Well, 2005 is here, snow is falling, the temperatures are plummeting, but the PGA season has officially begun. Here are some of the things going on in the golf world.
The Mercedes Championship is over and for the second year in a row Stuart Appleby is the winner. Quite a feat if you look at the star-studded field, all 31 winners from 2004. Even more impressive if you consider Appleby was almost ready to back out due to illness and his wife is due to give birth any day. Appleby is a tough player to figure out; one day he is a world beater and then you don't hear from him for a couple months. Hopefully this is the year for him to finally break into the upper echelon.
Michelle Wie is playing in the Sony Open for the second consecutive year. Ticket sales have jumped 20% this year in anticipation. I don't think anybody who has seen the Big Wiesy play would be surprised to see her make the cut this year. I have to admit that I'm a big supporter of this young lady.
The Titleist ProV1 is still by far the best selling ball in golf. It is a great ball but most golfers don't have a high enough swing speed to gain any advantage from it. I guess it just proves that people do look at what the pros are using before they buy.
Companies have recognized how much TaylorMade's sales jumped when they significantly boosted their tour presence a couple years ago and are starting to follow suit. Callaway, Nike, Precept, Top-Flite and Srixon have all announced some big signings over the last couple months and there will likely be a few more before spring.
Callaway is bringing out a new driver that will fall in the same price range as the Cobra SZ? I can't see any possible way that it won't be the best selling driver of 2005.
We all know the World Ranking system is flawed but how are Davis Love III and Mike Weir still in the top ten with one combined victory in 2004?
2005 is a President's Cup year. As much fun as it is to watch maybe it's time to bring in a new format: East vs. West or North and South America vs. the rest of the world. The U.S. just doesn't dominate the world golf scene like they used to.
What a line-up for the majors this year: Augusta, Pinehurst, St. Andrews, and Baltusrol! After all the excitement in the majors last year could 2005 possibly be any better? Here's hoping.
Bridgestone is spending a lot of money to promote their new ball the B330 but Stuart Appleby won last week using the 2003 U-Tri Tour ball.
My first prediction is that the comp craze will die down in 2005. None of the composite crowned drivers introduced last year sold exceptionally well, either customers don't fully understand the technology or they just don't like them.
My second prediction is that even though Tiger isn't going to set any records this year he will win a major and end his drought.
My third prediction is that SirShanksAlot and I will go to Vegas in September for the golf show and spend all of our time their working.
That's it for now. If all goes according to plan look for general articles like this every few weeks in the rant section to keep you up to date on everything that is running through my mind.