Tag Archives: Adidas

Publisher’s Update: TaylorMade Golf and the New Southern California Golf and Travel Golf Blog

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July was a big month for the blog.

Among other things, it saw: a post about the fifth hole at Journey at Pechanga become the single most viewed post in the history of the blog; the blog break its single-day traffic record during a day of the British Open; and the blog smash its monthly traffic record.

In the blogosphere, that’s big stuff. First off, I just want to say a big thanks to all the blog’s readers and followers for making all of the above happen. We at least humbly hope at the home office that this means we’re providing you content you are finding worthwhile.

While all this was going on in July, even bigger things were brewing behind the scenes. A long-overdue redesign was in the works as was an agreement to have ads by TaylorMade Golf hosted on the blog.

After jumping through many technological hoops, including switching blog hosts and enduring lengthy calls to customer support, the redesign is complete and the TaylorMade ads are live. Welcome to the new Southern California Golf and Travel Blog – and, oh yes, we slightly tweaked the name of the site, but not the domain.

First, about the redesign. The biggest objective was to get what we call in the biz a higher “item count” up high. The old format really only showed you the top post and you to scroll quite a bit to get to other recent posts, much lesser older ones.

The big thing you’ll notice now is that if you want to read multiple recent posts on, say, JC Golf or travel or equipment, those topics are providing for you in convenient tabs just above the main art on the blog. These topics may change from time to time, but they largely represent the dominant posts categories on the blog.

Anyway, beyond that, the blog has a cleaner looker now that seems to be, among other things, much friendlier on mobile. I, for one, thought the Portland post looked better on my phone than on my computer. This matters because we’re an increasingly mobile world these days, and mobile is what Facebook, Twitter, etc., and like companies are absolutely plowing resources into these days.

The redesign gained its finishing touch on Thursday when the ads for TaylorMade Golf went live. You will notice them as banner ads promoting an array of TaylorMade gear – equipment, shoes, apparel – representing its individual entities – TaylorMade Golf, Adidas and Ashworth.

What this means for me is that blog is no longer just my digital portfolio; it’s a business. Let me telling you that’s a fairly exciting sentence to type, and it has huge implications and potential going forward.

What it means immediately for you, is that you can shop the blog while you read. So if, for instance, you like the review of the SLDR Mini Drive I did a few months back, you can now buy one directly through my site. In that regard, it means the blog experience full circle.

Take 43% Off the Rocketballz Stage 2 Driver + Free Shipping for a Limited Time at TaylorMadeGolf.com!

The big thing in the immediate last week was to get the ads live and functional. You’ll notice an increased ad presence going forward, but the big thing down the road is that this sets the blog up to coordinately closely with the world’s leading golf brand on future product launches, thus keeping our readership on the cusp of golf innovation.

I can tell you that the blog staff is hugely excited about the possibilities for this going forward, and we hope this level of exclusivity will help draw more eyeballs to the site and give you reason to keep coming back beyond just the current level of content.

And whereas the blog currently posts two or three days a week, I can see things ramping up to nearly daily a month or so out from now.

I mostly say a month out because the blog is traveling a lot in August, fortunately mostly for work. The “travel” part of Southern California Golf and Travel Blog is going to get a big content boost in August.

Anyway, part of that travel is to the West Coast PGA Show in Las Vegas in a few weeks, so make sure to tune into the blog then for an eyeful of product innovations and insights into the latest in golf technology on many fronts.

Also, I’ll be living tweeting the PGA Championship at least one day this week, so please follow the blog on Twitter if you’re game for being part of that conversation. The majors seem to be peak traffic times for the blog and we’re learning to plan content accordingly.

That’s all for now, but I just want to share all the happy blog news and update on the changes that have been passing in front of your computer screen. For as big as July as, August is going to be even bigger. Heady stuff for a blog that isn’t even a year old yet.

Thanks again to everyone who has supported the blog along the way. It’s been a fun ride … and it’s really only beginning.

FIO Day One: A Salute To A Classy Tradition

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When I arrived at the course today, I made a point to make the 14th hole on the South Course my first stop. I’d heard about the tournament’s annual tribute to the military and wanted to see it for myself.

