Connect with us

Equipment

Costco files complaint against Acushnet in Kirkland Signature golf ball dispute

Published

on

It seemed unthinkable just a few months ago that Costco and Titleist could face off in a legal dispute over golf ball patents and advertising claims… yet here we are.

David Dawsey of golf-patents.com dug up a complaint from Friday in the United States District Court in Seattle in which Costco is seeking a declaratory judgement that it is:

  1. “Not infringing any valid patent rights owned by … Acushnet” (the holding company of Titleist, FootJoy and Pinnacle).
  2. “Not engaged in any false advertising regarding the [Kirkland Signature] golf balls.”

The dispute appears to have started when Acushnet sent a threatening letter to Costco, accusing the retailer of “infringing 11 Acushnet patents based on its sale of the [Kirkland Signature] golf ball and engaging in false advertising based on its Kirkland Signature guarantee that all Kirkland Signature products ‘meet or exceed the quality standards of leading national brands.'”

The “Kirkland Signature guarantee” appears to be a major sticking point for Acushnet. According to the complaint, “Acushnet asserts that the statement is intended to indicate to a reasonable consumer that the [Kirkland Signature] golf ball is the same or of greater quality as Titleist’s Pro V1.” Costco says it has “never publicly compared the [Kirkland Signature] ball with any Titleist ball, including the Pro V1.”

More interesting than all the legal mumbo jumbo for most golfers may be this sentence:

“Even though the Costco [Kirkland Signature] golf ball has sold out, Costco plans to continue to sell the [Kirkland Signature] golf ball.”

There it is, on record, that Costco plans to continue selling the $15-per-dozen, four-piece, urethane-covered golf balls that golfers went crazy over last year.

Your Reaction?
  • 628
  • LEGIT37
  • WOW33
  • LOL27
  • IDHT9
  • FLOP8
  • OB7
  • SHANK47

We share your golf passion. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX, Facebook and Instagram.

84 Comments

84 Comments

  1. Matt

    Apr 11, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Doesn’t anyone care that Titleist golf balls are made in the USA instead of all these import golf balls????????? And if the Titleist are too expensive, try Pinnacle, made in the same factory in Massachusetts, and I’ve found them for $15 a dozen..

    • Simms

      Apr 13, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      Better check your sources, Titleist does make ProV’s over seas as well as in the United States, just as Taylormade makes its pro balls in U>S> and over seas and in the past even at the same shop that made the Kirkland ball.

  2. westphi

    Mar 31, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Good luck suing Costco…Titleist ball sales are on the decline and every manufacturer is starting to eat their lunch. Just a sign of the times. Bye Bye Titleist…

    • Doubt it

      Apr 1, 2017 at 11:16 am

      The Titleist ProV1 and ProV1x have been the best selling balls for over 15 years. No end in sight.

      • setter02

        Apr 4, 2017 at 3:40 pm

        Doubt it, doubt it. No chance that either ball has been #1 in total sales, likely ever. It isn’t even their top seller, let alone over all. They make their coin on the lower priced balls, you know, the ones that more golfers play, and lose…

      • westphi

        Apr 5, 2017 at 10:30 am

        ha!

  3. Gorden

    Mar 27, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Everyone misses the point that yes ProV1’s, Taylormade TP5 all top line current balls are better then the Kirkland Ball, if only by small percentages of performance, and that is big to the pro or top amateurs. But the fact you can sell a top ball for $15 a dozen kills all the less then top performance balls of all manufactures,,,, Why buy NXT, E6’s. any WIlson ball if you can get a 4 piece ball for $15 or theirs for $25 or more.

    • Mad-Mex

      Mar 28, 2017 at 10:54 pm

      They get the point, they are just in denial, they still think “tour issue” equipment is better and that they “need” XX-Stiff shafts tipped 2 inches and a 8.5 driver to lower their rpm’s by 10 rpms,,,,

    • Point Made

      Apr 1, 2017 at 11:21 am

      That is an excellent point. I strongly believe the Titleist balls are better due to extreme R&D and extreme quality checks (now 91 checks on a ProV1 and 120 checks on the ProV1x). How much might be hard for the average player to discern. However, the less the premium balls will suffer. Finally, to the other reply, Titleist balls for the tour player are identical to Titleist balls bought at your local golf shop. Not so with some other balls…. The Chrome Soft that Mickelson plays / played is not the same ball as the one you buy at your local golf shop. Slightly different markings and different characteristics. It just looks like its the same to make everyone else think they play the same ball.

