Editor Dan Owen spoke to Daren Treacy, Managing Director at Diamond Golf, to find out how Diamond Golf can help your retail business.
Who are Diamond Golf and what do you offer?
My father set up the company in 1978, and we have been the #1 destination for clubmakers across Europe ever since. We specialise in componentry as we call it, supplying the nuts and bolts of everything that any club maker or would need for either repairing or building a golf equipment. We provide a lot of equipment to help people with custom fitting. We offer training through the DGI Academy for teaching people how to build golf clubs, repair golf clubs and learn how to custom fit.
That’s a core principle of ours as well. We not only provide the equipment but also provide the knowledge and the know-how. We want to help club makers and club fitters improve their own knowledge helping people improve their own understanding of equipment in general, so that it becomes a part of their day-to-day work. Whenever they’re selling equipment, whatever brand or product they are selling, we want them to understand how clubs work and why they work the way they do. What difference does a shaft change make, or adjusting the loft, or the use of a different grip size. All those key elements which individually might be small changes but as a whole can make a huge difference.
Any pro or clubmaker or should know the basic stuff, and they receive some training through the PGA. We just offer them more insight. But what’s offered now you know across the range from all companies is so much better in than our view than it has ever been. It has come a very long way, but sometimes I feel there is a dependency on what they are given and quick answers, rather than a deeper knowledge of club fitting and making.
Another key part of their business is we own the Wishon brand of equipment that is targeted to professional clubmakers. Founded by clubmaking legend Tom Wishon, we still co-design the equipment with Tom, and it has been a big success for us, especially in the USA.
How has the pandemic affected business?
The furlough scheme that the government introduced in the early days of the pandemic was arguably one of the best things that has ever happened in the golf industry. It sounds terrible, but it’s true. More people had an opportunity to go and play golf, especially as it opened up early following the first lockdown. Moreover we’ve seen a huge rise in the number of people taking the game up, especially more ladies playing and kids getting involved.
On the flip side, the demand for product has been so huge that it has created a separate problem all of its own, but I think that will gradually improve as we go through this year. Obviously, there are other threats out there now. We don’t know how the Ukrainian war will affect raw materials, however, it is already impacting the cost of shipping, while the pound is also struggling against the dollar, and most of our purchases are in dollars. And rising inflation is going to impact our discretionary expenditure. So while things have been good, we need to remain cautious as costs are going up all the time.
Product supply has been an issue. But it is improving. Manufacturers have been working on a fair allocation of product, so there is a good spread of product across the board. We’re getting a lot more stock than last year, steel shafts have been particularly tricky to get stock.
How do you think a retailer can best utilise what Diamond Golf offer?
From a custom fit perspective, it’s is more about properly understanding what their offering is. So, if a retailer offers three or four of the larger manufacturers, you should maybe have one or two lower-priced alternatives that can be custom fit. Not everyone can afford the top-end equipment.
It’s just about making sure they’ve got all the bases covered for every potential type of golfer that might walk through the door. Custom fitting is an ongoing process, it’s a never-ending process as golfers improve, or struggle with certain areas of their game. After lessons, professionally fit equipment is the best way to help your scores improve. It’s a lot easier to learn how to play properly when you’ve got equipment that suits your swing.
And if you have a fitting question, or need some advice regarding fitting, and component info, call us and we will be glad to help. Whether it is general advice, or really techy shaft specs, we love to help. We’ve been doing what we do since 1978, we know what we are talking about and know by helping customers they will return.
Can you tell us more about the DGI Academy?
We haven’t been able to run the courses due to Covid for a little while, which has been a great shame, but we are currently preparing some dates for later this year. It doesn’t help when we have a lot of international students who weren’t able to fly in!
We don’t tend to run during the main season months as all the guys that want to come on a course generally don’t want to leave their shops during the busy summer months because they’re hard at work.
We start in September, and then run courses all the way through to March. We offer courses in basic club repairs, basic club fitting, and advanced fitting. Those are the main areas that we run and obviously club making is a key part of that. I think to properly understand custom fitting, it’s important to have a good understanding of how golf clubs are put together so that people get a real correlation of concepts such as swing weight, or loft and lie adjustments. Knowing how to build a golf club helps clubfitters understand how they can change the performance of any golf club.
And how is Wishon doing?
Wishon is the number one clubmaker-only brand in golf. Founded by Tom Wishon, he has very long history in clubhead design and has been one of the foremost club head designers you know in the game for 40 years.
We work on designing club heads, which are specifically able to be changed in many different ways. That can be built to different lengths, that can be weighted in different ways, and that can be built to help a broad spectrum of golfers. One area that has proven really popular are our EQ-1 Single length irons. Bryson Dechambeau has proven how the concept can work, and we now offer hybrids and fairway woods that compliment the irons.
We are trying to push the envelope in terms of design ideas however, we would never change a product line just for the sake of it. We don’t work on product cycles, we just introduce new product when we can improve on what came before. Real improvements are hard to find, however, new manufacturing techniques always open up new possibilities. As golfers we worry too much about distance and hitting the ball further, especially with the driver. If we focused on accuracy and consistency instead, we would see a bigger improvement from most golfers, rather than them buying a new non-fitted driver every season in the pursuit
of more yardage. GR