Golf Shaft Does The Trick


Many of my golfer friends told me this, “Shaft is the engine of a golf club. With today technology, there is that much innovation that can be put into a club head to improve distance, stability and accuracy. What actually determine the ball flight, direction and distance is actually the shaft. Choosing the right shaft solves at least 50% of the problem. If you want to play good golf, the shaft that comes standard with the club won’t do the job in most instances. That is where the after-market shaft fills the gap.”

My personal view, the engine of the golf club is the golfer himself. Without a reasonable swing technique, even the most expensive gold plated clubs could not save you from topping, slicing and hooking the ball. To hit the ball higher, lower, draw or fade depend largely the ability of the golfer to control his club to produce the desired result. As Tom Wishon rightly pointed out is his article “Is the shaft the engine of the golf club?” , shaft is just like the transmission of the club where the engine is the golfer himself.

“In an automobile, the engine generates the power; the transmission sends that power to the axles and the wheels to be able to propel the car down the road. In golf, the golfer is the whole and complete source of the power that drives the ball down the fairway. The shaft is simply one of the elements in the club that delivers all or only a part of that power to the ball.” – Tom Wishon

Having said that, should all golfers now throw aside their exotic shafts and dash straight to the teaching professionals to improve their game? Well, I think while the engine plays the most significant role in car driving, the transmission and other auxiliary parts do play a role in the overall driving experience. I would use the words “overall driving experience” to highlight the auxiliary roles of the club head, shaft and perhaps grip if we were to use the car analogy. Therefore, if you are a golfer with a “decent engine”, than it is worth paying some attention to the shaft and club head selection to achieve the optimal feel of the club, and maybe the overall performance. Otherwise, it is still wise to divert more energy on perfecting your golf swing which could probably yield better outcome. How to choose the right shaft, I think there is sufficient information on the internet, whether it is factual, provocative, controversial whatsoever, I shan’t deal with that in this discussion.


I have always heard from golfers saying things like this shaft feel very smooth and stable. Perhaps I am ignorant, I still haven’t figured out what that means. Are expensive high end shafts much better than their lower priced counterpart? Last week, I met a golfer friend who is always crazy over golf shafts. He told me that he had tried almost all the high end shaft brands in the market today. Recently, he spent over $1,000 buying a premium shaft from Japan, probably his most valuable catch till date. Incidentally, the shaft brand is also called “CRAZY”, which matches his craze pretty well! I played with him this morning and I didn’t find any significant improvement in his overall score compared to the past few times we golf together without that crazy stuff. Is the shaft he used really worth $1,000? I am always convinced by the wealth and shaft-savvy of those who play expensive shafts, the problem is these guys don’t seem to be able to explain why Jack Nicklaus won 18 majors using steel shafts, forged irons, a persimmon driver and a blade putter. It couldn’t be the golfer, could it? Thanks to that, golf shaft distributor never run out of business!

Starting a Golf Business in Singapore


If you search  on subject such as “Turning your hobby into a profitable business”, “Making golf my business”, you will probably find endless list of articles telling you how good it will be if you were to do a business that you truly enjoyed.  The passion for golf, I think, is the main reason why there are always brave souls out there who are willing to enter this notoriously competitive golf business in Singapore. Likewise for me, when I started my small golf business 8 years ago, I have never done analysis. I came in solely because I am love the game. The fact that I was holding quite a comfortable job then was perhaps another factor. 8 years into the business and I have seen numerous golf businesses went belly up every year. I was fortunate enough to stay afloat and learnt from the mistakes these failed businesses made.

