Our guest author today is Kenny Read, skipper of the PUMA Ocean Racing boat the Il Mostro. We invited Kenny to join us for our Boston PUMA Open and he had a few things to say
Okay, I guess I should have known.
The PUMA Open? Sounds innocent enough right. After all, it’s just golf. I have been sauntering 'round a few golf courses in my day and figure that a scramble style event is pretty painless and typically good fun.
Boy am I naive. I've been around this company long enough to know that this was golf the PUMA way. "Normal" is not exactly a word that is used a lot around the PUMA water cooler.
Fast forward to arrival time at the Pine Hills Golf Course out near the bridges to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Clearly a very nice course- my guess is that the Pine Hills people didn't know what they were getting in to either.
Chief Marketing Officer, Antonio Bertone, met me at the course a little early and he decided that a Harpoon Beer (my personal #1) was in store along with a tour of the course. A tour of the course, I thought, sure why? "To see what this is all about,” he said. We took off with his partner in crime (in the marketing department) Tara. I'm thinking- what the heck does he need to see the course for as he doesn't even play golf? In fact I tried to get him to play on my team and he refused. So we hopped in a golf cart, with beer in hand and took a drive- a drive that may have changed golf forever in my mind.
Tony is creative, sometimes to the absurd and I say that with a huge amount of respect. Some Bertone-isms in the first three minutes of our golf cart ride:
"Golf would be so much more fun if you rode motorcycles around the course instead of golf carts. Just look at that natural jump off the first tee?"
"I need to rewire this cart and get rid of the speed governor"
"When we roll this cart over on that hill, you will probably break your leg, but you have two years to get better before the next Volvo right?"
And so on. We get to the first tee box and see that there is a sign with instructions.
Sign reads: "Drive with your putter, putt with your driver" Huh? "Didn't anyone tell you that this event was slightly different?" Tony says as he laughs hysterically. "Next time I do this drive through I need a cart that looks like a stretch limo. Maybe a Hummer or something" Okay, where exactly does the golf part come in I’m thinking.
The tour of the next eight holes told the story. Chipping balls at your team mates, fastest time to complete a hole (number of shots do not matter), pull a card from a deck of cards and the card number is the club you have to use for the entire hole including putting...and so on.
The tour ended and we got back to the clubhouse. Maybe hit a couple balls on the range first- all with a Harpoon beer in hand and rock and roll music blaring- of course. And the day went on.
Our squad competed admirably- I think we did anyway. I dont have any idea how the scoring worked to be honest. Our team name was il mostro. Doris, Nikola and Ryan- all who work with Tony in Boston- made up our foursome. Doris taking golf seriously with solid contact, Nikola thinking the ball was a hockey puck- reverting back to her Olympic hockey days, and Ryan attempting to beat the golf ball into submission on every shot- hitting the ball a long way but I don't believe we ever found a single tee shot of his after he hit it. It was all very fun and a lot of laughs.
The fastest time to complete a 400 yard par four was 1:40 by the way. We did it in just under three minutes which we thought was pretty good but clearly off the pace. Quite honestly I don't even know how our team did overall because the awards ceremony was held while all competitors were participating in a Casino night back at the clubhouse. Attention had left the course by then as all were was frantically trying to figure out whether to hold on 14 or take one more card.
And so goes another day at the office in PUMA world. Never a dull moment. Always with a smile. Golf will never be the same.
(By the way, new PUMA golf shoes are fantastic whether you want to participate normally or trying to be fastest from tee to green!)
Movies like “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Starship Troopers” and “Back to the Future II” prove that predicting the future, though entertaining (yes, I liked Starship Troopers), is almost always dead wrong.
That being said, I’m going to try my hand at it and see if I can predict some shifting trends in a game that is in desperate need of a facelift.
Golf is played by 57 million people worldwide, 51 million of which will never break 100 and 91% of whom will never belong to country club. Golf, for the vast majority, is not about meeting a status quo but rather about being outside, improving your game, and being with your friends on a Saturday afternoon. We’re playing because its fun!
Part of having fun is not dropping a hundred bucks on a round where course rules outnumber the course par. Let’s get real, who really has five hours and all that money to set aside once a week? If golf is going to continue rising in popularity it is going to need to adapt and start catering to the needs of the majority.
