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Ignoring The Consumer? – Callaway Releases Another New Driver

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Written By: GolfSpy X

Since the inception of MyGolfSpy there are few articles that have invoked as much passion and anger towards golf companies as the one we published about Dick's Sporting Goods firing over 500 employees. Obviously this finale to what had been building for years touched a vagus like nerve with golfers around the world.  Golf companies who had flooded a channel to the point a Three Gorges Dam like structure couldn't even hold the force back.  It had sprung an un-repairable leak. This time no piece of gum was going to be able to patch the hole they had created.  The equipment bubble had burst.

Actually it detonated...right in their face.

They Refused To Listen To You

The astonishing part isn't actually that it burst...no...the more astonishing part is that consumers (aka: you) had been telling them it would for years, they simply didn't want to listen.  What started off as a few unhappy golfers, turned into many, which turned in to the majority. Which reached a point of diminishing returns (faster product life cycles) for the golf companies involved and they didn't re-calibrate fast enough.  Or in my opinion never wanted or planned to for that matter.  This is because up until the exact day of the Dick's debacle no plans were made by these companies to go in even the slightest of different directions.  It was still full-speed ahead by all involved.  And yes, they knew Dick's was going to be doing this prior to it happening.

Now though, you're hearing a much different message, a new song, an entirely new branding message from almost all the major golf equipment manufacturers (All but one). A once completely selfish branding message built around caring little about you and your game and one which only seems to care about putting their latest and greatest and soon to be marked down product in your bag is evolving in to branding words like, "Love", "Your Game","Passion", "Fun" and "Share".  Funny how that happens.

Power To The Player

One thing that is different about MyGolfSpy is we allow anyone and everyone to voice their opinion. Now, that obviously opens the floodgates for some not so constructive commentary, but more importantly it allows the consumers to have a voice of more than 1.  What in the past might only allow for an upset golf consumer to be heard by just a couple neighbors now can be heard by over 1/2 million other golfers.  And, basically that adds up to a lot more neighbors.  Engaging the consumer and allowing all this commentary we feel also allows MGS to have our finger on the pulse more than any other media outlet in golf.  Other media outlets and golf equipment manufacturers who do their best to shut down reader comments, moderate opinions, etc, all for the simple reason that you don't want to hear what consumers really think will only lead you in one direction.  A greedy one.  One without checks and balances.  One that will more than likely get wildly out of control if it was already heading in that direction.  And this one was.  Why?  Because it was based on one thing: Making More Money.  Yes, making money and profit is what business is almost all about.  But if you make it about customer service and taking care of your customer, caring about their every want and need and satisfying those desires with the products you put in their hands...well...making more money will still be the end result.

What Does This Have To Do With Callaway Golf?

So, what does this have to do with Callaway Golf?  Well...if you are in that majority we just spoke about and one of those hundreds of thousands of golfers who have been telling the golf companies to "STOP, the madness!", "We don't need a new club released every couple months." or "Enough is enough!".  Well, you might want to step away from your computer.  Yeah, do it now.  No, seriously.  Step away.

big-bertha-alpha-removed

Yes, this is another new driver from the company who just released another new driver just a couple weeks ago.  It is also what looks like to be a newly planned version of the Big Bertha Alpha, which if you just purchased the original (the one that was also just another new driver not too long ago) you might not be too happy about.  Amongst all the news of late and the absolute consensus that consumers have had enough, Callaway seems to be of the opinion that the flood has receded (by the way, it won't for about 2-3 more years), and that consumers are demanding more new equipment from Callaway.

The Callaway Business Model (AKA: Taylormade  Business Model)

The other growing consensus we hear amongst consumers seems to be that they feel Callaway has directly ripped off and are copying & pasting the once popular but now infamous business model of their largest competitor Taylormade Golf.

Well if you are amongst that growing consensus of golfers who feel like you have seen this all before...well...you might want to close your ears now.  Once again, we're serious.  Earmuff time.

When Harry Arnett (which previously worked at Taylormade) first took over Callaway Golf he told us in an interview, during many calls and texts about how he and Callaway planned to become the "#1 Company in Golf" again.  I will give one of the many exact quotes below, but in a nutshell he told us so many times that if you planned to take over the current leader (Taylormade) you absolutely 100% could never just copy their existing business model (playbook) to do so.  There were also a lot of new catch phrases and marketing jargon in all our conversations.  Things like "sphere of influence", "BOOM!", "ZooCrew", "PirateShip" and who could forget "The 5-Year War".   All of this jargon had people believing that things actually were going to be different at the new Callaway Golf.  But over time the opinion from consumers seem to quickly have seen through the smoke and mirrors and realized that what was supposed to be NEW! has just turned out to be the same old and tired message they and others have been forcing down your throats for decades.

Harry Arnett quote from our own Tony Covey interview, "If Callaway takes someone else's strategy and tries to do that , we would get annihilated .  Not only would we be annihilated but whose gonna wanna do that at our company.  To say we're gonna take somebody's playbook.  Let's do things our way, the Callaway way, and then do that.  We're not gonna out market using their way of marketing."  If you want to hear it word for word it's between the 3:00-4:20ish mark.

Callaway Golf's New Strategy (Release Even More Clubs)

In defense of Harry Arnett, he has told us to watch out for their new plan and the new catch phrase of the week, which is: "Re-Calibration".  Be on the look out for that one, we think you might start to hear it a lot.  Anyways, from what we hear not only are they going to ignore all of you and the message you have given them so loud and clear but they are actually going to release even MORE product then they did in the past.  TAKE THAT CONSUMER!

Sounds like their grand plan now is to produce more clubs than ever before, just produce less of each release.  Well that does make sense, since your past releases didn't sell out or sell through. It is pretty simple (Supply vs Demand).  And they are thinking that if they just produce less of everything and sell out  of each release there will still be just as much demand for their new driver releases at the current incredibly quick and outdated life cycle model.  We wish them luck with their new scheme, but what we are hearing from consumers and what they should be listening to seems to be saying every thing but.

So you tell us...

1. Do you think there is enough demand for this new driver from Callaway if they release it?

2. Do you think that Callaway should start producing even more product releases?

3. Do you think this new scheme will work?

4. Did you purchase an original Alpha driver?  If so, what are your thoughts about this possible release?

P.S.

A few more hours have passed since I have written this post, but I got news another new Callaway driver has just been released.  Enough demand for this one too?

Callaway Big Bertha Beta Driver

 

500000footer

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Comments

{ 304 comments… read them below or add one }

Lane June 22, 2015 at 5:49 pm

I was recently fit for some clubs by an excellent 3rd party fitting company that has no bias to fit you to a certain brand, they desire to fit you to what produces the best numbers for your game. My point is this, of the hundreds of clubs out there I was given 3 different head options with a combination of shaft options that best suited my swing speed, attack angle, and ball speed. I’m glad companies offer lots of models. Sure it requires some wading through different products but I think it means we as consumers get a product that is more individually tailored to our needs and natural tendencies rather than one product intended to cast the largest blanket to cover a variety of variables. There’s no way my 60 year old dad with a 90 mile an hour swing speed should be using the same club as a 28 year old 106 mile an hour swing speed golfer.

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BlkNGld September 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm

My general thought is that as a buyer, it’s my job to sift through all of the marketing stuff and figure out if anything – clubs or otherwise – bring enough value for the price. If the price is lowered, the value I assigned it at the time shouldn’t change. If a new one comes out, I only need ask if it’s that much better to warrant the outlay. My golf gear isn’t unlike my laptop.

So my responses

>> 1. Do you think there is enough demand for this new driver from Callaway if they release it?
What’s ‘enough’? If they’re able to make money at it, why wouldn’t they? That’s a business decision for them.

>> 2. Do you think that Callaway should start producing even more product releases?
For my own purposes, no. But I tend to upgrade my driver every 3 years on average, and other clubs go longer. When TM was putting out lots of releases I always felt the market, not internet groups, will tell them to keep doing it, or time to stop. It will do the same for Callaway.

>> 3. Do you think this new scheme will work?
It can if they manage their supply chain and inventory well. History suggest that’s hard.

>>4. Did you purchase an original Alpha driver? If so, what are your thoughts about this possible release?
I like my Alpha, seeing something new doesn’t change that. If something different works for someone else, great.

My answers are from the perspective of an end customer. If I were a retailer, no doubt I’d have different and more passionate answers.

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ryebread September 9, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Some quick thoughts:
– It’s a shame to see Callaway go down this path. I appreciate what they did with metal woods and to the industry in the 90s. I’ve always liked their irons, FWs and drivers. They’ve always performed well for me. It’s always been a brand that I liked, but I don’t like the turn of the last 2-3 years.

– I’m admittedly not a big social media person, but the moves by Harry and the Zoo Crew have negatively impacted my perception of Callaway. The website is garbage. The release cycles seem quicker. Sure they’re aggressive, cute, all over video and “connected” but that’s not what I want out of my golf OEM. Maybe I’m getting old, but I want more of what Ping is selling.

– If I must defend the OEMs, it is that the consumer ultimately is buying and creating this bubble market. Evidently there are a slew of people out there that buy the newest release constantly and sell them. There must always be a certain critical mass of high profit sales to be had, or the big boys wouldn’t be pushing so many release cycles. If consumers want to complain, they should be looking in the mirror.

– I don’t care about lots of release cycles. Golf clubs, like any other consumable, are a depreciating asset. I’ll buy older releases at reduced costs. I do care though if it hits the industry as a whole though.

– I care more about club quality. I can’t believe the quality is there with all the cycle turns, made in China, etc..

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DonW September 4, 2014 at 3:47 pm

The bottom line is …

Callaway makes money by selling golf clubs and other golf related products.

The other golf equipment companies do the same thing.

We as golfers have to learn to lose more golf balls when we play so Callaway can live on ball sales and not have to rely on club sales to break even.

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How embarrassing September 3, 2014 at 3:49 pm

I just bought the alpha less than a month ago, if they release another alpha type driver this year I’ll never buy a callaway product again. I’ve been playing a few different models of their irons for at least a decade and always preferred odyssey putters, but it seems like it might be time to purify the bag

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JG September 3, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Why would you never buy another Callaway club if a new version of the alpha got released? Does the one you just bought not perform? I’m guessing it won’t stop working the way it does right now or the way that it performed that made you want to buy it just because a new one comes out. Your logic doesn’t seem to hold up.

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short round September 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm

I got the new X2Hot from a friend. It’s nice and give me good distance when I play a pro-v1x.
A playing partner of mine STILL games an old Nike Sasquatch driver and can hit it a country mile! Yet I beat him more often than not because my iron play is solid and putting is great. Moral of the story: Don’t believe ANY driver hype, get your irons fit and continue improving your short game.

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andrew September 2, 2014 at 4:45 am

oh- and btw, enough with the sour grapes. if you bought a driver and it still is the best driver you’ve had two months later, who cares if a new iteration is released? intrinsic vs implied value…

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Leo West September 1, 2014 at 4:37 am

Buy Titleist forget the rest.

You never see a cheap second hand Titleist driver, clubs or wedges. You buy it once and will last you a long time. There are never “funny” equipment from Titleis flooding the market every 3 months. They design and build it correct the first time around.

Titleist is a statement in your bag. It shows that you made the wright decision the first time and will save you a lot of money. You only upgrade when you clubs are stolen and worn out.

I have seen people changing equipment 2-3 times a year, nerveless as you guess there was no improvement in their game, distance or score.

Keep your clubs and rather spend money at you qualified teaching pro. This way you will improve your game, your score and I guarantee your distance.

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andrew September 2, 2014 at 4:41 am

titleist did make a triangle driver…

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Regis September 3, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Their new 915 driver and fairways also have a speed slot. Forgive me they don’t -that would be a gimmick. My bad. No they have an ‘Active Recoil Channel”. Much classier.

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baddog August 30, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Wow, congrats to Callaway for pumping up the negative spin on a product which at any other time would have never garnered so much negative pre-attention. I read the original article with pics; I like the looks and I am very interested in a bonded driver at a good price point. The Beta Pics and Specs were up on the Callaway USA site.The Japanese Beta version pics and specs are also up on the Callaway Japan website (release date of 9/12). Harry ‘Potter’ Arnett has real put the bad spell on this club, and I can’t imagine anything but a storm of negativity across WRX, THP and MGS when this club is actually released. Funny, I finally get what I want, a gizmo free driver, but I’m waiting till the fire sale, because this one has nothing but ‘JetSpeed’ written all over it.

Not only does the golf industry not understand the business of golf., they (Callaway) are going to learn a sorry lesson about the power of social media.

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Trevor Whittle August 30, 2014 at 1:18 pm

This is just indicative of Callaways callous view of consumers. I purchased a Callaway UPRO GPS system . I purchased course downloads for life.

Earlier this year I was informed they were withdrawing support for the UPRO GPS Systems to concentrate on core business. Obviously they had not made any attempt to get another GPS company to provide support or even offer a discount voucher against other products.

Total contempt for their customer base.

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John August 30, 2014 at 11:05 am

I have played callaway clubs for 15 years. I played my X20s for 8 years. We are the fools if we keep buying the new models. Our buying habits have to send the LOUD message!

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Dalton McCrary August 29, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Harry was not always with Callaway. He was the Senior Director of Clubs and Ball development for Taylor Made. He double talks today just as he did when he was with Taylor Made. Here is an interview from the PGA Show of 2009 where he says that Taylor Made stopped making clubs with the weekend golfer in mind totally. Listen closely as he says that they are working with the Tour players to develop products that they can offer to the weekend golfer so he/she just feels good about being on the golf course because at the end of the day the number you write down on the scorecard only matters really to the Tour player.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfRuxrOcUcU&feature=player_detailpage

He’s over at Callaway Golf and he cares about the golfer? Sounds like what he said back in 2009 with Taylor Made. But you be the judge. Me personally, I don’t believe a damn thing any of the Big 5 Club Manufacturers say. I’ve been saying this now for over 20 years that Truth in Advertising and the Golf Industry can’t be put in the same sentence. Taylor Made like Callaway actually produce 3 different models of the same club. AND, and golfers the model you see the Tour Players swinging you can not buy. The club the tour players swing on TV ads is not the club you can purchase. The Tour players and the biggest liars there are in golf advertising. At least they are getting paid to lie. But if you think the Big 5 Club Manufacturers are developing products for the weekend golfer guess again. They are not.

My biggest laugh this year is Ernie Els and his commercials shown on golf telecast. He’s swinging the new club, his new clubs for 2014 and the director is telling him how much energy to expend after his swing telling golfers that it’s straight …. And LONG. Ernie can’t even keep a straight face as he is laughing and how many takes he is going through. The laugh is genuine and that image is the one they use of Ernie. It’s just funny, Ernie’s hat should say. THIS SPACE FOR RENT.

There is what is called “MARKETING FUDGING” which the Big 5 Club Manufacturers have take to a whole new low with “MARKETING LYING”. And they have been doing this for the past 40 years. Glad to see the lying catching up with them.

Just my view from the cheap seats.

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Jeff McCarthy August 30, 2014 at 1:30 am

Very well said.I agree with all of your comments?
Which reminds me.

Who was the x touring pro that was promoting I think Titliest golf balls that will not spin sideways but land and stop.His name I think started with A..
Any way what a joke he is.
In fact he is in my view bring paid to say Crap and a disgrace to to game.

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mike August 29, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Rex what does that even mean

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Rex August 30, 2014 at 1:22 am

It’s ok there Mike……

Enjoy your weekend.

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JG September 2, 2014 at 3:31 pm

It means he is just one of those uninformed people stirring the pot and has nothing truly factual to say.

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Rex September 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Well JG… nothing you want to hear, is probably closer to what you would define as a “fact”. Don’t you think?

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JG September 3, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Rex, I’m all ears. I don’t let a company’s release schedule dictate my happiness or the value of my clubs. Performance = true value. But I haven’t seen you post anything but red herring/personal attack type comments yet. So if you have something factual to say and not just hater/fan-boy talk, then let’s hear it!

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Dave C August 29, 2014 at 11:20 pm

What really is the issue here? Must be (a) resale value or (b) buyer’s remorse. If (a), how quick did you churn drivers? Fix the club, not the swing? If (b), if worried about technology improvements and/or price reductions, how hard is it to wait a half year and try multiple versions and weigh the process against benefits (cost benefit analysis)

1) there is always demand, question is, will supply be consistent with demand, overrun of supply will lead to discounting
2) more product releases – again, ties to demand, would would probably rely on more targeted demo releases
3) capitalism
4) no

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mike August 29, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Rex

It’s a small few that actually feel that way. I’ve read all the cap written and by no way is he getting anything handed to him. Uninformed people stirring the pot. Funny how you don’t talk about the supporters.

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Rex August 29, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Well, I suppose he has you for that, Mike….but from what I hear… you are going to have your hands full.

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Rex August 29, 2014 at 5:19 pm

How extraordinary….Harry Arnett (and by proxy, Callaway) has been getting his head handed to him on Twitter and G-WRX. Looks like this editorial, and the driver in question, are the ignition points….oh, and his apparent unprofessional behavior. Not a good career move.

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Jeff August 29, 2014 at 10:48 am

Peo

People need to wake up and realize they cannot buy their game and realize that their short comings are the Indian not the Arrow. There comes a time people need to realize that their short comings are practice not the equipment?

