How Much Do Golf Clubs Cost – Equipment Set Prices
Ballpark Estimate: $50 to $300 per club
Want to improve your golf game? One of the easiest, and often most effective, ways to do this is to invest in a new set of custom fit golf clubs. This can maximize your performance and help you lower your score.
Par for the Course
Perhaps you’re an excellent golfer already, or maybe you want to start learning the game and don’t know where to start. In either case, the golf clubs you have will make a big difference in how well you play. Of course, your natural ability to golf, the amount you practice, your level of concentration and focus, and even your understanding of the game can all be important factors that affect how well you do. And even very experienced golfers can have an off day (or off days). But to help you do your very best every time you head for the green, you’ll need a good set of golf clubs.
Look at the Hole Picture
When determining what quality golf clubs you want to buy, it can be helpful to identify your goals up front. For instance, if you golf no more than once or twice a year and this is just for fun, not a serious hobby, then an average quality set of golf clubs will probably do just fine. But if you take your game to heart, you’ll probably want to adjust your budget accordingly and invest in a high-quality set you’ll be happy to use for years to come.
The quality of the golf clubs you select is only one factor to consider. Even the best set of golf clubs won’t help you golf well if they aren’t the right size. That’s why most experts suggest you get professionally fitted. Even if you already know your specs, it doesn’t hurt to have them double-checked before you invest. The length, lie and loft of the golf clubs will play an important role in your overall performance. These variables impact how far your ball travels, how well you’ll be able to control its direction, and how accurate your aim will be. It’s always a good idea to shop at a store with a practice room so you can try them out and see how well the golf clubs you’re considering work for your ability, style and form.
What you select for your golf club material can also have a big impact on your game. Some golfers prefer to buy steel or titanium clubs, while others want graphite. This usually just depends on your personal preference, since steel is heavier, titanium is a little lighter, and graphite helps to diffuse the energy of your swing. The stiffness (or flexibility) of the shaft of the golf club itself can vary as well, depending on the speed of your swing. Finally, you’ll also want to pay attention to the size of the grip for each golf club, since a grip that’s too small, or too large, will affect your hand’s involvement in the swing, throwing it off.
You can bear these details in mind when you select from the ready-to-buy sets of golf clubs, or you can have them custom fitted for your specifications. When you opt for the latter scenario, the professional who fits you will take into consideration your height, arm length, swing angle and speed. He will also perform an analysis of your ball flight to get an understanding of exactly how you golf and what golf club features will take your game to the next level.
To better understand the dynamics that go into making a golf club, you may want to do some research about what’s involved before you shop. Most golf club manufacturers offer a variety of specifics on golf clubs and what to look for, depending on your needs and goals. For instance, Titleist offers a custom fit golf club for serious golfers who want to really maximize their performance. You can take advantage of this feature either through local retailers or custom fit vans that travel to designated areas. Ping also offers custom golf clubs, but this manufacturer makes them readily available to the masses throughout its online fit feature on its website. Users just need to enter in some personal specifications to get back customized recommendations. In addition, Calloway offers a directory to find local retailers in your area who can perform a golf club fitting, and they also provide specialized tour van fittings at select locations and events. Nike and TaylorMade are examples of the many popular golf club brands to consider when looking for custom or ready made golf clubs.
What You Will Need
Whether you decide to buy a basic set of golf clubs or prefer to have a set custom fitted for you, there are some standard golf clubs you’ll probably need. These include:
Under each of these golf club categories, there are more specific variations, such as sand wedge, 9 iron, hybrid, large-head driver, etc. Most golfers have a selection of these, depending on their game style and preferences. A typical set has at least 12 golf clubs, but many golfers also purchase some extra options as well. Just keep in mind that golfers are limited to no more than 14 golf clubs in their bag at one time on the playing course.
Where to Shop
You can buy golf clubs at most sporting good stores and chains. Some of the popular ones include Sports Authority, Modells, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. You can also shop for golf clubs at pro shops through most golf courses. You can also order golf clubs online through golf manufacturers and suppliers.
What It Costs
What you decide to spend on golf clubs really depends on how serious a golfer you are and how much you are willing to invest in this hobby. Most golfers are continually looking for new ways to improve their game and lower their handicap, regardless of the cost of the golf clubs. But if your budget is small or you don’t think you’ll golf often enough to splurge on some high-end custom golf clubs, the experts say that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice results. In fact, while you should get great quality golf clubs, you don’t need to get the most expensive to achieve this goal. You can buy anything from a good set of basic golf clubs that offer the same features as the prestigious brands, to the cream of the crop custom fitted with all of the bells and whistles. Most golfers decide to go with something in the middle.
Here are some average price ranges to consider if you buy golf clubs individually:
- Drivers: costs $100 to $600
- Woods: costs $50 to $400
- Irons: costs $50 to $150
- Hybrids: costs $50 to $200
- Putters: costs $50 to $300
In addition, you can buy sets of golf clubs. Basic golf clubs cost between $200 and $400 for a complete set with the golf bag included, on up to a price between $800 and $2,500, or even more for a set of premium golf clubs.
Up the Score
For the ultimate in custom fit golf club, you can also consider visiting the Titleist Performance Institute. There are two locations, including California and Massachusetts, and they offer serious golfers the chance to undergo the same intensive fitting process that PGA golfers use. The cost for this service is $100 to $125 per golf club. This is in addition to the cost of the golf clubs themselves.
Calloway Performance Centers are located in more than a dozen locations throughout the United States and abroad. This is an appropriate option for golfers of all abilities. Any level can benefit from Callaway’s custom golf club fitting analysis. The cost for this service costs about $150 for a session, in addition to the price for the golf clubs themselves.
While investing in such personalized golf clubs may sound like a splurge, many dedicated golfers believe that the expense is well worth the improved performance they get in return.
Second Time Around
If you want high-quality golf clubs but are working with a shoestring budget, you might want to consider buying a used set of golf clubs. Often you can buy a bag of 12 or more golf clubs for a price of $100 or less, which is about what you can expect to spend on a single new golf club. You can find used golf clubs online through auction sites like Ebay, as well as advertised on Craigslist and Golfbidder.
