WEDNESDAY  | JANUARY 9, 2019
by John Hawkins

Ryder Cup captains are more overrated than the Beach Boys. There, I’ve said it. It’s not as if the guy were flying an airplane or anything, as if the life expectancy of everyone onboard depends solely on whether the dude in the cockpit woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Come to think of it, flight attendants are overrated, too.

You serve a few drinks and tell everyone to sit down. They need a school for that? Tuesday’s announcement that Padraig Harrington will pilot the Europeans in 2020 was an ultra-serious affair, which is how they roll over there. While Harrington was talking about whether he wanted to accept the post, I really thought Tony Robbins was going to barge into the news conference and slap the Irish laddie upside the head.

 



by Alex Miceli

It may have seemed like a foregone conclusion that Padraig Harrington would be a Ryder Cup captain, but it wasn’t.

According to many writers who cover the European Tour, Harrington was in the mix, but the picture grew murkier as veterans such as Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter gained supporters. By the time the Europeans were done whipping the Americans in the 2018 matches in France in September, Harrington had become the sound choice.

 


That great gear divide: 10-percenters vs. Everyman
For all of the talk about “growing the game,” the golf industry continues to put the lie to that statement in most ways. Many of us are smart and/or thrifty enough to compare real gain to cost and leave our wallets in our pockets (“Soaring club prices ignore golf’s reality,” Jan. 8).

Equipment sellers need to decide whom they’re marketing to: the 10-percenters or to Everyman. You can sell at a much higher markup to the 10 percent, but I have to believe that you will sell a lot more (and thus make more) selling at a lower price point to Everyman. That’s not even taking into consideration “growing the game.”

 


Accepted: By Japan’s Shugo Imahira, a special invitation to compete in the Masters Tournament, said officials at Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club. Imahira, who plays primarily on the Japan Golf Tour, won the JGT’s Bridgestone Open last fall and has risen to No. 53 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Imahira’s acceptance brings to 80 the number of players scheduled to compete in the April 11-14 event.

 


4

Number of 50-and-older players who will compete in this week’s Sony Open in Hawaii, one week before the Champions Tour opens its season in Hawaii. Vijay Singh, the 2005 Sony Open winner, will join Davis Love III, Kenny Perry and Steve Stricker at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu (tee times). Next week, the Champions Tour’s 2019 schedule begins with the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai Golf Club in Kaupulehu.

 




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Halcyon Golf Travel will exhibit its luxury vacations during the PGA Merchandise Show on Jan. 23-25 in Orlando, Fla., the company announced. Halcyon Golf Travel, which is based in Nottingham, England, and specializes in trips to the United Kingdom, will be located at booth No. 3284 in the Orange County Convention Center.

 

S. Rothschild & Co. will exhibit its apparel at the PGA Merchandise Show on Jan. 23-25 in Orlando, Fla., the company announced. S. Rothschild & Co., which has been making apparel since 1881, recently expanded into the active and leisure segment with the Sam Edelman women’s line.

 

Ecco Golf announced the introduction of its Biom G3 golf shoe. Company officials point to the superior traction and agility of the Biom G3 via the shoe’s yak leather uppers and hybrid cleats.

 

The Golf Fitness, Wellness and Instruction Stage will feature 75-plus exhibits during the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla. Education sessions will be held all three days during the Jan. 23-25 show at the Orange County Convention Center.

 


CALENDAR
January 9-12
Women’s amateur: Harder Hall Women’s Invitational

Harder Hall CC, Sebring, Fla

January 10-13
PGA Tour: Sony Open in Hawaii

Waialae CC, Honolulu

January 13-16
Web.com: Bahamas Great Exuma Classic

Sandals Emerald Bay GC, Great Exuma, Bahamas


      
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