Wow… just hours away from the start of December. If you go way back in our archives… back to December 19th, 2004… you’ll see my predictions for the 2005 golf season. I thought it would be fun to look back and see how smart (or dumb) I really am. SirPutts will do the same tomorrow and then we’ll both make our 2006 predictions later in December.
Prediction #1 – Nike Will Buy Callaway Golf
Ok so this one didn’t come true but it seemed that there was always some talk about someone buying Callaway. The whole bid by MacGregor in August got people talking but it seemed to die out pretty fast. We used the Nike buying Callaway thing as our April fools joke and had some fun with that one… sorry to everyone that failed to see the “April Fools” part of that post! I think this is something that will still happen but it may be someone other than Nike that steps up.
Prediction #2 – Bulky Irons, Mid Range Offerings, Sporty Shoes and No More Blades
I made a few equipment predictions last year… they may not have been the most earth shattering guesses but they did come true. The bulky game improvement irons are still here and they still sell. Most of the companies focused a lot on mid range clubs and this price point did really well. Clubs like the Big Bertha 454, Cobra SZ and TaylorMade R5 sold great because they were solid choices at good prices. Golf shoes did get more sporty and companies are now finding ways to combine the feel and comfort of a running shoe with the look of a traditional shoe. This could be the big trend in 2006. And it wasn’t a huge surprise but blades are slowly on the way out… being replaced by combo sets and “looks like a blade, plays like a blade” cavity backed irons.
Prediction #3 – The Major Winners
I wasn’t perfect here but I did ok. I picked Tiger Woods at the Masters (Won), Sergio Garcia at the U.S. Open (T-3), Darren Clarke at the British Open (T-15) and Vijay Singh at the PGA (T-10).
Prediction #4 – Best Selling Equipment of 2005
Game Improvement Irons – I really thought that the Nike NDS irons would do much better than they did. They started off so strong at the end of last year but sales slowed down a lot . The Ping G2, TaylorMade RAC OS and Callaway Big Bertha irons did really well in this category.
Players Irons – I predicted TaylorMade and Cleveland here. The TaylorMade TP and Cleveland CG2 irons both did ok but they were joined by some solid offerings from Titleist, Mizuno, Nike, Callaway and Bridgestone. Callaway’s X-Tour impressed but I’d like to think Mizuno took this category… the MP-60 is one of the best irons of the year.
Hybrid Clubs – The Callaway Heavenwood was a safe choice but who would have guessed that Nickent would have one of the hottest hybrids around? The Cobra Baffler quietly had a solid year, as did the TaylorMade Rescue Mid… especially after the price drop. One thing is certain… hybrids will continue to be popular.
Drivers – I predicted the Big Bertha 454 would have a good year and it delivered. Too bad Callaway couldn’t deliver more drivers… they kind of dropped the ball with all of the shortages. The Cleveland Sport line was discontinued and really didn’t sell like I thought it would. The offset wasn’t a huge drawning card and the whole Sport line suffered. The Titleist 905 was a decent driver but didn’t take off as much as many thought it would. I think people compared it to the previous 983 model and didn’t see a real need to change drivers. The Ping G2 had a monster year, the TaylorMade R7 sold great and Cobra continued to chug along.
Putters – The mallet craze continued… just as I thought it would. The Odyssey 2 Ball was hot again, TaylorMade added weights to a putter and most companies added a few high MOI mallets to their lines. Many of the designs are getting pretty crazy and you have to wonder how far companies can go before consumers have had enough. Heavy Putter didn’t take off like I thought it would but Yes! had a solid year.
Overall I think I did pretty well but there is always room for improvement! I’ll have to do some studying before making my 2006 predictions and I’ll have those up in a few weeks. The 2005 season was an exciting one for us here at SirShanksAlot.com and we hope 2006 will be even better. Oh ya… I’m a huge Boston Bruins fan and if you would have told me last year that they would go and trade their franchise player to San Jose I probably would have laughed at you. I guess there are some things that you just can’t predict…