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Is the Golf Equipment Business one big scam?

post #1 of 108
Thread Starter 

Seems to me that it wasn't too long ago that Taylor Made had a bunch of PGA professionals touting how great their latest clubs were.  But I'm glad I didn't rush out to get the latest equipment because today I'm watching TGC and see Dustin Johnson pushing yet another latest, greatest driver from Taylor Made.

 

All of a sudden the clubs being marketed no later than 9-12 months ago are obsolete?

 

http://www.facebook.com/TaylorMadeGolf

 

Good thing I didn't go out and buy that $399 driver that was supposed to help my game.

 

I can't believe that TM didn't have this latest driver in the chute at about the same time as their 2012 model

 

It's all a scam.

 

I'll be looking for those clubs for $50 on Ebay in a couple of years.

post #2 of 108

I do understand where you are coming from.  Every year a new club comes out claiming 5-10 more yards.  Add all of those up over the last couple of decades and we should all be hitting it 500 yards by now.

 

But calling it a scam is a bit harsh.  Are they any different than Apple/Microsoft who come out with new products every year that usually only have a couple of tweaks from the previous year?  Or skis, baseball bats, fishing rods, etc ... all of the high end makers of those products put out new equipment every year that's just a little bit faster, lighter, stronger, whatever, from the previous year.

 

The good news is that prices of the new ones (lately, at least) aren't usually higher than the old ones, just that the old ones prices now go down.  The top drivers when they come out have been at 400 for awhile now (I think some were even at 500 not too long ago, so prices are actually down)

 

I don't think people who buy a new driver every year are getting scammed, they're just being silly.

post #3 of 108

I kinda feel what the OP is saying. Everyone is doing it these days. I could be wrong but I think I remeber a 2 year window between Pings G-15 and G-20 lines. But oh well as long as idiots like me line up to try/buy this stuff nothing is gonna change...............and why should it? We're not being forced to buy the stuff. z7_no.gif  

post #4 of 108

It's questionable marketing but not a scam.  The flat screen television you're watching has probably been replaced by a new model that offers 10000% more luminance and color variations.  The computer or phone you're reading this on has or will shortly be replaced by a faster, more robust one.  The car you bought last year has a new model this year and offers extra bells and whistles that the one you bought didn't offer plus 10 more HP and it gets 5% better gas mileage.

 

It's marketing, it's what companies do to sell you their latest and greatest.  Most products today are evolutionary not revolutionary so they have to make them sound great or else no one would buy them.  Golf is no different, if you added up the extra 15 yards every new generation of driver offered we'd all drive the ball 1000 yards, but for some reason we don't. 

 

I'd guess real differences are seen every 2-3 years so don't be fooled by their marketing machines, no matter what you buy, it will be replaced by something "better" in a few months. 

post #5 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Martin View Post

All of a sudden the clubs being marketed no later than 9-12 months ago are obsolete?

Just because TaylorMade (of whomever) comes out with a new driver does not mean their old ones are obsolete. Not in the slightest.
post #6 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post


Just because TaylorMade (of whomever) comes out with a new driver does not mean their old ones are obsolete. Not in the slightest.

 

Agreed.  The short product-life-cycle in the golf industry really only effects those who fall into the marketing jargon.  The guys I play with could care less who has the newest driver, irons, etc.  In fact, the guy who has the latest and greatest in his bag also carries the highest index :)

 

For the rest of us, it's a great way to get cutting-edge technology at a bargain.  Find a head you like.  Buy a real golf shaft.  Play golf.

post #7 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

I do understand where you are coming from.  Every year a new club comes out claiming 5-10 more yards.  Add all of those up over the last couple of decades and we should all be hitting it 500 yards by now.

 

But calling it a scam is a bit harsh.  Are they any different than Apple/Microsoft who come out with new products every year that usually only have a couple of tweaks from the previous year?  Or skis, baseball bats, fishing rods, etc ... all of the high end makers of those products put out new equipment every year that's just a little bit faster, lighter, stronger, whatever, from the previous year.

 

The good news is that prices of the new ones (lately, at least) aren't usually higher than the old ones, just that the old ones prices now go down.  The top drivers when they come out have been at 400 for awhile now (I think some were even at 500 not too long ago, so prices are actually down)

 

I don't think people who buy a new driver every year are getting scammed, they're just being silly.

Dead on on every part.

 

Unlike microsoft, the golf companies do not seem to sell flawed product that needs some kind of update immediately to keep working.

 

And since some buy new equipment every year, it seems to work.

 

Personally, I end up getting a new driver every 2 years and other than getting a new putter and 9 wood in 2012 , most of my bag hasnt changed in years (other than the constant rotation of the clubs laying around the house)

post #8 of 108
Right- the golf companies don't sell a "flawed product" that needs updating to work. What they are hoping for is that "flawed product" that is the end user WANTS the upgrade to their product. The lure of 3 or 5 or 10 more yards is the selling point. But all those "flawed products" are usually just going to slice further right.. just about 3 or 5 or maybe 10 yards deeper into the woods. Which keeps their distance claims somewhat true.
post #9 of 108

Golf companies current business model is more of a necessity than a scam (not that I support it though). Publicly traded companies are required to grow their business and increase sales in order to provide for their shareholders. To do that golf companies need to keep turnover high and sell more and more clubs. Granted the language they use is misleading at times but as is stated above, nobody is making us go out and buy every year. 

post #10 of 108

That's exactly true and the fact the overall golf market and number of golfers is actually shrinking is partially the cause of the shorter product life cycles.  When golf was at it's most popular, there were enough golfers to sell to that manufacturers could afford to have a 1 - 2 year product life cycle. 