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Clay August 29, 2014 at 7:02 am

Isn’t it really our fault for trying to “buy the game?” We thirst for ‘one more yard’ and wait with bated breath until the new and improved comes out? I’m starting to associate golf equipment with computer technology; once you buy it, it’s almost antiquated. My garage is better than most pro shops around here as my wife can attest.
The fun is BUYING the new equipment. The flip side is that I still have irons, woods, etc. that I’ve only had in my bag a round or two. Why should Callaway be verbally assaulted when Taylormade has reinvented the term ‘gorilla marketing’ and has been bending us over a golf cart ever since the white-hot Rocketbladez was flashed before our eyes.
I say keep it coming! Golf purists are now few and far between and if golf is going to survive post-Tiger era, the new biggest and best thing is the only way to keep the heart ticking. Oh, by the way, if you haven’t hit the Callaway Optiforce fairway woods you are doing yourself a disservice. Best woods I have ever hit and it changed my game to single digits. (Callaway, you can send my commission check via email to the address listed above).

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mike c August 29, 2014 at 12:08 am

I’m a little disappointed in the one-sidedness of this article and of most of the comments. Lotta haterade being passed around. I purchase clubs based on what I like and what performs for me. If a new club does not perform in my hands better than my gamer performs then I will not consider buying it. Short product cycles can also lead to better products through trial and error. Why does it matter how many options are out there from a particular manufacturer? The criticism ‘appears’ to stem from irrational consumer behavior. You buy something that performs for you. Next week you see it for half the price. It still performs for you regardless of the new reduced price. Nothing has changed from a performance perspective. I also think these short releases cycles drive prices down. That’s good for us right? Everyone seems to continue to applaud Ping and Titleist for fewer options and holding high prices. Really?

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O. Jones August 31, 2014 at 10:46 am

mike c I agree with what you wrote and what a great question!
Why does everyone continue to applaud Ping and Titleist for holding high prices?
Ping is known to require retailers to maintain high prices, and while not a publicly traded company, Ping is not a 501(c) organization either. They like their profits too….

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EatSleepGolf August 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm

I personally think the Callaway & TaylorMade marketing strategy is working to achieve several of their main objectives:

– They flood the market, drowning out smaller companies (ie Cleveland Golf) by taking over shelf space and consumer awareness and over time eliminating competition.
– Every time they release something, all the golf media sites cover it like crazy (positive or negative but exposure nonetheless)…often for free.
– Avid golfers who have to have the latest and greatest spend $400 for the driver (big margin).
– Price conscious golfers wait 1-2 years and buy at half price (smaller margin but sell through nonetheless).

As a golf fanatic, I personally love all the new equipment releases. Occassionally buy new but most often get GREAT equipment at a great price just a year or 2 after release.

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Glen H August 28, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Callaway can make all the new equipment they want. I don’t like their equipment – drivers, woods, irons, wedges or golf balls; so I am not paying any attention to any of their hype or paying for any of their equipment. Go, Callaway, go ( away)!

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James Wilson August 28, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Will NEVER buy another Callaway club of any kind. They change models like I change underwear. In order to sell my like new FT Optiforce or my new Big Bertha Alpha I would loose hundreds of dollars close to $500.00 if not more. To Hell with Callaway Golf I never lost as much money in such a short time with Titleist clubs.

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phil August 28, 2014 at 8:59 pm

uh huh… lot’s of crafty rhetoric here folks, meanwhile behind all the latest and greatest GOLFERS ARE NOT PLAYING ANY BETTER THAN THEY DID 50 YEARS AGO WITH ALL YOUR NEW EQUIPMENT CALLAWAY!!!! Yea sure, we had a little tech introduced into the game with titanium oversized woods BUT THATS BEEN LIKE 25 YEARS AGO (only the golf ball has helped a little) You manufacturers suck! You’re full of sh&t to the extreme and the big con play on the consumer/industry you all hit us with is a shame! The game is NOT golf you people talk about IT’S THE MONEY GAME OF GROWTH, MARGINS & ROI that does not give a damn about sustaining the game. You’ll run it all in the ground Callaway, Taylormade … You guys suck! You’re Con Men You’re NOT interested in the game or player experience Bull Sh&t…
Quit pumping the game/consumer with all this Sh&t, downsize it all fellas and get real about it or you just like the robber baron real estate developers that pimped golf courses will further bust golf. Your stupid, greedy punks that siphon public funded companies of capital that could work much better elsewhere AND NOT FURTHER DESTROY THE INDUSTRY/GAME! Idiots…

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Also 10yr clubs August 28, 2014 at 6:46 pm

I rarely respond to articles, however at 71 yrs old I find clubs purchased in 2007 as the previous yrs model on E-bay quite adequate.
Yes I’ve heard the hype re: newer equipment improves your game, distance, etc. But with a 97mph swing speed and little control, who would I be fooling by spending hundreds if not thousands for new clubs every year?

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mr_divots August 28, 2014 at 4:57 pm

I’ve found Harry to be outright confrontational with people when participating on forums. That his message is supposedly listening to consumers, -he needs to be the first to adapt that notion himself. I was surprised to hear he held a position as high as he does at the company.

I had to stop watching the video when he said anyone trying to take an existing product and do it better would be annihilated…..has he heard of the JAPANESE AUTO INDUSTRY? Japan is the #2 golf economy in the world. One would think this glaring parallel would not be lost on Callaway.

Thinking more “social-media-y” than anyone else was the “plan” I saw.
#Not impressed.

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DAVE August 28, 2014 at 4:47 pm

You guys are totally awesome! Fact is the constant release of product is helpful–heck I stay one generation behind and buy all my stuff on Ebay at a fraction of retail!!! Not sure how they stay in business….

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gunmetal August 28, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Thank the industry for:

Titleist
Mizuno
Ping
Bridgestone
Srixon

I have a crap ton of Callaway stuff because I really liked their products. 6 + drivers in a year is utterly absurd. I love capitalism and will show Callaway, like I showed Taylormade, by spending my $$ elsewhere with the above companies.

It’s not like Callaway or TM make a better product than Ping or Mizuno. Any performance gains nowadays are due to the fit, whether the result of a professional fitting or stumbling into a better setup. Everything is matched. Low spin isn’t good for everyone.

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Phil August 28, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Callaway lost my respect when they started giving away free premium product in order to shift product (White hot putter with every driver if i remember rightly). Not sure if it was true but i saw a report stating that 53% of Callaways business was from previous iterations being sold in large volumes to big box and discount stores…
Used to love Callaway – original and warbird big Berthas were epic and since then there is the occasional great product but lots and lots of dross.
As for sales figures – often it is counted at distribution level rather than retail thus if a manufacturer really wants to hit number 1 in the sales charts all they have to do is dump a shit load of product at supersilly prices to retailers (maybe even on a buyback scheme…) to manipulate the figures. Trouble is they are then expected to hit 107% of these “sales” in time for the next quarterly report…

As an aside – loved the earlier article about actual lofts on drivers. Any chance of a follow up including loft, weight, actual shaft flex etc using a sample of 10 randomly sourced clubs? (no need to hit them so perhaps no need to buy them either??) Same for wedges specifically regarding loft/Bounce/lie

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Jeff McCarthy August 28, 2014 at 3:46 pm

And the winner is PING.

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Perry O'Keefe August 28, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Professional custom fitting can help golfers achieve measureable shot and score improvement. If you’ve been one of the millions who has always bought golf clubs off the rack in a retail golf store, pro shop or online and wondered why you did not achieve the improvement promised in the marketing claims for the clubs you bought, it is time to learn exactly why and how professional custom fitting can enable you to play better golf and enjoy the game much more. The best thing you can do to improve your game is to take your clubs to an experienced clubfitter in your area and have them fit to you and your level of play…YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THE IMPROVEMENT from your very first swing…and yes I am a custom club fitter.

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Stephen Peszel August 28, 2014 at 2:11 pm

So, why do you need a new driver again?
Is the “old” one worn out?
What is wrong with the “old” one?
Did it never work as promised – because it is built for a Pro and not for you?
Do you really need an extra 5 yards?
Does your wife think you need one?
Or are you just sucked in by the hype?
Think of all the money you spent on OEM clubs to be like the Pros, (who don’t hit what you buy anyway) when you could have had a set built to actually suit you and last for, what, ten years?

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scratchkelly August 28, 2014 at 1:40 pm

4. Let me answer this first Yes I bought the alpha partly due to their new marketing plan. But I told my son as I bought it It would his and the last callaway product I ever own again if they go back to the taylor made way of doing business. It’s now in his bag. It was a good driver but I can buy drivers with better shafts customs built for me. But I thought I would give callaway another go. It’s went from go to gone!

1. Do you think there is enough demand for this new driver from Callaway if they release it? nope… most people know that things are close to maxed out because of the limitations, usga and their physical/talent abilities! So buy something new, high quality, no taylor or callaway and be happy . there is nothing new in their marketing schemes….

2. Do you think that Callaway should start producing even more product releases? sure why not they can’t help them selves with what I thought was solid strategic marketing.

3. Do you think this new scheme will work? sure with the lower end of buyers

4. Did you purchase an original Alpha driver? If so, what are your thoughts about this possible release?e.

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Paul Fuentes August 28, 2014 at 1:32 pm

I lost all respect for Call away when they discontinued the Ben Hogan brand. Now they have the gall to try to market the “Apex” irons.

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tom S August 28, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Interesting, Paul, I noticed that too. The word “Apex” should never be on a golf club by itself; it should always be part of “Hogan Apex”. I believe Callaway sold the Ben Hogan name to another golf company (the identity of which escapes me right now) and there will be a new line of clubs with the Ben Hogan name.

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Craig August 28, 2014 at 7:44 pm

It is Eidolon Golf. They used to make wedges

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Todd Tschantz August 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Any wonder why we don’t see any more small golf shops? Margins are horrible as it is, then discounting products just months after introduction? Worse than what car dealers have to put up with. Still, a good fitter is worth the price. At least you will have a driver that suits your game. Stick with it!

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Bob Fota August 28, 2014 at 12:33 pm

As a consumer, what’s not to like about these sped-up product release cycles? We all know the drill, release a new driver and charge $400.00. One to two years later you can buy it for $125.00. Great technology at a great price. I LOVE IT!! It’s like buying a “brand new” two year old car that’s never been driven and has a full factory warranty. Originally it costs $30,000.00 and now available for $10,000.00. It’s a beautiful thing!

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Len Safhay August 28, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Whether shortened product cycles are good or bad for the golf equipment consumer depends on which of two categories they fall into:

1. Wow! A new ____ that will make me better and allow me to hit it farther!! Plus I like having the lateswt and greatest. I’m running down to the store now and paying full, bust-out retail.

2. Wow! A new ____ that will allow me to buy at a substantial discount the model that interested me that was released 3 months ago at a substantial discount. I’m logging on to ebay right now to see just how cheap it is!

For category 1 (lets call them the Dumb Group), the accelerated cycle is frustrating and expensive. For category 2 (the Smart Group) it’s a gift.

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tom S August 28, 2014 at 1:16 pm

How about “category 3”?

Wow! A new _______ that people (who have no game) think will be their Holy Grail and put them on the PGA Tour. When I get an hour or so, I might take my current driver over to the simulator at Golfsmith, and compare it to this shiny new one. If I get another 20 yards, maybe I’l think about it.

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Steve August 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Hey golf manufacturers eant to sell more clubs? Why don’t you try lowering the price. Price!, the main reason I use clones.

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Bob Pegram August 28, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Clones are not the same quality as name brands. Smaller indiependent companies with their own brands – GolfWorks, WishonGolf, GolfSmith, etc. – are just as high quality if not higher and work great, assuming the are fitted properly. Those companies and a number of other smaller companies don’t make clones (knock-offs), but high quality models of their own design.

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Robert Sprague August 28, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Everyone wants to know why golf is suffering the loss of so many players? Pace of Play is a big problem…but club manufacturers, golf apparel companies…they are a part of the problem too.

I am one of the millions who cannot afford to buy a new driver for $400+ each season (OR MORE OFTEN). I certainly can’t afford to do it TWICE each season. So I am forced into the world of “three-year-old” technology. It’s the Titleist 910 D2 for me. Three years from now I’ll be sporting my “new” Titleist 913.

Forty years ago I played college baseball…used the same glove for four years…

Go away Callaway

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tom S August 28, 2014 at 12:36 pm

> club manufacturers, golf apparel companies…they are a part of the problem too.

No, they’re not. Come on. Be at least somewhat realistic.

> I am one of the millions who cannot afford to buy a new driver for $400+ each season

So? If you can’t, don’t. You are implying that you can’t play golf unless you buy new clubs every season, and the fact that manufacturers release new product more than once every 2-3 years is a big reason for the decline in play. Do you realize how silly that argument is? Please.

> So I am forced into the world of “three-year-old” technology

So? Three year old technology is still pretty good, when you consider that Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Palmer, Nicklaus all played with persimmon.

Your argument is that you are forced into the world of three year old technology, but you wouldn’t be if manufacturers only released new versions every three years !

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Robert Sprague August 28, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Wow, Tom. S., that’s quite a tone you have there…condescending and obnoxious. Goodness forbid that someone like me should be allowed to express an opinion. I hope it pours rain on your next golf day. Bogies and three-putts to you, Tom S.!

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tom S August 28, 2014 at 1:37 pm

I guess when people refute your arguments, you are only capable of insulting them rather than replying to them.

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Bob Pegram August 28, 2014 at 12:39 pm

If your clubs fit your swing there is no need to buy the newest clubs. Golfers with clubs that fit are way ahead of most golfers. Buying off the rack almost guarantees a misfit.

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Braden Powers August 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I remember the good ole days of waiting for the Merchandise Show and seeing what was being released. Now it is close to every 4 weeks where TM or Callaway is releasing something. I am honestly glad that TM is starting to realize that no one is running out and buying the latest stuff. I think in Callaway’s case they used to be the big dog years ago and they are using TM’s playbook to try to get back there. I remember working at a shop in college and we couldn’t keep great big berthas in stock. You know why? That was the only thing that they were releasing at the time. Then TM started the flooding of the market and Callaway was washed away with the flood. Now they are playing TM’s game. Flooding the market and just drowning the consumer in a tsunami of new stuff. What Callaway is slow to realize and TM is starting to now is that at some point the tsunami has to reside.

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Sam Adams August 28, 2014 at 10:49 am

How are things in your world JG? :-)

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JG August 28, 2014 at 10:58 am

Life is good, how about you, Sam?

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Steve Killick August 28, 2014 at 9:56 am

I have written about this in my Blog this month. One thing that also needs to be considered is the hapless golf pro who not only has to tempt his members into buying all this new kit that floods the market but is often left trying to sell out of date stock at less than the trade price he paid for it. Since buying my new Big Bertha driver from my club pro last Christmas he is faced with three more models from Callaway alone. Manufacturers seem to be biting both hands of those that feed them.

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Dave August 28, 2014 at 8:20 am

From the appearance of the sales racks in every retail outlet I have been in Callaway is releasing the above mentioned products in smaller quantities. No big deal, I am still using my old Callaway irons. I tried the new (better) X2 Hot hybrids, they were far less of a club than the Razr X I sold. Drivers are the only category I consider upgrading and the PING i 20 I just purchased is easily better than anything Callaway or Taylormade EVER MADE! IMHO.

It’s all for fun anyway, work on your swing and take the family out for a night with the savings.

Dave

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Tony August 28, 2014 at 6:55 am

Ha, love that you called out all the Callaway employee posts

Where are the pics in the public domain? Whats the name of it so I can look it up in google?

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JG August 28, 2014 at 9:33 am

Just because an image is posted on the internet doesn’t mean it’s public domain. The image that was stolen from Callaway is protected under copyright laws, and was originally posted by someone breaking their non-disclosure agreement. My Golf Spy wrote this article to try and sound tough, but there are very real legal ramifications that could have taken place. And what would it matter if some of these posters work at Callaway? Don’t they have a right to voice their own opinion just like you do?

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mygolfspy August 28, 2014 at 10:49 am

Not sure if you have consulted with legal counsel but we did, what we did was legal. And until Callaway shows proof from their side to the contrary we stand by the fact that it is still legal.

By the way, These companies that always claim to have copyright NOT ONCE has provided proof to us.

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Dave Wood August 28, 2014 at 4:15 am

In the interests of balance!

Taylormade informed me that they could not replace my 9 iron because “they bring out far more models than other companies and keeping spare versions of their old models was impractical.” (I have a recording of the call with Taylormade UK Customer Service)

The snag is I wanted a Rocketbladz standard 9 iron. These were Taylormade’s current iron up to September 2013. I requested a replacement 9 iron in March 2014.

So, apparently all Taylormade iron are obsolete when the current model is superseded!!!

Out of interest I contacted Ping who were only too happy to supply models going back 3 or 4 version.

I was left with an 8 month old set of iron which I paid £600 for that i could not sell.

Caveat Emptor indeed.

Dave Wood

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Michael August 28, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Ping fixed the badge on my G5 free of charge. That thing must be 8 years old.

Besides putter, I try to be Ping top to bottom.

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JG August 28, 2014 at 2:48 am

It’s not companies like Callaway that are hurting the golf business, it’s articles like this that are dripping with personal vendetta and spewing conjecture. This article will only continue to confuse the casual reader into thinking the sport is doomed, when in reality it’s companies like Dick’s and TaylorMade that are perpetuating this doomsday talk as a convenient excuse for their poor business decisions. In the end it’s uninformed articles like this one that are doing the true damage.

