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Shanked! Titleist IPO lands in a rough

Golf fable Greg Norman on how to save golf

Golf is still looking for a subsequent Tiger Woods. And so are golf apparatus makers. The latest golf association to defect investors? Titleist and FootJoy owners Acushnet.

Acushnet (GOLF)shares debuted on a New York Stock Exchange Friday. The batch was usually adult 4% to around $17.70 a share in early afternoon trading. That’s a muted entrance for a new offering. But it’s even worse when we know a full story of a company.

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The association had creatively approaching to cost a shares in a operation of $21 to $24 a share. But direct was slack, forcing a association to cost during $17.

So a tiny gains for a batch are zero to write home about. It’s like finally attack a shot onto a immature — after you’ve already plunked your round in a H2O jeopardy a few times.

It’s been a prolonged highway to an IPO for Acushnet. The association was creatively partial of a aged Fortune Brands conglomerate.

Fortune Brands sole Acushnet in 2011 to South Korea’s Fila and some private equity investors.

Related: Women’s golf contest will stay during Trump-owned course

Fila motionless progressing this year that it wanted to spin off a apportionment of a Acushnet stake. The timing didn’t seem to be ideal though.

Acushnet owns some of a many tangible brands in golf. And it has arguably a best ticker pitch ever deliberation what a association does. GOLF. But golf now seems to be a four-letter unwashed word. The competition is hurting.

Even yet there are several immature stars in a diversion — Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy burst to mind — nothing of them are as widespread as Woods.

And that’s accurately what a competition needs. Another superstar. TV ratings are down. It didn’t assistance that usually a few of a top-ranked masculine golfers motionless to go to Rio to play in a Olympics — a initial time golf was in a Summer Games given 1904.

The miss of a Woods or other widespread actor like Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer (RIP Arnie!) is clearly a problem for many golf apparatus companies.

Even yet a women’s diversion is thriving, it looks like that isn’t adequate to pierce a needle for a sporting products giants.

Nike (NKE), that has Tiger Woods as an endorser, announced this summer that it was removing out of a golf apparatus business.

Related: How Arnold Palmer altered a approach sports stars done money

The House of Swoosh will no longer sell clubs and balls, though it will continue to make golf boots and other apparel.

Adidas (ADDYY) also pronounced progressing this year that it skeleton to sell a TaylorMade, Adams and Ashworth apparatus brands in sequence to concentration some-more on Adidas-branded golf apparel.

Under Armour (UA) done large waves when it sealed Spieth to a understanding a few years ago. But that association is now struggling as well.

The usually publicly traded golf association that’s indeed doing good is Callaway Golf, a builder of Big Bertha drivers and other apparatus

Shares of Callaway are adult 8% this year and a association recently reported clever earnings. But a batch has pulled behind from a highs lately.

And Callaway’s batch is still trade good next a rise prices it strike in a late 1990s as recessions in 2000 and 2008 took their toll. Golf is an costly diversion to play. So a business is not defence to mercantile slowdowns.

Related: Top golfers shunned Rio, though Callaway CEO still excited

Callaway CEO Chip Brewer certified in an talk with CNNMoney that golf is a tough business.

“You need to be a specialist,” Brewer said. “Golf apparatus is hard, though we adore it.”

But even specialists might not flower during a time when people only don’t seem as meddlesome in streamer to a links — or examination a diversion as most as they used to on TV.

Acushnet’s temperate IPO opening appears to be only a latest bit of bad news for a sport. At best, a batch is a double bogey.

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