Tour Players and the Golf Equipment BrandsAn article by Robert Wilson, Director of Product Development at GigaGolf.
In my years in the golf club business, one question I am continually asked is, "Why do tour players always play golf clubs manufactured by the major brands? If your clubs are so good, why don't the players on tour use them?" The answer is more complicated than "they are sponsored". Many of the best players are under endorsement contracts.
Contracted by the PGA tour, every week, for every tour, the Darrell Survey publishes how many players played with what product. One of the main uses for the Darrell Survey is to verify that players are playing with the products they are under contract to endorse. These figures are then used in the manufacturer's ad campaigns. So when you hear that a golf club is number one on tour, the Darrell Survey is where that information was obtained.
Of course, tour players would not use the endorsed product if they did not feel they could play well with it. Brand name manufacturers go to great lengths to make sure the player is comfortable with the product. "Tour vans" are now semi truck trailers filled with clubmaking equipment that follow players to tour events. They adjust loft and lie, change the shaft and even customize the head weighting to fit the tour player. The resulting golf club can be dramatically different from the one customers can buy off store shelves
Certainly, there is nothing illegal nor unethical about the practice of paying players to play your clubs. It is simply a way to advertise and market a product. It is up to the consumer to understand that the reason so many players on tour are now using the newest generation white Titanium driver is in part due to the brand name companies marketing budget.
Obviously, this dedication to the tour player is costly and adds significantly to the cost of golf equipment. However, a tour player's support does provide benefits beyond the marketing arena. It can make new product development easier and faster. Manufacturers that employ tour players have an advantage when they are developing new products. A tour player's feedback can be a part of the development process. Companies who follow the trends must wait a month or two before the innovations can be made available to their customers.
Both brand name and custom clubs offer golfers benefits. Custom clubs can be made to fit a golfer's physical measurements and are generally less expensive than brand name clubs. On the other hand, brand name clubs have been successful on tour. This can inspire confidence over the golf ball.
The idea is to get out there and play. Do not get too hung up on the equipment you use. A beautiful golf shot does not care where you bought your clubs. If you think custom clubs are right for you GigaGolf would appreciate your business. We strive to provide quality and service.