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The golf season is over for 2009. Yes, there are still some events in the Fall Series on the PGA Tour and a few others that might prove interesting, but by in large the playing season has finished. That is also the case for recreational players throughout the United States. The Sun Belt region offers a respite for those who get the urge, have the time and money to sneak away when old man winter comes calling. Its even money that a deal will be waiting for those brave enough to go the extra mile in search of birdies and bogeys.
The recession hit many businesses pretty hard. The golf industry wasn’t immune to this. Through casual conversations I’ve had with various members of management ranks within equipment companies, the hope (my term not anyone else’s) is the market has stabilized. Its believed equipment prices have reversed in the area of 20+% overall when its all said and done in 2009. Prices also slipped in 2008 by about 10%, so the two years combined means around a third of the market has evaporated in terms of revenue potential for the club business in the United States. Promotional activity was the central theme this year as some companies decided to include a fairway wood with the purchase of a driver. Others threw in a free round of golf. You
get the idea how the market has lost a
third of its size, if those estimates prove
to be accurate.
While another year is over and many
might be happy about that, it leaves the
business of preparing for 2010. Where do
the makers of magic clubs go from here?
The first page in any equipment company’s
playbook is centered on new. As in, if its
new, it has a chance to sell. Therefore, it
should come as no surprise to those who
pay attention to these kind of things that
almost everybody and anybody has
something new in the works. FootJoy, which introduced its FJ Icon this summer announced it has the FJ Sport coming. Not to be outdone, adidas Golf an offshoot of TaylorMade has the TOUR360 4.0, which it claims is its most stable golf shoe yet!
Titleist has updated its AP1 and AP2 irons but they also have MB and CB irons to go with new Vokey wedges that conform to the new condition of competition for groove configurations in 2010. Callaway Golf has a few tricks up its sleeve as news was leaked that it has Diablo Forged irons and a new range of Odyssey putters. Justin Timberlake gave Callaway Golf’s soon-to-be-released Diablo Forged Irons a ride along with its Tour