Golf Digest Hot List Summit Blog by Ken Morton, Jr.

It’s Ken Morton, Jr., VP of Retail & Marketing for Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, reporting from sunny Arizona here. For the sixth year, we’ve been privileged to join several other retailers at the Golf Digest Hot List Summit. For those of you unfamiliar with the Golf Digest Hot List, it’s included in their February issue- the largest issue of their year. The Hot List is a process that narrows the list of available 2011 golf clubs from well over 1,000 different models to the handful of products that will receive gold, silver and Editor’s Choice selections.

The group of retailers is a who’s who of the the retail side of the industry, among the more knowledgeable retailers in the business, as are the others who comprise the panel: Leigh Bader, from Joe & Leigh’s Golf Shop in South Easton, Massachussetts; Carl Rose of Carl’s Golfland in Michigan; Casey Baker, from Miles of Golf in Ypsilanti, Mich.; Susan Roll, owner of the Carlsbad (Calif.) Golf Center; Sven Kessler of Edwin Watts Golf; and John Lyberger, head pro at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. And myself.

The retailers are here for two days of meetings to help the Hot List judges better understand how the products will fit into the marketplace in 2011. The retailers were also given the opportunity to examine and hit the products under consideration and were seeing many of them for the first time. There’s also products that we’re seeing that even under tortune, I’m unable to spill the beans. Needless to say, there’s tons of new stuff arriving between now and February of 2011 that will be exciting for golfers of all skill levels.

Longtime Golf Digest columnist John Strege, said in his column this morning, “The consensus was that the driver category would be more interesting in 2011, though remains a concern that in a difficult economy value might still be the overriding issue. Manufacturers hope to counter with technology, including aerodynamic, material and adjustability stories.”

If you’d like to follow the goings on of this 10 day summit, you can follow the scoop HERE.

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