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Are OEM's beginning to shoot themselves in the foot with MSRPs?


caeye0710
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On 8/12/2021 at 10:59 AM, caeye0710 said:

First time MGS poster here after spending years at another forum site, also a "Certified Club Junkie"

I was just going some research on the MG3 being released early next month. IMO, what a sharp looking wedge! I've admittedly been a Vokey guy my entire life, so doubt I'll be making a move considering my SM8's are waiting for their first round (just swapped new ones in after a year with my first set of SM8). 

While looking at the MSRP for the new MG3 ($179 for stock options), it got me thinking: Are OEM's going completely off the rails with prices on new equipment?

I don't remember which model it was, but I remember that I could walk in to a shop and get three new wedges for $327 plus tax ($109 MSRP). It's gotten to the point where buying three new TM wedges would be $578 after tax here in NC (NEARLY $600!).

Let me add to that by saying: I understand. Over time, costs related to materials and shipping increase. One can argue that even production costs increase, although as a Process Improvement Consultant in the Manufacturing industry for close to a decade, I don't know if that rings true as much as we think it does due to the automation process nowadays (although I'll admit there has to be some merit to it). Doesn't mean I'm an expert in the Behind-The-Scenes production of golf equipment, but a lot of my clients have remained stagnant in their production process over the years due to robotics and automation processes, so I would think it would ring somewhat true to golf equipment OEMs.

Back to the topic: Are we getting to a point where it's going to eventually be too expensive to get the latest and greatest equipment? In 2004, Drivers hit a $500 MSRP for the first time (TM R7, Titleist 905 Series, etc.). The R7 was the first driver to be listed at $500 (I think) and I recall people throwing a fit. Titleist quickly followed suit on the 905 series, although I specifically remember our Titleist rep at my club back then mentioned that the initial MSRP was going to be $409 until TM came to market and announced the R7 at a higher price point.

 Nowadays, $550+ is the norm. Over 17 years that difference doesn't add up to much, but what happens in another 15 years?

Stock drivers listed at $800?

Stock FW's at $500?

Iron sets off the rack at $2,000?

Wedges at $200 a piece?

Putters (too many variables here honestly, but let's say $400 average)

That means if you want to revamp an entire bag, you'll be dropping somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,300 if you stick to stock options and don't get fitted for upgraded shafts and specs.

Maybe I'm just completely off base here and my opinion is wrong, but I'd be curious to here what some of you folks think. 

Feel free to roast me if I sound like an idiot 😆

 

I think you're spot on. If you compare the price increases in golf equipment with that of other products over the last few years, I suggest that the increase in prices are out of wacky with the increase of manufacturing cost. But then again there's lots of BS advertising to convince us that a new club can fix everything. All the while we know that in general handicaps have not decreased.

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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!

Edited by Patt82mp
Grammar
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Play PXG all the way through the bag and an Odessey OS Seven putter with Callaway Triple Track

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OEM'S are not shooting themselves in the foot as long as consumers accept and pay the price.   

Currently, only two clubs in my bag are OEM names.    I earned a technical education and worked many years in technology.    Any company - OEM'S included - that still believes in the marketing gimic of swingweight has no place in my bag.   

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2 words- callaway preowned

Not sure why all the OEM's don't do this. You get a consistent product at the level of "used" you are willing to pay.

I received several "like new" clubs that looked brand new for the wife and I at the beginning of the year because no one was trying clubs out at the retail stores last year due to Covid. The 6 hybrid is turning into one of the best clubs I have ever owned. If you really hawk the site, for hybrids and woods, that use the Optifit hosel, you can buy a ladies club and a mens shaft cheaper than buying the mens club to begin with. The heads are the same. If you ever decide to sell it, you can sell it as a mens or ladies club.

If it was a Gold rated club 2-3 years ago, it still is. The club is way better than the swing most of us put on it.

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Tour Edge.  Ask that German guy, Bernie something.  Sub 70 putters.  And I bot a new, old stock, Callaway Steelhead 3 wood from Cal Pre-owned for less than $100.  And heavens to betsy, PXG has found the enlisted infantry price point, not just the retired officers.

