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Category: Golf Business

July 12, 2012

Callaway Golf cutting workforce by 12%

Posted at 9:50 AM by David Dusek

Logo_Callaway_Golf_chevronChip Brewer, the president and CEO of Callaway Golf, announced on Wednesday that the company is laying off 12 percent of its workers as part of an initiative to save money and quicken a corporate turnaround.

In a statement released by Callaway on Wednesday, Brewer said, "As I mentioned last quarter, the company's business has not recovered at a satisfactory pace and we are taking actions to accelerate the recovery."

Eliminating about 250 jobs across all levels and regions, along with other cost-cutting measures, is expected to help Callaway generate approximately $52 million of gross annualized savings.

"The cost reduction initiatives we announced today are part of those actions and are consistent with the significant changes we are making in streamlining and simplifying our organization and in how we approach and operate our business," Brewer said. "These changes, however, will have a greater impact on our financial results in 2013 and 2014 than on 2012.  As a result, and given the slower than anticipated pace of recovery, we no longer expect that 2012 full year financial results will be significantly better than last year."

In 2011, Callaway reported a net loss of $172 million after a loss of $19 million in 2010.

In April, Brewer, who joined Callaway in April after leaving the top position at Adams Golf, announced that Callaway had sold the Top-Flite golf ball brand to Dicks Sporting Goods. The sale of the Ben Hogan brand to Perry Ellis International was completed in the first quarter of 2012.

"I am very excited by the consumer-oriented changes we have made to our 2013 product line," Brewer said, "and look forward to providing more information about those new products later in the year."

On Wednesday, shares of Callaway Golf (ELY) dropped 8.71% to $5.66.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway/Odyssey clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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March 19, 2012

TaylorMade-adidas Golf will pay $70 million for Adams Golf

Posted at 8:20 AM by David Dusek

The parent company of TaylorMade-adidas, the adidas Group, announced on Monday morning that it has agreed to aquire all of the outstanding shares of Adams Golf at $10.80 per share. The total price for the purchase of the Plano, Texas, company will be approximately $70 million.

In a statement, Herbert Hainer, CEO of the adidas Group, said, "This acquisition reflects our commitment to continued growth in the golf category. The proposed combination of Adams Golf and TaylorMade-adidas Golf brings together two highly complementary sets of brands, combining Adams' focus on game-improvement as well as senior and women golfers with TaylorMade-adidas Golf’s focus on the younger and the low-to-mid handicap golfer."

Adams is best known to golfers as one of the leading brands of hybrid golf clubs and hybrid-iron sets designed for higher-handicap golfers.

According to the statement released by TaylorMade, the company plans to keep Adams in its current Texas headquarters.

In the statement, Barney Adams, interim CEO of Adams, said, "This merger provides strong opportunities for our employees, suppliers and partners. The Adams Golf brand will fit nicely into TaylorMade-adidas Golf's stable of brands, and together we will be able to increase our reach and better serve our customers by leveraging a wider set of resources."

"We are very excited to team up with Adams Golf, whose management team we have respected for many years," commented Mark King, president and CEO of TaylorMade-adidas. "Our mission is to be the best golf company in the world across all geographies, products and customer demographics, and adding Adams Golf is another important step in achieving that goal."

The board of directors of Adams has unanimously approved the transaction, but TaylorMade said the deal is subject to regulatory approval and hopes to have it completed by mid-2012.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Adams and TaylorMade gear, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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January 23, 2012

Rickie Fowler officially switches to Cobra Golf

Posted at 10:07 AM by David Dusek

LA JOLLA, Calif. — Rumors had been floating around the Internet for months that Rickie Fowler and Titleist were parting ways and that the young American was going to start playing Cobra Golf equipment. Fowler, 23, already wears apparel and footwear made by Cobra's parent company, Puma, and the clubmaker's newest line of woods and irons, the AMP series, is trimmed in Rickie-preferred orange.

Monday morning it became official. Inside Fowler's new Cobra bag will be a new AMP driver and 3-wood, along with a prototype set of Cobra AMP Pro irons.

