You’ve heard about them, maybe seen them too. Everyday products are being hyped in your Twitter and Instagram feeds. They’re sometimes endorsed by pros, celebrities, and influencers alike. But do they live up to the hype? We take a closer look.
What are Golfers Talking About?
A 100% CNC Milled putter for $149? Does Scotty Cameron need to watch his back?
Costco, the multi-billion-dollar warehouse store better known for selling 5-gallon jugs of mayonnaise, has just released its first golf club ever. You might remember when it set the golf world on fire three years ago with that $15 golf ball. Now, it seeks to disrupt the golf word with its Kirkland Signature KS1 putter.
P.S. – Don’t forget to sign-up for your Costco membership 😉
Hi, I’m Dave, and I have a putter problem. I’ve been talking about putters on MyGolfSpy for over 10 years. I’ve literally tested hundreds (maybe thousands) of flatsticks.
Why the Hype?
The original #KSIG golf ball was inarguably one of the most hyped golf products in the past 20 years. Costco’s double-dozen boxes sold so quickly, it literally couldn’t keep them on shelves. So, when that same company releases a putter for $149, and it’s 100% milled, you better believe there will be some hype.
The word on the street is that Costco is serious about entering the golf equipment space. This putter is likely only the beginning. We’re talking wedges and maybe even drivers at prices that even value brands will find tough to beat. What a time to be alive.
Where The Hype is Coming From?
- Rick Shiels video about the putter has over 225,000 views
- GolfWRX told the story behind the Kirkland KS1 putter
- Costco sold out the first batch in only a few hours
- KS1 putters have sold for as much as $230 on eBay
Assessing the Hype
You’ve been led to believe that it’s not possible to make 100% milled putter that costs $149 – not in a world of $399 Scotty Camerons.
If you’re not familiar with the Costco/Kirkland Signature brand, here are the cliff notes. To be called Kirkland Signature (which is a big deal for Costco shoppers), Costco guarantees the product is equal to or better than the national brands and must offer savings. Equal or better than a Scotty? Bold claim.
The savings part of that is evident to any putter connoisseur like myself. Costco’s KS1 is half the price (technically, it’s 37.5%) of the market leader. Another $150, 100% milled putter does not exist anywhere else. Yes, other brands have marketed similarly priced putters as milled, but those putters were cast with milled faces. That’s skim milling and it’s not the same thing.
The crazy thing is that Costco could have made this putter for less. It chose to mill when casting is cheaper. A SuperStroke grip comes standard even though a standard pistol grip would have been cheaper. Adjustable weighting adds to the cost (a weight kit is $30 extra). And have you seen the box it comes in? Small details convey a premium look and feel at a price point that would otherwise say cheap. Chalk it all up to a business model that allows for margins so low they’d bankrupt your average golf business.
Does it feel like a cheap putter? Great question.
Let me tell you, I’ve rolled many a cheap putter in my decade with MyGolfSpy, the KS1 feels like a putter with a pedigree. Even a Bettinardi-loving, nose-in-the-air, putter snob like myself has no issues putting this in the bag. If nothing e, it’s a hell of a conversation starter.
I’m not saying Costco is going to take over the putter market, but the Kirkland Signature brand carries some weight. If you’re not a Costco shopper, that probably sounds absurd, but check the interwebs, man. People love this place so much they’ve created fan pages. If you have a Costco in your town, you probably encountered these people. You might be one of them.
The KS1 putter has sold out online in three times in two weeks. In recent memory, is there another putter that’s generated that kind of demand? The mainstream golf equipment market is basically at a standstill, and Costco, with its members-only, two-per-customer policy can’t keep the KS1 putter on shelves. Timing is everything, and for now, demand is outpacing supply. It’s a problem no golf club company has right now.
Costco’s loyal fanbase and outsider status are the reason is why there’s so much hype around this putter. With any other logo, the price would matter, but I doubt they’d sell as quickly. New putters hit the shelves all the time, but how many are memorable?. I’m not saying this is the next two-ball, but while the big brands focus on 6 million core golfers, Costco’s warehouse model seems to have found a way to reach some of the 18-million or so recreational golfers who don’t buy much in the way of new gear.
Does it Live Up To the Hype?
The Bottom Line
The putter lives up to the hype and the Kirkland Signature mission statement. Costco has delivered a $399 milled putter for $150. Sure, you can find some details to nitpick, but the Costco Kirkland Signature KS1 putter is uncommonly good…at its price point.
The KS1 putter won’t reach Kirkland golf ball status (there cheaper cast putters on the market), but it’s shaping up to be the hot golf product of the summer. It’s certainly worth trying, and while I doubt that you will be disappointed, If you hate it, so what? You can always take advantage of that Costco 100% Satisfaction Guarantee Return Policy.