The 69th PGA Show is more than just equipment and golf balls as Greg Norman talks fitness, Ecco exhibits its upcoming Biom C4 line, and Lyle & Scott continues resurgence of iconic brand
ORLANDO, Fla. — Greg Norman will be 67 in a few weeks but the Hall of Fame golfer remains in tip-top shape. He was the biggest name to hit the show floor at the 69th PGA Show, and offered a fitness challenge to the average golfer.
“I will give you one little thing to do tonight and for the next week,” said Norman, a brand ambassador for F45, an innovative fitness franchise attempting to add its programming into U.S. country clubs. “Stand at the basin to brush your teeth. Do you stand vertical or do you bend over the basin? Try this, stand on one leg and brush your teeth from start to finish and keep your balance. I bet you can’t do it. Then wake up in the morning and do it with your other leg. Something as simple as that will tell you about your balance. And if my equilibrium is off, now what do I do on the golf course, do I sway away from the golf ball?
Norman urged all players to become “CEO’s” of their own bodies to help improve their golf games.
“No matter if you are the No. 1 player in the world or whether you are a 27 or 30 handicap we are at an advantage by understanding flexibility, and the strengths and weaknesses of our bodies,” said Norman, a two-time major champion who is CEO of Liv Investments, which is backing a double-digit tournament schedule on the Asian Tour. “Golf is an easy game quite honestly, we just make it hard. We screw it up in a lot of different ways. We overanalyze it, but we also don’t prepare our bodies correctly for the game of golf.
“The power-to-weight ratio today in the game of golf is just phenomenal. You look at some of these guys on the PGA Tour who weigh 165 pounds and they hit the ball 340 yards. Why? Because of their power-to-weight ratio; they understand the strength of the right muscles to work on and they understand the flexibility, but they also become a CEO of their own body.”
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Norman said it’s simple to track some of your own simple body movements and how that could affect your overcall fitness and golf game.
“How do you get out of bed every morning? How do you lay down at nighttime? Understand how you sit in the car driving to golf course, do you lean to the right or do you lean to the left?” Norman said. “It all tells you how to become in tune with your body. I have been focused on balance since 1991. Every golfer can improve, no matter your stature or quality of your golf swing. It doesn’t take much to improve by improving your body.”
LYLE & SCOTT MAKING RESURGENCE
In the 1960s, Lyle & Scott was at the forefront of golf design, and Hall of Famers Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman won British Opens wearing the fashionable Scotland-based brand.
Lyle & Scott are itching to get back to golfing relevance, making a splash at the 69th PGA Show with a new clothing line to be released July 1. Company executives Richard “Dickie” Prosser and Chris Somerton are leading that specific charge.
"Golf is an iconic part of our business, it’s part of our DNA. History doesn’t lie, it tells the truth of where we’ve been in the past but we’re certainly looking toward the future of golf," Prosser said. "We’ve made Lyle & Scott an iconic lifestyle brand. The plan now is to make our golf brand be more iconic. It is part of our strategic priority in the next five years to grow golf and the business is 100 percent behind us to do that.”
Somerton said the brand began targeting the U.S. golf market prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and have benefitted from the increased amount of golf interest.
“It has certainly helped, and people have come back to golf that maybe recognize Lyle & Scott as an historic golf brand, that recognize what we do, but it also gives us a huge number of new people that come into golf that we can educate about us as a brand,” he said. “They maybe also are aware of us as a fashion brand and then find out we have a golf brand and transfer us into their new golfing life. It is more fuel and acceleration to go fast at this thing.”
While Lyle & Scott clothing is worn by players on the European and Asian tours, Prosser and Somerton have a goal of targeting a top player or players on the PGA Tour as soon as possible.
“We are massively privileged to have some of the biggest icons in golf to have worn Lyle & Scott in Norman and Nicklaus,” Somerton said. “It’s not something far away and out of reach, they wore our brand within recent history and it’s our job to make sure we repeat that in the future, that we go back to being one of the influential golf fashion brands. We want to dress the best players in the world and have had them win major championships. That’s our ambition.”
Prosser said having a PGA Tour star wear the Lyle & Scott brand would increase visibility and add additional relevance.
“That excites us, but you want the right players,” he said. “We’re creating a PGA Tour portfolio that will give us the reach we want for the U.S. market, but the thing is we want players to embrace our culture and the history and how forward thinking we are with our products. We don’t’ want a player who is going to be safe. We want a tour player who is going to make some noise, who may wear a windjammer hoodie, a player who is confident in his style. And with the young kids coming through now there is an opportunity to do that. And if we get the right player that has a big social media platform then our brand could explode.”
ECCO'S BIOM MESHES PERFORMANCE, COMFORTABILITY
Ecco’s latest update to its Biom line of golf shoe will be released in April, with premium and performance leather features and 360 degrees of breathability and waterproofing.
“The air pockets on the side sole of the shoe pulls the air in and allows it to exhaust out, allowing for super breathability,” said Ecco spokeswoman Shanna Benson. “But my favorite addition to its Biom Pro predecessor is the super structure sock, making for an easy in and out of the shoe. We all want that. And the outsole is our motion grip, providing great stability, traction and rotational support.”
The Biom C4 golf shoe will be released in three colors — silver gray, white concrete and white black — at a retail price of $230.
The European footwear brand’s golf shoe collection was put on the map by Fred Couples at the 2010 Masters when he debuted the Ecco Street Golf Shoe — a moment many credit for the hybrid golf shoe movement that has led to sneaker- and street-shoe-like golf shoes becoming more popular than traditional silhouettes. The brand teamed up with ambassadors Henrik Stenson and Erik van Rooyen earlier this month to design two new golf shoes.
“Golf is one of the strongest parts of our company right now,” Benson said. “We really have a high standard when it comes to golf and we take it seriously. Our owners absolutely adore playing the game and they love and support golf. It’s amazing that we’ve only been in the golf shoe business since 1996, but we really, really take every feature and benefit and technology to the next level.”
Many of Ecco’s golf shoes can cross over and double as a casual model.
“During the pandemic people have wanted to go the leisure route so they are looking more into a golf-hybrid shoe,” Benson said. “We actually started that thought process years ago and people have come to us looking for a wearable outsole for both on and off the golf course, and we have seen that trend consistently in the golf world. It makes it that much better.”