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What Is The Secret To Success In The Golf Industry?

To survive in the retailer market, whether you are large like Edwin Watts or small like an independent clubmaking, fitting and repair shop, the key to success will be excellent customer service.

Download Hireko Golf Equipment CatalogState of the Golf Industry
Recently I saw a press release that long time retailer Edwin Watts is filing for bankruptcy.  That caught me off guard as that was one company if you wanted your products to be in it would be Edwin Watts.  I began to ask why such a well-established company is going through this ordeal and here are some of my thoughts which may or may not surprise you.

Brick and mortar trend
Let backtrack first. Sadly, the first victims in the retail golf sector were the independent or Ma and Pa retail stores, who have long since vanished.  Those were the kind of places you went for the personalized service, were convenient as you could walk out with a brand new club(s) right then and there.  With the increasing popularity of internet shopping, the convenience factor was no longer the lure to draw people into their store when purchasing was only a mouse click away.

MAP Pricing
One of the other lures that a store has to draw people in is price.  Several years ago manufacturers began implementing MAP (Minimum Advertised Pricing) and more importantly strongly enforcing it.  The penalty for a manufacturer selling below MAP is being cut off what potentially could be that one product or line that generates the bulk of their business.  Who wants to take that chance these days?

I have been on both sides of the fence.  Without MAP, you could be aggressive and negotiate price for better customers or throw in some free balls, hat or whatever.  Margins sucked though and you hoped to make it up on volume.   However, those practices are long gone as MAP pricing evened out the playing field and commoditized golf equipment.

Internet Freebies
There is a double-edged sword with a retail location.  The positive is a customer can look at, touch and feel the product and gain first-hand experience they cannot in a catalog or online. The downside is brick and mortar stores have the problem with potential customers utilizing their services and then buying elsewhere where they didn’t have to pay shipping or state taxes.  Yes, people will do this and spend 45 minutes with a sales rep (possibly tying up their launch monitor) figuring out what performed best out of a host of manufacturer’s clubs.  When it comes time for the salesperson to seal the deal, the customer says, “Let me think about it, I might be back tomorrow.”  At that point, the sales rep knows that is the kiss of death.  The customer is going online where they can save 7 to 9% on a $300 driver or $900 set of irons.  That same customer doesn’t realize that $25 or $75 doesn’t go back into their local economy and wonders why there is always a tax levy on their ballot each year.

The only way this practice will stop is if laws go into the books with uniform Internet sales tax reform.  Just don’t let our so called “representatives” in Washington DC to get their hands on one red cent of it; it should go to lower the national debt.

Limited product life cycles
Another deterrent nowadays for brick and mortar stores is the necessary evil of carrying a large assortment of inventory.  Let’s say company A releases a new model.  It takes a little time for the store to get proper stock of the most popular flexes, lofts, etc.  Edwin Watts stores were primarily in warmer weather places, but for areas north a hot new product may already be discounted by the time the peak of the season occurs.  It used to be a retailer had a couple of years that a product would be current.  Now the prices get slashed after 6 months and the retailer’s cost of goods is higher than the reduced going rate on the internet.  The manufacturer might help the retailer by giving the store free merchandise to offset their losses, but now they got more of the product people don’t want – they want the newest product.  It creates a vicious cycle for retailers.

Who is really to blame?
To a certain degree, the average consumer is because they demand newer products at a more rapid pace and the manufacturers oblige.  Believe me it is not hard to design new clubs.  You could tweak a model, change graphics and bingo you have a brand new model.  However, it is not going to be revolutionary or leaps and bounds much better than the generation or two before.   However, the biggest blame goes to shareholders of some of the major manufacturers who have flooded the market trying to gain market share. I am afraid that is an unsustainable path in the long term.  This will force more retailers to go out of business and leave only a few strong or well financed companies to act as distributors for them.  Maybe that is their end goal.

To survive in the retailer market, whether you are large like Edwin Watts or small like an independent clubmaking, fitting and repair shop, the key to success will be excellent customer service.  Golf clubs or equipment (like grips and shafts) may be commodities, but that cannot be said for customer service.  Maintaining efficient inventory levels and cash flow are two other keys.  Lastly, if you are selling on price alone, you will not survive – someone will always be willing to go lower.

