Well, in the same spirit as my partner SirShanksAlot, it is now my chance to take a look at how my bold predictions for 2005 fared. But before I begin I would like to apologize to one of our readers. A reader by the initials of B.S. (not joking!) has sent us several emails over the last week asking for our opinions. I have tried to reply several times but keep getting an error message, if you have a different email address I will be more than happy to send you my responses or if you like I can post the answers online. I promise we aren’t ignoring you. Okay, enough of that, on to the predictions…
Driver: My pick for the top driver in 2005 was the Ping G2. Oops! While the driver performed well and had some success on tour sales never took off and in a very un-Ping-like move it was shelved after only one year on the market. The driver has now been replaced with the very similar G5.
Putters: Okay I didn’t really go out on a limb here picking the 2-Ball and other high MOI putters to do well but I think they were more popular than I even expected. Every company has some sort of variation now and consumers are just eating them up. I think the surprise company of the year was Yes!Golf. We had talked about them before but the company just took off using a combination of traditional and modern designs as well as their innovative C-Groove technology.
Hybrids: I picked the Titleist 503.h and the Callaway Heavenwood. The Heavenwood did very well for us and we had trouble keeping a lot of them in stock. The Titleist did not do so well. Even the stronger players stayed away from it. The Nickent 3DX (which I play) made some waves in this category as did the Cleveland Halo.
Fairway Woods: I’m not even going to mention what I picked here because it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I didn’t pick the Tour Edge Exotics, by far the biggest surprise of 2005. This club is flat out awesome! The price scared some people away early but this club has everything you could want in a fairway wood and then some.
Irons: Looking back now I’m not sure why I picked Cobra. Their new line was overpriced and overmatched and didn’t sell like past Cobra irons. The Cleveland TA6 was a good one here and the Mizuno MP-32 for pros and top amateurs did well too.
Bags: I picked Sun Mountain here and I am still standing by that one. Their bags are always popular. I also picked Ping to do well but their new bag line was somewhat disappointing.
Shoes: Adidas and Bite both did really well for us as predicted. As SirShanksAlot mentioned yesterday there has been a trend towards casual style golf shoes and both of these companies deliver in that category.
Tour News: I picked Tiger, Ernie, Vijay, and Phil to combine for 3 major tournaments and I was right with Tiger taking two and Phil one. I also predicted a big year for international players on the PGA and there were a number of wins to back it up. My bold prediction was that Michelle Wie would make the cut in Hawaii at the Sony and obviously I missed that one. It will happen someday soon though.
I didn’t think that Nike would buy Callaway because, as I said at the time, they don’t have enough to gain. Nike Golf is so strong now that they will have no trouble capturing their piece of the pie. Callaway despite strong sales has made some interesting decisions behind the scenes and I think they are struggling more than they are letting on.
Lastly I thought there might be some regulations introduced on golf balls. Nothing has happened yet but there is discussions under way. I think eventually they will have to scale the balls back and have a tour standard. That could be a ways off in the distance yet though.
So there you have it. I tried to pick some underdogs that I thought would do well, some did and some didn’t. Overall my picks weren’t terrible but hopefully I’ve learned a few things when it comes to making my predictions for 2006.