Driver  Callaway Epic on Recoil F2 (senior) flex

Three wood is TM Burner Superfast 3.0 on M (mature) flex

3H Old Adams A3OS red boxster on stock Graffaloy Platinum reg shaft

3 MP 18 MMC and 4 GFF hybrid Mizuno irons

5 Mizu hybrid Fli-hi

6 - W Ping I 500 irons on Recoil F3 reg flex shafts

Wedges:  Mizuno blue 52 09, 60 06, and old original Hogan Sure-out 56 14 sand

Chipper (yep I carry a chipper) old Don Martin Up n In bronze 

Putter Musty wood mallet, sometimes switch with my Scotty Cameron Futura X counter weight face balanced

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On 8/12/2021 at 11:29 AM, PMookie said:

FYI, my youngest is 10, and a financial guy told me to expect in-state tuition at LSU to be around $60,000 a year in 8 years. Another discussion for another day, in another thread…..

Ummmm, our oldest Gdaughter sophomore @ Villanova, 75k.  Includes room & board.  Went back today.

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Rick

 

 

Left Hand, 

Driver; Titleist TSi2, Kuro Kage 50 gr R2

5 Wood; Cally Steelhead 

5 Hybrid; Cally Steelhead, Hazardous Vista Pro R2

Irons; Ping G710 6-GW, Recoil 460 R2

Wedges; Titleist S9 54*

Putter; Waaay too many to list

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21 minutes ago, Rickp said:

Ummmm, our oldest Gdaughter sophomore @ Villanova, 75k.  Includes room & board.  Went back today.

$77k at BU for my daughter. 
 

Anyone want to buy a kidney?

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In my  :wilson_staff_small:  carry bag:
:callaway-small: Mavrik Max 10.5* R Flex Evenflow RipTide
:cleveland-small: Hy-Wood
:cleveland-small: Launcher 5h
:wilson_staff_small: D200 6i-PW
:cleveland-small: CBX 54* & 58*
:cleveland-small: #10
:bridgestone-small: e12 Contact
 

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34 minutes ago, russtopherb said:

$77k at BU for my daughter. 
 

Anyone want to buy a kidney?

We’ve got 3 more Gkids coming up and the 2 girls have GPA’s of 4.88.

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Rick

 

 

Left Hand, 

Driver; Titleist TSi2, Kuro Kage 50 gr R2

5 Wood; Cally Steelhead 

5 Hybrid; Cally Steelhead, Hazardous Vista Pro R2

Irons; Ping G710 6-GW, Recoil 460 R2

Wedges; Titleist S9 54*

Putter; Waaay too many to list

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2 hours ago, Rickp said:

Ummmm, our oldest Gdaughter sophomore @ Villanova, 75k.  Includes room & board.  Went back today.

 

1 hour ago, russtopherb said:

$77k at BU for my daughter. 
 

Anyone want to buy a kidney?

Took my daughter back today as well for her junior year.   Hopefully you got some scholarships to bring that cost down a little.  

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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype        
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 5-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :mizuno-small: T20 54-8  :cleveland-small: 588  58-12
Putter: Auditions ongoing 

Backups:  :taylormade-small:TM-180, :odyssey-small: Milled Collection RSX 2, Bellum Winmore 787, :seemore-small: mFGP2, logo-horizontal-black.svg Directed Force 2.1

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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15 hours ago, cnosil said:

 

Took my daughter back today as well for her junior year.   Hopefully you got some scholarships to bring that cost down a little.  

Yup, Villanova gave her a nice package plus she got a few other scholarships.  A nice Grandpa & Gramma started a 529 plan when Gkids were born.😜

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Rick

 

 

Left Hand, 

Driver; Titleist TSi2, Kuro Kage 50 gr R2

5 Wood; Cally Steelhead 

5 Hybrid; Cally Steelhead, Hazardous Vista Pro R2

Irons; Ping G710 6-GW, Recoil 460 R2

Wedges; Titleist S9 54*

Putter; Waaay too many to list

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I certainly think they are off the rails and Im now to the point where unless I break a club, Im not upgrading anymore.  Im playing a 3 year old driver, 10 year old hybrid, 20 year old irons, a 3 year old wedge and a 15 year old putter.

Even then, I'll go on Ebay and go the used route.  For me, new equipment and uprading every few years or so just isnt worth the cost.

Im just not convinced that all the, "new tech" of the latest equipment makes any difference.  No matter what design the club has, its always been about hitting the center of the clubface.  No amount of tech is going to change that.