 

Today we're seeing Callaway and TM go to 1/2 year to 1 year life cycle for their woods and 1 year for their irons.  In order to do this, they basically have to have the next generation driver already developed and in testing by the time their current driver hits the stores which doesn't leave much time for real R&D to occur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckAaron View Post

Golf companies current business model is more of a necessity than a scam (not that I support it though). Publicly traded companies are required to grow their business and increase sales in order to provide for their shareholders. To do that golf companies need to keep turnover high and sell more and more clubs. Granted the language they use is misleading at times but as is stated above, nobody is making us go out and buy every year. 

post #11 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckAaron View Post

Golf companies current business model is more of a necessity than a scam (not that I support it though). Publicly traded companies are required to grow their business and increase sales in order to provide for their shareholders. To do that golf companies need to keep turnover high and sell more and more clubs. Granted the language they use is misleading at times but as is stated above, nobody is making us go out and buy every year. 

 

Valid point, but ironically enough, I can't believe you're playing a driver from 1998!  

post #12 of 108

I don't know if I would consider it a scam, but the articulation above about being a public company and quarterly results cannot be ignored and makes sense. 

 

With that, I do believe that there is some form of regulation that can be applied to protect the consumer from "misapplied" marketing.  Specifically, I am referring to OEM claims about their X-iron travelling much further than another OEM's X-iron. 

 

Although many opinions exist on relative loft comparison, I would venture that by forcing the manufacturers to focus on lofts, rather than the club name (7 iron, 6 iron etc), it would normalize the claims somewhat. I realize there are other conditions like club length, swing speed, etc, but those can also be factored into some type of regulatory formula.

 

For those that think this would be impossible to govern, consider that the FTC made a similar move with Audio manufacturers that claimed their Watts RMS were far greater than the other's Watts.  If anyone is a co-audiophile, you'll see that each manufacturer is required to publish specs that allow for a proper 1:1 comparison when making Watts claims.  In golf terms, it would be equal to power/distance.

post #13 of 108

That's all we need is more unenforceable regulations to pay for.

 

And while there's a rating standard in audio equipment, it hasn't stopped companies from bringing out amplifiers that have 3000 watts printed on them that only make 1200rms.  They just put (max) at the end and put the real numbers inside the box on a piece of paper.  Golf companies already to the same, look at the RBZ line and their 17 yards.  Then in the fine print they say over one specific club (The Burner 2009) and at a 130mph swing speed.  They can use fine print to justify their claims and you'd better believe that their legal department has scrutinized everything to make sure they can't be sued.

 

Educated audiophiles know that's the case and only look at the RMS rating, just like educated golfers don't believe they're going to pick up that yardage and look for the conditions.

 

Uneducated equipment people still think their amplifier is 3000 watts and will tell you that quickly, just like people believe that they're going to hit the ball 17 yards longer by swapping to a new club.

post #14 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Martin View Post

Seems to me that it wasn't too long ago that Taylor Made had a bunch of PGA professionals touting how great their latest clubs were.  But I'm glad I didn't rush out to get the latest equipment because today I'm watching TGC and see Dustin Johnson pushing yet another latest, greatest driver from Taylor Made.

All of a sudden the clubs being marketed no later than 9-12 months ago are obsolete?

http://www.facebook.com/TaylorMadeGolf

Good thing I didn't go out and buy that $399 driver that was supposed to help my game.

I can't believe that TM didn't have this latest driver in the chute at about the same time as their 2012 model

It's all a scam.

I'll be looking for those clubs for $50 on Ebay in a couple of years.

Ever buy a new car? a1_smile.gif
post #15 of 108

Car companies come out with new models every year. They always say the new models are better than the previous models. I have never seen any company that makes a new product claim that the new product isn't better than the product it is replacing. I don't understand why people think equipment companies should act differently. As far as players go, they are the most visable representitives for the companies, and part of their jobs is to say how good their new products are, That being said, if you are satisfied with your present gear, you shouldn't care what claims are made about the new gear. I love looking at all the new stuff, but unless there is a big difference, I usually play my gear for a good while.

post #16 of 108
I look at it like this. Whenever they come out with the latest and greatest, last years $300 driver is now less than $200. The more clubs they come out with, the less expensive other clubs are.
post #17 of 108

Not a scam, have to consider why you see these companies coming out with new stuff every year, cause it works.  It works because it's what the consumer wants.  A company doesn't make a trend, consumers make trends. Companies that have been successful in the last few years, TaylorMade, Titleist, PING, have influenced for sure and have been able to create solutions for consumer demands.

 

Callaway is starting a comeback because they're starting to listen to golfers.  Stop with the seven different sets of irons that nobody can tell the difference between and streamline it.  Now their's only three sets of irons being released from Cally this year. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meenman View Post

 

Personally, I end up getting a new driver every 2 years and other than getting a new putter and 9 wood in 2012 , most of my bag hasnt changed in years (other than the constant rotation of the clubs laying around the house)

 

That's about the cycle most avid golfers are on, two-three years for the driver and five-six years for irons (from what I've been told by an OEM).  That obviously plays a role in OEM's introducing new clubs every one-two years.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryTimes View Post

I look at it like this. Whenever they come out with the latest and greatest, last years $300 driver is now less than $200. The more clubs they come out with, the less expensive other clubs are.
 
Yeah and it's really good equipment.  I'm sure you can put a great set of clubs together for a real bargain that we're released in '09/'10   The "old" clubs are far from obsolete, just don't have all the latest bells and whistles as the newest toy.
post #18 of 108

I love buying clubs that fit my game and work just as well as the new model...at half the price.  I also like buying used clubs...which were ditched by some guy for the new model.

 

I get good equipment at a much lower price than buying new...and the clubs i am getting are still very new.

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