Ready, Set, Go

We have yet to turn the calendar from 2006 and it looks as if the golf world is already in full force for the 2007 season.

With the past year being a weak one at retail, golf club manufacturers are already revving up the P.R. machines and pushing out product to get golfers fired up. A fine mix of marketing and innovation may be just what the doctor ordered to boost slumping sales. Check Titleist, Nike, Callaway, TaylorMade, Adams, Tour Edge, and Cleveland Golf’s websites for some fine examples with more to come in the next few months.

The theme remains the same for the PGA Tour, who, before their Qualifying School even ended, was pushing the charge to the FedEx Cup for 2007. Of course, you can’t blame The Golf Channel for this. Not only are they understandably excited about their new agreement that will see them have extended tour coverage, they have a lot of money invested as well and need to drive up their viewer base.

Additonal frenzy comes the qualifying schools, both for the LPGA and PGA Tours. Seeing the new talent emerge and earn a spot on either tour draws the attention of many golf fans, especially those who know these golfers personally. (Congratulations to Brad Fritsch for earning his Nationwide Tour card).

This time of year is also a transition time for many tour pros. They are busy signing new endorsement contracts and although not everyone cares that Henrik Stenson moved to Srixon, for gearheads like myself it means something. I am not sure how it will affect my daily life, but it is interesting nonetheless!

Of course, not every golfer gets swept up in this madness. For me, it is just the case because we are already deep into work on stories for 2007 editions of Flagstick Golf Magazine, Flagstick For Women, and Flagstick Golf Travel so, literally, our ’07 has already began.

For what is is worth though, it is shaping up to be a great year. I am already having a hard time paring down the products to include in our Top 50 Hot Picks, there are plenty of great deals at golf destinations, and the tours seem to be offering up the potential for high entertainment value.

Oh, and did I mention that the President’s Cup will be played in Montreal in 2007 and that the Canadian Tour is scheduled to return to Ottawa as well?

In the meantime be sure to catch Ottawa’s Roger Beale competing for his native Barbados in the World Golf Championships Barbados Cup (the former Canada and World Cup) this week on worldwide television. Also Lee Curry, Brad Fritsch and Matt McQuillan (to be aired on The Golf Channel in January) will play this weekend in the Pro Team Golf League matches between Canada and the United States from Jamaica.

There is a lot to look forward to in golf for 2007 so let’s get it going.

I like to think the best days are always ahead of you.

That should apply to golf as well.

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