Edited by ZenGolfer
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"I suppose its better to be a master of 7 than to be vaguely familiar with 14." - Chick Evans

Whats in my Sun Mountain 2.5+ stand bag?

Woods: Tommy Armour Atomic 10.5* 

Hybrid: Mizuno MP Fli-Hi 3H

Irons: Mizuno T-Zoid True 5, 7 and 9-irons

Wedge: Mizuno S18 54* and Top Flite chipper

Putter: Mizuno Bettinardi A-02

Ball: Maxfli Tour X

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  • 1 month later...

I use ebay, and local big box stores like pga or golf galaxy. I recently bought a Titleist VS3 head for $100 and bought a demo shaft, Mitsubishi CK Orange for $120. The pro shop guy gave me 3 adapters and the shaft had a brand new grip on it...$800 driver for $220. Not a bad deal. Reshafted/regripped my fairways and built my iron set similarly. Full retail pr.ice is for the rich guys, waiting for clubs is another issue...I got the driver head in less than a week from Japan (only place they were manufactured and sold).

@prilltx

Golf is challenging, R U doing the work...or hoping 4 different outcomes?

Titleist C16 irons

Vokey 55°, 60° wedges

Cleveland 50°, 46° wedges

Ping Sigma2 41 inch putter

Titleist D2 driver, 904 / 908 3 and 5 wood 

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On 8/22/2021 at 9:28 AM, ZenGolfer said:

No matter what design the club has, its always been about hitting the center of the clubface.  No amount of tech is going to change that.

 

... Respectfully it has never been about that. If it were, everyone would be successfully playing MB's. Golf is and always has been a game of how bad are your misses? Even Hogan said he hit one maybe two shots exactly like he wanted any given round. If you are a slicer off the tee, heel weighting can be a life saver. And since most miss the center of the face with regularity, finding the right club to help with your miss is why there are fittings from OEMs to expensive fitters that specialize in doing just that. 

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Driver:     :cobra-small: LTDx 10.5* ... LinQ M40X 6F3
Fairway:  :taylormade-small: SIM2 Max 15/16.5/18* ... Tensei Raw Blue 65R
Utility:      :taylormade-small: UDi 18* ... Even Flow Black 85R
                 :taylormade-small: DHy 19* ... Diamana Ltd 65R
                  :taylormade-small: Sim Hybrid 22* ... Diamana Ltd 75R
Irons:        :cobra-small: 4-Pw MIM Tour ... Steelfiber i95R
Wedges:   :taylormade-small: MG3 50*/MG3 58* LB ... Steelfiber i95R
Putter:      :cleveland-small: Hunting Beach Soft 11S 33.5"
Ball:           :taylormade-small: Maxfli Tour '22/TP5x '21

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On 8/21/2021 at 12:42 PM, Beakbryce said:

2 words- callaway preowned

Not sure why all the OEM's don't do this. You get a consistent product at the level of "used" you are willing to pay.

I received several "like new" clubs that looked brand new for the wife and I at the beginning of the year because no one was trying clubs out at the retail stores last year due to Covid. The 6 hybrid is turning into one of the best clubs I have ever owned. If you really hawk the site, for hybrids and woods, that use the Optifit hosel, you can buy a ladies club and a mens shaft cheaper than buying the mens club to begin with. The heads are the same. If you ever decide to sell it, you can sell it as a mens or ladies club.

If it was a Gold rated club 2-3 years ago, it still is. The club is way better than the swing most of us put on it.

CPO and picking my spots to buy and sell on eBay have really paid off for me. I guarantee that I have been able to buy/sell/try so many different clubs this way and most times come out even unless I am adding a new club to my collection. I avoid accounts with no history/bad reviews etc and always message seller before buying and have bought and sold over 30 clubs. I am sure that if I do this a few hundred times, I will eventually have a bad experience with eBay (there is eBay money back guarantee) but CPO has amazing customer service and stand behind their stuff!

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Manufacturer's prices for materials may have increased...or not.  That is what they tell us.  And even if they did, wages have not increased at the same rate the they are increasing their prices.  Sooner or later that is going to catch up to them.  It may well come to the choice of being able to eat or buy new golf equipment.  Let me guess which one will win out.

