While we still do not have fresh statistics about golf participation around the world in 2012, it is hard to expect growth. In 2011, Europe's golf market entered a downturn. In 2011 46,000 golfers left the game. This is not just a European problem, it is also true elsewhere. What can a golf equipment manufacturer do in such a situation? Some of them reduced their production estimate for 2012 and 2013. Titleist chose a different approach, namely to focus on more golfers' (amateur and professional) experience with their golf equipments with the faith that higher level of customization and personalization they can achieve more. This strategy has not left without recognition. Titleist Pro V1 and Titleist Pro V1x have now been recognised as "golf ball of the year" at the recent Foresome Award (Titleist Vokey wedge became "wedge of the year").
We are leaving the era of mass production in a certain meaning toward highly targeted product development.
In the last weeks I asked some golf equipment manfucturers about crowdsourcing. I think this would be the next level of customer experience. Unfortunately these golf equipment manufacturers (e.g. Callaway Golf) are not prepared to embrace crowdsourcing. Although, we learnt from IBM vs Lynux case that openness can yield benefits from both sides.