Morton Golf’s own Vice President of Retail and Marketing, Ken Morton, Jr., was one of only seven people on the Retailers Panel for the just-released issue of Golf Digest’s annual Hot List that evaluates the latest golf equipment and trends.
This particular issue is Golf Digest’s biggest and read issue each year. Well over 1000 golf clubs are submitted in testing and Ken is part of the panel that helps to test this equipment and provide feedback to the Golf Digest editors.
Jen: Ken, what is the best part of this process?
Ken Morton Jr.: First of all, it’s the friendships that I’ve developed with the incredible staff of Golf Digest and the fellow retailers on the board. Digest Equipment Editors Mike Stachura, Mike Johnson, Stina Sternberg and John Strege are passionate about the process and getting it as right as they can. And with some of the other retailers like recent National PGA Merchandisers of the Year John Lyberger, Susan Roll and Leigh Bader, they’re like long-lost golf industry family members.
Jen: How many years have you been doing this?
KMJ: For seven or eight years in locales from California to Florida.
Jen: Did any golf clubs stand out this year?
KMJ: 2012 is going to be a great year for new product. There is some cosmetically and physically distinctive product coming into the marketplace from many different vendors. The best part is, in the early testing we’ve been doing, the difference is measurable by players of all abilities.
Jen: What trends do you personally see in golf clubs for 2012?
KMJ: Weight and aerodynamics are making the biggest waves. When the USGA put a limit on the COR on driver faces a few years back, the manufacturers got creative with new designs and technologies that are making golf clubs lighter weight and longer.
Jen: Who else makes up the retailers portion of the panel?
KMJ: It’s a great panel. We’ve got Sven from Edwin Watts, John from Congressional CC, Susan from Carlsbad Golf Center, Casey from Miles of Golf, Pete from Carl’s Golfland, Leigh from Pine Oaks GC and myself.
Jen: Tell us straight. What golf clubs do you think will make the biggest splash on the market this year?
KMJ: The new Cleveland Classic driver is probably the most visually distinctive driver to come out in the last decade- and that could include the white drivers from last year. The new TaylorMade RBZ fairways and hybrids are testing significantly longer on our launch monitors than their predecessors. And I really believe that the Digest equipment editors picked four big winners with their Editor’s Choices.
Golf Digest’s 2012 Hot List issue is available now. Click HERE for more information.
Morton Golf operates the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, Bing Maloney Golf Complex, Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course and William Land Golf Course in Sacramento, CA. Morton Golf also operates the online storefront, MortonGolfSales.com. For more information, call 916-481-GOLF (4653).