JANUARY 30, 2017

By Adam Schupak

Pulsating music. Celebrity sightings. Happy hour starting at 2 o'clock. The Cobra Golf booth at last week's PGA Demo Day held at Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge never has lacked in the fun department.

For too long Cobra Golf could be accused of being all sizzle, no steak. Kind of like its poster boy, Rickie Fowler, before he proved his mettle at the 2015 Players Championship. But this year, the company is introducing two products that could help differentiate its clubs in a competitive field and produce the type of breakthrough that the brand sorely needs.

By Jim McCabe

Much has been made of the “newness” to the Phil Mickelson-Jim Mackay partnership for 2017 — each having had surgeries in the fall. (Two hernia operations for the player, two knee replacements for the caddie.)

Thankfully, though, the medical folks didn’t have to tinker with the exuberance each has for golf and for the PGA Tour. That remains exceedingly high, which is refreshing since so many of the game’s best players sometimes act like it’s a burden and not a gift to be playing on such a stage and in front of so many fans and supporters.

From the industry

Bushnell Outdoor Products introduced three distance-measuring devices at the recent PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla.: range finders Pro X2 and Tour V4 Shift, both of which feature slope-switch technology, plus the Excel Golf GPS watch. The Pro X2 ($499) and Tour V4 Shift ($399) are expected to be available at retail in March, and the Excel Golf GPS ($249.99) is scheduled for April availability.

Lacoste previewed its uniforms for the Presidents Cup, to be played Sept. 28-Oct. 1 at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J., during the recent PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla. This will be the first time in the 23-year history of the biennial matches between the U.S. and International teams that one manufacturer will outfit both squads.

Scotland’s influence on golf course design will be celebrated during an architecture conference Feb. 28-March 3 in Inverness, Scotland. “Design Masters: The Scottish International Golf Course Architects Conference” will examine the contributions of such noted designers as Old Tom Morris, James Braid, Donald Ross, Willie Park Jr. and Alister MacKenzie.

February 2-5
European Tour: Omega Dubai Desert Classic
Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
PGA Tour: Waste Management Phoenix Open
TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Ariz.
February 3-5
Amateur: Jones Cup
Ocean Forest Golf Club, Sea Island, Ga.
February 4-9
Golf Industry Show
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.
February 7-11
Club Managers Association of America World Conference on Club Management and Club Business Expo
Orlando World Center Marriott, Orlando, Fla.
February 9-12
PGA Tour: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links
European Tour: Maybank Championship
Saujana Golf & Country Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tour: Club Colombia Championship
Bogota (Colombia) Country Club
February 10-12
West Michigan Golf Show
DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Champions Tour: Allianz Championship
The Old Course at Broken Sound, Boca Raton, Fla.
February 16-19
LPGA: ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open
Royal Adelaide Golf Club, Grange, Australia
European Tour: ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth
Lake Karrinyup Country Club, Perth, Australia
PGA Tour: Genesis Open
Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, Calif. Tour: Panama Claro Championship
Panama Golf Club, Panama City, Panama
February 17-19
Champions Tour: Chubb Classic
TwinEagles Golf Club (Talon), Naples. Fla.
February 23-26
European Tour: Joburg Open
Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, Johannesburg, South Africa
PGA Tour: The Honda Classic
PGA National (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
LPGA: Honda LPGA Thailand
Siam Country Club (Pattaya Old), Chonburi, Thailand
February 24-26
Toronto Golf And Travel Show
The International Centre, Mississauga, Ontario
February 27-28
Northern California Golf Rep Show
Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Pano Hall Lincoln, Calif.

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