Endless of articles can be found on the net regarding starting golf business

Endless of articles can be found on the net regarding starting golf business

As we all know, Singapore has a small population of slightly above 5 million. The last statistics which I got shows that there are about 75,000 active golfers here and 13 golf clubs with full 18 holes courses. It’s a small pond filled with big and small fishes! Just because you enjoy a hobby doesn’t mean that your enthusiasm for this activity will translate into a viable business. Before you take the plunge to start this hobby business, I think the most fundamental question to answer is “What are your comparative and competitive advantages to win the race?” If you do not have a clear answer to this question, it is best that you re-strategize before starting your hobby business. I am quite certain the hobby will turns into a nightmare if it continuously bleeds despite your hard work.
There is no lack of brave souls out there to enter this notoriously competitive golf business in Singapore. Picture above is a new golf store opening at Far East Shopping Center soon
A SGX public listed company with a chain of golf stores in Singapore and Malaysia last year announced that they are scaling down their investment in the golf retail division, while another golf chain here, incidentally also public listed, also reported that while the focus is still on golf and lifestyle business, the company is constantly looking out for opportunities to diversify. Indeed, it has diversified into property development and apparently, that yields better return. Ironically, despite being public listed with sizable shareholder funds, the company seldom attained a profit exceeding 2 million a year, reading from the annual reports. That shows how difficult this business is!
Having said all these, is there a future for golf business in Singapore? Yes, I think. Ultimately there are 75,000 active golfers here and this number is constantly increasing as we become more affluent. Remember our target population size is 6.9 million in 2030. These golfers need golf equipment, accessories, apparels, shoes and repair services and somebody needs to serve them.
If you are planning to start a golf business and are discouraged by what you have read so far, you may find some comfort reading my other blog post
/tohsk8/blog/golf-direct-the-rising-star-in-singapore-golf-retail-scene/ .
By adopting a low cost, low price and high volume strategy, Golf Direct is able to grow fast, win the competition and create a major threat to the incumbents. We too, regardless of financial strength and size, can create a niche if we do a proper analysis before stepping in. Sometimes, borrowing ideas which we learnt from business schools, SWOT, BCG, Porter 5 Forces, whatsoever, will help in formulating our thoughts into a concrete action plan.
If I am new to golf business and if I were to start, I would first equip myself with sound knowledge on Internet Marketing and e-commerce rather than golf.  Internet is the future for businesses. Businesses without internet presence will probably disappear from this planet in no time. Internet is going to remove the constraint of market size that most Singapore businesses are facing and solve partly the manpower shortage problems. The way business is going to be conducted will look drastically different. Social media will probably be the mainstream marketing tool and online buying will become the norm. When our internet savvy next generations grow up to become the major spending group, businesses without an internet presence will lose out a huge part of the pie.
I have been working in the information technology industry for the past 20 years and always arrogantly self-proclaimed an expert in e-Commerce. Not until I met this young “internet marketer” (a very cool job title indeed) who reminded me how outdated I am. E-commerce sites, Facebook, Twitter, blog, mobile devices are now sophisticatedly interlinked, creating ample opportunities for businesses to ride on and create low cost and yet effective marketing strategies.  Having an internet presence is no longer about hosting a web site, it about reaching out to customers and potential customers which we traditionally find hard to. There are many good resources out there pointing you to the right direction.
All businesses need a strategy and unique winning formula to stay ahead of competition. For me, I will make Internet my winning formula. Aspiring golf business owners out there, what is yours?

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How to buy golf club online


It is becoming common nowadays for golfers to purchase their equipment and other golf-related items online. Buying online is certainly convenient, and it can be a great way to expand the choices. You could probably save some money compared with buying from high end retail stores. However, you need to understand the risks of buying online. Apart from the scams and fraudulent site that are taunting us to buy now, you can even have a bad experience from a reputable site, ranging from late delivery, wrong item being delivered, defects and poor customer service. Many sites also collect your email address and bombard you with endless email advertisements.

Before you make the decision to buy online, make sure you are certain what you are looking for. Unlike offline retail shops which allow you to view, feel and sometimes even try the actual product, you can only rely on the information on the website to make you buying decision. The best way to do that is to visit a local golf shop, visit golf club demonstration event and hit a bunch of clubs to see what suit you best. This will also help with the type of shaft, flex, lie and length of the club. Having this information will provide you a better chance of getting the right club.
Next, investigate the websites you are looking to buy from. The following are some key signs to determine if a site is reliable:
(a)  They have a professional looking site with contact number, address and company information clearly stated
(b)  They offer warranty on their product, even if it is shipped to an overseas location
(c)  They post a Hacker Safe or similar logo
(d)  They accept payment from established payment gateway like PAYPAL, WORLDPAY
(e)  Many online retailers also operate in online marketplace like eBay and You can see the feedback from their customers in these marketplaces. Typically, it is best to buy from those who at least 98% positive ratings from more than 500 customers.
Below are some major online golf retailers which you could possibly explore.



If brand is not a major concern for you, there are many sites out there selling clones of the major name brands. Many of these clubs are excellent alternatives to the name brands, especially when you consider the cost savings. One such sites that offers the latest golf technology at affordable price is Instead of spending large sum on advertising and endorsement, they chose to focus on product quality, and direct selling to the end consumers through their web site. The heads are made in many of the same foundries that make heads for big brands. Likewise, the shafts are specified to be premium quality made by only the best shaft manufacturers.

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If you are familar with the golf equipment scene in Singapore, you would probably heard of Golf Direct. Managed by the former team from now defunct Golfers Network, Golf Direct has been rather aggressive in pricing their products since day 1 they started, sometimes to the extent of selling below the cost which the local authorized dealers could get from the brand owners and distributors.

