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GOLFERS! - Are You Brand-Washed?


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brand-washed

 

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Why Are We Brand Loyal To Begin With?

- Why DO YOU buy the brands you buy?

 

- Why are we sometimes brand loyal to only one brand...even when another brand might be better and be more affordable?

 

- With as much equipment testing technology out now why do we often buy a brand that gives us inferior results?

 

- Do you buy a brand so you are perceived as a certain type player?

 

- Why do golfers want to play what Tiger plays, do they think it will make them play like him?

The Importance of Branding

Big golf companies spend millions and millions of dollars trying to create their "Brand". Creating a brand is by far the most important factor influencing an item's success or failure in the marketplace...and creates a dramatic impact on how a companies products are viewed by the consumer. It can make or break the success of a company...because it creates repeat buyer's and free word of mouth advertising for the brand. But remember one thing...this is all just marketing (most of the time).

 

brand-loyal

How They Influence Our Buying Habits

These are all ideas created behind the scenes at impressively built round tables...you know the ones I am talking about...the ones with the speaker in the middle. And all of it is based around the companies ability to influence the way you make a purchase. We preach it all the time on MyGolfSpy..."To look through the smoke and break through the mirrors, when it comes to smoke and mirrors advertising." The way you purchase golf equipment should be based less on how a product is perceived and more on how a product performs. So take a minute to think about it and think about if you have ever been persuaded to buy a golf club because of an ad or viral marketing video you have seen. I would guess that most of us have at one time or another.

  • Is A Scotty Cameron really better then a Bettinardi or an Odyssey better then a Ping?

  • Does the new Taylormade driver actually out perform the Callaway?
  • Is a Scratch wedge any worse then a Titleist Vokey?

Just think about all the ads you have seen over the years that have been in golf stores or magazines trying to influence your buying habits...remember 10-15 years ago when every single golf company was saying that there club went 15 yards farther then any other club? I am sure you can think of other ads that have always stuck with you. Well they did this for a reason...and that reason was because people bought more drivers if they included that in their ads.

 

The thing they didn't tell you was that they were putting in a longer stock shaft...so yes on a testing machine that struck the balls perfectly...the balls did go farther...but for the average golfer he would now miss the sweet spot more often and he would actually be losing distance over the course of a round off the tee. But they don't care about that...they just want to create an image when you think about their company.

25 Yards Farther...Guaranteed!

Or what about all the drivers that Taylormade is putting out now...where every year you hear so much hype about how much better this club is then any other club they have ever made. Then the videos you see spreading like wild fire about an iron they developed that goes 25 yards farther then all the other irons on the market. Well once again they worked...it helped them sell more clubs then the other guys in that market. But did the club really go 25 yards farther or was it a better club for you...one that would help you get the ball in the hole quicker. The answer is almost always no.

 

But they did this for a reason...they want you to feel like you are making the right choice and a safe choice by choosing their product. And if this didn't worth they would not be doing it. We almost forget to actually think before we buy. We stop thinking logically about what we actually need compared to what they say we should have. It creates an impulsive instinct within us to where all we can think about is getting THAT club instead of actually testing it first. It is Marketing 101 and they know it makes us reach in our wallets before rationalizing the purchase.

Don't Always Believe What They Are Telling You

This should not be the way we decide to purchase golf equipment. No different then nature...the cream should rise to the top. And there is no better time in the golf industry then now to be able to see which product actually does rise to the top and is the best product for our game. And this is done by getting fit for your equipment and your game. Find out the ACTUAL best results by testing the equipment yourself. Almost every golf shop now has some type of launch monitor or fitting system that is better then any advertisements suggestion. So try and stop paying as much attention to the advertising and marketing done by companies and try and start paying more attention to what you need to actually improve your game. Because really...why would we be loyal to just one brand...are they paying you to play their clubs?