More Expensive Clubs
If you are interested in the other price extreme, the most expensive set of golf clubs available today are made in Japan by a company called Honma, which offers complete sets of custom platinum and gold golf clubs at a price of $32,000. If you would prefer just want one over-the-top golf club, German manufacturer Barth & Company makes a custom golf putter in 24 carat gold. A diamond-adorned version sells for a price of $150,000 for this single golf club. Although you might be afraid to let such a valuable golf club actually touch the ground!
How Much Do Golf Clubs Cost – Equipment Set Prices Ballpark Estimate: $50 to $300 per club Want to improve your golf game? One of the easiest, and often most effective, ways to do
Should you play an adjustable or non-adjustable driver?
Today’s drivers are more specialized than ever.
Retail shops are flush with
superlight sticks for golfers
with moderate swing speeds,
offset clubs for players who need
help squaring the face, low-spin
bombers for guys who generate
serious spin, and many more. But
in this age of specialization, the
No. 1 question you face is: “Should
I play an adjustable driver?”
With a few twists of a wrench,
Average Joes are now able to
adjust face angle, loft and lie
angle without having to schedule
an appointment with their local
clubfitter—or having to buy a new
club altogether. (We recommend
that you work with a trained fitter
whenever possible.) Golfers can
alter the club dynamics to suit
their desired ball flight or to pick
up a few additional yards of carry.
of golfers polled own an adjustable driver.*
shown in red based on 2,337 respondents on golf.com)
In 2011, Adams (Speedline
9064LS DFS), Srixon (Z-Star)
and Titleist (910
D2/910 D3) each
debuted their first adjustable
driver, joining a growing list
of converts, including Cobra,
Nike and TaylorMade. What’s
more, Golf Datatech reports that
the metalwood category is up
for the first time in five years,
spearheaded in part by sales
of the adjustable R11
Through June, two of the top three
best-selling drivers (among new for 2011 clubs) offer adjustability.
Regardless of where you fall in
the debate, understanding the pros
and cons of adjustable and nonadjustable
drivers will help with your next purchase decision.
“There are many advantages to
says Chris McGinley, Titleist’s
Vice President of Golf Club
Marketing. “You can adjust loft,
lie and weight, and try different
shafts at a fitting, which produces
a more precise fit. If so desired,
the settings can be adjusted later
to improve the fit or ball flight.
There really are no disadvantages
[to our adjustable technology].”
The Titleist 910 series features
an adjustable hosel that allows users
to change loft and lie independently
of each other (for up to 16 settings),
while TaylorMade’s R11 allows
the independent alteration of loft,
face angle and flight path to create
a total of 48 different settings.
TaylorMade claims it can affect
left/right trajectory up to 100
yards, which is a huge selling
point for slicers, who make up
85 to 90 percent of all golfers.
Cobra’s adjustable models,
which include the S3
drivers, let you tweak the face
angle into the open, closed or
neutral position, depending on
which direction you want the ball
to fly. The face angle is moved to
the closed position to help a player
who normally struggles with a
slice. “It’s one more variable that
allows you to optimize the driver
for your swing,” says Tom Preece,
Vice President of R&D for Cobra.
see “noticeable” performance improvement with the adjustable driver.
According to Tom Stites, Nike’s
Director of Club Creation, “You’re
at a disadvantage if you’re not
playing with [Nike’s] STR8-FIT
adjustable technology. One simple
adjustment (up to 32 settings)
can make an incredible impact.”
Not every manufacturer is sold on
the merits of adjustability, however.
Callaway, Cleveland and Ping are a
few of the companies that haven’t
jumped on the adjustability express.
They cite the cost of adjustable
drivers (typically $100 more
than non-adjustable models), the
additional weighting in less than
ideal locations, and the confusion
factor created by all those different
settings as reasons that a golfer
would stay with traditional nonadjustable
“The adjustable offerings in
the marketplace put too much
weight in the wrong places,”
says Dr. Alan Hocknell, Senior
VP of R&D for Callaway. “Many
of the adjustable mechanisms
in the hosel and elsewhere on
the head weigh in excess of 20
grams, and they compromise
performance more than they
help golfers find performance.”
“The additional weighting
required for adjustable drivers
makes it difficult to maximize
swing speed and distance,” says
Nate Radcliffe, Metalwoods
Development Manager for
Cleveland. (In robotic and player
testing, Cleveland found that a
10-gram reduction in weight led
to an average increase of 1 mph of
swing speed.) Its Launcher
Ultralite XL270 driver, part of the
Ultralite series, is 40 to 60 grams
lighter than most adjustable drivers.
“Speed is the most critical
factor in creating distance
potential, and club weight is
the most influential factor that’s
unrestricted by the Rules of Golf,”
adds Radcliffe. “Tour shafts are
in the 45- to 60-gram range, and
grips are half the weight of what
was available only two years ago.
This allows for weight reductions
of 30 to 50 grams in drivers.”
“We do see the value of
adjustability for fine-tuning
ball flight,” says Marty Jertson,
Senior Design Engineer for Ping.
“Currently, though, you have to
sacrifice a lot by adding weight
to the hosel, and we don’t want to
take a step back in performance
gains. With our technology and
fitting system, we believe we can
maximize driver performance.”
Change can be intimidating, and
this can deter consumers who’ve been
playing a non-adjustable driver all
their lives. The perceived complexity
(How do I adjust the driver? What do
all the settings mean?) of adjustable
drivers prevents many traditional
golfers from taking the plunge into
the world of adjustability.
“We’ve gone to great lengths to
simplify the fitting process,” says
Tom Olsavsky, Senior Director of
Product Creation for TaylorMade.
“We simplified the FCT sleeve to
read higher or lower [versus
closed or open in the R9].
many golfers understand that if you
close the face the ball flight will be
higher, or that you open the face for
a lower flight, we wanted R11
to be simpler to understand.”
