Part One – Hard Goods
By Barry Lotz
This year’s show was the busiest and most well-attended Show I have been to in the last five years. It was interesting to see how the economics of the Show have changed. Especially as to how previous long-time exhibitors, particularly the smaller vendors, do not have booths anymore, but attend the Show to meet and greet their customers. Many exhibitors are sharing booth space, as the cost of exhibiting has skyrocketed.
Many of the exhibitors should not be there simply because their products will never gain traction, are gimmicks and the owners do not understand that markets create businesses, businesses don’t create markets.
It’s really a great time to be a golfer! The technology, just over the past few years, has changed radically. The key point is that with all the new products, whether balls, irons, drivers, shoes, putters or wedges, you can and must be custom fitted. Take advantage of all the new technology and products heretofore non-existent and improve your enjoyment and lower your scores.
Drivers today still lead the demand in equipment sales. Now you can find the right shaft and decide what it is exactly that you want out of a driver in terms of dispersion, sound, feel, shot pattern, draw or fade tendency. Seek and ye shall find.
The stars, aka busiest booths of the Show this year, were most definitely Callaway, PING, Cobra, Tour Edge and TNP Shafts.
Callaway’s new Rogue line of drivers, irons, fairway woods, hybrids, putters and wedges are simply their best products to date. Upcoming articles will feature each product line separately.
PING’s new G400Max and Vault Putters drew both retailers and golfers on a continuous stream.
Tour Edge, golf’s best kept secret, was writing orders steadily for their new HL series of clubs.
TNP Shafts had people lining up both on the range at Demo Day and the hitting bays inside the exhibit hall. These shafts are the “hottest” product on the market today, and now that Jason Day won with these shafts, interest has soared for these at $500 apiece.
Cobra’s new F8 One length irons and their F8 driver are poised to garner a larger market share.
The following is a synopsis of twelve products reaping a lot of raves and attention:
GENiUS Golf Ball by Oncore Golf – once fully-developed, will utilize embedded chipset technologies to deliver a brand new golfing experience, help turn you into a better performer, and bring a data and graphical rich description of your shots to your mobile device in real-time.
INPUTT teaches the “inside-to-out” putting stroke, but more importantly, it teaches a golfer to keep the putter face square during the entire stroke. Results are immediate. www.inputtgolf.com.
Bolle Sun Glasses – Quality sun glasses for golfers. www.bolle.com
Acu-Strike Golf Mat– A golf impact training device. www.acustrikegolf.com
CaddyTrek – a new robotic, lightest-powered golf trolley that follows the golfer around the course faithfully. www.caddytrek.com.
AmpCaddy – A Bluetooth speaker that can be put on a golf cart so golfers can listen to music while they play.
ProCheck – a golf ball compression tester
Elixir Golf Balls – The ELIXR™ tour ball is built using a tri-phase architecture that combines proprietary chemical blends and advanced material elements to create the ultimate golf ball.
Shot Scope – a GPS watch with automated performance tracking. www.shotscope.com
TecTecTec – TecTecTec produces technologically-advanced, yet affordable laser rangefinders.
Swing Station – A full game training aid in one small package. www.swingstationgolf.com
SuperSpeed Golf training aid – Increases your distance and club speed. www.superspeedgolf.com
All of these products will be further detailed in upcoming articles within their specific categories. Part Two will feature clubs and balls, and Part Three will feature the Soft Goods that were drawing the retail buyers and golfers consistently. Stay tuned.
Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. Visit www/facebook.com/PGTAA to see all the latest mental strategies, travel and equipment reviews. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and serves both as a Consultant and Mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers” and his previous book, “How to Build Business Relationships through Golf”, updated for 2011, is still in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s best seller list. His latest book, “The Right Mind for Golf”, is now in its 7th reprint is available on Amazon and at the Torrey Pines golf course.