After another bumper year for the largest golf retailer in the Middle East, Golf Digest Middle East caught up with eGolf Megastore, Chief Executive Officer Dean Cheesley to tell us about what he has in store for 2024.

Dean, congratulations on 2023. How would you evaluate what has been another successful year at eGolf Megastore?

2023 was a year of good fortune for the organization. We witnessed expansion in the retail division which opened four new locations in 2023, while our wholesale division grew from 24 to 33 global golf brands under management since the beginning of the year.

Several new brands came about organically in our wholesale portfolio after bringing them to the region for the first time, and other brands became part of the portfolio after acquiring a local distributor DG Golf.

We also merged in six brands from its portfolio which included L.A.B Golf and SuperStroke Golf, among others. Additionally, our e-commerce has been re-launched with a new interface that provides a well overdue upgraded and enhanced user experience on the platform.

What is the focus looking like as we start 2024?

A central objective for 2024 is maintaining our position as a global front runner in custom club fitting and club building services.

Personally, it’s hard to believe nearly a decade has passed since our concept introduced radical changes that re-shaped the club fitting and club building standards in the Middle East. Our challenge now is to continue with the pioneering spirit that eGolf was founded upon and consistently deliver innovative retail, club fitting and club building solutions that keep our operations at the forefront of global industry trends.  

At your largest location in Al Quoz, you have undergone an expansion. Was this a development you had always envisioned? 

The expansion of our original and largest store was well overdue for some time as we had simply outgrown it, importantly it was preventing us from introducing new brands at Al Quoz. We have doubled the size of our ground floor spaces, giving way for Hugo Boss, Galvin Green, Travis Matthew and several more apparel brands to join us.

We even have a new club building studio co-designed with the TaylorMade Tour department offering a ‘Tour Truck’ experience which will also be unveiled at the start of 2024.

You have recently opened a new store at Al Hamra Golf Club, just in time for the DP World Tour event in January.

The new store at Al Hamra Golf Club allows us to serve our loyal customers based in the Northern Emirates.

Our decision to invest now at Al Hamra Golf Club envisages a forward-looking approach of what the future of golf holds in Ras Al Khaimah, which we anticipate will see a significant upsurge in the number of tourist rounds in the emirate after the Wynn Casino opens in 2027. 

And even a new store in Bahrain, another exciting addition to the portfolio.

Exactly, the new store and club fitting studio we have established at Royal Golf Club Bahrain is an excellent opportunity presented to us by the new management and board who have sparked major changes at the facility since their arrival, which includes securing the DP World Tour event once again.

I’m delighted that the board and management were aligned with our vision of what needed to be brought to Bahrain from a club fitting and retail standpoint. The club fitting studio has also allowed nearby golfers in Saudi to cross over the causeway to get a master fitting with access
to every shaft and equipment brand not previously available. 

With all of your stores in region, how much sq. ft of retail will you now operate within the UAE and Middle East?

We currently have more than 38,000 sq. ft of retail space across the Middle East and a total of 13 stores in the region in the UAE, Oman and Bahrain. Retail is such a complex business and we have more than 115 brands and stores which vary from small to large. The expertise lies in curating a specialised product assortment to fit the varying age, playing ability and consumer spending demographics that exist from country to country across the region. 

Tell us about some of your new products you have coming out in 2024?

2024 sees the introduction of the new TaylorMade Qi10, Callaway AI Smoke and new release products from PXG, Cobra, Titleist, Honma BERES and PING. In general terms, the 2024 products take a step away from the traditional brand product launch stories each year promising greater distance and focuses more upon new innovations in forgiveness, particularly in the driver lineups.

Most notably, TaylorMade and Ping are bringing to market products which focus on the highest Moment of Inertia or MOI in a driver ever (MOI stands for the measure of a clubhead’s resistance to twisting when a ball is struck away from the sweet spot), which in theory will lead to straighter drives without compromising ball speed loss. As ever, those theories are still yet to be proven on golf courses across the Middle East, but either way Q1 is definitely shaping up for another exciting year of new product releases in the region.

Main image: Supplied