Critics of adjustable drivers
point out that consumers make
few, if any, alterations once
they purchase the club. In some
cases, the adjustments are
comparable to pre-configured
settings in traditional drivers.
“The adjustable club is then
burdened with the weight of
the adjustability mechanism
for the rest of its life, which can
negatively affect performance,”
adds Callaway’s Hocknell.
adjusted the driver at least once.
According to TaylorMade’s
Olsavsky, “At least 80 percent
of TaylorMade buyers adjust the
drivers at least once. After the
initial change, 10 to 15 percent
adjust settings regularly.” Cobra
claims that 75 percent of its
consumers who play adjustable
drivers use the adjustable
features. Most find a setting that
works and rarely adjust again.
would not consider buying an adjustable driver.
“The bottom line is
that adjustability offers a
customized option to every
golfer on demand,” says
Nike’s Stites. “That’s the way
of the world. You see it in all
industries: People want to have
it their way right now. Those
who’ve adopted the technology
find it empowering.”
Non-adjustable or adjustable. The choice is yours. Whatever your decision, make sure to get custom fit for a new driver. The improvements to your game might shock you. We fit eight Average Joes—four with adjustable drivers and four with non-adjustable. Each guy now hits it longer, with an improved ball flight and greater confidence than before.
Should you play an adjustable or non-adjustable driver? Today’s drivers are more specialized than ever. Retail shops are flush with superlight sticks for golfers with moderate swing
Prominent NBA players weigh in on whether NCAA players should be paid
Published on Feb. 24, 2018
Lonzo Ball was straightforward when asked about whether college athletes should be paid for their services.
“I do,” the rookie guard for the Lakers told reporters Friday, via NBC Los Angeles. “All the money they generate for the programs and stuff, it’s kind of an unfair system. Everybody knows everybody’s getting paid and that’s how it is. Everybody’s getting paid anyway. You might as well make it legal. That’s how I feel.”
This has been an argument for years in the college ranks, but nothing has changed as of yet. However, the discussion has changed a little bit after reports emerged in recent months detailing a pay-for-play scandal in college basketball where coaches would funnel money to players through shoe companies and then steer those same young men to agents.
Would it really change the game all that much if players are already allegedly getting paid?
Ball doesn’t think so and there are plenty of other athletes who see the flaw in the system, including Kevin Durant who weighed in on if it’s even possible to stop players from being paid by agents.
“What are you going to do?” Durant told reporters Friday. “You can’t control an agent, you can kind of keep them out of these programs, keep them out of the building but it’s too deep now.
“We’ve been at this thing for a long time, this is a huge business now, so it’s tough to stop.”
Another Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma gave his take on Twitter earlier this week.
“Someone take down the ncaa for generating billions of dollars to only pay its student athletes a cost of attendance of $900 dollars a month,” Kuzma wrote in response to a tweet from ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
College hoops recruiting scandal: Details emerge around agents’ payments to high-profile players
Someone take down the ncaa for generating billions of dollars to only to pay its student athletes a cost of attendance of a $900 dollars a month. https://t.co/tWtPo9sJGY
Ironically, Kuzma was named in Yahoo Sports’ report detailing players found in records for the FBI investigation for individuals who received payments illegally.
Prominent NBA players weigh in on whether NCAA players should be paid Published on Feb. 24, 2018 Lonzo Ball was straightforward when asked about whether college athletes should be paid for
Costco’s Kirkland Signature Ball Set to Return
Costco’s category-disrupting K-Sig ball is definitely coming back, but don’t get too excited.
Well, a Kirkland Signature Ball is coming back, but don’t get too excited.
My headline is misleading. It might even qualify as a little bit of a bait and switch, which should help prepare you for the arrival of the new and apparently – what’s the opposite of improved? – Costco Kirkland Signature Golf Ball.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
They’re Almost Here
A couple of weeks ago, an alert reader brought it to our attention that SM Global (listed on the USGA list as the manufacturer of the K-Sig – it’s actually the importer) received a sizeable shipment (20 containers, each weighing 40,000 lbs) of golf balls from Korea in July.
Further confirming impending availability, a source inside Costco tells us that K-Sigs have arrived at distribution centers and appear to be headed to new store openings in Michigan, Nebraska, California, and New York. From there it’s likely only a matter of time before they reach other Costco locations.
And of course, we shouldn’t overlook the fact that there’s an entirely new and different Kirkland Signature ball on the USGA’s conforming ball list.
It’s Not the Same Ball. It’s Not Even Close
We also shouldn’t overlook the fact that the coming soon version bears an alarming dissimilarity to the original.
Two significant differences leap out at us.
The first is that the new K-Sig is a 3-piece ball, 338 dimple ball. The original was a 4-piece, 360 dimple model.
As you might be aware, Costco is currently engaged with Acushnet in what could prove to be an ugly legal battle over patent infringement and false advertising allegations, and it’s at least possible the changes to construction and dimple pattern are related to that expanding mess.
It could also validate much of what we heard about the original ball being born from some sort of overrun situation. That said, in and of itself, a reduction in layers and dimples might not be that big of a deal.
But wait, unfortunately, there’s more.
From a performance standpoint, the bigger concern is the spin rating.
Bad News from the USGA List
The letters (in this case both Ms) refer to spin performance off a driver and short iron respectively. Those these values are self-reported by the manufacturers, there is consistency within categories, and it’s perhaps telling that the new ball deviates from the standard.
Two M’s aren’t particularly good news.
To an extent, an M-M rating often suggests a ball that is average to the point of being below average. It doesn’t offer low spin (distance) off the driver, nor does it offer high spin (stopping power) around the green.
To put all of this into perspective, you need to look at where the leading tour balls fall on the USGA’s rating scale.
- TaylorMade’s TP5 series, depending on which of the numerous versions we’re talking about, are either L-M or L-H. The Snell MyTourBall is also designated L-H.
- The majority of ProV1 models are M-H, as is Srixon’s Z-Star series, and the Wilson FG Tour. Most relevant to the conversation, the original K-Sig was also rated M-H.