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dk August 27, 2014 at 11:01 pm

What this ‘strategy’ overlooks is the perceived value of clubs once purchased, I bought a set of Callaway irons that were described and reviewed as the best possible materials and design, That should make them a potentially classic set of clubs. Exceptional (even for Callaway) materials and fine design should equal a Cadillac kind of regard for the equipment, at least from the company itself. That;s not why I bought them ( I just liked how they hit), and, as others have noted, buying at the pre-owned shop was a great way to go, but I also thought it would be a nice bonus to have set a clubs where quality=longevity of regard. Not so, of course. Clubs are like cars now-they devalue the moment you drive them and devalue further when the next model comes out. It doesn’t make much difference what they feature. If the flood continues, pretty soon the sporting goods shops will get savvy enough to rent clubs for the season (like some places do with skis) or sell them with a guaranteed buy-back like kid’s’ clubs. End result, lots of wire bins of used clubs. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing sculptures of welded old Callaway golf clubs-the dealers / companywill have to find something to do with the ones that are done trickling down..

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Anthony H August 27, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Tom

I think that came across different than I intended.

I wasn’t offended, I work hard at my game, and beat a lot of balls. I’m always bummed when a club beaks but like I said, I attribute it to how many balls I hit and the lack of quality of the range balls at my club.

We are all good, no offense taken.

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mike August 27, 2014 at 9:28 pm

I am literally dumbfounded by some of the people on here. The guy that broke of club moon’s ago is still bitter? I mean grow up. No one on here is an expert in the golf industry period and most of your Comments are just plain stupid and without facts. And don’t respond if you work in a golf shop someone and you think you have your finger on the pulse. Someone write something with credibility.

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Jim W August 27, 2014 at 8:34 pm

I started playing hickory shafted clubs a few years ago and find there is not a big difference
In length of drives compared to today’s large headed metal drivers. Have we not been promised by the club manufactures an extra 10 yards every year for years. If that was true we would all be hitting 800 yard drives.

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Robert K August 27, 2014 at 8:17 pm

I used to love Callway and Taylormade products, and only used them for years. Now I have all Ping clubs , and the only other company I would buy from is Titleist. They care about the consumer and the quality of the clubs. the others just keep preying on the consumer and hoping they they keep buying and buying just for the sake of buying . Stupidity will make Callaway and Taylormade made richer !!!!

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RoverRick August 27, 2014 at 7:27 pm

WTH? I thought golf club manufacturers existed in order to produce golf clubs. This is like b!tching about having too many rabbits. It is what they do.

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Anthony H August 27, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Tom

One driver razr black and 2 c2hot hybrids

I work on my whole game plenty bud. And score pretty well

The diablo is like 5 years old, how long do you expect a driver to have a warranty?

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Tom August 27, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Anthony

Whoa, bud! Perhaps you failed to notice the smiley :-) at the end of that comment. That indicates that I’m teasing you. Apparently that hit a sore spot. If I offended you, sorry. And it was a 3-wood. Frankly I’m pissed if any club breaks on me. Shattered a few persimmons in my day too. But I stand by my comment that if the clubs were fairly new, then QC is lacking. We all know that the actual cost of making the club is astronomically lower than what they sell for, so replacing the ones that break is much cheaper than retooling to produce a superior product.

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WILLIAM WILLIAMS August 27, 2014 at 6:55 pm

thank you….I’ll just wait 2-3 years and get this month’s longer, faster, higher club on EBAY for pennies on the dollar (like I’ve done for the last 10 years) !!

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Roy R August 27, 2014 at 6:42 pm

I like many others fell into the trap of thinking the latest greatest driver would increase my distance! What a fool I was!!! I purchased a Taylormade Sldr after seeing the results on the launch monitor at the big box golf store. Longer, straighter, etc., etc.! Took it to the local driving range in March, cold here in Ohio so had to hit off the heated tees and after some adjustment it was almost as good as the launch monitor. I did discover that the SLDR medallion on the sole of the club was dented and pulling away from the sole, I can’t imagine a rubber tee doing that to a quality product! My thought was a $399 driver and a 2 cent medallion is falling off!! I returned the club to the place of purchase and was offered a new SLDR (they told me it was a known problem with the SLDR) but I reasoning that it would just happen again. Long story short, after getting a Callaway RAZR Fit Extreme as a replacement, a Ping G25 on sale, I am back to my Taylormade R7 SuperQuad which is about 7-8 years old and getting the same distance as when it was new and I was younger (I’m 66 yrs old). Practice makes you better, not new every 3 month equipment!!

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Danny Soutar August 27, 2014 at 6:37 pm

I like MGS- the club testing/comparisons are by far and away your strongest feature.So why not do what you do best & check out whether or not the new product is actually any better than that which it replaces?Then your rather hysterical ” business” views may have some merit.
I don’t read your site for business ” insight”-with the greatest respect there are far more knowledgable and informative sites than yours re the retail trade-because you might as well be talking about watches/ cars/ mobile phones etc etc ie all the shit we really don’t need to buy as often as we do and not as often as the business wants- so stick to golf- the consumer will ultimately decide whether the business model is sound or not and I for one do not need your tuppence worth( with the greatest respect)

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Ross August 27, 2014 at 5:38 pm

I am sick and tired of consumers being upset because there are so many products to choose from. From the consumer’s stand point, I couldn’t be happier that there are frequent releases and manufacturers are giving the consumer so many options.

I agree that from a retailer’s standpoint, flooding the market with product CAN be a bad thing if the manufacturer sticks the retailer with no way to recoup lost profit given that the old line is so quickly to be discounted.

I have a BB Alpha I bought earlier this year, and I couldn’t care less that there are now newer offerings.

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daniel August 27, 2014 at 5:01 pm

never buy allaway and taylermaide they dont care cabout you they wont your MONEY the buyers are stupid after 2 month hey a new driver this one look good i buy 2 month after ca new driver wow i change and agan,agan,agan you pay 400 ,,,you sale,,,150,,,you paid 400 ho you sold it 150 ho a new one you buy 500 ans sale for 150 allllll that for wath 2 yard and ca lost of about 1500 hou is the winner ???????????? irons are the same thig WAKE UP !!!!!!! love titleist,,,nike,,,mizuno they dont put new driver ,irons avery month pls WAKE UP for cthe love of your wallet.

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Puma August 27, 2014 at 4:31 pm

I agree that the danger to the seller of golf equipment is much greater that that of the golfer. Many big retailers use a 90 day same as cash approach, but with a take it back if it doesn’t sell to the manufacturers/distributors, etc. Perhaps we could see golf “technology” door swing the other way if this was the model. I submit that we would see the end of quarterly introductions if everyone adopted this policy. Why care about the retailers? Because they offer the convenience of a choice where the consumer spends hi/her money. If they go out of business, the only thing that remains is green grass pro shops, limited access, or the Internet. If you want a reduction in purchasing options, or trust buying unseen visa the web, well….
I am one who believes that the strongest buying trigger involving a purchase is trust. Without it, no commerce. When the aforementioned companies spend millions on the Pro Tour and media advertising to build confidence in the mind of the prospective buyer, then in no time at all, reiterate their hype in 90 days with a newer product, trust is gone. I believe that a majority of golfers want to be, or are brand loyal. Those companies that value consumer trust will survive, those that don’t will be consumed by their competition or vanish.
Good to see this level of response.

Too bad we don’t care as much about our government!

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DDick August 27, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Funny thing most people don’t know that all of the current Drivers are made of the same thing
Titanium and from the same factories in China. These club heads are all welded by hand and hand finished by low paid workers–

The only difference is the hype each golf company puts behind them . I was even surprised
that some companies were even applying for Color Patents.

Dick

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Craig August 28, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Don’t forget that the shafts are made on the cheap as well. You think that you are getting a genuine shaft when all you are actually getting is a cheap generic version with the same paint colours. That’s another reason why they can sell reasonably cheap. The OEM’s will never lose out even if they sell their drivers at half price

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scottyfan August 27, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Looking at various best driver reviews on a variety of sites it is very clear that about 5 yards
covers the difference in distance of the top 20 rated drivers when they are played by an average cross section of golfers. So the majority of golfers are never going to see big yardage gains by buying a new off the rack driver.
Most significant increases in performance come from improving your swing and getting the
clubs correctly fitted in terms of loft shaft length etc.
After that changing clubs is really only necessary when they are worn out or the golfer
has made significant improvement in his strength /ability/ consistency.
Unfortunately when companies decide to ramp up sales by introducing more product with shorter manufacturing life cycle it may work for a while then it becomes apparent to the golfer that the gains claimed are for him / her at best marginal.
However by now there is a corporate expectation that the new higher sales revenues can
be maintained / increased and it takes events like what’s happening now to reshape the
industry model.
In the end it is market size, consumer spend, the effect on share price, shareholders and corporate response that will decide the fate of the likes Taylormade and Callaway and their future business models.

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Regis August 27, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Let me offer a parallel. I am a lifetime NY Yankee fan and I don’t apologize for it. Everyone hates the Yankees and in general we don’t care. I am also a die in the wool (can’t say lifetime-TMAG wasn’t always around) Taylor Made fan -just bought the SLDR irons as a matter of fact. If Taylor Made comes out with a new driver I’m going to be interested in looking at it especially if they keep the same shaft adaptor and I don’t care what people think. I’ve owned Callaway , Titleist, Cobra and other brand woods but overall I’m a Taylor Made guy. Callaway or any other manufacturer looking to follow the Taylor Made “scorched earth” marketing model better build up the same kind of brand loyalty because you can’t afford a dud. Put out two in a short period of time that don’t get people talking and you’ve lost your fan base..

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Chris C August 27, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Dear MGS: If the “many” are so very tired of the greedy, uncaring, selfish manufacturers, will you listen, truly listen to their wailing and agree to stop being an enabler for such dastardly manufacturers? Perhaps you might decide to stop covering the PGA Merchandise Show. Perhaps you could institute a policy restricting your reviews and testing to 2-3 year cycles. Perhaps when I open the MGS page I will be met with a friendly “nothing new here – check back next year”. The fact of the matter is that most of us like seeing, trying and reading about new product even if we are exposed to the temptation of taking a bite of the new shiny apple. Imagine how boring it would be if all manufacturers opted to follow Bridgestone’s product release model.

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Salmon August 27, 2014 at 7:49 pm

That would be all well and good if every single golfer in the world was on the same 2-4 year upgrade cycle. Everyone is in a different state of looking at upgrades because we all have different clubs of different ages therefore there will always be people looking to upgrade during a given year. It would not be smart to just simply stop covering the PGA show because it gives people who can’t make it themselves an insight into the companies and the things they may be working on or the ideas that are developing. And it would also not be the best idea to simply refuse to stop clubs and do it on a 3 year cycle because the testing and results are a good place to start for people that are looking to upgrade in that given year. All of this is not related to flooding the market with product by companies.

If there is one thing this website stands for above all is the growth of a healthy golfing culture and industry.

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Bob Swazey August 27, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Why are you people so critical of these manufacturers, when your whole life is based on discussing new products. You can’t have it both ways!

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Scott Fanch August 27, 2014 at 2:48 pm

A little OT, but I found this site via GolfWRX. I’m liking the discourse in here without the mods breathing down your throat.

GolfWRX is very well run and informative, but it seems like the mods treat the posters like we’re back in middle school. Get over yourself.

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Bob Pegram August 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I have been playing for 49+ years. My driver and fairway wood heads and shafts are more than 10 years old. However, they were fitted to me and assembled within the last year. All the parts were unused. My iron heads are more than 20 years old. The iron shafts are new Aerotech Steelfiber – a shaft model that hasn’t changed in about 10 years or more.
I shoot around par on my good days. Having a set that fits you well is WAY more important than having the newest model. For example, my fairway woods are low profile which makes hitting them very easy. They are Zero Tolerance brand which has been out of business for a long time. My driver head is La Jolla – also out of business for a long time (due to Ely Callaway’s lies about La Jolla Golf. I can hit many par 5s in two – up to about 525 yards max. Who needs all the marketing hype?

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Games People Play August 27, 2014 at 2:44 pm

There is a old saying , a fish rots from the head. Its no different than our country and how it is ran. Most of these golf executives (excluding PING), dont visit retailers. They have never done a demo day, called on customers , and or have done the things that the reps have to do today. They make moves in the business so they can have there six and seven figure salaries. Have you seen a executive yet, take a pay cut for the benefit of the company? NO, they have been living a certain lifestyle for so long , that they would never consider taking a pay cut. Our retail establishment has been around for 30 years, I have to say, the golf companies and executives that operate them are the most dishonest and self serving people I have ever dealt with. They lie, the cut corners, they justify all the unethical behaviors. The corruption is rampant. The Favoritism to big box stores like Golfsmith , has hurt the overall business. Less and Less Mom and Pop shops are around and great independents like ourselves have suffered because of these Favoritism: Example: I had two customers come in today with V series drivers from Golfsmith. They wanted to purchase from us, but our V Series Drivers still have not shipped yet.
My rep called Callaway – he was as frustrated as we were doesnt understand why they have not shipped. I asked why is big box getting preferential treatment. It makes us look bad to our customers. I ask What can we do to ensure this doesnt happen again? What are we doing wrong ? I never get a return email , just simply ignored. IF there is one company to commend in all this. Its the PING company, they are the only company that operates on integrity and honesty. They are the only company that enforces policies equitably and fairly across the board. Last year Ping Anser was in the market, they had two options, to reduce the price on Anser and put a new Anser in the market. The PING company decided to shelve the new products , and took a major hit, because they believed it would have been not right to consumers and retailers put more product in a market place that was already flodded. They recognized that the market was flooded. I cant name one company in the industry that has ever decided to shelve a product because the market was served better not to have more product in the market. I tell all consumers , if you are interested in keeping golf going in the right direction and getting out of the hole, … buy PING. They stand by the products they introduce and do things the right way. I am glad Colt wrote this article and others, he is helping our industry, most consumers are unaware, how unethical and how vindictive most of these suppliers are. They care about two things, the stock price and money. IF they cared about the game or the business, then they would have done more for PGA pros, especially when they suffered losing business in the 80’s and 90’s to the likes of the Edwin Watt’s of the world.

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DavidL August 27, 2014 at 1:52 pm

The sky is falling, the sky is falling! I just bought a new 2014 car yesterday and they already had the 2015 on the lot!
Seriously, give us a break. This whole criticism of club manufacturers is BS. I thought this country prided itself on letting the market determine everything. If these companies fail, then so be it but all the hand wringing over new products is amazing. This happens in most consumer driven products and has been going on forever.

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Tom August 27, 2014 at 1:40 pm

I’m a +3.5 hndcp. I have my driver and I’m satisfied that I couldn’t get any more yardage. However, the Callaway’s of the world are not marketing primarily to me (and you). Face it… less than a tenth of one percent of golfers subscribe to or even look at forums like this. Therefore, we are complete minorities and the Callaway’s of the world are not marketing to us!!! They are marketing to the guy who golfs a few times a year and still has a set of bubble shaft taylormade’s or an original big bertha. The Callaway’s hope that golfer will take the bait and go to a store and upgrade. The Callaway’s are a worldwide provider of clubs and derive 100s of millions in revenues per year. They don’t care about us… Neither does Taylormade or Titleist. Our voice just doesn’t matter (as much as you think it might).

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Tom August 27, 2014 at 1:39 pm

As long as there are golfers who need to get the latest and greatest equipment fix, golf companies will continue to do this. I know guys who salivate at the thought of a new model club, no matter how much they like their present clubs.
The sad part is companies like Callaway make ridiculous cosmetic changes on clubs and call it new technology. Ping, at least tries to incorporate a little new technology when they upgrade.

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Russ August 27, 2014 at 1:36 pm

I’ve finished with Callaway as a company anyway, after the total disregard they showed their customers in relation to their GPS Systems. Selling them right up to the day they pulled the plug with only a notice on the web page to be found “AFTER” you’ve bought one and attempting to register it. Shows the how little respect they actually have for the consumer.!! Let them waste their money on new ranges as much as they want… I wouldn’t even buy their balls now!!

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TwoSolitudes August 27, 2014 at 1:31 pm

My favourite part of this is how the Callaway staff through they could make comments without identifying themselves. Then after getting called out they try to do it three more times! Hahaha!! It’s amateur hour over there.

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Dan August 27, 2014 at 1:24 pm

I used to get excited when the time came around for new equipment to come out. It was like Christmas. Now it’s not much fun anymore. Having Christmas every week isn’t much fun and takes the excitement out of looking forward to the companies coming out with new stuff once a year. What a BuzzKill.

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Jeff August 27, 2014 at 1:01 pm

There will always be twits who cannot live without the latest version of smart phone or lap-pad.
As long as they exist… the rest of us will suffer. ($300 or $400+ for one driver? Sheesh! I know a guy who still plays with old Hogan Apex’s and persimmon woods who can beat the socks off of 98% of the worlds golfers. Go figure!

Nuff said.

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sidehung August 27, 2014 at 12:49 pm

I think most of the new version clubs go to the gift market beside those chasing for new shine clubs at the t-offs.
Experienced golfers will wait to buy his likes later .

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John August 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm

That is why I only buy new irons every 5 years or so, other than that I buy used clubs for a lot less… so it may be an older model…. who cares… I can still play with the equipment and if my swing tempo or load changes, I have a closet full to shop from. I can switch irons, drivers, wedges or putters in a heartbeat depending on the conditions of the golf course (wet, soggy, hard and dry, cold or hot, slow or fast greens, hard or soft sand). Forget trading old equipment in, it may come in handy one day. How many times have you experienced trader’s remorse….(man, I wish I could have that driver, putter, wedge back… ) You made the initial investment, it is crazy to lose all the equity with a trade that will net you a fraction of what you paid (unless the equipment is worn out).