  4. Dave R

    Mar 22, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Oh thoese poor titleist / acushunet people what’s the matter ? Just a little competition making you worry a little bit gee that’s to bad. Don’t worry the pros will still play your $65.00 a dozen balls. No ball is worth $5.25 a ball really now is it.

  5. edge of lean

    Mar 22, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    I go to Costco for Callaway golf gloves (3 for the price of one at Golf Town) and umbrellas.

  6. Darryl

    Mar 22, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Girls, girls, you’re BOTH pretty…….

    Personal preference people, if you don’t mind paying premium prices for the “premium” ball, then have at it. If you want to save yourself a few shekels by buying what you consider a good performing ball for 1/3 of the price, great. Honestly, grown a$$ men crying that someone doesn’t share their enthusiasm for a brand name, its almost as bad as arguing about the giant sky fairy.

    I’ve been using the Dunlop NZ9-V3 lately, a £9 a dozen, three piece ball and they perform every bit as well as the Srixon AD333 (which I suspect are exactly the same ball since Dunlop and Srixon are both owned by Sumitoyo), the Callaway Supersoft or the Titleist NXT Tour. If spring ever arrives I’m planning on buying a box of Dunlops “premium” offering, the DP1-3V which is supposedly their Z-Star/Pro V1/Chrome equivalent.

    And yet……I can’t help that nagging doubt about them that I feel when one of my playing partners knocks their major OEM ball past me off the tee when I feel I have hit a good one! That’s the power of saturation advertising, I suppose.

    This all boils down to what you think of your own game, do you think that it’s worth paying $4 a ball for the two or three times in a round that you might just hit the ball well enough to notice the very slight performance difference over a $1 challenger.

  7. Mad-Mex

    Mar 21, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    If you were to hand these Kirkland balls without a brand on them and told all the Titleist fans it was the new Pro-V1 “platinum” and that it was their best yet. They would go out and scream how great it is and that nothing comes close.

  8. Simms

    Mar 21, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Golf balls from Costco great, If I was working in Costco’s purchasing department I would get together with Golfworks and start selling their products. Irons, Fairways, Drivers even their putters…they have patents on a lot of their stuff and can compete with the big boys at half the cost or less. Be a big win/win for both of them.

  9. AussieAussieAussie

    Mar 21, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    All this talk of $45 a dozen golf balls. ProV1s retail at $74.99 a dozen down here in Aus. $45 is soooo cheap, stop all the complaining.

  10. jc

    Mar 21, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    callaway chrome soft…you can keep the titleist and the megabox of kirlands…

  11. JuNiOR

    Mar 21, 2017 at 1:30 am

    Instead of yelling Bababooey….Yell Costco goes farther after a drive!! Let’s start with The Masters LOL

    • setter02

      Mar 21, 2017 at 9:20 am

      I know people would get mad, but how awesome would a ‘Costco’ chant be leading up to every Titleist players tee shot!

    • Michael

      Mar 22, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Junior, don’t quit your day job if you have one. You have absolutely no future in comedy.

      Bababooey will always rule.

      • Jimmy G

        Apr 7, 2017 at 11:21 am

        There can be no greater improvement in today’s game than having anyone who yells either “Bababooey” or “Get in the hole” after a shot on tour immediately removed from the premises. C’mon kids…how about a little creativity. Been hearing both for decades.

  12. Mad-Mex

    Mar 20, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Caddies vs Country Club Snobs

    GO COSTCO !!!!!