- Bridgestone’s B330 series balls are predominantly L-M, as are the Callaway Chrome Soft, Bubba Watson’s Volvik S4, and the last of the Nike RZN series.
There it is, basically every legitimate tour ball on the market today and not a single M-M in the mix.
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Though it occasionally pops up in a 3-piece ball, as it does with the new K-Sig, the never-in-a-tour ball M-M designation is most commonly found in 2-piece balls, and even then, the staggering majority of M-M balls, I’d wager, are balls most of you have never heard of let alone played.
It’s a list that includes the likes of the Komperdell Velocity Super White Spin 80, a Disney Mickey Mouse ball, three Coca-Cola balls, and something called the Pearly Gates Master Bunny Edition.
Among the balls you might know with an M-M designation are a couple of Mizuno JPX balls that haven’t made it to the US, a few TaylorMade Burner models, and the Wilson Duo Urethane.
That last one is inarguably the most compelling (and the best) M-M ball on the market right now.
Kudos to Wilson; the DUO Urethane is a ball that plenty of golfers love. Like most any other quality golf ball, it works well for the right golfer, but no disrespect, I’d stop short of calling it a tour ball – and I suspect most of you would too.
You don’t find many higher speed golfers playing it (you see few, if any, on the PGA Tour), and from a performance standpoint, I doubt many of us would mistake it for a Pro V1, Pro V1x, or any of the other tour balls listed above.
So with all of that in mind, if the ball that hits shelves is what’s just hit the USGA list, it’s fair to say that this new K-Sig is quite literally not in the same category as the original K-Sig.
For bargain hungry consumers, the Wilson DUO Urethane is your absolute best-case comparison for the new K-Sig, and that’s an entirely different demographic of golfer – at least it should be. And even then, the potential upside here is entirely dependent on whether or not the new ball offers the soft feel that powers the DUO franchise.
It’s just as likely that the new Costco Kirkland Signature could prove to be another in the list of no name, non-tour balls with a less than exciting M-M rating.
While that’s perfectly fine for a Mickey Mouse ball, with the price holding at 2/$30, the next Costco Kirkland Signature Golf Ball is shaping up to be a hell of a lot less exciting and impactful than the original.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated to clarify that spin values listed by the USGA are self-reported by the manufacturer.
Tony is the Editor of MyGolfSpy where his job is to bring fresh and innovative content to the site. In addition to his editorial responsibilities, he was instrumental in developing MyGolfSpy’s data-driven testing methodologies and continues to sift through our data to find the insights that can help improve your game. Tony believes that golfers deserve to know what’s real and what’s not, and that means MyGolfSpy’s equipment coverage must extend beyond the so-called facts as dictated by the same companies that created them. Most of all Tony believes in performance over hype and #PowerToThePlayer.
What a farce. Mr. Covey seems only to be enraptured by Tour quality equipment and does not realize that most, almost all, golfers are not Tour Players and do not need the top of the line. I was when younger in several Tour events and 2 majors but now In my Sr, or Super Sr. yrs I do not need the “top of the line” . I play the Duo as Wilson is still with me as they have been for many yrs. and trying the K 3 pc. is a good ball for my slow swing speed which barely breaks the speed limit in a School Zone. At 79 I need that and so do a ton of Golfers. Sure, it doesn’t stop like the old Balata, but if you can play a lick you can adjust. Both are great balls for 99.9% of Golfers.
Sorry Mr. Covey, if I got your opinion wrong I apologize.
You’re absolutely right. I play to a 5 or less and play the 3 piece as good as any tour ball on the market.
Exactly right. I have HUGE bags of found balls and 90% are Titleist Pro V1s. Obviously they convince the average golfer that their balls are superior and that their games will be much improved by using a ProV1.
In fact, I doubt any of that is true of any ball.
The old saying goes, “It ain’t the arrow…it’s the Indian”
MyGolfSpy… time to get on a track man or other scope. I was in a cage hitting side by side the Chrome Soft, a great ball, and the 4 piece K-Sig. My spin rates were on average 200 rpm better with the 4 piece K-Sig. Time to drop the snarky tone and get busy. I expect the 3 piece K-Sig will have very solid performance. Please put down some real numbers.
That test is not using the current ksig ball, it’s the tour model that is a completely different ball.
Why is it that nobody on here has noticed that the “new” 3 piece Kirkland is made in CHINA. NOT Korea
Bot 4 dz of the 4 piece and 4 dz of the 3 piece. $138.00 total for 8 dz golf balls.
Will see how they play, if I don’t use them all my 2 boys will. Usually play provs but the price point is silly. Usually buy the personalized prov deal 4 for 3 deal but bot these instead.
The only Kirk balls I see at my store are 3 piece and it’s a member only buy! You purchased 4 piece?
They were available online for over a week. Just sold out yesterday.
You know…they have a huge wine-tasting thing every year. All the great wine critics and collectors. One year they universally selected a wine that retails for about $12 as the best, over bottles that ran nearly $100. When the tasting was over, those same critics got to drink whatever they wanted and chose the most expensive bottles.
I’ll guess that if everyone in a group, golfers of all handicaps, had a blind testing, with no brand-names on the balls, they would find almost no difference in performance.
It’s what you THINK works best, rather then reality.
This is my opinion. I have a bag filled with so many different brands and, at my handicap level, they all do the same things for me. I’ve been playing for 56 years.
Purchased 4 dozen of the 4 piece K-sig over the weekend and they arrived yesterday. Overall the ball seems the same as the original, I haven’t cut one open or hit any yet so I don’t know for sure. Same dimple count and pattern, however, the color of the new ball is a little brighter than the original. May just be me but the cover didn’t feel the same as the original. The packaging was also different, the words “Professional Quality Ball Performance” has been removed. Looks like they are already out of stock again at Costco.
For those interested. On sale now – purchased 04/08. 4 piece from Costco. In the mail.
