Archive for March, 2010

Titleist Wins Decision In Pro V1 Patent Dispute With Callaway

The manufacturer of Titleist, the #1 ball in golf, Acushnet Company, just announced that they won a jury verdict in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in its golf ball patent dispute with Callaway Golf.  Callaway had asserted that a previous generation of Titleist Pro V1 golf balls had infringed on four patents originally owned by Spalding and subsequently purchased by Callaway Golf. The jury agreed with Acushnet’s position that the patents in question are invalid.

Looks like the decision may finally put the dispute to rest.

Acushnet has explained throughout this process that they independently developed the technology in question.  In fact, the Titleist Pro V1 family utilizes technology from 74 Acushnet patents and was first introduced to our PGA TOUR players in October 2000, well before any of the Spalding patents were issued in 2001 and 2003.

In January 2006, before Callaway filed this litigation, Acushnet petitioned the U.S.  Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) to reexamine the four patents in the suit. Since then, the PTO has repeatedly found that all claims of all four patents are invalid. During this process, seven separate PTO examiners were involved in evaluating the validity of these patents and all seven concluded that they are invalid.

By the way, Acushnet currently holds over 715 of the nearly 2,000 active patents related to golf balls – more than any other manufacturer.

Introducing the Tiger Woods Mistress Slot Machine

OK, ok, I have to admit, I almost didn’t post this one… but for some reason… I couldn’t resist. No matter what you may think of Tiger Woods these days, there’s no denying the guy had a lot of mistresses on the side. But honestly, that’s none of my business… All I can hope is that he’s made them all ‘former’ mistresses, and by all accounts it looks like he’s doing all he can to get his life back on a proper path.

Tiger Woods Mistress Slots

Making light of Tiger’s ‘transgressions’ has been a bit of a hobby for many out there, and you can mark Gene Zarnick over at Favre Dollar Footlongs among the bunch. In Tiger Woods Mistress Slots, Gene has taken the classic 5 reel machine, loaded it up with pictures of Tiger, Elin and his ‘crew’, and with any luck you’ll score 5-in-a-row.

Sure, it’s crude, but c’mon, you gotta get at least a little chuckle out of it. To check it out for yourself head on over to Favre Dollar Footlongs.

My Top 5 Picks to Win the Masters… and Why

I think The Masters fever has officially hit. As each passing day goes by, I find myself thinking more and more about the event, one that I hold dear to my heart for so many reasons. During Masters week I’ll be doing nothing else but taking in the golf, making commentary and (hopefully) providing you all with great reads every day on the goings on at Augusta. To get started, I thought it would be fun to jot down my Top 5 picks to win the 2010 Masters. Read on to discover who I’ve picked, and why.

The 12th at Augusta National

Ernie Els1. Ernie Els
No one is striking the ball better than Ernie Els these days. Having come off back-to-back wins, Ernie is in top form and heading into The Masters he’s playing some world-class golf. A new putting stance and setup has proven beneficial, as he looks more comfortable and relaxed over the ball, and the results on the green speak for themself. In the 2010 season thus far, he’s played 7 events, and won 2 of them. He’s up to 7th in the official world golf rankings, and 1st in Fedex Cup points. Perhaps the key stat on his work so far this year is his scoring average. He’s ranked 1st at 68.88. If he can manage to plot around Augusta National with a handful of 68’s, me thinks the ‘Big Easy’ will be looking just fine come Sunday afternoon.

Fred Couples2. Fred Couples
‘Freddy’ has seen a resurgance in his game this year. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that he’s a rookie on the Champions Tour… He’s back with a bunch of his buddies, and when you look at things from afar, he’s the new guy, the young guy… the guy that can bomb it down the middle and hit that short spinning wedge into the green while some of the others are hitting mid-irons to the same target. Sure, the PGA Tour is a different cup of tea altogether, but Fred is a Masters champion, and he knows how to play the course. He knows how to handle the pressure, and most importantly, he knows how to win. With his recent successes on the Champions Tour look for Fred to come into the Masters with a raised level of confidence. Freddy could be this years Tom Watson… Watson almost got it done at the British last year… there’s no reason Freddy can’t do the same.

