Thursday, July 05, 2007

Golf Marketing: A sport in itself


(Photo of Greg Norman designed "White Course" in Doral -- I played there two years ago -- awesome!)

It’s July in Toronto and you know what that means … the golf season is in full swing. Just about everyone I meet these days has picked up the game in some way and is making time for this unforgiving sport. What I love about the game isn’t the 4½ hours of sublime scenery or the colourful golf attire (thanks Linda Hipp!) but the unbelievable array of choices in clubs, balls, gloves, shoes, putters, etc.. You name it and there are hundreds of choices out there and, for the golf amateur, the local Golf Town store can be dizzying.

But what I find most entertaining about the golf industry is the amount of technology and marketing that is going into this sport. I mean, it’s all out frightening! I have never seen so much hype around golf clubs, especially drivers. For instance, the latest driver that just hit the market is a very cool-looking square, flat head driver from Callaway called the FT-i. Apparently, its code name while in the R&D stage was “SpongeBob SquarePants.” Today, everyone is talking about this club, with Callaway claiming it’s designed to be the “world’s straightest driver.” Well, give it to me for a round and I’ll show you how you can slice every shot with that driver – I’ll prove those engineers wrong in no time!

This club uses something called patented Fusion technology (what on earth is that?) and claims greater improvements in stability and overall accuracy. It also has more technology jam packed in its head than my BlackBerry.

But it’s not just Callaway that is making big promo claims. Ping, Wilson, Titleist, TaylorMade and others are all making powerful marketing assertions about distance and control with the all-mighty purpose of shaving your score down.

As a golfer who only recently was bitten by the proverbial bug, even I have been sucked into the golf marketing vortex. Oooooh, look at that Rescue club from TaylorMade with “Movable Weight Technology which gives players the power to change the CG to create a larger draw bias or a neutral trajectory bias, promoting greater accuracy and/or distance.” Huh? Sounds very technical so it must work … right?

Last year my friend Marie handed me a sleeve of
Crystal Volvik golf balls. She swears by them and told me they were the most optimal ball for ladies to use. I love ‘em! Exceptional distance and great feel, but better still they come in a myriad of cool colours like pink and tangerine that match all my outfits. I mean, who needs superior technology when your golf ball matches your skort?

As for the Callway FT-i driver … well it’s more than just marketing hype. It really works. My main squeeze has been using a demo club for the past three weeks and is a huge believer. In fact, he has already ordered one.

I’d love one, too… but does it come with a pink grip?

1 comment:

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