Ricke and Cobra Bag

Get ready to see this Cobra-Puma Golf commercial, a lot:

Fowler had previously been using a Titleist 910D3 driver and 910F 3-wood, a pair of Adams Idea Pro Black 9031 hybrids and Titleist 712 MB irons.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Cobra clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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October 03, 2011

Greg Norman parent company buys apparel maker Dunning Golf

Posted at 9:31 AM by David Dusek

The corporate parent of the Greg Norman golf clothing company has reached an agreement to acquire Dunning Golf, the performance apparel brand founded by Ralph Dunning.

Tharanco Lifestyles LLC, which bought the Greg Norman brand in 2009, announced the deal Monday morning.

According to the announcement, Mr. Dunning will maintain a partnership in the new company and continue to design the collection.

“Ralph Dunning revolutionized the golf industry in 2001 when he launched the very first apparel line for golf comprised entirely of performance fabrics,” said Michael J. Setola, the president and chief executive officer of Tharanco Lifestyles. “We’re confident that with Ralph’s brand vision and our operational platform we’re poised for this acquisition to be a success.”

A former Ironman competitor, Dunning made a mark in the 1990s with his Rip N Hammer line of technical clothing for triathletes and cyclists. His golf clothes are known for traditional, preppy styling and solid performance features. Dunning Golf clothing is sold in country club pro shops and at select specialty stores.

— Woody Hochswender

May 24, 2011

Adams Golf is quietly having a very solid year

Posted at 11:45 PM by David Dusek

Irving, Texas – So far, 2011 has been a solid year for Adams Golf.

Based in Plano, Texas, which is less than 20 miles from the TPC Four Seasons where this week's Byron Nelson Championship is being played, Adams purchased Yes! Golf in January for just under $2 million, giving Adams a place in the putter market for the first time.

In mid-April, the company released the new Redline Series of max-game improvement irons.

A few days later, Brandt Snedeker won the Heritage on Hilton Head Island with an Adams Idea Pro a12 Proto G hybrid in his bag. Less than 48 hours later, Adams released the club, which his now available in pro shops.

While the company has been successful launching other types of clubs, Adams still hangs its hat on hybrids. If you peek under the headcovers, you will find at least one Adams hybrid in the bag of Stuart Appleby (Idea Pro Gold, 18°), Rickie Fowler (Idea Pro Black, 18° and 20°), Graeme McDowell (Idea Pro, 17°, 21°), Heath Slocum (Idea Pro Gold, 18°), Rory Sabatini (Super Pro Black, 20°) and Steve Marino (Idea Pro Black, 20°). It's worth noting that none of these players are Adams staff professionals.

Today Adams filmed a new television commercial that will feature Steve "Wally" Walakovitz, the man who builds clubs in the company's tour van. But Jeff Wood, the director of marketing for Adams Golf, said the company's budgets are still humble by tour standards, so don't expect to hear a lot about the acquisition of Yes!. The putter brand will operate as an independent unit in the same way Odyssey is independent a Callaway.

Wood did confirm that there would be numerically fewer putter models available than in years past. If you go to, you will now see just eight models featured; a few weeks ago there were about 30 on the site.

True, the irons used by Aaron Baddeley and Chad Campbell, two of their PGA Tour players, are custom-made and not available at retail. And yes, another Adams staffer, Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey, has failed to break through and win his first PGA Tour event.

But think about it this way: Adams Golf, a small company, is still around 23 years after it was founded, and it is quietly growing. If those players can pick up some Ws, or if Champions Tour staffers like Tom Watson, Bernhard Langer and Paul Azinger can keep making noise on the weekends, maybe the small company won't stay small for much longer.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Adams clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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January 20, 2011

Adams Golf Buys Yes! Golf at auction

Posted at 12:53 PM by David Dusek

Adams-Yes Logos Adams Golf, the Plano, Texas, company that is especially well-known for making hybrid clubs and game-improvement equipment, made the wining bid in a bankruptcy court auction on Jan. 18 for the purchase of Yes! Golf. The winning bid was $1.5 million, but according to a statement released by Adams Golf, the total purchase price will be about $1.65 million when administrative costs are added.

The purchase includes acquisition of all of Yes! Golf’s patented putter technology designs (including C-Groove Putters) , the company's registered trademarks and all existing inventory and capital equipment. Yes! Golf will be integrated into the Adams Golf operations in Plano, Texas. The purchase is subject to funding that is expected to occur within the next two business days. Historical financials prepared by Yes! Golf show that its revenues were approximately $10.2 million in 2007 and approximately $2.4 million in 2010.

