Bobby Jones has long been known as one of the more high-end lines when it comes to golf apparel.
Move over, Dr. Bob Rotella. The hottest mental coach in golf right now is -- Michael Jordan!
A few weeks ago, we ran a Buzz item about how Luke Donald had turned to His Airness for help with his on-course attitude. And now comes word that Keegan Bradley has done the same.
Bradley frequently plays golf with Jordan down in Jupiter, Fla. And while Bradley says he's taking Jordan’s money, he's also picking his brain – and that some of Jordan's advice helped him last week at Bay Hill, where he tied for third.
Jordan wanted ''to be more cocky out there, more aggressive [on the basketball court], and I'm learning ... what he was thinking and it's a big help to me,'' Bradley told The New York Daily News. ''I just kept telling myself I've hit these shots a million times no matter what shot it is and to just let my talent take over and not wonder if I'm going to hit a good shot.''
Jordan also has reminded Bradley to remember the times on the course when he's been at his emotional and physical best – such as at the last Ryder Cup, when his energy lifted not only his playing partner Phil Mickelson but also the entire team.
Bradley plays with Jordan ''a bunch,'' usually giving him five shots a side, and jokes that it's ''the easiest money I've ever made.''
Seriously, though, Bradley loves playing with Jordan because ''there's going to be a lot of trash talk and he's going to want to beat you,'' he told the newspaper. ''I think that his short game is above average, what a tour player's would be. He's a very good player. Hits it very short. I make sure to point that out to him.''
And despite all the ribbing, Bradley is thankful for Jordan's help.
''He's such a good guy. He's so good to me,'' Bradley told The Daily News. ''It's really a good thing to have somebody like that to be able to text and reach out to. He's very approachable, very willing to give me information and help me out, which is really cool.''
One thing we know for sure - golfers love to buy golf toys. Whether it's clubs, clothes, accessories, shoes, souvenirs, whatever -- there may be no better demographic for advertisers than the 26 million golfers in the United States.
You know what else golfers love? Deals. Not necessarily being cheap, but golfers definitely have an eye toward value for the dollar spent. I'm as guilty as any of them. I don't need a new wedge, I have more than enough golf shirts for any foursome -- but if I spot a good deal online or at the local pro shop, I have to purchase
This week, in our "A Quick Nine" franchise, we asked our 175,000-strong Facebook nation what they liked to buy (and where they bought it) when shopping for golf items online. The results were interesting, but not surprising. Again, golfers love to shop and find deals.
However, when coupled with another recent story I read -- this from The Wall St. Journal on the prevalence of counterfeit clubs for sale online -- it does give me some pause about what I buy (and even more, where I buy it.)
Hey, here's a good spot to plug the 'PGA on eBay' shop on eBay, where you can shop with confidence that the merchandise you're purchasing has been carefully vetted and approved by a PGA-staffed facility.
OK, that's enough as far as advertising. But just thought I'd share the read -- and wish you well in your hunting for great golf items.
No one has been releasing more compelling new equipment and marketing it more aggressively this year than Callaway and TaylorMade. So maybe what happened on Tuesday was inevitable.
On the practice green at the Shell Houston Open, TaylorMade unveiled its new Spider Blade putter. The TaylorMade rep who goes by the Twitter handle @CharlieTour tweeted out a photo of it, and said, ''Here's a first-look @TaylorMadeGolf's new Spider Blade putter - coming soon - from the practice green @ShellHouOpen.''
Clearly, the introduction didn't escape the notice of Callaway Golf, whose Odyssey division has been actively promoting its new Versa putters this spring. An hour after the TaylorMade tweet came a reply from Callaway Senior Vice President Harry Arnett, who responded: ''Just got pictures sent to me by our guys @ Houston event. The Versa knockoffs have made their way to Tour already! #thatdidnttakelong.''
The putter on the right is the Odyssey Versa #1 blade, one of several putters in the Versa line whose dominant feature is the striped head – the thick black and white stripes running laterally down the head to make alignment easier.
The putter on the left is the TaylorMade Spider Blade. We don't know much about it yet, but it also has a distinctive black and white color scheme.
TaylorMade didn't respond to Arnett's tweet, but we have a feeling this discussion is just beginning.