Ralph Lauren Suspends Sponsorship of Justin Thomas

So it took me overnight and a morning coffee to put together my thoughts regarding Justin Thomas and Ralph Lauren severing ties. Last night, I was checking my website statistics and noticed an anomaly, a total up spike in views. Curious, I checked to see what was driving those hits and it was a press release dating back to June of 2018.

The multi-year deal signed in 2018 has been dissolved.

In that release it discussed the details of the partnership established between Thomas and the fashion magnate. Just in case you were unaware, did you know that Thomas has been with Ralph Lauren wearing the Polo brand since turning professional in 2013.

On January 15th, Ralph Lauren delivered a statement that they were no longer sponsoring Justin Thomas, this coming on the heels of Thomas being caught on camera uttering a homophobic slur during last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions (see the statement below).

Last night, I sat back and sort of digested the statement and the situation as a whole. Social media, Golf Twitter in particular, was abuzz last night with the news. While there was a scattering of support for Ralph Lauren in making the right decision to drop the sponsorship, there were others that admonished Ralph Lauren for doing so. One verified account tweeted that Thomas would be “better for it”. Honestly, I don’t understand the context of the tweet. If he means that someone else will just turn around and sign Thomas, then I agree. Ultimately, somebody will. How long will it take? I wonder what the over/under is in terms of days for this according to Vegas oddsmakers.

The only reason why I’m not publishing the tweet is because I don’t want to give the individual more press. The individual in this case is a part of a team that rhymes with “Parfool”.

Justin Thomas has apologized for the incident, and those apologies were quite contrite. In my opinion, I think that Ralph Lauren made the right decision. They owe it to their shareholders and all of those affiliated with the brand. From upper management to the design team, they had to show that they are a forward-thinking company that will not tolerate the actions displayed by Thomas or anybody else for that matter. For fear of this coming out prejudiced or stereotyped (please don’t take it this as an inflammatory comment) there’s a chance that members of the LGBTQ+ community are employed by the brand.

So, where does this put him in the eyes of Acushnet? If you might recollect, a precedent has been set by Titleist and their policy regarding homophobic slurs. Scott Piercy. Do you remember when Scott Piercy posted that homophobic meme regarding former presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, who is openly homosexual? They (Titleist and FootJoy) unceremoniously turfed Piercy from further sponsorship. But, that situation is a little bit different and here’s the reason why.

Logo-less. Scott Piercy. (Photo Credit: GolfWorld)

In the case of Piercy, you could easily identify that him posting the meme was, easily premediated. As far as Thomas goes, it was almost like a “crime of passion” in that it was the heat of the moment and it resulted in some pretty bad “verbal diarrhea”. Crimes committed as “acts of passion” still receive a guilty verdict. By any means, I definitely do not condone what he said. It was the proverbial “heat of the moment”. That’s the fundamental difference between the two cases. It doesn’t make it right. Will Titleist and FootJoy drop him? Honestly, I don’t think that they will.

Getting back to the statement from Ralph Lauren and my dissection of it. If you read it, there is one passage that stands out.

“…our hope is that Mr. Thomas does the hard and necessary work in order to partner with us again”. This part of the statement tells me that Ralph Lauren has not totally slammed the door shut. It seems that if both parties are in agreement, they could reconcile down the road. Thus, this is why I say that the partnership has been suspended even though “discontinued” has been used.

One way or another, Thomas shouldn’t have said what he did. He knows that there are cameras and microphones everywhere. It’s a televised PGA TOUR event, the first of the calendar year, and golfers abroad are watching. Out of all of the things that you can call yourself, there are better options than what he said. I personally recommend “dumbass”, “idiot”, “you asshole Justin”, or something else along those lines. Justin, you had to be aware of your surroundings.

It’s a shame that this happened in the first place, but I sincerely hope that he learns from this. I’ve never met JT, but he seems like a pretty good guy albeit a fiery competitor. What’s your take?

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind

“First Impressions” – Edison Golf Forged Wedges

They’ve arrived and they’ve been unboxed. In for review are the Edison Forged Wedges from Edison Golf. With some of the preliminary work taken care of for the coverage of these creations from “Koehler Design”, there was only one or two things thing left to do. Take some pictures and get my initial strikes in with them and start to form my “First Impressions”.

With green grass available and some decent mid-January temperatures, I headed out for a walk with my pup to the golf course down the street. With pictures taken, the time had come to strike a few golf balls with these wedges.