The low price high volume business model throught regular golf sale seems to work well for Golf Direct. Started with just one outlet in Kakit Bukit in 2009, it has now grown to 3 and taken the local golf retail industry by storm. Golfers are happy now that they have one good option when considering their purchases. Unfortunately, their success also means that the other retailers which follow the conventional business model of buying from brand owners or authorized distributors are hard hit. Among the hardest hit are brands such as TaylorMade, King Cobra and Callaway. More information of their sale can be found on the following link:

How does Golf Direct manage to sell at such a low price and yet sustain it’s business ? Are the equipment authentic ? These are the questions which golfers sometimes wonder. I analyze their business model and I think there are 3 main pillars supporting their success:

(a) One of the key success formula I believe is their excellent network of business partners who are able to supply them the items at an attractive price. The current Golf Direct team are formerly from Golfer Network, which has been in the sports and golf wholesale, export and import business for many years. The team could easily ride on their past network to bring in the supplies.

(b) I don’t believe they could make a lot of margin from the branded products which they bring in and sell in their retail outlets. Golf Direct do have their other house brands like GigaSlazenger, Dunlop and accessory products such as gloves, shoes, bags, apparels which they retail in Singapore and distribute in the region. That will give them the margin to sustain their business. By using the branded products and the regular sale as lure, Golf Direct is able to build a brand name for itself and expand its network and contact further.

(c) And finally, in order to do this business at such a scale, Golf Direct needs to have the funding, which I believe they have. 5 to 10 millions dollars is probably the minimum needed to run this business.

Whether their products are authentic, I think the answer is obvious. Will any sensible business person spend millions of dollars building a golf business selling counterfeit golf clubs especially in Singapore where intellectual property rights are well protected by the laws?

Every year, there would be on an average of 2 new golf shops entering the smalll, saturated and extremely competitive golf retail scene in Singapore . Incidentally, there would be on an average of 2 golf shops turn belly up and exit the industry, Golfer Network, Grand Bigwin, Golf Zone, Heritage Golf, Golfers Place, just to name a few. I believe in order to survive in this cut-throat competition, one has to be innovative, resourceful and constantly looking out for new opportunities to create their own niches, just like what Golf Direct has done!

The HSBC Women’s Champions 2013 will be played at Singapore Sentosa Golf Club from 28 February to 3 March 2013. Among the list of golfers include big names like Michelle Wie, Yani Tseng, Ai Miyazato and In-Kying Kim. Like all major LPGA tournaments, we can see a large number of Korean golfers participating. That leads me to wonder what actually make the Korean ladies such a dominating force in the LPGA  and whether there is a possibility that our own Singaporean golfers will one day dominate the fairways like the Koreans.

For the South Koreans, they have worked hard on this for decades.  In Korea the golfing community is a small tight nit group. The South Koreans love playing golf for recreation. However for those who take the sport to a higher level, golf is treated the same way work or schoolwork is.  They take it very seriously.  The strong work ethic and moral foundation makes the South Koreans extremely competitive which is why South Korean golfers have excelled in the sport.  Due to limited resources and opportunity in South Korea, children are taught early on to excel in whatever they decide to pursue.  Recently fifteen-year-old Lydia Ko won the CN Canadian Women’s Open.  This was a feat not accomplished by an amateur since 1969.  So, it is pretty interesting yet understandable why the the women of South Korea are taking over the women’s golf circuit in the United States.  They are as good as you would think they are.

Also the South Koreans push their children to excess, something the
rest of the world may frown upon.  In one instance a young lady was not allowed to marry until she won four tournaments.  In another case a young South Korean golfer was forced to sleep in a cemetery if she played a bad round.  In South Korea this is acceptable, it’s expected and a way of life.  In South Korea it is taught that you get what you sew.  Work hard and the results will come. This sense of entitlement may very much be why South Korean women golfers now make up thirty of the top fifty women golfers in the United States.

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Michelle Wie Receive Sponsor Invitations For HSBC Women’s Champions 2013

In recent news on the South Korean golfing front, Lydia Ko says she anticipates she will turn pro in the next couple years.  She says she will focus on her mental game as well as her putting. She is just one of the new and upcoming wave of young golfers sweeping across the US golf circuit.  Born in South Korea the fifteen year old recently placed third in the Australian Open.  She is one of the upcoming South Korean youngsters to watch in the coming years.  A great link to see the theory behind the success of these young women golfers be sure to check out this link!

Comparing the environment in South Korea and ours, will we be able to produce world class players ?



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