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I bought a new set of clubs last year.  I went through two fittings, one indoor and one out on the course.  I will not spend the funds again that I did this time.  I work part time at a golf course so I did not pay full price or would not have bought them.  I did go on ebay and bought some stronger shafts and have had a great year lowering my handicap by a full shot at age 74.  I have told those who I play with, last set and will not back down on that. 

Titleist TS 1 Driver Stiff graphite shaft

Titleist  TS2 16.5 degree 3 wood Stiff graphite shaft

Titleist  TS2 18 degree 5 Wood Stiff graphite shaft

Titliest TS2--21 degree Hybrid stiff light weight graphite shafts

Titliest T200 regular multi-material graphite shafts 2 degrees flat 5 thru gap wedge

Titliest Volkey wedges 54 and 58 stiff multi-material graphite shafts 2 degrees flat

Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Trillium Te3 32" putter

 

 

 

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Yeah, supply and demand.

Today's newer equipment like Vokey wedges use new/rare/exotic materials like tungsten or triple coat for the slate blue finish.

The Titleist TSi drivers use ATI 425 Aerospace Titanium, not cheap or available.

So as club junkie ... super bargain or unicorn finder, I will wait for MGS or other reviews and wait until seasons' end or next for sales. 

I know with Covid, there currently isn't any new inventory (2020 or 2021) but there a ton of inventory from 2016 - 2019. In some club types there isn't much improvement from todays' new.

WITB 

TM M5 9(10.5) - Fujikura PRO 2.0 6R][ Titleist TS2 16.5(17.25) - Diamana Thump ][ Titleist 917F 21 - Diamana S+ 72

Titleist TSi2 5 (24) - Tensei Raw AV Blue 65 ][ Titleist 818H 27 - GD Tour AD DI 85

Mizuno MP-18 MMC 6 - PW, N.S. Pro MODUS3 Tour 120

Vega VW-06 52, 56, 60

Ping B60 and/or

Scotty Cameron STUDIO STAINLESS® LAGUNA 2.5 and/or 

Mizuno M-Craft V - 34" 

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On 8/12/2021 at 9:59 AM, caeye0710 said:

First time MGS poster here after spending years at another forum site, also a "Certified Club Junkie"

I was just going some research on the MG3 being released early next month. IMO, what a sharp looking wedge! I've admittedly been a Vokey guy my entire life, so doubt I'll be making a move considering my SM8's are waiting for their first round (just swapped new ones in after a year with my first set of SM8). 

While looking at the MSRP for the new MG3 ($179 for stock options), it got me thinking: Are OEM's going completely off the rails with prices on new equipment?

I don't remember which model it was, but I remember that I could walk in to a shop and get three new wedges for $327 plus tax ($109 MSRP). It's gotten to the point where buying three new TM wedges would be $578 after tax here in NC (NEARLY $600!).

Let me add to that by saying: I understand. Over time, costs related to materials and shipping increase. One can argue that even production costs increase, although as a Process Improvement Consultant in the Manufacturing industry for close to a decade, I don't know if that rings true as much as we think it does due to the automation process nowadays (although I'll admit there has to be some merit to it). Doesn't mean I'm an expert in the Behind-The-Scenes production of golf equipment, but a lot of my clients have remained stagnant in their production process over the years due to robotics and automation processes, so I would think it would ring somewhat true to golf equipment OEMs.

Back to the topic: Are we getting to a point where it's going to eventually be too expensive to get the latest and greatest equipment? In 2004, Drivers hit a $500 MSRP for the first time (TM R7, Titleist 905 Series, etc.). The R7 was the first driver to be listed at $500 (I think) and I recall people throwing a fit. Titleist quickly followed suit on the 905 series, although I specifically remember our Titleist rep at my club back then mentioned that the initial MSRP was going to be $409 until TM came to market and announced the R7 at a higher price point.

 Nowadays, $550+ is the norm. Over 17 years that difference doesn't add up to much, but what happens in another 15 years?

Stock drivers listed at $800?

Stock FW's at $500?

Iron sets off the rack at $2,000?

Wedges at $200 a piece?

Putters (too many variables here honestly, but let's say $400 average)

That means if you want to revamp an entire bag, you'll be dropping somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,300 if you stick to stock options and don't get fitted for upgraded shafts and specs.

Maybe I'm just completely off base here and my opinion is wrong, but I'd be curious to here what some of you folks think. 