I got a dozen from a friend. 4 piece and sooooo good for the price. I can see why there is a suit……
speak for yourself. I’m a 3 hdcp and play Torrey Pines to that hdcp. These balls are awesome. The chip skid and stop actions is great and you can work them well too.
i got mine at costco three for 22.99 plus tax wait were not talking about golf gloves in canada we have never seen or heard of the balls so cheer up
I just bought 2 packs at the traverse city store in Michigan it the orig 4 piece
Costco currently have them listed on their web site as 4 piece golf balls
I just got mine, 4 piece, 360 dimples (yes I counted marking each one) says tour performance not Performance +.
Perhaps there was some other batch of balls this article intends to describe, but is not the latest one.
Thanks for doing that. I just received mine in the mail and was wondering about the dimple count. Have you played them yet. I am taking them out for a “spin” tomorrow.
Yes, I certainly did use them in play yesterday. The hype is real, you will see for yourself (btw, do you know my friend Jerry?).
Received my balls last week and have played 3 rounds with them. Unless Costco has changed the markings and packaging (these balls all have the same marking on them as my previous batch from last year), I’m assuming these are the same overruns or at least a comperable ball as last year. No discernible difference in play from last years batch either. Great ball. Wish I would have used another account and bought more.
The K-Sig is back on sale at Costco. Online only and it is a 4-piece urethans ball. Limiting quantity to 2-24 packs.
I just ordered some yesterday
No one is pointing out the issue with the Kirkland ball killing sales on the money making less then tour balls all ball companies sale. Who sales a good ball for $15 a dozen? Even the worst performing Acushnet/Titleist ball (Pinnacle) cost around $16 and has the performance of a river rock. Most “lower end” balls are in the $21 a dozen range, so a $15 a dozen Kirkland ball that easily outperforms most/all of them is a real threat, ProV1 players are not the mass market ball buyers and are not going to change but the average Joe just might.
As someone who works in the industry, I can confirm the original costco ball was produced by Nassau golf. Nassau was pissed because Costco sold it at cost with no markup as a loss leader to get people into the stores buying other costco stuff , thus nassau cut off the supply. Nassau cannot legally sell balls to north america because of contractual agreements with other companies. Taylormade also has there balls made by nassau along with many other companies. Now costco is cheaping out and going 3 piece, planting the same name on the ball, and hoping to sell them out on name recognition alone despite the huge drop in quality….as if the pro v was a rebranded top flite.
and that Nassau ball was actually an older Taylormade ball? Did Nassau also loose their contract with Taylormade for the Asian market? Is Nassau making the new Costco 3 piece? Do we know if the Kirkland 3 piece will still be as good if not better then any other $15 a dozen ball in the market if so by doing that the Kirkland ball will still upset ALL golf ball brands.
What is your level in the industry? How can you prove your claims? Do YOU have the new ball in hand and have you played it? Hope you understand my skepticism, but I seriously doubt anyone who would have all the information you claim to have would be posting it in a golf forum.
the Asian market is full of club knockoffs and copies it makes sense that golf balls are copied also. How many actual ball manufactures are in Asia compared to the 3 or 4 in the United States…if you want to be a golf ball company I am sure you can find a source with balls you can put your name on.
NONE of US who have posted here have the game to tell the difference between a Pro-V1, Pro-V1X, K-Sig, Q-Star. etc,etc
Those who are devoted Titleist loyalist, if I handed you an unbranded K-Sig and told you it was the “New” Pro-V1 prototype, you would be wetting yourself claiming it was the best you ever played.
If 10 of us claim the K-Sig is a BETTER values AND performs as good or better than a Pro-V1 or Callaway or a Bridgestone, then that part of the lawsuit is gone.
On the patent , shouldn’t Titleist be going after THE MAKER or would that be going after other big names?
I could see the argument that most people don’t have the consistency to take advantage or small differences in those balls but, to suggest they wouldn’t even notice any difference is just plain wrong.
I agree, we don’t have the games or play the courses where a difference will matter. At this price I will even get some for my kids to play since it will be cheaper than balls with harder covers!!
Forget the Pro-V1 it has a place among the golf Gods….but every other Titleist ball are the ones in danger, why pay over $20 a dozen for a ball the is not in the same league as a Pro-V1, it is for sure no one will want models like the NXT line when you can get two dozen Kirkland for less the one dozen of the NXT or other Titleist balls and they all perform less then the Pro-V1.
Caroline, Randall, I bought 2 dozen Titleist NXT Tours when Sports was closing down for $22 a dozen, I played a round switching between them and the K-Sig, the following describes my results:
1 3/4 dozen NXT Tour in exchange for 1 dozen K-Sigs.
Any of us could tell the difference between golf balls if we are willing to collect the necessary data. This means recording your drive distances and accuracy (hit or miss the fairway), greens in regulation and putts. Most people are not this disciplined and can only give a subjective evaluation which may, and probably will, be influenced by the brand name. That said, I believe the best results can be had by getting professional instruction that corrects the major faults instead of chasing equipment that purports to do the same.
Many of you are correct. Titleist has little, if any, chance of providing their case of either patent infringement or false advertising. Titleist just wants to make it cost prohibitive for Costco to pursue selling theirnown ball.
To start with, Costco never compared their ball to Titleist or Pro V-1s specifically. Costco’s ‘slogan’ and comparison to other national brands is that Costco’s brand will be equal to or better than the other national brands, and must offer savings. This description is so broad that one could drive a truck through it. Given that Costco has not labeled their ball better than, or comparable to, the Pro V-1 on their package, Titleist would have to prove Costco’s ball must compare to only the Pro V-1 and not other leading brands. I doubt a judge will find the Pro V-1 The only ball that would be considered a leading national brand. The judge may even require Titleist to provide comparisons to other leading brands.
And, they then must prove that the Costco ball is significantly weaker than to the Pro V-1. A ten percent difference in performance will not be found convincing. Better than or equal to will easily fall into this variance.
As for the patent infringement, it’s a very tough case to prove, especially when talking about discerning characteristics of golf balls.
In conclusion, I play Callaways, shop at Costco and find the whole argument ridiculous. I’d put money on it that the differences between a Pro V-1 and a Chrome soft or a K Sig are slim and given a blind test very few non-pro golfers can tell the difference.