    • Caddy

      Mar 21, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      You don’t understand which side you should be on. You are rooting for the 120 Billion dollar a year company over the 1 Billion dollar a year company. You are rooting for major corporate over small mom and pop. This is like Wal Mart moving into the neighborhood and taking out your corner shop. It’s OK if you are on that side, but at least know the facts. If you just like everything cheap. That is a philosophy.

      • Brian

        Mar 21, 2017 at 5:28 pm

        No, he’s rooting for the consumer, who is the real winner here. If there’s one thing golf needs, it’s financial accessibility to a wider swath of society.

        • Schwinger

          Mar 21, 2017 at 7:23 pm

          No it doesn’t! Golf isn’t basketball

          • Brian

            Mar 22, 2017 at 8:35 am

            Your mother must be so proud.

            • Schwinger

              Mar 26, 2017 at 2:09 am

              Brian, we can’t all be poor like you. Have you looked at the list of Billionaires who run the planet? Get a clue man

      • Mad-Mex

        Mar 21, 2017 at 9:07 pm

        Caddy, NEITHER company can be called “mom AND pops” so that philosophy goes out the window. If you buy your golf equipment other than at the golf course, you are not following your own argument. And in addition to what Brian said so accurately, I am for your average being Joe able to buy quality equipment without the mark up. I play these Kirkland golf balls and find their performance to suit my needs, I am financially able to buy Pro-V1 without a problem, but I don’t get off on labels nor care to impress anyone, too old for that.

    • Michael

      Mar 22, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Obviously, you are more concerned with your little class war and doing bad comedy routines. Get some new material. Your current script is very poorly written.

  13. Golfyguy

    Mar 20, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    It’s not necessarily about Acushnet vs. Costco. It’s more about Acushnet trying to support its premium ball pricing structure.

  14. #1 Ball for a reason... EVERY SEASON.

    Mar 20, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Titleist is simply following protocol as the #1 brand by filing a lawsuit. They are covering bases. The Costco guarantee does seem to indicate its as good or better than the leading brands which, nearly assuredly cannot be proven in serious robotic testing. Average player testing may indicate the balls are similar but there is a reason the “robots” on tour play a Titleist (or other leading brand)…. because they are BETTER. Costco will pay someone to produce a ball. The ball will be decent. It will never be as good as a Titleist.

    • Bob Chipeska

      Mar 21, 2017 at 9:42 am

      So “serious” robotic testing cannot prove if one ball is better than another, but you arrive at the conclusion that Titleist balls are better just because the pros play them? I can see critical thinking is not your strong suit.

      • Philip

        Mar 21, 2017 at 10:02 am

        He at least proves why marketing works better than facts and hard data

      • Caddy

        Mar 21, 2017 at 12:27 pm

        To a 25 handicap chopper, all balls are the same. In that case, Costco is correct. However, Titleist will prove to have the best and tightest tolerances on premium tour quality golf balls. I saw one fellow who said the Kirkland was WAY BETTER than Titleist. This was also the same fellow who said NO GOLF BALL IS WORTH $48 dz. In short, he has an issue with price that colors his opinion of golf balls. I have an issue with technology, R&D, and quality control which colors mine.

        • Bob Chipeska

          Mar 21, 2017 at 12:44 pm

          “Titleist will prove to have the best and tightest tolerances on premium tour quality golf balls.”
          You have any data to back that statement up?

          • Caddy

            Mar 21, 2017 at 3:34 pm

            I have faith in the free market and R&D. They continue to slightly improve their ball every other year despite no changes to the USGA rules on golf balls. I firmly believe Titleist will be able to demonstrate premium ball superiority through robotic data. You don’t get hundreds and thousands of patents on golf balls because they are all the same and nothing matters.

            • Michael

              Mar 22, 2017 at 11:00 am

              So what you are really saying is you stated something as fact, but you have no proof what so ever and it is nothing other than an opinion. Right?

