Ok… first off… sorry if the site looked (or looks… depending on when you are reading this) a bit wacky today but we were working on some things and it was messed up for a while. Thanks to SirHacksAlot for helping us get some things changed. I want to do two things today… I want to talk a bit about some of the customer confusions that I see everyday and then I want to get to some emails. Let’s get to it!
We get a ton of customers that come in and want to buy a hybrid but they are really confused about what these clubs do. Hybrids replace irons… let me say that again… hybrids replace irons. You need to look at two things when choosing a hybrid for your set. First… what are you trying to replace? The most common clubs that get replaced by hybrids are 3 and 4 irons. These are two of the harder irons to hit so a lot of golfers are giving them the boot. The second thing to look at are the hybrid specs. You need to look at both the loft and the length of the club when choosing a hybrid. Both of these dictate how far the club will hit the ball. A hybrid might be the same loft as your 3 iron but if it is an inch shorter, it will hit the ball shorter. This wouldn’t be a good replacement. I also get a lot of people that assume a 16 degree hybrid can replace a 3 wood (which is the same loft). This won’t work either. Hybrids are shorter than woods… if they were the same length, we might as well call them woods! Get the specs of the clubs you want to replace and compare them to the specs of the hybrid that you like. Make sure they are close. Use the numbers on the hybrid as a guide… a #3 hybrid should be fairly close to a 3 iron but it might not be bang on. Talk to the folks at your local shop. Let them know what you want to replace and let them help you fill your gaps properly.
Some more customer confusion concerning demo clubs. We get asked all the time about when and how we sell demos. Buying demo clubs is a great way for a customer to get a brand name club at a great price. Here is a brief outline of how the whole demo club thing works… I think I’ve talked about this before but I don’t mind bringing it up again. We get demo clubs in the spring when we get all of our new products for the year. Demos are usually allocated to various retail outlets and pro shops based on booking volume. The more stock a store buys, the more demos they can buy. We then have these demo clubs in our shops for the summer. Customers can try them out… see what they like… and then hopefully buy something. Once the weather starts to cool down, we’ll usually sell off all of our demos at a reduced price… they are used clubs after all. Many companies get retailers to sign a demo contract. This contract prevents retailers from turning around and sellling off demos halfway through the season. Makes sense… manufacturers want customers to buy new equipment at full price in the summer… not demos at a reduced price. These contracts vary but most that we sign require us to hang on to our demos until around September or so. We get lots of customers coming into the store in June and July looking to buy a demo. Sorry… we need these clubs for people to try… come back in the fall! Everyone is different. I know of shops that quietly sell demos off during the season but that’s not really how we are suppose to do it. Best bet… go to your local shop and ask about their demos. Put your name down on a waiting list if you have to… these things have a tendency to go pretty quick!
Let’s switch gears and get to some email. Our first email asks about my thoughts on the next big technology in golf. Hmmm… going to make me think a bit are ya? The obvious one is Nanotechnology… it’s just starting to make some waves. Expect to see a lot of Nano shafts next year. I also think that we may see some more advances in stainless steel. I wouldn’t be surprised if companies start experimenting with lighter, stronger alloys in hopes of making a clubhead really big and light. They will then be able to move more weight around inside the head. Light alloys have already been used in steel shafts (the True Temper TX-90 shaft comes to mind), so why not use them in club heads? I think the removable weights and the composite heads have some more room for growth so don’t expect them to go away soon. We might see some more golf ball technology too but it could be stomped out by new golf ball regulations. Thanks for the email! It will be interesting to see where golf technology goes now… just when you think you can’t hit the ball any better, something new comes along!
Another email about the new Callaway FT-3 Fusion driver. Our reader read that the club should be available in June. I keep hearing July 1st… it was bumped back a bit to allow Callaway to get caught up on backorders. Put it this way… my rep doesn’t have his demos yet and we can’t even pre-order them until next week at the earliest. It might be out in mid June but it won’t be in my store until at least July 1st. I’ll keep you updated.
And finally… TaylorMade has put a few of their new products up on their website. There are some good pictures of the new woods and some more information about the technology behind them. Speaking of TaylorMade… a cool story. I had a customer come in a few weeks ago with an old 200 Series driver. It had a SERIOUS rattle in the head… it sounded like a big chunk of metal had come loose. I called TaylorMade and they told me to send it back and they would have a look. I got a box from TaylorMade today… inside I found a brand new R5 Dual driver and a packing slip with “No Charge Replacement” on it. TaylorMade didn’t have to do anything for this guy but they went above and beyond the expected. In a year of backorders and confusion… it’s nice to see something like this! Thanks TaylorMade! Have a great day and I will talk to everyone tomorrow!