Recognized as the preeminant amateur team event, the Walker Cup is a men's amateur competition played every other year between a squad from the United States and another representing Great Britain and Ireland. It always features some of the very best young players who you will soon be watching compete on professional tours around the world. While there are many differences between the two sides, when this year's 42nd Walker Cup Match was played at the 6,846-yard Merion Golf Club, the 10 players on each side had one very important equipment choice in common...they all chose to wear the new FJ ICON golf shoes from FootJoy. The teams chose two styles each, one for the morning fourball matches and one for the afternoon singles matches. The United States team, which defeated the GB&I team 16.5 - 9.5 to win for the third consecutive time, wore the FJ ICON white pebble, traditional saddle (style #52005) during the morning matches and the new white and black sport saddle (style #52070) during the afternoon. The GB&I team opted for custom shoes through FootJoy's MyJoys program that featured their team logo on the heel of the shoes. They also wore the white pebble traditional saddle in the morning but opted for a white and black saddle (style #52039) in the afternoon. Overall, it was the third consecutive win for the Americans, who now hold a 34-7-1 all-time record in the Walker Cup. Check out some images below. [Gallery: 09walker_cup]
Another stunning day at the TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts as the top 100 players in the world made final preparations for the Deutsche Bank Championship. Once again we were collecting feedback on the new FJ ICON line and working with the players to design some custom shoes through the MyJoys program. We shot some video wth the players talking about the custom process and options that we'll share in the next few weeks. In the meantime, click on the image below to see some highlights from Thursday.
We were on the range Tuesday at the PGA Tour's second playoff event, the Deutsche Bank Championship. We were not only checking in with our FootJoy players but also set up a large display to show them the full line of FJ ICON styles and all the options available through the MyJoys program. In short, the players were thrilled! Check out the pictures from Wednesday and we'll post video next week so you can hear what players such as David Toms, Charley Hoffman, John Merrick and Jason Bohn think of FootJoy's new flagship product and all the custom options!
FootJoy was once again the #1 shoe and glove at the United States Amateur Championship, contested last week at Southern Hills Country Club. In fact, 45% of the field relied on the comfort and stability of Tour-tested FootJoy shoes like FJ ICON, SYNR-G and DryJoys, while 35% counted on FJ gloves like PureTouch Limited, StaSof and Sciflex to keep their grip secure as the temperature, and the pressure, escalated. Both participants in the grueling 36-hole final round wore FootJoy shoes and gloves and the champion became one of the first winners in FJ ICON. The youngest competitor to ever win the championship at age 17, he wore the black and white sport pattern, style #52070. The champion earns an exemption into next year's U.S. Open and British Open and, if tradition holds, he'll be invited to play in the Masters, too. Not bad for a kid who's still a senior in high school."I can't believe it. I just won," said the winner, who was missing the first week of school at Bradenton (Fla.) Preparatory Academy to play in the tournament. "I've said it before, but my goal was to make it to the first round and then somehow I made it this far. I think I got lucky."
For months, you've heard us talking about the millions of ways you'll be able to customize FJ ICON once they're available in MyJoys (September). Well, we recently ordered some samples we'll be taking to the Deutsche Bank Championship next week to show the players as they begin to customize their own, and thought we would share them with you as well. These are some of the first samples off the line and they look incredible! Click on Comments and let us know what you think. Which is your favorite?
Michael Sim collected his third win of the season Sunday at the Nationwide Tour's Christmas in October Classic, earning him an immediate promotion to the PGA TOUR and recognition as the first professional to win in the new FJ ICON golf shoes. The 24-year-old Sim, wearing FJ ICON style #52005, ended the week at 20-under 264, posting a rhythmic 65-67-65-67 pattern that included only two bogeys, one each on Thursday and Friday. The victory gives Sim an instant promotion to the PGA TOUR this year and will make him fully exempt on Tour next year, just the ninth player in Tour history to earn the promotion.Sim, the former No. 1-ranked amateur in the world, also broke Troy Matteson's single-season earnings record of $495,009 set in 2005. He has eclipsed the record in just 12 starts and is averaging a whopping $43,923 for every week he tees it up."It's very relieving," said Sim, who collected his second win at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in mid-May. "I'd been in this position before and I wasn't able to get it done. I tried to stay in the moment as best I could. In Omaha I found it really difficult to stay focused on the last day. Fortunately I learned how to deal with those distractions. I did everything right today."To learn more about FJ ICON, click here to see the styles, click here to visit the new FJ ICON microsite and click here to read an interview with Jack Erickson, VP of Golf Footwear for FootJoy.