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sandy Lang August 27, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Who cares about to many new clubs. Trade in back in if you don’t like it. These golf companies have zero clue how to brand and advertise. The worst ads in all businesses. You don’t like it don’t buy it. If a player is playing well at their capacity why change. You don’t change cars every 6 months. As a practical matter you keep your shoes longer then golf clubs. Keep your clubs they are all good. It is not the club stop looking for one yard of distance. It’s all bull shot hype. Practice get professional help. The companies will get it when they have retailers five deep in older models. Callaway has done that before. If the consumer wants it so be it. But if the consumer backs away well things change. Prices come down shirts change from 100 dollars to 49.95. But the consumer always at the end of the day dictates the rules. If they want it they will get it.

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joe August 27, 2014 at 12:29 pm

ridiculous!

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Hale August 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Who cares? This is only a problem for the idiots who readily plunk down $400 or $500 for a new driver every season. I’ve had 3 drivers over the past 10 years, and bought none of them brand new or at the MSRP. You’re much better off getting fitted into a proper shaft than chasing the OEM technology fads.

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Jeff August 27, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Plus one for the right shaft. The best driver I have have in years is a 5 year old Adams that I paid $25 for. I just gotta get the new $450 slotted one, though. 😉

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Howard August 27, 2014 at 12:16 pm

There is NO demand for new products when they are introduced! Some golfers buy them six
months later when they are marked down because they introduce another new one or just buy one used (people trade them in because there was not the improvement as advertised). Imagine that! If you have to have a Callaway or TM driver just wait 4-6 months.

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denis August 27, 2014 at 12:13 pm

i think TM and Calloway should sell a new driver avery week; consummers would profit for a price drop every week for the week old driver (who would buy a week old driver for the same price as the new driver)… a two weeks old driver cheaper and so on…
that business model of TM lets people buy an almost new driver for a discount price and this “old” driver is probably the same anyway! so if some golfers want to buy in the hype created good for them.
and if TM and Calloway make money, it’s the purpose of having a company (making profits)

are they to blame? no
are the buyers to blame? probably

but the real culprits are those professionnals that participate in tne publicity hype …

and most of all all those professionals who write reviews selling those drivers; the number of good review for the TM sldr telling every golfers how goods and performant the driver was!!!! (wasn’t there reviews like that on mygolf?)

the professionals reviewers should do a better jobs so people could make a better choice and not buy a new driver because it was recommended as a new best driver of the year or best performance or…reviewers on golf website should be more honnest and just say once in a while: “don’t buy; there no real gain in this new driver”.

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Craig August 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm

I really don’t care who makes the most drivers nowadays. OK, they all maybe a little more easier to hit but does anybody remember that the good players were hitting persimmon drivers with steel shafts at 43″ long further than most of the latest drivers on the market today. If you read a golf mag from 20 yrs ago, the same debate is still going on. This persimmon driver is Longer and straighter than that persimmon driver. Although technology has advanced in twenty yrs , the ball strikeing of the modern player has not. I bet that a lot of you golfers out there would be better off with more loft on all your clubs and would maybe improve your enjoyment of the game with shorter drivers that you can keep on the fairway more.

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RobN August 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm

I agree completely. My new driver is a Wishon 919F/D, 43.5″ long, and 14.5° of loft. Straighter AND longer than the AMP Cell it replaced!

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PlaidJacket August 27, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I can’t really fault the manufacturers. I mainly fault golfers. Which includes me. We’re the biggest suckers on the planet. If I’m selling widgets and consumers are snapping them up just because I change my package or claim something new what do you expect me to do? Stick with the same old widget? Of course not. Same with golf companies. I just bought a new set of custom fitted Wishon irons. (they are awesome by the way) Before buying my latest set of irons I’ve only had 2 others over a 20 year period. My hybrids are old too. My Ping driver is 5 years old. So don’t get all up on your hind legs when a major equipment mfg. releases a new club. They only do it because they know we’re a bunch of chumps. No one is forcing us to buy each new club they spit out are they? We actually control the market. Think about it.

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Saint Louie Hacker August 27, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Eli Callaway started this mess years ago, not Taylor Made. No single piece of golf equipment should cost what he charged. He understood that greed trumped rationality for many golfers.
A direct consequence of this hubris: the game itself has suffered, courses changed and the number of players dwindled.
No sympathy here. We’ve suffered, now it’s the manufacturers’ turn.

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tom S August 27, 2014 at 12:10 pm

> No single piece of golf equipment should cost what he charged.

We could start a whole new thread on $200+ putters.

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Back nine Bob August 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

I think the other golf companies are thanking Callaway for stopping Taylormade madness on dominating the golf industries, if Callaway did not compete, Taylormade will own all the market shares! and that’s not good for the small golf companies.

So why blame Callaway?

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Anthony H August 27, 2014 at 11:53 am

If how the club performs is all you care about then why are we having this discussion ?

You would think you would be stoked to have all the new offerings to write articles for

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mygolfspy August 27, 2014 at 11:57 am

Assuming you didn’t read the article. It stated we are here to be the voice of the consumer and turn the voice of 1 into many. The many are saying they are tired of this selfish branding message built around caring little about you and your game and one which only seems to care about putting their latest and greatest and soon to be marked down product in your bag.

If you want to side with the greed by all means feel free. If you would like to have a place where your voice can be heard, we will be here waiting.

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GD August 27, 2014 at 11:43 am

Consider this: companies are aiming at young people who grew up with the Internet, video games and instant everything. Most business are focused on generating brand loyalty with younger consumers who get bored/distracted easily. New releases (which generate constant marketing and hype), I suppose helps companies stay “cool” and relevant with today’s young people.

BTW, I think it’s good that golf companies keep releasing new equipment because it means that used equipment (even new equipment) will get cheaper which can only help the consumer.

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tom S August 27, 2014 at 11:40 am

Hey, let me make a very stupid observation … On the one hand, MGS frequently criticizes Taylor Made, and (if I read properly) places a lot of the blame on TM for the current industry woes. But on the other hand, the TM SLDR is ranked as #1 on your list of “Most Wanted Drivers for Swing Speeds Over 100MPH” as well as #1 on the list of “Most Wanted Drivers for Swing Speeds Under 100MPH”. How can this be? They must be doing something right. Maybe if they didn’t release product as frequently as they do, perhaps there would be no SLDR driver? Yeah, I know all about the Jet Speed debacle and those silly puppets, but so what? Was the Jet Speed driver a good club? I don’t know, but maybe it was. Did they bail out on it too soon? Maybe they did, But so what? I personally think the SLDR is a great club, and TM has positively nailed it with the SpeedBlades. So I am happy that TM has released the SLDR driver and SpeedBlade irons. You guys can go on and tell them not to turn over their product lines as frequently as they do. “Oh, no, stop be before I buy!” I have bought, I am happy, The equipment is improving quickly in this game, and you have to upgrade every few years or be left behind. I have upgraded. I am done. I can now just observe. Just my 2 cents.

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mygolfspy August 27, 2014 at 11:47 am

So let me get this straight:

You are saying if you make a great performing product like the SLDR then make 20 of them? Why not make one great performing driver and not come out with another one until there is ACTUAL DEMAND for a next one. Golfers on average don’t buy new drivers but every 4 years, and those are the dedicated golfers.

So, how is there demand then for 6 new drivers from the same company in less than 12 months? I will tell you how.

There isn’t.

At MyGolfSpy we only care about how these clubs perform for you. We want to help arm every golfer with the BEST performing clubs they can put in their bags. Not the most clubs you can put in your bag.

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tom S August 27, 2014 at 11:56 am

> You are saying if you make a great performing product like the SLDR then make 20 of them?

No, sir, I am not saying that at all. I am making an economic argument. TM’s strategy has given us the SLDR. I am saying that if TM didn’t have their strategy of frequent releases, the SLDR would not exist. Perhaps the JetSpeed wouldn’t exist either. Maybe the RBZ would still be their current product.

> So, how is there demand then for 6 new drivers from the same company in less than 12 months?

You are right, there isn’t. At least there wasn’t from me. I didn’t buy until I got into the simulator at Golfsmiith with the SLDR. The numbers convinced me that it was the right club.

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mygolfspy August 27, 2014 at 12:01 pm

So, actually what you are doing is defending our work. Stating that our data was correct, the SLDR was the #1 Driver for you.

Now, ask Taylormade why they chose not to release the SLDR V2.0 a couple weeks ago. Because they tend to agree with this article, its not the right time. Customers are not demanding it. They got the message. Callaway still hasn’t, but will when their Pirate Ship sinks.

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tom S August 27, 2014 at 12:07 pm

> So, actually what you are doing is defending our work. Stating that our data was correct, the SLDR was the #1 Driver for you.

Yes. Absolutely. I did not mean my original posting as a criticism of MGS. I applaud you and what you are doing. Although I bought my SLDR at the beginning of the golf season, prior to your review. But it is always nice to see a purchase validated.

> Now, ask Taylormade why they chose not to release the SLDR V2.0 a couple weeks ago.

I could ask TM anything, and it would be answered with marketing-speak so as to be unintelligible. Just like any large company.

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Regis August 28, 2014 at 2:32 pm

All I can say is I got fitted for and bought the original SLDR, and I’m satisfied. My friend tried a SLDR from the pro shop for a couple of rounds (which is really how a lot of golfers demo and buy new clubs) and bought the SLDR S because he thinks the adjustability feature is stupid (I totally disagree but I like switching out shafts-he doesn’t) . Who got hurt. I insist on a leather interior when I buy a new car (rare) while he is totally comfortable with fabric and thinks the upcharge for leather is a waste of money. Maybe the reason the Saturn isn’t around anymore though my wife loves hers. Dismount from that high horse.

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andrew September 2, 2014 at 4:37 am

i say forget about demand, and marketing, just release clubs that are measurably, demonstrably, and SIGNIFICANTLY better than their predecessors. try everything you can in r&d, and when its actually better, then release it, but focus on making it measurably better, not just maybeably better.

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Bluch August 27, 2014 at 11:29 am

I am still hitting the RAZR Fit Extreme due to the introduction of new equipment by Callaway every few months. Their marketing strategy is ridiculous. They may be making money now but so was Dick’s and Adams. The writing is on the wall and the writing is not looking good. Until their are legal changes to equipment specifications nothing will change other than rearranging clubs within present rule specifications. Enough is not enough, people still buy snake oil, and that’s exactly what you get “snake oil”. Stop and think about it people the sports industry is the only one that appears to be regulated, mostly for safety and fairness. I will not be buying any clubs anytime soon from anyone.

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Greg August 27, 2014 at 11:20 am

I have to agree with the comments below and the article. I was a died in the wool Taylor Made fan. My bag was a filled with their clubs and I proudly toted a TM bag as well, oh don’t forget the balls. I stopped buying their gear after the R11 was replaced by the R11s and my R11 irons were old news a couple of months after I bought them when a countless number of RBZ everythings came out not to mention, SLDR’s, Jet Speeds and a dismaying assortment of others. Thankfully I’ve never liked anything Callaway have made, I’ve tried to but lost interest after I hit some of their stainless steel irons on the range and it felt like hitting rocks. I now have Pings in the bag my game has improved exponentially, my handicap is the lowest it has ever been and I know my clubs are not going to be an also ran model in 6 months. Major equipment manufacturers your greed will eat you up and hurt those who work for you. Pride, integrity, quality and honour should be your foundation and karma will get ya.

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Regis August 27, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Just jumpin in because your ” Pride, integrity, quality and honour ” brought tears to my eyes. No Seriously

Taylor Made introduced the SLDR in July 2013 and the Jet Speeds in November of 2013
(Yeah I know they have the fixed hosel S series and different colors) but the SLDR series replaced the R1 (Driver only) which was introduced in January 2013, and the Jet Speed replaced the RBZ II (Feb 2013)

By comparison Ping introduced its G-30 (July 2014) to replace its G-25 (February 2013) [and of course to be fair the G-30 also comes in a SFTec series} its I-25 (February 2014) replaced the I-20 (February 2012) and of course we had the Anser (July 2012).

So let me just offer that to a non-golfer or a golfer who is not brand promoting (MYSELF INCLUDED) this really would appear to be a distinction without a difference.

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Leeman August 27, 2014 at 11:14 am

Ok, I’m confused.

Exactly who is it that’s holding a gun to the consumer’s head making them buy new clubs every 3, 6 or 12 months?

Car manufacturers come out with new models every year (my Highlander is 12 years old). There are new TVs, phones, stereos, bluray players, appliances, etc. every year from every manufacturer. They’re all supposed to be better than last year’s model. Do you run out and buy a new one of those every year? No, of course not. So, why do you people feel the need to have the newest, latest, greatest (allegedly) golf equipment?

P.T. Barnum was on to something. If there’s not a sucker born every minute then perhaps every 3-6 months at least, especially when it comes to golf.

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DrewT August 27, 2014 at 11:23 am

%100..I said this too…like the Iphone industry…the have cultivated a system that people need to buy new. We agree with MSG that this is horrible but its all %100 perception. Look around you..
My Car is 2006
TV is 2008
Clubs 2013
Phone 2012

Arguably my clubs are the spurge of those purchases…need my car, my phone and arguably my TV as it entertains my family. yet my clubs are ONLY for me and ONLY for recreation and yet they are the newest…misplaced priorities? You betcha!

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Leeman August 27, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Exactly right.

My second favorite hobby next to golf is computer gaming, which i do extensively in the offseason. ATI and nVidia come out with new graphics cards constantly (at the price of a top of the line driver from Callaway or Taylor Made, by the way) but I only update my video card about every two years, let alone every 3-6 months. It’s insane. But, there are those hardcore hardware junkies in the gaming business that have to have 3 more frames per second and are willing to pay $500 for nothing more than the privalege of bragging to their friends how much that extra 3 frames per second has improved the quality of their life. But, I’m not hearing how ATI and nVidia are “ruining” the gaming industry.

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Person Person September 3, 2014 at 10:55 am

I think though that there are enough new people getting into the gaming scene on pcs now though that they can somewhat justify coming out with a new card so often. At least the new cards are somewhat new technology though unlike most golf club releases that are just a face lift of an older club.

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Robert August 27, 2014 at 11:13 am

After your article and reviews on Miura Golf clubs I got myself custom fitted. I know what some of you will say “oh they cost to much”..Yo, it’s going to save me money, in the long run, I NEVER HAVE TO PURCHASE ANOTHER SET AGAIN.
Goodby TM and Callaway.

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Jeff McCarthy August 28, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Well said.
My Miura irons are 4yrs old and have no desire to buy any thing else.

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mkbagwell August 27, 2014 at 10:52 am

Just three words: Ebay, Ebay, Ebay.

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Raz August 27, 2014 at 10:50 am

TaylorMade started this obsession of coming out with new golf equipment every 6 months or less. The product life cycle should be 18-24 months so that consumers can play with what they have instead of only 3 months and their club has been obsolete or discontinued. Callaway is running on that band wagon now and many Callaway loyalists are getting off the wagon with its antics. Why can’t these companies take a longer life cycle and better improve the technology then just a few cosmetic changes and stating this is their best driver or irons ever. You can see the golf industry has been on the downward spiral and more people are leaving the game every year, you would think these golf companies would get the picture before they are basically boycotted by the golfers. It is time for them to wake up and go back to normal life cycles and bring the costs down! Really do they need all these pros on their staff! Real golfers are getting smarter and not going to play the same driver or irons a tour pro is playing, they will try different equipment and then the best club for them will be revealed by launch monitors, and actually hitting the various clubs in person. Consumers must make these companies aware that we have had enough
of the BS that every club that comes out isn’t necessary better than previous clubs!

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Leeman August 27, 2014 at 10:38 am

I’m not sure why people feel the need to buy new clubs every year. I had my Ping Zings for 18 years before buying Callaway X-20s 4-5 years ago. I had my Callaway Big Bertha Warbird driver nearly that long until I bought an X-Hot (used) this year. I probably could have justified a better driver a few years sooner to take advantage of the technology but I wasn’t playing a lot of golf then. But, these new irons honeslty aren’t significantly longer or straighter than the Pings I had 18 years ago.

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Leeman August 27, 2014 at 10:29 am

I stopped buying new many, many years ago. Generally, I’m quite happy with buying clubs a few years old from Callaway’s used website. Great deals on great clubs. So what if they’re not the latest and greatest? This summer I bought a driver model that was a year or two old, It sold for nearly $400 when it was released and I got it used in very good condition for $128 and it has adjustable hosel for loft and face angle.

Anyone buying a new $400-$500 driver every year (or every 6 months) is either stupid or has more money than they know what to do with.

Personally, I don’t care if Callaway releases a new model every week. It wlll drive down the cost of the older models and I only buy them used.

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Mike Early August 27, 2014 at 10:19 am

With the very frequent releases I am beginning to wonder if the public is now the one testing the clubs — sort of like a public beta of software but with a price to play/test. I really don’t see how the various R&D departments at the club makers are really making substantive changes every 2 months and having a new and improved product available for sale. I really do think they come up with a new tweak and release it for us to finish testing. Actually in thinking about it, this can’t be right as the new models are coming out so fast they couldn’t get any feedback to fold into the next iteration. Nope, back to the flood the market theory of marketing and since these things are made for pennies on the dollar so what if they get marked down after 6 months. Quite a business model!

