Equipment News; NBC/Golf Channel Adds Staffer & More From Ben Crane

Welcome to a New Year of Editor’s Desk.  By my count it is heading for eight years that this space has been active, at least when I have some time between posting the content for other parts of the Flagstick.com site.

As many of you know I am pretty active on Twitter; you can find me @flagstick but occasionally it dawns upon me that I need to link some of that content I share right here to this blog.

This is today’s attempt at least.  I always promise to make more posts here but it never seems to work out.  In that case I think I’ll just stick to an underpromise and overdeliver approach for 2013.  We’ll see how it works out.

While most of Eastern Ontario, and especially Ottawa golfers, will be glued to PGA Tour’s shot tracker this week to follow the first start as a tour member by Brad Fritsch , you might want to pay attention to the Golf Channel broadcasters as well.  The reason?  Something I have been hoping to see happen for quite some time.  Notah Begay, who won four times on the PGA Tour will be joining the GolfChannel/NBC Team as an on-course reporter.

It’s a brilliant move for the network as Begay has proven his value during various appearances as an analyst for them.  Intelligent and well spoken, his thoughtful insight should quickly elevate him in status to one of the more popular members of the GC/NBC Team.   Brandel Chamblee should start sweating; his analyst job may not be safe with Begay around.

In not quite, but sort of related news, GolfChannel/NBC will also be providing a live broadcast of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championships this Fall, the showcase event for the Long Drivers of America.  The LDA had a bunch of news on January 9th as a deal was announced that will see them partner with Callaway Golf.  Unfortunately the day also saw LDA President Art Sellinger send out a letter to members stating that the LDA year-long Tour would be ceasing operations with their focus being put into the RE/MAX Championship.

In the same letter Sellinger revealed that Callaway Golf would be making a special edition LDA version of their XHot driver.  You can read the full text of the letter at the link below.

Art Sellinger LDA Letter 2013

While all this was taking place Canadian long drive sensation Jamie Sadlowski was spotted in Carlsbad, California at the Ely Callaway Performance Center.  All indications is that an announcement of an endorsement deal with the company for Jamie is pending.  Sadlowski has a relationship with Callaway Golf CEO Chip Brewer, one developed at Adams Golf when Brewer was CEO there and Sadlowski endorsed and played their products.  It looks to be a good fit for Callaway who will likely use the bomber to promote their XHot retail driver line.

In even more Callaway news, the company announced overnight that they had signed a deal with 21 year-old Japanese golf sensation Ryo Ishikawa to play their gear.  The deal had been rumored late in 2012 with a story appearing on Yahoo Japan that stated Ryo would be making the move from Yonex to Callaway.  Ishikawa will make his first PGA Tour start for 2013 at the Humana Challenge.

While we’re talking equipment.  Dustin Johnson grabbed a nice win for the marketing team at TaylorMade Golf at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.  Even though he played an older R9 5 wood at Kapalua there was plenty of chatter about his R1 driver and RocketBladz Tour irons.  It was the first win for a player using the driver.  Despite hitting two very wayward drives in the final round and being dead last in driving accuracy Johnson still managed the second longest driving distance average for the week.  He also his one 410 yard drive.  Needless to say TaylorMade was pretty happy with the performance and the win.

I expect to get a chance to test the new R1 and RocketBallz Stage 2 driver this week and will be happy to report my findings.  They don’t hit retail for a few more weeks.

And lastly for this little installment, some humour.  Ben Crane posted his latest video and as you might expect, it provides a few laughs.  Enjoy.