I see what you mean about making it “cost prohibitive” to sell their ball but, These large retail companies don’t work that way usually. They more than likely have a budget for this kind of stuff and wouldn’t tie the costs of a lawsuit directly to the profit/loss of the product. It’s similar to shrink. Major retails budget in shrink at the beginning of the year and they wouldn’t tie in how many of a certain product got stolen or lost to the cost of the product itself. Just pointing that out, not defending Titleist at all for this.
I guess I should add that this applies to one-off scenarios. If there are trends showing reliable and continued loss from a single product obviously they may consider that a liability and discontinue the offering.
The old bait, hype, switch.
Not bait and switch! Bait and switch would be if they put a different ball in the same packaging claiming it was the original. Are people really that naive to think Costco would do this? I guess so based on a few comments. SMH!
Not only are people uneducated about the history of this ball and don’t understand that it was NEVER going to be the same ball (at least not at the same price), they are quite uneducated what bait and switch actually means. But then again, so are most consumers.
It’s unfortunate that us Canadians did not have a chance to purchase the original K-Sigs in Canadian Costco stores.
Still got 12 dozen of the first generation. Love em. Hopefully the box/advertising is different on the new ball if/when it hits shelves. Otherwise, I’d be pretty disappointed in Costco.
Any more info. on the spin rate denotions eg ‘M’ for golf balls? Is there a range of spin for each ‘letter’ ?
I’m currently playing MG Golf’s Tour ball that performs as an equal to
the Pro V1 balls and at $19.95 / doz. everyone should at least give this “off brand” ball a chance to show what it’s made of! ;))
The worst part about the Costco ball is having to go to Costco… I had a membership for 1 year… never going back, what a zoo. I go through 2-3 balls a week, 100-150 a year (year round golf climate here in CA/AZ)… don’t worry about cost. Heck green fees are $50+ a week what’s an extra $2-6 for balls? I’ll stick with ProV1x and the new TP5x balls… not interested in no name cheap balls. I found a Kirkland once… and a Vice… tossed them in the shag bag and ended up hitting then onto the range…
You tossed the Kirkland in your shag bag?
Yet you’re here commenting about them? ..and complaining about Costco itself?
Sounds like your issue is a Costco issue, not a golfball issue.
Tony, I’m a bit confused from the article. are you assuming the new ball is different from circumstantial evidence, i.e. balls arrived + new USGA listing = new balls that arrived will be the new USGA ball listing. Or did your source in Costco specifically tell you the balls that arrive are stamped “Performance +” balls.
I still have about 10 dozen of the ORIGINAL K-Sig in my closet still. Probably won’t use them either unless it is for winter golf.
Why on Earth not?! The original ksigs are fantastic balls!
If you’d be kind enough to shoot me an email, I’ll gladly buy a few dz from you. I have a couple of sleeves left and I love this golf ball. Thanks!
I still have 3 doz which I will play until I run out, then it’s off to Srixon Q Star Tours which is performing wonderfully for me. Costco balls had their moment.
Charles Beatty II
Do they come in yellow
In that case I’ll be clinging onto my 6 sleeves of ksig originals!
Regarding the comments of the Titleist / Costco lawsuit. Costco just lost a major infringement lawsuit with Tiffany for the comparative use of name and likeness of product. The cost to Costco was 19.4 Million. I do not recall that Costco ever claimed it was selling a Titleist ball but if they referred to a likeness factor via it’s sale methods Costco could be in trouble. The case is Tiffany and Co et al v. Costco Wholesale Corp, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-01041.
Given the way the Costco vs. Acushnet stuff is shaping up, I suspect it ends relatively quickly and relatively quietly.
Outside of few million, which probably doesn’t mean much to either side, there’s potentially a lot more to lose than win.
Costco is challenging the validity of Acushnet’s patents. If Costco were to prevail and have several Acushnet patents declared invalid it could irreparably harm Acushnet’s ball business at a time when it’s already taken a hit.
Acushnet is claiming Costco’s Signature Guarantee – as it relates to the golf ball – amounts to false advertising. There’s plenty of nuanced language and I suspect much would hinge on how the court interprets the phrase “leading national brands”, but if the Signature Guarantee is interpreted as false advertising, it could open the door for other leading brands to go after Costco.
Acushnet’s recent history suggests it selectively goes after brands it knows can’t fight at all or on equal footing (some would define that as bullying). While Costco has the financial resources to fight, Acushnet will stack the deck. It has experts Costco doesn’t have, it has research and test facilities Costco doesn’t have. There are very few private facilities with these capabilities and the one that I know of has provided consulting services in the past for Titleist. Basically, though it has the money to fight, Costco will find it difficult to get access to the resources it needs to dispute Titleist’s claims.
But again, plenty to lose on both sides and I suspect both sides will be happy to see this go away – so long as the original K-Sig doesn’t reappear.
and the other reality is that there is a potential Kirkland couldn’t get the original ball in the quantities it could move at the price they originally had. As much as “signature” goods may be really good stuff, they are also in business to move a lot of product to a mass of people. My guess is that a large number of people will be happy with the new ball. They are the guys who grab whatever is on sale, they find on the course, etc. Could they get “better performance” maybe but where is the “average” handicap?…and wait that is only the guys that actually record some handicap.
So bottom line is if Costco can sell balls and move a lot of them and do it direct rather than selling old stock Callaway balls… and they aren’t “measuring/competing” with the brand Accushnet has been building forever, everyone is happy…except for those who were hoping a) for a deal b) to make money as a “ebay distributor”
But I really applaud the depth of research here. the Pearly Gates Master Bunny Edition — awesome. Isn’t Japan and golf a magical thing.
Dean Snell has a pretty good golf ball, MTB, Ive tried them and like them. Comparitable to PROV1, I judge a ball on two things, 1) how does it feel coming off my putter, and how does it stop when I’m chipping. Distance is a made up media thing, all golf balls on my golf course go as far as swing speed makes them go. Yes, some topflights, pinnacles, etc bounce a little farther in the fairway, but they bounce farther in the greens too.