              • Caddy

                Apr 1, 2017 at 11:44 am

                I’m not sure I stated something specific as fact. What would that be? Titleist is very tight with robotic testing data. When they go to court I think you will see the data demonstrates a difference. I believe in R&D, technological patents, material differences, quality control checks and validation at the highest levels of play. Have you ever seen the ball counts at the US Amateur, US Junior, Girls Junior, Pub Links etc..? Titleist overwhelms all other brands combined. Is this because they are being paid? NO. This is because the players believe there is a difference. They are probably good enough to tell. It is not the lack of other brands availability. It is real and perceived difference. As stated, I believe the Titleist data will demonstrate they have superior golf balls.

        • Hooters 714

          Mar 26, 2017 at 9:47 am

          Caddy I guess you don’t understand who Costco is buying the balls from. They are buying the balls from a ball manufacturer who has already done the testing and R & D. Some individuals like yourself spout off without really doing any research what so ever a so called know it all but actually know’s very little. Have a great day caddy and that is a laugher.

          • Caddy

            Apr 1, 2017 at 11:53 am

            Every ball company who actually makes balls does some research and performs some quality control checks. I have confidence in Titleist having the best. All patents are different. That’s why they are patents. Titleist has 91 quality checks on a ProV1 and 120 quality checks on a Pro1x. Their goal for over 80 years has been goal to produce the most consistent golf ball in golf. Better players can more easily judge consistency. Better players more often choose Titleist. I believe the proof is in the pudding. All ball companies are not equal. There is a reason Wal Greens sold the Po-Do… it was cheap. It was cheap for a reason. There were patents and quality checks… just not as good and not as many. Your comment exposes your foolish line of thinking. Your rudeness is typical and it demonstrates who really lacks knowledge and the ability to put a cohesive argument together.

          • Caddy

            Apr 1, 2017 at 4:34 pm

            All balls have some form of technology and some form of quality control. I’m banking on the fact neither is like Titleist… or even close. WalGreens sold the Po-Do because it was cheap. The ball had patents and was produced at a factory that utilized some form of quality control. That does not mean the balls were in any way comparable to a Titleist. I guess the Po-Do appeared round and had dimples. Before you say someone is “spout(ing) off without really doing any research what so ever a so called know it all but actually know’s very little.” you should consider your stance. You have demonstrated you know very little about R&D, patents, materials, and quality control. All things are not equal.

    • Brian

      Mar 21, 2017 at 11:21 am

      Michael Breed, is that you?

  15. Cohenfive

    Mar 20, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    While I don’t blame titleist for doing whatever they have to do in order to protect their market share and pricing, I do fear they may be fighting a losing battle. Note that they didn’t sue costco for patent infringement… They sent a letter, probably hoping it would cause costco to pause. Clearly from Costco reaction that did not work. Costco never said there ball was better than any titleist product, only talksd about general quality which is very difficult to attack on legal grounds. If costco can produce and sell balls this isn’t likely to end well for the incumbent ball companies. Costco may very well use the golf ball as a break even product to attract more high income customers like us from wrx!!

    • Mike

      Mar 21, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      Costco can claim it’s balls are better than Titleists all it wants to. I can make golf balls from rubber bands and duct tape and advertise that they are better than Titleists. “Better” is a value judgement, not a quantifiable claim. Acushnet has no legal grounds for a suit here, they are just trying to bully Costco.

      • Jack

        Mar 21, 2017 at 10:11 pm

        There are tests that do show that they are similar and if not better. It’s not just a value proposition at 1/3 the price, it’s also a performance proposition. If you can’t quantify “better”, then you can’t say the Pro Vs are better either. Actually there are performance characteristics that are quantifiable so not sure where this is coming from.

        • Mr. Roboto

          Apr 1, 2017 at 11:57 am

          There are tests… robotic. Player data by choppers does not demonstrate the balls are the same. It demonstrates the players cannot tell the difference based on their ability level and lack of ability to hit it the same way twice. If its not hit the same way, the result is not comparable.

  16. Fat Perez

    Mar 20, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Oops! Looks like somebody’s loafers got stepped on! Pardon moi! This should be interesting. My buttered popcorn is on order! I’ll have a box of Mike ‘n Ike’s as well!

  17. retired04

    Mar 20, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    The price on the new batch coming to Costco’s stores will be interesting-remember, Costco strives to do no worse than breakeven on product sales after all related costs and their profit comes from the annual membership fees collected minus those related costs (just like the other membership clubs).