2014 Datrek Golf Bags

How To Properly Store Your Clubs In Winter

Don’t just throw your clubs in the garage this winter! This helpful hints will help lengthen the life of your golf clubs

Download Hireko Golf CatalogFor all those fellow golfers who can play year round, I sure do envy you.  In my neck of the woods, sadly there becomes a time late in the year in which you can no longer play golf and need to store your golf clubs for the long winter season.  Just like the lawn mower, weedwacker or any other gas powered tool you own needs winterized, so too with your golf gear.  Here are some tips to help preserve your investment as well as have your clubs in tip top condition when spring comes, a golf vacation arises or you get a bonus day when the golf gods look down upon you where you can sneak out and play.

Give your golf clubs a good scrubbing
Don’t be the one guilty of having the dirt and grass from your last round of the year to be caked onto the face and

grooves of your clubs all winter long.  Don’t think cleaning means using the buckets at the course or driving range either; those are likely to be contaminated with fertilizer that will wreak havoc and create surface rust on your clubheads.  Use clean water with a little soap and a soft bristled brush.  Invest in a few minutes’ worth of prevention.  Finally, allow them to completely dry before sticking them back in the golf bag.

If you own one of those expensive milled putters, you might also add baby oil or Vaseline all over before putting on the head cover.  This tip will also work on unplated carbon steel wedges to prevent them from pitting and rusting. If you are storing your equipment in an area that might be humid (like a damp basement or live near the ocean), you might even want to put chrome cleaner or wipe the golf steel shafts with 000 steel wool from pitting and rusting too.

Take this time to remove the oil and dirt from your hands off the grips while you are at it unless you planned on re-gripping at the beginning of next golf season.  Again, mild soap and water and a soft bristled brush will work on all rubber grips, while rubbing alcohol on a clean rag will clean the surface on synthetics grips like Winn and SuperStroke.  Another convenient option is also the Lamkin Gripes, which I found work very well on all types of grips.

Don’t forget to clean the pockets in the bag
You’ll be surprised what you will find when you go to clean the clutter from your bag.  I doubt you need all those pencils or small broken golf tees.  Sort all the golf balls and put the natty ones in with your golf shag bag.

For the “glove” of it
Determine if your golf glove(s) have seen their final days and need thrown in the garbage or if there is still some good life to them.  Those that fit into the latter category make sure to wash them with soap and cold water, lay flat and allow to air dry for a few hours.  Put the glove(s) back over your hand to stretch them out and lastly take the glove back off and flatten them out and store them somewhere they will be easy to remember where you put them.  I like to put them in my shoe bag.

It shouldn’t be called a rain hood
Call me a fair-weather player or lucky this past year, but I can’t remember when I played in a pouring down rain that I needed to put the rain hood on the bag.  Sure, I endured a brief shower, but it didn’t require me to dig through the bag to remember which pocket it was in.  But I will tell you it is handy when it comes to end of the year storage.  It will keep the spiders or small critters from having a condominium to live in, not to mention the dust and moist air from attaching itself to your gear.  Just make sure the clubs are thoroughly dry before putting on the “storage” hood.

Winn Grips 2014

How To Eliminate Muscle or Joint Pain When Swinging a Golf Club

Change or lighten up the weight on your clubs to ease up on some of that body pain!

Download Hireko CatalogDid you purchase new equipment or have your existing golf clubs altered and all of a sudden have tennis elbow or pain in or around your shoulders?  If so, you might want to consider a change and lighten up on the weight of the golf clubs.

What is the cause of tennis elbow?  The root of the problem is using a racket that is too heavy to swing.  The same thing can occur with a golf club that is too heavy for a golfer.  Other muscles can be affected too that can be strained or worsened over repeated action as there is a lot of centrifugal forces acting upon the arms and body when swinging a golf club.

Avon Grips 2014 LineI confess I like to experiment with golf equipment.  As a matter of fact, it has been more than a decade (maybe much longer) since I went out and played the exact set of clubs or configuration.  I guess that is the hazard of my duties as a technical director at a golf club component company.  Recently I decided to add weight to the heads of my golf irons and golf wedges to make them quasi-MOI matched to my #5-iron rather swingweight matched.  In a nutshell, it makes the clubs have a progressively heavier swingweight (roughly 0.5 point per club) as they become shorter.