Steve Stricker3. Steve Stricker
One of the best putters on tour for many years now, Steve Stricker should very well be a force to reckon with if he’s able to stick to his game plan. A native of Edgerton, Wisconsin, Stricker has been hard at work on the course for many years now… In fact, I recall following Steve years and years ago on the Canadian Tour. Followed him around for 18 at the Pine Ridge club just outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. He was great then, and he’s even better now. Stricker is sitting in 2nd place in the Official World Golf Rankings AND Fedex Cup points, but most importantly he’s ranked 23rd in putting average and 7th in putts per round. If Steve can keep his head and sink those tricky 5 to 10 footers around Augusta National… look for him to raise that ‘White Hot’ Odyssey putter in victory on the 18th on Sunday.

Ian Poulter4. Ian Poulter
Looking cool on the course isn’t the only thing Ian Poulter is good at. These days he’s backing up the dress with solid results. Earlier this year Poulter took down the Accenture Match Play Championship with some solid ball striking. While not a stroke play event, his efforts were duly noted by the golf world, letting all know that he could very well be among the money leaders for the 2010 season. Ranked 8th in the world, 24th in putting average and 13th in putts per round, Poulter looks to be on the cusp of some bigger things this year. One of the more important stats, putting from inside 5 feet… Pouter ranks second, where he holes over 99% of his putts. Impressive. If he can keep the ball in the short grass, and get the putter working from 5 feet and out (stats not as impressive outside of 5 feet), you never know… The Englishman could pull it off.

Tiger Woods5. Tiger Woods
You simply can’t count out the world’s #1. To do so would be foolish. Sure, he’s got a lot going against him. Personal turmoil has turned his world upside down. His marriage is in shambles… and on top of that he hasn’t hit a single shot on the 2010 PGA tour to date. That said, for the past few weeks Woods has been spotted practicing like a madman at his home in Isleworth, and he has been spending more and more time at Augusta National prepping for the event. Woods has won The Masters 4 times (1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005), and to write him off could be a mistake. If he can grind it out and make the cut… Look for Woods to go low over the weekend.

Note: If you’re eager to hear more from Tiger Woods, he’s going to be the first to speak at Augusta, slated for the first press conference on April 5th.

Retief GoosenSleeper Pick: Retief Goosen
The goose is loose. At least that’s what it seems like so far in 2010. Having gained back some fine form so far this year, Goosen is up to 12th on the official money list, and has posted 5 top 10’s out of 7 events played thus far. Not too shabby wouldn’t you say? Goosen is a proven major performer, having won the US Open in 2001 and 2004. His recent return-to-form makes him a solid sleeper pick for this years Masters. If he can keep his driver in play (currently ranked 48th in driving accuracy) and hole some putts (ranked 37th in putting) we could see the Goose in the butler cabin with the green jacket planted firmly on his shoulders.

So, what do you think of my picks? Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!

Papa JD’s Grip it and Eat it Pizza

If this story had hit on Thursday (April Fools’ Day), I would have chuckled and said, “Good one!”  But the press release came out on St. Patrick’s Day.  Hmmm…

Apparently Perky’s Foodservice Concepts, Inc. has teamed up with pro golfer John Daly to launch the John Daly Pizza Program. From the looks of it, it is a turnkey operation that can be implemented at golf courses and other venues.  For sure, it provides a nice alternative to normal golf course fare — hot dogs, chips, burgers, etc.

The program is focused on a revenue-generating compact pizzeria which was developed and perfected by Perky’s Foodservice Concepts.  The company has a 23-year history in the “business within a business” model.

Daly is a recognizable brand.  In the announcement, he states:

“My pizza is a 350 yard drive down the middle! The quality and taste of my pizza will exceed your expectations, and it all starts with the finest ingredients available.  Grip It and Eat It!”

You can learn more at:

If you go to the equipment page, it says to contact john AT  Not too sure if that’s indicative of Daly’s hands on approach to the business or if it is a coincidence.

TaylorMade Penta TP Golf Ball: a Five-Tool Equivalent for your Golf Game

TaylorMade Penta TP

TaylorMade Penta TPIn baseball, if someone is called a five-tool player, it means that they excel in five key areas:  hitting for average, hitting for power, base-running skills/speed, throwing ability, and fielding abilities.  It is rare to find someone who can do all those things really well.

When it comes to golf balls, you’ll find ones that emphasize either feel or spin or control or launch or distance.   Perhaps, the ball will do a combination of some of these.  But up until late last year, there wasn’t a ball specifically designed to excel in all five areas.  Then came TaylorMade Golf’s Penta TP – the industry’s first 5-layer golf ball.

Announced in September 2009, this is the first golf season it has found its way onto the golf course.

Penta TP is the first tour ball with five solid-layers, with each layer engineered to optimize performance in five key shot categories that skilled players need – driver, long-irons, middle-irons, short-irons and partial wedges. The five layers of Penta TP include the core, inner mantle, middle mantle, outer mantle and cover, and each one plays a critical role in optimizing the performance of each of the five key shots.

  • Layer 1 – Cover: The Penta TP has a soft, durable Urethane Cover that delivers the coveted combination of lower launch angle and higher spin rate, while also providing soft tour feel.
  • Layer 2 – Outer Mantle: Promotes optimum spin off the short-irons to stop the ball quick without sucking it off the front of the green or drawing it back too far from the hole.  Of the four mantles, the outer one is the fastest.  Positioned just beneath the cover, it is easily compressed by slower swingers (ball speeds 120 mph and below), helping them to generate higher ball speed for increased distance.
  • Layer 3 – Middle Mantle: Consists of a fast material, allowing medium-slow swingers (who average from 120 to 140 mph in ball speed) to generate more ball speed and distance, as they will compress only the two outermost mantles underneath the cover.
  • Layer 4 – Inner Mantle: Consists of a fast material, which helps players who average from 140 to 160 mph in ball speed to generate more ball speed and distance, because although they don’t swing fast enough to activate the core, they are able to activate the three layers between the core and cover including the inner mantle, which is the deepest of the three.
  • Layer 5 – Core: This is most critical layer to promoting high launch and low spin off the driver.  The Penta TP has an extremely soft, low-compression core.

But the thing that has reviewers raving is TaylorMade’s LDP technology which uses improved aerodynamics to promote increased lift to keep the ball in the air longer for more distance on the most common types of driver mis-hits, which occur on the top half of the clubface.

Showing up on the Tour:

The Penta TP is already being used on the PGA Tour by Sergio Garcia,  Retief Goosen, Y.E. Yang, Justin Rose and Jason Day.  Dean Snell, head of TaylorMade golf ball R&D remarked, “It usually takes players several weeks or even months of trial before they’ll change balls.  We’re seeing players switch into Penta TP after testing it for nine holes. That’s proof that Penta TP offers a dramatic improvement in performance.”

In January, TaylorMade Tour Staff professional Martin Kaymer used the Penta TP to win the Abu Dhabi Championship.  It was the first worldwide Tour victory for the Penta TP golf ball. “I switched to Penta TP from another brand only one month ago and,” said Kaymer. “It’s easily the best ball I’ve ever played.”

Not Just for Pros:

The Penta TP is not just for the pros.  It was was designed to benefit all levels of player.   However, the price point is on the pro side:  $45.99 for a dozen with no discounts found anywhere.  But if you want to treat yourself, this five-layer ball is a nice change from Titleist Pro V1s or other high-end balls.

The Masters Unveils a Brand New

The Masters Unveils a Brand New

Come springtime, the official Masters website always pops onto my radar. I hit it up to check on changes to the course, the latest news, and of course all of the interviews, audio (Masters Radio) and video you can shake a stick at. This year it looks like we’ll be able to get our fix on a brand new and ‘stunningly simple layout’ recently launched at Go ahead and check it out right now.

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted as the players are… With a beautiful image of Magnolia lane, the clubhouse (built in 1854, by the way), and ‘founders circle’ in plain view. Click the welcome button and you’ll be directed to the main site.

The rest is easy. Use the navigation bar at the top to move your way around, read the news, check out pairings, players, course info and much more.

A tip of the cap to The Masters yet again, the new site looks great… and I particularly love the hi-res course images used as backgrounds throughout the site. It really shows off and brings to life the best part about the years first major… the beautiful Augusta National golf course.

[Via: @The_Masters]

Tiger Woods Caught on Video, Practicing at Isleworth

Well what do we have here. We all know Tiger has been hard at work, on the course and on the range getting ready with the one-and-only Hank Haney… But due to the seclusion of the settings Woods’ generally frequents, we haven’t seen much (or anything) in the way of video proof. Cue the folks at TMZ *sigh*.

Tiger Woods Caught on Camera at IsleworthYes, sadly TMZ has managed to shoot a video of Tiger prepping for the masters at Isleworth with Hank Haney close by to provide guidance and advice. I can’t imagine how the cameraman got into the situation, and I shudder to think where he was hiding to get the video. Regardless, it’s great to see Tiger on the tee, and from what I can see, he looks loose and the swing is shaping up.

I hope the folks at Augusta National are going to have security setup on a tight perimeter of the course. Otherwise we may see more videos like this taken from the bushes…practice rounds perhaps?

Good grief.

Woods and Couples to Play Monday Practice Round at The Masters

Fred Couples and Tiger Woods

Fred Couples and Tiger WoodsThe press conferences are set, and we know Tiger is going to speak on Monday, April 5th at 2PM EST. Good stuff. But I know you’ve all been wondering, who and when is he going to play practice rounds with? Sure, he’s already been on the course getting ready this past week, but I’m talking about ‘official’ practice rounds here.

The latest on the topic comes from the Golf Channel. Fred Couples let TGC know that he and Tiger Woods will play 18 on the Monday of Masters week, the same day Tiger takes to the press conference podium. Should be an interesting pairing. Freddy has been through a lot in his own personal life, and heck, he’s won a green jacket of his own… I wouldn’t be surprised if Couples requested to play with Tiger, seems to me he may have some wisdom or helpful advice to pass on to the world’s #1.

Whatever happens, hopefully we’ll get a little insight into the practice round from Tiger when he sits down with the media.

[Via: TrailingTiger]

Miura Golf Introduces CB-501 Forged Cavity-Back Irons

Japanese golf-club manufacturer Miura Golf has just introduced its CB-501 forged cavity-back irons.  Like all Miura irons, the mild-steel CB-501s are hand precision-forged and custom crafted by Katsuhiro Miura, Miura Golf Inc.’s 67-year-old founder, whose forged clubmaking skills over the past 49 years have prompted the Japanese to claim he has “the Hands of God.”

What distinguishes the CB-501 is the effort Mr. Miura’s took to create an iron that featured the ideal ball flight, enough offset to promote playability, the perfect head size and a sole grind that would accommodate a broad range of players.  One of the things he ended up doing was borrowing a design feature from the company’s past-the sweet-spot muscle-back, which was used in a very different Miura iron, the CB-1003, back in 1996.

In all, Mr. Miura spent two years integrating these design variables in different ways until he found the blend that worked best for the widest range of golfers. The result is the CB-501-a cavity-back iron featuring a small muscle-back located behind the sweet spot that delivers the trajectory of a blade iron when the ball is struck on the center of the face. This style of iron also offers cavity-back forgiveness and ball flight, as the contact point moves away from the center of the face.

The CB-501-which boasts a W nickel (satin) chrome finish-is available in a 3-iron through pitching wedge set, right-hand only.  You can find it at high-end, custom-fitting shops.  Pricing is not available.   To learn more, go to

New Fairway Wood with a Plus 20-Yard Guarantee…

Tour Edge of Batavia, IL has an offer it hopes golfers won’t refuse — Try their new Exotics CB3 Tour fairway wood, which the company is guaranteeing will add 20-yards more than the distance your are currently getting from  your current fairway woods.  If it doesn’t deliver as promised, you can get your money back.

So what makes the CB3 so capable of propelling your ball farther down the fairway?

To start, it boasts a forged 15-3-3-3 titanium cupped face that is lighter and more powerful.  The company has also played around with variable face thickness which includes a thinner perimeter ring around the striking surface.  Thin face equals long hitting.  Who knew?

And, as they say in the informercials, there’s more!

The a high-tech, titanium cupped face is paired with a heavier hyper steel body. What they did was eliminate every single gram of excess weight  from the face area  and shifted to the rear skirt and sole for a deeper center of gravity.

The Exotics CB3 fairway wood will set you back $299 and comes with come with a lifetime warranty.  Regarding the promotional 20-extra yard guarantee, the catch is that “you can return it under the company’s 30-day play guarantee for a store credit or refund depending on the retailer’s policy.”   A quick check indicates that the CB3 can be found at Sports Authority and Dick’s Sporting Goods. carries it too.   Make sure you check ahead before you pull the trigger.