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Taylormade's Response To Callaway's Ad


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If you have not seen the Callaway ad we are referring to you can see it her:

 

http://forum.mygolfs...er-then-r11-ad/

 

Here is Taylormade's response:

Bob Maggiore, VP of Global Marketing at TaylorMade-adidas Golf:

 

"Comparing the R11's superior combination of adjustability technologies against their forged composite construction isn't a fair fight-for Callaway. It's odd that a once-proud company is resorting to tactics like this. It feels desperate. The R11 is the most technologically advanced driver we've ever created, with three adjustability technologies to optimize launch conditions and maximize your distance,none of which Callaway utilized in their comparison. In addition, there is innovation in white, including a contrast between the white crown and black clubface that makes it easier to see and align the club at address. The proof is in the high performance the player gets from anR11 that's been optimally adjusted to fit his swing. Already more than 100 white TaylorMade drivers have been put in play on the US PGA Tour --nearly 10 times more than their RAZR. The performance of the R11 is also why Golf Digest picked R11 as the only driver to receive 'Editor'sChoice' in this year's Hot List."

#TruthDigest

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While there are certainly flaws in his logic (pros play the driver they're paid to, not necessarily the one they like best & The Hot List is meaningless), this is a reasonably classy response (IMO) to some pretty stupid comments. Of course, the classiest option would have been to leave it alone, but we knew that wouldn't happen.

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There's a lot of guys using the driver they can hit best rather than being paid to use ;-)

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I read the response last night and didn't think much of it at the time. As I was reading GolfWeek this morning a few things occurred to me:

 

  • More than 100 in play on Tour - So what. As MSaternus says, those guys get paid to play that club. Factually it's the same as stating "We pay more pros to play the R11 than Callaway pays to play the RAZR". Hardly a ringing endorsement.
  • The R11 is the most technologically advanced driver TM has ever created. Sure. And so was the R9, and the R7 before that. The RAZR is the most advanced driver Callaway has every created. And so was the FT-9, and so was the FT-5 before that.
  • I agree to an extent that Callaway has thus far missed the boat on adjustability (and I bet they know that), but I've had lots of conversations with lots of guys who play adjustable drivers. Almost nobody ever adjusts a thing. I think everyone would agree that multi-point adjustability is a great fitting tool, but it's no substitute for a properly fitted driver. To that end, bells, whistles, weights and wrenches aside, a properly fit R11 offers no "technological" advantage over a properly fit RAZR. Maybe it's longer, maybe it's not. Maybe it's more accurate, maybe it's not.
  • It's true Callaway didn't use any of the various adjustments, but it's also true they didn't test with multiple RAZRs either. Maybe an R11 is longer than a RAZR (standard model) when the R11 is set 1 degree open, but is it longer than a RAZR Tour (also 1 degree open)? While not perfect, what Callaway did was as close to apples to apples as you reasonably can when comparing an adjustable club to a "static" one. Can anyone deny the R11 is a more versatile club - probably not, but versatility alone does not disprove Callaway's argument.

With all of that said, here's what was missing from TaylorMade's Rebuttal:

 

"Our tests prove our R11 is longer than Callaway's RAZR".

 

That's really all they needed to say. The talked technology, they did a bit of name calling, and the talked about all the pros that play their clubs. What they didn't say is Callaway is wrong. In an of itself it's proof of nothing, but I do find that omission somewhat curious.

 

I don't know where the truth lies as far as distance is concerned, and as I always am when these things crop up, I'd be more interested if one driver was 6 yards more accurate, but nobody appears interested in that conversation.

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It is true. Its not a fair fight for Callaway since six months from today we will already be having a new "most technologically advanced driver ever" with the R11 Super-Far-3DMax which would be an evolution of the old "most technologically advanced ever Taylormade Driver" the R11 Tri-Deep or something like that.

 

Being serious, I just hate that statement about a new product being the "most technologically advanced ever". I guess that's obvious. How much would a NEW driver sell if the publicity talked about "a driver less advanced than the previous model". Its just stupid....

 

Callaway just made themselves ridiculous with their statement, but Taylormade proved with no other than merchandising reasons they aren't far from their competition anyway.