While that doesn’t seem like a lot of weight (I think the PW needed 3 swingweights or a little more than 6 grams), it did take its toll on my rotary cuff.  After a couple of rounds of golf and a trip or two to the range, I was experiencing pain I hadn’t had before.  That small amount of weight was compounded as it was located 3 feet from my wrists and another 2 feet from my shoulders.  While I did strike the ball quite well with the added weight it just wasn’t worth the soreness that lingered.  The experiment ended and a lesson learned that I thought I might share with you.

 

Why Are Wedges Heavier Than Irons?

The heavier weight of golf wedges provides more momentum with shorter swings thereby helping get the ball up and out around the green

Acer WedgesIf you look at the swingweight specification for the name brand wedges you will notice they are higher in relationship to the numbered irons.  This is for a very good reason as often times golf wedges are played from thicker grass and soft sand where the additional weight will help plow through those conditions.  In addition, the wedges are not all swung with a full swing.  The additional weight provides momentum on short ¾ and waist high swings as well as retains a certain amount of heft when the player chokes down on the grip.

Many golfers simply don’t possess the fine motor skills in the hands, wrists and arms to take something that is light in their hands and make those delicate little pitch or chips shots around the green.  The results are those chili dips, double chips or even “skulling” the ball over the green that lead to wasted shots, a high score, fits of rage, broken shafts and the threat to quit the game.

If you often find yourself, a fellow player or customer who has problems around the greens on a routine basis, start looking at increasing both swingweight and overall weight.  It may be as simple as adding weight to the head via lead foil tape, a heavier shaft, mid weight or longer length. Hireko’s standard golf wedge lengths will be the same even though the head weights gradually increase.  However, many name brand manufacturers will decrease the golf wedges in ¼” lengths to maintain swingweights to 2-4 points higher than the rest of the set.  This is why there is no magic formula when it comes to wedge fitting as it comes down to an individual basis. Don’t worry if it may take a D8 swingweight to accomplish a player’s goal; it is the final outcome that matters most.

Download Hireko CatalogAnother alternative
Many golfers may cringe when they hear the word golf chipper, but in some cases it can be a vital club for those with woes around the green.  The heads are generally heavier than a typical wedge to encourage following through by providing more momentum. The argument from naysayers is that it takes the space of one other club in the set.  Taking a longer low-lofted club and trying to chip the ball over a small mound and land near the hole won’t cut the mustard a lot of the times.  Plus, by choking down doesn’t provide enough heft in the player’s hands.  If adding a chipper saves 2, 3 or more strokes from occurring during a round, it is well worth replacing a less-often used club in the bag.

There are simply too many choices a customer has in regards to equipment available today plus the ability of being fit to accept poor results from off-the-shelf products.  The fact is most shots wasted in a round of golf come from 100 yards and in making wedge fitting important or at least the time to experiment to see if improvements can be made.

> CLICK HERE TO SHOP FOR HIREKO GOLF COMPONENT CLUBHEAD WEDGES!

Free Golf Pride Merchandise

Understanding Shaft Geometry and the Effects on Ball Flight

Key Golf Shaft Variables To Learn When Shopping For Your Next Set of Clubs or Re-Shaft Project

Following our back-to-school theme, last week I spoke about how the geometric shape of your putter grip could improve you putting.  Today, we are going to switch to golf shafts and show you a few things to look for when looking to re-shaft or purchase your next set of clubs.

Did you ever wonder why certain golf shafts hit the ball higher or to the left or right more than others? This has to do with a number of parameters, one of which is the shape or geometry of the shaft.  Let’s take for example parallel tip steel iron shafts. The majority of men’s flex parallel tip steel iron shafts have a tip diameter of 0.370” so they can fit into numerous heads across the industry and a butt diameter of 0.600” to accommodate the majority of golf grips.  The geometry between these areas is what alters the ball flight.

