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Cleveland Golf Sold to SRI Sports

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Quicksilver Inc. announced the sale of Cleveland Golf today to SRI Sports Limited.

Quicksilver acquired Cleveland 2005 after purchasing the Rossignol Group. Bit by bit, Quicksliver began minimizing Cleveland’s costs and expenditures. In the past year, their stable of high dollar Tour Pros For has been slowly whittled down with only Vijay Singh remaining from their marquee staff. It became clear that Quicksilver was interested in selling Cleveland. Since June of 2007, rumors have been constantly surfacing as to who Cleveland would be sold to. However, today’s announcement that SRI Sports Limited, a Japanese company and parent of the Srixon golf brand came as a surprise to many. The remaining shares of Cleveland golf were purchased by Quicksliver this September and the final total of the sale is estimated to be $132.5 million.

Quicksilver’s decision to sell Cleveland is part of a company wide move to reduce their presence in the hardgoods business. Bernard Mariette, President of Quiksilver said, "We believe this transaction is a key strategic action for our company that will drive immediate value and enable us to reduce both our exposure to the hardgoods space and our degree of leverage." The move appears to be welcome by Cleveland officials as well. Greg Hopkins, President of Cleveland Golf said, "We are excited by the many positive aspects of this deal, including the combination of a great brand in golf with a new organization that is completely and solely devoted to the sport. Significantly, their operating model is set up to anticipate and respond to the seasonality and other specific requirements of the golf market. We believe that this singular focus will benefit the entire Cleveland organization in a number of ways."

Although a bit of a dark horse candidate, it appears that SRI Sports Limited will be a welcome home for the Cleveland brand. "Cleveland has a clear position of dominance in the important wedge market and a fast-growing presence in drivers and irons. We believe that this business will prove highly complementary to our own. We are looking forward to demonstrating Cleveland’s full potential to the market and believe that the business can benefit greatly from our stewardship," said Ryochi Sawada, Chairman of the Board of SRI Sports Limited.

Yet this acquisition has set up an interesting dichotomy within the SRI Sports brand. Srixon USA, also owned by SRI, has recently begun making major headway in the U.S. market, especially in the area of golf balls, where their ZUR line has gained rapid acceptance among Tour players and amateurs alike. Srixon’s club sales have been used as support with golf balls being the main focus of the brand. With Cleveland’s acquisition and their strong line of patents and products like the popular HiBore and CG irons and wedges. The end game for SRI and how Cleveland will fit into their global strategy will be very interesting to watch.

What do you think this sale will have on Cleveland Golf and SRI’s future?  Discuss it in our fourms!

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Elico

    May 3, 2008 at 5:09 am

    I am a 48 year old golf beginner (I used to play tennis), and after having tried “normal” irons, I tried Hibore, and now I can play golf!
    So thank you Cleveland Hibore, I do not care about their shape and noise…
    Have you tried an oversized tennis racket? It is the same thing: it helps!

  2. robby

    Apr 9, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I hope SRI keeps the current sales teams for both Srixon (balls) and Cleveland in place and does not try and combine the sales forces at this time to save a few dollars.One of the brands will suffer.SRI should continue to have two distinct sales forces calling on off course and on course businesses until such time the brands are strong enough to stand on their own..ie Titlist and Cobra.Neither brand currently has enough clout or leverage to make a business buy more Srixion balls or more Cleveland clubs just because you have one rep for both products?

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  5. Quint

    Nov 9, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    I hope someone from SRI reads this and lets the Cleveland name alone. I have been a Cleveland player for years. I have owned TA5s, TA2s, CG4s, and all the woods. It would be a shame for clubs so easy to hit and marketed with PGA tour players to go away. I am glad that SRI has the chance to expand the great name of Cleveland Golf. The Hi-bore driver was a hit and I still use it to this day. Remember SRI, we want to hit the clubs, and wear the hats the guys on tour use. Keep the Cleveland line going! Thanks.

  6. Andy

    Nov 1, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Srixon did not buy Cleveland Golf. SRI sports bought Cleveland Golf. Huge Difference. SRI and Cleveland are BOTH owned by SRI sports. Srixon therefore DOES NOT own Cleveland. They are subsidiaries of SRI.

