With 13 events cancelled or postponed, starting back at the Players Championship in March, 2020 has certainly been a year for the books…for all the wrong reasons. But we don’t want to take away from the incredible job the governing bodies of golf, like the PGA and USGA, have done to bring us live competitive golf while keeping everyone safe and healthy in the process. It seems so long ago that Tiger won the ZOZO in Japan for his record-tying 82nd career tour win. It’s also weird to think that it was a part of this current 2019-2020 season, thus sitting him at 48th in the FedEx Cup standings heading into the playoffs. He only played 5 official events.
Due to the pandemic, golf has received a boom that we haven’t seen in almost 20 years. Public rounds played are up in all 50 states for the first time since 2001…some areas as much as 20%. We are doing record numbers in the shop and the manufacturers are experiencing delays of up to 6 weeks. It is difficult for us to get product and keep up with inventory. But it’s getting better. Golf is the one sport or activity where social-distancing is the easiest. People who played maybe one or twice a month began to play once or twice a week, and golf leagues took the place of cancelled softball and bocce leagues. We have seen an influx of new players as well. So much in fact, that if just 10% of these newcomers stick with the game, we will be in good shape going forward.
The PGA Tour regular season has come to a close and the FedEx Cup playoffs begin this week in Boston. Hard to believe we got here. A lot of people weren’t sure we’d make it. But golf was played and historic moments were made, and will be made, as we still have a US Open and a Masters to be played. Some of the leading equipment manufacturers enjoyed banner years despite the changes, adjustments, and closures. Let’s take a look at which brands enjoyed the most success on tour for the 2019-2020 regular season.
Titleist proves to be a favorite among the game’s best players but that doesn’t always translate to the public. Even though the current line of TS woods is the brand’s most forgiving in quite some time, Titleist tends to carry a stigma that they are difficult to hit and only geared for pros and low handicappers alike. While the TS4 was released for the very high swing speed player, the TS1 is one of the lightest drivers on the market and is perfect for an average speed player who needs a little more launch and carry distance. The TS2 and TS3 models meet you in the middle and Titleist also has a set of irons for every type of player, with that classic feel and traditional look they are known for. You won’t hear any sour grapes on their end however. Titleist has dominated the golf ball market for 30 years owning over 60% of the marketshare. The Pro V1 and Pro V1x always lead in worldwide wins and the same goes for retail sales. And nobody is really a close second. Titleist’s best selling ball is also their most expensive, and no other consumer product can claim that. BMW’s most expensive car, Black and Decker’s most expensive blender, and Samsung’s most expensive tv is not their best seller.
Mizuno reigns supreme last week on PGA and LPGA Tours
Mizuno irons enjoyed victories on both tours last week as Jim Hermann notched his 3rd tour win in Greensboro at the Wyndham Championship, and Stacy Lewis returned to the LPGA tour and claimed the Scottish Open. Both players got the job done with the JPX 919 irons. Hermann played 5-PW in the tour version along with a 919 Hot Metal Pro 4 iron. Lewis wielded the 919 forged in 4-PW. Two Mizuno staffers debuted the new JPX 921 Tour last week, Bo Hoag and Rhein Gibson.
Webb Simpson and Greensboro go together like peanut butter and jelly. You can write him out a top-5 check before the tournament even starts. And he finished tied for 3rd. Paul Casey finished t-31 and Nate Lashley had a horrible weekend and finished dead last. The playoffs are here and we head to Beantown for The Northern Trust! Winner Jason Day He’s trending in the right direction with a 7th place finish or better in his last 4 events. Will contend Justin Thomas The best players show up in the best tournaments, especially in the playoffs. Sleeper Jason Kokrak Not his best year but another trip to the playoffs after a 63 and a t-15 last week. He has 3 top-25’s at TPC Boston.
Enjoy the game and each other,
Written by Seth Zipay – Head Golf Professional
Design and Published by Craig Michael