Golf Shaft AnatomyIf you look at steel iron shafts, each model has its’ own unique step pattern.  The stepping is done to change diameters or the rate of taper and ultimately the geometry of the shaft.  The same thing occurs on non-stepped shafts as well; the shaft becomes larger in diameter from the tip to the butt end.

Download Hireko CatalogThe step pattern may be constant, like the True Temper TT Lite with consistent 1.5” steps or an FST 115 with 1” steps.  The shaft might have variable steps such as an Apollo Shadow with 9 small ½” steps and then increasingly larger steps as you go toward the butt end. The stepping helps to identify a model.

Why does a more flexible shaft hit the ball higher in the same pattern of shaft?  This goes back to geometry as the step pattern will be the same, but the more flexible shaft will have a longer parallel tip section and shorter parallel butt section. Since the shaft is skinnier near the tip, it will allow the shaft the bend further forward prior to impact creating more dynamic loft and/or a more closed face. Conversely, if you want to stiffen a parallel tip shaft, you do so by taking more off of the tip and that will resist the forward bending.

Less than a year ago, we added a piece of equipment to help us measure shafts more precisely.  We have measured quite a few shafts already. Two of which are the Apollo Acculite 85 S-flex and a True Temper Dynalite Gold SL S-flex.  These might not be common shafts that our readers have had an opportunity to hit, but both are listed a high launching by the respectively manufacturers, had nearly the identical final frequency for a 5-iron and they are pretty close in cut weight (Acculite 85 at 87.3g and Dynalite Gold SL at 93.1g).  On paper these would appear to be similar.

Our shaft profiler measures the deflection or stiffness along the length of the shaft so you get more of a complete picture.  The following chart shows the deflection of the two shafts with the left side showing the tip end and the right side is the butt. More flex is indicated when the line is higher on the chart.

Tip Stiffness

From about 14” up from the tip to the butt end, these two shafts are nearly identical. Where you can see the main difference is tip section as the Dynalite Gold SL being much stiffer.  This is due to the fact that the shaft tapers quickly.  Instead of the entire parallel tip section remaining 0.370” up to the first step, both of these shafts has a tapered section before the first step to give them stability.  Just underneath the 1st step the Acculite 85 is 0.400”, but the Dynalite Gold SL is a whopping 0.445” below the first step!

That explains the difference as the larger cross section or shaft diameter, the stiffer the shaft becomes.  I shafted these up into identical heads and head to the range for me and others to hit as we could look at the effect on ball flight when one area of the shaft is decidedly different.  What we witnessed was the Acculite 85 would hit the ball more to the left than the Dynalite Gold SL (we were all right handed).  For those that fade or push the ball would prefer the Acculite 85 as the softer tip will help close the face at impact.  For those that pull or draw will prefer the Dynalite Gold SL. Or is it simple as that?

The reason I bring this question up has to do with clubhead selection.  While we saw a definite change in ball flight between the two shafts in the same head, we could have placed the Dynalite Gold SL in a head with more offset and the Acculite 85 in a model with less offset and you might hit the ball the same direction and height.  Just as easily, we could have had placed the Acculite 85 in a high offset head and created a draw or hook and the Dynalite Gold SL in a low offset head and produced a fade or slice.

Remember that a club is a system consisting of the head, shaft, grip and length. This is where fitting is extremely important and how our QuikFit system can help identify combinations of heads and shafts that will work harmoniously with a given player’s swing.  But now you may look at the shaft geometry in a different perspective and understand better why you may like or not like a certain shaft or why.

SK Fiber Wraith Golf Shaft

Tip For Swingweighting Taper Tip Steel Shafts With Tip Pins With Video Demonstration!

Hireko Golf Technical Director Demonstrates A Quick And Easy Way To Swingweight Taper Tip Steel Shafts

Lead Tip Pins For Steel Golf ShaftsThose lead tip pins you bought for steel iron shafts aren’t going to fit inside a 0.355” taper tip steel shaft – no way, no how! Those were developed for 0.370” parallel tip shafts only.  Sure, you can use tungsten powder, a cork and a ram rod but there is one other solution you might not have thought of to swingweight 0.355” taper tip steel iron shafts.