Just a quick scan through the field yesterday revealed even more players wearing the new FJ ICON as well as SYNR-G and several other popular FootJoy styles. In fact, 53% of the field at the final major championship of 2009 are wearing FootJoy golf shoes, more than double the nearest competitor. Click on the images below to see some of the FJ players in action on Thursday.
Fellow blogger Sean at the Khaki Crusader recently had an opportunity to test and review the new FJ ICON on one of the country's finest courses, The Kittansett Club. Click here to check out Sean's written and video review of style #52096.
John Senden picked up a pair of new FJ ICON style #52146 last week in Grand Blanc and wore them all four rounds. John shot a final round 70 to finish in a tie for 2nd place at 17-under par.
We've got more photos from our FJ folks onsite at Turnberry! Pretty busy few days for everyone at the Open Championship, especially the players as they make final preparations for tomorrow's opening round. One of my favorite sayings is that you can't win a major on Thursday, but you can certainly lose one! Can't wait to see how this event unfolds, starting tomorrow morning.
Click here to begin the slideshow.:
Check out the action from Tuesday at the Open Championship where we saw several players wearing their new FJ ICONS!
Hunter Mahan finished runner-up at the AT&T National this week, following a sensational final round 8-under 62 on Sunday. Mahan, wearing FJ ICON style #52112, carded six birdies on the back nine en route to tying the course record that was set on Thursday. It was his third straight finish in the top six.
Click on the image below to hear Hunter's thoughts following the round.
[by Guy Smith, Acushnet Company European Tour Rep]
With the Race To Dubai really heating up, the two highest placed FootJoy shoe wearers, Rory McIlroy and Ross Fisher, positions 3 & 4 respectively, are sitting out the French Open this week in preparation for the Open Championship at Turnberry in two weeks time. This will open the door to the other 10 FootJoy shoe wearers currently in the Race To Dubai top 20 to catch up to them.
Last year's winner, Pablo Larrazabal is really looking forward to defending the title he won last year. It is turning into a very special week for the Larrazabal family, as Pablo's brother, Alex, has joined him in the French Open field after qualifying for the tournament last week. This is exactly what Pablo did last year before storming to an emphatic victory over the Golf National course to claim his first European Tour title and helped him to become the Sir Henry Cotton, Rookie of the Year. Can lightning strike twice!?
Another player who loves this tournament is FootJoy wearer Soren Hansen, he finished in third place last year. He was in fine form this week and looking to improve on last years finish.
The big story of the week has been the launch of the FJ ICON shoes to the European Tour. Players came to visit the Titleist Tour Support Vehicle to collect their new shoes, and only positive responses were heard. The majority of comments included how light the shoes felt and how comfortable they were. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these on the players this week and the next few weeks. More styles will be released to the players at The Open Championship.
One player already wearing the FJ ICON shoe is Ian Poulter. It was good to see him again in Europe after a long spell across the Pond on the USPGA Tour. Ian will certainly fancy his chances this week as he has been showing some great form and can't be too far away from a win. He is joined in the field by Angel Cabrera, who will be looking to add to his Masters crown earlier in the season and SYNR-G and FootJoy PureTouch wearer, Padraig Harrington.
This summer, FootJoy will set a new standard for luxurious golf footwear with the introduction of FJ ICON. Created with design inspiration from FootJoy's deep heritage in the game while integrating proven technological advancements such as memory foam and a perforated alloy stability bridge, FJ ICON delivers beautiful, traditional style, a comfortable fit and tremendous stability.