    Whole thing immaterial to me-I’m 70 and have fallen in love with the new srixon Q Star Tour that is hitting the shelves this month. With my s-l-o-w-e-r swing speed, it is longer off the driver than either Pro V.

  18. Golfguy

    Mar 20, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    I sent an email to Costco Canada a couple months ago. They stated then that they fully intend to offer their Signature ball to Canadian customers.

  19. KJ

    Mar 20, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    This is a joke right? Costco can only “sell” these as they have access to over runs and/or inventory from golf ball manufacturers that they want to get rid of. I see this as a “spot” buy from time to time and not a normal inventory item that they will sell. Plus, when you compare to the “leading” brand, its CLEARER poking at Titleist. No idea why you would want to do that?

    • ;George

      Mar 20, 2017 at 10:53 pm

      You maybe wrong here, if Costco is letting out a contract for millions of golf balls there will be more then one manufacturer in the Asian world that will be able to and gladly supply. The sticking point is a Urethane cover ball….as has been mentioned many times the process/machines used to apply that Urethane cover are few and far between, but that problem may go away if Costco is letting out a contract that pays enough.

    • Jack

      Mar 21, 2017 at 10:13 pm

      That’s not how the costco supply chain works. There are many products that are basically tailored for and made for Costco. If you want to know just go to a costco and you will see. Even the TVs are made for costco versions.

  20. PCR

    Mar 20, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    C’mon, GolfWRX, why the low-res image of the K-Sig, but an HD image of the Titleist? Total conspiracy. :0

    • Philip

      Mar 21, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Maybe because they are afraid of a letter from Acushnet too …

  21. Mr Muira

    Mar 20, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Americans are the greatest suckers on earth for believing advertising. The companies know it and that’s why you have the craziest prices on commercial time. That is why Titleist is the biggest selling ball, not because it’s “the best”, simply because the US golfers believe the rubbish they tell you. Is it a bad ball?, no, but there are plenty of balls out there for half the price which are JUST AS GOOD. 40 cents to make a ball and they retail it at $5-6…no thanks.

    • S Hitter

      Mar 20, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      But the weekly stats of Tour players’ use of the Titty is a fact. And that’s enough to sell more of it, even though there are better balls out there

    • Steve

      Mar 20, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      That’s funny. I could say the same thing about overpriced Muira irons, Mr. Muira. Plenty of clubs out there for half the price which are JUST AS GOOD.

      • JThunder

        Mar 20, 2017 at 11:01 pm

        Americans are suckers for advertising, yet Japan has by far the most expensive golf equipment on the planet. So, those $4k/set irons are 4x better than anything on the US market? You should have called yourself Mr Brexit instead of Mr Miura.

  22. larrybud

    Mar 20, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    I think Acushnet better be careful what they wish for. When golf manufacturers have to start backing up their marketing claims with facts, like “gain 20 yards” with this ball, or this club, they might be committing marketing suicide.

  23. jgpl001

    Mar 20, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Do you really think Acushnet are afraid the impact of Kirkland on Titleist balls to any significant degree – get real

    Titleist were the worlds best selling ball long before Kirkland came into exist into existance, and they will be long after they are gone, they couldn’t even supply the limited market demand last year…

    Callaway and Bridgestone make the equal of any Titleist ball, yet they are still world number 1

    It amazes me how many on Golfwrx are anti Titleist ball, anti all things TM, anti game improvement irons….I could go on

