Diamond and Wishon Golf both shining brightly

    Editor Dan Owen caught up with Daren Treacy Managing Director at Diamond Golf International, and owner of Wishon Golf, to find out about their 2023.

    How’s 2023 been for Diamond Golf?
    It’s been a bit up and down in the last few years, as we all know. We’ve had some super highs, and super lows, especially in the early part of COVID. It was a scary, but once we were past that and we got started again we had a massive boom. This year has been a bit patchy. You’re not really sure what’s going to happen. You have a really good week, and then the next week is a little bit flat. I think the weather has played a part.

    I think the current economic climate is having an effect as well. There’s no doubt that there will be a lot of golfers out there who are keeping hold of their cash rather than spending it on new golf equipment because of the cost-of-living crisis. We have historically found that during times when budgets are tight, that we sell more shafts and grips for general refurbishing and repairs. People are more willing to spend money on making their set last another year. People are still playing golf; they’re just not spending as much as they normally would on their equipment.

    How has the rise of custom fitting helped grow the DGI Academy?
    It’s been eight years now since we revamped what we were doing and built our purpose-built DGI Academy within the building. It’s dedicated exclusively to our club fitting and club making courses. This change made a tremendous difference in the way we conducted our operations.

    More attention is paid to custom fitting than ever before. We sell a lot of products to individuals who are doing their own fitting, often creating full sets for people through a custom fit process, rather than just simple club repair.

    That has contributed to the growth of the DGI Academy, especially this past winter. We had an incredible number of people coming through the DGI Academy. This surge in demand was largely due to the pent-up interest due to lockdown. Once we were able to reopen the DGI Academy, the courses filled up quickly. Last winter, we added five additional courses to our original roster! As we head into this winter, we have already set up more DGI Academy courses with dates that were finalised a couple of months ago.

    Our customer base extends across Europe, drawing participants from all corners. We even had a couple of visitors from further afield last year, with an American and a Canadian joining our courses!

    These courses offer a strong foundation. It’s akin to teaching a golf swing without having a good understanding of an individual’s swing mechanics. Without that understanding, it’s nearly impossible to convey any necessary swing changes. You need that comprehension of the golf swing to teach it effectively to someone else. If you’re playing with clubs that aren’t suited to your game or ability, you’ll always struggle, and it’ll feel like you’re fighting against your equipment.

    A good analogy is sitting in a car; you’ll adjust the mirrors, the seat, and the steering wheel to make yourself more comfortable. It doesn’t change your driving ability, but it makes the experience easier and more efficient.

    Is Wishon Golf keeping you busy?
    Since we took ownership of the brand back in 2017, our plan has always been to put our mark on the designs and naturally progress with new products. We don’t switch products in and out quite as often as some other companies, but we definitely need to keep moving forward. For the most part, it’s been a gradual process since then. However, the COVID issues put a stop to a lot of what we were doing. Now it’s all bunched up and come through over the last 12 to 18 months, particularly towards the end of last year and the early part of this year. We’ve had a lot of new products coming online.

    On the Wishon front, I’d say the new driver we brought out a few months ago, the 719MW, has been selling very well. It’s been a great success for us. Also, there was a new forged combo set that we introduced, the 585PC, which has performed extremely well.

    Can you tell us what you’re doing to help grow Wishon, especially in the UK?
    We have projects in the works aimed at developing the brand going into next year. We’re expanding our fitting process. Many of the products we sell are highly customisable. Most of our models, including our woods which is unique in the modern era, still use bendable hosels, which offer more customisation options compared to adapter fitting settings that are prevalent in many woods these days.

    We have programs in development that we hope will take us into more pro shops. We see ourselves as specialists in the field of componentry, providing the necessary components for a fully functional custom fit club-building setup within pro shops. However, we also understand that many professionals may not want to handle club-making themselves due to time constraints or other factors. They still want to offer custom fitting with the wide range of options we provide. We’re working on a system where we can handle the club-making element for them while still adhering to the same principles of custom fitting. GR

    Previous articleTried & tested: EzeGlide Trolleys
    Next articleadidas Golf 2024
    As an avid golfer since the age of eleven Dan lives and breathes all things golf.  With a current handicap of eleven he gets out and plays as often as his work life (and girlfriend) allows. Dan confesses to still being like a kid at Christmas when it comes to seeing the latest golf equipment. Having served as GolfPunk’s Deputy Editor, and resident golf geek for the past 13 years and working for golf's oldest brand, John Letters Dan brings to GOLF RETAILING an excellent understanding of the sector.