JANUARY 24, 2017

By Alex Miceli

Golf has had a difficult time with Washington and its policymakers over the years. For disaster relief and tax benefits, legislators have lumped the game into a category that includes massage parlors, casinos and liquor stores. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation in 2005 along the Gulf Coast, golf operators were shut out of federal funds.

As Donald Trump took the oath of office Friday as the nation’s 45th president, the outlook could improve greatly for golf.

"From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first,” Trump said during his inauguration. “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.

By Gary Van Sickle

The most shocking golf news of 2016 wasn’t that Tiger Woods missed all of the major championships. It was that TaylorMade, the apparent king in the golf equipment industry, wasn’t generating enough revenue so its owner, Adidas Group, began actively seeking a buyer for TaylorMade, Adams Golf and Ashworth.

Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer explained why his company wanted to unload TaylorMade: “Younger consumers are staying away from the game, and it isn’t popular in emerging markets like China and India.”

In addition, the golf industry has been hurt by discounting. TaylorMade led the way by flooding the market with new products and increasingly shorter product cycles, and it’s still at it, recently announcing all-new versions of its M1 line and last year’s all-new M2 line. Last March, Forbes magazine reported 18,000 listings of TaylorMade drivers for sale at eBay.com.

From the industry

Rory Van Poucke, the course superintendent at Apache Sun Golf Club in San Tan Valley, Ariz., will receive the Excellence in Government Affairs Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America for being an advocate for his profession. Van Poucke will be honored Feb. 7 during the Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Fla.

Underwear For Men offers underwear technology designed to support, cool and comfort golfers, said John Polidan, the company’s chief executive officer. The gear – briefs, 6-inch boxer briefs and 9-inch boxer briefs – will be on display at this week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla.

Hudson Swafford, a Bridgestone Golf staff player, used the company’s Tour B330 ball to win the CareerBuilder Challenge in LaQuinta, Calif., for his first PGA Tour title.

Investor Howard Milstein and his family have partnered with Miura Golf, acquiring a majority interest in the rights to distribute the Japanese-made clubs. Milstein has appointed Hoyt McGarity, the founder and chief executive of club-fitter True Spec, to serve as president.

Mark Medley, a chiropractor from Missouri, endured sore feet after too many consecutive 36-hole days of golf while visiting Florida. After ditching his golf shoes for sandals one afternoon and posting one of his best scores of the trip, he turned his foot relief into the Zoriz golf sandals. The shoes will be on display during this week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla.

Beau Hossler, who will be playing the Farmers Insurance Open this week in his native California in his first PGA Tour event as a professional, will be wearing Imperial Headwear. Hossler, 21, signed an endorsement deal with Imperial, the company announced. 

Global Value Commerce will introduce its new PGA Value Guide website during this week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla. Valueguide.pga.com is used by more than 7,000 PGA professionals for their used trade-ins, demos and overstock product.

January 22-25
Web.com Tour: The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic
The Abaco Club on Winding Bay, Great Abaco, Bahamas
January 24
PGA Merchandise Show Outdoor Demo Day
Orange County National Golf Center, Winter Garden, Fla.
January 25-27
PGA Merchandise Show
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.
January 26-29
LPGA: Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic
Ocean Club Golf Course, Paradise Island, Bahamas
European Tour: Commercial Bank Qatar Masters
Doha (Qatar) Golf Club
PGA Tour: Farmers Insurance Open
Torrey Pines GC (South), La Jolla, Calif.

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