Mid-December Musings

It wasn’t long ago when the golf world packed up in the late Fall and emerged from hibernation months later.  It’s hardly the case today.

As noted by somebody yesterday, this actually marks a…wait for it…17 day gap in the calendar where there are no PGA sanctioned events going on the world.

I’d say enjoy the off-season but it looks like a few players want to keep the momentum rolling.  That includes big league players Tom Gillis, Rob Oppenheim, Steve Marino, and 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley.  Each of the lads grabbed a partner and played in the Gunslinger.com Tour team event in Port St. Lucie, Florida on Monday.    Bradley and partner Casey Calmi shot 63, two off the lead.  For their efforts they were rewarded with $196 each.  The team entry fee was $400.

I think Keegan will be okay with the $4 damage to his bank account, he earned just over $3.9 million the the PGA Tour in 2012.

It goes to show how Bradley just likes to compete.  In fact, his own Twitter account posting says it all: “In the tournament i played today the Long drive champ won $50 gift cert to outback.Closet to the pin won 50 at Olive Garden #love mini tours”

Love it.

James Lepp

In 2010 I had an email from a young Canadian looking for some feedback on a product he was developing.  We arranged to meet at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida.

Without the money for a proper show booth, in a side area on the show floor he quietly opened up a backpack and presented his golf shoe concept.  While not revolutionary in design (I recall first seeing Skateboard style “Smash Turbo” shoes from Dexter Golf at the 1998 PGA Show) his confidence in not only the product but his company concept made me a believer that he would get somewhere.

Almost three years later Kikkor Golf is doing well amongst the onslaught of similar products from major manufacturers and James Lepp has made himself into a household name.  Guerilla marketing, talent, and big efforts on his part have brought his name and company to the lips of the golf world.

Tuesday night the Abbotsford, B.C. native, past NCAA Champion, and two-time PGA TOUR Canada winner, gets even more exposure with the airing of the BIG BREAK Greenbrier finale on Golf Channel.

While the winner gets some nice cash and prize perks, something tells me that Lepp, ever shrewd, has already gained exactly what he wanted from the experience.

Much credit to him for his efforts.  He’s a great example for young entrepreneurs.

Catch the final at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday on Golf Channel.

Lastly, the final inductees for the World Golf Hall of Fame were announced on Tuesday.  It included Colin Montgomerie, and not to the delight of all.

Monty earned support by 51% of the voters that included Canadian Golf Journalists Rick Young and John Gordon but was not so welcomed by many, especially if you use the voices on Twitter as a gauge.

No major wins and no wins on the PGA Tour was cited as the reason for this contempt.

Sadly, that’s a pretty narrow view when you consider the name of the institution he is being welcomed into.  As Jason Logan, Editor at ScoreGolf mentioned to me, the dissenters are likely the ones who don’t understand what the “W” in the World Golf Hall of Fame stands for.

40 wins worldwide, including 31 on the European Tour (4th all-time), a record 8 straight European Tour Order of Merits, and a Ryder Cup record of 20-9-7 more than qualifies the Scotsman for his place in the hall.

Being grumpy and not winning in the U.S. should not stop Montgomerie from his due.  He made a massive impact on the golf world, specifically in Europe. That deserves a lot of respect.