THURSDAY  | JANUARY 25, 2018
by Adam Schupak

ORLANDO, Fla. – Topgolf is revolutionizing practice and the introduction to golf at state-of-the-art driving ranges that marry traditional golf with cutting-edge technology at 40 entertainment venues worldwide. Next up: transforming existing traditional driving-range facilities that want a taste of the social, interactive Topgolf experience.

Mauricio Galante, 47, owner and operator of the Golf Center of Arlington in Texas, is one of the original guinea pigs who has tested Topgolf's breakthrough technology, Toptracer Range, and credits it for changing his customer base. The driving-range customer is predominantly male – 80 percent to 90 percent at Galante's facility. Since Galante added Toptracer to 10 of his 40 bays, he said that 30 percent to 40 percent of his Toptracer bays are occupied by women. 

 



by Mike Purkey

The ebb and flow of the PGA Tour in recent years has tilted toward Florida as the place where the calendar year really begins. The Florida Swing is where the stars came out as they prepared for the run-up to the year’s first major among the azaleas.

This year seems to be tilted in the other direction. For one reason or a few, the game’s biggest names are choosing to kick things off on the West Coast, which means that you can get excited about professional golf before the Super Bowl, for once.

 


Remember to give thanks

I have played more than 700 different golf courses, of which 150-plus have been rated at various times in the top 100 of the golf magazines’ lists, and have always been treated nicely and with all the pleasantries, and welcomed back (“Golf’s growth key: Retention over outreach,” Jan. 22).

Perhaps some people expect a handout. I always thought a purchase in the pro shop was the right way to say thank you to those who treated you with kindness.

 


5

Number of consecutive seasons in which Lexi Thompson has won at least one tournament on the LPGA, the tour’s longest active streak. Thompson, a nine-time winner at age 22, and the LPGA open 2018 today in the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic at the Ocean Club Golf Course on Paradise Island, Bahamas.

 



RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

The Grill Room Golf Show powered by Vertical Groove Golf 

Vertical Groove Golf launched its new 3-wood, and Jon Rahm moved to No. 2 in the world rankings after his playoff victory in the CareerBuilder Challenge. Rahm will be the defending champion this week at Torrey Pines, where Tiger Woods is making his first start of the year. A look into the PGA Merchandise Show, where the new products for 2018 are on display. Plus, a feature Interview with Vertical Groove Golf's Rubin Hanan.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

PGA National Resort and Spa introduced its Honda Classic Sneak Peek Golf Challenge in advance of the PGA Tour’s annual visit to the resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The package, which starts at $1,350 per person, includes golf at the Champion Course, site of the Honda Classic, on Feb. 16, the day when the course is turned over to the Tour for event preparation, and other special access.

 

Ernie Els has joined XXIO as a brand ambassador, according to the company, which is a division of Sumitomo Rubber Industries. Els will play Srixon/Cleveland Golf/XXIO equipment and carry a XXIO bag.

 

Rickie Fowler has agreed to a contract extension with Cobra Puma Golf, the company announced. Fowler will continue to play Cobra Golf equipment and wear Puma Golf apparel.

 

Golf Genius Software and Vanguard Pro Shop formed a strategic alliance, the companies announced. They will collaborate on an e-commerce plan for PGA professionals to create an online golf shop for club members, guests and outings.

 

Troon recently had 31 of its affiliated courses featured in Golfweek magazine’s “Ultimate Guide” and its “Best Courses You Can Play” ranking for 2018, the management company announced. 

 


CALENDAR
January 24-26
Industry: PGA Merchandise Show
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.
January 25-28
PGA Tour: Farmers Insurance Open
Torrey Pines GC (South), La Jolla, Calif.
European Tour: Omega Dubai Desert Classic
Emirates GC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
LPGA: Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic
Paradise Island, Bahamas
January 26-28
Men’s amateur: Jones Cup
Ocean Forest GC, Sea Island, Ga.

      
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