  7. Nutzfourgolf

    Nov 1, 2007 at 11:23 am

    How about those people who don’t think Srixon makes great irons??? I play the Srixon irons and left Mizuno to do so…. I also play the new WG-706 wedges – left Cleveland wedges to do so. My Driver is a TM Super Quad and 3 Wood is Titleist – I play what I belive in and what works for me. Srixon is a great brand and make kick ass hard goods not just great balls. My adage is try before you buy…. And don’t knock it before you try it – or if you’ve never hit it! I think the acquisition is beneficial for both companies. I’m sure that alot of folks were surprised that Srixon had the juice to buy another premier brand. Most surprising to me was the fact that Srixon seems to target the niche market and Cleveland targets the mass market. Will be interesting to see how the brand differentiation shakes out… Just my opinion! Keep it in the short stuff!

  8. Anonymous

    Nov 1, 2007 at 12:25 am

    Hibore XL was one of the best selling drivers this year. At times, it is the best selling driver. for those who said that it’s a flop, please do some research before you make such a false statement.

    it’s great that some people like classic shaped drivers, but why aren’t the major brands making them anymore? because classic shape is old technology. It’s simply doesn’t even come close to some of the “modern drivers” from a performance standpoint. If you rather choose a classic driver simply because you’re more used to it, you’re just fooling yourselves!
    a lot of people criticized metal woods(same way that people are criticizing geometry driven drivers) when they first came out, who’s actually using them now? For those who complain about oddly shaped drivers, maybe you should go back to persimmon woods to be truly classic, otherwise, aren’t you just a hypocrite?

    Back to the topic, I can only see good things come out of the merger. I look forward to seeing what both companies will be making in the near future.

  9. uncleboo6

    Oct 31, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    Good move!!! hopefully will help to return to the Cleveland of old!! great wedges solid irons and growing the driver market.It makes sense to marry the two brands (Srixon and Cleveland) to create a stronger market presence to chalenge the big guys!

  10. Juansky

    Oct 31, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Time to get rid of my Hibore before prices take a dump! Titleist here I come!

  11. Anonymous

    Oct 31, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    Sumitomo Rubber Industries and their division of SRI sports are best known as the premiere market leader, #1 in Japan under the Dunlop/XXio brand. People who believe Cleveland and Srixon will be heavily involved with one another are absolutely mistaken. Although Srixon balls are doing well and gaining momentum, Srixon equipment does not hold a candle to the number of units that Cleveland sells annualy. Cleveland will remain untouched for the forseeable future, and operate as a complimentary brand within the SRI umbrella. They are DOMINATING in wedge share following the release of Zip Groove Products… and for a while this season the Hibore XL was the best selling 2007 driver. It is unfortunate that the sale rumors have created such an opportunity for people to bash the company… because market share wise they are doing quite well. It will be interesting to see what Cleveland can accomplish with a company who understands the seasonal nature of the golf business and hardgoods, especially with some financial backing to expand. Those are three key elements the company lacked under quiksilver…. and thus why a change was needed. I look forward to good things from Cleveland Golf now that they have support from such a huge, golf minded, successful company. Stay tuned… and don’t bash for no apparent reason.

  12. George

    Oct 31, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    Good news for Cleveland, they are in dire need to get a true technology in their equipment. The HiBore was a disaster and
    really thumbed the nose of golfers who love more traditional shapes, plus that sound was unbearable! Perhaps with the technical
    resources of SRI they can leverage more technology and performance from the brand.

  13. Jerry

    Oct 31, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Some of Cleveland golfs older drivers were classics and still played by many, like the 460 comp. If you look at Adams and the new driver 4350 tour, maybe they will go back to that classic shaped head with some major updating and a deep face and upgraded shaft options as many of us still like the classic shapes. I think they can improve sales to the demanding golfer if they continue in that direction

  14. Josh

    Oct 31, 2007 at 10:05 am

    I think it will be great for both Srixon and Cleveland as brands. Srixon golf balls are getting more and more recognition. Plus the new forged irons are beautiful. Perhaps they can focus Srixon directly to golf balls, and start releasing some nice FORGED cleveland irons and such. Something like some gunmetal 701 tours with the CG symbol on the back perhaps???