 

Start thinking about your bag differently...go through it and analyze every club in your bag. Start thinking about where you are losing strokes and where you can improve with better fit equipment. Then go out and over time if you are interested in making a purchase to improve your game...make logical decisions based on the individual club analysis you did. Actually go get fit for a driver and then your irons. And yes 40% of our shots in a round are with the putter...so it might be the best thing to get that fit first. There are simple putter fittings that can be of some help or you can go with a Rolls-Royce type fitting with a guy like David Edel from Edel Golf. Even the ball can now be fit to your game and can make a huge impact on your results and overall consistency when it comes to things like distance control and a consistent spin rate and putter feel.

 

If more golfers starter purchasing golf equipment this way you would start to see less advertising that was based purely on biased claims and more advertising based on how they as a company can better serve YOU the consumer.

Do you remember any ads that made an impact on the way golfers purchased equipment? I would love to hear them...tell us what your favorite ad was!

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I am an equal opportunity ho. I play what works for me and am not swayed by commercials or ads. I will pay some attention to online reviews but I typically look at performance and value in what I play.

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I have always played what ever I thought was the best suited for my game, even if that means each club in my bag is from a different OEM. I think each OEM makes great stuff, but obviously each company has the areas they are best known for. Playing all the same brand doesn't make the clubs work any better.

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I would say that I am brand loyal with my Byron Morgan putter. I have the worst wandering eyes when it comes to putters. In the past few years I have bought and sold a ridiculous number of putters. I am not sure why I ordered my first Byron last Spring. Maybe postings on other forums convinced me. Customization, customer service, and fine craftsmanship seemed a killer combination. I gambled and ordered the stainless completely blind/untested. Funny thing is that I sold it six months later. I had bought a LN 006 Carbon model from eBay and it has been in the bag ever since. It just fits. Plus, Byron even called me at home to clarify some items on my order. I like Cameron's stuff too, but I don't think that many non-pros ever talk to Scotty about a putter. Scratch wedges interest me because I have a sense that they work with the customer at a level similar to Byron...

 

I always look at the adds, the GD Hot List, and all of that, but it comes down to hitting balls. Right now my "old" Nike 5000 that I picked up last year is still better for my swing than any new offering. Even the marketing of the balls is kind of nuts, but after doing the Bridgestone ball fitting at one of the local demo days last year, I could see that I would hit the 330RX farther than the Tour iX I was gaming. Even Bridgestone has made that ball 'better' this year. I am hoping I can find the old balls cheaper.

Volvo Intorqueo

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @GolfspyDave

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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- Why DO YOU buy the brands you buy?

 

Based on past experience. I've had pretty good experience with Mizuno and wouldn't be averse to buying from them again. However, I like buying vintage blades and love vintage Hogan's and may stick with just going with those irons.

 

 

- Why are we sometimes brand loyal to only one brand...even when another brand might be better and be more affordable?

 

I think the smart golfers go with a brand based on positive past experiences. Others tend to go with what's 'cool' and looks nice.

 

- With as much equipment testing technology out now why do we often buy a brand that gives us inferior results?

 

Many don't know if it gives inferior results. One of the things that used to scare me is getting a demo club you hit well, but when you get your own club it just doesn't perform as well.

 

- Do you buy a brand so you are perceived as a certain type player?

 

No, but I know others that do.

 

 

- Why do golfers want to play what Tiger plays, do they think it will make them play like him?

 

I don't think it's quite that, but I think it's that on the golf course many think Tiger can do know wrong and if suggests a club, then it must be good.

 

Personally, I'm starting to like the looks of Nike's clubs, especially their new VR drivers and their VR blades. I wouldn't touch a Cameron with a 10 foot pole...too light, too flat and too much loft. I probably won't get their blades either as I'm happy with my 3 different set of Hogan blades. But I would like to think that I'm not fooled any longer by company's. That wasn't always the case.

