TaylorMade-adidas Golf has been the biggest success story in golf – and I would argue one of the most notable success stories in all of business – in recent years.
The latest proof of that came Thursday, when TaylorMade announced that it achieved record sales in 2012, bringing in more than $1.7 billion. With sales of golf clubs, balls, footwear, apparel and accessories up 20 percent on a currency-neutral basis, the company said, last year was its best ever.
In 2012, the company said, TMaG further strengthened its position as the world's best-selling metalwood brand with a 21 percent increase in that category, which consists of drivers, fairway woods and rescue clubs. The company also grew its iron category by 32 percent. In the United States, which accounts for about half its global sales. TMaG's metalwood market share in dollars was 4 percent and its iron share was 25 percent.
Rounding out its portfolio of growth categories, TMaG saw significant sales gains in footwear (+19 percent), golf bags (+47 percent) and other golf hardware (+48 percent).
The company attributes its 2012 success to the popularity of its adjustable R11S driver and its distance-generating RocketBallz line of clubs. In fact, TaylorMade called the demand for its RocketBallz clubs ''extraordinary.''
Anecdotal evidence so far this year indicates that 2013 will be another strong year, with the second-generation Stage 2 RocketBallz fairway clubs, the RocketBladez irons and the new R1 driver taking the baton from their predecessors. The company also is continuing its relentless marketing pace – this week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, for example, TaylorMade staffers are sporting bags and apparel with the #IER hashtag to promote the official tour launch of the RocketBallz Stage 2 clubs (they're ''RocketBallz-ier'').
Hitting a shot off the cart path is a lot easier than it looks... at least that's what Phil Mickelson thinks.
Last week at the Honda Classic, several PGA Tour players test-drove some Ferraris around Palm Beach International Speedway. On Wednesday, those golfers with the need for speed took a quick trip from Doral down to Homestead-Miami Speedway to check out some high-velocity Cadillacs.
Among the players who took part were Rickie Fowler – of course – as well as Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel. The players got to test-drive a number of Cadillac vehicles, and some took hot laps as a passenger in a Cadillac CTS-V race car with professional race driver Andy Pilgrim.
Ferraris in Palm Beach one week, Cadillacs on a NASCAR track the next. At this rate, the players will be demanding Formula 1 rides at Augusta National.
Congressman Louie Gohmert, a Republican from East Texas, is a consistent critic of President Obama, and this week he teed off on Obama's love of golf.
Specifically, Gohmert insisted that Obama not be allowed to play any more golf until public tours of the White House are reinstated. Those tours were eliminated because of staffing cuts enacted when the budget-cutting legislation known as the sequester went into effect at the first of March.
To try to accomplish this, according to Politico.com, Gohmert filed an amendment to the continuing resolution bill to keep the government funded. His amendment would prohibit Obama from using any public money to travel to a golf course. Because the president can't go anywhere without public expense – like the cost of transportation or the Secret Service detail that follows him around – Politico.com said, it's impossible for him to go to a golf course without spending public money.
Alas, Gohmert's golf gambit is going nowhere. The House Rules Committee adopted a closed rule for the continuing resolution vote today, meaning his amendment won't be considered on the floor.