Thanks to reader John for John Paul Newport's Saturday Wall Street Journal column on the recently settled Bridgestone-Titleist suit. I'm sure our Fairhaven readers were tickled by this:
The public filings in these cases, although carefully stripped of trade secrets, are filled with fascinating tidbits, including testy exchanges between lawyers ("Bridgestone is asking for a Mulligan here"). Who knew, for instance, that Titleist got its start when an avid amateur in Massachusetts missed a 3-foot putt to lose a match in 1932? Convinced that his ball had wobbled, he X-rayed it afterward at a friend's dental office and discovered that indeed the core was off-center, and immediately set out to build a better ball.
In one exchange in the Bridgestone suit, the judge marveled at how "crowded" the art of golf ball manufacturing is -- that is, how subtle the differences often are from one patent to the next.
This strikes me as good news for golfers, and helps explain why golf balls, especially at the high end, are virtually indistinguishable for everyone except the very best players.
Which is even better reason that a little rollback won't hurt anyone, right?
Not that this will stop us from wanting to play the Pro V1s of the world. In golf, what you believe about a product is at least as important as what you know.