Donald's The Bag Drop entitled TaylorMade Gets Back in the Ball Game. We followed that up yesterday with TaylorMade's product "reveal" video as well as an inside look at a major golf product launch.
And we're not done yet. As of today, subscribers to our podcast feed (see right-hand column for subscription links) will find a Special Edition Podcast that covers the TaylorMade ball launch from every angle. If you've not subscribed to the feed (and now is as good a time as any to do so!), you can also download the podcast (.m4a, 29:22, 7.33 MB) separately. Subscriptions are free.
The Sand Trap was at Reynolds Plantation this week for the launch of TaylorMade's new TP golf balls. We've given you the lowdown on the new TP Red and TP Black balls, and now we'd like to give you some insight into what it's like to attend a major golf product launch. Read on and you'll feel like you were there (minus the great food, cool presentations and range time with Sergio Garcia, of course).
TaylorMade doesn't do anything small, and the brand's splashy re-entry into the golf ball business was no exception. The event was held over a long weekend at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia – conveniently located between Atlanta and Augusta. Perfect for snaring tour professionals and media members on their way from the BellSouth to the Masters.
In case you haven't heard yet, TaylorMade now makes golf balls. Sunday's introduction of the TP Red and TP Black golf balls was done by TaylorMade-Adidas Golf CEO Mark King, PGA Tour player Sergio Garcia, and others. Towards the end of the presentation, Garcia introduced a video.
This video (6:07, 31.3 MB .wmv), to be more precise.
Go ahead and grab the video. You'll find it's an aggressive, energy-packed video that makes some bold claims and statements, not the least of which is Senior Director of R&D Dean Snell saying "Holy Shit, this is awesome" (though Dean would later jokingly claim he never said "holy shit" and that the audio was dubbed in).
What follows are some screenshots of the presentation for those who don't have time to watch the six-minute video.
TaylorMade Golf is using the eve of the Masters Tournament to make a major move back into the golf ball market. The company introduced the new TaylorMade TP Red and TP Black golf balls at an exclusive media event on Sunday at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia, and The Sand Trap was there to get you all the details.
While there have been rumblings for a few months that TaylorMade would bring golf balls to market, many people assumed the product would be a rebranded version of current Maxfli products like the BlackMax ball - an assumption based on the fact that TaylorMade owns the Maxfli brand. Those assumptions are wrong, as were rumors that the new balls would be called the "Tour Arrow."
Are you a golf equipment nut? The type of gearhead who is on the cutting edge of the latest clubs and balls? If you are, and you like to write, I have one more question for you: would you like to join the staff of The Sand Trap and write the Bag Drop, our weekly equipment feature?
I started the Bag Drop last summer, and I've enjoyed writing it and getting great feedback from fellow golfers and golf industry folks. My travel schedule is about to get much busier, however, and I won't have time to give The Bag Drop the attention it deserves. I'll still be a part of The Sand Trap staff, popping in with a review or a story when I have the chance. But you'll be in charge of the Bag Drop, which is a lot of fun to write.