British Open Equipment Wrap

Equipment moves are rare prior to a major championship, but there was some equipment news out of St. Andrews last week.

Bag DropAs you know by now, Tiger Woods left St. Andrews with the Claret Jug following the 2005 British Open. Tiger stuck with the equipment setup that he used to win the Masters in April, including his array of 13 Nike golf clubs. That includes his Ignite 460 driver, T-60 3-wood, Nike custom irons and wedges and his Titleist by Scotty Cameron putter.

Hybrids Take Hold

Smaller companies like Sonartec and Tour Edge have been big winners as hybrid clubs have taken off. Now the big names of the business have taken notice and are firing back.

Bag DropHybrid clubs are an overnight success more than five years in the making. While these clubs – which combine design features of irons and woods into a small, fairway wood-like package – have caught fire at retail over the last year or so, they’ve been around for a while. And now that the big boys of the OEM world are getting into the game, it looks like the hybrids are more than hype.

Hybrid iron-woods started out as an option for golfers who didn’t have the swing speed or skill to get their long irons airborne. Esthetically, they aren’t that different from the “bulger” woods of a century ago, sporting a clubhead that is relatively long from heel to toe and fairly compact. But, like most clubs in the bag, they have benefitted from recent changes in golf technology.

Japan Market Gets Exclusive Products

Japan is known as a golf-crazy country. U.S. equipment manufacturers cater to the market with some interesting Japan-only products.

Bag DropIn America, the words “hot import” would probably be most closely identified with cars bearing the names Honda, Toyota, or Lexus. The tables are turned, however, when it comes to golf clubs. The hot imports in the Japanese golf markets come from U.S. companies like Callaway and TaylorMade.

If you’ve seen the movie “Lost in Translation,” then you’ll likely remember the brief but beautiful scene in which Bill Murray’s character tees off toward the towering visage of Mt. Fuji. What kind of driver do you think the American visitor was using to put the ball in play? While it might have been something from a top Japanese golf company, like Mizuno or Bridgestone, it was quite possibly a product made for the Japanese market by a U.S. club company.

What’s In the Bag Isn’t Always What’s On the Bag

Sometimes the logo on your favorite player’s hat or bag doesn’t match up with the clubs and balls he uses. What’s up with that?

Bag DropA few eagle-eyed Bag Drop operatives have pointed out something that’s an open secret in the equipment business: sometimes pro tour players don’t use the gear they endorse. Now, if you’re the type that still believes in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, stop reading right now. But if you’re ready to face up to the fact that paid spokesmen (and women) sometimes don’t actually use the products they’re paid to gush about, read on.

Equipment at the U.S. Open

This week, The Bag Drop takes a look back at the U.S. Open and how equipment played a part at Pinehurst.

Bag DropIn this week’s installment of The Bag Drop, we’ll take a look at last week’s U.S. Open Championship from the equipment perspective. What tools did Michael Campbell use in his stunning victory, what did the boys in the tour van create specifically for Pinehurst No. 2, and further proof of how right the saying “drive for show, putt for dough” really is.

Got the Backorder Blues?

Many golf shop customers are discovering that plenty of hot products are currently on backorder, and new custom orders are taking a month or more to arrive. Why the wait?

Bag DropWelcome to The Bag Drop, a new weekly rundown on what’s going on the world of golf equipment. If you’re a gearhead who lives to find out the latest about what’s going on in the golf business and what new products and trends are around the bend, read on – and be sure to come back next week for another round.

This week, we’ll start started on a sour note: Why are so many players having to wait to get new gear because the clubs they want are on backorder?