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William Leonard August 27, 2014 at 10:04 am

A business model based on the false assumption there is one born every minute cannot succeed.

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Umgawa August 27, 2014 at 10:02 am

My driver is made of wood

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Rich August 27, 2014 at 9:57 am

If you swing 100 mph, you should carry the ball about 245-255 yards. They can make a new driver every day, but those numbers won’t change much for the average 12-15 handicap and anyone with half a brain knows that. If people don’t buy the new “flavor of the month” Callaway or any other company will have to listen as their bottom line will show the public’s apathy towards their new gear. It’s that simple.

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fleeter August 27, 2014 at 9:57 am

I think the current North American economy cannot sustain the flood of new golf equipment to the market. People are more and more making the choice to wait and buy new gear when the next model comes out, getting the previous one heavily discounted. Callaway has never really been that appealling to me personally. I’ve tried the irons, drivers, and their tour ball but nothing ever stuck. It’s a tough market they are in, and when you look at the little hissy they through over the pictures here you really have to question their judgement. Having the pics up here where tons of avid golfers brouse regularly would be nothing but a good thing for them and in this market, ever single sale counts for something. I see this move on their part as a huge mistake and for me, their action has put me in the mindset to not even want to look at their gear, and I imagine that there are others feeling the same way. Reading the negaqtive crap from Callaway staff has also pushed this. Great work as usual MGS – keep it up!

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moses August 27, 2014 at 9:55 am

IMO TM and Callaway’s business model is a fantastic model. Some of you just don’t get the strategy behind what’s going on. Consumers want new products in general. So what Cally and TM is trying to do with the frequent product release cycle is to get $400-$500 from the guy who always wants the latest and greatest. Then once that crowd dries up after a few months, lower the price by $100. This brings in guys who balk at the $400-$500 price point. And the trend continues until the the price goes to $179-$199. They’ve covered the whole price spectrum and then repeat cycle with the latest and greatest. Same goes with irons. It’s a sound strategy. I see Titleist as the only company that follows the 2 year product cycle but they’re a ball company first and their management probably feels that the TM strategy is just not for them. The TM Cally strategy is good for consumers. I picked up a RAZR Fit with a Black Tie shaft for $80 this past winter. Now how awesome is that? I don’t understand why so many people are the boards criticize this business strategy. It takes no food off your table. Companies are doing what they’re doing to maximize profits. Don’t you do everything possible at your job to maximize your salary or those of you who own businesses operate to try and maximize profits? Go Cally!!!!!!

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Lucky Luke August 27, 2014 at 9:54 am

Sadly the R&A puts limits on drivers. You will think that we reached that limit 8 years ago but still every manufacturer claim they are closest to the limit. Unless R&A changes their rules i dont think there is much hope for better and longer and even longer clubs out there. They should rather just call it a face lift or something. Luanhcing equipment this often is actually reducing sales and confusing people

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DL August 27, 2014 at 9:54 am

Let’s get all Callaways drivers together, set them up the same (shaft, weight, etc), apples to apples, and measure performance, then create a value metric that measures price v performance.

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MikeT August 27, 2014 at 9:51 am

I’ve never bought into the golf industry marketing ploy. It’s absurd and an insult to one’s intelligence. I’m still banging it with Callaway ’04s and I am convinced that the technology has not appreciably improved iron play in the last 10 years regardless of what the hypsters tell you. Spend your money on a good teaching pro and learn how to swing a golf club. Then it will matter little what you are holding in your hands.

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DrewT August 27, 2014 at 9:50 am

MSG,
I know it would be some work, but I am curious if you have ever looked into your numbers to try to see when technology does improved?

I’ve always tried to ignore new releases and marketing , 7 more yards! and just buy every few years and assume there must be some new tech.
Think right now,
Driver – 2 years Old Tech (updated last year, before that had 5 years old tech)
Irons – 2 years Old Tech
Wedges – 3 years Old tech
Putter – 10 years old tech

So I gamed a 2007 Driver until 2013
I plan on gaming this one until 2015 atleast…

I assume by then the tech will be improved enough to justify.

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Steve Sheridan August 27, 2014 at 9:47 am

Harry,
You go ahead and whip out all the product you want to. I appreciate that you have a great staff of talented designers and engineers who have worked to create new tech savy stuff.
However, please know that I am not buying ANY of it. Regardless of how much you want to flood the market with product, most of us simply do not have the money or interest to buy it just because you do an ad or email blast telling me to buy it.The bubble has burst we know we can only hit it so far and the putter is a putter not a savior for all my issues.
best of luck.

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Desmond August 27, 2014 at 9:45 am

I do think Callaway’s strategy is different from Taylormade. They essentially have 4 lines of drivers. The X2Hot is the driver for anyone’s game who is not too choosy about custom fitting. Choose a loft and flex and it works well — long and forgiving. The BB Alpha is for better players – so they are debuting a better player’s driver — fine; the BB is for guys who want more forgiveness than the Alpha but still low spin and with customization. The V Series is for guys who can do liteweight and want more speed.

Four different markets — the only flaw I see is the pricing. If these drivers were $229-299, they’d be flying off the shelves.

I’m a guy who buys drivers at least once per year, sometimes two … but I haven’t purchased a driver in about 18 months — since the cascading introductions began. The price is too high, but more than that, I don’t trust retailers to do a good fitting with decently calibrated equipment. And decent demo days are so infrequent, that they’re tough to find. So I’ve got to spend $100 for an outdoor fitting.

Well, that can wait. I spent my money on fixing the swing. If drivers are going to be $399 plus a decent fitting, I want a high quality swing to go with that money.

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Clay August 27, 2014 at 9:44 am

This article and most of these comments are moronic. It sounds like a bunch of whiney children that are mad because they bought the latest and greatest and now it is not the newest thing on the market anymore. If they lower production numbers we will still have the OPTION of buying new gear each year with less stress on the retailers.

To the retail channel it makes no difference if there are 2 million of 1 single model or 500,000 each of 4 models. It is the same # of clubs to move. Look at total production numbers, not number of models. As a consumer you should appreciate the options. Who doesn’t like walking into a golf shop and testing a club you have never seen before.

None of us have perfect swings, more options mean a larger % of golfers can be fit. The bulk of the whining is related to the panic people feel when their new driver is no longer the new driver. I test everything and still play a Mactec NVG2 Tour with a matrix black tie. It works for me, changing makes no sense, but it is still nice to test new things and Guage improvement.

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joro August 27, 2014 at 9:52 am

Question Clay. Do you think for one minute they are changing models just to give you an option. Ha ha ha, and they got you where they want you. I suppose you think they really care about your Golf game also, right? Okay, whatever.

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Brad August 27, 2014 at 9:40 am

Bought the new B.B. Alpha at a demo day a few months ago. Can’t believe they have it’s replacement ready to go out so soon. No more for me. They can’t possibly have that much new technology to add in such a short time.

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joro August 27, 2014 at 9:38 am

Simple, if people really want to make a statement, DON’T BUY IT!, Wait a couple of months and they will be giving it away and maybe rethink their strategy. The whole thing is stupid and part of the plan of Engulf and Devour where they think they will make a killing by introducing “NEW AND BETTER”, which it IS NOT! I have several friends who are hitting Drivers that are up to 10yrs old and still out hitting everyone, there is not a lot of difference, and that applies to other clubs also.

I just bought a Set of Jet Speed TM “Woods”, Driver, 3 wood, and 2 hybrids supposedly used from Golf Galaxy for less than the price of one Driver. And they were brand new still in the Plastic when I got them. Now that is crazy, a new Driver is 399 alone, these “used, or Demos” for the same amount for 4.

Dicks, a sad thing. TM for example flooded Dicks with new clubs, made big profits to show for it, then brought out new model leaving Dicks with Millions of Dollars of stock to have to discount drastically if they wanted to get rid of it. This ENGULF and DEVOUR has got to stop and we can stop it by NOT BUYING NEW.

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Ola Scholander August 27, 2014 at 9:22 am

theres a callaway demo day coming up at my local range now this week, but why should i get fit for a driver now when i know they are relasing no less than 2 new drivers sometimes shortly?

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Boss August 27, 2014 at 8:30 am

Releasing so much equipment is actually negative for the golf companies like Callaway but they haven’t quite gotten the message (YET). First, it creates confusion in the marketplace for the consumer. I hit Callaway’s new driver (not the brand new one) on a demo at PGA SS last week and I couldn’t even tell you the name of it. There is no market synergy with the consumer in all of these driver releases…except with Ping and Titleist.
For example, with Ping I know that every two years they release a driver. They have the G series for a more forgiving driver, and the “I” series for their performance driver. Callaway and TM have flooded the market with so many drivers and iron lines that I can’t keep them straight and tell you where the products fit in their lineup. And, the two companies change names so much that a typical line never gets long term traction in the consumers mind. Ping and Titleist keep it simple and it works. Callaway and TM are a jumbled mess and 90% of regular golfers can’t keep it all straight. If Callaway believes that is a good thing for their company, they aren’t very swift marketers.
Finally, here’s the dirty secret in the golf industry….Drivers and equipment in general took quantum leaps about a decade ago. If you haven’t had new equipment in 8-10 years, your likely leaving something on the table. However, this whole situation has stabilized and there is no magic distance gain from one model to the next. They play the marketing game telling you that you’ve got to have this new “bomber”, and then they release a newer “bomber” two months later. It’s all nonsense. There is a “right” driver and shaft combination for everybody. I encourage testing like crazy to find the driver and shaft combo that maximize distance and accuracy. But, technology is moving at a snail’s pace right now and the marketing hype is not reality. The newest “bomber” is no better that the last “bomber” and the “bomber before that…..and that is the bottom line.

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Blade August 27, 2014 at 7:51 am

Frequent releases aren’t something to be upset about unless you’re a retailer maybe. But they discredit themselves by doing it. Another driver to be released…..how many are in the pipeline as we speak that will be “better, faster, longer, more forgiving” than this one? It’s foolish in the long run for them to do that. It doesn’t affect me, whether I buy or not. But it sure affects consumer perception. They would come off as far more legitimate and genuine if new clubs were only released when they had some demonstrable improvement. That can’t be the case when there’s something new every year or every few months.

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Neil August 27, 2014 at 7:23 am

Well, Chip Brewer was in charge of Adams Golf. They would release somewhere around 6 to 8 drivers and a dozen hybrids any given year. So I expect Callaway to do the same thing.

Maybe TM is listening to all of us. TM has no driver release planned until Spring of 2015.

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ola scholander August 27, 2014 at 2:40 am

i think the main issue isn’t that they produce new clubs, its a free world after all. its just the lingo about longer faster straighter within such short cycles (feels down to 4 months now..) feels like they just fooled the consumer to buy the last inferior product while knowing they are coming with a new release that will be 17 years longer

we all know its mostly bullshit, but it still feels really disrespectful. thats why i stick to ping and titleist from now. feels they have more respect for their consumers.

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Joe Golfer August 27, 2014 at 2:33 am

Wow, I’ve never seen so many comments on one article.
I agree that Callaway is coming out with new product too often, hurting the golf stores that have to sell the stuff.
I’ve also never understood the golfer who feels the need to have the very latest model of everything. Kind of like buying a brand new car every single year. Sure, some folks do it, but it seems more for status and ego than performance.
Personally, I think I’ll stick with my current way of doing things: buying from places like RockBottomGolf, which sells clubs that were new models one to two years ago. Or I’ll look for slightly used clubs in the bargain bin that still have good grooves on the face of the irons. Despite all of the latest advertising hype, I don’t think there’s much of an advantage between clubs of today versus clubs that are five years old.
On the other hand, I do think that golf balls (many different brands) are better than they were five years ago, which could help a lot of golfers should they play the correct ball (but then I’ve been playing for 40 years, so I’ve played a lot of cruddy balls, like the old Top Flite “Rocks” of the 70’s and 80’s).

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Keith Bishop August 27, 2014 at 1:04 am

This is a tired topic and feels like you are piling on…whose marketing dollars do you have?

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Miguel T. August 27, 2014 at 12:58 am

As long as there are compulsive buyers, companies will keep making new equipment.
As long as golfers think new equipment will make them better, they will keep buying.

You ever had a friend walk in your house, and tell you that your wife is getting ugly,
and he advises you to get a new one? No. So, why do you see golfers sneaking up in your equipment all the time, and advise you you should get new equipment. I can’t count
the times when I hear a golfer make fun of another one, because of their supposed old
equipment. Peer-Pressure, that’s right, people buy new equipment based on pressure from their supposed friends. And lastly, companies make new equipment for golfers that didn’t buy the last time. You may have bought the last driver, but I didn’t.

As far as big box retailers, it has nothing to do with manufacturers. Is all about online sales. Their sales are going up, while retailers sales are going down dramatically. Let me give you the run down. Knowledgeable golfers go to big-box, try out new stuff, listen to the PRO’s advise, then walk out and buy it online, at a steep discount. Even the PGA is racking up money, with their PGA Superstore online. BTW, some good deals are to be found there.

Now my question is, why has nobody started to question the prices for all this equipment.
$400 drivers, $1000 iron sets, $90 polos, $90 golf shorts. $45 dollars for dozen golf balls.
How about the green fees? Are you kidding me? Who’s the true greedy one here? This worries
me more than the amount of equipment they are pumping out.

I’m in the Disney Players club in Orlando, FL. While am booking my tee time, for $15 bucks, at the same time, they charge another guy $100 bucks on the same day. Now that’s a rip off, and greediness. And don’t forget about the $7.00 domestic beer from the cart girl. That’s why people are leaving this sport, they’re tired of getting screwed.

Forgot to mention the reviewers: Every time reviewers make a driver number one on their testing, a flock of golfers go out and buy it based on your recommendation. Maybe testers should quit testing new equipment, and advise golfers to not buy new equipment, because is not necessary based on testing. Never heard one say that. Why? Because reviewers want a piece of the pie too, that’s right, your money.

What’s the hype and trend about getting fitted? I’m tired of hearing golfers getting rid of their new equipment, because the supposed fitter, at the big-box store didn’t fit them right to begin with. I think is just another marketing strategy, for newcomers that don’t know better. They want to make the sale easier. That’s why Dicks got rid of PGA Pros, they found out they don’t need them. Never had a fitter push me a new set of Macgregors. They always push, you guessed right, Callaway and TM.

In conclusion, please stop buying Callaway and TM. I’m loving the ridiculous discounts I’m getting lately, even at the big-box retailers. Perfect example: Odyssey Metal-X 2-ball for
$69.99, are you kidding me, I jumped on it. It was still going for $179 everywhere else.

Let’s not forget the big chunk counterfeiters are taking away from manufacturers.
That’s a whole new subject, but is worth mentioning. As long as manufacturers keep being cheap, and have China make the equipment, they will keep stealing their patents. It will never stop. That wasn’t the case 10 years ago.

I personally see golf like stocks, they cheaper it gets, the more I will invest. And right now,
golf is very bullish for consumers, if you know what your doing.

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RAT August 26, 2014 at 10:36 pm

MGS, thanks for all you do. What’s in the works from Wilson Staff?

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russellbell August 26, 2014 at 10:19 pm

I didn’t finish my degree at community college, but during my time there and during my extensive retail career I learned a lot of lessons that I feel Callaway could. When my company had the inferior product, we had to keep changing the name to confuse fiends…I mean buyers so that we could get rid of our product and then move onto the next product. The new product was essentially the same thing as the last one but that’s the thing with fiends(buyers), you can change the label, the package, or if you are really bored, the ingredients, but they are just going to keep buying. We had ourselves an inelastic product which made me a lot of money.

Now Callaway has themselves an inelastic product, they flooded the market with they product and now everyone has a 2008 2010 2010.5 2012 and maybe a 2014 model in the garage or basement. Many of the salespeople I had under me in the late 90s walked around with 2 cell phones, one for work and one for personal. It made me think how are they going to keep selling phones if everyone already has 2? That right there is market saturation.

I don’t know, just my two cents.

Russell “Stringer” Bell
West Baltimore, Maryland

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Luigi August 27, 2014 at 11:13 am

“Stringer” welcome back to the world of the living…

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Chris C August 26, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Lordy! Lordy! Lordy! With the exception of the cogent, if “outed” commentary from Will, the balance of this thread strikes me as so many complaints from scorned lovers. Ridding oneself of all that is Callaway? Disgusted that Callaway clubs might be in one’s golf bag? Vowing to avoid Callaway in the future? Really? I do not know if the TM/Callaway model is going to flameout but in so far as I have not invested in either icompany(neither money nor my heart), I won’t be slitting my wrists should they implode. In the meantime, I selfishly look forward to the release of new equipment. I would have no reason to regularly and repeatedly visit my local golf retailers if the club selections only changed with the frequency of Bridgestone. Finally, has MGS become so distraught as to implement a change in their policy regarding the acquisition of equipment for testing/reviewing? I thought that MGS had a firm policy of testing only product freely provided to you by the manufacturer. It now appears that MGS is prepared to make an exception when it comes to Callaway. Why?

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kloyd0306 August 26, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Reminds me of a “reverse auction” – setting a price then watching that price reduce until someone “weakens” and decides that their “value” has been reached.

No matter what the manufacturer decides is the opening price, the consumer always decides what the eventual or closing price is.

The Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules……..

