Week In Review: October 1-7, The Ping Branding

WeekInReview2.jpgThe folks down at Ping PING taught us a lesson in branding with their hissy fit over 10% military discounts. Several readers came to their defense.

JT: remember that PING won't let a retailer dump out of date inventory (last years models) on e-bay or at a discount to turn over stock that is out of date. Great company to work with as a shop owner. NOT.

Anon: Cartier, Bose, and other high end products do the same. Discounting causes a loss of credibility. Greed isn't really the issue is it?

Bob Smithson: What PING is doing is completely legal and is their business policy and which they can document is being followed. The only way this policy gets changed by PING is for the consumer to stop buying PING products and shopowners to quit stocking it ...

Brad: The retailers in question knew they were in violation of Ping's policy. Plus they were not exactly making sure all those they discounted really were in the millitary.

On the subject of Tiger's "streak" of 6 straight wins, Martin Del Vecchio wrote: I will say that Tiger's current swing isn't as beautiful to look at as his 2000 swing was. But it's hard to argue with the results.

Regarding the news that Greensboro event host Forest Oaks may be in danger of losing the tournament because the clubhouse facilities are outdated, Pete the Luddite wrote:  Seriously, we have gotten to the point where clubs feel compelled to re-vamp their courses repeatedly in an effort to stay current or keep the Tour's attention. Are we now going to add clubhouse and amenity renovations to the mix as well? Where will the spending end? This does not bode well for the future of golf. Club memberships will not be sustained if assessment after assessment get tacked on for these reasons.

Commenting on my column about the lack of imaginative play, MacDuff tells us: Just returned from UK and had a great time playing courses where the ball actually ran after landing, and where tight turf allowed 40- and 60 yard pitches and bump-and-run shots. All rounds took 3 & a half hours maximum. The people I played with and against made no agonizingly long decisions about the line of putt or exact yardage to green. Golf was a recreation. It was fun. Oh, and nobody shouted their way around...as seems to be the custom here.

On the likely-to-emerge groove debate, Glyn proves that he has way too much common sense to ever serve on the USGA Executive Committee: What I find interesting is that the USGA is moving towards some action - groove change - thus admitting that there in fact is a problem. So we at least agree there is a problem. The USGA has refused to admit that the problem is distance however. Now it's grooves in wedges. Hmmm..one way would be to change the goove shape of wedges...still another way would be to reduce the amount of wedges being hit. Let's see...wouldn't that relate back to distance being a factor?

RGT says: PGAT once required all tournament green watering to be stoped after Tuesday evenings, allowing greens to get baked out and hard as concrete. Hand watering the greens every evening is the standard on Tour today. If PGAT was still in the baking process Toms would be out of a job. Being at a multi club disadvantage is a problem for Toms on most weeks, watering the greens every night plays right into the errent bombers strategy. Tiger, Phil and Vijay are exploiting these golf ball qualities and playing short shots to a dart board.

And finally, on the trevails of the San Francisco city courses, including the fate of future events at Harding Park, Gus writes:  The last article I read on Harding focused on the buyers remorse of some city officials, the funding mechanism that verged on being criminal, and the unlikely prospects that there would ever be a positive return on the investment. I think the people would be better served with reasonably priced, pragmatic improvements (drainage?) that would allow affordable golf to continue. If these improvements included a nod to the heritage of a course then so much the better. We have enough high end daily fee courses. Some muni's need to remain muni's for the health of the game.