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All Callaway should had done is just have their "Performance over Paint" slogan and kept everything else unsaid. A lot of great marketing campaigns were ruined by too many words after the punch line.

Now in my bag:

TM SLDR 10.5 Deg with Matrix Ozik 6Q3 S flex

TM VSteel 15 deg 3 wood

Cleveland Launcher Hybrid 18 deg Diamana Red Board Stiff

Titleist ZB Forged Iron 3-PW DG S200 Steel Shaft

Cleveland CG15 46, 52, 56, 60 Wedges

Scotty Cameron California Del Mar

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All Callaway should had done is just have their "Performance over Paint" slogan and kept everything else unsaid. A lot of great marketing campaigns were ruined by too many words after the punch line.

 

The "Performance over Paint" idea is quite attractive I think. They should have kept the ad and skip the talk indeed...

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I'm not impressed with either club or company... does that make me evil? I hope so!

 

The adjustable hosel isn't much of a much- open a clubface and you decrease effective loft; close it and you add effective loft; both happen in a 1:1 ratio. Are there any compensations for this? I couldn't seem to find any. Same with the MWT- there isn't enough weight (10g) in these new models to have ANY effect on flight control. Sad, but physics doesn't lie. To move the CG location at least 1/4" (the minimum needed to see a difference) takes much more than 10g... throw in the other two weights and they're negating that use further!

 

Callaway isn't much better, though... a new "forged composite" (when you read that, read it as Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies would say it; that's my feeling as I'm typing this) crown that they don't have the guts to compare it to the crowns on the FT-3, 5, or 9... but they're lighter than titanium! Woo-Hoo! It sounds more like a potshot at Titleist and TMaG than anything. That, or when coupled with their "partnership" with Lamborghini it looks like a way to keep costs high. Having a Transformer on the sole doesn't really help, either. Throw in that from my vantage point I get better results with the FT-3 (not the 5 or 9 that I also own, or the RAZR that I played around with) and it's easy to see why I'm not impressed.

 

Just my opinion, but I think this is more of a signal of the end for most of the "big boys". They know their stuff isn't that much of an advancement. People are getting wise to the game. So, they resort to the name-calling and kid games. Shows what little integrity they have in a game that's supposed to have the most of ANY sport.

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I'm not impressed with either club or company... does that make me evil? I hope so!

 

The adjustable hosel isn't much of a much- open a clubface and you decrease effective loft; close it and you add effective loft; both happen in a 1:1 ratio. Are there any compensations for this? I couldn't seem to find any. Same with the MWT- there isn't enough weight (10g) in these new models to have ANY effect on flight control. Sad, but physics doesn't lie. To move the CG location at least 1/4" (the minimum needed to see a difference) takes much more than 10g... throw in the other two weights and they're negating that use further!

 

Callaway isn't much better, though... a new "forged composite" (when you read that, read it as Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies would say it; that's my feeling as I'm typing this) crown that they don't have the guts to compare it to the crowns on the FT-3, 5, or 9... but they're lighter than titanium! Woo-Hoo! It sounds more like a potshot at Titleist and TMaG than anything. That, or when coupled with their "partnership" with Lamborghini it looks like a way to keep costs high. Having a Transformer on the sole doesn't really help, either. Throw in that from my vantage point I get better results with the FT-3 (not the 5 or 9 that I also own, or the RAZR that I played around with) and it's easy to see why I'm not impressed.

 

Just my opinion, but I think this is more of a signal of the end for most of the "big boys". They know their stuff isn't that much of an advancement. People are getting wise to the game. So, they resort to the name-calling and kid games. Shows what little integrity they have in a game that's supposed to have the most of ANY sport.

 

I don't disagree with much of what you're saying, but unfortunately the bolded sentence is dead wrong. Spend a day in a golf shop and you'll see that their advertising is very effective on a very large portion of the golfing public.

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I don't disagree with much of what you're saying, but unfortunately the bolded sentence is dead wrong. Spend a day in a golf shop and you'll see that their advertising is very effective on a very large portion of the golfing public.