Consumers who are annoyed re the number of new releases are maybe the same consumers that paid more than the other guy, when the true answer is: The other guy had the sense to wait until the item reached its true value.

Moral of the story: Just about all new golf equipment is over-priced.

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Mister August 26, 2014 at 9:19 pm

There are only 2 reasons someone would get upset at a company releasing so many clubs so quickly:

1. You no longer have the latest club in your bag, and
2. Your resale drops as soon as a new version is released although if you’re selling to upgrade to the newest model this seems a bit hypocritical.

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Jason P August 26, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Ive been tired of the big OEM companies for years. I just made me a set of Maltby TE Forged irons with True Temper XP 95 shafts and love them. I also built me a Maltby 3 hybrid and then went to Hireko Golf and built me a Acer XS Titanium Driver and its straighter than any other driver I’ve ever hit. I’d rather build my clubs the way I want them, pay alot less, and give the little companies my money !

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Greg August 26, 2014 at 8:18 pm

FYI, freedom of speech refers to the government restricting speech.

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RobN August 27, 2014 at 11:28 am

Bingo!

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CK August 26, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Harry doesn’t look like he’s ever played a round of golf in his life. Now that Chip Brewer is in charge, there will be a flood of new products, short cycles be damned.

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Ryan August 26, 2014 at 7:50 pm

It’s to bad Callaway has chosen to go down this path. I truly think continuing to produce product on a fast pace release cycle will cause them to lose a majority of the market share they currently have and I hope it does. Since TM went down this path and already damaged the golf equipment market, Callaway could have become a front runner by bringing product releases to a manageable level for everyone involved but instead decide to copy the TM business plan. Shame on you Callaway! I only look to replace clubs after they have 5yrs of service with me and was looking forward to giving Callaway clubs a try but now I can’t stomach the thought of having their clubs in my bag.

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Salmon August 26, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Biggest issue I have with all this is that if there is something new every 3 months is that I can never justify putting the money down to by a new club. I’m in that position now where I’m looking to replace most of my clubs becuase they are close to 10 years old but can’t pull the trigger simply because something better might be around the corner. If companies had release cycles similar to Titliest (note I said similar doesnt have to be the same) I can be confident in buying the latest and greatest driver after comparing it against everything else thats currently out. I would then be confident that it will be that way for a good little while.

As it stands it’s just a continuous loop of Oh something new is out I’d better go test that and see how it compares, Oh something else came out as well better go try that as well. Around and around you go without buying anything :S

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Harold Wilmoth August 26, 2014 at 7:32 pm

I think they both have become promotion companies and not production(tech) companies

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SirShives August 26, 2014 at 7:22 pm

How is it that there is no discussion on this website about Dick’s recent statement that they pull out of the golf retail industry all together? This decision will be a huge detriment to Taylormade and Calloway. I’m sure you all also know that Dick’s bought Golf Galaxy a few years back. Dick’s has plans to close under performing GG stores in coming years.

http://www.vvdailypress.com/article/20140824/News/140829909

Btw I’m still gaming a hand-me-down Ping G5 and crushing it! No plans on upgrading in the near future.

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mygolfspy August 26, 2014 at 7:30 pm

First paragraph of the article you just commented on has a direct link to the discussion you refer to: http://www.mygolfspy.com/dicks-sporting-goods-fires-500-pga-pros/

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SirShives August 26, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Firing the tour pros at Dick’s is one story. This statement, released 2 days ago, signals the end of Dick’s being a player in the golf equipment industry. This is a much bigger story than if Dick’s had simply decided to layoff all their tour pros. We see now that the layoffs were just one domino in the restructuring of the golf equipment industry.

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Pingnut August 26, 2014 at 6:54 pm

I can’t believe you are complaining about new equipment.. Why they hell wouldn’t consumers want more gear. It’s up to them to decide where in the product cycle they feel comfortable buying.

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Bob August 26, 2014 at 6:53 pm

These are.the same companies that propose to be so concerned with the growth of the sport they are pushing 15 inch holes and 9 hole rounds in an attempt to make golf “fun”. All they really care about is selling more gear and making more money.

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markb August 26, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Whether this is all just a bunch of parochial in-fighting or a real issue, I know not. But the one thing I applaud is MGS’s outing of comments posted by Callaway insiders. Please MGS, do this for every brand and every blog post if you can! It reveals the media manipulation (or attempts at it) that go on everywhere all the time

Case in point, I traipsed over to one other golf blog known to sit firmly in Cally’s back pocket and found no mention of this kerfuffle at at. Of course not, by agreement they won’t discuss any new clubs until the “embargo” date is reached – the date on which their preferred manufacturers tell them they can discuss — I mean, promote — a new club.

There were no threads on the issue in their forum either. But two of the hottest and most recent threads at the top of the forum stack concerned filling out the rosters of their two Cally sponsored mega-outings. One is all expenses paid! All you gotta do to be selected is demonstrate to the blog owner via massive promotional re-tweeting etc. what an uber-shill you’re willing to become in order to get free swag.

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Brian Miller August 26, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Pretty lame move by callaway all the way around. I can’t help but think it may be sour grapes about recent ranking results. If you can’t beat’em join’em I guess.

I was excited about callaway when Harry joined, but there’s only so much he can do. At the end of the day, their clubs are all sizzle and no steak (xhot fairway excluded).

These days, once your well fit, there’s not much more to do. I think their missing a good national fitting program – that’s where the opportunity is.

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Pete August 26, 2014 at 6:22 pm

I’ve heard this argument from many people recently and I decided to respond to this piece. Here’s my take. Golfers are supposed to be educated consumers. One of the positive side effects of the “frequent release” model is that waiting 6-12 months these days means that you can buy a NEW driver of perfectly good quality for $100 less than it might have sold for when it was first released. (Go used, and you can do even better.) Nobody is forcing equipment on golfers — I haven’t heard one ad say “you’re obsolete if you don’t play this driver” — so maybe you shouldn’t worry so much about telling the golf industry how many new products to come out and realize it’s a free market economy. People vote with their pocketbooks. I don’t work for a golf manufacturer – I run a website called amateurgolf dot com. We all love new stuff and who doesn’t love buying new equipment. It’s fun, embrace it!

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golfercraig August 28, 2014 at 11:24 am

Golfers are LESS educated now than ever before. All the hidden reps on sites have ruined it. Guys shooting 90 discussing how forgiving a driver is. I know a guy who gets all the free stuff he wants from THP. He’s terrible. But since THP has decided he’s one of the chosen few, people listen to his reviews. He’s literally a 14, and telling people how forgiving the s55’s are, and how a new ball goes 4 yards farther than the old. It’s a joke. One of the main posters at WRX can’t break 100. He shot 119 at Callawrx. Yet, his reviews get hundreds of replies.THP and WRX (along with mags) have destroyed all credibility.

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Regis August 28, 2014 at 2:14 pm

OK now I gotta retract, a little bit. Our game is made up of a wide sampling of diversity. I played at a private club for 30 years, now I play the county courses. Very few regular golfers are single digits but there are a lot of fanatic golfers who because of age, disability, the yips, whatever , are no longer capable of consistently breaking 90 (I am not one of them by the way). If a driver, shaft or ball works for the guy who is “literally a 14” why should his opinion not matter? Maybe not to the golfer who is better (and you can take that into consideration) but it might just be relevant to the other guys who are “literally 14’s” who probably make up the great majority of regular golfers and sustain the sport. Just my spin.

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golfercraig August 28, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Because he’s lying about how he hits it and what he shoots. He isn’t giving a review where he tells them “I shot 96, and missed every fairway, and never once hit the middle of the face with a wood or an iron.”

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Guy with 10 yr old clubs August 26, 2014 at 5:51 pm

It’s refreshing to read views contrary to same corporate drivel beaten into the heads of the minions from Callaway’s Paradise. It’s hard to believe unbiased views when the guy that goes by initials changes his rolling advertisement from company green to Callaway red. I’d imagine you’ll have as many THP apologist commenting as posts that originate from Carlsbad, CA before it’s all said and done. Well done MGS.

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E August 26, 2014 at 5:51 pm

I like new clubs. Callaways have pretty much sucked since great big Bertha. But honestly. EBAY has killed industry. Why buy from Dick’s or pros when u can get on eBay at cost or less the day they are out.

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proside August 27, 2014 at 3:40 pm

One of the main golf sites has a number of articles on counterfeit clubs sold online. Check them out. Apparently there is a virtual certainty that you would end up purchasing a knock off. Many of them are so well copied that the manufacturer can’t tell the difference until they cut them open.
Check out your local private GC for sales of demo and rental clubs at end of season. I find the top gear for sale at 60% off list regularly. The $220 extra in my pocket has a great way of obscuring the wear marks I’ll see before the first round with it that I would see after the first round with out of the box model.

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Regis August 27, 2014 at 5:28 pm

E- I also have to disagree. When you search a top new product (SLDR, Sun Mountain Bag), you almost never see a discounted price on E-Bay until the manufacturer drops the price (with the SLDR driver that was a year post release) You may see a vendor throw in a dozen ProV1’s and free shipping but you don’t see new clubs or equipment anywhere near “at cost or less”, at least not from a vendor I would trust.

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SactoMike August 28, 2014 at 2:06 am

A vendor I would trust is the key there. With MAPS pricing any legitimate vendor is going to be pretty much at the same price. if it’s at cost or less I’d bet the farm it’s a counterfeit.

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golfercraig August 28, 2014 at 11:19 am

Not so much anymore. Most of the OEM’s will throw in a nearly unlimited amount of “demo” product to retailers at steep wholesale discounts. That stuff invariably now ends up on the sales floor or on eBay as opposed to a demo bag. If a $290 wholesale driver can be bought 10 at a time at 40% off wholesale, it can be (and is) easily had for a steep discount from a reputable dealer. If it costs 174 vs. 290, you can sell it at $250 and make more margin%. Smart pros are now doing this. Not to mention, if you being in a certain amount of product, you get better prices and better terms on the invoices. If you want 20 drivers, and bring in 40 for an extra 5% off, plus an extra 60 days to pay, you throw 20 of them on eBay and sell for pennies over wholesale cost and still come out 5% better off.

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Regis August 28, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Just wanted to throw you a compliment. I’ve been playing a long long time and I read almost everything related to golf including the blogs. A lot of the posts come from people with agendas, some make no sense but I do find that when I read one that teaches me something about the game I make note of it. You are on that short list.

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C.Evans August 26, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Just so I can get it out there. When the Alpha was announced, I issued a challenge to Harry. If their Alpha beat my gamer (Superfast 2.0 LCG off the tour van) I’d shave the Callaway chevron into my scalp. He accepted that challenge when it was proposed. I told him we could meet up and demo it anywhere of his choosing and they could film it. He’s from the same town I’m from and said he visits regularly. We traded emails for a few months on it, up through mid April or so (I still have the messages and emails I can dig up if anyone wants to see them). He’s yet to fulfill the challenge I made.

But just for grins and giggles, I did the test on my own later in the year. I let a fitter fit me as well as possible with the Alpha (the 10.5 still wasn’t out at that time). Needless to say, the 4 year old technology still outperformed the best fitting version of the Alpha that could be made (and I hit the Alpha exclusively until the fitting was done some 100 swings later). I then hit the Superfast 2.0 LCG. It smashed the Alpha, by 10 yards of carry and 7 yards in dispersion.

I buy and try clubs like some change underwear. But after the exchange with Harry and the delays and stall tactics that ultimately led to nothing (I told him I’d buy the driver if it beat my gamer), I’m gonna be hard pressed to do any buy and try of Callaway. I might hit it at the demo days and such just for giggles, but no more blind buy and try for that brand for me. A mans word is all he has in the world, I kept my end of it.

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Brandon August 26, 2014 at 5:41 pm

If it is such a problem for the retailers, why don’t they all just band together and decide to stop carrying TM and Callaway for a year or two until some sort of an equipment release schedule/contract can be agreed upon? That ought to solve the problem.

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Courtney August 26, 2014 at 5:29 pm

I just don’t understand all the griping. Last time I checked, none of these companies can force anybody to buy anything they make. If their business truly damages retailers as is claimed, then retailers will stop selling that brand, or the retailer will go out of business because they allow themselves to do bad business.

Does it seem excessive to have so many clubs hit the market in such a short time period ? Yes.

Does it affect me ? No. I don’t feel any need to rush out and buy the latest and greatest of anything that comes out, and if the prices get dropped, then that’s a help to me if I decide to pick one up down the road.

Quit blaming the manufacturers if you don’t have enough self control to not rush out whenever some new club hits the market. There are some smart people designing their corporate processes, and if this process damages their company over time, that’s their problem.

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Ken Freestone August 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Interesting article and comments.

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mnfats95 August 26, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Someone please call Callaway and inform them how poorly it reflects on their image to get involved in a forum/blog flame war with the internet.

Tell them to put down the shovel and step out of the hole before it’s too deep!

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Will Par August 26, 2014 at 5:17 pm

I don’t really care how often new drivers are released by any manufacturer. I never buy new at a new release, preferring like many others to wait and purchase at a discount later. I often wonder who is buying all the new drivers. Most everyone I know buys at a discount several months or longer after release.

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cleveland_steamer August 26, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Thumbs up MGS! Kudos for not kowtowing to the marketing machine that is Cally golf. Apparently they will sink to even greater depths to control the message, as evidenced by forcing their own employees to make positive comments on your article.

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Ivano August 26, 2014 at 4:54 pm

I think new releases are not the problem.
You’ll buy when you need it or when you’ll have some extra bucks.
Who cares about value loss of used clubs?
Are you saying that no one was on internet searching for the lowest price two months after a new release?
The issue is that few people, with stock options and golden parachute, are fooling around
with thousand workers and their families. I mean not only manufacturers but also distributors.
This sale scheme is predictable and they knew how it would end. Here it’s why is harsh to bear.
“Ok, the Market is soft, we are far from sales targets, we are forced to cut costs… blah blah blah”
CEOs will present themselves with clean balance sheets in front of the board, so history repeats itself. Not to mention another drawback: small good manufacturers smashed by wild mkting.
Forgive me if I’ve bored.

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Eddie August 27, 2014 at 10:28 am

It used to be that Ping would go years without a new issue,and now they are doing the same thing as the other companies. Your latest and technologically advanced equipment is OBSOLETE in 6 months

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Matt August 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Ping does release new product every 6 months, but they are refreshing different lines. They are on an 18 month product life cycle (i.e. G25 —–> G30).

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Bearinthewoods August 26, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Its odd. You think they would try and keep their selling price the same to ensure they at least make some profit off a club’s release. Titleist and Ping do for the most part and release- what every two years per driver model? Regardless, as is often stated in these articles/ threads- a lesson or work on your swing will benefit you more than a new driver.
Sad Callaway got so defensive. I was interested in the X hot pro driver based on how well it performed on the earlier version of “Most wanted Driver” before then it didn’t peak my interest much. I pulled the trigger and got it and was happy with it and was thinking of upgrading to the alpha now that my swing has improved, but in light of these events I might rethink brands I purchase from.
-Mind you, i don’t pay $400 plus, or $40 glove— because I ain’t paying for some PGA players free stuff.

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Toots August 26, 2014 at 4:23 pm

I am actually really proud of you guys. Not only did you stand up for us (your readers) but you also did it with a set of brass balls. It does make me sad though…I am quite sure we will not see Callaway participating in next years Most Wanted. Regardless…I think you did the right thing.

So long Callaway.

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mygolfspy August 26, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Greatly appreciate the comment Toots.

Yu can bet that we will make sure to have Callaway included in the “Most Wanted” test for you guys next year. Whether they agree to participate or not they will be in the test.

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Kim August 26, 2014 at 4:31 pm

it certainly does require “brass balls” to not include my previous comment.
way to be brave :-)

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mygolfspy August 26, 2014 at 4:34 pm

***********************************************************************

JUST SO ALL OUR READERS ARE AWARE:

THIS MESSAGE IS FROM A CALLAWAY GOLF EMPLOYEE

***********************************************************************

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Kim August 26, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Agreed, but that doesn’t influence my previous statement.

I’ve enjoyed reading the dialogue that’s been created through the comments and have equally enjoyed weighing the arguments on both sides. Discussions like this are wonderful and should be encouraged.

I do believe that the one-side nature of the article left something to be desired and lacks some perspective, and I look forward to better writing going forward.

thank you :-)

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golfercraig August 26, 2014 at 6:58 pm

So, Kim, how did you feel about Callaway so bravely attacking the testing done by MGS when the Bertha wasn’t the #1 driver tested? Was that “one-sided” or was it truly objective? Did they make the same idiotic complaints when the fairway wood tests showed Cally in front? Or are you, like them, a colossal hypocrite?

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C. Evans August 26, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Didn’t you see, they were upset that MGS used 6 golfers for their testing. So upset at that number that their marketing used for the BB Alpha that they used 1( one, uno, single, pick your word for the number 1) golfer for their claims.