  15. Derick

    Oct 31, 2007 at 8:41 am

    I wonder if SRI will use cleveland as there club brand and Srixon as there ball brand. Cleveland was really making strides in the right direction as far as club design, were Srixon needs a little help. All and all I think it was a good purchase for SRI and hopefully the customers will see great equipment in the future from Cleveland.

  16. James

    Oct 31, 2007 at 6:38 am

    Does this mean they will start making any decent equipment???

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (04/30/21): Black copper Scratch iron heads

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for an extremely rare set of Scratch golf AR1 iron heads finished in “black copper”.

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link:  Scratch AR1 iron heads

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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Equipment

Fujikura announces second-generation MC Putter shaft

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As the shaft company with one of the hottest driver shaft lines in golf—thanks to the Ventus series—Fujikura knows its way around creating great products designed to enhance feel and performance.

Fuji is now bringing this drive for innovation to the putting green with the introduction of the second generation MC Putter shaft designed to offer increased stability with three different models to fit a golfer’s stroke and feel preference.

A long time coming

To say that putter shafts went a long time without innovation would be an understatement. Beyond some slight tweaks to flex and weight, the traditional steel putter shaft has remained unchanged for well over 100 years. Until recently, most golfers never even considered that a putter shaft could be a source for improvement in feel and consistency yet week after week we see more players at the highest level looking for any advantage on the greens and this is where the MC Putter shaft comes in.

Technology

Metal Core

Unlike what is currently available in the market, the MC is a multi-material full-length graphite putter shaft that also features a metal core at the tip (that’s where “MC” comes from) along with a copper wrap towards the butt section to enhance mass properties without sacrificing feel.

The metal core plays a dual role, by adding extra mass towards the tip which saves engineers from needlessly adding extra layers of carbon fiber to adjust the balance point. The reason this is such a key factor in feel is that at a certain point the extra layers and wall thickness actually starts to dilute the level of feedback you are getting from impact. It’s the difference between catching a baseball with a proper glove versus trying to catch it with throw pillows—sure you can do it, but your level of awareness for everything that occurs during impact is completely gone.

Rubber composite

This technology combines carbon fiber and rubber for the entire length of the shaft to further reduce unwanted vibration at impact. By dampening the unwanted vibrations, the feel of the shaft is amplified to provide better responsiveness which leads to things like improved distance control.

What about stability?

This is where the conversation gets really interesting because all three models offer extremely low torque while using less graphite in the tip than the all graphite competition. This low torque combined with the enhanced feel properties creates less twisting at impact without the “deadening” feel and helps reduce dispersion off the face.

As an example the X-Firm MC Putter shaft CPM’s at over 600 which although seems like an arbitrary number is over 100 cycles stiffer than the next closest competition, has lower torque, yet still offers all the technology to maintain feel that golfers expect from their putter.

Price, specs, and availability

The all-new Fujikura MC Putter shafts are available now through authorized Fujikura dealers and are priced at $250. They are currently available in .355″ taper which can be tipped a small amount to fit .370″, and only work in plumbers neck or “shaft in” center shafted putters.

Specs

  • Smooth – The shaft profile creates more feel in the hands
  • Firm – Smoother than steel, enhanced feel from rubber composite.
  • X-Firm – This ultra-stable shaft offers instant feedback and the firmest feel

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Whats in the Bag

Wesley Bryan 2021 WITB (April)

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callaway-apex-19-pro-irons

Driver: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond LS (10.5 degrees set to 9.5) (10g weight in front, 6g weight in the back)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX (45 1/8 inches, tipped 1 inch, D4)

3-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (15 degrees @14.7) (10g weight in front, 9g weight in the back)
Shaft: Aldila Synergy Green 75 TX (42 inches, tipped 1 inch, D4)

Hybrid: Callaway Apex (20 degrees @18.9)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 95 X Hybrid

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro 2Dot (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 Raw (50-10S, 54-10S @53, 58-08C)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey Metal X Milled #2

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X LS (low spin)

 

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