BLUF: I think the Big OEM's bank on brand loyalty with a 6 month to 1 yr time frame and after that 1 yr have NO CHOICE but to drop prices and dont get much profit at that point. But it's coming back or going to come back to bite them.
This might get long winded but bare with me. I cant help but think of the big pharma companies as an example. Everyone complains about high prescription drug prices. But consider the market and what it takes to create the products. $10 a pill might seem steep, but what did it cost to research and develop it $400 million and 5 yrs? And the market for a specific drug is going to be limited to only the people with the condition the drug is for. So how does this relate to golf? How much does it cost an OEM to research and develop their next tech advancement thats gonna give 10 more yards of the tee for a driver, or better feel and distance on a set of irons and what is it gonna cost to change their manufacturing processes and facilities to build it in mass? And how long do they have to get that money back and make a profit? My view is they have 6 months to a year tops! Why? Because in 6 months to a year the next big thing from the other OEM's or even themselves is coming out. So they have a high price point banking on players that already have their stuff, sticking with them (guy playing TM Sim...automatically gets the Sim2 off the rack because that worked so far.), and those guys that are gear junkies.
But here is the monkey in the wrench. More players no longer buy off the rack...when $50 bucks gets u a fitting (and in most cases gets added to the club u buy from the fitter) you might lose that brand loyalty. Perfect example...my best friend just started playing with us in March...was using a used set he got from his boss...the old R1 driver and old R7 irons. As he got better (he is naturally athletic and scores 105 for 18 now...the bastard...lol) he started lookin for new clubs. He hit a guy's SIM2 one time when we got paired with a couple strangers once, and loved it. So he went on one of those "rent a club...buy if you like it" sites and rented a SIM2. He got the standard off the rack version, played a couple rounds and was ready to buy. I pushed him to take it in...get numbers...see if the loft was the best for him shaft was best for him, etc and test a few others just for the hell of it... first he found out the R1 had a crack in it! So now he has to get a new one. 1 hr later...He walked out of the fitting with a brand new G425 with a different shaft and loft....and loves it more. Sorry TaylorMade!
So what does all this mean...the lowering cost of fittings...the fast pace of new equipment and tech innovations being released mandates the initial higher MSRP, for the OEM's to get the return on the investment. But that is going to change soon I think because they are getting TOO HIGH. Brand loyalty is waning in my opinion. I very rarely see players with a bag full of the same OEM/brand/model clubs. TM driver, Callaway woods/hybrids, with Cobra irons, and vokey wedges for example (except me...I got a bag full of PXG for $1800 thanks to the hero pricing...AND I LOOOOVE THEM). So that bank the OEM's count on wont be there in the future, except for those gear junkies that have the disposable income for it and gotta have the latest greatest (but how many are there of those). There is too much diversity in the market, and despite the games growth through the pandemic, it is still not a big market in the overall scheme (think baseball, football, soccer, etc). Golf is still kind of thought of as an older guy's (with high disposable income) game. So back to the BLUF, the MSRP's are gonna stay high, but with limited production, then prices will drop with a bit more production for those with less disposable income, as players start to realize that its better to wait (and cheaper to wait) because the latest greatest may not be for them.
Thanks for listening...need to go catch my breath...lol
May your drives be straight, your irons pure, and your putts in the back of the jar!