Nope, not even close. Do some side by side ball speed testing some time. Not all balls are created equal.
Mike, to be fair a similar point to “not all balls are created equal” is “not all balls perform the same for every player”. Depending on the player, the swing, the clubs, or the shots there could be (and are) plenty of people out there that get just as much, or more, performance from a Snell MTB than a ProV1.
XJOHNX agreed. Do some ball speed testing and find the ball that’s right for you.
So the question is….MGS going to test the new ball vs. the older version….?
Tony, I’m puzzled … why are you assuming the new shipment is the Performance + and not the Performance One (which would be closer to the original Tour Performance)?
Is it possible the new ball is the Sphera Pro Three? Same specs on ball list.
Here is an article about it and look at what is mentioned…
They are located in Seattle just like Costco Hdq.
Absolutely possible. Sphera is likely a white label ball (factory does the R&D) with a Sphera stamp. Unless it developed its own ball from scratch (highly unlikely), white label is exactly what I would expect, and so long as Sphera didn’t buy exclusive rights, you’d expect to see multiple copies of it.
If Costco were really smart – they would approach Nike for rights on their discontinued RZN tour black and platinum. To me better ball than Pro V and were cleared out by retailers when Nike dropped their golf equipment line. Will shed a tear when my stash is gone!
Such a good ball. Nike finally gets RZN right and then promptly exits the industry.
The original thought was that Nike wouldn’t be interested in selling any of its IP. That’s proved not to be the case as PING has purchased several Nike patents. Given that Nike is willing to sell some of that IP, if ball patents get bought, I’d wager it would be Callaway since they’ve hired Rock Ishii and nobody is more familiar with RZN.
Nobody plays the low margin/high volume gamble better than Costco but, my guess is that those patents would be way too expensive to project a positive ROI at their margins.
Good info from My Golf Spy!
Dr harv simon
Where is the best place to purchase provix over stocked new balls? Ebay?
Well I guess it’s time to move on to something more important then the new K-Sig.. The mania over it was bordering on absurd !
Thank you for providing the information on the new balls. Will definitely not be purchasing them. Appreciate the information!
I hope they don’t put these on the shelves as K-Sig balls in similar packing and sell hundreds of thousands based on the reputation of the previous version!
Assuming the ball on the list is the ball (and I’d bet heavily it is), they would absolutely need to change the packaging to some degree. That said, the ball is still in the inventory system as the Kirkland Signature Ball (the name is kind of everything at this point), so whether it’s intended or not, there’s likely to be some confusion.
The bottom line is the consumer should always check carefully to make sure he’s buying what he thinks he’s buying.
I bought a few dozen Vice Pro+ for $25/doz… Tried them over the past week, and can’t tell any difference between how they play versus a Pro V1… I’d highly recommend them
Titleist will NEVER get anymore business from me….overhyped and overpriced…..on EVERYTHING
I understand that they are more expensive for their proven Tour winners, the Pro V1 and 1x, but nobody does more R & D than Titleist does on golf balls. Other manufacturers, use Titleist balls (and whatever R&D they can glean from Titleist’s work) to try to come up with similar or better designs. Many smaller brands compare their balls to Pro Vs. Not to Chrome Soft’s, or B330s, or any other top quality urethane covered Tour ball. Because Titleist has a reputation that they built on winning. Not hype (like TM). They build quality products with fantastic customer service. And they do it without yelling and screaming bogus claims (like TM, “17 yards longer!”) Yes, they are a few dollars more, but personally, I think they are worth it.
Don’t hate on Titleist for doing the bulk of the work for the whole golf ball industry. It’s why they are the number one ball in golf. Balls are cheap, relatively speaking. Pros can play any ball they want. Yes, Titleist has many paid ambassadors playing their balls, but even more unpaid players who have a choice. They are not picking Titleist because they are overpriced, less-than-the-best choice out there.
There are many great balls on the market, from both established brands and lesser-knowns. Vice, MG, Snell, Bridgestone, TM, Callaway and others. To think you are paying through the nose for Titleist is a bit short-sided if you ask me. I believe they are the best all-round Tour ball out there. So do more than 75% of Tour players. That ain’t just marketing. That’s a proven fact.
If you can’t tell the difference between ball models, then yes, certainly play a lesser ball if you want. But if your game is solid throughout the bag, IMO, you are selling yourself short to play a cheaper, less-proven ball.
Please explain by what measure Titleist is doing the bulk of work for the whole golf ball industry?
Nike was first with rubber – and really the only brand to date to bring a ball with a different core material to market. Bridgestone and Callaway have done their fair share of the work on dimple design.
I’m not saying Titleist doesn’t make great balls, but please cite the actual innovations that prove your assertion that Titleist does “the bulk of the work for the whole golf ball industry”.
Maybe people think more patents and more lawsuits has a direct correlation to more R&D.
Sounds like bate and switch from Costco. Thanks to MGS for pointing out the differences so that we won’t be duped. I’ll stay with my Snell MTB balls for the foreseeable future.
Not sure how you can call this a bait and switch when nothing has been released. SMH!
Most people commenting here seem to be out of touch with the facts and the short history of this ball. You can call it trying to capitalize on past success but, it’s far from a bait and switch.
Wow, are you guys lawyers? It’s a joke. But really, as the article clearly shows the original ball was a 4 piece players ball while the new version is a 3 piece not-quite players ball, yet they are called the same name. A lot of people are going to be confused and will buy the ball thinking it’s the same product only to find out it really isn’t. Thanks again to MGS for pointing out the differences. As always MGS puts out the facts for us all.
Let’s get back to the basics here … Kirkland Signature is the brand, just like Titleist is a brand.
The first K-Sig branded ball was the Tour Performance and has been compared to ProV1s. The new K-Sig ball is going to be a different ball called a Performance + (or possibly Performance One) and once it’s available we can compare it to other balls and who knows where it will fall.
