“The guy is soft on the big stage.” “Can’t finish it off when he’s in the last group at a major.” Gotta question his heart.”
Just a few things the media was saying about Jason Day.
Barclays Winner Jason Day (Getty Images)
With a win at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits he shut that talk up.
After winning the first round of the FedEx Cup playoffs, he flushed it away for good.
Nobody ever looked more in control of things in a major in a long time as Mr. Day at the PGA Championship. He was 20 under par for crying out loud!
The only thing that may have wandered even a bit was his TaylorMade Cap when he was brushing the tears out of his eyes on the final green.
Fast forward a couple of weeks to the Barclays.
Jason Day and son Dash after winning the Barclays (photo BostonHerald.com)
Not in the last group on the weekend? No problem. Just go out and shoot 63-62 to win the tournament.
Let me say that again. 63-62!
“Holy Domination, Batman.”
This is not the same Jason Day that was robbed of major tournament wins because of fear robbing him of his saliva (those are his own words). This time, he was licking his chops. He’s set with his mindset, his preparation and his equipment.
With his son at his side after being interviewed following the Barclays, he gave his normal “Cheers” to say goodbye to David Feherty, but Feherty was already walking off. A cool and calm Jason Day waited for Feherty to turn around (after someone no doubtedly told him to) and shook his hand.
With a smile.
Going to be interested to see how the FedEx Cup plays out over the next few weeks, not to mention the President’s Cup.
That’s what it’s like to me when I listen to ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic talking about golf. He butchers the “language” that we use in the game.
The Monday following the PGA Championship, he described Dustin Johnson’s final round, saying that it was amazing even after “he shot an 8 on the first hole.” Shot an 8? With a rifle?
And last year describing a getaway at Myrtle Beach, he said, “Oh, I’d love to GOLF Myrtle Beach.”
I immediately tweeted to him, “Golf is a noun! Not a verb!’
Or is it?
Dictionary.com has classified “Golf” as a noun, but also as a verb if it us used as “the act of playing golf.”
So, what about other sports. Would you say, “Let’s go tennis Wimbledon this year?”
I contend that it is only a verb if you add the letters “ing” to the word. “Let’s go golfing today.” Not too hard, is it? Unless you try another sport. Racking the brain, I can only find one where you may add the “ing” to it like golf.
It can be just as lonely as golf, too.
Having said all of that, maybe the former football jock at ESPN isn’t totally wrong. But, that doesn’t make him totally right either. I contend that if you’re going to report the sport, use the sport’s lingo. That’s all.
As my late father used to ask me EVERY day I came home from the course, “How many golf did you kill today? You did go shoot golf, right?”
By the way, Tiger Woods GOLFED a 64 yesterday at Greensboro.
Wonder how many golf he killed?
Epilogue (August 23, 2015): Showing Tiger yank his tee shot left on the Par 3 seventh hole at the Wyndham, the 7:00pm ESPN one of the SportCenter anchors said, “Here’s where the wheels came off for Tiger. He SHANKS his tee shot to the left.”
Someone stick a fork in me. I’m done with these guys.
David Abeles first fell in love with the game of golf as a 10- year-old growing up in Connecticut, thanks to a few golf loving neighborhood kids. After working his way through school by caddying, he landed a sales job in New York with TaylorMade – the very same company whose banner adorned the wall of his childhood bedroom. Now 44, both the game and the business of golf fascinate him as much as ever. In an exclusive interview, the new CEO tells us just what it is that makes TaylorMade so special, why performance is all that matters, and what it’s really like to do business in one of the most competitive industries in the world.
What was your reaction on getting the call to come back to TaylorMade earlier this year? was thrilled. I have a wonderful history with TaylorMade-Adidas, from my first job with them in the mid-1990s as a salesman to my position running sales operations first in China and then in North America. In 2014 I left to run Competitor Group Inc., a company that puts together marathon and half marathon races, before getting the call to come back to TaylorMade in early 2015. I came back because I love this organization. We’ve got a group of incredible people who work here. They’re passionate golfers, innovative and creative thinkers and competitive business people, all of which I relate to.
When did you first fall in love with TaylorMade products? Believe it or not, my first introduction to TaylorMade was while caddying for a man named Charlie Stepnowski every weekend at the Glastonbury Hills Country Club in Connecticut. He had 14 TaylorMade clubs in his bag that he swore by. Now I have 14 TaylorMade clubs in my bag, and I’m just as passionate about mine from the R15 driver and AeroBurner series to the RSi irons.
What do you think is TaylorMade’s most exciting product right now? I’m particularly excited about four of our products the R15 driver, the AeroBurner metalwoods, the RSi irons and the Tour Preferred golf balls. The R15 driver is the most adjustable driver in golf. The AeroBurner is the fastest club we’ve ever made. The RSi iron features new slot technology in the face, which the industry’s never done before. And the ball is the best-performing ball on the market. If you put all of these items in your bag, your golf game is going to improve, no question.