We recently spoke with FootJoy's Vice President of Golf Footwear, Jack Erickson, about the research and development of FJ ICON. Jack is responsible for FootJoy’s global footwear development process- from initial concept through final production.
Click here to see all the styles. Click here to see players who wore FJ ICON at THE PLAYERS and click here to see all the styles on FootJoy.com.
What was your role in the development of FJ ICON?
My role was to ensure that our team stayed focused on developing FJ's new ultra-premium golf shoe. I work closely with the Design/Development, Product Management Teams and Tour Department from start to finish.
What was the inspiration behind the FJ ICON?
To be honest, we draw inspiration from every shoe we've developed over the last 100+ years and we believe FJ ICON embodies the best of FJ - finely tailored upper designs, premium materials, performance-infused outsoles and seemingly endless customization options. Like those that came before it, the FJ ICON shoes have been in development for literally years now so it is impossible to pick out a specific time or specific inspiration that triggered the concept. In truth, this project has been a collaboration of the ideas, suggestions, lengthy discussions and debates from our entire product development team, as well as ongoing feedback from Tour players. To simplify, we strive to make great products that will exceed the expectations of those who are most in tune with their feet and require elite performance products: Tour players.
The ultimate goal was to produce elite-level shoes for elite players, period. One of the benefits of having an extensive line of shoes that covers all major pricepoints and satisfies golfers of all abilities, is that when working on a project such as this, we don't have to start from scratch. In fact, we have incorporated several proven features from other categories into the process of creating the FJ ICON line. For example, we have utilized the proprietary waterproof technology from DryJoys as well as comfort and stability features from the tour-proven SYNR-G category. As for the upper patterns, it was a natural progression to draw inspiration from our strong Classics heritage yet have the vision to also create looks that have a contemporary flair. As a result, we accomplished the goal of developing a new premium, high-performance category of golf shoes that exemplifies tradition and performance.
Do you see FJ ICON as a replacement for Classics or the evolution of Classics? How and why?
No. FJ ICON shoes were never meant to replace Classics. They are also not the evolution of our Classics franchise. They are an entirely new category of performance golf footwear with styling that will appeal to a golfer seeking a golf shoe with traditional design.
Explain some of the key features in the FJ ICON shoes?
What is the significance behind the name FJ ICON?
The FJ ICON moniker suits this category perfectly. This collection is our new flagship product– the styles will represent our rich heritage as THE iconic footwear brand in golf. In addition, we already have many of the best players in the world wearing these shoes- several of whom are considered to be today’s icons of the game.
What type of golfer is the FJ ICON targeted towards?
Golfers who demand superior stability, comfort and traditional/contemporary styling.
What's been some of the feedback from the Tour players?
We have been developing FJ ICON shoes for a select group of Tour players for some time now and the response continues to be phenomenal. In fact, the first prototypes we tested with Tour players featured the new FJ ICON outsole with a stock upper pattern and no discernible FootJoy branding. These were made 'under the radar' just to get initial feedback on the performance aspect of the shoes. We were pleasantly surprised to see several of the players, including Camilo Villegas, Ian Poulter, Davis Love, Hunter Mahan and David Toms immediately put these prototypes into play during tournament rounds! It spoke volumes about the confidence players had in the shoes' performance. Overall, the feedback from the tour players has been tremendous - they have expressed excitement about the performance, fit and comfort, upper designs and virtually limitless customization capabilities.
Listen, you don't have to take my word for it, click here to check out some images from THE PLAYERS Championship. This was the first week production-spec FJ ICON shoes were made available to our players and several put them into play right away, including runner-up and fashion icon, Ian Poulter.
The launch of FJ ICON is happening right before your very eyes. You're seeing the new standard in luxurious performance golf shoes at the same time as the world's best players. Many Tour players saw and tested their first pair of FJ Icon at THE PLAYERS Championship. Click on the image below to see some of the many players who put them in play at the first opportunity.