Golf News – January 30, 2017

Jon Rahm Captures Farmers Insurance Open for First Career Victory on PGA TOUR

The second event of the West Coast swing provided all the drama you’d expect with a field packed with the best players in the world. In the end, it was TaylorMade Tour staffer Jon Rahm, with a bag filled with new TaylorMade product who pulled away and emerged victorious on the South Course at picturesque Torrey Pines, carding two eagles on the back nine to claim the tournament title – his first on the PGA TOUR.  With the win, the 22-year-old also punches his ticket to Augusta.

What You Need To Know:

– Rahm’s win is the 3rd worldwide and 2nd on the PGA Tour this year for TaylorMade’s 2017 M drivers, joining Hudson Swafford, who won last week’s Career Builder Championship.

– Rahm plays the 2017 M2 Driver set to 10.5* one click lower with an Aldila Tour Green TX 75 shaft. This is his second week with it in the bag, having added it last week at the CBC. His feedback to the Tour team was that he liked both the new M1 & M2, but benefited from the forgiveness and consistency of the M2.

– TaylorMade had 48.4% driver & 46% fairway wood counts at Torrey, both of which led all manufacturers by substantial margins.

– Rahm averaged 296.5 yards off the tee and led the field in strokes gained: off the tee for the tournament.

– Rahm also claimed the first global victory for the new TP5x golf ball, which he switched into at last week’s Career Builder Challenge. TP5 and Tp5x golf balls are available on March 3.

– Rahm also played the new P750 Tour Proto irons, which he first added to his bag last week. He has Project X 6.5 shafts throughout the set.

– Rahm’s short game brilliance this week was aided by the new yet-to-be-released Milled Grind wedges, which are also new to Rahm’s bag.

– His setup is a traditional 52/56/60*, also with PX 6.5 shafts.

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LACOSTE CELEBRATES PRESIDENTS CUP UNIFORMS AT PGA SHOW

LACOSTE, the official apparel provider of the PGA TOUR’s Presidents Cup, previewed the uniforms it designed for the 2017 tournament at an event at The PGA Merchandise Show this week in Orlando, Fla. The unveiling event at the LACOSTE booth featured a conversation between Joëlle Grünberg, CEO of LACOSTE North America, LACOSTE ambassador Cristie Kerr, Lauren Thompson of The Golf Channel, Matt Kamienski, Presidents Cup Executive Director and Peter Kent, Senior Vice President at the PGA TOUR. Three looks for each the U.S. and International teams were showcased at the event.

The 2017 Presidents Cup, a prestigious team match-play competition, will be held at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J. from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1. This marks the first time in Presidents Cup history that one brand has provided apparel for both teams.

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TOBIE HATFIELD ON WORKING WITH TIGER WOODS

Tobie Hatfield, Senior Director of Athlete Innovation, discusses working with Tiger Woods on the player’s latest golf shoe, the Nike TW ’17.

How is working with Tiger unique?
The thing about Tiger is he actually wants to learn the language of footwear design. He wants to use that same language because he knows that helps the design and development process. I can talk to him like I’m talking to another designer. I really like that about him and appreciate it because he wants to understand.

How was working on this shoe different than the previous shoes you’ve done with Tiger?
When I first started with him in the TW ‘13 he really wanted to start completely over with his shoes. He didn’t want the same spike placement; he didn’t want the same stiffness. So, when I brought him a prototype, he had to evaluate everything all at once. That makes it more difficult to understand it and judge it fairly … not easy to do for anyone. For example, when he’s swinging should he think about the upper, the traction or the spikes? Most of the time he’s trying to think about it all at once. Then he’ll say something about the upper and I’ll say ‘OK, great but what about the traction, because you’re evaluating that too. And what about the flexibility?’ And on top of that he was trying to play on Tour. It was really one of the most difficult and challenging things I’ve had to do here at Nike because it was a whole new approach to creating an entirely new shoe, all while the athlete is also competing.

Working on the TW ‘17 is the first time that we’ve been really been able to focus in on every single aspect in a singular fashion. Things are pretty much dialed in. It’s the first time we’ve come into the season as close to one hundred percent dialed on footwear since I’ve been working with him.

How did you approach the creation process for this shoe?
First, we started with the upper, which most times we don’t. Then we dialed in the plate itself or the spikes and then we worked on its stiffness. This process allowed us to design the TW ‘17 one piece at a time.

At Nike WHQ, I worked with Carl Madore (Innovation Design Lead for Nike Golf Footwear) and Jenny Monnot in pattern engineering. I told them, ‘I didn’t know what the best configuration is going to be for golf but this is what we should do: Let’s make a blank upper with just simple white synthetic upper.’ That was our canvas. We made eight or nine of them, and then drew on them and came up with a few configurations that could work. Next we went back to Jenny and actually added the straps to that initial upper. That was our process. By the time we went back to Tiger, where he hit in the shoes, we had whittled down from eight configurations to five.

Once the upper was dialed, we started working on the bottom. A lot of times you want to start with the bottom. We did it backwards this time because the upper became the focal point after listening to Tiger.

Designing the plate is usually the longest process and can be the longest thing to get right. An upper you can cut in a couple days, but with the bottom you have 3D files on the plastic and midsoles and foams. It can easily take six weeks just to make!