 

My guess is your experience putting in some hours at Tark's doesn't differ too much from your retail experience. I've made two prevailing observations:

 

  1. TaylorMade drivers are far and away the most prevalent. The same is true of Callaway irons.
  2. When we have them in to test, people want to test the TaylorMade drivers. As far as "buzz" goes, nothing else comes close. 2nd on that list is probably Titleist, but again, it's not close.

My only real gripe with TaylorMade is the marketing machine that seems to power things. I've owned two TM drivers in my life. I think most agree that the SuperQuad is among the best drivers created in the last several years. I'm of course, not a fan of the 4 drivers per season product cycles, but I won't argue they don't make a rock solid driver...just wish they'd let the clubs speak for themselves a bit more often.

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My guess is your experience putting in some hours at Tark's doesn't differ too much from your retail experience. I've made two prevailing observations:

 

  1. TaylorMade drivers are far and away the most prevalent. The same is true of Callaway irons.
  2. When we have them in to test, people want to test the TaylorMade drivers. As far as "buzz" goes, nothing else comes close. 2nd on that list is probably Titleist, but again, it's not close.

My only real gripe with TaylorMade is the marketing machine that seems to power things. I've owned two TM drivers in my life. I think most agree that the SuperQuad is among the best drivers created in the last several years. I'm of course, not a fan of the 4 drivers per season product cycles, but I won't argue they don't make a rock solid driver...just wish they'd let the clubs speak for themselves a bit more often.

 

I definitely agree with TM drivers being the most prevalent and having the most buzz BY FAR. People have been coming into the store for weeks asking for "ya know, the white driver." I don't necessarily see a similar level of prevalence, and certainly not the buzz, for Callaway irons, but the people who like them do seem loyal to them.

 

While I understand your point about being tired of the TM marketing machine, it's also hard to argue with results. The idea of "letting the clubs speak for themselves" would be great if all golf consumers took the time to educate themselves, but they don't. How many great clubs have been produced that flopped because of inadequate marketing/buzz/etc? I think we can all probably think of a few personal favorites that should have been more popular than they were.

 

[start rant] As far as the 4 drivers per season, I know there were a million R7 variants, but Callaway irritates me much more than TM in that regard. In 2010, TM made the Superfast, Supertri, and SuperDeep (which barely counts, IMO, because it was a very targeted product). Yes, there were TP versions, but, to my mind, that's just a variation not a distinct product, plus many companies do a "tour" variation. On the shelf right now, from Callaway: Diablo, Diablo Edge, FT-9, FT-Tour, FT-iz, Diablo Octane, Razr Hawk, plus all the tour versions. Not only are there more models, but I'm hard pressed to tell anyone what the $&*&ing difference is from one to the next...and I know my stuff! [end rant]

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[start rant] As far as the 4 drivers per season, I know there were a million R7 variants, but Callaway irritates me much more than TM in that regard. In 2010, TM made the Superfast, Supertri, and SuperDeep (which barely counts, IMO, because it was a very targeted product). Yes, there were TP versions, but, to my mind, that's just a variation not a distinct product, plus many companies do a "tour" variation. On the shelf right now, from Callaway: Diablo, Diablo Edge, FT-9, FT-Tour, FT-iz, Diablo Octane, Razr Hawk, plus all the tour versions. Not only are there more models, but I'm hard pressed to tell anyone what the $&*&ing difference is from one to the next...and I know my stuff! [end rant]

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The one and only reason that I don't mind the Taylor Made marketing machine and the fact that they release so many clubs is because the quality and innovation are there. I still prefer my SuperQuad to most of the drivers out there from Callaway, Nike, and other OEMs.

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It is true TM has 6 drivers a year, but I'm sure they are all quality pieces of equipment. It kind of helps you choose the one you like the most for the graphics, the shaft or whatever it is, but in the end the consumer is the one winning with that. First, you have a whole variety to choose from. Second, if you're like me, a "flee-market" bug, you can buy a driver with less than one year old technology for half the price!

 

Seriously, I don't buy my equipment thinking on making a profit out of it to be really worried about the selling price of my clubs six months from now, and even better if the other "used" club I want to change mine for is at a great lower price!

