The golf industry has gone through a lot of changes in the last four or five years. First, the pundits are saying the golf industry is not growing, and in certain respects they are correct. So the manufacturer’s of golf equipment are in a game of stealing market share from each other. This means more strategic introductions of new equipment at the right time of the year. What used to happen is manufacturers would introduce new clubs in the fall but not have them hit the street until February of the following year. This caused them to miss two important milestones. First, they missed fall and winter sales in the southern US markets. Second, they did not have their equipment tested during the compilation of the Golf Digest Equipment Hot List, which is published in January/February. Say what you want about the Hot List but it definitely creates a following among golfers. So we have seen a lot of new clubs and shafts being introduced in the fall.
My only issue with all of the new product introductions is that the consumer gets a little annoyed when they purchase a new set of irons or a driver in April, and the price gets reduced dramatically in July. The only good news is that most manufacturer’s are now releasing products in annual cycles (Ping, Titleist, Mizuno) while some of them (Callaway, TaylorMade) continue to release new products every six months or so. Because we are a premier fitter with most major manufacturers, we will have the new clubs in our hands for demo a couple of weeks before they are actually available for sale. So if you have not had a new driver, hybrid, irons or wedges in the last three years, you should really look at some of the new designs and technology. While distance is still the overriding design criteria, accuracy and control are what we hear most as a criteria for success with new sticks. And, getting your clubs professionally fit and built will make your performance with your new clubs even better!