15 April 2008
Golf Gear(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 02,2008)
The royal and ancient game is booming worldwide thanks to global superstar sporting icons such as Tiger Woods
Consistently hitting the green and shooting good scores demands not only a good grasp of basic skills but also the very best equipment - which increasingly means hi-tech golf gear.
Nowhere is there a better selection of golfing equipment to be found than Hong Kong, whose golfing accessory manufacturers have stayed on the 'green' with accessories ranging from weatherproof golfing umbrellas to sophisticated equipment that helps professionals and amateurs improve their game.
Eye on the ball
Sunpet Industries Ltd is one company that plays from tee to green with its range of golfing optical products. "Our model 668-1 Golfscope with shot counter and pocket clip has been in the marketplace for five years and continues to attract retailer buyers and clients in the promotional industry," says General Manager - Marketing Rancy Wong.
She adds that there are three Golfscopes in the series. "The design is ergonomic, comfortable to hold and can easily be operated with one hand," Ms Wong explains. "The Golfscope fits neatly into a normal-size pocket, which makes it convenient to transport and use."
The company also offers variations on the original model in order to fulfil buyer demands - for example, the device can be fitted with a hand strap instead of a pocket clip. "Our in-house design engineer is responsible for creating our Golfscopes, although we welcome customer feedback on any improvements that can be made," Ms Wong says.
She claims that as an experienced lens manufacturer the company can ensure products are functional while also controlling cost and quality. "We not only provide products at an affordable price, but also products that are well designed and well produced," Ms Wong maintains. "Golf promotions and golf outings have been gaining in popularity in recent years, and golf products such as our Golfscope provide a great opportunity to build stronger business relationships with clients."
In addition to its Chinese mainland factory, Sunpet operates an ultra-precision machining centre in Hong Kong, which produces plastic aspherical lenses. "This helps us to differentiate ourselves from other plastics manufacturers," Ms Wong insists.
Sunpet manufactures plastic toys and promotional items as well as lenses for demanding professional applications, such as the medical industry. "We also produce cameras, binoculars and telescopes," Ms Wong adds.
U-Asia Co is another enterprise that believes quality, competitive cost and user-friendly design form a successful combination. "Our ergonomically designed model RDBD-26 Rapid Drive Golf Ball Dispenser with adjustable tee heights has been designed to improve performance and minimise the risk of back problems," claims Founder Roy Yu.
The semi-automatic ball dispenser - which is made from durable ABS and nylon, holds up to 26 balls and is sold under the Tee Mastro brand - also features a net and detachable training mat. "It tees up the ball perfectly every time to improve golfers' driving, putting and all-round game effectiveness," claims Mr Yu.
He says the 38x31x27cm Tee Mastro is easy to move around, weighing just 3.5kg. "Our golf ball dispenser is portable, durable and equipped with all-weather features allowing it to be used both indoors and outdoors," Mr Yu notes, adding that the Tee Mastro is suitable for both professionals and amateurs.
The Tee Mastro is market-proven for its effectiveness and ease of maintenance, Mr Yu maintains. "The growing popularity of golf among all nationalities, age groups and skill levels is driving sales of the Tee Mastro - particularly in Australia, Europe, and the US," he concludes.
Keeping golfers protected from the sun or rain is a speciality of Ming Hing Umbrella (HK) Co Ltd, which produces umbrellas to clients' own designs in addition to an extensive product range of in-house designs.
"We produce a huge selection of high-quality promotional golf umbrellas at a competitive price," claims Director Benny Chen, who is also in charge of Ming Hing's in-house design department.
He explains that the company's product catalogue includes an easy-to-carry, 200 gram lightweight umbrella and a strong windproof range, as well as umbrellas with aluminium or EVA handles.
Ming Hing also manufactures golfing umbrella gift packs with holders. "We can also produce customised umbrellas with the client's logo or a message imprinted," says Mr Chen, noting that the company's golf umbrellas are ideal for any golfing occasion and can be used in most weather conditions.
For example, the 34-inch windproof model MHT01, an umbrella with eight ribs and a snake-pattern fiberglass shaft and frame, can shelter 4-5 people. "Our large umbrellas have a triple-vent canopy for strength and quality appearance," adds Mr Chen.
With their focus firmly set on beating par, Hong Kong companies are playing a straight drive by staying in swing with the latest trends in the golfing accessory marketplace.
TEXT BY CHRIS DAVIS