How many times have you been around the airport carousel and heard anxious golfers blurt out “I don’t care if my suitcase makes it as long as my clubs do.” Our clubs are precious to us especially when traveling on vacation.
On the outskirts of Toronto, in Mississauga, Golf Trends is one of those companies that helps us to safely move our clubs from golf vacation to golf vacation and in the meantime quietly making a difference in the Canadian golf industry.
Distributing golf equipment including golf travel bags and Tour Edge Golf Clubs, Golf Trends has made its mark for 24 years. The list of product lines includes Bag Boy, Datrek, Burton, Tour Edge/Exotics, Golf Pride, Winn Grips, Lamkin, Page and Tuttle, Bonjoc and some of their own quality labels.
Golf Trends owner Don Heazel says golf travel bags make up a good portion of the company’s business. He’s especially big on the soft shell travel bags. Bag Boy is the distributor’s biggest line.
“We sell more soft than hard,” said Heazel. “Because of the cost of today’s golf equipment, some people feel safer with the hard case. And the airlines sometimes make you sign a waiver. I was going to Florida one time and my clubs were dragged across the tarmac. My travel cover was damaged, the bag was damaged, but my clubs were fine.
Most people are looking for protection and a place for their shoes and maybe a hat and some golf balls. The (Bag Boy) T-10 has a hard shell top and soft body. The T-700 is soft, with a heavily padded top. They are our best sellers. The disadvantage of hard covers is they are very bulky. The softer covers crunch down more.
Most people today buy a quality travel cover. The covers are very good. And almost all of them have wheels now. And, if you want a hard case, SKB is the best hard case in the marketplace.”
Grips are another important part of business for Golf Trends.
“We sell a lot of grips,” said Heazel. “There’s a certain core of people who realize the benefit of regripping every year. If you play more than 20 times a year, you should be re-gripping every year. It’s a lot cheaper than buying a new set of clubs.”
Heazel loves the Tour Edge Exotics line of clubs. And he’s not the only one. Several tour players have jumped on board as well.
“They are unique. (Tour Edge) claims they have the longest fairway woods on the market … 20 yards further than anybody else,” said Heazel. “When we got the line, I had no idea it was this good. It is definitely growing. Once we get people to try it, we have good success.
“We do demo days. Some people try Tour Edge and hit it further than anything else, but still buy another club. But it’s a great club. It’s got a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a lifetime warranty.”
The fact that the company puts its money where its mouth is speaks to the club’s performance.
“It’s not TaylorMade or Callaway, we don’t have all the big players playing the club, but we’re going the grassroots route with it,” said Heazel.
There are some prominent players, including PGA star Brian Gay, who have seen the light and have added Tour Edge to their bag. Others including Luke Donald, Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore, Nick Faldo, Darren Clarke and David Duval have used Tour Edge. In fact, there are up to a dozen players using the club at each PGA event. Many of those are paid to use other clubs by other companies so Tour Edge Exotics doesn’t get its name trumpeted out week after week.
The XCG5 line, soon to be out on the market, will make a splash in the golf world. The fairway wood features a titanium cup face and crown, a special beta titanium face for added distance and an even heavier tungsten sole plate that weighs 151 grams — or 68% of the club’s total weight. That gives the club a great combination of forgiveness and distance.
While the XCG5 clubs are geared for golfers of all handicaps, the CB4s are for lower handicaps.
Anyone that is a regular reader of the Traveling Golfer would know that our fearless leader Claudio is now playing Tour Edge as well. Not that he fits into the class or category of the above mentioned players but even I have to admit that he plays a pretty solid game.
Claudio had just returned from his second tour of the North West Territories and once again without his clubs that he had raffled off to the junior golfers in the community.
Upon returning and sitting down in front of his computer a reminder comes up and tells him that he is playing in the Canadian Golf Media Championships a few days later. Luckily he had just played a round of golf prior to leaving for the NWT with friend and long time business associate Don Heazel. Don had suggested to Claudio to try the clubs. “I hit a few shots with the irons that day with Don and I was impressed but not nearly as impressed as I am now!” he told me.
“The ball just seems to launch itself off the club face and they have probably added 5 yards to my irons. During my 2nd round with the clubs I hit a shot into a par 4 from about 160 yards with a 6 iron –the divot was about 8 inches from the cup ending up about 15 feet away. Fast forward to the 14th hole, 165 yard par 3 I hit the same 6 iron to within a quarter of an inch from a hole in one! SOLD!” Claudio went on to tell me about 4 rounds that he played on a recent trip to South Carolina where his playing partner Ricky Saucier of Golf Packages of South Carolina commented on the driver “dang, I don’t think you have missed but 1 fairway in each of the rounds that we played and you are even getting it out there as far as me now.”
What more can be said other than I might need to look into some of these tour Edge Clubs for myself.
By TIM BAINES