FootJoy: Fashion Forward

Ninety percent of how you play is how you look.

That’s my belief anyway. Thankfully, FootJoy’s new spring collection is helping with that mantra.

I’ve always been a fan of FootJoy shoes – I mean, they have the word ‘foot’ right there in the name – but over the last couple of seasons, they’ve been releasing some fine apparel options as well.

Golf apparel is a competitive category, no doubt about it. You obviously have industry kingpins like Nike and adidas leading the charge, but how often are you seeing brands like Travis Matthew, J. Lindeberg and Under Armor on some of the worlds best? There’s certainly a lot of fashionable options out there for golfers, along with the long-standing performance brands too.

For FootJoy, they’ve tried hard to trend in the middle of performance and fashion. And frankly, it’s a good spot to be.

This spring there will be four different collections for FootJoy’s ‘performance’ golf apparel collection (available at golf retailers across Canada). A press release distributed by FootJoy says the spring collection “features contemporary colours and patterns in a variety of style and performance fabrics.”

Marco: All-American style with classic nautical blue, red and white solids and stripes

Sonoma: Brilliant combination of graphite blue, silver and chrome yellow in a variety of traditional designs

Charleston: Bold orchid, navy and white prints that ‘guarantee’ you’ll be exuding stylish confidence

Vineyard: Contemporary blue, black and khaki colours that extends your golf style to help fit your daily lifestyle.

 

Canadian Golf Radio – Episode 2

Listen to the second episode of Canadian Golf Radio! Still working out some technical things in order to get it posted on iTunes, but for now, the SoundCloud links are below.

CGR_1

In this episode –

  • A Canadian golf update
  • Noted Canadian golf course designer Jeff Mingay
  • Golf travel expert and co-owner of Golf Away Tours, Matthew MacKay

PGA Tour Canada event in Ottawa rebranded

PGA Tour Canada is coming to back to the Nation’s Capital (again).

On Tuesday, members of the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services and PGA Tour Canada representatives announced a new name for the Ottawa-based PGA Tour Canada event — the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops.

The tournament is rebranded from the Forces & Families Open from 2014, won by Canadian Greg Machtaler, who drained a long birdie putt on the 72nd hole to capture his first PGA Tour Canada win by a single shot. It will take place August 17-23 (almost three weeks later than last year’s event) but will, once again, be played at Hylands Golf Club.

“The Ottawa area has such a strong golf community, and we want to do everything we can to make sure the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops becomes an integral part of that community,” said PGA TOUR Canada President Jeff Monday in a statement.

New Tournament Director Doug Langton said the name change came from the desire to focus on the location and the cause.

“Some tournaments have a presenting sponsor or charity attached to the name, but ours is a combination of both,” he explained.

The inaugural event raised $15,000 for charity which Langton said they were “pleased” with for a first-year event. Event organizers are looking to build on that for 2015.

“Our top priority is to engage the Ottawa community and grow the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops into one of the top events in the region moving forward,” said Langton. “A PGA TOUR Canada event is a tremendous vehicle to raise support and awareness for the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and to drive economic activity in the area, and we look forward to seeing this event grow in 2015 and beyond.”

Web.com Tour member – and Ottawa-native – Brad Fritsch will return as an ambassador for the tournament in 2015 as well.

The National Capital Open to Support our Troops is one of PGA Tour Canada’s full slate of tournaments for the upcoming year – and, the formal 2015 schedule will be released this week, per PGA Tour Canada officials. This on the heels of a very successful Q-School application process. All three qualifying sites were sold out within three hours, and the site in Florida was sold out in just 11 minutes. A testament to the “system” in place by the PGA Tour (and perhaps, some inspiration from Nick Taylor as well).

More news on the National Capital Open to Support our Troops to come as the year goes on.

Canadian PGA Tour members start 2015 at Sony Open

The boys are back in town.

Five Canadians, Graham DeLaet, David Hearn, Adam Hadwin, Nick Taylor and Roger Sloan (who finished second place in a pre-tournament qualifier) will tee it up this week at the Sony Open in Hawaii – beginning a year unlike any other in Canadian professional golf in the last decade.

There will be six Canadians with status on the PGA Tour for 2014-15 – Mike Weir, who isn’t playing this week, is the other – and with Nick Taylor already capturing a victory (he won the Sanderson Farms Championship in November), this may be the strongest Canadian golf has been on the PGA Tour in quite some time.

Taylor finished T29th at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions last week, earning just under $60,000 (USD). Meanwhile, Adam Hadwin, who already had a top-10 in the fall series, has full-time status on the PGA Tour for the first time ever.

