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Archive: December 2012

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December 19, 2012

Ping unveils plan to make equipment a factor in golfers' handicaps

Posted at 12:15 PM by Golf.com

Should a player who uses an antiquated persimmon driver to shoot an 80 have a lower handicap than a golfer who shoots the same score on the same course with a modern driver? Ping CEO John Solheim says yes, and he has applied for a patent on a handicapping system that would account for a golfer's equipment in addition to scores and course conditions. Here's the release from Ping:

PHOENIX (Dec. 19, 2012) – PING Chairman & CEO John Solheim announced today he’s applied for a patent that uses an equipment rating formula as a factor in calculating a golfer’s handicap. The pursuit of the patent, according to Solheim, is to ensure amateur golfers who want more options in playing the game have another choice allowing them to do so in a globally available format.

“The tone coming from the USGA and R&A in recent years suggests another significant equipment rollback may not be far away,” said Solheim, who applied for the patent in June of 2011. “We’ve already seen it with the groove rule and the proposed rule banning anchoring. We continue to hear whispers of more changes.  But as we’re also reading on the proposed anchoring ban, many directly involved in the game favor more equipment options, not fewer. I’m looking for ways to keep the game enjoyable for every level of golfer.”

The patent application details numerous scenarios in which equipment could be rated (balls that go varying distances, for example) and are also factored in with current variables, such as the challenge presented by each individual course.   Solheim suggests the expanded equipment options could be approved as “Conditions of Competition” so the new method of handicapping could exist within the current set of rules.

“One of the goals of this concept is to get people thinking outside the “traditional” box that seems to have been built around golf – due primarily to the influence of the professional game,” said Solheim. “This alternative approach to handicapping gives golfers the options to play and enjoy the game with the goal of keeping one set of rules. All of us who are part of this industry need to be looking forward to ensure the game grows in both appeal and participation. This is just one example of things we should be considering.”

December 05, 2012

U.S. shaft manufacturer Aldila merges with Mitsubishi Rayon

Posted at 12:00 PM by David Dusek

AldilaCARLSBAD, Calif. -- Aldila, the company that produces the popular VooDoo, NV and RIP line of golf shafts, announced in a release on Monday that its board of directors has unanimously approved a merger agreement to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Rayon America.

According to the release, if Aldila's shareholders approve the merger at a company meeting on Dec. 27, Mitsubishi will pay each Aldila stockholder $4.00 per share, which represents a 60 percent premium over Aldila's $2.50 share price as of Dec. 3. In total, Mitsubishi Rayon America, itself a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Company, would pay $22 million for the Poway, Calif-based Aldila.

“Aldila will be joining a world class Advanced Composite Materials company that is fully integrated from the base raw material acrylonitrile, precursor, carbon fiber and prepreg materials.  MRC also offers a leading global graphite golf shaft product line-up under the Mitsubishi Rayon brand. We see unique synergies and opportunities for growing our two business segments of Composite Products and Composite Materials by joining with Mitsubishi Rayon” said Peter Mathewson, Aldila’s CEO.

Golfers who won a 2012 PGA Tour event using an Aldila driver shaft include Tommy Gainey, (Aldila RIP NV 65X ), Ian Poulter (Aldila RIP Phenom), and Ben Curtis (Aldila RIP ). Mitsubishi Rayon driver shafts were used by Rory McIlroy (Mitsubishi Diamana prototype 70X), Nick Watney (Mitsubishi Diamana White Board), Sergio Garcia (Mitsubishi Diamana 103X) to win in 2012.

[Photo: The Aldila RIP shaft. Golf Magazine/Schecter Lee]

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