Here are my club specs for this review:

  • Wedge Set – Set composition comprised of 49°, 53°, and 57°
  • Shafts – KBS TGI 80 graphite (Regular Flex)
  • Grips – Golf Pride MCC Plus4 Midsize (2 Extra Wraps)
  • Lie Angle – 2° Flat

Stay tuned for more content involving these wedges from Edison Golf.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind

Titleist and FootJoy Announced as Official Sponsors of Women’s Golf Day

(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., 1/12/2021 ) Titleist and FootJoy have joined the Women’s Golf Day sponsor family as the Official Golf Ball and Official Footwear Sponsors, respectively, of Women’s Golf Day (WGD) 2021. These highly respected golf industry leaders join WGD’s mission to engage, empower and support women and girls through the game of golf. Together, Women’s Golf Day, Titleist and FootJoy are striving to bring more women and juniors into the game of golf than ever before through education and opportunity.

“The growth and impact of Women’s Golf Day aligned well with our corporate dedication to engage with more women and girls than ever before,” comments Alicia Madden, Director of Media Acushnet Company. “We actively support women’s golf at every level of the game and are excited to see how this new partnership will enable us all to bring new players into the game and support those who have already fallen in love with the sport.”

Women’s Golf Day takes place on June 1, 2021. Throughout 2021, Acushnet Company, the parent company of Titleist and FootJoy, will work in conjunction with the WGD team to introduce new and innovative ways to engage and educate women about the opportunities that exist within golf. Since its inception in 2016, Women’s Golf Day has been hosted in over 900 location in 68 countries and this new relationship will benefit both the VIP Membership and broad ambassador and location network that supports the international movement.

Elisa Gaudet, Founder of WGD is delighted with this new partnership which heralds a fantastic start to 2021. She comments: “It is thanks to the commitment of individuals and organizations like Titleist and FootJoy, who are prioritizing the women’s game, that WGD is able to continue to grow from strength to strength. We look forward to partnering with them in this mission. Having these brands as part of our community makes us very proud and I am excited to see how we can work together to determine the future of our sport around the world.”

Locations wishing to host a Women’s Golf Day event on June 1, 2021 can register at WomenGolfDay.com/register. Men and women who wish to join the VIP Membership network are welcome to learn more at womensgolfday.com.

Women’s Golf Day Supporters: Partners and supporting organizations of WGD are: Ahead, All Square, Annika Foundation, ASIAN GOLF, Callaway Golf, The California Alliance for Golf, Chronogolf, ClubCorp, EGCOA, European Tour, European Tour Properties, PGA of America, FootJoy, The First Tee, Gallus Golf, The Golf Channel, GolfNow, International Golf Federation, LET, LPGA, LPGA Amateur, Modest Golf Management, NGCOA, NGCOA Canada, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Superstore, The R&A, Sky Sports, Titleist, TopGolf, TPC Properties, Troon Golf, Troon International, USGA, WE ARE GOLF, Women & Golf, The World Golf Foundation and more.

ABOUT WOMEN’S GOLF DAY

Women’s Golf Day (WGD) is a global movement that strives to Engage, Empower, and Support women and girls through golf. The one-day, four-hour event, has now taken place at more than 900 locations 68 countries since its inception in 2016, and has introduced thousands of new golfers to the sport. WGD is the fastest-growing female golf development initiative.

In 2020, WGD’s primary hashtag, #WomensGolfDay, received more than 59 million global impressions to nearly 37 million people viewing WGD content. Women’s Golf Day is unique, there is nothing like it in sports, a one-day sporting and community celebration event that unites women through golf across the globe for 24 hours straight transcending race, religion, language, geography or economic status. Visit http://www.womensgolfday.com  @womensgolfday, #WomensGolfDay #WGDunites

ABOUT ACUSHNET COMPANY

We are the global leader in the design, development, manufacture and distribution of performance driven golf products, which are widely recognized for their quality excellence. Driven by our focus on dedicated and discerning golfers and the golf shops that serve them, we believe we are the most authentic and enduring company in the golf industry. Our mission – to be the performance and quality leader in every golf product category in which we compete – has remained consistent since we entered the golf ball business in 1932. Today, we are the steward of two of the most revered brands in golf – Titleist, one of golf’s leading performance equipment brands, and FootJoy, one of golf’s leading performance wear brands.

Introduction to Testing – Edison Golf Forged Wedges

I would like to extend many thanks to the Chairman and Director of Innovation for Edison Golf, Terry Koehler for giving me this opportunity to test and review the Edison Forged Wedges from Edison Golf.

