Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Golf Gear News - Podcast #23 9/25/06

CLICK HERE to listen.

In Episode #23 of Golf Gear News, host Bruce Stasch reports at The Newstand that US Media Savages Ryder Cup Team, Iran Building Golf Courses, and on a study that finds Golfers Are An Unhealthy Lot.

Our Perfect Fit looks at the Demise of 2nd Swing Golf Retailer and the The Guru Commentary rants about how the American Ryder Cup Players Don't Care.

Check out the Component Corner and learn about True Temper's Dropping Sales and Golf Shoes that Will Help Your Game.

In Why Can't We All Get Along we find that the Private Lakeside Golf Club Got Sued and in Golf Around the World, Play Golf All Night in Finland.

In Golf of the Weird you'll feel for the Japanese Golfer that Shoots a 19 on One Hole.

To close out the show's Website Spotlight we play a few cuts from Leroy Smith's Golf Songs.

As always, our show is sponsored by Golfknockoff.com.

Check out our new Medit Kit.

Monday, September 25, 2006

American Ryder Cup Players Don't Care

Here in the United States we don’t understand the rest of the world’s love for soccer (okay, football everywhere else). It is also obvious to this writer that the Americans don’t have any love for the Ryder Cup either.

Captain Lehman talks all about teamwork, but the reality is that we really don’t care. Our Ryder Cup “team” is made up of a group of guys that compete weekly to beat each other. They don’t know how to cooperate. That’s not why they play the game. Maybe when they were in college they played for the love of the game, but with tournament purses over $1 million for the winner, it’s all about the money. The Ryder Cup might be interesting to the Europeans, but it doesn’t fill the top American stars’ wallets and takes away two weeks from making money.

The top players like Tiger, Incorporated & Phil, Incorporated are money-making machines. A recent article in Ad Age mentioned that Tiger made $87 million last year. So far, he’s also earned more than $500 million during his 10 years on tour. Why does he care if his team wins the Ryder Cup? I wouldn’t.

Let’s take the USA Basketball team during the Olympics. For years we were satisfied having the top college players go for the gold. If we won, great. If we didn’t, maybe next time. Then, we said, let’s dominate by allowing professionals to play. Now, we are always expected to win. Yet, there are times when the best players in the world lose to a bunch of no-name, second tier, pro-wannabees. Why is that? Because both the Olympics and the Ryder Cup are actually “team” competitions.

There’s no “I” in team, but there sure is an “I” in Tiger and Phil. The Americans, especially the icons of golf, aren’t a patriotic lot. They may love their country, but if it keeps them away from a tournament weekend payday, why waste two weeks playing for just travel expenses?

Friday, September 08, 2006

2nd Swing Golf Files for Chapter 11

I just found out that 2nd Swing Golf based in Minnetonka, Minnesota (my home state) declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy on August 23rd. Founded in 1997, they've expanded to more than 50 stores selling used golf equipment. It looks like the end for these guys. According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal "The company has retained an investment banker Morris Anderson & Associates of Chicago, and is seeking a party to buy 2nd Swing as an ongoing business or handle a shutdown".

As cutthroat as golf retailing has become, these guys are probably going to fall victim and be liquidated. When a company announces they are trying to sell themselves or close down, it can't be good. They would have tried to unload the company privately and avoid the negative publicity associated with a bankruptcy.

If the financials were even halfway decent, a chain like Nevada Bobs, Edwin Watts, Austad's or even Dick's Sporting Goods would swoop them up in their time of need. Even for just the real estate.

Unfortunately, 2nd Swing couldn't pretty up their balance sheet when they tried to do an IPO in 2003 (three times actually) and just a year ago they laid off 1/3 of their corporate staff and closed about 20 stores. Their demise shouldn't come as a surprise with a flat golf retailing market for the last five years.

I alluded to the weak state of the industry in a previous March, 2006 posting Clubbuilding War Breaks Out as well as Dick's Sporting Goods opening its prototype standalone golf concept store.

I'll continue to explore the state of golf retailing in a future posting as well as on my podcast.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Chicks That Caddy Have a Home Online

Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm a prude. Maybe I just don't understand, but during my daily web surfing, I tripped over a website called Caddychicks.com that claims to be a site launched to help those women that want to learn more about the game of golf through the eyes of a caddy. The site banner says that I'm about to join 100,000 golfers and 4,500 caddies if I just sign up. Cool.

The site also claims that it helps these ladies with training and support to learn and appreciate the game. They even offer a scholarship fund for those women wanting to become professional golf caddies? Searching everywhere, none of this is explained anywhere on the site.

Now I'll give the site some credit. A few of these women have played golf before, but most seem to be part-time college students and models, most with little or no experience. I was under the impression that a caddie was supposed to know something about golf, help make suggestions while you play (if asked) and carry and clean your golf clubs after each shot.

What I found when visiting is a sudo-escort service with listings of women, some vital stats (age, height, weight) and lots of nicely shot professional pinup photos. They also list their rates: $30/round, $18/hour, $400/day, etc. to carry your bags.

If I'm paying $75 for a round, what do I get for my $400? It better be a round of par or below.

What I really don't get is that these women willingly make themselves available for this type of thing. Yet, this isn’t the only place that women allow themselves to be exploited when golf is concerned. The Golf Punk Online, a favorite of mine across the pond, has its Bunker Babes. There is also a blog called Golf Babes that collects pictures of LPGA players. Even Worldgolf.com joins the exploitation party and sinks to a new low by linking to Caddychicks.com.

Call it soft porn with golf equipment.

My favorite line is from Chicago native, green-eyed Tanya T: "I've been a part of several golf tournaments including the Playboy Girls of Golf. I'm a fun, outgoing person that loves to meet new people."

What a skill set. I'm sure she'll do wonders for my game. At $40/hour, she'd better.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Golf Gear News - Podcast #22 9/3/06

Click CLICK HERE to listen.

In Episode #22 of Golf Gear News, host Bruce Stasch reports at The Newstand that Scot Wins Amateur, Woods Favors Drug Testing, Maury Povich Fails for Senior Amateur Bid, and Cesar Chavez Seizes Two Golf Courses.

Our Perfect Fit we explore How Steel Shafts are Made and the The Guru Commentary considers the The Demise of the 9-Hole Golf Course.

In She Golfs Too, read about Washington State Women Feeling Mistreated and check out the Component Corner and learn about the The Karakal vs. Winn Golf Grip Settlement. In Golf Around the World, we learn that Golf is the #1 Sport in China.

In Why Can't We All Get Along we find that Charges are Filed in Golf Cart Caper and Today's Mythbuster we ask "Will Warm Balls Go Farther?" At Golf of the Weird we read about Dutch Farmer Golf. Our Website Spotlight wonders about Caddychicks.com.

As always, our show is sponsored by Golfknockoff.com.

Check out our new Medit Kit and register to win a Check-Go Sweet Spot Finder at info@golfgearnews.net.