Callaway Golf clubs are losing weight

By: July 8, 2013

Let me share with you some of my reservations and worries about golf club improvements. I think all of us want to hit his golf ball as far as he can and to finish the game with as many birdies or with eagles as possible. 

To meet the market demand (and also generate demand by enticing us with the promise of faster golf clubs and golf balls etc.) there is no day when we don't hear about some kind of golf equipment improvement. The result is, golf club managers must extend the length of their golf club's territory, because people with the high tech golf clubs are enabled to hit further. Do we see or accept the consquences of such changes?

One of the reasons why Merion Golf Club was left out of US Opens in the last 32 years, is the size (aka distance problem) of the golf course. It did not match the current needs of PGA professionals. 

One of the latest trends I see is how golf club manufacturers are trying to reduce the weight of their drivers. The magic benchmark number in the golf industry is 300 gram (in other industries: S&P it is 2,000, at Dow it is 10,000). My first experience with this driver "diet" phenomenon was in 2011, with Wilson Staff DXi superlight driver. It weights 269 gram.

The question to ask here is, will the customer see a difference going to these lighter drivers? Is it a good differentiating point

Recently, Callaway Golf has launched FT Optiforce drivers and fairway woods. To my great surprise Callaway Golf thought it is important to highlight the weight of their new driver. Beside Wilson Staff and Callaway Golf non of the other major players communicated the weight of their driver.

Here are some the novelties of FT Optiforce drivers and fairway woods:

  • less than 300 gram (Callaway Golf didn't specify the exact weight —> so Wilson Staff DXi superlight driver is the lightest driver available in the market);
  • the FT Optiforce Driver we have optimized each of the two available heads — the 440cc and the 460cc – and adjusted critical elements like size, weight, center of gravity position, moment of inertia and others (at the competitors I found only 460 cc);
  • The FT Optiforce has been measured with 23% less drag than a conventionally shaped driver.
  • The driver features an Advanced OptiFit® Hosel that allows players to adjust the driver’s loft 1-degree down or 1- or 2-degrees up. The loft setting helps golfers adjust their launch angle and amount of backspin.

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