"We have been looking for an attractive avenue into the putter market for some time and believe the Yes! Golf brand and technology platform provides us just such an opportunity,"said Chip Brewer, President and CEO of Adams Golf. "Yes! Golf provides Adams Golf compelling putter technology and a positive brand image, including ongoing tour usage based on the performance of the product alone. The Yes! Golf brand will likely benefit from the inclusion into our operational infrastructure and we intend for it to serve as a source of future growth for our company."

The two most famous wins for Yes! putters came when Retief Goosen used a Yes! Tracy to win the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, and just last season, when Jim Furyk used a Yes! Sophia en route to winning the 2010 PGA Tour Championship at East Lake.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Adams clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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January 14, 2011

David Duval signs endorsement deal with Scratch Golf

Posted at 10:30 AM by David Dusek

Scratch Golf Logo There was a time when David Duval, who shot 59 at the 1998 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and won the 2001 British Open, was the No. 1 player in the world. Since then, Duval has only shown flashes of brilliance, most notably at the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage, where he tied for second with Phil Micklelson and Ricky Barnes.

Having split with Nike, Duval's long-time sponsor, the Jacksonville, Fla., native has now signed a deal with Scratch Golf to go with his other big new deal, Perky Jerky. A release by the company says Duval will use the company's clubs and have its logo on his bag and hat.

"David Duval is one of the best players of his generation and we are excited that he has decided to become a part of our company," said Ari Techner, president of Scratch Golf. "David has won championships all over the world and has an enormous following in the golf industry. We think he is a fantastic addition to our Tour staff."

Duval has 13 victories in his PGA TOUR career and is a past recipient of the Vardon Trophy and the Byron Nelson Award. In addition to his major championship, he has won THE PLAYERS, THE TOUR Championship and been a member of two Ryder Cup and three Presidents Cup teams.

"I am extremely excited to join the Scratch Golf family," said Duval. "I put their clubs in play last season and they really made a difference in my game. In addition to playing the clubs, I look forward to working with the team at Scratch to develop some new products and grow the brand in the coming years."

Duval is the second former world No. 1 to play Scratch products. Cristie Kerr, who ascended to the top ranking in the women's game in 2010, has been playing Scratch wedges since 2009.

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January 06, 2011

Tim Clark signs endorsement deal with Titleist

Posted at 4:02 PM by David Dusek

Tim Clark has ended his relationship with Srixon and signed an endorsement contract with Titleist. Below is a list of the clubs that the winner of the 2010 Players Championship will be using in Hawaii at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Kapalua Resort.

Tim Clark Titleist

DRIVER: Titleist 910D3 (10.5°) with a Mitsubishi 'ahina 60X shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Titleist 910F (15°) with a Grafallow Prolite 35X; Callaway Big Bertha Steelhead Plus  (17°) with an Aldila RCH 36 shaft
HYBRID: TaylorMade Rescue Dual (19°) with a UST Mamiya Irod X shaft
IRONS: Titleist 710 CB (4-9) with Project X Rifle 6.0 shafts
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design 200 Series (48°, 54°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot Two-Ball Long
BALL: Titleist Pro V1 

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Titleist  clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

January 04, 2011

Kevin Streelman signs with Wilson Golf

Posted at 1:37 PM by David Dusek

   KevinStreelman_600 Wilson Golf sent me a release this morning that announced that Windy City native, Kevin Streelman, has signed an endorsement contract with the Chicago-based company.

“Wilson Golf is excited to welcome Kevin Streelman to the Wilson Golf team,” said Tim Clarke, general manager of Wilson Golf. “Kevin is truly entering the prime of his career and we are excited to be a part of that process. We couldn’t be more proud to have a native-Chicagoan representing our Chicago-based brand on the PGA TOUR.”

Streelman will play the Wilson Staff FG Tour irons and the Wilson Staff FG Tour wedges in all tournament play, as well as carry the distinctive red and white Wilson Staff bag and wear Wilson Staff headwear through the 2012 season.

“You can’t say enough about the history of Wilson Golf and what the company has meant to the game,” said Streelman. “I look forward to great success in the future while playing the Wilson Staff FG Tour irons and am proud to represent a company with such a great legacy.”

