Written By: GolfSpy X
Since the inception of MyGolfSpy there are few articles that have invoked as much passion and anger towards golf companies as the one we published about Dick's Sporting Goods firing over 500 employees. Obviously this finale to what had been building for years touched a vagus like nerve with golfers around the world. Golf companies who had flooded a channel to the point a Three Gorges Dam like structure couldn't even hold the force back. It had sprung an un-repairable leak. This time no piece of gum was going to be able to patch the hole they had created. The equipment bubble had burst.
Actually it detonated...right in their face.
They Refused To Listen To You
The astonishing part isn't actually that it burst...no...the more astonishing part is that consumers (aka: you) had been telling them it would for years, they simply didn't want to listen. What started off as a few unhappy golfers, turned into many, which turned in to the majority. Which reached a point of diminishing returns (faster product life cycles) for the golf companies involved and they didn't re-calibrate fast enough. Or in my opinion never wanted or planned to for that matter. This is because up until the exact day of the Dick's debacle no plans were made by these companies to go in even the slightest of different directions. It was still full-speed ahead by all involved. And yes, they knew Dick's was going to be doing this prior to it happening.
Now though, you're hearing a much different message, a new song, an entirely new branding message from almost all the major golf equipment manufacturers (All but one). A once completely selfish branding message built around caring little about you and your game and one which only seems to care about putting their latest and greatest and soon to be marked down product in your bag is evolving in to branding words like, "Love", "Your Game","Passion", "Fun" and "Share". Funny how that happens.
Power To The Player
One thing that is different about MyGolfSpy is we allow anyone and everyone to voice their opinion. Now, that obviously opens the floodgates for some not so constructive commentary, but more importantly it allows the consumers to have a voice of more than 1. What in the past might only allow for an upset golf consumer to be heard by just a couple neighbors now can be heard by over 1/2 million other golfers. And, basically that adds up to a lot more neighbors. Engaging the consumer and allowing all this commentary we feel also allows MGS to have our finger on the pulse more than any other media outlet in golf. Other media outlets and golf equipment manufacturers who do their best to shut down reader comments, moderate opinions, etc, all for the simple reason that you don't want to hear what consumers really think will only lead you in one direction. A greedy one. One without checks and balances. One that will more than likely get wildly out of control if it was already heading in that direction. And this one was. Why? Because it was based on one thing: Making More Money. Yes, making money and profit is what business is almost all about. But if you make it about customer service and taking care of your customer, caring about their every want and need and satisfying those desires with the products you put in their hands...well...making more money will still be the end result.
What Does This Have To Do With Callaway Golf?
So, what does this have to do with Callaway Golf? Well...if you are in that majority we just spoke about and one of those hundreds of thousands of golfers who have been telling the golf companies to "STOP, the madness!", "We don't need a new club released every couple months." or "Enough is enough!". Well, you might want to step away from your computer. Yeah, do it now. No, seriously. Step away.
Yes, this is another new driver from the company who just released another new driver just a couple weeks ago. It is also what looks like to be a newly planned version of the Big Bertha Alpha, which if you just purchased the original (the one that was also just another new driver not too long ago) you might not be too happy about. Amongst all the news of late and the absolute consensus that consumers have had enough, Callaway seems to be of the opinion that the flood has receded (by the way, it won't for about 2-3 more years), and that consumers are demanding more new equipment from Callaway.
The Callaway Business Model (AKA: Taylormade Business Model)
The other growing consensus we hear amongst consumers seems to be that they feel Callaway has directly ripped off and are copying & pasting the once popular but now infamous business model of their largest competitor Taylormade Golf.
Well if you are amongst that growing consensus of golfers who feel like you have seen this all before...well...you might want to close your ears now. Once again, we're serious. Earmuff time.
When Harry Arnett (which previously worked at Taylormade) first took over Callaway Golf he told us in an interview, during many calls and texts about how he and Callaway planned to become the "#1 Company in Golf" again. I will give one of the many exact quotes below, but in a nutshell he told us so many times that if you planned to take over the current leader (Taylormade) you absolutely 100% could never just copy their existing business model (playbook) to do so. There were also a lot of new catch phrases and marketing jargon in all our conversations. Things like "sphere of influence", "BOOM!", "ZooCrew", "PirateShip" and who could forget "The 5-Year War". All of this jargon had people believing that things actually were going to be different at the new Callaway Golf. But over time the opinion from consumers seem to quickly have seen through the smoke and mirrors and realized that what was supposed to be NEW! has just turned out to be the same old and tired message they and others have been forcing down your throats for decades.
Harry Arnett quote from our own Tony Covey interview, "If Callaway takes someone else's strategy and tries to do that , we would get annihilated . Not only would we be annihilated but whose gonna wanna do that at our company. To say we're gonna take somebody's playbook. Let's do things our way, the Callaway way, and then do that. We're not gonna out market using their way of marketing." If you want to hear it word for word it's between the 3:00-4:20ish mark.
Callaway Golf's New Strategy (Release Even More Clubs)
In defense of Harry Arnett, he has told us to watch out for their new plan and the new catch phrase of the week, which is: "Re-Calibration". Be on the look out for that one, we think you might start to hear it a lot. Anyways, from what we hear not only are they going to ignore all of you and the message you have given them so loud and clear but they are actually going to release even MORE product then they did in the past. TAKE THAT CONSUMER!
Sounds like their grand plan now is to produce more clubs than ever before, just produce less of each release. Well that does make sense, since your past releases didn't sell out or sell through. It is pretty simple (Supply vs Demand). And they are thinking that if they just produce less of everything and sell out of each release there will still be just as much demand for their new driver releases at the current incredibly quick and outdated life cycle model. We wish them luck with their new scheme, but what we are hearing from consumers and what they should be listening to seems to be saying every thing but.
So you tell us...
1. Do you think there is enough demand for this new driver from Callaway if they release it?
2. Do you think that Callaway should start producing even more product releases?
3. Do you think this new scheme will work?
4. Did you purchase an original Alpha driver? If so, what are your thoughts about this possible release?
A few more hours have passed since I have written this post, but I got news another new Callaway driver has just been released. Enough demand for this one too?