Tournament host and course designer Jack Nicklaus congratulates Matsuyama. "I'm really, really happy," Matsuyama said through his interpreter. "It's a dream come true to win at Mr. Nicklaus' course." (Getty Images)
Young Japanese superstar Hideki Matsuyama captured his first PGA Tour victory at The Memorial by edging Kevin Na on the first playoff hole. Matsuyama birdied the 18th hole in regulation for the fourth straight day to force the playoff, which he won by hitting 3-wood off the tee after breaking his driver on the 72nd hole. Here's a complete list of his winning gear:
DRIVER: Srixon ZR-30 (10.5°) with Graphite Design Tour AD shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Callaway RAZR X (15°) with Graphite Design Tour AD shaft
HYBRIDS: Tour Stage X-UT (19°) with MItsubishi Diamana shaft
Always looking for a way to improve the game he loves (while improving his bottom line at the same time), 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus announced Monday that he is entering the golf ball business.
To start, the new line will include three different golf balls that each correspond to the tee a player normally uses on the course -- the Nicklaus Black, Nicklaus Blue and Nicklaus White.
"The idea of creating three balls corresponds to the teeing areas golfers typically play," Nicklaus says. "The Nicklaus White ball is designed for the players who might typically play the forward or white tees. Nicklaus Blue is designed for players who would typically play the middle or blue tees. And, finally, Nicklaus Black is designed for the single-digit or better golfer who generally plays from the back tees."
The endeavor will also aid the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation, with a percentage of all balls sold offline going to the foundation, which supports pediatric programs and hospitals nationwide.
"We all know that the game of golf can be challenging enough, so we are trying to simplify the decision-making process of selecting the right golf ball and at the same time provide consumers the highest-quality golf balls and at a price that encourages charitable support. By buying these balls, players will get the added benefit of supporting these wonderful charities that help children in need as well as the families that dearly love them."
Initially, the balls will be exclusively available at Nicklaus.com, where the Black balls will run you $32/dozen and the Blue and White balls cost $28 with an optional $20 donation to Nicklaus' foundation. Eventually, they will be sold at Nicklaus-designed courses throughout the United States for significantly higher prices that include an automatic donation.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A year ago, Stephen Boccieri left the PGA Merchandise Show with a crazy idea. He was going to try and get Jack Nicklaus to endorse his new product, the Secret Grip.
Boccieri, CEO and president of Boccieri Golf, is best known as the inventor of the Heavy Putter, which debuted in 2003. The Secret Grip continues with the "heavy" theme. Boccieri added a 17-gram tungsten cap to the end of the grip, making it 40 percent heavier than an average grip.
Boccieri said the extra weight in the grip, called back weighting, quiets the hands and gives golfers more control over their shots. Thus, the idea behind the grip was not to increase distance, but to improve accuracy and control.
After several months of working his contacts in the golf industry, Boccieri was able to get the Secret Grip into the paws of the Golden Bear. After trying out the grips at the Memorial Tournament last May, Boccieri said Nicklaus was "intrigued" and wanted the grips on the rest of his clubs.
By September, the 18-time major champion signed on as a spokesperson for the Secret Grip. Boccieri couldn't believe it.
"It's the pinnacle of my career," Boccieri said. "For him to be associated with me is my greatest thrill."
While Boccieri makes a full line of clubs, he knows it's hard to compete with the TaylorMades and Titleists of the world. But Boccieri sees the Secret Grip as a great way to get golfers in the door and into the rest of his products. (It's a strategy that worked well for Apple when it debuted the iPod.)
In the video below, Nicklaus talks about why he back-weighted his clubs when he was on Tour: