September 15, 2017
Congratulations to Judy Wetzel of Lewes for her Aug. 29 victory in the Delaware State Golf Association’s Super Senior Stroke Play Championship. The Kings Creek Country Club member took a commanding lead in the first day of the 36-hole competition at Newark Country Club, and held on through bad weather to remain in first.
Ruth Lauver, another Kings Creek CC member from Lewes, finished in second place.
TaylorMade Golf Balls
Last January the PGA Merchandise Show buzzed with the news that Tiger Woods was switching golf clubs to TaylorMade.
At the time, the announcement must have made the folks at Adidas happy. The multi-national sporting goods company had been trying to sell its Taylormade and other golf brands, and I’m sure the marketing folks thought having Woods among its touring pros would help with that effort.
Well, that arrangement certainly didn’t work out quite as planned.
Woods is dealing with personal issues off the course, and is not likely to return to competitive golf any time soon.
Nonetheless, Adidas found a buyer for their golf equipment segments, including TaylorMade, with the May 2017 announcement of a $425 million sale to KPS Capital Partners.
TaylorMade remains a market leader in golf clubs, especially in drivers, but also made significant efforts to improve its position in the multi-million dollar golf ball segment.
For a few years I’ve been using the company’s Project(a) balls. The “(a)” stands for amateur, according to TaylorMade’s ad copy, and are marketed toward mid-handicap golfers.
At the 2017 PGA Show I checked out TaylorMade’s two new golf ball models, the TP5 and TP5X. I also talked with Michael Fox, a TaylorMade manager in the company’s ball division, about his mission and the new balls.
Fox said TaylorMade’s balls fit within four basic groups, divided by type of design and price point: the tour urethane (TP5 and TP5x), at $45; Amateur Urethane (Project(a)), at $35; Straight 3-piece ($25) and Straight 2-piece ($15).
He said they’re pleased with TaylorMade’s position as the number two golf ball on Tour, as well as with the company’s $100 million in golf ball sales in 2016.
Fox said the TP5 and TP5x represented a new commitment to TaylorMade’s golf ball segment, considering the new products came about in a 10-year development process.
Using a cutaway ball, Fox showed me how the 5-layer ball is designed. There are two shells, with the outermost made very soft and the second layer much harder. The center portion is larger than other companies’ models, and reacts differently depending on the speed of impact.
The net effect of the design changes is to reduce spin for the higher-speed impacts, with less drag and less wasted energy. Fox said, “There’s none better from 100 yards in.”
Several PGA Tour players are obviously sold on the new ball’s merits.
Tour rookie sensation John Rahm used the TP5x ball in winning the Farmers Insurance tournament at Torrey Pines. Sergio Garcia played with the TP5 ball for his first major victory at this year’s Masters Tournament.
Dustin Johnson played TP5x balls for four Tour victories in 2017, including the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs now underway. Si Woo Kim surprised nearly everyone with his victory at The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. He also used the TP5x ball.
Golfers who swore allegiance to Titleist ProVs or ProV1x balls may be looking at these successes and wonder if they should try the new TaylorMade balls for themselves. Titleist still holds a huge percentage of the golf ball market, but TaylorMade seems to be gaining on it.
Sussex Pines Senior Championship
Sussex Pines Golf Club held its Senior Championship tournament Sept. 9-10.
Linda Townsend won the Women’s Championship in the gross category, while Kathy Hudak won the net category.
Steve Morrison won the Men’s Championship in the gross category, and Rich Keller won the net category.
98 golfers play Kings Creek CC Member-Member Tournament
Kings Creek CC held its annual Member-Member Tournament Sept. 9-10, with 98 golfers participating. The 36-hole event used four different formats for each of 9 holes: scramble, alternate shot, better ball, and aggregate.
Suellen Vickers and Judy Wetzel won first place gross in the Ladies category, with Linda Outlaw and Ruth Lauver taking first place net.
Tyson Mayers and John Purple Jr. won first place gross in the Men’s category, with Vaughn Harman and Harry Papaleo in first place net, after a sudden death playoff against Jason Gaughan and Griffin Gaughan.
Jukebox Foundation Tournament October 16
The Jukebox Foundation is holding its second annual Charity Golf Tournament Oct. 16 at Kings Creek Country Club.
The event begins with a breakfast at 8:00 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 9:00 a.m. The $100 entry fee covers breakfast, golf with cart, and lunch. A silent auction will be held.
The Foundation assists Cape Region women seeking employment, skill training, and advancement.
For more information about sponsorships, silent auction donations, or playing, contact Nan Martino at JukeboxFoundation@aol.com, or 240-593-7704.