Yes! Golf returned from Golf Europe with a First in the Club Category for the Product Awards 2008
By Dominic O‘Byrne
Putting Wunderkinde from Yes! Golf returned from the EU’s biggest golf industry event, Golf Europe in Munich, with a First in the Club Category for the Product Awards 2008 with a unique variable weighting system for putter shafts.
Golf Europe attracts exhibitors and visitors from all over the world, as it is the platform from which all new golf products and strategies for the coming season are launched. It has grown stronger in importance in recent years alongside growth in golf itself – both as an industry and as a leisure interest among individuals, companies and countries.
Yes! Golf has two bases in Europe – Yes! Golf UK & Ireland in Southport and Yes! Golf / Approach Golf in Reuver, The Netherlands, that supports the rest of continental Europe from Iceland in the West to the Russian Federation in the East.
The Shaft Weighting System (SWS) was co-developed by Yes! Golf Europe and German engineering firm Stealex of Neumarkt from a concept devised by PGA professional Phil Kenyon from Southport in North-west England.
Kenyon works as European Tour rep for Yes! Golf, and is full-time director of instruction at the Harold Swash School of Putting Excellence. His experience and constant exposure to Tour golfers helped provide the insight into SWS that has already achieved Tour victory at the KLM Dutch Open last August.
The shafts themselves were developed by Stealex and engineered out of an aluminium / tungsten alloy – itself a first, as shafts have traditionally been made out of steel or graphite. The new alloy serves as an ideal sleeve for the brass weighting lugs that can be inserted into the putter shaft and locked into place at a given depth, to give the golfer a variation of weight distribution beneath the hands that greatly enhances performance and sensitivity around the greens.
David and Goliath…
Especially sweet for Yes! Golf was the fact that they were up against sporting giant Acushnet – home of brands like Titleist, Footjoy and Cobra – and won through.
“Yes it’s true we won against stiff competition,” says Yes! Golf Europe chief Aad van Os. “But we did it by playing to our strengths.
“Our real core expertise is the business of putting, and as a niche brand we are becoming ever more focused on greens performance. The risk is that we do cut a large part of the market off from ourselves … You’ll never see a Yes! Set of irons, for example. But the other side of the coin is that nobody in the game knows more about putting than Yes! Golf.
“We simply had to be the owner of the next most important development in putting because that’s what is expected of us. For any other brand to outclass us in this would just be too horrible to think about.”
While there are plans to offer an off-the-peg selection of SWS Yes! Putters, the system will likely remain primarily an option for custom-fitting, owing to the fact that fine adjustment is such a personal issue and works best by trial-and-error with . Since the launch of the first Yes! Golf Custom-fitting centre at the West of England Golf Academy in February 2007, Yes! Golf has stayed true to its innovation charter by remaining the only systemic putter custom-fitting franchise in the world. Facilities now number 21 from Dublin in the west to Eindhoven in the east.
The Golf Europe awards were launched only last year to recognize innovative product developments in the categories of clubs, apparel, footwear, accessories, caddies and training aids.
Project manager for Golf Europe Armin Wittmann commented, “We created the Golf Europe Product Awards to honour companies whose efforts in product development drive golf forward, and set new standards affecting the entire industry. I addition, the Product Awards offer the winners an excellent opportunity for … staying a step ahead of the competition.”
Yes! Golf www.yesgolf.co.uk