The 27-year-old, who was the leading money winner on the Web.com Tour in 2014, told reporters today that he thought it was “weird to start his season so quickly”

“Normally I’ve got another month before I start. I went home for Christmas for a week, then straight back down to Phoenix and right back into it. I’ve been working hard in Phoenix since Dec. 28th. The reason I worked so hard was a pretty good reason, to play on the PGA Tour.”

It’s quite early to be analyzing FedEx Cup standings, but through a handful of tournaments at the end of 2014 – as part of the 2014-15 wraparound season – Weir, Hadwin, DeLaet, Hearn and especially Nick Taylor are in solid positions as they gear up for the first tournament of this calendar year.

Player Name FedEx Cup Standing Money Earned World Ranking
Nick Taylor 14th $814,663 191
David Hearn 37th $356,928 127
Adam Hadwin 100th $168,803 177
Mike Weir 139th $72,800 321
Graham DeLaet 173rd $23,400 62
Roger Sloan 193rd $13,603 517

DeLaet, who had to withdraw from two Fall Series events, told Bob Weeks from SCOREGolf that he is as healthy has he’s ever been.

“It really takes its toll,” he stated. “You get to the end of the year and everyone is pretty banged up . . . hips, knees, backs. You don’t think of golf as an impact sport but it is.”

But with time off and lots of rehab, the Saskatchewan native who has battled a long list of aches and pains in his career, declared himself fit and ready to go.

“I’ve been playing golf six days a week in December and January with no problems,” he said. “Really I’m healthy, or at least as healthy as I’m going to be.”

With one Canadian already notching a victory on the PGA Tour this year, it would be easy to say that another one is on the way.

However, given the depth of the talent on the PGA Tour right now, it’s easier said than done. But who knows, this is as good a week as any.

Here are the Canadian tee-times for round one of the Sony Open –

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 3.41.22 PM

Canadian Golf Radio – Episode 1

Listen to the first episode of Canadian Golf Radio (available via iTunes soon).

CGR_1

In this episode —

  • Some Canadian Golf Radio background
  • Predictions for 2015 (and reflections on 2014)
  • A conversation with Rick Young, SCOREGolf.com’s Equipment & Business Analyst, on his interview with Sean Foley, 2015’s newest equipment stories, The Younger Awards, and much more!
  • My take on Brooke Henderson turning professional

Play via SoundCloud:

 

Canadian Golf Radio – Episode 1

 

 

GJAC names its 2014 Players of the Year

The Golf Journalists Association of Canada [GJAC] is proud to announce Adam Hadwin, Alena Sharp, Corey Conners, and Brooke Henderson are the 2014 Players of the Year as voted by GJAC members across the country.

“We at GJAC are delighted to honour this remarkable foursome, and the runners up who in other years could have won handily,” said Hal Quinn, GJAC President. “The skill levels and accomplishments of the winners and all the nominees heralds a new and very promising era in Canadian golf.”

Adam Hadwin was named the Male Professional of the Year in a tight vote with Graham DeLaet and Nick Taylor. Hadwin won twice on the Web.com Tour, finished first on the Tour’s money list, and earned full status for the PGA Tour in 2014-15. He already has one top-10 finish this season. DeLaet, who earned over $2.6 million on the PGA Tour in 2014, is Canada’s highest-ranked pro golfer, while Taylor became the first Canadian in five years to win on the PGA Tour.

Alena Sharp was named the Female Professional of the Year for the second time in the past four years. Sharp had two top-20 finishes on the LPGA Tour in 2014 and was Canada’s highest-ranked female professional golfer, prior to Brooke Henderson turning professional in December.

Henderson was voted Female Amateur of the Year for the third year in a row. The 17-year-old vaulted to the top of the world amateur rankings with six tournament wins in 2014. Henderson was runner-up at the U.S. Women’s Amateur, and was low amateur with a T-10 finish in the U.S. Women’s Open.

Corey Conners is another repeat winner as Male Amateur of the Year for the second year in a row. Conners, a member of Canada’s national team, finished second at the U.S. Amateur earning a chance to participate in the 2015 Masters Tournament and the U.S. Open. Conners won three NCAA Division I individual titles in his graduating year from Kent St. University, and is Canada’s highest-ranked male amateur golfer.

GJAC_PoY_2014

Some 2015 predictions…

As I’ve done the last couple of years (with varying degrees of success), and although golf is an impossible game to predict, here are a few thoughts and guesses on the upcoming year, with results from last year’s predictions also included.