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SactoMike August 28, 2014 at 1:58 am

Don’t hold your breath waiting for a reply from kim, um john, uh will :-)

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proside August 26, 2014 at 3:50 pm

I feel that the quick release business model undermines the integrity of the products.
The average consumer who wants to be up to date can’t help but be led to the conclusion that that their latest purchase was somehow less than perfected due to it’s newer better brother which the manufacturers emphatically say is an improvement.
Those that are not avid gear collectors may not feel this way due to a lack of hobby like interest and be satisfied with their purchase that they may take to the grave. Fair is fair on this account.
The biggest concern other than the obvious slap in the “your money is endless” face is the retailers who have to scramble for explanations of the quick turnover. Any “responsible to the consumer” salesperson would advise them to wait 4 months or purchase last years model for half of the current new release. Of course they can’t do this and stay employed or rather continue to help their store stay afloat.
At my local retailer, cobra’s latest offering, new this season is now on sale 40% off as well as many other brands save for two which never get dis counted. TM gear takes up two full 30 foot aisles, both sides (4 displays) with 3 generations on display as well as an entire sim booth holding only their gear.
I’m a huge fan of innovation but these quick release dates only serve to undermines the expertise associated with the manufacturer. Having a background in marketing and manufacturing I shudder at the suicidal actions of these companies.
Remember the Toyota Echo? The best econo car to come along since the Civic. No sooner than their reputation was earned as the go to sub compact they dropped the model and came out with the “Yaris”. Huh…… back to square one. After all, Branding reputation is the cheap and easy part of business correct?

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Kim August 26, 2014 at 3:42 pm

I’ve enjoyed reading these comments and entertaining the arguments on both sides of the debate. Conversations like these should be encouraged.

However, one-sided manner in which the article was written left something to be desired and lacked proper perspective. I look forward to more thought-out articles in the future.

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mygolfspy August 26, 2014 at 4:34 pm

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JUST SO ALL OUR READERS ARE AWARE:

THIS MESSAGE IS FROM A CALLAWAY GOLF EMPLOYEE

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Tom August 27, 2014 at 7:12 pm

This appears to be part of Big Business’s strategy. Have employees pretend to be “regular” people & attempt to show the “unfairness” of anything they don’t like. Do they get brownie points for this? Kinda like all the propositions that get put on the ballot here in the People’s Democratic Republic of California. They’re written by groups (attorneys, unions, etc.) to benefit themselves & they make up a consumer friendly organization to sponsor it so it sounds like it’s gonna save the children, cure cancer & put a chicken in every pot. Maybe Callaway can sponsor a proposition that allows them to moderate the MGS forum? Might save the snail darter (whatever that is).

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SactoMike August 28, 2014 at 1:51 am

Callaway just keeps shooting themselves in the foot don’t they? Rapidly going from I’ll check your stuff out and then buy in a year or so to no way will I even try Callaway equipment

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Mild mild west August 26, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Today, I make a stand – no new drivers for the next three years. Not one, not even in a sale. So I shall just have to rely on my SLDR, X Hot Pro and 09 Burner…..damn I’m part of the problem.

But seriously no drivers for 3 years (MGS regulars you can hold me to that).

Few of you up for joining me?

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Tom August 27, 2014 at 10:12 am

I’m with you. I currently own 6 drivers, and the oldest one is 5 yrs old. I’m done with the hype.

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Fozcycle August 26, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Here we go again………

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Rex August 26, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Yep, ain’t it cool?

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Anthony H August 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Im not sure what the huge fuss from MGS is. Wonder if Callaway snubbed them on something or what.

If you dont want to spend the money on a new driver every 6 months, dont spend it. Wait till its marked down. Thats what i do. Or i buy used.

Callaway will always have my business because of their fantastic customer service. I have had 3 heads crack on me and they replace it no questions asked.

If their profit is up they must be doing something better than TM. Callaway markets but Taylor Made became a joke.

I also wonder why Callaway is getting the brunt of this and not TM?

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Rex August 26, 2014 at 4:43 pm

“I have had 3 heads crack on me and they replace it no questions asked.”

Yep, high marks for service…

Yet one must then question the overall design and quality of said “cracked heads”.

One must also question the author’s judgement given he continues to use a brand that has failed him on three occasions… hopefully not during tournament play.

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Anthony H August 26, 2014 at 4:56 pm

For what its worth, I get in 4-5 rounds a week and spend a lot of time on the range. Our range has a lot of old balls so i dont know if that contributes the cracking or if its a Callaway flaw.

I attribute it to as many range balls i hit and how much i play.

Ive had other brands fail as well. I dont think cracked heads are exclusive to Callaway

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Rex August 26, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Well. you get high marks for consumer loyalty and for supporting the industry….you certainly have earned that.

Callaway had better take care of you…the other brands tend to commit acts of violence for the type of consumer you represent.

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Tom August 27, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Well lucky you. I had a Diablo Edge 3-wood crack across the face & Callaway told me tough s**t! They told my pro that unless the club is less than a year old they won’t do squat. If you’ve had three heads crack on you (within the first year?) it tells me two things: a) quality control sucks (cheaper to replace ’em than to do it right), and b) you’re hitting too many drivers on the range – work with your irons & score better ;-).

Having said that, I did buy the BB Alpha (at a deeply discounted price) after hitting a friend’s (nope, no discount for him) and liking it. Doesn’t really bother me if they’ve already tweaked it. You can’t sell a used driver on eBay for anything near what you think it’s worth anyway. I either keep it & drag it out occasionally or pass it on to my kids who are glad to have them.

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Mike Smith August 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm

It will be interesting to see how the retailer change their purchasing strategies going forward. A few of the big box stores have some 2/3 year old drivers on the rack still and I bet they won’t let that happen again. From a consumer standpoint I won’t buy a new driver. They always go down in price. It is just not worth it. I’ll wait 6 months get fitted and buy it at a discount!

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David August 26, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Keep flooding the market with $300-500 and you will put people out of work plain and simple. Not everyone can afford this. I for one will wait for the prices to drop. I have always loved my ping G2s and I don’t know when i will buy a new set of Irons. I found a Ping G10 in a golf shop and had it fitted for me. I drive 270 yds consistently with it. I have not hit another driver since.

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Zach August 26, 2014 at 1:42 pm

I never rule out a club based on the manufacturer or the marketing practices and release schedule of that manufacturer. However, those factors play into whether or not I buy new or used. MGS, I think a good follow up article would analyze the resale value trends of driver manufacturers by brand.

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Chal August 26, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Interesting article. I for one was not that impressed with any Callaway drivers this year and the needle hasn’t moved a bit with the new release(s). I have no problem with the number of releases. I am very much in the more is better. Not all releases will work for me and hopefully something comes along that does work better than what I have. I am always searching for that super low spin, high launch Driver that will give me optimum numbers. However, I am tired of the marketing crap. Super Fast, Super Long, Super High Launch. It would be nice to have a company tell you right up front that this particular club won’t work well if you are a high spin guy or vice versa. Obviously, that will never happen, but ideally it would be nice.

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flaglfr August 26, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Don’t forget limited edition.

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Rob Samson August 26, 2014 at 1:20 pm

I broke out an ERC from storage yesterday and just got done playing this morning. I hit it 270 which is the same distance as any of the newer drivers I play. My local pro shop still has first gen XHot drivers that they can’t get rid of. The problem with the Dick’s situation also affects small businesses like pro shops. The Callaway Rep only visit our shop to ask that they reduce prices. It’s gotten so bad that our pro has told their Rep to stop sending them stuff.

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Paul August 26, 2014 at 1:15 pm

This article, followed by Callaway’s response to the photo are really souring me on the brand.

…once it’s on the internet you can’t get it back off, you just make it a little harder to find.

Fire the lawyers, try to grow the game, and stop trying to be TM.

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Aaron M August 26, 2014 at 1:09 pm

I’m curious about the size of these releases. Yes, it’s a new driver, but is it a relatively small number being produced? Small relative to Taylormade. This would keep up the newness while not producing as much inventory to become “old” in a few weeks when the next one would come out.

It’s still hard for me to imagine that even smaller batch releases can justify the R&D, production, and marketing costs.

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mike August 26, 2014 at 1:05 pm

My 3 year old has better manners than mygolfspy…. f****** annoying. Do people really care if a company makes new product? No they don’t mygolfspy…. hope my ip address doesn’t spook you… loser

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golfercraig August 26, 2014 at 1:16 pm

My three year old has better typing skills than you.

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mnfats95 August 26, 2014 at 3:55 pm

No one is forcing you to come here.

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Rex August 26, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Mike

They tend to care when the traditional trade-in value is destroyed or when they learn that they paid $100 to $200 more than they should have…three weeks later. The ego eccentric golfer hates to lose…ever. You can’t ignore that mindset.

Thinking Harry is pissed that MGS is the only online entity that is calling out a certain exec’s ill-timed comment that the BB family would be excluded from the traditional cascade pricing model….again, the ego eccentric golfer hates to lose…ever.

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adam August 26, 2014 at 12:54 pm

On the flip side, it seems to be a great time to be a consumer. We get marked down equipment faster than ever before. While we used to have to wait a full year for a price reduction, now it’s like 3 months. Sure the companies suffer, but don’t we win?

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mygolfspy August 26, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Short term yes. Long term no. Leads to company consolidation. Less companies producing product in future.

And are most these cheaper products really any better? Very few.

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DrewT August 26, 2014 at 1:10 pm

I’m still curious about this…
can’t there be different types of companies? I nerd out and besides golf blogs I follow the smart phone business pretty closely…and pretty similar you have Apple and their 1 laugh every year almost at the exact same day..Titlist/Ping.
And then you have Samsung which throws the kitchen sink like Callaway and Taylor made.
Iike is Puma really desperate to sell Cobra? Nike (who I assume has some good business sense) doesn’t seem too scared of the Golf Industry and still thinks there’s money to be made….

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flaglfr August 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm

So lets see…
Everyone is reeling over the number of new drivers (gotta be well over 50 now) on the market and here comes Cally doing exactly what everyone is frustrated about. Seems that their not interested in the market grunts (us) and believe they can simply run roughshod over everyone. This includes threatening those who say anything contrary to what they want to hear.

The good news (IMHO) is that they will soon find out that new clubs whether limited release or not are new clubs. The phrase “limited release” is getting old too. Look at the MM Nikes from the oven. A limited release tactic as a precursor to new club lines released soon thereafter as the Vapor line…

Sounds like it is time for us to say we are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. The pity of the entire thing is they still don’t listen to us. But to me the most interesting part was the threat on posting the picture. But oh, don’t worry… Another Cally post will drown this one out in 3-4 months just like Tmag and the rest.

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JeffreyK August 26, 2014 at 12:48 pm

The flooded market is great for guys like me who can get near latest tech. without the huge $$$ price tag.
Well written article btw. Thanks!

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Sean August 26, 2014 at 12:43 pm

One if the most important issues that is posting has left out is the fact that when Dick’s made the move a month ago it was a direct result of having $1+ million Taylor Made drivers in their inventory. This post also fails to mention the massive consolidation of TMAG that happened last week. All signs point to TMAG being in a very unhealthy position as a brand (which is blatantly obvious).

Calloway on the other hand is in a very healthy position. They have strategically placed their driver releases that make sense. The alpha and the BB came out early season when golf junkies are fiending for something latest and greatest. The “new” driver is actually for the average golfer. Something that the junkie would never want in his/her bag. It’s for guys that wait for a refined scaled down version of the hot new club. TM had always released a NEW “Better” driver then slashed the prices on their former top club. True that Calloway lopped $100 off their alpha, but that was more to the fact that they over priced it at $599 to start.

When posts like this one hit the web it’s filled with emotion and lack of true facts.

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golfercraig August 26, 2014 at 1:04 pm

It started at 499, not 399. Those who throw glass “facts”….

And there is more to it than the TM driver inventory. A lot more.

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golfercraig August 26, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Why don’t you post the numbers on units sold at retail? Go ahead. Sounds like you have the numbers at your disposal.

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Frank August 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Not sure who all the consumers you reference are because increased release cycles is the best thing ever for consumers…at least those who are smart enough to wait 6 months before buying a club. The system is probably brutal for retailers but it is pure money for consumers, it results in virtually new equipment being available at highly discounted prices. The only consumers this hurt are a) those who can’t resist marketing pitches and must buy immediately; and b) people who buy new clubs for resale value instead of playing the club.

In this context, producing fewer of each release makes perfect sense for the retailers and Callaway – they are protecting the retailers. Reducing inventory may end up being bad for consumers because it should reduce the ability to buy virtually new gear on the cheap. If so, big deal, we just keep our existing gear that presumably is still working for us.

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RAT August 26, 2014 at 10:25 pm

I agree, Frank, It helps those who wait but I don’t like Callaway equipment from the X16 so on so forth days anyway.I won’t be buying Callaway ever again..

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Vin August 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm

What would have been the next step brotha?

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John L August 26, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Where’s the comment I saw up about Callaway’s earning call and there increased sales? It looks like it was pulled down/censored. Please tell me you didn’t delete it because and then talk about Freedom of Speech out of the other side of your mouth.

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mygolfspy August 26, 2014 at 12:53 pm

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JUST SO ALL OUR READERS ARE AWARE:

THIS MESSAGE IS FROM A CALLAWAY GOLF EMPLOYEE

HIS NAME ON THE PREVIOUS MESSAGE WAS WILL AND NOW IS JOHN L.

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RobN August 26, 2014 at 12:58 pm

It’s still there Will….. I mean , John.

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Zach August 26, 2014 at 1:28 pm

If you are tracking them by IP address, this could in fact be two people behind the same firewall.

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mygolfspy August 26, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Well then if that is the case they are still two people within the Callaway Golf organization. Equally as bad. Maybe even worse.

http://www.mygolfspy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/callaway-ip-address-comment.jpg

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Zach August 26, 2014 at 4:34 pm

I would agree.

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SactoMike August 28, 2014 at 1:35 am

Double shame on you!! Go back to Golfwrx where you belong.

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Leon August 26, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Callaway and Tarlormade are facing a dilemma: They cannot stop flooding the market with new clubs since the stockholders have got used to the “sweet taste” of profits by fooling (or we should call it “directing”) the daily consumers. If they stop doing it, the revenue will drop so much that the CEO has to resign for sure.

What they can do? push harder on the market, change the cosmic of the clubs, invent new terms of the technology, more ads, more price drop, and hopefully the guys who are struggling with their slice or whatever problem will buy their new clubs as the last “cure”.

Is this an evil business process? probably not. Is this good for the health of golf development? Hard to tell. No one forces you to buy a new club or buy from any particular brand. It depends on each golfer to decide what he/she wants to have. If a guy decides to purchase every new club once in a few months. Let him do it, nothing wrong with it. If he complains, let him take it as a lesson and hopefully he will become a wiser man to understand more about the relationship between the clubs and his game. If he decides not to take the lesson but keep pouring his money into the traps, let he do it. As people always say: focus on your game. That’s it.

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golfercraig August 26, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I love that they asked you to take it down. Love it. What a load of head-in-the-sand dipshittery. Harry is a clown. The end. He is going to cost a lot of people their jobs with his idiocy. His act is wearing thin inside of Callaway. He is universally hated by the sales force. With good reason.

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markb August 26, 2014 at 12:22 pm

For the folks who missed the graphic, you’ll find it elsewhere, but I’ll describe it for you here.

No more “iron Man’s chest” design & graphics. Instead, this one looks like the grill of a ’38 Cord.

That’s about it. No other changes that I could see.

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roncodon August 26, 2014 at 5:56 pm

dipshittery… lol. I love it. that is officially added to my vocab.

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Tim Debolt August 26, 2014 at 12:09 pm

There is a simple solution for me….STOP BUYING…..I still rock a highbore xls tour.. Find one that works….and unless something new adds massive accuracy or distance then stop buying. Companys will get the message eventually. Way to go mgs well done!!!!

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DrewT August 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm

I’ll be honest…it doesn;t bother me too much….
Maybe its because I dont feel the need to own the super latest and greatest and I know there’s a lot of BS in marketing.

My ONE complaint with them and Taylor Made is even they don’t know whats what…like there are sooo many different drivers how the heck can you decide which is for you? I wish they would atlease make up something… heck like the SpeedRegime balls….at least throw some marketing lingo at me and point me in a direction..OptiForce, JetSpeed, Bertha,

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Matt August 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm

If you want to know which is for you, go get a REAL fitting. Real = a premium club fitter. Not PGA Superstore/Golfsmith, not demo day, not your pro. Then you don’t need to worry about it.

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W August 26, 2014 at 11:54 am

Personally, if they can master the how few to produce, it could be a good formula. People do get excited about new releases. They always will. Maybe not excited enough to buy every version, but excited enough to talk about it.

I know that if I was in the market for a driver, I found a Callaway to be a good fit, and was then told it had sold out, I would be bummed. But I also would be willing to pay more for it on the used market, or be more willing to pay full release retail when the next model came out. This business plan is all about continuing with top of mind marketing, while maximizing profits. I think TaylorMade and Callaway both have mastered top of mind with the frequent release cycles. The industry issues are being created by over production of product. But if they can hit that sweet spot, they can sell through drivers with great margins. The downside will be for the consumer, as this model could also cause the price of gear to rise.

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Barbajo August 26, 2014 at 11:42 am

Curiouser and curiouser…

It’s fascinating watching this unfold. I don’t get angry when Cally, TMAG or anyone introduces a new club – their release pattern doesn’t influence my buying decisions in any way (and I’m a card-carrying member of Club ‘Ho).

Also wondering if there’s a Nixon-esque “vocal minority” vs. “silent majority” thing going on. Do forum members account for “most golfers,” or only the most vocal golfers? I don’t know the answer, but the only place I hear emotional complaints about equipment life cycles is in forums. On the course some guys have new stuff, some guys have old stuff. My regular playing partners game the following drivers:

Cally Razr Fit
Bridgestone J-40
Nike Covert 1.0
Cally X-Hot
Titleist 913

I’m the idiot with the latest and greatest, an X-Hot2 driver and 2-Deep.