OK, I’ll admit our labeling of certain products could be a little better.  One of those examples is for the lead tip pins for steel wood shafts. If you are asking “Who still uses steel wood shafts anymore?” all I can say is they come in might handy for 0.355” taper tip steel iron shafts too.  These tip pins will fit the inside of the taper tipped steel shaft rather loosely, but the head on the pin will prevent it from going up and down the shaft as it will get trapped between the tip of the shaft and the bottom of the hosel.  Just make sure not to pound the head onto the shaft too much during installation otherwise you could break off the head of the tip pin.

To take up the slack, you can take a 7/8” long strip of ½” wide lead tape and wrap it around the stem.  You could always use masking tape as well.  In either case epoxy will fill up the void, eliminate any rattling and most importantly increase the swingweight to your desired setting.

VIEW VIDEO BLOG BELOW ON HOW TO SWINGWEIGHT TAPER TIP STEEL SHAFTS WITH TIP PINS!

> SHOP HERE FOR TAPER TIP STEEL GOLF SHAFTS

Taper Tip Steel Shafts

Should You Ditch the Driver?

Power Play Warp Speed Brassie Fairway WoodWinner of 2013 British Didn’t Carry a Driver!


Golfers can learn a lot by watching the pros from a game management standpoint.  Take for example the winner of this year’s British Open championship who didn’t even carry a golf driver.  Sure these guys are long, but there was a lot of trouble lurking in and around the fairway requiring them to position the ball off the tee.

At Hireko Golf, we offer a number of products to help golfers at all levels.  One such product is the Power Play Warp Speed Brassie.  The large footprint at address gives the player a sense of more confidence off of the tee, plus will be more accurate than a typical 3-wood. The shorter assembly length should allow golfers to make more solid contact on the face with minimized face angle errors at impact compared to their driver.  Sure, you may not be as long, but if the ball goes out 220 yards and lands in the fairway versus 235 yards to the right in the second cut of Download Hireko Golf Equipment Catalogrough, not only are you going to be closer to the hole on their next shot, but it will be an easier shot too.

This is just a friendly reminder of one specialized product to help you (or one of your customers) lower your score if the number of fairways hit is becoming more of an irregularity or non-existent. If a pro winning a major championship can leave both his golf driver and ego in the parking lot, then any golfer can.

> CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE POWER PLAY WARP SPEED BRASSIE FAIRWAY WOOD!

SK Fiber Wraith Graphite Shaft

Hireko’s Golf Putter Buyers Guide

Choosing the proper golf putter should come down to the player’s tendencies on the green more so than appearance. 

Hireko has a large selection of golf putters available and selecting the right one for your or your customer’s game might sound like an intimidating challenge. Here are a few thoughts I want to share with you for the secrets to the proper selection.

Download Hireko Golf Equipment CatalogAre you left handed?
This might be your most important question to ask.  Why?  Simply because not every model can be produced in left hand and make it profitable no matter what company you are talking about.  If you happen to putt as a southpaw, then you will have fewer choices, but at least those will be among our best-selling models.

What are your golf shot tendencies?
Choosing the proper putter should come down to the player’s tendencies on the green more so than appearance.  However, players who purchase a golf putter often do so by impulse and that is reason garages and basements are cluttered with flatsticks that didn’t make the grade out on the course.

Golf Putter Head weight and size
Forgiveness of a putter is what helps those miss-hit putts fall in rather than lip out and is a simple function of the putter’s weight and its dimensions. Simply put, a heavier putter is less likely to twist on a heel and toe shot than the same sized and shaped putter that is lighter.  Plus if you have two of the same weight putters, the one with more weight toward the heel and toe and back will be more forgiving too.

Remember we talked about tendencies?  Here is a key point.  If one races the ball past the hole all the time, then they need a putter head that weighs less than what they are currently using.  This type of person may have to give up some left and right directional control for distance control.  Conversely, golfers continually short of the hole will benefit from a heavier putter head.  Never up, never in!

Hosel ConfigurationHosel configuration
Hosel configuration can be broken down into two categories; hosel type and shaft axis location.  In each of those categories are subcategories.  For instance the hosel type may feature an offset plumber’s neck, slant neck, long neck, short neck, a tiny post or tang that the shaft fits over or a socket that may require a curved putter shaft. This controls the amount of offset (if any) in the putter that controls side-to-side direction.

