Hyundai Tournament of Champions January 6th-9th

It won’t be long before the 2012 PGA Tour regular season gets underway with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions beginning PGA action January 6-9 from the Plantation Course at Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii. The tournament is worth 500 FedExCup points and will have a purse of $1.2 million dollars.

The Hyundai Tournament of Champions will begin a string of three consecutive weekends of action that will be televised on the Golf Channel before CBS join with the Golf Channel to cover the Farmers Insurance Open from Torrey Pines South Course in La Jolla, CA which runs January 26-29.

The first tournament that exceeds 500 FedExCup points will take place February 22-26 with the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship from Ritz Carlton Golf Course in Dove Mountain, Arizona as 550 points will be on the line.

There are some new names atop the Official World Golf Ranking as preparations begin for what promises to be a wide open 2012 season. Luke Donald rests atop the Official World Golf Ranking. The Englishman had two PGA wins last year and 14 top ten finishes with over $6.6 million in winnings. “The Donald” was voted the PGA Tour Player of the Year by his fellow competitors, which is a great compliment to his performance last year and his ability to dominate the future. Donald is something of a throwback and the antithesis of Tiger Woods in that he is small and not a powerful driver but instead an outstanding short game player.

Right behind Donald is another Englishman, Lee Westwood, who many consider to be the best player in the world. Westwood has certainly been a dominant player on the European Tour and is expected to join the PGA full time for 2012 which completely changes the dynamics of the race for the title. Westwood had over $10 million in career wins while focusing on action in Europe.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy is number three on the Official World Golf Ranking and has joined Westwood’s commitment to playing in the PGA for 2012. He is best known for his electrifying win in the US Open last year in which he captivated American’s search for a new golf hero.

America’s old golf hero, Tiger Woods, is coming off a much needed December win but many doubts remain about his ability to win consistently in 2012.

Callaway Golf teams up with Justin Timberlake

Well here’s some interesting news. Callaway Golf and Justin Timberlake are teaming up.

Callaway Golf Company (NYSE: ELY) today announced the establishment of an advanced, creative position for multiple Emmy and Grammy Award-winning actor, musician and avid golfer Justin Timberlake. A Callaway Staff Professional since 2008, Timberlake will lend his versatile talents as a Creative Director for the Callaway portfolio of Brands. Timberlake will engage in the development and execution of high-level concepts within Callaway’s marketing activities and offer wide-ranging consultation on the visual representation of the Brand. The multi-year agreement was announced by Jeff Colton, Sr. Vice President of Global Brand and Product, Callaway Golf.

“We have worked with Justin for more than three years now and have been thoroughly impressed with the level of quality he brings to everything he is involved with,” said Colton. “Justin is an extremely gifted artist and an avid golfer with a deep passion for Callaway products, and his creative energy will serve us well as we connect with the next generation of golfers. The opportunity to bring someone with his multifaceted talents into our creative matrix is very rare, and his input has already made an impact.”

Timberlake’s initial work as a Creative Director for Callaway will support the Company’s 2012 RAZR line of premium golf equipment, including the recently introduced RAZR Fit™ Driver. Callaway’s 2012 product line will be launched in the first quarter of next year via the Company’s upcoming “Epic Demo” campaign being shot this week in Las Vegas across several iconic city landmarks, including the Bellagio Fountain. Timberlake’s contributions to Callaway’s Epic Demo campaign, which features Callaway staff professionals Phil Mickelson and Alvaro Quiros, includes collaboration with the creative teams and Director Joseph Kahn.

This is either a brilliant move or an act of desperation by Callaway. I tend to think it’s pretty smart. It adds to the brand’s lifestyle appeal and will generate a ton of PR.

Newt Gingrich a member at Donald Trump Golf Club

Regardless of your politics, it’s always interesting to see which politicians are into golf. I have to admit Newt Gingrich is a surprise. I would pay to watch Newt and his belly try to swing a golf club.

I mention this because Donald Trump mentioned today that Newt is a member of of Trump National Golf Club in Virginia.

When real estate mogul Donald Trump welcomes former speaker Newt Gingrich to Trump Tower today, he will not only be welcoming another presidential candidate, but also a member of his exclusive golf club in Northern Virginia.

“I have a lot of respect for Newt,” Trump said. “Newt’s a member, so I love my members. I always love my members.”

Trump National is a prestigious club for high rollers, so perhaps this isn’t a surprise. Newt likes to spend the millions he makes from his cronies.

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