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AlexfromKansas August 26, 2014 at 4:59 pm

I’m with this guy. OEM’s flooding the market with newer and newer equipment doesn’t effect my buying habits whatsoever. Do i think it’s silly and completely unnecessary? Absolutely. Is it hurting local golf shops and big box retailers? Seems like it. I have some recent equipment (see last two years) and some old stuff (see 5+ years old). I’ve found this to be the case with 90% of golfers i play with. I don’t hear people railing of golf companies out at the local club, it’s more of a running joke amongst the resident “club-ho’s”.. I don’t know if these complaints are as main stream as they are prevalent on internet forums. From what i’ve noticed in everyday situations, they generally aren’t.

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ola scholander August 26, 2014 at 11:39 am

don’t think main problem is for consumers, but its killing our retailers, and no golf shops in the neighborhood means no fun…

on a second note it just makes their clubs less sexy for me. if they don’t believe more in their releases than that they can triumph them just a few months later, why did they release sh*t the first time instead of waiting a few months for the better version to be ready?

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Brandon August 26, 2014 at 11:33 am

I fail to see why being able to pick up a year old driver on eBay for 100 bucks is a bad thing for the consumer? If you fall for the marketing because your overwhelming vanity forces you to have the newest toy you deserve what you get (a new driver that works exactly like the one you just took out of your bag).

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Sam Adams August 27, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Maybe not as well!

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Pissed off Joe August 26, 2014 at 11:33 am

Callaway and TaylorMade will never learn their lesson. They will continue to inflate the market with crap until they take down all the golf companies.

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Bob August 27, 2014 at 10:50 am

Let’s be honest with ourselves do you really think that when Callaway is releasing all these drivers in a few weeks that there is an improvement from one to the other all they are doing is trying to sell you an old name, not a better driver.

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Will August 26, 2014 at 11:33 am

I really don’t understand the hate towards companies that launch a lot of product. I don’t understand why golfers wouldn’t want more choices. When was the last time you walked into a shoe store and said, “Damn, I wish they didn’t have this many options, I really only wanted one choice.” or “Why does Ben and Jerry’s keep coming up with new flavors, now I have to buy all of them.”

You go on to push this doom and gloom agenda talking about the game being dead when isn’t it really just coming down off the Tiger bubble still? Anyone who thought that, along with the growth of courses and golf course real estate in the ’90’s and early ’00’s was going to continue in perpetuity is crazy. Markets make adjustments.

The consumer has spoken though, right? No one wants Callaway equipment.

Here’s an excerpt from their second quarter earnings release:

“Despite softer than expected market conditions, Callaway reported for the first half of 2014 a 9% increase in sales driven by growth in all product categories: woods (+8%), irons (+14%), putters (+9%), golf balls (+7%) and accessories and other (+5%). Additionally, income from operations increased 40% to $72 million and fully diluted earnings per share increased 12% to $0.66.”

Here’s another excerpt from Streetinsider.com:

“Following our proprietary analysis of TopGolf, a business in which ELY owns a minority stake (KBCM estimated high teens percent), we believe the investment is not appreciated by the market and could represent as much as $3 per share to ELY by 2017 given the Company’s unique product offering, the recent acceleration in unit growth and attractive white-space opportunity,” said Hamann.

So, it looks to me as if they have a very solid and profitable “Grow the Game” initiative and an increase in sales and income so far this year. Still sound like Taylormade’s business model to you?

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mygolfspy August 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm

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JUST SO ALL OUR READERS ARE AWARE:

THIS MESSAGE IS FROM A CALLAWAY GOLF EMPLOYEE

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golfercraig August 26, 2014 at 1:14 pm

“Despite softer than expected market conditions, Callaway reported for the first half of 2014 a 9% increase in sales driven by growth in all product categories: woods (+8%), irons (+14%), putters (+9%), golf balls (+7%) and accessories and other (+5%). Additionally, income from operations increased 40% to $72 million and fully diluted earnings per share increased 12% to $0.66.”

So–they flooded the market with product, upped the amount retailers had to bring in to get the biggest discount (by $10,000), raised the wholesale prices ACROSS THE BOARD by a significant amount (which makes it look like you’re selling more), magically had a GREAT first quarter sales wise (not really, but when you force retailers to bring more in at higher prices it sure looks that way to idiots like you) and then saw a cratering 2nd quarter. Yes. Sounds EXACTLY like TaylorMade’s business model. In fact–it IS TaylorMade’s business model. An exact copy.

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Super Tuna August 26, 2014 at 1:34 pm

golfercraig: I frequently want to hug you through the internet

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AWOL August 28, 2014 at 1:57 am

Don’t forget about Callaway’s manipulation of the numbers so they could claim they “#1 purchased driver” by bunching all their drivers under the Big Bertha tag line to claim #1 just to compete against TMag even though truthfully the Big Bertha line was almost/was a flop this year. Way to go Callaway you’re like a vulture trying to take advantage and pick up the scraps from the other big OEMs mistakes. Consider my money spent elsewhere.

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Shawn Callaway August 26, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Choices are nice. But Ben and Jerry’s ice cream doesn’t cost as much as a car payment or half a mortgage payment. Ben and Jerry’s also doesn’t gin up a marketing campaign to convince you your current flavor of choice is inferior to the new flavor. If product cycles were more predictable, golfers would know if they bought driver at the end of it’s market cycle they were taking the chance that a “new and improved” club was just around the corner. Of course people become tired of their current club or clubs, but I think the reality is fewer and fewer golfers can afford to buy a new club every time one is released. I think this is leading to a larger number of very vocal frustrated golfers.

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FCruz August 27, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Callaway is thinking they are so sleek and different from Taylor, the truth is that their current scheme is the most effective way to kill customer LOYALTY. The events of the last 18 months will only benefit Ping and Titleist in the long run. Lots of people coming to our store are confused and frustrated, most don’t know what is new or newer or newest. When they find that their club 12 months old is 3 generations back get disappointed and ask for a different brand. Let’s face it, the product from 18 months is 95% as good as the new stuff. For amateurs that >5% that will not result in improved scores. The product from 18 months ago can be purchased for $99.00 new.

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Leeman August 27, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Seriously? Are you that gullible? It sounds like you buy strictly based on the marketing hype from the manufacturer. Brilliant. Is that how you buy your cars and your major appliances too?

I prefer to buy an older model of club and, even then, only do so after a LOT of research.

I have an X-Hot driver now. Next year I “might” want the TM SLDR. By then I’ll have a ton of research to draw from and the price will be a fraction of what guys like you paid when it first hit the shelves.

If Ben and Jerry comes out with a new ice cream 10 minutes after I get home from the super market I don’t feel like I got screwed. I eat the ice cream I have and enjoy it while it lasts.

And, yes, of course, not many people can afford to buy a new club every time one is released. But, where on earth is it written that you HAVE to?!?!? Does your wife buy a new dishwasher or dryer every year?

How about employing a little intelligent consumerism instead of whining about the cost and the frequency of release of new golf equipment. The only one making you buy it is YOU.

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SactoMike August 28, 2014 at 1:27 am

Gee Will, not even enough balls to let us know you are a Callaway Employee? Shame on you. Great example of how to lie with statistics or at least “selectively” tell the truth.

Quite frankly I’m like a lot of others on here. IIn some ways I like fast product cycles. That way I don’t have to wait as long to buy product when I do buy new clubs. It’s been a long time since I bought a new car too. Not that I can’t afford it, just see no reason to spend all that money for something that is going to lose thousands of dollars the instant I take it off the lot.

Do I the the big OEMs are hurting the consumer? Not really at least not the ones who use their head for something besides a hat rack. You don’t need the latest and greatest just because it’s the latest. Do I think they have screwed the retailers and in the long run the game of golf? Yep I sure do. Requiring them to buy at certain levels then three months later require them to buy more thus forcing them to discount what’s already on the shelves unsold aint good business. That’s not to say the retailers haven’t had a hand in it. i.e. as was stated in another MGS article, “doesn’t make much sense to employ PGA pros in a store that people are going to to find the best price off the rack. Gotta know your customers dudes.

The OEMs need to pull back and retrench. what’s going to emerge is a leaner, smaller industry. Yep there will probably be fewer choices for us. (the folks who buy off the rack etc) But the equipment end of the industry will be profitable assuming that the other, and more serious things wrong with golf are fixed.

Things such as 5 hour rounds of golf, the usga and the local governing organizations saying lets pick up the pace on one hand and on the other rating a course at 4 1/2 hours for “proper pace when my granny could get around in four hours with her walker, dragging her oxygen bottle behind her.
Golfs continuing elitist stodgy attitude driving away golfers and blocking entry of new golfers.

Courses not dealing with problem golfers because they don’;t want them to not come back and lose that 250 dollars, forgetting about the $1,500 – 2,000 dollars stacked up behind them that may not come back. The first group is probably playing on 20 dollar golf now tee times anyway.
But I digress, Let the OEMs do whatever they want to do. I’ll get to buy deeply discounted clubs from their pre-owned sites, WHEN I decide to buy clubs, They will drive more retailers out of the market, their profits will drop and they will either have to streamline or go out of business. Funny how Darwin applies even in the golf world. And Will, again shame on you! that was underhanded and this site was probably not the best place to try and pass that off. Head on over to Golfwrx if you want to pull that crap.

OH and by the way MGS kudos for letting us know that Callaway pulled that stuff with the graphic. Funny how you are their best friend when you are saying good things that are truthful and a dirty rotten s.o.b. when you are saying equally truthful things that aren’t as nice. The problem is doesn’t matter if you are in the right or not. Callaway knows the it would cost you a whole lot more to defend it and win than it does to just settle.

Um no I didn’t buy the Alpha, there is no way I’d spend 500 dollars on an off the rack club. I’ll stick with my 3 year old driver for awhile longer and invest the money i save in lessons. That will make my game better in the long run anyway.

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Max August 26, 2014 at 11:31 am

As consumers alone, we can’t stop this madness by not buying their products. Unfortunately, Callaway and Taylormade are sitting in a position where proshops and club distributors have to buy every club these golf goliaths produce. While us consumers refusing to purchase these drivers that come out month after month may turn some heads, the best thing we can do is go straight to the source and physically voice our concerns. The madness must be stopped

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Revkev August 26, 2014 at 11:28 am

Perhaps these companies have a master plan that includes the price reductions. Consumers buy their products at a reduced rate for a couple of cycles, the competition gets cleaned out a bit, they are still generating sales, then they return to a more regular release cycle with fewer competitors and a greater customer base.

Might turn out to be a brilliant strategy.

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Sean August 26, 2014 at 11:25 am

My driver is from 2005. Have tried others on ranges etc but none made so much difference to make me want to buy any of them.

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markb August 26, 2014 at 11:22 am

I agree that Callaway’s strategy seems to be one of following in TMag’s wake, zigging where they zagged, etc. That’s understandable if you are playing catch-up to the leader. But when the ship in front of you hits an iceberg, you’d think your captain would have the good sense to order hard about or all engines astern.

Callaway’s ship is apparently too big and unresponsive to maneuver. These drivers are releases that were in the pipeline long ago and I’m left thinking that they were too far developed for Cally to stop or delay. Cookies in the oven that are done baking so they gotta come out.

They seem like “patches” to previous errors to me. I did not like the Alpha and I’d heard it wasn’t selling well in spite of a monumental launch, maybe this Alpha is a “fix”. The Beta must be a cheaper fixed hosel version of the V series aimed at a lower price point like the SLDR-s. Who knows, maybe they’ll work, but I have no desire to try them even. I’ve already tried 3 new 2014 drivers from Callaway since February. I’m just tired.

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AWOL August 27, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Agreed i have no desire to try any of these drivers, Callaway’s products are about as fresh as a 40yr old prostitute.

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DonW August 29, 2014 at 4:17 am

I put my Ping eye2 Irons and my Ping TISI driver back in the bag and am scoring better than I had been with a full set of Callaway clubs.

Older is better!

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RobN August 26, 2014 at 11:20 am

Wishon Golf for the win!! That 919THI has been out for how many years now? STILL a better club head than anything Cally or Tmag is putting out IMHO.

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BR August 27, 2014 at 10:20 am

Absolutely agree RobN. I switched to Wishon designed equipment years ago and have not looked back. I do however respect Karsten Ping company/products.

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Bill August 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm

RobN and BR, you guys are where golf is going…Flooding the shelves to appease stockholders has us where we are with TM and Callaway flooding the market which I suspect is a strategy to eliminate smaller makers (which is working to a degree. Adams and many other companies like Cleveland are getting bought up or shut down).
I haven’t bought TM in a decade and although I liked the revived Callaway at first, they have cheapened their brand through the mass market constant releases. Still like the Callaway balls but the clubs have lost their marketing appeal.
As golfers become more informed, most prefer to get custom fit. Wishon clubs are on my list for my next irons and driver. I love the way they sit at address and having them fit for my swing, grip requirements etc is more desirable than the next shiny offering at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Lessons and fittings make a better golfer far faster than buying off the rack.

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Jim August 26, 2014 at 11:19 am

As the article clearly states, most consumers have had enough with TM and Callaway releasing new clubs every few months. And Callaway even stated earlier that the new BB line would be something special and that they wouldn’t discount the models. Yet here we are less than a year from the launch and they’ve already redesigned the club (I don’t like the red accents) and also discounted the earlier models. How many drivers does Callaway currently have out there right now? I think both these companies need to step back and get back on the every two years issue cycle like Ping and Titleist and stop flooding the market and hurting the retailers. Although it works for someone like me who buys used clubs at a greatly reduced rate.

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Michael H August 26, 2014 at 11:18 am

1. Do you think there is enough demand for this new driver from Callaway? Yes, there is always enough golfers wanting the latest and greatest.

2. Do you think that Callaway should start producing even more product releases? No

3. Do you think this new scheme will work? Yes, enough golfers want the newest and shiniest.

4. Did you purchase an original Alpha driver? No

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Qwagmire August 26, 2014 at 11:14 am

was this driver included on the chart you put out showing how many drivers each company released?

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mygolfspy August 26, 2014 at 11:15 am

No

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ola scholander August 26, 2014 at 11:06 am

grew tired of tm callaway etc, threw everything out, got me a full bag of g30 and will stick with it for years now. i liked new releases for a while, but lately it has started to be a bloody joke

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Mister August 26, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Do you have to have the latest of everything? You didn’t think you could stick with the same TM or Callaway clubs for a while?

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Gustav August 31, 2014 at 6:27 am

Hahaha you got him!

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Kevin August 26, 2014 at 11:04 am

These guys are contributing to the demise of the golf equipment industry. Cross Callaway and TaylorMade off my list of brands to consider when I buy my new clubs.

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Tom54 August 26, 2014 at 11:04 am

I purchased the BB Alpha in May. I’m still mad they lopped $100 of the price not long after. It seriously has made me reconsider buying first run products from them ever again.

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TJ August 26, 2014 at 4:40 pm

if im not mistaken I believe they even talked about holding the price for about 2 years like ping and titleist. I could be wrong but i thought I saw that somewhere.

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Drew August 29, 2014 at 2:47 pm

“if im not mistaken I believe they even talked about holding the price for about 2 years like ping and titleist. I could be wrong but i thought I saw that somewhere.”

Yes, you did see it…right here on MGS :).

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Leeman August 27, 2014 at 10:33 am

I love Callaway products but I only buy them used from the Callawaygolfpreowned website. Pay only a fraction of the cost of buying new. I generally buy models that are a year or two old and save a bundle. Unless you’re hung up on having the “latest and greatest” this is a great way to get a good product at a reasonable price.

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Sam Adams August 27, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Very smart move. There haven’t been any major advances in years, just minor tweaking.

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Byron August 28, 2014 at 1:24 am

Hi Leeman,

Your the one smart guy on this site. Yes I do the same here in Bangkok. You get the Japanese and Koreans who will only buy new. They do not care about price.
They all think they can hit an 7.5 and 8.5 Driver. The 2nd hand stores are full of clubs
from these guys. 40 to 50 % off the price of a new club. Same with Irons.

Rgds,

Byron.

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John Barry August 26, 2014 at 11:01 am

It’s very hard to believe that companies can produce this many “new” drivers in a year and expect people to keep buying. In the only defense I can see possible, the company has to hit “X” amount of sales in a year, or the stock holders go crazy. the only way to do it is to keep forcing new product down peoples and retailer’s throats.

We have seen at Dicks what this means, we will see a HUGE crash in January when all these retailers have to sell all this equipment at a loss to clear inventory for more equipment. These guys should spend a little time trying to grow the game instead of choking it out. They help grow it, it means more sales.

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Sean August 26, 2014 at 10:56 am

Simple solution is for people ignore the hype and not buy the gear. They may listen then.

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Leeman August 27, 2014 at 10:31 am

Absolutely. It’s as simple as that.

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Dave C August 27, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Isn’t this kind of like a “fast woman”? Fun to try out and play around with, but not worth dating (making the investment) because we all know she still has many more under her belt to go (additional releases of “better”).

In the end, won’t capitalism reign? Unfortunately, it is the retailers that are getting hurt the most, where (I believe) their contracts w/ OEMs require a minimum purchase level. And, with bigger retailers failing and (I believe) the retailers becoming even more fragmented, the purchasing power is with the OEMS. So, it will be tough (perpetual) for the retailers to try to get out of these type of contract agreements and move more to a consignment arrangement.

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