What I witnessed is an incredibly classy use of a golf hole.

For those unfamiliar with a tradition that is now in its fifth year, the flag on 14 is an American flag. When the golfers reach the green, one of the caddies removes the flag and hands it to one of two waiting servicemen, who are in full dress.

The servicemen hold the flagstick to prevent the flag from touching the ground in a breach of flag etiquette.

When play of the hole is finished, the caddie retrieves and replaces the flagstick and then two more servicemen rotate in for the next group.

This is all staged at a hole were the grandstand, called the Patriots’ Outpost, is filled with active-duty soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and Coast Guard, all of whom receive free admission to the tournament.

What a great way to give back to the veterans and honor their service.

The hole is sponsored this year by a company called ViaSat, which is a provider of network services.

ViaSat President Rick Baldridge says half his company’s business involves the military so sponsoring the hole was a natural. The sponsorship included providing the attending servicemen with free Wi-Fi at the event.

“San Diego is a great military town, and giving these guys a venue to come out and bring their families, it’s exciting to them. The military guys love golf. That’s why all the bases have golf courses.

“It’s a noble game and it’s a noble way to honor their contributions.”

I can’t improve on that, but I’ll just say I wish all, instead of some, golfers acknowledged the servicemen before moving on to the 15th tee. Doesn’t seem much to ask.

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Pro-Spective: No. 13 on the South

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         This mini-feature is an attempt to look at a pivotal hole each day through the eyes of a former pro who has played the tournament.

Our pro is Scott Bentley, who played the tournament three times in the 80s-90s, which, of course, is before the redesign of the South. Still, 11, 12, 13 was a pivotal stretch then and certainly is now.

Bentley says it’s hard to talk about 13 without mentioning the holes that precede it, 11 being a long par-3 and 12 being a notoriously tough par-4 back toward the ocean. Then 13 is a par-5 that played over 600 yards on Thursday.

“I always felt like if you bogeyed 11 or 12, or both, it deflated you a bit,” Bentley says. “But if you parred those, you were ready to score on 13.”

There are two tee boxes for No. 13, one being far right that makes the hole more of a dogleg left. That’s how it was played Thursday.

And it was a three-shotter for each of the groups I saw come through. The ones who struggled the most were those playing their second shots from the thick left rough. That included Tiger, but unlike the others, who bogeyed, he managed to save par.

The 13th green is front by tiered bunkers, making coming up short quite undesirable.

“You’ve really got to think about your second shot there if you don’t get home in two, because you want to leave it on an upslope. The greens are firm and won’t hold shorter shots.

“But if you birdie 13, it sets you up to make a little run.”

Bentley is now the Golf Course Manager at Torrey Pines and Mission Bay. He’ll give his hole insights daily here, and we thank for him volunteering.

Gearing Up

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If you haven’t yet seen it on TV, you won’t be able to miss it at the course.

Adidas is debuting it’s new adizero blue shoe at the tournament. It’s being sported by all the TaylorMade players and is prominently displayed around the course, including the patio of the clubhouse.

The shoe, in its many styles of blue, is a pleasing color contrast to the launch of the initial line and is certainly less loud that the Big Bird-yellow shoes many players wore a year ago.

It’s also worth a mention is Phil Mickelson’s blue KPMG hat is on sale at the merchandise tent on the South Course.

The proceeds of sales of the hat go to fight illiteracy.

You can learn more at philsbluehat.com.

Broadcast Byte

Tiger Woods’ 2014 tournament debut prompted another round of will-he-or-won’t-he regarding breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record for victories in major championships.

As most golfers on the planet should know, Jack’s record is 18 and Tiger has been holding at 14 for five years now.

I didn’t discover this until I got home and watched the tape of the broadcast, but The Golf Channel’s Gary McCord added a new two-cents of perspective on the chase.

McCord talked about Tiger now being age 38 and what it would take to break Jack’s record with 19 majors.

He used Phil Mickelson’s five majors as a gauge.

“So to get to 19, he’s got to have Phil’s career starting at age 38,” McCord said.

He didn’t really finish that thought, but I imagined him humming, “Things That Make You Go … Hmmm.”