Here are a few changes that we might see down the road.
1. Who said you have to choose between playing 9 and 18 holes. If you have time to play 3 or 4, why not pay for 3 or 4.
2. Lets make renting clubs more affordable so a beginner can get to know the game a little before spending an arm and a leg on a set of sticks.
3. Lastly, let’s rethink the dress code. Just because golf has been played for six centuries doesn’t mean we have to dress like it. Now there’s no doubt that some serious progress has been made since knickerbockers but come on, everyone looks the same out there! We need some more individuality on the course. Let’s get creative. Dress well and be unique. Not so much John Daily unique, think more along the lines of Geoff Ogilvy unique.
If you were watching the Wyndham Championships yesterday you probably said to yourself, "why, that young man who just won this tournament sure has a unique style!" And you would be right...Ryan Moore has turned heads this year with his facial hair and relaxed wardrobe. Oh and he's also playing really well. And you know what we say here at PUMA-Look Better, Feel Better, Play Better. So it should come as no surprise that Ryan won yesterday sporting a pair of PUMA's.
For more information on Ryan's win, check out this post on Wei Under Par.
Friday, August 21, 2009
There is nothing we at PUMA Golf like better then a player who really knows how to stand out on the course. Breanne Loucks of Wales is just that kind of gal. We love her platinum hair and unique sense of style. BBC Sport caught up with Breanne this week for a chat. Check it out to find out how her career started with a broken arm and to see her rock some great PUMA Gear!
PUMA Open Season is Full Swing
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Last Friday’s PUMA Open in Chicago marked our eighth PUMA Open of the summer which can only mean one thing… THERE ARE ONLY SEVEN LEFT!!!
If you haven’t noticed, we’ve made quite the splash along the way in our nationwide quest to bring the fun back to golf.
How did we do it?
First, we took your everyday golf tournament (with all those rules) and threw it out the window. Next we added our own “nontraditional” golf holes, casino style gambling, drinks, food and prizes. Lastly, we invited all of you!
Check out the links below to see what people are saying about the PUMA Open!
Make sure you catch one of the remaining PUMA Opens in a city near you. Visit thepumaopen.com for more details.
Guess who else is a fan of the PUMA Open? Check out this video of New York Yankee, Johnny Damon and LPGA golfer Erica Blasberg as they prepare for the PUMA Open:
The REAL Headline Coming Out of Hazeltine
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Now that the 2009 Major season is officially over, lets do a recap. We saw Angel Cabrera win the Masters after a three-way sudden-death playoff. Two months later Lucas Glover won the US Open at Bethpage thwarting Phil Mickelson’s attempt at a long awaited Major win. You’d had to have been living under a rock not to have heard about the 59-year old Tom Watson’s run at the British Open and eventual fall to the Twitter friendly, Stuart Cink (Did I mention that Tiger missed the cut?). Then there was this past weekend’s PGA Championship where ESPN headlines read “Yang Slays Tiger, Stuns World With Victory.”
We at PUMA were a little surprised when we read this headline. I mean, is it such a big deal that the undisputed best golfer in the world heading into Sunday with a two stroke lead lost to the 110th ranked, 37-year old South Korean, Y.E. Yang? Really, how hard could it have been?
Clearly the biggest story coming out of last weekend at Hazeltine had nothing to do with the final pairing between Yang and Tiger. The leading headline of every sports section across America clearly should have read, “PUMA Introduces Fall 2009 Apparel, Golfers Look Really Really Good”
Geoff Ogilvy and Soren Kjeldsen debuted the Fall 2009 PUMA Golf collection over the weekend proving that not every PGA golfer has to wear pants baggier than MC Hammer’s and shirts the color of my grandmother’s sofa.
Third Step- Get live updates from one of the world’s best golfers even while he’s mid-round!
Also, if you’re not already, make sure you follow @pumagolf for exclusive discounts and tweets from your friends here at PUMA!
Golf an Olympic Sport in 2016, Almost
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Earlier today in Berlin, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee voted for the inclusion of golf and rugby sevens into the 2016 Olympic Games.
Golf and rugby beat a list of seven other sports looking for a bid including softball, squash, baseball and karate. The entire IOC, made up of 115 players and executives will vote in October to officially add the two sports.
