Adams Golf/Southwest Airlines alliance takes off

Jeff Gross

Aaron Baddeley and Kenny Perry launched the new Adams Golf/Southwest Airlines partnership on Monday with an unusual putting contest aboard a commercial SWA flight some 35,000 feet in the air.

The PGA and Champions Tour golfers flew from Orlando to Houston -- where Baddeley is competing in this week’s Shell Houston Open -- and treated unknowing passengers to gift bags, club giveaways, and the putting competition.

"I gave it my best shot," Baddeley said in his "post-round" interview. "Kenny being experienced and old school, he definitely got a good read off my putt and he used it to the best of his ability."

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As part of the recently announced alliance between the two companies, Southwest introduced a team of eight tour players who will carry co-branded SWA/Adams golf bags this season. To promote the extra yardage Adams clubs enable ("one million yards of distance gains this year," Scott Blevins, Adams Golf’s senior VP of sales and marketing, said in a statement), the companies came up with an Easy Million gimmick that will award one lucky winner a million points in Southwest’s frequent-flyer program.

Baddeley et al will receive no financial remuneration for showing off the luggage, in Southwest’s signature blue and red colors, though they -- like everybody else’s golf bags (and other luggage) -- fly free on the only known airline to offer a golf-specific landing page.

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In addition to the pilot telling passengers the flight path would include a "slight dogleg to the left," and flight attendants donning Southwest caddie bibs, the "Quiet Please" signs from the frequent fliers in the gallery were a nice touch.

Baddeley, by the way, shot a 2-under 70 on Thursday in Houston and entered Friday’s second round just six shots back of 18-hole leader D.A. Points.

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