Why Are Golfers So Gullible?Many will say that "perceived" product innovation drives the golf club market each year. Knowing that, gullible golfers still wait in line to be the first to turn over their money and buy the latest, hottest or most advanced product on the market today.
So, shouldn't it seem ridiculous to Mr. Gullible Golfer that Callaway, the big daddy of equipment, is coming out in 2007 with another "ultimate performance driver based purely on physics?" Obviously not.
I'm not picking on Callaway specifically, but all the equipment manufacturers out there. It used to be that once a year, around October, we'd get to see the unveiling of each company’s new line of golf clubs. Now, we see the cycle repeat itself every six months.
If I may, please refer to Exhibit A: the Callaway Fusion FT-i 460cc Driver.
Now how is this one different than the others? Wow! It's got a square rear end. And it will come out at $599. Nike is going to have one too!! Last year it was screw weights, first introduced by Taylor Made, now its square butts.
As each new driver hits the market, the manufacturer mentions all the folks that are testing it on tour. Then they talk about the "performance enhancements", "breakthrough technology" and the "unprecendented amount of pre-orders". In the meantime, Mr. Gulllible is salivating at the prospect of getting his hand on one of these. If someone wins with it (perhaps an Annika or Phil), then it becomes the hottest seller....for a while.
Let's see, since 2002, Callaway has introduced the Great Big Bertha, Great Big Bertha II, Big Bertha 454, Fusion, Fusion FT-3, X 460, and now the Fusion FT-i. That’s seven new drivers in FIVE years. With an average sticker price of $399, Mr. Gullible would have needed to spend $2793 to keep up with the Jones since 2002.
That doesn't even include the new $899 set of irons, the $179 putter, the two $149 fairway woods, a $119 hybrid or the $42 Pro V1 golf balls Mr. Gullible’s needed to keep current.
I'm not faulting Callaway. I’m faulting Mr. Gullible the consumer. Instead of actually taking lessons to improve one's game or even playing more than twice a month, Mr. Gullible wants the club to do all the work. Just think, at $125/lesson, he could have 16 lessons with a pro and still have money left over to buy that Callaway FT-i when it shows up on eBay three months later for only $299.
Isn't there a point when a golfer has too many clubs or are we all just gullible equipment-buying fools?