We continue to battle on against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with Boris announcing on 31st October a second lockdown to commence on 5th November with golf courses closed. This was hotly disputed and challenged in parliament without success. So, it’s not a surprise, as predicted last month, that the recovery in sales over recent months has stalled. Although the months overall was down by -14.1% compared to the same period last year it has had very little effect on the year-to-date figures which remain at -13.8%. This occurs as a result of both the phasing and rounding to two decimal places. November is one of the smallest in terms of monthly income and so it has limited impact at this time of the year.
Clearly the star performing product group has been clubs, which thankfully accounts for almost half of overall sales. After a disastrous period between March and June, sales took off with 3 out of the 4 months to October putting in sales of 50%+. November also saw modest gains of +4.6%, which must be set against a very bleak background. Drilling down further we find that irons have led the way. Their year-to-date sales are only down by -2.5% compared to last year and -1.7% compared to 2018. At the other extreme, men’s shirts are down by -42.3% compared to 2019. Again, not surprising as the general public have switched their spending away from clothing to other product groups.
Thankfully, courses were allowed to be open during December but the question was “for how long”? We now know the answer, back to lockdown from January 5th. Let’s hope the general public all follow the rules better than they have in the past.
Golf Datatech is a world leader in golf industry research. It provides the trade with specialised market research covering retail sales, inventory, pricing, distribution, along with strategic sales and marketing consultancy.
In the UK, Golf Datatech research is based on an average of 2,000,000 records per month, recorded by EPOS systems at the point of sale.
For greater detail contact John Hassett on 07976 797081
ECCO® Golf Takes Ice to the Desert with the of a Special Edition ‘Iceman’ Design with Henrik Stenson
Pioneering Danish golf footwear brand, ECCO GOLF, is once again breaking the mould for golf shoe design as it takes ice into the desert with the creation of a special edition ‘Iceman’ ECCO S-THREE style to be debuted by ambassador, Henrik Stenson, at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week.
Paying homage to Stenson’s nickname, ‘The Iceman’ shoe comes in black and white colourways, featuring an icy blue and white colouring in the midsole, as well as cracked leather uppers - developed by world-leading innovators, ECCO Leather - that represent shards of shattered ice. The tongue also comes complete with a special edition tag reading: Henrik Stenson The Iceman.
“It’s great to join forces with ECCO GOLF to create ‘The Iceman’ shoe,” said Stenson. “The brand is renowned for its dedication to delivering quality, comfort and style, and these shoes represent exactly that.
“With their cracked leather uppers and cool midsole colouring, ‘The Iceman’ designs are definitely going to turn a few heads out on the course.”
Stenson will debut the shoes during the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, which takes place this week and represents the opening event on the 2021 European Tour schedule. A version of the ‘The Iceman’ shoe will be available for the public to purchase in the spring and is one of seven different colourways in the updated S-THREE collection.
New for SS21, the S-THREE collection is also available with the additional option of Ombre/White or White/Seaport versions with the BOA® lacing system for men. The women’s colourways include White/Silver Grey or Silver Grey/Rose Dust with BOA® lacing, as well as Limestone or White/Hibiscus non-BOA® versions.
Stenson has enjoyed a stellar career since turning pro in 1998 and became the first male Swedish major champion when he won the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon with a major championship record lowest aggregate score of 264.
A two-time European Tour Golfer of the Year (2013 and 2016) and Olympic silver medallist, Stenson has spent over 300 weeks ranked in the World Top Ten during an illustrious career which has seen him record more than 20 Tour victories.
Designed in collaboration with Stenson himself, the special edition ‘Iceman’ shoe showcases the next-generation zonal support provided by pioneering midsole technology in each of the S-THREE styles featured in the Spring/Summer 2021 collection.
A revolutionary hybrid model that blends on-course performance with off-course style, the game-changing S-THREE design delivers dynamic comfort and modern looks from the tee box to the clubhouse and beyond.
The latest breakthrough in direct injection innovation, ZONAL FLUIDFORM™ TECHNOLOGY creates a moulded midsole with three distinct zones of softness to ensure the right balance of cushioning and stability exactly where you need it.