    • Someone

      Mar 20, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      That might be true if Titleist were going against another name brand golf company that dealt in such a niche market. We’re talking Costco that deals with way more than golf. They have literally got far greater buying power than Acushnet because their reach extends beyond golf balls. If Costco makes a ball that gives tour performance and is built to tour quality at the cost of low end, entry level 2pc balls, you better believe that ALL golf company’s would feel the pressure. Costco/Kirkland signature has such a good return policy and guarantee of quality that it’s ridiculous to think that the niche golf market wouldn’t be threatened. If Acushnet really weren’t interested, they wouldn’t have started anything. Costco has found the winning formula to get the customers to buy their product. They looked at what was so appealing about $40+ golf balls, found something comparable and then delivered it to the customer at warehouse rates. Then they decided to take a stab at it and it was ridiculously successful. Costco is not driven or regulated by anything PGA. They don’t have any risk of backlash or the like from any governing golf body, with the exception of the conforming products list. And last I saw, Kirkland Signature balls was on that list of conforming products. The only way for golf to get Costco to increase their price is to charge a “fee” to get on the conforming list. But that would in turn cause all golf companies to have to raise their prices. I think it’s great what Costco is doing and it’s nice that a company so large is able to deliver something to consumers that will definitely be in demand as long as the sport is still around. Costco did right to leave behind the golf clubs and stick to less customized products such as the golf ball and golf accessories. I hate paying any more than $25 a doz and am always looking for deals on any premium ball (which I have found a consistent one). As much as I like Titleist golf balls, I do think we pay more for the name rather than the product or technology. I mean what other areas can they really “improve” on that could be considered anything but marginal at best?

    • Brian

      Mar 20, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Callaway and Bridgestone don’t make an equal golf ball for $15 per dozen.

      • #1 Ball for a reason... EVERY SEASON.

        Mar 20, 2017 at 6:52 pm

        Exactly.

      • Steve

        Mar 20, 2017 at 7:57 pm

        That sums it up pretty perfectly. If Callaway and Bridgestone made “the equal of any Titleist ball” and started selling it at a third of the price, Titleist wouldn’t still be holding onto the world #1 title without making a serious price adjustment. That is, of course, assuming that most golfers aren’t complete morons.

    • larrybud

      Mar 20, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      Obviously Acushnet is afraid, why else file send a threatening letter to Costco?

      • Lawyer

        Apr 1, 2017 at 11:59 am

        To defend their well established position as the best when someone else “claims” to be as good.

    • setter02

      Mar 20, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      jgpl001, I guess you don’t know that the bulk of their revenue isn’t from those who buy Pro V1/X’s, but low end and Pinnacle. So when you can buy a better ball for the same or lower price point of those bottom tier balls, people will switch.

      No different than the Cally gloves they sell. I love the FJ StaSof, but I can get a 3 pack for $6 less than 1 FJ at GT.

    • ;George

      Mar 20, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      Your right if you only talk about ProV balls, but Titleist sells a ton of lesser balls that will be in deep trouble if Costco, or anyone, can sell a quality ball for less then Titleist sells its lesser balls. Why would anyone pay $29 a dozen for a 2 piece ball or a 3 piece harder cover ball if they could get a quality ball for less…

  24. Dat

    Mar 20, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    I hope Costco wins. They never made any claims whatsoever about the Pro V. Titleist is picking a fight with the wrong competitor. They should look inwards at their pricing model and realise the unavoidable truth that it’s far out of line with reality, especially in a declining sport that has been far too expensive for far too long.

  25. Sims

    Mar 20, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Not only Titleist but every golf ball seller out there has to be scared..best they can do is offer free balls or better prices, which a lot of them are doing right now. Also you can imagine the R&A up tick to make better balls then who, Costco. Costco has a chance to take an enormous share of the amateur hackers ball market…and bring in a few new million paid members to their stores and on line site. How much is it worth to gain 2 million members at a minimum of $50 each, plus the chance they may spend a lot more money then the $30 for golf balls…..big win for Costco, not bad for average Joe golfer either

  26. JCGA

    Mar 20, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    K-Sig’s a very good golf ball… I hate buying balls at $40+…

  27. matt_bear

    Mar 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    i find it funny that Costco is just a large major retailer. In Costco’s world golf balls are just another item on their shelves, but it’s a threat that can take down a top company in the golf world. This is 100% about protecting margins.

  28. Someone

    Mar 20, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    let’s not misrepresent the facts. They said they would still sell the balls, you added the part about it still being $15 a doz. The balls may in fact still be sold, but the price point could change with all the commotion. Titleist’s actions are kind of two fold. In one aspect they’re protecting their market share in golf balls, but the second aspect is by doing so, they are somewhat admitting that kirkland signature balls are a threat and possibly comparable in quality and performance. Big companies only respond to legitimate threats when it comes to issues like this.

