By Duncan @ DEVEL Golf
Belated Happy New Year everyone!! Hopefully you will have shaken off the festive cobwebs and are now gearing up for the 2017 season.
We've decided to take a look ahead to the golfing year and pick out six things we will be monitoring.
1. Tiger Woods returns to competitive action. Ok, so he made an appearance at his own tournament pre-Christmas, but we all want to see him at The Masters. With odds as low was 20/1 to win at Augusta National, the bookies clearly aren't concerned about Tiger's age or fitness.
2. Golf Balls. The Kirkland Signature golf ball is due to hit the shelves in the UK this month. That could well shake up the market significantly at its price point (circa £30 for 24 balls). We already have Snell Golf and Vice Golf creating tour standard balls at lower prices than traditional manufacturers. Bubba Watson has also signed up to use a Volvik S4 ball in three different colours. These "cheaper" golf balls are throwing the market wide open, Are we now seeing a golf ball revolution in the wake of big players like Nike pulling out?
3. The Rolex Series on the European Tour. A minimum of seven events each promising a purse of $7m and enhanced television and digital coverage. The European Tour is making great strides to evolve the way we regard and watch golf content (who can forget when Rory met Billy in 2016) so we are looking forward to see what these events bring.
4. The World Super 6. A brand new tournament in February where professionals will play strokeplay for three rounds to qualify for the six hole knockout matchplay format. There's a real push on shorter forms of golf at the moment, so it will be interesting to see how successful this event is.
5. How the golf world deals with Donald Trump. In June last year the PGA Tour angered the future president by relocating one of the World Golf Championship events from his golf course in Miami and moving it to Mexico of all places. Will we see any fallout from this when Mr Trump takes office? Trump's golf empire includes Turnberry in Scotland, a course on the Open rota. Will the R&A consider Turnberry as a future Open venue in light of his comments towards women and minorities? Given the stance taken towards Muifield, it will pose a further headache for the decision makers in St Andrews.
6. The final item has to be what we here at DEVEL Golf have coming up in 2017! We are working on several new golf products as well as an exciting new members' club offering limited edition golf accessories and members' only offers. More to come on that in a blog soon though!
Here's to a great 2017!
The Devel's Advocate is our resident golf blogger. With long experience of covering golf there aren't many issues he doesn't have an opinion on!