Several events happened last week in world of golf equipment (one good, one sad and one we will have to wait and see) that I would like to share with you. Times are changing in the golf industry and it is a good habit to stay abreast of the most recent developments to plan ahead.
Last month in my Blog I wondered who might take over for the retiring Technical Director (Dick Rugge) for the USGA. Well, it didn’t take too long to receive word who that that person will be. Come to find out they looked within and tapped longtime Assistant Technical Director John Spitzer to become the new Managing Director of Equipment Standards as of Feb 2, 2013. It appears as if a seamless transition will take place meaning no surprises for the future.
Spitzer came to the USGA in 1997 with an impressive resume. According to Golf Digest, one of his gigs was “He spent eight years at Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory, where he led the thermomechanical engineering branch and also worked on the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor and the on the linear accelerator for the Superconducting Super Collider.”
Well, all I can say is “Dude, what were you doing at the USGA?” You can play golf and test golf equipment in your spare time, like on the weekend or after a hard day’s work smashing atoms in the Super Collider. That would have been just freakin’ awesome! An added plus, the one time I met John in person seemed like a very down-to-earth individual.
I was sad to hear that one of our valued vendors passed away unexpectedly. Joe Hrubos, owner and sole proprietor of Mark-It-Golf Impact Spray was 62 years old. Joe was also a decorated US Marine from the Vietnam War. You’ll be missed…
San Diego based graphite golf shaft manufacturer and pioneer Aldila announced in a press release on December 4th that they have merged with Mitsubishi Rayon America, Inc. Some of you may already be familiar with Mitsubishi Rayon shafts, which are produced in Japan. Those who are not can find these high end shafts are under names such as Diamana, Fubuki and Bassara. The ink is still wet to know what the future of Aldila shafts will be and if we will see a R.I.P.’d Diamana or Fubuki featuring S-Core Technology in the not-so-distance future. One thing is for certain, Aldila has proudly provided clubmakers and club manufacturers with composite shafts since 1973.
This comes on the heels of the recent acquisition of Hireko buying SK Fiber Shafts and comes a month after Graphite Design announced it was pulling out of the US market and handing over distribution to Pro Choice Golf Shafts, Inc. Hireko will still continue to supply our customers with the high-quality Graphite Design shafts, such as the Tour AD DI and many more as we have in the past.