What is TaylorMade’s approach to inspiring the younger generations to learn and love the game of golf? The younger generation is very important to us. We formed a strategic alliance with the PGA to form the PGA Junior League, and in doing so we’re ensuring an initiative that really strengthens the game of golf. We’re also involved with various global institutions that teach golf to younger players, and we’re constantly looking into equipment for junior players that would enable them to enjoy the game even more.
What does the future hold for TaylorMade? Our mission is to continuously innovate new products. So whether it’s a year from now, two years from now or ten years from now, we’ll never bring a product to market that isn’t better than what we’ve released before.
What advantages does TaylorMade gain by having sponsored tour players in the spotlight? Golf is a unique sport in that you can actually play the same courses as the pros and with the same equipment and occasionally, you can even hit some of the same shots. Because of this fact golfers love to know who is using what equipment, and it’s part of our mission to tell them. We’ve got a great group of sponsored players across the globe, including Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Jason Day and Justin Rose. More players on the Tour play TaylorMade than any other brand, and we have the No. 1 metalwood, driver and iron on Tour. Having these players represent our company is critically important, because they can share better than we ever could how great our products perform.
how do you see the game of golf evolving in the near future? My theory about this is simple. It’s been a great game for hundreds and hundreds of years, and the game of golf is going to be just fine. In fact, data suggests that it’s growing rapidly, with 3.5 million to 4 million new golfers playing the sport every year. When I work with the USGA and the PGA and LPGA tours regarding initiatives to grow the game, what I see actually makes me more excited about the game than I’ve ever been.
What do you love about the game? love that it’s a competitive sport, but that thanks to the handicap system you can play with your friends and family and largely be on the same playing field. I love the values the game teaches. And I love the fact that it’s really the only sport you can play your entire life.
When you think of golf hot spots, New England doesn’t immediately jump out. Sure there are many revered courses, but considering that it can get pretty cold and snowy during the winter, it’s not exactly Hawaii, Florida or Southern California.
But that didn’t stop Mark Blair from opening a golf retail store in 1983 called Golfers’ Warehouse. Over the years, the chain expanded and now serves five cities in southern New England. It’s been part of the Worldwide Golf Shops chain of retail stores since 2009. “It was really the early years of golf retail,” says Mike Britt, who began working for Golfers’ Warehouse in 1990 and is today the Northeast Regional Manager for Worldwide Golf Shops. “There may have been some small local shops around, and other areas like Southern California had Roger Dunn, but there weren’t the proliferation of big chains like today. So Mark got into it very early and it worked.”
The first store opened in Hartford, Conn., and has over the years expanded from 7,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet. From the very beginning, the focus was on an interactive experience. “The biggest thing for us in those days was the hitting bays,” Britt said. “People always wanted to try our products inside and I think that was what made us stand out. Most shops were lucky to have one hitting bay with one net, but our stores had six to eight bays. Golfers appreciated being able to hit clubs on the spot.”
Unlike golf retail companies in sunnier parts of the country, Golfers’ Warehouse operates with a seasonal mind set. “We’re open all year round,even when there’s snow on the ground and courses are closed,” Britt said. Store traffic in the winter consists primarily of people gearing up to travel to warmer destinations andpeople who want to come in and hit a few balls. But when the snow melts and the sun returns, there’s a huge rush. “Once April and May roll around,our business ramps up a lot,” Britt said. “Our customers will come into the store chomping at the bit because most of them haven’t played in a few months, and they’re hungry.”
Becoming a part of Worldwide Golf Shops was an easy transition, Britt said, as he and his colleagues were familiar with the company. “I think we were pretty comfortable that things wouldn’t change drastically because we knew their way of doing things,” he said. “We were confident they would add to us and still let us be ourselves.” Britt says employees were also very excited about the addition of Worldwide Golf’s 90-day, 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, which they hadn’t been able to offer before without the proper infrastructure. “We quickly found our philosophy was the same as Worldwide Golf’s to offer professional club fitting and repair, but also to make sure the customer walks out with the club that fits them best.”
You can never underestimate the value of a good golf glove it plays a starring role in your connection to the golf club. A great-fitting glove can lead to a surer swing and a more comfortable round. So when it comes time to actually buy one, it’s important to know just what you’re looking for.
To start, gloves come in three main categories – synthetic, leather and specialty. “Synthetic gloves tend to be more durable than leather gloves,” said Don Rea, Store Manager at The Golf Mart in Santa Rosa, Calif. “Most beginning and highhandicap players use these gloves. They don’t have the feel of leather that the better players prefer, but they have extra reinforcement in the palm area, which makes them last longer.”
Rea said that when it comes to a great leather glove, there’s no better option than Cabretta leather. “For most lower-handicap players it’s all about feel, not durability,” Rea said. “Nothing offers that better than Cabretta leather.” And lastly, specialty gloves are designed for players who need a little more padding on their palms. “The players who use this glove are generally people who have trouble gripping the golf club,” said Rea. “The glove has padding on the palm and between the joints of the fingers, so it provides that extra support.” Here’s a look at five gloves to consider the next time you tee it up…