The heel of the midsole is engineered for medium softness to ensure the right amount of cushioning and comfort, while the central part of the midsole has higher levels of rigidity to deliver outstanding lateral stability throughout the swing. The forefront of the midsole comes with the highest level of softness for exceptional walking comfort.
For more information, please visit golf.ecco.com or contact
Timo Vollrath, Global Marketing Manager, ECCO GOLF.
PING introduces G425 Drivers, Fairways, Hybrids, Irons and Crossovers
Continuing its commitment to bring golfers advancements in technology that lead to lower scores and more enjoyment on the golf course, PING today introduced the G425 Family, a complete set of custom fit, custom built clubs engineered for golfers of all skill levels.
“We’re very excited to bring PING’s next generation of score-lowering custom fit, custom built equipment to golfers,” said PING President John K. Solheim. “Our engineering teams have made significant performance improvements in the G425 family which we are confident will appeal to long-time, loyal PING players while attracting other golfers looking to play better and enjoy the game more, including those brand new to the game. As is our engineering philosophy, we don’t introduce a new product unless it’s measurably better than its predecessor. The G425 family exceeds that standard in both performance and appearance.”
“The Tour response to the G425 driver has been exceptional,” Solheim added. “It started with a win its first week on the European Tour in the hands of Tyrrell Hatton at the BMW PGA Championship and has continued with wins around the world ever since. Viktor Hovland claimed the Mayakoba Golf Classic in early December with the G425 LST and one week later the U.S. Women’s Open Champion also relied on the new driver. In all, the G425 driver already has six wins to its name, helping earn titles on all the major tours around the world. The players are instantly attracted to the clean, premium look of the clubs and even more impressed with the performance.”
MOI to the MAX
In the G425 driver series, the primary model is named Max as it elevates the moment of inertia (MOI) to PING’s highest level in history and provide golfers the most forgiving driver in golf. Joining the G425 Max are the LST (Low Spin Technology) and SFT (Straight Flight Technology) to best match a golfer’s swing and launch conditions.
To achieve the new performance levels in the G425 Max (9º, 10.5º, 12º lofts), PING engineers combined key technologies from the G400 Max and G410 Plus. The resulting increase in MOI in the 460cc head comes mainly from a 26-gram tungsten movable weight, which is made possible by weight savings attributed to advancements in the driver’s dragonfly crown technology. The weight can be positioned at distinctive settings over a smaller area than G410 Plus/LST to help shift the center of gravity lower and farther back without sacrificing performance elsewhere in the design. The CG-shifting weight can be secured in one of three settings - neutral, draw or fade - to influence forgiveness and shot shape for maximum performance. The average MOI increase is 14% across the three weight positions compared to the G410 Plus, with three combinations of weight position and loft exceeding a combined MOI of 10,000 (gm-cm²).
The LST model (9º, 10.5º lofts) is designed with a pear-shaped head and measures 445cc to deliver spin reductions of approximately 200 rpm compared to the G410 LST and 500-700 rpm versus the G425 Max. The smaller head size of the LST employs a 17-gram CG shifter with three settings (Draw, Neutral, Fade) to fit the launch conditions best suited to the golfer’s swing and desired ball flight.
For golfers who commonly miss their tee shots to the right, the 460cc SFT version (10.5º loft) is engineered with draw bias to help bring shots back on-line and into the fairway. It features a fixed 23-gram tungsten back weight that shifts the CG closer to the heel to promote a right-to-left shot bend of approximately 25 yards compared to the G425 Max model. A lighter swingweight (D1) also helps influence the ball flight correction.
To help contribute to increases in swing speed and ball speed, all three models share proven PING driver innovations, including turbulators for reduced aerodynamic drag and the proprietary T9S+ forged face to accelerate face flexing for more distance. An internal rib structure in the Ti-8-1-1 body improves acoustics for a solid and pleasing sound. Each model also features the lightweight, 8-position hosel for loft (+-1.5º) and lie (up to 3º flatter) adjustments to further dial in ball flight.
RRP £450 / €499