A center shafted or heel shafted putter are two examples of the Putter Shaft Axisshaft’s axis location.  But what we are more interested in where upper portion of the shaft would intersect the face.  Even though a curved shaft or plumber’s neck may be located closer to the heel, the shaft axis will pass closer to the middle of the face.

The importance for this has an effect on the amount of toe hang a golf putter may have.   If you balanced your putter over your finger, you will see that either the toe of the putter will point to the ground (toe hang) or it may point straight toward the ceiling (called face balanced).

Golf Putter Toe HangWhile you may have noticed this phenomenon, you may not understand what the importance is. Certain strokes benefit from varying degrees of toe hang.  Golfers that have more of a straight back / straight through stroke will typically putt better with a face balanced or nearly face balanced putter.

The majority of golfers will have a slight arcing putt. This may be referred to as an open gate-close gate swing, inside-square-inside, etc.  Basically the club, as it travels backwards in the takeaway, goes inside and opens. The putter returns along the same path and then at one precise time the face is square (hopefully at impact) before returning on an inside path and the face closing on the follow through.

Golfers who have a pronounced arc path or more of an exaggerated inside-square-inside stroke generally prefer heel-shafted putters, which will have a large amount of toe hang. We have included a chart to categorize each of the putters we offer.

Golf Putting Arc

Style
Once you have selected the grouping of heads that fit your or your customer’s putting stroke and level of forgiveness, now is the time to finalize the selection based on the appearance or special features.  Realize the majority of mallet design putters will be face balanced where anything heel-shafted will have a high toe hang. If you prefer a belly or near-belly length or opt for a broomstick or side saddle stroke, we have putters for that as well. Our Dynacraft SPOT putter is a model in which you can change the hosel offset and shaft axis position to suit all styles of strokes.

Face Treatment
Some of the putters offer different striking surfaces.  For instance, a select number of our putters have inserts that would be softer than the body of the head.  The softest inserts will be in the Bionik 500 series putters, while aluminum will be a little firmer.  The Acer i-Sight series putters have microgroove to help reduce friction for better roll.  Lastly, the two Dynacraft Hindsight putters offer roll face technology and a grooved face for the truest roll of any our putters.

Final thoughts
While you have chosen the proper style of putter head to suit your game, don’t forget about having the length sized correctly so you or your customer is in a comfortable athletic posture and has their eyes over the ball to help with alignment as that is the number one reason for missed putts.  While we talked about head weight, think of overall weight as well.  Golfers that are “wristy” and have directional control issues could benefit from counter-balancing and/or a larger grip.  Hireko offers products to help with both as we have a large selection of putter grips (some of which are heavy and act as a counterbalance) as well counterweights.