If you’re familiar with Mr. Koehler, it’s because he’s also known for designing equipment from manufacturers like Eidolon, Reid Lockhart, Scor Golf, and last but certainly not least Ben Hogan Golf (Ft. Worth irons and TK 15 wedges). For the last 30 or so years, Mr. Koehler has been designing products, for you, the recreational player. Or shall I say, the golfer that isn’t on television late on Sunday afternoons.

Did you know that over the last several decades, when it comes to golf club design, wedges have very much remained the same without much in the way of innovation. If you were to look in retail shops or the majority of golfers on any given golf course, you’ll see that the wedges are predominantly “tour-inspired” design. Wedges that are generally unforgiving. All constructed with the same design principle too, the majority of the weight is distributed into the flange (the area of the sole that extends back from the clubface).

When it comes to Edison Forged Wedges from Edison Golf, this is simply not the case. While there is weight in the lower part of the head, there is also weight along the top section of the head as well. This design feature is demonstrated in the photos above. You’ll see that the weight along the top portion of the head is heavier in the Edison Forged Wedges as opposed to the competitors. Smash factor is important with wedges as it is with metalwoods and irons alike. The smallest miss with a wedge will have a less than desirable result. Most notably, a miss short of the intended target. But this is only a fraction of the story.

Please view the unboxing video as I dive a little bit deeper into these wedges from Edison Golf. Stay tuned for much more on these golf clubs, right here at Until The Next Tee. Let the testing begin.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind

Club Champion Opens In Three New Markets

Nation’s #1 Club Fitter Now Has 76 Studios Nationwide

Willowbrook, IL — Custom club fitter Club Champion announces the opening of three
new fitting studios this month, located in Memphis, TN; Jupiter, FL and Bradenton, FL.
The stores are open and accepting fitting appointments.

Club Champion fits, sells and builds custom golf clubs using brands like Callaway,
TaylorMade, Titleist, Cobra, Fujikura, Golf Pride and many more. The company delivers
a Tour-quality fitting that produces longer, more accurate shots with a nearly 100%
satisfaction rate for golfers of any ability level.

The new studios feature two indoor hitting bays with TrackMan launch monitors for
analyzing performance, a SAM PuttLab system to find the perfect putter, and a build
shop for repairing and assembling golf clubs by hand. The roughly 3,000 square foot
spaces also include a demo matrix to display the head and shaft options that make up
their 50,000+ hittable combinations.

Club Champion announces three new fitting centers (Florida – Bradenton and Jupiter) (Tennessee – Memphis)

“We are excited to bring the finest club fitting and building to the golfers in these new
markets,” said Nick Sherburne, founder of Club Champion. “Our only goal is to find the
best combination of components to help customers lower their scores and better enjoy
the game.”

Ranked by Golf Digest as one of the 100 Best Club Fitters ten years running, Club
Champion hires experienced fitters who then receive an additional 150+ hours of
training, which is unmatched in the golf industry. The company has a unique coupling
system used to combine any head and shaft together, so golfers hit the precise
combination to be custom built for them. They are the only fitter in the country to offer
over 50,000 interchangeable head and shaft combinations on-site, at all locations.

“Many players think they aren’t good enough to be custom fit, but we’ve participated in
multiple third-party studies that showed higher handicappers saw the biggest gains,”
said Sherburne. “Some of these golfers shaved as many as ten strokes per round.”
For a limited time, the new stores will celebrate their grand openings by offering 50% off
fitting fees with an equipment purchase of $500 or more. Putter fittings are the only
exception; they are 50% off with the purchase of a new putter.

The newest stores are located at:

6450 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38119
901 W. Indiantown Road, Jupiter, FL 33458
5275 University Parkway, Bradenton, FL 34201

The studios are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and Friday and
Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information can be found at http://www.clubchampiongolf.com
or by calling (888) 340-7820.

About Club Champion

Established in 2010, Club Champion is a national club fitting and building company
headquartered in Chicago, IL. There are currently more than 75 Club Champion fitting
studios in major markets across the country, with plans to expand further in 2021. The
studios carry all the top golf club, shaft and grip manufacturers in the industry, which are
used to build test clubs in real-time. Studios are equipped with advanced analysis
technology, along with highly trained certified fitters and builders who must complete an
extensive training program. Services include club fitting and building, repair services,
personalization, and highly engaging corporate and personal entertainment events. For
more information about Club Champion, visit http://www.clubchampiongolf.com.