 

 

 

 

3JACK

Author of Pro Golf Synopsis. The Moneyball approach to golf strategy and analysis.Driver: Wishon 919THI, 10° loft, UST Mamiya VTS Red 7x, 44-3/8” long, 2,825 kg/cm^2 MOIGONZO WOOD: confidential2-Hybrid: Mizuno Fli-HiCLK, 17° loft, 40-7/8" KBS Tour Hybrid shaft (stiff)3-Hybrid: Mizuno Fli-HiCLK, 20° loft, 40" KBS Tour Hybrid shaft (stiff)4-6 iron: Wishon 575MMC (CB)7-PW: Wishon 575MMC (MB)SW: Edel Golf driver grind, 52° loft, 16° bounce, Nippon WV 125 shaft.LW: Edel Golf Digger Grind, 60° loft, 27° bounce, Nippon WV 125 ShaftPutter: Edel Golf Columbia Custom Made, 35" long, 72° lie angle, 3° loft. Ball: Titleist Pro V1xGrips: PURE Grips P2 Wrap (red)Shoes: FootJoy Dry-Joy (black, size 14)3Jack's Golf Blog - http://3jack.blogspot.com

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Well, I'm a Callaway and Taylor Made homer because of the OUTSTANDING customer service that I have been given by each of these OEM's over the years. And I'm talking they have treated me like a Touring Professional in some instances, even when I didn't ask for it. So that's why I'm truly a Callaway and Taylor Made homer. Nike has treated me well also, but not like Callaway and Taylor Made have.

 

It's kinda funny. When I first started playing, all I wanted was a set of PING's. I got the i3 o-size and loved going through the fitting process. It was outstanding. And still is to this day. I didn't particularly care for their drivers or FW's, though, and thought the world of Taylor Made and Callaway drivers. I remember using the old Hawkeye and 320. Oh man, they were awesome.

Current bag: Some Callaway, some Cleveland. Down to 2 OEM's!

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Well maybe not for many of the better golfers but go into any proshop and ask the salesman how many people come in and ask to buy a putter that just won a tourney and you will be amazed. Many putter companies have made a name by just this alone. Seemore was the first to come to mind. It was a curse for them though back then since they could not handle the 30,000 order that came in the next day. But they have since been revived.

 

Based on past experience. I've had pretty good experience with Mizuno and wouldn't be averse to buying from them again. However, I like buying vintage blades and love vintage Hogan's and may stick with just going with those irons.

 

 

 

 

I think the smart golfers go with a brand based on positive past experiences. Others tend to go with what's 'cool' and looks nice.

 

 

 

Many don't know if it gives inferior results. One of the things that used to scare me is getting a demo club you hit well, but when you get your own club it just doesn't perform as well.

 

 

 

No, but I know others that do.

 

 

 

 

I don't think it's quite that, but I think it's that on the golf course many think Tiger can do know wrong and if suggests a club, then it must be good.

 

Personally, I'm starting to like the looks of Nike's clubs, especially their new VR drivers and their VR blades. I wouldn't touch a Cameron with a 10 foot pole...too light, too flat and too much loft. I probably won't get their blades either as I'm happy with my 3 different set of Hogan blades. But I would like to think that I'm not fooled any longer by company's. That wasn't always the case.

 

 

 

 

3JACK

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My bag is as varied as the demo standbag in Golfsmith.

 

 

I play Titleist, Mizuno, Callaway and Taylormade equipment because I test it and it looks and feels right.

 

If it looks weird at address, it doesn't matter how much "new technology" is in it. I can stand over the ball and not feel right. That's all it takes.

 

 

And at this point, all regular golfers should know that seldom does a technology come along that revolutionizes the game. Some things I've picked up along the way.

 

1. If you want a ball to stop on the green, play a good ball. Money well spent.

 

2. Having clubs/shafts setup for your swing makes a much bigger impact on your game than Taylormades quarterly revision of the R series :D I still play a Titleist 905T and regularly outdrive both the Taylormade Burner and R9 with an identical length stiff GS YS-6.

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LOL, I may have rushed out to roll a SeeMore about that time.

 

Well maybe not for many of the better golfers but go into any proshop and ask the salesman how many people come in and ask to buy a putter that just won a tourney and you will be amazed. Many putter companies have made a name by just this alone. Seemore was the first to come to mind. It was a curse for them though back then since they could not handle the 30,000 order that came in the next day. But they have since been revived.

