Daren Treacy, MD of Diamond Golf, talks to GOLF RETAILING about why all pros should take a look at their DGI Academy courses this winter and their new role with Wishon Golf.
People in all lines of business often like to complain about how busy they are, and the world of work is full of those who are poor on time-management and not actually as manic as they like to make out. Golf pros are genuinely busy people and someone else who, when he says he is flat out at the moment you believe, is Daren Treacy from Diamond Golf. Business was already on an upward curve for the company in 2016 with Treacy confirming that they have had a great year but, with the company recently taking on Wishon Golf, things have gone, to quote the MD, “ballistic.”
Diamond Golf have had a business and personal relationship with legendary golf club designer and researcher Tom Wishon that stretches back over 30 years and originates with Daren’s father, Chris. “My Dad first met with him while he was on a course; Tom was the tutor for the club repair course that my father attended,” explains Treacy. “When Tom came across to the UK the following year he stayed with us for a few nights and when we went to the Open Tom helped us out in our booth. In 2003 he set up his own company – Tom Wishon Golf Technology – and we became a distributor for him shortly afterwards and have worked closely with him ever since.
“This year he said that he was thinking about stepping back and wanted to find the best route to do that without customers being without the brand and negatively affected. I don’t know if I was his first port of call or not, but when he asked me whether we would be interested in taking it on I was very positive. That was earlier this year and we’ve been working on it ever since.”
Treacy is keen to stress that Wishon hasn’t retired – he has taken a back seat but part of the arrangement was that he stay on in some capacity to help, with his main remit being to help with new designs in the future. The British company – their head office is located on the south coast in-between Brighton and Southampton – are taking on a major brand with Wishon Golf Technology and one that is truly international. “We have taken on the whole of the world distribution – we aren’t just dealing with the UK and Europe but the whole of the world including the U.S.A and Canada,” confirms Treacy. “We will have to get more people in but we need to determine exactly how many people over the winter so that by next spring we are fully loaded and ready to hit the season full on.
“It’s a step up for us but we’ve already been distributing the product so we know it very well, we don’t need to learn it and we are already quite familiar with a few of the guys that Tom works with. We’ve had to take on a lot of new customers, we’ve already taken orders from places like Australia, Thailand, Africa and other spots so that is very different as before we were predominately Europe. Exporting beyond Europe will be something different that we haven’t done a huge amount of so there will be some learning required there.”
One of the success stories for Wishon has been the Sterling Single length irons, which deliver consistent distance gaps throughout the bag by using high spring-like faces made from high strength steel in the 5-hybrid, 5, 6 and 7 irons with four-degree loft increments. The faces in the 8, 9, PW, GW and SW are made from conventional cast carbon steel and feature five-degree loft increments. “They have gone really well – so good that we keep running out,” says Treacy with a laugh. “It has been tremendous and a real success story for Tom and for us. That is a project that we all knew had real potential but I don’t think that any of us thought that we would get the response that we have. The clubs really do work and some of the feedback that we have been getting from both customers and retailers has been really excellent; the whole thing has been brilliant for us and one of our success stories of the year.”
2016 has not been a good year for everyone – with Brexit and the passing away of many famous faces some will be happy to see the back of it – but it is clear Diamond Golf have experienced one of their best years since the company was founded over thirty years ago. Treacy says that they are already working on next year’s catalogue and looking at the market closely to see what is worthy of inclusion – they hope to have it in the hands of golf professionals by March or early April 2017. The new relationship with Wishon though is obviously the biggest bit of news and Treacy says the new arrangement will only help them to grow.
“The main message is business as usual and one of the things we are saying to existing customers is that this new arrangement with the Wishon brand will help us to expand the whole clubmaking and custom fitting aspect of our business and the academies will all remain and expand. Anyone interested in getting involved in a fitting process which is a little bit different should get in touch as we may be the answer for them.” With the business now operating on a world-wide scale there’s every chance that 2017 could be just as ballistic as this one has been.
Daren Treacy talks about the importance of the DGI Academy for all Pros.
It is very much a winter project as we know that in the summer Pros are way too busy to attend! This is something that we have expanded and put a bit more into; it’s important that everything we do for the modern Pro is valid and the key thing for us regarding custom fitting is treating it as an education process. The message from us is that custom fitting isn’t just a means of selling equipment, it’s a way of getting the message across to the guys that they must think more about their clubs and equipment and how they work. It’s not just about understanding that different shafts behave differently, it’s about understanding why and then getting the golfer to take some interest in this. “As each year goes by the club pros – if they want to sell hardware – are going to have to specialise and do custom fit. Our experience is that everybody responds well to good service and if a Pro has the depth of knowledge needed to properly understand the equipment that the golfer needs then that level of service will build relationships. If a Pro doesn’t have this they can’t expect a customer to keep on returning to them for hardware if they don’t have the answers. “There’s a lot more to it than just ball speed and spin rates, a lot more in-depth knowledge is needed. Any PGA Pro who is not doing an in-depth custom fit process as part of their set up are going to be left behind and their customers will go elsewhere. From the golf retailing perspective custom fit should be the cornerstone of any shop operation and it also brings a lot of add-on business.”
Advanced Club Fitting
Tue 18 – Thu 20 October
Mon 12 – Wed 14 December
Tue 28 February – Thu 2 March
Mon 3 – Wed 5 April
The Art of Club Fitting
Mon 31 October – Wed 2 November
Tue 10 – Thu 12 January
Tue 14 – Thu 16 March
Complete Club Repairs, Alterations & Adjustments
Wed 23 – 24 November
Tue 6 – 7 February