Feel free to roast me if I sound like an idiot 😆

 

I agree, but I suspect part of the problem is smaller volume [due to lesser demand] making gear more expensive. I would say multi-piece clubhead design adds a lot, but would that really apply to wedges?  

I know that people disagree with me, but I see golf gradually reverting to an elitist game again.  With what 150 acres could go for in house lots, keeping a golf course there is an expensive proposition in itself.

 

 

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Prices are dictated by supply and demand but there is no denying that club makers are earning near record earnings. The recent price increases has certainly exceeded cost increases from shipping and manufacturing. I don't think the whole concept that MSRP should follow inflation logic because it completely ignores changes in competition, technology, and manufacturing efficiencies. Companies like Golfworks and Hireko selling clubs for a 1/3rd and DTC companies selling for around 50 - 60% of major OEMs is proof that the cost increases don't really have anything to do with manufacturing costs. Yes, manufacturing and shipping is certainly higher but it's not the biggest reason for prices increases.

The biggest reason prices are going up is demand. The pandemic caused a demand shock that the industry hasn't seen in a long time if ever and they are going to take advantage. Plus, people seem to be more blinded by brands than ever before. With social media and what not, I think the average person has become much more focused on what brand they have than anything else. Look at the droves of people that by Nike these days, it's absolutely nuts. I see videos of people saying that they are starting a shoe collection standing in an effing Footlocker, but I digress. One big thing in golf is that without brands, many things go away. The big OEMs sponsor a lot of things and DTC companies really do threaten the margins that lubricate the golf equipment industry. If Maltby can make a good hollow-head iron and sell it for $50, I have a hard time believing that OEMs are actually spending millions and millions on technology. If anything, it's all about the looks. Heck, Golfworks has even gone as far as developing new manufacturing techniques for golf clubs that didn't exist before and they don't sell their clubs at excessive prices. 

I always feel like I get flamed for calling out major OEMs as overpriced for what you get but I think it's true. I'm not saying that they make bad stuff but dang, it's like all things golf industry are absolutely against any form of value. Sub70 and Hogan seem to be about the only non major OEMs to get any form of love. Maltby and Hireko get absolutely trashed for no reason. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/27/2021 at 3:03 PM, Kansas King said:

Prices are dictated by supply and demand but there is no denying that club makers are earning near record earnings. The recent price increases has certainly exceeded cost increases from shipping and manufacturing. I don't think the whole concept that MSRP should follow inflation logic because it completely ignores changes in competition, technology, and manufacturing efficiencies. Companies like Golfworks and Hireko selling clubs for a 1/3rd and DTC companies selling for around 50 - 60% of major OEMs is proof that the cost increases don't really have anything to do with manufacturing costs. Yes, manufacturing and shipping is certainly higher but it's not the biggest reason for prices increases.

The biggest reason prices are going up is demand. The pandemic caused a demand shock that the industry hasn't seen in a long time if ever and they are going to take advantage. Plus, people seem to be more blinded by brands than ever before. With social media and what not, I think the average person has become much more focused on what brand they have than anything else. Look at the droves of people that by Nike these days, it's absolutely nuts. I see videos of people saying that they are starting a shoe collection standing in an effing Footlocker, but I digress. One big thing in golf is that without brands, many things go away. The big OEMs sponsor a lot of things and DTC companies really do threaten the margins that lubricate the golf equipment industry. If Maltby can make a good hollow-head iron and sell it for $50, I have a hard time believing that OEMs are actually spending millions and millions on technology. If anything, it's all about the looks. Heck, Golfworks has even gone as far as developing new manufacturing techniques for golf clubs that didn't exist before and they don't sell their clubs at excessive prices. 

I always feel like I get flamed for calling out major OEMs as overpriced for what you get but I think it's true. I'm not saying that they make bad stuff but dang, it's like all things golf industry are absolutely against any form of value. Sub70 and Hogan seem to be about the only non major OEMs to get any form of love. Maltby and Hireko get absolutely trashed for no reason. 

I agree. What this means down the road is that in 2-3 years, when other forms of entertainment have returned and golf will be to hard, to time consuming, to everything, those pandemic clubs will hit the used club market. What will then be the effect on club makers with respect to new clubs at that point is anyone's guess. 

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