Volvo Intorqueo

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @GolfspyDave

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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A very good read. My answers to your questions:

 

- Why DO YOU buy the brands you buy?

 

Right now I have in the bag: TM driver, 3W, hybrid. Mizuno irons. Titleist wedges. Byron putter.

 

All of these are in there because they work. I have a strong history with TM drivers, and the 3W and hybrid are the first ones I ever bought and they've hung around. Mizuno irons, same way. They were my first new set and I still have a couple of them (4-6 MX-23's) and I replaced 7-P with MP-57's. Vokey wedges have worked in the past, so I keep replacing them with the same. The Byron putters keep multiplying because the quality is phenomenal. I got to demo a Byron through Steve and I had to have one...then two...then (soon to be) SEVEN.

 

 

- Why are we sometimes brand loyal to only one brand...even when another brand might be better and be more affordable?

 

I'd like to think that I am not blind to anything that would be better and more affordable. I test lots and lots of equipment, whether I'm truly in the market or not, just to see what's out there. The one area where I feel I could be missing out is in component clubs. The problem there is that there is no way for me to test them (that I know of). The prices on some component clubs are very very low and I've read many good things, but I'm hesitant to jump in without a hands on experience.

 

 

- With as much equipment testing technology out now why do we often buy a brand that gives us inferior results?

 

I'd like to believe I never do this. I do know people who do, however. As you explain very well in the article, certain brands carry a very strong appeal. Just recently a friend of mine told me about his new Titleist irons. He came within an eyelash of actually saying "I bought them because real players play Titleist." He is not a hack, but he's not a strong player. I'm sure there is equipment that would fit him better, but ultimately the Titleists make him happy, and that's worth something too.

 

- Do you buy a brand so you are perceived as a certain type player?

 

I do not believe so.

 

- Why do golfers want to play what Tiger plays, do they think it will make them play like him?

 

On some level, I think people are all susceptible to this kind of thinking. If we weren't, advertisers would not use it. Why do I care that 100 PGA Pros "trust Titleist on every shot"? I don't know, but somewhere in my brain, I do.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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I play what looks good and feels good but have some weird and honestly STUPID rational. I can't help it.... :( I can play clubs from different companies but can't mix certain company's stuff.. If I have a company's irons that makes great drivers I can't have a different companies driver. I have never played Callaway irons because I have never found a driver of theirs that I like. I have played Titleist drivers for years although I know I could probably hit others better.. Its a confidence thing. I like the new black irons but would not play them UNLESS I found black wedges I liked as well. I could play chrome or satin irons with black wedges but not the opposite. I know, I'm goofy...

 

Specs..

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I wouldnt say i am brand washed at all. I play anyhting that works, OEM or component.

 

Here is my bag..subject to change of course. :angry:

 

Driver - Hibore XLS with motore 75x

3 wood - Wishon 949 MC with Speeder 959x or TEE cb1 with Pro 95

hybrid - Adams Pro gold 20, Matrix ozik Altus

Irons - Srixon 506 w/KB Tour 6.5...may soon be Adams pro gold PVD's with PX 6.5

Wedges - Mizzy 51, cally 54 and 58 x forged w/KB

Putter - TP Mills Soft tail Short neck (never changing)

 

Here is my criteria: The stuff has to flat out work..period. I can overlook some goofiness if it works...see the hibore XLS lol. My belief is once i find a 3 wood and putter that work, they never leave. Fortunately i have been able to find 2 that do the job. The wishon is a cannon as is the TEE. I find the wishon to be a little less demanding. The irons have to have a thinnish topline and feel good. So far the 506's have been the best irons i have ever had. I have high hopes for the adams. Wedges can come and go, but have had the callys in the bag for 2 years now, they wear so well. The putter, never leaving...nuff said!

 

to answer your specific questions:

 

Do you buy a brand so you are perceived as a certain type player? -- no, not at all. I have been smoked more than once by a guy with 15 year old irons. Hence my philosophy if they work...who cares.

