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What happened to Mizuno irons?

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Unless you work in the golf industry, I don't see how you cannot agree with what I'm saying. The bag you're talking about is basically a "Sunday bag" and the irons are all closeouts. All around me here in Myrtle Beach I see golf courses closing, retail chains either going bankrupt or eliminating golf merchandise. OEM's are either going out of business or being bought out by the 4 major companies that remain and control the industry with identical pricing and closeout pricing policies. If that's not collusion, what is? So here is my take on the state of the game. More people leaving then entering, fewer places to play, and less options of equipment manufacturers. The companies who are still in the industry are charging those who remain more to buy and play. If you think it's healthy for a industry that is trending downward to react by raising the cost of participation, we just have to agree to disagree.

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3 minutes ago, GrandStranded said:

Unless you work in the golf industry, I don't see how you cannot agree with what I'm saying. The bag you're talking about is basically a "Sunday bag" and the irons are all closeouts. All around me here in Myrtle Beach I see golf courses closing, retail chains either going bankrupt or eliminating golf merchandise. OEM's are either going out of business or being bought out by the 4 major companies that remain and control the industry with identical pricing and closeout pricing policies. If that's not collusion, what is? So here is my take on the state of the game. More people leaving then entering, fewer places to play, and less options of equipment manufacturers. The companies who are still in the industry are charging those who remain more to buy and play. If you think it's healthy for a industry that is trending downward to react by raising the cost of participation, we just have to agree to disagree.

FWIW, companies are charging what the consumer will pay. That's it. They aren't conspiring to empty your bank account. They analyze the market, take into consideration the expense of designing, manufacturing and advertising the product and set a price they believe will allow their customer base to purchase the item. If they make good products, they will build brand loyalty. This is their job, to make and sell golf clubs and to keep their company profitable.

If you don't like it, there are ways to get less expensive options. Used market is the best deal for that. I rarely buy new clubs because I am frugal. But I don't begrudge the golf equipment manufacturers for selling their equipment at the prices they do. 

That being said, PXG are priced like Gucci. They have taken the high end approach. Muira irons are similar, but not to the extreme like PXG.

I really liked the Mizuno irons back in the MP-57, 60 era. Simple, elegant designs. Their latest game improvement designs have deviated from that approach.

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Companies will always charge what the market will allow. Think about gas prices. That is just good business. You want to sell whatever you're selling to make the most money you can make. As far as Mizuno goes, I just went to a golf show with all of the latest and greatest and Mizuno is priced no differently than any other manufacturer from what I saw...minus PXG

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5 hours ago, GrandStranded said:

Unless you work in the golf industry, I don't see how you cannot agree with what I'm saying. The bag you're talking about is basically a "Sunday bag" and the irons are all closeouts. All around me here in Myrtle Beach I see golf courses closing, retail chains either going bankrupt or eliminating golf merchandise. OEM's are either going out of business or being bought out by the 4 major companies that remain and control the industry with identical pricing and closeout pricing policies. If that's not collusion, what is? So here is my take on the state of the game. More people leaving then entering, fewer places to play, and less options of equipment manufacturers. The companies who are still in the industry are charging those who remain more to buy and play. If you think it's healthy for a industry that is trending downward to react by raising the cost of participation, we just have to agree to disagree.

I think you're a little too far toward "the sky is falling" end of the scale.

Golf is doing well in my area, despite the lousy spring.

I agree with the others: golf companies charge what players will pay. And to what was said earlier: Mizuno was never really a "costly" option compared to their peers. Not at all like PXG is now.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

I think you're a little too far toward "the sky is falling" end of the scale.

Golf is doing well in my area, despite the lousy spring.

I agree with the others: golf companies charge what players will pay. And to what was said earlier: Mizuno was never really a "costly" option compared to their peers. Not at all like PXG is now.

Agree 100% about Mizuno being in line with everyone else. In fact they may be a better option then most with all the no charge upgrades in shafts and grips they offer. This thread is about 10 years old though, and probably started at the time when they lost the bag count on tour for the first time after about 8-10 years. Not do to lack of quality product, but other OEM's began paying big endorsement money.

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 6:56 PM, iacas said:

Mizuno are pretty averagely priced among the top brands

Ok, I think this answers the OP's original question.  They are no longer a standout amongst the rest of the rack. I suggest they raise their prices, develop a catchy slogan, hire a few glam saleswomen, and give PXG a run for their money. ;-)

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On 6/13/2018 at 7:18 AM, boogielicious said:

FWIW, companies are charging what the consumer will pay. That's it.

But they're not.

Consumers are opting to not pay and do something else.

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5 hours ago, 3jacker said:

But they're not.

Consumers are opting to not pay and do something else.

PXG is still finding customers.

He didn't say EVERY customer.

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Mizuno has always made great irons.  Unfortunately, that is all they are known for.  They don't have a ball.  Their drivers, fairway woods, wedges and putters are fine...nothing wrong with them at all, but they have never reached the level of popularity that their irons have. 

Back when Mizuno had the #1 irons on Tour, the equipment industry was different.  Players had more freedom to have different brands in the bag.  They might have a Titleist 975D driver, a Callaway S2H2 3 wood, Mizuno MP-14 irons, Snake Eyes or Cleveland wedges, a Ping putter, and Titleist Tour Balata ball.  Very few companies could outfit a player "top-to-bottom" because no one had what was considered a good enough complete line of clubs and balls, and most companies didn't have an apparel line at the time.  Apparel was typically from various clothing companies like Izod, Aureus, Descente, Reebok, Cutter/Buck, Pringle, etc.  Not many companies had a ball...Ping, Mizuno, Adams, Cleveland, Snake Eyes, Cobra, Yonex, Callaway, TaylorMade, Lynx, Orlimar and other popular brands of the day didn't offer a ball.  Taylor and Callaway were woods companies.  Ping was putters and irons.  Adams and Orlimar were fairway woods.  Cleveland and Snake Eyes were wedges.  Hogan, Mizuno and Founders Club were irons.  Everyone had a little niche, but no one had everything.  This allowed more companies to be #1 in the various categories.  Mizuno dominated in the irons category.  Life was good.