Were there any big hurdles or challenges to overcome when creating this shoe?
The upper was the focal point because Tiger had his new swing that was now right-leg dominant. We needed something to help contain his feet as he was trying to be more explosive. That was our biggest hurdle. Then once we landed on the strap system, a major challenge was getting the angles for the straps correct and having them lay down flat was really difficult. Carl had the idea of attaching the lateral or outside strap to the section of the upper that covers the front part of the foot. That took care of a lot of the issues and just really cleaned it up too. And Tiger liked that a lot. It just felt better for him.

How did Tiger react when he first heard you explain the strapping system idea?
We were having dinner at Greenbier, and as we were talking about his new swing and his needs for the upcoming year I drew a tiny little sketch. When he was done talking, I turned my little black notebook over to show him the sketch. I had drawn an x-strap. He took a little bit of a pause and said, ‘I could see that.’ He totally understood it and was on board. ‘Of course,’ he said, ‘like anything, I’ll just have to try it to see if it does work.’

That’s what I love about Tiger. It was the simplest, easiest sketch that I could do but he truly does understand what it takes. He understands what it takes to be the best at what he does and he understands what it takes for the tools that he uses to be the very best and how good they need to be. And footwear is one of those tools.

The Nike TW ’17 is available April 1 on nike.com and at select retailers. For more on the development of the TW ’17 with Tiger Woods and Tobie Hatfield refer to news.nike.com.

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Frogger Golf’s New Latch-It Ecosystem — for Rangefinders, Smart Phones & Golf Accessories — Wins Best New Product At 2017 PGA Merchandise Show

Innovation Provides Golfers Secure and Easy Access to Their Gear Anywhere On the Course; Powered by Catch Latch Magnetic Fastening Technology, Latch-It Products Allow Golfers to Instantly “Fasten, Detach & Reconnect” their Favorite Accessories to a Golf Cart, Golf Bag or Belt.

Bend, Ore., January 26, 2017… Frogger Golf the leader in high performance, functional and fun golf accessories, on the heels of introducing Latch-It, a first of its kind solution designed to provide golfers with secure and easy access to their favorite accessories, anywhere on the course, has captured best new product at the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. Best New Product Winners are chose by a panel of award-winning PGA Professionals and top golf buyers attending the PGA Show.

Powered by Catch Latch Magnetic Fastening Technology, Frogger Golf’s Latch-It Ecosystem is a line of products that allow golfers to instantly “fasten, detach and reconnect” key accessories — rangefinder, smart phone, towel or brush — to a golf cart, golf bag or a belt.

“Response to our new Latch-It Ecosystem of products has been tremendous here at the PGA Show as the golf industry has embraced this technology in a big way,” said Jeremiah Bohannon, CEO, Frogger Golf. “Devices like a rangefinder and accessories such as a towel or brush are important to golfers, while phones have become commonplace on the range and golf course as players balance busy lives and work with playing the sport they love.”

Bohannon adds, “There has never been a secure solution for accessing essential gear during a round, whether riding or walking. Now, Latch-It provides golfers with easy access to accessories from a cart or bag, to their shot, to the green and back.”

For more information on products in the Frogger Golf Latch-It Ecosystem, including Range Finder Latch-It, Phone Latch-It, and Bag Latch-It visit www.froggergolf.com.

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Keswick Hall & Golf Club Announces Luxury Spa Package

Enjoy five-star accommodations, breakfast for two, soothing spa treatments

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – Keswick Hall and Golf Club – the acclaimed 600-acre luxury resort set in Virginia’s scenic Hunt Country – announces its luxury “Spa Package” ideal for relaxing getaways at the Forbes Five-Star destination.

Starting at $299 per night, the Keswick Spa Package features overnight accommodations in one of the resort’s elegant guestrooms plus breakfast for two and a $150 credit for use at the splendid spa.

The Spa offers a wide variety of soothing and relaxing treatments for pampering in style. In addition to a full range of services including massages, body wraps and facials, the tranquil facility also features some of the latest techniques in wellness including raindrop therapy and a bamboo fusion massage.

Keswick Hall’s elegant 48 guestrooms and suites offer a full range of top-of-the-line amenities including premium bedding and linens, luxurious bath items, complimentary high-speed Internet access, snacks and beverages, and other in-room convenience and entertainment options.

“Our world-class spa is the ultimate place to get away from the hustle and bustle of life and indulge in luxury,” says Will Jones, General Manager. “In addition, we offer exceptional accommodations, first-class amenities and sterling customer service all designed to provide our guests with a true five-star experience.”

The resort also showcases its award-winning Fossett’s restaurant just off its welcoming lobby. The chef-driven cuisine is highlighted by superb seasonal menus accented by classic cooking techniques and Southern inspiration. The dining experience is enhanced by the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows providing spectacular panoramic views of the estate’s rolling landscape and beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains on the horizon. The hotel maintains its own “Chef’s Garden,” providing an ample supply of year-round produce and herbs.

The region is home to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, the University of Virginia and numerous outdoor pursuits, drawing history buffs, wine lovers, sports enthusiasts and nature seekers year-round. Keswick Hall features newly refreshed upscale accommodations, spa services, fine dining at Fossett’s, and myriad amenities. Highly decorated, it has attained Condé Nast Traveler “gold” status, and is one of Travel + Leisure’s 500 “World’s Best Hotels.”

For more information on Keswick Hall visit keswick.com or call 434.979.3440.

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Matt Meeker

Matt lives in sunny Orlando with his wife who allows his golf obsession to stretch the limits of normalcy. He's also a proud coach with The First Tee of Central Florida who loves teaching kids about golf and life skills.

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