Predictions, Hopes, Excitement, and More
It’s the start of a new year – always a time of excitement. To kick off 2018, the PIG staff sat down to discuss some of the things we’re looking forward to, what we’re expecting to see, and anything else that might fit under the new year’s umbrella.
The Golf Ball
2017 closed with a lot of discussion about the golf ball being rolled back.
Not-so-bold prediction: 2018 comes and goes with more chatter but zero action.
New Courses & Check Marks on Bucket Lists
We all want to play more golf in the new year, and we’re very excited about doing that on some exciting new courses. High on our list are Streamsong Black, Mammoth Dunes, and The Sandbox at Sand Valley.
There’s also a tentative plan to check off a major omission from our collective bucket list: Bandon Dunes.
Are there any courses – new or old, famous or not – that you’re most excited about playing in 2018?
The PGA Show & More Consumer Friendly Tech
As a golf writer, it’s really uncool to say this, but I’m looking forward to the PGA Show. I do every year. I get to see people who I spend all year emailing with, and I get to see all the new gear.
From a product perspective, the major trend that I expect to see in 2018 is technology becoming more accessible and consumer friendly. Companies of all sizes are realizing that data and technology are only valuable when they’re helping golfers play better. Arccos Golf’s five handicaps are a perfect example: Arccos takes a metric ton of data and tells the golfer simply, “Here’s how good you are in the five major areas of the game.” That’s simple, actionable, and helpful. I hope to see more things like that in 2018.
There’s been so much written about Tiger and his comeback that it’s hard to say anything original. We’ll stick to this: we’re all really excited to see him playing high level golf again and hopeful that he makes it through the season healthy.
Bold prediction: Tiger gets at least one win in 2018.
Callaway had an…epic…2017 by any measure. One of the things we’re most intrigued by in 2018 is whether or not they’ll take ownership of the #1 OEM spot. TaylorMade has received some mixed reviews at the announcement of their M3 and M4 clubs, but our curiosity is piqued over Twist Face.
It will also be worth keeping an eye on which other OEMs continue their climb. Cobra/Puma has had a solid couple years, but will they continue to grow or stagnate? Cleveland closed out 2017 with a bang, but how will they keep it going in 2018? Finally, Srixon, a favorite among those in the know, needs to bring some heat in 2018 if they want to continue their push to be thought of as a first tier OEM.
Lower Handicaps. Because this is the year we all knock those last few strokes off the handicap, right?