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Credit Crisis In Golf, New Gear, and a New Venture

I’ve been a little remiss in posting this week but dental surgery will do that to you. The final tally looks like I was able to provide my dentist with enough proceeds to cover his country club bar chit for ’08. Oh, the lengths I go to to encourage golf!

It was a fairly quiet week with Thanksgiving going on in the States but with the LG Skins Game and the Omega World Cup of Golf being played this week, at least we have some golf action to speak of.

I had a few interesting chats with industry people this week – mostly centered on the impact that the financial crisis will be making on the golf business. This is particularly important as the PGA Merchandise Show is now only two months away. The skinny seems to be that a couple mid-level manufacturers may be in real trouble by the time the show arrives – all the more so if the retail outlets where they currently have product sitting do not do well over the holiday season. That said – credit woes may impact some fairly large retailers in the US – fatally according to a few insiders with knowledge of credit situations at the retail level.

Lean and mean will be the mantra for 2009 so don’t expect a lot of excess inventory at your local shops next year.

Even with this situation the flow of new gear will barely be stemmed. Manufacturers looking to seize the opportunity presented by other companies who decide to “sit on their hands” will be heading to the market with new product lines and mildly marketing campaigns.

Expect solid debuts of 50th anniversary products from Ping Golf to get a lot of attention. You can also expect a few shaft manufacturers to unveil whole new shaft fitting concepts while others will delve into more aggressive price points than we currently see their products at.

Like every year, the next should be a very interesting one.

On a corporate note – at Flagstick we are working on a number of “off-season” projects. A few related to marketing and others regarding the delivery of publications and products. Expect more detailed news soon and to have an advance look at the new Flagstick Golf Photography site as we evolve it, check it out at www.flagstickgolfphotography.com or just click here. You can view photos, order prints, and even get digital downloads for personal and commercial use. We are steadily migrating thousands of photos from our archives to the site. Thye include lots of action shots with PGA and LPGA Tour stars and plenty of beautiful golf landscapes.

Have a great weekend.

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