There’s something about this year that makes it seem different than the last few. Professional golf, on the men’s and women’s side, seems very healthy. The LPGA had a banner year in 2014, with it’s biggest stars shining brightly. The PGA Tour saw Rory McIlroy ascend to the throne of no.1 with two major championship victories, but, his competition is healthy.

Speaking of healthy, a constant storyline this year will be whether Tiger’s back will hold up for a full season. There’s no denying he wants to play, and he wants to play well, but it’s a matter of whether his 39-year-old body will allow for it, while the younger crop of professionals have no fear anymore.

Regardless of what happens, it should be a very fun year in the world of professional golf.

Stay tuned to this space – and iTunes – as I’ll be releasing a bi-monthly podcast. Really looking forward to getting that going through 2015, along with continuing to write for a number of publications. I’ll be continuing my freelance duties for outlets like the Globe & Mail, SCOREGolf, Ontario Golf News and the Canadian Press, so keep your eyes out for my work.

You can always follow me on Twitter at @adam_stanley or on Instragram @adam_stanley1.

As always, thanks for reading. Happy New Year!

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Who will be no.1 in the world at this time next year?

2014 prediction: Rory McIlroy (correct!)

2015 prediction: Rory McIlroy (except I don’t think he’ll hold it for the full calendar year)

How many times will Tiger win?

2014 prediction: Three times, including the PGA Championship (very wrong!)

2015 prediction: Twice

Will any of the ‘Best to Never Win a Major’ win a major?

2014 prediction: Yes (wrong!) – Bubba Watson won his second Masters title, Martin Kaymer won his second major at the U.S. Open, and Rory won the other two

2015 prediction: Yes (see below)

The winners of the Majors will be?

2014 prediction: Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Tiger Woods (oh, so wrong!)

2015 prediction: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson

Ryder Cup?

2014 prediction: Europe (correct!)

2015 Presidents Cup prediction: U.S.

PGA TOUR Player of the Year

2014 prediction: Adam Scott (wrong!)

2015 prediction: Rory McIlroy

Major I want to attend the most?

This wasn’t so much a prediction as a statement, but I said the U.S. Open, and I actually got to go there! (For a practice round, but still, it was very cool). This year I’d have to say The Masters. So many storylines, and I’m excited for Canadian amateur Corey Conners, who, on the heels of his runner-up finish at the U.S. Amateur will get to play.

Miscellaneous Predictions 

  • Half of Team Canada’s Men’s team will turn professional before the end of the summer next year
    • 50% correct. Taylor Pendrith and Chris Hemmerich have turned pro, while Adam Svensson & Corey Conners remain amateurs.
  • Atlantic Canada will host one of the most impressive Canadian golf events ever next year
    • The Nova Scotia Open and GOLFest were both excellent events. I’ll give myself this one
  • Graham DeLaet will win on the PGA Tour. My money is an early-season event. He’ll make the cut at two of the four majors
    • He didn’t win, but he earned $2.6M and finished second at two early-season events. He made the cut at the PGA Championship, and finished T15
    • Meanwhile, Nick Taylor captured a late-season event, becoming the first Canadian in five years to find the winner’s circle
  • An unexpected name will be low Canadian at the Canadian Open.
    • Close, but no cigar. Taylor Pendrith was T1 after the first round, but it was Graham DeLaet who secured the honour
  • Brooke Henderson will challenge at an LPGA event
    • She finished T10 at the U.S. Women’s Open, and turned professional a few weeks ago.
  • A Canadian will once again be Player of the Year on PGA Tour Canada. Maybe Cory Renfrew.
    • Nope, it was American Joel Dahmen who won twice yearly and rode that success to the money title and PoY honours

 This year’s random predictions –

  • Stephen Ames will win on the Champions Tour
  • Brad Fritsch will not win on the Web.com Tour, but he’ll finish within the top-25 and get his PGA Tour Card for 2015-16
  • Adam Hadwin will challenge at more than one PGA Tour event
  • At least one Canadian will make the Presidents Cup team
  • If Mike Weir doesn’t qualify for the British Open, he will play for Canada at the Pan-Am Games in July
  • PGA TOUR Canada will add at least one tournament to its schedule this year
    • I’m going to recycle my 2014 prediction again, and say a Canadian will be PGATC’s PoY
  • A course that’s never hosted the Canadian Open will be announced to do so for 2016
  • There will only be one female Canadian golfer with full LPGA status at the end of 2015