SirPuttsAlot's Predictions For 2007

Well, the countdown is on to Orlando and our first ever visit to the PGA Show.  To help fill the void between now and then here are some of my bold predictions for what we will see in golf in 2007. Drivers: Last year's predictions: – The decline of the comp driver – This didn't …

Well, the countdown is on to Orlando and our first ever visit to the PGA Show.  To help fill the void between now and then here are some of my bold predictions for what we will see in golf in 2007.


Last year's predictions:

– The decline of the comp driver – This didn't quite happen.  The comp trend pretty much held steady through 2006, no fewer, no more.

– A greater emphasis on shafts – This did happen.  With more and more customers beginning to realize the importance of a good shaft the OEM's listened.  Just about all of the top-end drivers are now available with an array of shaft choices at no extra charge.

– Big drivers will be the TaylorMade R7 460 and Nike SQ – Okay in hindsight this wasn't really stepping out on a limb at all but I was right wasn't I?  

We have already seen glimpses of what 2007 and the future hold for the driver market; NEW GEOMETRY.  SasQuatch is the innovator in this category and because of it we are going to see some pretty weird looking drivers this year.  Nike, Callaway, Tour Edge, and Titleist have already shown some looks at what we can expect from them this year and I think before the end of the year is out we will see square drivers from Ping, TaylorMade, and Cobra as well.  The idea of the square driver makes so much sense it's hard to believe it hasn't been done before but everybody is hopping on board now and this will be the way of the future for drivers.  Just ask K.J. Choi who has already won with one.


Last year's predictions:

– Yes!Golf and Never Compromise will do well and we will see the MOI putter trend continue – Well, it was another big year for Yes! putters.  Sales were good and there were definitely a lot of players trying them out at my home course.  Their presence on international tours continues to increase.  Never Compromise didn't have a very good year despite the year-end launch of the new Exchange putter series.  This is a company that seems a little bit lost right now and could use a bit of a push.  MOI putters obviously continue to gain in popularity as more and more people learn about the benefits.

Milled is going to be a buzzword in 2007 with both Ping and Odyssey launching new milled putter lines but I think what we will start to see is more competitive pricing across all lines.  With all of the major companies now selling putters there has to be some price drops in order to attract buyers.  At least that's what I'm hoping for.


Last year's predictions:

– Nickent, TaylorMade Rescue Dual, and Adams A2 to do well – I think Adams was the big winner here.  Their clubs in general, but especially the A2 and A2 Tour hybrids, had a great year.  They won a number of awards and sold really well.

I don't see any big changes happening in the hybrid market this year but I think we can expect to see more and more companies selling combo sets with hybrid clubs included.  This just makes the customers life that much easier.

Adams will continue to roll with their A2 line and Nickent should continue to grow in popularity.  I would also watch for the Titleist 585.h to be a big success among better players.  This is one of the best hybrids we've seen so far.

Fairway Woods:

Last year's predictions:

– Callaway X Series and Ping G5 to do well – I think the Callaway was a bit of a disappointment here.  It sold respectibly but it didn't generate the buzz that I thought it would.  The Ping G5 drew some attention but was priced a little too high for most.

With the continued growth of the hybrid market we will see the fairway market keep shrinking.  It doesn't make sense for most companies to offer 9 or even 7 woods anymore so we can expect to see an absence of these type of clubs.  

We have already seen some companies have success with larger headed fairway woods and again I think the hybrid trend will allow this continue.  With the versatility a hybrid offers, many golfers are now looking for 3-woods that they can use just off the tee or fairway.  A larger headed club suits this need while providing greater forgiveness and distance.  Some square clubs might fit be appropriate too, no?

I also look for Sonartec to continue to grow with a new fairway introduction in early spring.


Last year's predictions:

– Multi-material irons will take off – This one we've seen already.  We had a number of innovative irons come out last year and more companies including Nike and Wilson have joined the fray.  Companies are able to use several materials in one golf club to effectively transfer weight, dampen feel, or increase COR.

– Graphite shaft usage in irons will increase – This number stayed roughly the same.  Most better players are still using steel shafts although graphite is now a viable option for them.

We will see more blended combo sets in 2007 as well as combo sets that include hybrid clubs.  Adams has shown that this 'idea' can be very successful and combo sets can be built to suit just about any level of player.

Tour Predictions:

Last year's predictions:

– Tiger – Masters and U.S. Open, Ernie Els – British Open, Sergio Garcia – PGA Championship – Ouch, not very good pickin' here although I was right about Tiger winning two.

– Big seasons from Luke Donald and Ryan Moore while Vijay continues to struggle – Donald had a good season picking up another PGA victory but much of Moore's season was ruined with a hand injury.  Some unique swing adjustments helped him get competitive again in the summer.  Vijay made a lot of money again but had only one victory by his name, definitely not a great year by his standards.

Tiger is hot coming into 2007 but a mid-season baby might throw a wrench in his plans.  I'm going to give him The Masters this year.  Els also looks good again and might be able to capture a win at the PGA.  Insert quote from last year "if I keep picking Sergio to win a major eventually I’m going to be right, right?" end quote.  I'm going to say it again this year because his ball-striking is just too good to never win one.  If he stays away from the banana-yellow pants I'll give him the British Open this year, and just for fun lets give the U.S. Open to Jim Furyk, its time for him to win another one.

Look for another good year from Geoff Ogilvy and Paul Casey and I think Trevor Immelman might be able to win one or two more events in his sophomore season.

Industry Predictions:

The square driver/new geometry idea will be the big discussion in 2007 and I think it is really going to fly.  Nike and Callaway will lead the way but look for more arrivals from Ping and TaylorMade in late summer.  I think we can also expect to see some square fairway woods emerge in late season.

Cleveland has recently cut a number of their player endorsements and the company seems to be in a bit of a slide.  They really need to regain some focus this year to get things back on track.  A new HiBore driver may or may not be the answer but I think they really need to shift their attention back to the consumer.

As for us at SirShanksAlot, we've talked about how last year was a bit of a let down for us but we are expecting some big things in 2007 so be sure to stay tuned.

And outside of golf… GO CHARGERS!  Is it too early to call for a repeat in 2007?