Web Street Golf Daily Pulse
VOLUME 6, NUMBER 51
Friday, March 13, 2015
WHEN YOU’RE HOT, YOU’RE HOT! TOUR validation is a tricky business. For many, many years it represented the starting point for any company to get its product recognized with golfers. But with the never-ending array of new products coming to market, it’s hard to keep up with what any of your favorites are playing from one week to the next. However, when the product demonstrates what it can do, it paves the way towards commercial success. For example, Billy Horschel won big late last year. He finished 2014 on a high for him as he came out on top at the BMW Championship and then the season ending, TOUR Championship. It powered him to finished first in the FedExCup points list, which happens to carry with it a ridiculous sum of money! In the span of two weeks his life changed.
Bubba Watson, ranked #2 in the world, won the WGC HSBC Championship in China last November. He has climbed to #1 on the PGA TOUR money list with earnings of $2.68 million following his third place finish at the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Sunday. He currently leads the tour in scoring average at 69.368 and in strokes gained. Watson is currently #2 in FedExCup points for 2015. He averaged 325 yards in driving distance last week at Doral. Speaking of distance, Brandon Hagy (who?) is making plenty of noise as he leads the TOUR in driving distance, averaging 321.5-yard off the tee. He is more than four yards ahead of Dustin Johnson, who is in second place. Earlier this year, Andy Sullivan won the South African Open Championship on the European Tour and followed it up with another victory at the Joburg Open, while Miguel Ángel Jiménez won the Mitsubishi Electric Championship on the Champions Tour. Last August, Kevin Sutherland recorded the first 59 in Champions Tour history. What do they all have in common?
Every company strives for it and yet only one can lay claim to it. It may not last for very long and yet sometimes it does. The equipment business is hyper competitive, just ask any golfer. Yet, which one is considered the best of the best? There are various ways to measure this in order to come up with an answer. It often starts with Tour validation. However, the most powerful and meaningful way is through the voice of consumers. How they respond with their wallets trumps any other measurement. Several may or may not be surprise to learn that for the past six months combined (Aug ‘14 – Jan ’15, which represents the latest Golf Datatech figures) PING’s G30 driver has been #1 with consumers. It has registered first in dollars as 15.25% of every dollar spent on a driver during the period has gone to the G30. It also is first in terms of volume, meaning 10.41% of all the drivers sold over the six-month period happened to be the G30 model. The long and short of it is the product has been a moneymaker at retail.
“The G30 has done phenomenally well for us. It’s exceeded our expectations, not because they weren’t high before. We had no idea it would explode,” said Ken Morton Jr, of Haggin Oaks. “We have a fitting studio, called our Players Performance Studio. Players are able to try the product on a launch monitor and compare it against the competition. The G30 has been winning the lion’s share of the battle based on performance. PING isn’t known as the flashiest company and it has understated marketing, but it’s always been a matter of product comes first. We share that deep belief with the company.”
On the other side of the country the retail story is the same. “For us in the Midwest or northeast, whatever you want to call us, August product launches are typically not the greatest,” said Casey Baker of Carl’s Golfland, located in Michigan. “But the G30 launch by PING has been the most successful fall launch in our history for PING or any other brand for that matter. It’s kept the momentum up throughout the winter. PING is known first and foremost as an engineering company. They don’t bring a product unless it outperforms the previous one. Its just not a marketing ploy,” he continued. “The brand can be trusted and golfers like their two-year product cycles.” According to Baker PING has experienced some incremental sales under the G30, as it’s been a hard product to beat using Trackman to confirm its performance! The success of the G30 driver has also led to a halo effect on the micro brand as Baker said consumers have converted to the G30 irons based on the satisfaction of the driver.
According to Golf Datatech research for the past six months combined(Aug ‘14 – Jan ’15), G30 Irons are #1 in sell through in dollars (7.18%), while the G30 Hybrids also ranks #1 in sell through (11.01% of dollars spent). The G30 Fairway Woods rank #2 in the period (10.33% of dollars spent by consumers).
A week from today marks the first day of Spring. Another cold winter will finally be over and many around the country can look forward to future outdoor activities. For those still wondering what the hot products are in 2015. It appears the answer has already been delivered by the consumer for the consumer!