Both a men’s and women’s 72-hole tournament would be established with a field of 60 players in each. The PGA has agreed to schedule Tour stops around the event to avoid player conflicts. Top golfers have already expressed interest in playing in the games for their shot at the first gold medal in golf since the 1904 Games in St. Louis.
How great will it be to watch the field compete for the chance for a place on the podium and not a gigantic check!
The question is, who's face will we see on the Wheaties box seven years from now?
Cool as a cat, PUMA golfer Louis De Jager coasts to victory at Suncoast Classic
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
If asked, any golf fan would be able to tell you that there’s something in the water in South Africa that makes great golfers. Major victors including Ernie Els, Trevor Immelman, and of course, Gary Player have hailed from Africa’s southern most country.
PUMA is excited to announce that there is another player on the rise from the country that keeps giving to golf.
PUMA golfer, Louis De Jager of Centurion, South Africa has just won his maiden victory at the Suncoast Classic, a key stop on the Sunset Tour. Having won a number of amateur events the year prior, Louis joined the professional tour in 2008 at the age of 21. Since turning pro, Louis has had a number of top ten finishes including a 6th place finish at the Telecom PGA Championship.
Louis’ win at the Suncoast Classic was no doubt a product of consistent putting and his ability to stay cool under the pressure of a Sunday lead.
Congratulations to Louis on the great win!
Friday, August 07, 2009
Everyone get out there and enjoy the weekend! We'll be back next week with lots of great PUMA Golf action!
All in a Day's Work
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Ever wonder what the folks at PUMA Golf do when they need to blow off a little steam? We dare you to talk YOUR office into building one too.
Anna Nordqvist-our little star
Monday, August 03, 2009
Something awfully exciting happened this weekend and no it was NOT at the Buick Open.
PUMA athlete and rising LPGA superstar Anna Nordqvist was selected as a member of the European Solheim Cup Team.
The Solheim Cup is the most prestigious international team event in women's professional golf and we couldn't be more proud of Anna! Cue "We are the Champions" please...
PUMA Introduces UV Protection to Golf Clothing
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Who hasn’t been eight years old and waited impatiently on a hot sandy beach while your mom slathered an embarrassing amount of sunscreen on you and then made you wait an additional fifteen minutes to let it dry before going into the water! Adolescent torture at its best!
Fast-forward twenty years. Its a beautiful Saturday morning and the starter just gave you and your buddies the go-ahead with no mom to slab on sunscreen in sight. I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ve abstained from sunscreening up a time or two.
Unfortunately, prolonged sun exposure has some serious health risks. Just recently, international cancer experts categorized ultraviolet radiation as a deadly agent compared with the likes of arsenic and mustard gas.
In fact, nearly 3 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year making it the most common form of cancer. According the World Health Organization, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
The American Cancer Society has proposed a number of preventative measures that can be taken against harmful exposure. When it comes to golfing, some tips are helpful and some not so much. Take a look:
1. Avoid being outdoors too much. -NOT AN OPTION! As far as I know, golf is an outdoor sport.
2. Wear baggy long sleeve shirts and pants preferably dark in color. - Sorry guys, on a 90° day on the back nine, long sleeves and pants just don’t cut it.
3. Stay in the shade. - Hopefully while golfing you are avoiding the shade as much as possible. (Though my slice would tell you otherwise)
Or a fourth alternative, one that PUMA Golf found particularly intriguing. 4. Wear Clothing with built-in protection. - Now we’re getting somewhere!!!
Introducing a line of PUMA apparel with UV protection built into the very fabric! While others are using a UPF 30+, PUMA has developed a technology capable on infusing its material with UPF 40+, or in other words, SPF 120 and 99.17% protection against harmful rays.
In conclusion: Stay OUTSIDE. Keep AWAY from the shade. And most importantly, wear golf apparel that looks good, works well and keeps you healthy!
Last Call For The PUMA Open NJ This Friday 7/31
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The PUMA Open NJ still has 5 spots available and if you or your friends are still on the fence, here are some reasons why you need to pull the trigger:
1.) Open bar on domestic beer from 2-7PM... enough said.
2.) Black Bear G.C. is less than an hour from Manhattan and Westchester County.
3.) Great excuse to call out sick... I hear there is a nasty cold going around.