What's In YOUR Bag?
A few weeks ago we asked you to tell us about the equipment in your bag. We already know what the pros play (because the brands they rep bombard us with press releases weekly), but what about the average golfer...or at least the average MyGolfSpy reader?
Golf equipment is a business, we get that. Certainly most of us would play just about anything if we were compensated for our trouble. We're not, which is why we think it's much more interesting to hear about the equipment you've spent your hard-earned money on.
It's pay to play vs. paid to play.
Before we get to the first round of results, there are a few things to keep in the back of your minds. By the letter, the average MyGolfSpy reader does not fully represent the average golfer.
We believe our readers are more likely to:
- Be gearheads, possibly even obsessed with golf equipment (we think that's a good thing)
- Be custom fit for his equipment
- Replace equipment more frequently, and therefore your equipment will be, on average, newer than the gear of the golfing population as a whole
- Play smaller or niche brands. Apart from the guys taken-in by Warrior Golf, you're less likely to be brandwashed.
- Be more familiar with emerging equipment trends
So with all of that out of the way, let's get to the results.
Not surprisingly, TaylorMade leads our field with a 25.06% share. PING, Titleist, and Callaway are reasonably tightly grouped between 15.43% and 18.53%. After the 4 at the top, it's a pretty steep drop-off to Cobra at 9.85% and another steep slide to to Nike at 5.48%.
We're showing you only those companies with at least a 1% share of your bags. Excluding the Other option, the sum total of the remaining brands is 3.25%. That places Other between Adams (2.72%) and Nike.
Notables listed under Other: KZG, Nakshima, Nickent, Bobby Jones, Sinister, Bombtech, Geek, and I don't carry a driver.
On average, golfers replace their drivers once every 3.7 years. I'd wager the average MyGolfSpy reader replaces his driver at a measurably higher rate.
39.81% of you are gaming drivers that are less than 1 year old, while 68.53% of you are playing drivers 2 years old or less.
On the other end of the spectrum, 8.30% of you are playing a driver that's 4-years old or older.
I'd be curious to know why those guys haven't upgraded. Are you comfortable with what you have? Is it cost? Is it the perception that USGA limits mean drivers can't get any better?
Two observations here. 1) According to the previous chart, somebody is lying. Either that or 2) a bunch of you have already bought new drivers this year. Essentially, 40% of you either will or might buy a new driver this year. That's a sizable chunk (huge actually), and no doubt some manufacturers believe an even newer model may provide all the enticement you need to pull the trigger.
Of little surprise, only the order of Top 5 changes. TaylorMade remains on top, but likely off the strength of the X(2) Hot, Callaway (21.85%) leaps ahead of both Ping(14.98%) and Titleist (16.56%). Two companies reasonably well-known for their fairway woods, Adams (9.19%) and Tour Edge (6.11%), pull ahead of Nike (5.16%).
It may be interesting to some that while Nike's percent share is similar between drivers and fairways, it falls from 6 to 8 by rank.
Companies not shown account for a sum total of 1.95% of fairways in your bag. That number fits between Wishon (1.22%) and Wilson (1.67%)
Notables listed under Other: Dynacraft, Orlimar, Sonartec, XXIO, Yamaha, Harvey Penick, and I don't carry one.
Compare this chart with the same chart for the driver category. The number of you with new fairway woods in your bag (21.79%) is nearly half as few as those with new drivers in the bag. Not surprisingly, the percentage of fairway woods older than 4 years (18.62%) is significantly higher than it is in the driver category.
While we don't have the exact numbers, we know that golfers buy new fairway woods with less frequency than they do new drivers. Your responses suggest that a healthy percentage of you bought at least one new fairway wood within the last 1 to 3 years. That more or less brings us to the edge of the RocketBallz/XHot era when, for a brief window, fairway woods were sexy again.
Also of note, 3.42% of you don't carry a fairway wood at all.
A full 64% of you report that you have no plans to buy a new fairway wood these. Obviously plans are subject to change (especially if you break something or what you have now stops working), but what you've told us suggests that consumer purchase cycles for fairway woods may be leveling off, or perhaps even returning to pre-RBZ levels.
Fairway woods aren't the it club anymore, and could be on the verge of regaining their status as a barely-necessary evil, particularly among average to high handicap golfers.
On a more positive note, 9.42% of you told us you are planning to buy a new fairway wood this season, while 26.58 say you might.
I suppose we shouldn't find this surprising given what we know about our readership, but nevertheless, I do.
At a club with roughly 300 members I can count on one hand the number of guys I've played with who have something other than stock in their drivers. Even among the best players, the percentages are almost certainly lower in the real world than they are with gearheads such as ourselves.
More than 45% (46.53%) of you told us that you play an aftermarket shaft in your driver. Even here, I would have guessed 30%...tops.
It would interesting to better understand the split between those of you who were fit (and stick to a single shaft), and those of you who are compulsive dabblers.
It can be argued that when golf companies run out of ideas, they simply re-invent old ones. That which was once called the 2-wood has evolved into the Mini Driver.
TaylorMade introduced the first of the new breed last year with the SLDR S Mini. That was followed by this season's AeroBurner Mini, which will soon be followed by Callaway's Big Bertha Mini, and eventually, I suspect, other Mini-like clubs.
As of this moment, more than 55% of you are telling us you are not interested in the category, while another 5.69% of you told us you're unfamiliar with the category entirely. I'd be willing to wager that both of those numbers will have changed substantially by this time next year.
TaylorMade hasn't done any significant marketing around either of its Mini products (it's little more than a word of mouth club at this point), but I suspect once competition hits shelves we'll hear quite a bit more about the benefits of the various Minis, and that should pique curiosity.
More to Come
We'll be posting your responses in the hybrid, iron, wedge, and putter categories in the coming weeks.