As the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show inches ever so closer to I do have some concerns about the industry and the direction that it’s heading towards.
Going back to October, golf manufacturers started to reveal their respective product cycles for 2019. With all of these introductions being made golfers clamber at all of the new goodies that will be filling up racks in Pro Shops and golf retailers worldwide. So shiny, sexy and expensive.
In general, operating and processing costs have been exponentially on the rise over the last several years. This is especially true in Canada where currency rates and taxes drive the cost of literally everything upwards (not just golf products). This is something that I touched on in my article (Get Growing) as it pertained to golf courses themselves. Now factor in global politics with tariffs and so on. Suddenly, if products are made overseas (where most are produced) on the cheap in China, Vietnam, Malaysia etc the costs to ship them (fuel), port charges, delivery and so on increases. It’s a classic “trickle-down”. Please bear in mind that I never went to school for business (or journalism for that matter).
So the overall cost of producing golf goods has to rise. It’s “cause and effect”. But does it really have to be the way that it’s gotten? As new equipment has been released I’ve been paying extra attention to the M.A.P or M.S.R.P. with each release. Of interest, was the release yesterday of TaylorMade Golf’s new M5 and M6 metalwoods. The M5 driver is going to retail for $699.99 CAD while the M6 is a little less $599.99. However, what I find truly eye opening is the cost of their fairway metals. The M5 is $499.99 CAD while M6 is going to be $399.99 CAD. I’m not sure what these figures are going to be in USD but I’m guessing about a hundred less. You know that the Callaway Golf Epic Flash, PING and so on are likely going to be the same thing. I’d be pleasantly surprised if the weren’t.
Remember my piece Apex Predators? TaylorMade and Callaway Golf are who I was talking about.
So it has to be that way right? Wrong! Tour Edge Golf also had a fairway wood that yielded plenty of sticker shot. The Original Tour Edge Exotics 3 wood. It had a cult following. Anyways, 2019 has proved something. The exorbitant cost of producing and selling golf products doesn’t need to involve selling organs on the black market. Tour Edge Golf has done this with their EXS range. I’m basing my evaluation on a small sample size based on press releases and my testing of the EXS hybrid (Hybrid Review). You have golf clubs with premium materials, amazing shafts and a ton of technology for a fraction of the prices above. Their driver is $299.99 USD or what I assume will be around $399.99 CAD.
So with this I have a question that I’d like to pose. If one company can produce premium equipment and sell said equipment for a fraction of the cost of the others… why can’t they? Oh I may already have that answer. Someone has to pay the player’s contracts. At the end of the day who is paying the contracts? The consumers that purchase the hard goods.
Until The Next Tee!!
Marketing which also includes players’ contracts is big money and drives the product prices to a level where the every-day golfer can no longer afford them.