Friday, May 05, 2006

Golf On A Budget

By Tim Henry
I know what you’re thinking – golf on a budget! Can there besuch a thing? Well, it is possible, if you take a balanced,objective look at the strategies used in marketing golfproducts.Case in point – I just interviewed a local golf shop ownertoday.
We were talking about the new golf balls, and he wastelling me that representatives from different companies sendhim golf balls to use, hoping that he’ll recommend them to hiscustomers.
Well, he said he’s tried just about everything, and in hisopinion, they all play about the same now. Picking up a box of12 Titleist balls, he said, “This one is probably the best.”They cost $24.99 for the dozen. Then he laughed and picked upanother box. “But this one is our best seller.”The box was priced $44.99 for the dozen. I looked surprised. Heshook his head and said, “It’s all hype.
People think that ifthe balls cost double, they’re bound to play better.”Now we have the new hybrid ironwoods. Are they really going tochange your game that much? Or is it all a part of themarketing pitch?I heard one marketer say that since the golf market was sosaturated, he priced his clubs at three times the price ofanyone else’s. And he sold hundreds of thousands of dollarsworth.
The clubs weren’t any more expensive to make than otherclubs. It was just a “market test”. And folks bought likecrazy.Since no two people play golf the same - and everyone has anindividual physique and swing – a product that adds distancefor one player may not help another player at all.
Think about something you do very well that requires a piece ofequipment. You’re the expert in this area. Should everyone whoattempts your job then buy the exact same equipment as youhave? Will that mean they’ll be able to do the job better or aswell as you?Food for thought, isn’t it?
I enjoy gardening, and have alovely flower garden. But I only have one or two garden toolsthat are considered the best. The other things I use becausethat’s what I’ve always used.
So just because one golf pro buys one kind of ball or clubdoesn’t mean that it’s the best for you.The sales pitches that swear you’re going to add 30 yards andnever hit another slice entice us to shell out the big bucks.
But if you’re careful and have a healthy dose of skepticism,you’ll save both time and money in the long run.Remember, in the golf world, just because a product is moreexpensive, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily any better.
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