by Jeff Skinner
There was plenty of news in the golf world as the PGA Tour opened up the season in Hawaii at The Tournament of Champions. In addition to the guys playing Kapalua with Jonathan Byrd and Carl Pettersson sharing the first round lead at seven under, there was news from The LPGA, Tiger and even Rocco gets a bit of the spotlight.
Did you see Dustin Johnson and Jason Day rocking the white TaylorMade drivers? It has some major bells and whistles as James Achenbach describes in GolfWeek. You can change the face angle without affecting the loft and we can play it for $400 bills. “This is a big deal, because it allows golfers to change the face angle of the R11 (from two degrees closed to two degrees open) without changing the loft. In the past, face angle adjustments also affected the loft. No longer, thanks to a changeable protrusion or “bumper” in the sole.”
Another one bites the dust…as in a sponsor for Tiger Woods. Golf Digest and Tiger announced the mutually agreed upon ending of Tiger’s relationship with Golf Digest. Woods wrote instructional tips for the magazine and received an estimated $2 million for it. Tiger’s agent said the magazine was looking for additional input for their website and Tiger was not willing to commit any more time to it. Yes, we all know Tiger’s a busy guy. So with Gillette cutting ties that brings the total of departed sponsors to five.
The LPGA released their real official schedule and there are 25 events in 2011. There will be plenty of frequent flyer miles as the ladies will have three trips to Asia if they are so inclined, two tournaments in Mexico and two to Europe if you include the Solheim Cup. This is what an international tour looks like and the LPGA has seen most of its growth coming from Asia. They even get to play a tournament for nothing. Yes that’s right the opening tournament in the US will have the players donate all their prize money to charity. Leave it to that creative Michael Whan to come up with this one. The ladies probably won’t have a problem with this as they are the most fan friendly and proactive tour out there.
How about Rocco Mediate finally getting some love? Amazingly, he played most of last year without any sponsors but by the looks of his shirt and hat he looks to have landed a few moneymakers. I wondered how a guy as popular as the Roc could go wanting for some endorsements. It’s good to see that he finally signed a few deals and he even has a Dick’s Sporting Goods commercial. Way to go Rocco.