Golf Lessons & New Products

TaylorMade has acquired Nassau Golf Co. Ltd.

That's the headline. The terms of the sale weren't disclosed. There's your footnote.

The interesting stuff is somewhere in the middle.

Chances are, even if you're not keenly aware of it, you are familiar with Nassau Golf. The South Korea-based ball factory has produced numerous TaylorMade balls over the years. It's also the factory responsible for the original Kirkland Signature four-piece golf ball (the one where the covers didn't rip) and, perhaps most notably, it produces the MTB Black and MTB X for Dean Snell.

Nassau isn't new to TaylorMade. The companies have worked closely for more than 15 years but, as its ball business has grown (it's up 176 percent over the last five years according to Golf Datatech), keeping up with demand has proven challenging.

TaylorMade CEO David Abeles says the Nassau acquisition is part of the company's "strategic plan to create vertical integration in the company's golf ball supply chain."  Ultimately, bringing Nassau into the fold gives TaylorMade complete ownership of the manufacturing process. It effectively gives TaylorMade a factory structure not dissimilar from Titleist, Bridgestone, Callaway and Srixon.

Bottom line: acquiring Nassau gives TaylorMade both capacity and control.

PING G425 and MAX series

The new Ping G425 series of metal woods and irons, the eighth update of Ping's flagship "G" line since it was first introduced in 2003, dramatically and rather artfully builds on themes that really stretch all the way back to the company's game-enhancement traditions established by founder Karsten Solheim.

As senior design engineer Marty Jertson explains, a big theme of the Ping G425 series is "power, along with stability whenever you need it that is persistent and kind of lives with you on the golf course."

"It's the off-center hit performance that kind of surprises you when you don't make a good swing," he said.

The entire line utilizes several new materials and refined shapes, while expanding on familiar themes and technologies of the recent past. That includes the distinctive crown turbulators for aerodynamic benefits on the G425 driver and the thin-face technology called "COR-Eye" that gets the face to flex to produce shots that launch higher with more ball speed.