Rickie Fowler at the King’s course, Bay Hill, played the Arnold Palmer Invitational wearing Palmer themed PUMA hat and limited edition IGNITE PROADAPT shoes and played out of a custom Cobra bag by Vessel.

Last year the personable California native drew attention playing the entire week in Palmer-themed high-top golf shoes from PUMA. They were auctioned following the tournament for more than $46,000 which was donated to the Arnold and Winnie Palmer Foundation. This year there is a drawing to win an all-expenses paid golf trip to Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge plus Arnold Palmer logoed PUMA gear.

Arnold Palmer IGNITE PROADAPT Shoes: ($250) IGNITE PROADAPT shoes adapt to any lie with stability, power and comfort. The AP version features the signature Umbrella logo in a repeating pattern, dubbed the “Dancing Umbrella,” on the heel and interior of the shoe and Arnold Palmer’s signature on the side of the shoe. Limited edition COBRA + VESSEL Tour Stand Bag with Palmer’s umbrella logo.

“Mr. Palmer’s impact on golf transcends generations. Players like Rickie respect and admire the life he lived and his contributions to the game,” said Grant Knudson, Global Head of Product, PUMA Golf.  “We are once again honored to align the PUMA brand with the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation, helping to raise funds and awareness for causes that were so close to Mr. & Mrs. Palmer’s hearts.”

“The Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation is thrilled to continue working with COBRA PUMA Golf and Rickie Fowler on the limited-edition Arnold Palmer collection,” said Chris Kolodinksy, the foundation’s Chief Development Officer. “COBRA PUMA Golf and Rickie Fowler are industry-leading in the world of golf fashion—we couldn’t imagine better partners.”

Just prior to the beginning of play at the Arnold Palmer Invitational PUMA and Arnold Palmer Enterprises signed a multi-year deal to design, develop and distribute co-branded apparel, footwear and accessories honoring Palmer’s legacy. The Arnold Palmer by PUMA collaboration (Arnold Palmer x PUMA) will be a premium, modern collection designed to transcend generations. This new venture builds upon a partnership established by the two brands over the past three years, during which PUMA Golf created limited-edition products around the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The first collection of this new collaboration, beyond tournament-inspired gear, is set to launch mid-2020.

Acushnet 2018 Results
Titleist’s parent Acushnet Holdings Corp. (NYSE: GOLF) reported solid sales growth for 2018 and slightly better operating income as a percent of sales. With $1.633 billion in revenue Acushnet is the largest equipment company in the world. They reported acceptance of the new TS line of drivers and fairway woods was strong and they expected increases in sales of golf balls with the January introduction of new versions of the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x.

Below are a few highlights of the 2018 financial statement:
Sales in 2018 were up 4.7% worldwide to $1.633 billion
U.S. sales $826.1 million up 4.6%
Operating income rose 1.4%1
Worldwide ball sales were $524.0 million up 2.3%
Club sales worldwide increased 11.9% to $445.3 million
2019 Sales forecast $1.655 and $1.685 billion

Bettinardi Armlock SS38
Bettinardi Golf has extended their Studio Stock line to include the Studio Stock 38 Armlock ($450) milled from a solid block of 303 stainless steel into a compact mallet shape. The SS38 joins the SS28 Slotback as the 2nd Armlock option in the Golf Digest Gold winning 2019 Studio Stock Series.

Lynx Black Cat
UK-based Lynx Golf has reintroduced the Black Cat family of clubs with a weight bar system in the metalwoods and polymer filled hollow heads in the irons. Pricing will be driver $250, fairway woods $170, hybrids $130 and irons $650 in steel and $719 in graphite.

K-Grind 2.0 from Miura
Custom clubmaker Miura Golf has announced the latest update of their K-Grind wedge, the 2.0 Milled. The “original” Miura 1957 K-Grind wedge introduced the fluted sole and the 2.0 add retains that feature with milling done using modern techniques. The “knuckles” or “flutes” are designed to deliver a square clubface at impact regardless of turf conditions helping the club glide through grass and sand without digging in. The 2.0 has added bounce and roll along with heal and toe relief. Priced at $295 the lofts/bounces available are: 2º/10º, 54º/12º, 56º/14º, 58º/10º, 60º/12º

In Case Anyone Should Ask:

Update on Honda
As was noted last week Keith Mitchell won the Honda Classic playing a Mizuno ST190 driver. What we missed until reminded was this was the first win by a player Mizuno since Vijay Singh at the 2000 Masters.

Warrior Bankrupt
Irvine, Calif. based Warrior Custom Golf filed for a Chapter 11 reorganization as it continues operations. The company is well-known for its email campaigns for “test” marketing inducing golfers to use their clubs.

Bay Hill Gear
Titleist was the most played driver with 32. Though five players were using older models, 27 were the 2019 TS models (TS2 – 7 | TS3 – 20). They were also first choice in hybrids (17), irons (30) and wedges. The field of 123-man field teed up 84 Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x balls with Callaway Chrome Soft in second with 14.

Francesco Molinari joined Callaway as a new staff pro on Tuesday, and he used his new gear for a win at Bay Hill in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here’s a look at what’s in his bag:

Driver: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (9°) – Fuji Ventus 6X shaft
Fairway wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (13.5°) – Fuji Ventus 7X shaft
Hybrid: Callaway Apex Hybrid (20°) – UST Mamiya shaft
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro 19 Irons (4-iron); Callaway Apex MB 18 Irons (5-PW) – all True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X 100 shafts
Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (50°, 56° 60°) – True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X 100 shafts
Putter: Odyssey Toulon Madison Stroke Lab
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X