Written By: Tony Covey
The war for market share, and I suppose by extension the hearts (and dollars) of the golfing consumer, between TaylorMade and Callaway is heating up.
Get your angry fists ready.
We've been hearing rumors about accelerated product launches (which translates to decreased product life-cycles) since this spring's price wars began.
That driver you bought a month ago...it's quickly creeping closer towards obsolescence.
Callaway filed for the Trademark on the name back on January 30th, and the rumblings are that the new driver is going to be released within the next several weeks.
We're told that stock shaft offerings for Callaway FT Optiforce Driver are the Project X Velocity 43 and Mitsubishi Diamana S+. The FT Optiforce will be available in a 460cc standard model, and what we assume is a 440cc Pro Model.
Retail price is expected to be $399 for the driver, and $229 for the non-adjustable (glued) fairway wood.
At first glace we think the FT Optiforce looks quite a bit like Callaway's Japanese Market Legacy series (above).
And speaking of the Legacy lineup, recently 3 distinct Legacy models were added to the USGA's conforming list.
Callaway looks to be cranking out drivers at a rate usually associated with...well...you know who.
But Wait There's More...
On June 18th Callaway filed for yet another Trademark on the name Big Bertha Alpha. Whether that driver will hit shelves this fall or early next year remains to be seen. I suspect that while Callaway has a plan, they're certainly reserving the right to change their mind should market conditions (competitor releases) make it in their best interest to get aggressive.
Let's call this the consequence of success. While TaylorMade still enjoys a comfortable lead in metalwoods market share, it's obvious that Callaway is going to do everything it possibly can to regain its spot on top of the industry.
Chip Brewer clearly means business.
It's Just the Beginning
This spring's discounts have reiterated the fact that price drops can move product. In fact the only thing that can move product better than a price drop is new product.
Despite all the grumblings about "new drivers every 2 weeks", the reality is that consumers are willing to replace, upgrade, or otherwise change their drivers with regularity. If I'm a golf company in a hyper-competitive market I'm going to keep releasing drivers so long as my pipeline is long enough to do so.
The consumer will always buy.
Regardless of what you might believe, it's actually been a while since we actually saw a golf company release 3 or 4 distinct models in a single season, but you better get used to it, those days are about to return.
- First Look – Scotty Cameron Futura X7 and X7M Putters - October 6, 2015
- 12 New Drivers You Might Have Missed - September 30, 2015
- Callaway APEX CF 16 brings Cup Face Technology to a Forged Iron - September 29, 2015
- Callaway Apex Pro 16 – It’s not ALWAYS Just About Distance - September 29, 2015
- Callaway’s Apex Lineup Gets its Own Hybrid - September 29, 2015
- Most Wanted Game-Improvement Iron: Beyond the Data - September 28, 2015
- SPY PICS – Nike Vapor Fly Drivers - September 21, 2015
- Callaway is the #1 Driver Company in Golf* - September 18, 2015
- Nike Golf Dares You To Look Inside the Box (before the weather gets nasty) - September 17, 2015
- First Look – TaylorMade 2016 Tour Preferred, Tour Preferred X and Project(a) Golf Balls - September 15, 2015
- Driver: Cobra KING LTD w/ 75g Aldila Rogue Silver 125 MSI X
- Fairway: TaylorMade SLDR S Mini, 12° Fujikura Speeder X
- 3-4H: TaylorMade SLDR TP S
- 5-GW: PXG 0311 w/ KBS C-Taper S+
- SW: TaylorMade Tour Preferred EF Tour Grind (54° bent to 55°)
- LW: Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind 60°
- Putter: PING Karsten TR ZING