The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - 8
Pope of Slope providing blessings
for amateur golfers
High Heat clubs under the radar but earning over the top reviews
By Jim Dunlap
he vast majority of this year's news from the equipment or flooding the media with ad campaigns.
manufacturer segment of the golf industry has involved
While it's not inconceivable that the company may eventuthe issues besetting some of the biggest and most es- ally find some devotees in the professional ranks, Knuth will be
tablished players in the equipment game. TaylorMade-adidas the first to say that's not job one, or even on the list. The High
Golf (TMaG) is up for sale by parent company adidas, Acush- Heat clubs are consciously and exclusively designed to benefit
net Golf with its industry dominant Titleist ball brand, Titleist the amateur golfer. Without getting too deep into tech-speak,
club line and successful FootJoy shoe and apparel line is report- they feature a center of gravity (CG) that is lower and farther
edly considering taking the company public, and Nike has gone toward the back of the club, and a sweet spot that encompassadidas one better (or worse) by abandoning its club and ball es virtually the entire clubface, which generates at or near the
business altogether. While some observers anticipate pushes maximum allowable CT (characteristic time, formerly called
from a revived Callaway, up and comer Bridgestone and Asian COR) across the face. While Knuth is not claiming that High
market force Srixon to absorb Nike's relatively small share of Heat will be a game-changer in terms of increasing golf particithe market and capitalize on TMaG's uncertainty, one of the pation, he is also well aware that more good shots by amateur
most intriguing entries in the field is a company with no PGA and recreational golfers lead to more play and more industry
Tour endorsers and no presence in
either golf specialty stores or green
"Discerning amateur golfers usuKnuth
grass pro shops.
ally find [with most major brands]
The High Heat driver, 3-wood
that the sweet spot is too small, the
and 3-hybrid product line debuted
MOI (moment of inertia) is lower
at the 2015 PGA Merchandise
and not as forgiving," Knuth said.
Show and have been earning Best
"We've done a lot of auditing of
New Product, just plain Best Prodwhat the major brands are doing,
uct and a host of other rave reviews
and the CG is almost always forfrom golf writers, publications and
ward and up. In most cases, they
demo days ever since. The bright
rely on higher loft and it's generally
blue clubs are the brainchild of the
3 degrees or more higher even than
famously nicknamed Pope of Slope,
they say." The higher loft may be deDean Knuth, who during his 16
signed to help amateurs get the ball
years as senior director of handiairborne, but it costs distance, unlike
capping for the USGA created that
the lower and farther to the rear deorganization's course rating system
sign of the High Heat clubs.
and subsequently the Slope-rating
Knuth and Trattner are not plansystem that scaled a player's scores "Discerning amateur golfers usually find
ning on inundating golf broadcasts
according to the difficulty of the [with most major brands] that the sweet
and industry publications with
courses on which they were record- spot is too small, the MOI (moment of
High Heat advertising, but they are
ed. Knuth and his partner, Steve inertia) is lower and not as forgiving,"
getting ready to ramp up some adTrattner, the former intellectual Knuth said.
ditional marketing. Knuth said that
property attorney for the USGA
in addition to readying prototype
and legal representative for golf properties including Pinehurst 5-wood and 7-wood and 3-6 hybrid products for introduction
and Pebble Beach, have made their presence felt while essen- at the 2017 PGA Show, they are planning a barrage of email
tially going door to door selling clubs out of their car trunks. blasts to potential customers and working on an infomercial
Although the critical acclaim they have received is impressive to begin running after the first of the year. In the meantime,
in its own right, it is exponentially more surprising in view of they will be selling their wares at product demo days around
the fact that they have opted to let the product succeed or fail the country.
on its own merits, rather than bidding for Tour pros to hype it
"We participated in a demo day recently at Pauma Valley (an
8 THE PELLUCID PERSPECTIVE
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016
Brother, Can You Spare a Time?
Taylormade Sale: Whatever the Outcome, It’s Likely to Be “unique”
Golf Is Aspirational, So Forget the Usual Suspects
Pope of Slope Providing Blessings for Amateur Golfers
Golf Weather Impact: September No Major Surprise; August Utilization Slips
A Few Rays of Sunshine, but Not Enough Buc(k)s
Tiger, Tiger Burning Out?
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - Brother, Can You Spare a Time?
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - Taylormade Sale: Whatever the Outcome, It’s Likely to Be “unique”
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - 6
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - Golf Is Aspirational, So Forget the Usual Suspects
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - Pope of Slope Providing Blessings for Amateur Golfers
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - 9
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - Golf Weather Impact: September No Major Surprise; August Utilization Slips
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - 12
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - A Few Rays of Sunshine, but Not Enough Buc(k)s
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - 14
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2016 - Tiger, Tiger Burning Out?