Then things began to change.  Companies wanted their brand to be represented by more than just a couple of clubs in a player's bag or by just a ball.  I remember going to The Western Open in the early '90s and getting a close look at Jim McGovern's Titleist staff bag...full of Ping irons and TaylorMade woods.  The only piece of Titleist equipment he played was the ball.  And we all remember how good Ben Crenshaw's King Cobra staff bag looked as he put together a beautiful 68 at Augusta on Sunday in '95, which only had 4 Cobra clubs in it.

BC1995-e1325960792198.png.c656d04dfe24d654bf4e4eef511fc195.png

At the '97 Masters, Tiger's Titleist staff bag held 2 Titleist clubs

:

TW1997-e1325961460795.png.d0a01c4b315eec6ab41a47783f09ff1a.png

One year later he carried 14 Titleist clubs:

TW1998-e1325961803949.thumb.png.ecb31b8dce58a7ef177e117533d6b864.png

Titleist always had good irons, and their line of forged wedges in the '90s was good too, but when they introduced the 975 line of woods, and brought Cameron and Vokey in to design putters and wedges, they could outfit Tour players with legitimate equipment through the entire bag, and obviously the ball, plus glove and shoes.  Why is this such a big deal?  Because as much as some of you deny it, Tour usage drives equipment sales.  There is a reason why the manufacturers spend tens of millions of dollars every year in endorsement contracts...because it makes a huge difference.  So pretty quickly other companies were scrambling to bring their entire line up to snuff.  Companies like Callaway and TaylorMade bought/developed a golf ball line, they bought/developed a competitive putter line, and it seemed like everyone was trying to buy a clothing line to bring under their umbrella.  Equipment deals went from being ball/bag/glove/hat for example (kind of like Titleist used to do) to including a 10-12 club minimum as well, and usually an apparel/shoe deal.  At the time, a no-name rookie could get a deal like this for $175,000/yr.  Pretty good money.  

So what happens to a company like Mizuno?  They have some of the best forgings in the industry, but they don't have a driver, fairway woods, wedges, or putters that anyone wants to play with, and they don't have a ball at all.  Do you spend a shit-ton of money to try to compete with companies like Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway or the new deep pocket in the industry, Nike?  For anyone to take notice, you'd have to come up with something better/more innovative than what they have, plus have a big-budget marketing campaign to push it.  That's a tall order.  Or, do you back down and hold onto your niche?  It's tough to sign someone to play a set of irons for $30-40,000/yr, then get a ball deal somewhere and a driver deal somewhere else when the other companies are one-stop shopping and are paying big money. It's not that Mizuno Sports doesn't have the cash...they are huge.  But their golf division is a very small part of a much larger company.  Obviously Titleist has the overwhelming market share on golf balls...for now.  But we used to think the same thing on their market share on shoes.  Then some new companies like Ecco, Adidas, Nike, Puma and others came along and put a serious dent in FootJoy's future, which proves how competitive this industry is.  There are several younger generations who are no longer automatically playing Titleist balls and wearing FootJoys because "that's the way it's always been".  However, even the race to be #2 is extremely competitive and expensive.  It's not just about making the best product...it's also about making consumers believe it's the best.  This involves a lot of really good marketing and a Tour presence.  And if you don't pull it off, it could sink the company.  It's a bold move, and Mizuno is a Japanese-owned company, and their culture tends to be more conservative.  I think Mizuno will continue to produce world-class products for a long time, but they won't dominate like they used to.

img4.jpg.67baadc7bd0ab1df2775d1d5a08858a1.jpg 

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1 hour ago, 1badbadger said:

and they don't have a ball at all. 

 

The above post is excellent, and I agree 99.9%. It took time to write, is comprehensive and interesting.

But, Mizuno do have a ball.

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2 hours ago, Shorty said:

The above post is excellent, and I agree 99.9%. It took time to write, is comprehensive and interesting.

But, Mizuno do have a ball.

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Unknown-1.jpeg

True enough Shorty, but it's not available in the U.S. and they don't have a model that anyone would play at the professional level.  Almost the same as not having one.  I appreciate the kind words regarding my post.

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The folks that are staying, and paying for PXG and similar... aren't the concern.

The ones that are leaving the game, those are the ones who would rather spend their time and $ elsewhere. 

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10 hours ago, 3jacker said:

The folks that are staying, and paying for PXG and similar... aren't the concern.

The ones that are leaving the game, those are the ones who would rather spend their time and $ elsewhere. 

What's that got to do with the topic? The topic isn't "the ones who would rather spend their time and $ elsewhere."

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On 6/13/2018 at 7:18 AM, boogielicious said:

I really liked the Mizuno irons back in the MP-57, 60 era. Simple, elegant designs. Their latest game improvement designs have deviated from that approach.

Well, I’m pretty happy with the MP-18’s.  Most everyone has game improvement irons but that doesn’t take away from their traditional line.

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20 minutes ago, NCGolfer said:

Well, I’m pretty happy with the MP-18’s.  Most everyone has game improvement irons but that doesn’t take away from their traditional line.

I was referring to the JPX designs.

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