Bottom line, no bait and switch in my mind …
Jim, I am admittedly far from a lawyer. I did however work ten years as a store manager for a major retail chain so I know what bait and switch it. Your point is easy to understand and valid but, to agree with Dave’s point, the problem is more consumer based as they will be the ones making the assumption that it’s the same ball. Whether they are impulsive or uneducated on the differences of the balls, Costco is not doing anything that could be perceived as intentionally misleading. I agree with you that a lot of people will “fall for it” but it’s going to fall on their shoulders. I think this is a strange circumstance because the first ball was the one that got headlines so people are automatically going to see the new generation as “THE” kirkland signature ball.
Wilsons does make a nice inexpensive ball. I’ve hit them all. Me personally, I prefer tour balls. That being said, the Titleist DT trusoft is a better performing ball then the Wilson. It’s cheaper then the urethan and I believe made in the USA. Which to me matters!
So Titleist bullied them into changing. F Titleist.
I will continue to play my Prov1s as I always have. A ball I can depend on. When you make the best ball thru R&D, and it is the number one played ball there will always companies trying to copy you.
#1 Ball – 69 Years and Counting
Titleist is not a bully. They are protecting their ball from cheap imitations that profess to be as good. BOOM! COSTCO BUSTED!
For the record, I don’t think Costco ever professed any claims at all. It was legitimate third party testing that said, and proved, they were as good.
You might also want to brush up on Titleist’s history of bullying. I don’t think you’re 100% informed and up to date. This is no secret.
#1 Ball – 69 Years and Counting
Kirkland states they are as good or better than the leading brands. In this case, they are not. Titleist can prove it. The previous ball was a nice ball made of overruns. The new one will be inferior. No bullying here… just keeping things honest and eliminating the false claims made by Titleist haters. This move speaks for itself. Soon to be 70 years…. the best ball….end of discussion.
I’m going to let you in a not so little secret. Titleist has no intention of proving anything. This is what they do. They bog defendants down in a massive list of complaints, most of which anybody who knows the interworkings of Titleist and the ball business will tell you are complete bullshit. In this complaint it move across time (2015, 2016, 2107) in order to provide whatever example makes their case look strongest, and they’re selectively vague in areas where they’d be absolutely specific if not for the fact that their goal isn’t to win, it’s to drag it out until the other side capitulates.
Here’s the reality – apart from Titleist’s internal tests, I’ve yet to see a single 3rd party test, review, etc. that says the Pro V1 is longer than the K-Sig. I can point you to a half a dozen, including our own that counter what Titleist says. We’ve covered this before, but it’s worth repeating, I’ve spoken to 4 legitimate industry ball guys and another who isn’t in the ball biz, but tests balls on robots. All have said the 2015 Pro V1 is shorter than most any competitive ball on the market. And while I’m sure as a devout Titleist follower, you’ll put more stock in the Titleist test, but you shouldn’t. Their house, their rules, their idealized test conditions I’ve been in countless R&D presentations with countless examples of competitor testing. The presenting side never loses. This is true for every company in golf.
The quality stuff is certainly interesting, but without knowing the details of the test, I have no opinion as to its validity. Again, Acushnet was vague where it could have been specific because doing so keeps the clock running. Costco needs more info, but they’re going to have to ask for it. FYI – if the pattern holds, that request will be met with rejection and then we’ll have arguments over whether testing methods should be disclosed. Again, this is what it does.
It’s not about what’s true, it’s about forcing Costco to prove what Acushent says isn’t – knowing Costco doesn’t have the facilities to do that easily, and so they’d have to spend even more money in an attempt to disprove Titleist’s claim and prove what most everybody else already knows to be true.
Patent claims – I’m not a lawyer, and so I defer to experts. I’m told it’s a safe bet that should this go to trial it’s a reasonable assumption several of Titleist’s patents would be ruled invalid. In other cases, it’s likely no infringement would be found. It’s possible – though not a given that Titleist prevails in a couple of cases. Obviously, it only takes one. Lawyering 101…throw all your noodles and see if any stick.
The false advertising thing…who knows, everything hinges on the interpretation of “leading brands” first and then “quality” second. Nothing to lose for Titleist…everything to lose for Costco. Tactically, it’s clever.
But again, remember the point is to drag this out, make lots of claims based on less than specific information. They do that because it forces the defendants to request more information (more legal bills), and so it drags on and on, one bit of information at a time. This is exactly the blue print Acushnet used when it went after the small companies – and I should point out, it didn’t go after all the companies that used the dimple pattern in question, Acushnet went after the smaller companies, and it went after the ones that didn’t have R&D facilities that could be used to possibly disprove its claims.
Titleist has the advantage because it has experts on staff, and it has facilities that can be used to generate test data on which to base claims. It deliberately excludes its test conditions and because there are limited private facilities with the same capabilities, it’s very hard for Costco to gain access because Titleist retains staff from those facilities as consultants (which effectively prevents Costco and previous defendants access to the tools and experts necessary to refute Titleist’s claims).
It also helps that Costco is in the US, while the actual manufacturer of the ball – who would actually be the ones fighting the patent stuff – sit in Korea.
And while you may think this is all fair and wonderful, the reality is it meant to serve as a warning to an upstart who wants to try and make it in the ball business. It’s anti-competitive, it absolutely is bullying, and like any bully, they’ll continue to do it until somebody punches them in the mouth.
And while it’s been suggested to me that Costco might be the one to do that and find back, I’m guessing they don’t because when you’re selling a ball for pennies over what it costs, there’s really no point – especially when you’re out of balls, and you have no ability to make more.
And so here we are again – and it’s where will be the next time a ball threatens Titleist’s security in the market or its stock price, not because of any acutal IP issues, but because turning the lawyers loose is a hell of a while to stifle competition in a commoditized market where your only real advantage is reputation. It will be lather rinse repeat until somebody decides to sees one of these through to the end or until enough consumers realize that the industry leader is actively working to limit his access to lower pirced options.
Neither one of those is likely to happen in the next little while.
Costco’s Kirkland Signature Ball Set to Return Costco’s category-disrupting K-Sig ball is definitely coming back, but don’t get too excited. Well, a Kirkland Signature Ball is coming back,