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Other Designers Agree…Something Fishy Going On
(Written by: GolfSpy_X) Ok…something fishy is going on. I just got off the phone with a couple current and past golf club designers that know their stuff. I will get to the details in regards to our conversation a little further down in this post. Before I get into that I have to say that when I first saw this patent application and published patent I was baffled, and it seems so were they.
Remarkably Similar Patents
So anyway…no…what you see below is NOT a Taylormade patent. It’s actually Callaway’s attempt at Adjustable Sole Plate technology. And if it looks and sounds familiar that’s because it is. Taylormade not only came out with the same technology in its R11 driver…but did Callaway actually copy the design almost to a “T”? Yes…Taylormade’s is not a perfect triangle…but outside of that change the rest remains almost identical. The positioning of the “keel” point is slightly different and the verbage explaining the two is not exactly the same. But it is pretty damn close…splittin’ hairs really. So why did they do this and would they ever risk producing a club like this that almost mimics their largest competitor? Or who developed this technology first? The Callaway patent was filed back in May 2009??? Well…I will give you some of the opinions I got when reaching out to other designers in the industry.
Mine And Others Thoughts…
So regarding those conversations I had with the other designers. I will go down the list of things we covered in bullet point fashion to make it easier to digest and understand. Basically we spoke about not only this patent but also Taylormade’s as well regarding this so-called Adjustable Sole Plate technology. For those that are interested in golf club design…read all of the info below.
- Who Designed It First? - another source noted that since he has not seen any issued Taylormade patents or published patent applications for a Taylormade ASP design…could this actually be Callaway’s design. And Taylormade either licensed it or brought it to market first? The Callaway patent was filed back in May of 2009…so you never know. But we will keep searching to find out.
- Does Sole Plate Technology Actually Work? – All designers agreed that it is much more for psychological benefit to the golfer then actual functionality benefit. The reason….well for one for they remarked that for lie angle to really be changed it needs to be done at the neck or the face…if not the neck always stays the same. And even when the face angle is adjusted at the neck you have to take into consideration that for every degree you change the face angle there is an equal change in loft. For example, if you close the face 2 degrees you will gain 2 degrees of loft.
- If This Technology Does Not Work Then Why Develop It? – I read through this patent thoroughly and noticed that in the Callaway patent they actually mention the following, “Golfers are sensitive to the look of the club face at address…and this can weigh heavily in a purchase decision.” And even in the Taylormade video on their site regarding the ASP technology they say, “The more you like the looks of the driver, the more confidence you will have over the ball. Confidence creates distance.” So just like the other designers mentioned and Callaway says in their patent…this is just as much for psychological benefit to the golfer as actual functionality benefit. So is this just for those guys that set down the driver in the shops to see if they like the way it looks at address to help sell a club or is it an actual tool to benefit the golfer on the course? Well many will say that the psychological aspect is just as or more important then the actual club.
- Is This Just A Marketing Ploy? – well we all know that golf is famous for touting technology that doesn’t really do much to improve ones game. And the other designers I spoke to feel the same way about this so-called technology. They said it is for golfers that don’t understand golf club design dynamics…and is simply another marketing ploy to help sell golf clubs.
- What If You Don’t Sole The Club At Address? – this was more of a side note to the conversation…but a small % of golfers do not actually rest the sole of their club on the ground when they hit their drives. For those golfers this technology is useless.
- Back Room Deal – Only the lawyers of the two firms and a couple of the higher ups will ever know this….but I thought it was very interesting that all the golf club designers I reached out to said the same thing. They all said in one way or another that there must be some kind of back-room deal going on with these two designs. This was their answer when asked if they thought Callaway would actually ever produce this club…seeing that it is almost exactly the same as the Taylormade technology. I dug deeper into why they thought this way and their explanations would be hard to explain in just a couple paragraphs. Some had to do with what is called “prior art” and others spoke about “coverage”. But basically they all said they they don’t think Callaway will ever produce a club using this recently patented technology. And they think there must be some type of agreement going on behind closed doors between the two companies. And maybe Taylormade is licesing it from Callaway.
What are your thoughts?