 

Why do golfers want to play what Tiger plays, do they think it will make them play like him? People get caught up in the great marketing machine. People want to connect with a hero(albeit maybe not as much with him anymore). People want to know they are playing the "best" equipment even though it could be off the charts wrong for them, and some people just like the latest and greatest.

People Sleep Peacibly in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. -- George Orwell

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Brands are one thing - the technology placed in each new piece of equipment is amazing!

 

But in reality - you are not going to get better with all the new gear. Practice your swing, stick to your clubs now, get fit.

 

That's what should work for you!

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I'm happy to say I'm not the least bit "Brandwashed" (great word by the way). While I have more than one friend who has been conditioned to reach for the newest Nike or TaylorMade as soon as they hit the shelf, I got over the insane brand loyalty thing a few years ago. At any given time I have clubs from up to 6 different manufacturers in my bag. By the time this year is over, it could be 8.

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Brandwashed? Absolutly!!!

 

I worked as shop manager for 7 years in a golfshop, and my brand loyalty comes from my experience from costumers service and custom fitting.

 

I do however cheat and play other brands, always trying other driver, fairway woods and hybrids. Irons and putters are something won't change during a season. So when I change during the cold Swedish winter I make sure that I am properly fitted.

 

I do have a closet full of drivers and hybrids and to many shaft to count to find a better fit for my driver and hybrid, but my gamer, Craft 425 with X-con 6 is hard to beat, launch around 11 degrees and spin 2600 with a swing speed of 125mph.

 

But I have a fitting booked next weekend to try teh new Cobra S2 and ZL, MP630 with and without Fast-track and teh callaway diablo. As well as the new Adams pro black hybrid vs the MP CLK.

 

So we will see in a a couple of weeks if I stay with an all Mizzy bag.

Mizuno

MP-630 FT Oban devotion 6 X || MP Craft 425 9.5° X-CON 6 X

F60 15° Grafalloy PL RED X || MP Ti 18 ° USt axiv core Black

MP FLI-HI 21° Steelfiber 110i X

MP62 Black Nickel 4-PW KBS Tour 6.5 +3/4'' 2° up

MP T10 RAW Black Satin 52° 56° 60° KBS Tour 6.5 +3/4'' 2° up

C-05 35''

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Well, when I graduated from High School in 1968, my grandfather said he would buy me a full set of Ram irons or a 1/2 set of Powerbilt irons.........I chose the Powerbilt. to me, in 1968, Powerbilt was made in Louisville, KY close to home and that is what my Grandfather used, so it was good enough for me.

 

Now, 50 years later, I find myself with a Powerbilt Driver (2nd generation Air Force One Nitrogen Charged). I hope that it will stand up for itself in this Brand Crazy world. So, when i was young I went with Powerbilt because of my Grandfather.....now I'm going with Powerbilt, even though they are no longer in the limelight of golf equipment. I'm using Powerbilt because it just felt good.

Driver: PXG 0211 w/Evenflo Riptide CB Regular shaft 

Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3-4W(16*), 5-6W(20*) both w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft and Patriot 7W w/AccuLaunch 60 by Accuflex

Hybrid: Cobra F8 3 Hybrid(19*) w/Recoil ES regular shaft 

Irons: Wilson D7 5-PW w/Recoil 460 Regular graphite shafts 

Wedges: Cleveland RTX Zipcore(50*/54*/58*) w/True Temper Spinner Wedge steel shaft  

Putter: 33" Evnroll ER2 w/Evnroll Gravity Grip 

Bag: Vice cart bag(Black).  

Pushcart:  Caddytek 3.0 from Costco

Ball: Maxfli Tour CG & Titleist Pro V1x.

 

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I've had to think about the topic question a little bit, and ultimately - yes - I'm "brandwashed," because I personally want to use equipment that are known quantities. However, like a lot of other folks here, I'm not - and won't be - married to just one brand across all 14 clubs. The golf club has to suit my eye and fit my swing ... otherwise, I'd better throw a brick slab in the bag to constantly bang my head against in between shots on the course.

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