Brand

Model

Stroke

Forgiveness

Hand

Weight

Dynacraft

SPOT

All

Medium

RH

355

Value

Two-Way

All

Very Low

RH/LH

300

Acer

I-Sight San Miguel

Pronounced Arc

Medium

RH/LH

350

iBella

Volare

Pronounced Arc

Medium

RH

370

Acer

I-Sight Anacapa

Slight Arc

Medium

RH/LH

350

Acer

I-Sight Santa Barbara

Slight Arc

Medium

RH/LH

350

Bionik

101

Slight Arc

Medium

RH/LH

330

Bionik

105

Slight Arc

Medium

RH

320

Bionik

501

Slight Arc

Medium-High

RH

355

Bionik

502

Slight Arc

Medium-High

RH/LH

330

Bionik

503

Slight Arc

High

RH/LH

330

Bionik

504

Slight Arc

High

RH/LH

335

Bionik

505

Slight Arc

High

RH

360

Bionik

101 Nano

Slight Arc

Medium

RH/LH

330

Bionik

105 Nano

Slight Arc

Medium

RH

320

Value

Black Zinc 506

Slight Arc

Low

RH/LH

295

Value

Black Zinc 509

Slight Arc

Low

RH

295

Value

Black Zinc 515

Slight Arc

Low

RH

295

Value

Black Zinc 520

Slight Arc

Low

RH

305

Value

Brass

Slight Arc

Low

RH

300

Value

Gray Zinc

Slight Arc

Low

RH

295

Acer

I-Sight Santa Cruz

Straight Back / Straight Through

High

RH/LH

450

Acer

I-Sight Santa Rosa

Straight Back / Straight Through

Medium-High

RH/LH

400

Bionik

Bionik 207

Straight Back / Straight Through

Medium-High

RH/LH

335

Bionik

Bionik 207 Belly

Straight Back / Straight Through

High

RH

400

Dynacraft

Hindsight

Straight Back / Straight Through

Medium-High

RH

360

Dynacraft

Hindsight II

Straight Back / Straight Through

Medium-High

RH

360

Dynacraft

On-Line

Straight Back / Straight Through

High

RH

365

Dynacraft

Triple Threat

Straight Back / Straight Through

High

RH

360

iBella

Tiara

Straight Back / Straight Through

High

RH

365

> CLICK HERE TO SHOP FOR HIREKO GOLF PUTTERS

> CLICK HERE TO SHOP FOR HIREKO GOLF PUTTER SHAFTS

> CLICK HERE TO SHOP FOR HIREKO GOLF PUTTER GRIPS

Dynacraft Online Putter Bundle

Do Touring Golf Pro’s Play Graphite Shafts In Their Irons?

If someone asks you “Do Touring Golf Pro’s play graphite shafts in their irons?” you can confidently say yes, some do.

In my position I take it for granted that the professional golfers play a lot of products or conceptual ideas that may not be available to the general public (at least yet).  After all, this is the testing grounds for the manufacturers.  I’d like to share with you a comment I received like the one early last week from a customer who said “Graphite iron shafts must only be for ladies or seniors, because I don’t seem them in stock irons or see the

pro’s using them on TV.”  The fact is, we offer many men’s R, S and even X-flex graphite iron shafts and they sell too, just not as well as steel iron shafts.

Well, TV and print media can be very powerful and can imprint thoughts or ideas into the general public. If you see enough of something or not enough, you begin to take it as a fact. For instance, Congress can’t ever seem to work together.  That is because the media only wants you to see the one side of the story that sells.  I am sure there had to be at least one or two things in the past year or two our duly elected representatives did by working together.  Maybe the media can report on that too.

Let’s look at golf for a moment. Belly putters were nothing new as they had been around for nearly 50 years.  But a couple years ago, you started to see more and more pro’s on TV using these unorthodox looking belly putters and not only playing well, but winning with them too.  All the sudden there was renewed interest from the media that boiled over into the general public. This is what we call a trend and they tend to come and go.  Let’s face it, everyone (or company) is looking for the next big trend in order to capitalize on it financially.

Download Hireko Golf CatalogHowever, certain trends tend to stick around and become a way of everyday life.  How did we survive before we had computers and cell phones? In golf, we are fortunate to have rubber golf grips, metal and eventually titanium golf clubheads, graphite shafts for woods and hybrid golf clubheads to name a few.  At one point in time those were trends too.

Recently at the 2013 Crowne Plaza Invitational (Colonial CC in Fort Worth, TX) a professional golfer did not only play Aldila graphite shafts in his irons, but he won with them. The following week, the winner of the Memorial also won with graphite-shafted irons.  To be honest, it is not uncommon to see 5 – 10 pros play with graphite-shafted irons on a weekly basis, according to Mickey Uhlaender at UST. But if more and more do and they excel, the media is going to jump on that bandwagon.

The point I am trying to make is there are viable options for consumers that may not be totally mainstream.  Heck, Hireko Golf falls in that category. I remember in the 1990’s that G. Loomis iron shafts became popular on tour for a while.  Other companies had brief success on tour with graphite shafted iron as well like UST with their UST Tour Weight iron shafts.  You can trust me that you will see more and more graphite-shafted irons put into play on tour.  Back-to-back wins by two different golfers is a step in the right direction.

Who knows if this will be a trend that will continue to grow or become the standard of what we see sold in the future.  That will all depend upon exposure from the media, affordability and most importantly tangible playability benefits a consumer can actually see and feel. But if someone asks you “Do any of the Pro’s play graphite shafts in their irons?” you can confidently say yes, some do.

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