For many not just here but around the globe, 2010 marks the end of a tumultuous year. After reeling from the economic disaster on Wall Street (sorry Gordon, greed is not good), extreme weather, a massive oil spill, foreclosures galore, political unrest and government leaks, many are probably glad to stick a fork in 2010.
In golf, we have a new number #1 ranked golfer on both the PGA and LPGA tour, but for two entirely different reasons. Some golf club companies (Nickent and Yes!) won’t be around to showcase their wares this coming year after filing for bankruptcy while one major manufacturer is being shopped around. Despite the doom and gloom, Hireko fared well because we kept to our core value by making clubs affordable and yet technology / performance driven.
Get Your Groove On
At the start of the year, there was a hullabaloo about the shape of grooves for the elite or professional golfers and what it would do to the scoring. That confusion eventually trickled down to the average golfer and for the first time, not all golfers would play under the same set of rules. But as time passed, professional golfers adapted to the modified grooves to the point that we have to ask if this was much ado about nothing. This was evident by statistics that remain relatively unchanged plus all of the professional golfer’s low rounds of 60 or below which were witnessed more frequently than prior to the groove rule change. As for the average golfer, apathy set in. Of course if you are a golf club manufacturer that might be a different story by tooling up and putting different quality assurances in place to meet the new groove guidelines that will not make one iota of a difference in the end. (Boy, I think am going to need another Tylenol).
One trend I thought would be long gone by now was “white”. Now, this is coming from a guy whose favorite color is plaid. White grips and then white putters were just a start of things to come. What could have been a gigantic end of the year white sale ended up being a white out and we are not talking about the white stuff blanketing half of the US. For next year expect more white grips along with white shafts and white heads of all kinds. I guess white is finally now the new black.
Another trend that gained in popularity for 2010 that will remain very strong for next year is “light”. No, not light like the opposite of dark, but the other light referring to reduced weight. We saw grips introduced that were
very light – as little at 20g (Winn Lite), not to mention even lighter and lighter shafts in both steel and graphite entering the market at a hare’s pace. We will also see some lighter weight driver heads to complement the “Lighten Up” theme for 2011, which is the quest of overall reduced weight, faster swing speed and ultimately mo’ distance.
Drivers touted as having an overall weight of 300g may not seem like a big deal as it will be possible to see drivers barely tipping the scales in the 270g range with all the components that will become available to clubmakers and consumers alike. Don’t think the light revolution will be limited to drivers either as you might need an anchor for your golf bag next year so it doesn’t float away.
Gaze into the Crystal Ball
What does 2011 have in store for you? Well I don’t want to spoil some of the fun, but Hireko is poised to be the industry leader in components. We will remain fresh with new content to keep customers abreast of the latest trends in components, clubmaking and clubfitting. We will back it up by offering products to help you along the way become more proficient on the course or in the workshop. In a year from now we will have to see if any or all of these revelations came true.
So Bye, Bye 2010! I look forward to seeing what 2011 has in store for all of us. Best wishes and Happy New Year to all.