 

I don't get why people rant so much about TM releases.

 

1. Does TM releasing a driver every month obligues you to buy it?

2. Does a new driver make you feel you're using old equipment?

3. Do you feel the need to change your clubs from the "spring-summer" to the "fall-winter" collection to keep your handicap?

 

If you didn't answer YES for any of the questions before, why do you even care?

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[start rant] As far as the 4 drivers per season, I know there were a million R7 variants, but Callaway irritates me much more than TM in that regard. In 2010, TM made the Superfast, Supertri, and SuperDeep (which barely counts, IMO, because it was a very targeted product). Yes, there were TP versions, but, to my mind, that's just a variation not a distinct product, plus many companies do a "tour" variation. On the shelf right now, from Callaway: Diablo, Diablo Edge, FT-9, FT-Tour, FT-iz, Diablo Octane, Razr Hawk, plus all the tour versions. Not only are there more models, but I'm hard pressed to tell anyone what the {:content:}amp;*&ing difference is from one to the next...and I know my stuff! [end rant]

 

You make an excellent point about Callaway. IMO TaylorMade started the trend, but they're certainly not alone. Callaway is matching them stride for stride - as you documented very well in your example. For what it's worth, regardless of what you have on the shelves, In a few days (when the RAZR Hawk hits stores), the only truly current models in the Callaway lineup will be the Diablo Octane, the RAZR Hawk (along with "tour" equivalents), and I suppose the FT-Tour itself. 5 is a lot, and it's the consequence of a more competitive marketplace and a desire (real or false) to produce something for everyone. Everything else is just discounted old stock cluttering up the shelves.

 

This of course brings me to what I think is the heart of the problem. Why does it matter? As others' have discussed in other threads, a new driver (regardless of who produces it) does not diminish the performance of your current driver. Maybe it offers real improvement, probably it doesn't. Sure, it's a real ****** for anyone who wants to have the latest and greatest, but that's always going to be the reality of things, so long as there are people (and plenty of them) willing to trade in a 3 month old driver for the newest model. Personally I find the release cycles annoying, but the issue (as MyGolfSpy pointed out in his article from a few months back), is that in part, the multiple waves of new products each year can put pro shops (whether it's the on course variety, or small mom and pops) into some real binds.

 

Margins on golf equipment are tight enough. It wasn't long ago you only had to stock one or two drivers from a given OEM, now, on order to have a complete inventory, you need 4-6 (multiple lofts, and flexes of each - so stock levels increase exponentially). All these clubs gobble up floor space - and a lot of places simply don't have the room (or budget) anymore. The consumer demands the latest and greatest, and when the little guy can't keep up, everybody goes to the big box stores where, I think most would agree, customer services suffers.

 

The bottom line is that Callaway and TaylorMade both exist to make money. Quality golf equipment is a means to that end, but we're long past the point where the equipment itself was the thing that mattered. What's unfortunate is that in much the same way the consumer electronics industry has gobbled up your neighborhood specialty store, golf too is being driven towards big box, strip mall, and internet distribution. Anybody who has ever shopped for a computer at Best Buy knows how little knowledge the average guy on the floor actually possess. The same thing is happening in golf.

 

I certainly don't mean to imply that you don't know what you're talking about as far as golf equipment is concerned, but I do think that when it comes to big box sales, you're probably the exception that proves the rule.

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Seriously, I don't buy my equipment thinking on making a profit out of it to be really worried about the selling price of my clubs six months from now, and even better if the other "used" club I want to change mine for is at a great lower price!

 

 

 

So true. I usually end up giving stuff away to a local golf retailer, he then turns it around to underpriviledged kids, so they can get into the game. I especially like it since I'm a lefty and that stuff can be a little harder to find- especially in that circumstance.

 

And Matt, I'm more inclined to believe you with what you highlighted. When my father-in-law went out and bought all-new TMaG gear the other day (yes, the bag as well, even though I tried to talk him out of it... or least, buy an adidas bag) it dawned on me that it just seems to be the MGS readers that are "educated". Kind of disappointing...

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