So you have heard what I am predicting in 2005 and now it is time to hear what SirPuttsAlot has to say……
Drivers: Just about everybody has a new driver for 2005, many of them with some sort of composite crown and in all shapes and sizes. My pick for the hot driver in '05 is the largest traditional looking driver you will ever find; the Ping G2. Ping has finally gone away from that goofy hosel and made a driver that not only performs great but looks great. The G2 is deep, easy to hit, looks good, and feels good. It is not the cheapest driver but not the most expensive either.
Putters: The trend in putters towards the oversized mallets will continue. There are many good offerings out there but it seems that the 2-Ball by Odyssey will continue to be the leader. Between the White Hot, DFX, and White Steel we can't keep any of them in stock. It may be the most revolutionary club in the last ten years.
Hybrids: I'm going to cop out and pick two clubs here. The Titleist 503.h for better players who like to hit irons and the Callaway Heavenwood for the masses. I think the Taylor Made Rescue will still continue to do well but will be overshadowed by these two.
Fairway Woods: The safe bet here is the Callaway Big Bertha, a great club at a reasonable price but I'm going to go with the Adams Ovation to make a strong move. This club got off to a slow start in 2004 but was released too late in the season with not enough fanfare. I should take off now that people are starting to see it. It is the easiest fairway wood to hit and it looks good too. The Ovation is available in offset and non-offset versions at a great price.
Irons: The new Cobra 3100 irons will be a good one. Although they don't look as good as the SS or SSI irons, they will be easier to hit and a great price again. The Cobra name is really getting strong.
Bags: Mizuno has a great looking line of bags for 2005 but Sun Mountain and Ping will continue to lead the way in this category. The Ping Hoofer is still the best deluxe carry bag on the market.
Shoes: Adidas as always will be strong and the new line looks good. Watch for Bite to make another big jump. Their shoes are some of the most comfortable out there and the styles are getting a lot better. Can't argue with the price either.
Big News From The Tour: Michelle Wie is playing with the men in Hawaii again. I would bet on her to make the cut this year. I think this will be the year she wins her first LPGA event as well. On the PGA Tour it should be a solid four way competition for the number one spot in the world between a rejuvenated Tiger, Player of the Year Vijay Singh, Lefty, and the Big Easy. Three of the majors should be split between these four and I wouldn't be surprised if the fourth went to one of: Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia, or Adam Scott. The international players will continue to make a splash with Padraig Harrington and Paul Casey both looking to play more events in the US.
Other News: Like SirShanksAlot I have heard all the rumors about Nike buying Callaway but unlike him I don't think this will happen. I don't think Nike has enough to gain by making such a move although it could sure help out their customer service department; Callaway is pretty much the best and Nike pretty much the worst.
Things To Watch For: Although nothing has been announced yet I would expect that by this time next year some sort of regulations will be brought in against golf balls. They have to slow them down at some point.
All in all 2005 should be an exciting year. Hopefully the equipment industry performs a little better than in 2004 just so we have things to write about!