Streelman ranked 24th on TOUR with five top-ten finishes and finished 25th in the 2010 FedEx Cup standings. Notable PGA TOUR finishes include a T3 at The Barclays at Ridgewood Country Club where he shot a tournament-low 63, a T7 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and a T9 at the year-ending TOUR Championship at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, Ga. His recent success in 2010 has qualified him for the upcoming 2011 Masters, 2011 U.S. Open and 2011 British Open.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Wilson clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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(Photo by Fred Vuich/SI)

January 03, 2011

McDowell signs with Srixon, Villegas and Furyk to TaylorMade

Posted at 12:33 PM by David Dusek

Srixon Maybe Graeme McDowell never got the memo that you're never supposed to change a winning game plan.

The Belfast Telegraph reported on Jan. 1 that the 2010 U.S. Open winner signed a multi-year deal with Srixon worth about $3 million per year.

McDowell's name did not appear when I checked the list of Callaway's staff professionals on the company's Web site Monday morning.

McDowell OdysseyThere had been rumors of a deal brewing between McDowell and Srixon for a few weeks. However, in mid-December when I spoke with a Callaway representative, I was told that there was still a chance that McDowell, whose contract expired on Dec. 31, might stay with the company.

Sure, business is business, but this will be an especially bitter loss for Callaway. The company awarded McDowell with a sterling silver belt buckle, trimmed in gold, to commemorate his win at Pebble Beach. He was also flown to Carlsbad, Calif., in September, where he spoke to Callaway employees at their annual sales meeting and talked about how much he liked his equipment—and the products he'd tried that were on the way for the 2011 season.

While McDowell's accountant will certainly be happy with his new deal, it does come with a certain level of risk. The Northern Irishman had a dream season in 2010, and if his level of play falls off in 2011, a lot of people will say that he simply chased the money instead of sticking with the equipment that helped him achieve so much in 2010.

It's unclear exactly which Srixon clubs McDowell will use, but I will publish a complete list of his equipment later this week—McDowell is in the field at the season-opening event at Kapalua.

Srixon may have found some money to sign McDowell after Jim Furyk, whose contract also ended on Dec. 31, decided to sign an endorsement deal with TaylorMade.

Another player who has switched to TaylorMade is Camilo Villegas. In August, Acushnet and Cobra Golf sued TaylorMade and Villegas after TaylorMade announced that the Colombian star, who won last season's Honda Classic, had signed an endorsement deal with the company while Villegas was under contract to play a Titleist ball and use Cobra clubs.

This week at Kapalua, look for Villegas to use a bag full of TaylorMade gear, a Penta TP ball, and display the company's logo on his hat and bag.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway/Odyssey, Srixon and TaylorMade clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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November 30, 2009

Tiger Woods Endorsements Are Safe After Car Crash

Posted at 5:38 PM by David Dusek

Shortly after the story broke on Friday afternoon that Tiger Woods was involved in a car accident, media outlets starting contacting me and asking how the situation might effect Tiger's endorsement deals.

The 2009 Sports Illustrated Fortunate 50 List reported that Tiger Woods' total earnings were down about $28 million last year, but for the sixth-consecutive time he topped the list by bringing home an estimated $99,737,626. To put that number in perspective, Phil Mickelson came in a distance second with and estimated $52,950,356, while LeBron James is is reported to have made $42,410,581.

As CNNMoney's David Goldman wrote in an excellent article Monday afternoon, Tiger's sponsors are standing by him, and will likely continue to do so. Here's why: Tiger has not been formally charged with anything. Tabloids and pundits are writing that Woods needs to address the rumors that are swirling around the Internet, but legally, Tiger is not required to speak to anyone.

With that in mind, why should companies like Nike, Accenture, AT&T, Tag Heuer, Gillette, and Gatorade even consider changing, or ending, their relationship with the man who is one of the most iconic figures in sports?

Sure, if the circumstances surrounding Woods's car cash change in the coming days or weeks, companies might reconsider their association with Tiger accordingly. But as Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Kim Montes said in a statement, "Contrary to various media reports, the Florida Highway Patrol has not made any comments regarding the details of the ongoing crash investigation involving Tiger Woods as it relates to medical information, or any other aspect of this investigation."

So don't look for Fortune 500 companies to start changing their marketing plans simply because Tiger Woods is the target de jour of tabloids.

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