    • Joey5Picks

      Mar 20, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      And no guarantee it will be the same ball. Maybe it will be, or maybe it will be something close, but different. Either way, at $15/dozen no reason to buy $45+/doz “big name” brands.

  29. Brian M

    Mar 20, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    This is like Troy McClure vs Monty Burns’s 10 High Priced lawyers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmRPVTbzRzk

  30. alexdub

    Mar 20, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    The plot thickens…. This is awesome.

  31. Matt

    Mar 20, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Ha, Titlesit/Acushnet must be freaking out to take Costco on in a legal battle.

  32. Captain Obvious

    Mar 20, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Acushnet sees someone trying to strangle their golden goose, and they do not like it one bit. No sir!

  33. MikeyB

    Mar 20, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Well they have a point. Only golf sites did the ‘tests’ calling K-Sigs ProV1 killers. Haven’t seen an ad from Costco anywhere that says the ball outperforms any other ball by name.

    Oh and Costco? CAN YOU PLEASE SELL THESE GOLF BALLS IN CANADA!!!

Leave a Reply

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Equipment

James Ingles resurrects custom putter brand

Published

on

Everybody loves a comeback story. Ben Hogan post-1949. Tiger Woods post-2009. You remember the first act and are now given a glimpse at what a second act could become. It’s a chance to reimagine and build on success. While the reason James Ingles Putters has been placed on hiatus for the last five years isn’t exactly “rock and roll,” they are indeed back on the market and ready to deliver. If you’re in the dark on James Ingles Putters’ history and/or why they’re back, here’s the story…

James Ingles started playing golf when he was 14 years old in 1997, which was an exciting time in golf, especially in the world of equipment and putters more specifically. Around that time, he purchased a special edition Scotty Cameron putter, which was inspired by David Duval, who was his favorite player at the time. He rushed home excited to show the new flatstick to his dad. His dad proceeded to look it over and sort of brushed it off as just a machine-made, milled steel putter. There were probably thousands of others just like it.

Heel-shafted blade 28g James Ingles Putter made from a copper alloy called Coldur A

That may be a curious reaction to most people, but as it turns out, James’ father has a unique frame of reference for this sort of thing. At that time in 1997, he happened to own Charles Hellis & Sons, a bespoke gunsmith in the London area (about 18 months ago he sold the business and retired). In his trade, no two items are alike. They begin with a quality forging and are then finished by hand to the customer’s specific requests. Shotguns from makers in and around London are known all over the world for their craftsmanship and attention to detail. It also happens that a lot of the steps in the gun making process actually transfer quite well to making putters.

In 2009, James approached the head gunsmith at Hellis and asked him if it was possible to make a putter in-house. That conversation started the development of James’ first putter, an 8802-style blade known as his 28g model. James uses the same forging house as Charles Hellis, which has been in business since 1904 and served many industries over the years. Hand engraving, when requested by the customer, is done by independent third-party engravers who also serve the local shotgun industry.

“I’d been around Hellis since my early teens, so I had at least seen and therefore had an appreciation for the machining and hand engraving that goes into shotgun manufacturing.  I spent a lot of time on the aesthetics of that first putter because I really wanted to get that right.  We knew there was going to be a fair amount of handwork involved in finishing the putter after the forging, but ensuring the overall shape of that forging was absolutely critical.”

Custom heel-toe weighted blade putter with hand engraving from James Ingles Putters

It’s worth taking a quick pause to point out an important distinction. There are loads of high-quality CNC milled putters today, which are milled by a computer to exacting tolerances from a 3D CAD model (think Tyson Lamb, Logan Olson, and the like). The “old fashioned” way many putter makers (such as T.P. Mills and his contemporaries) would have crafted their putters would have been start-to-finish on a hand-operated milling machine. One of the things that sets James’ putters apart is that they are first forged into a rough shape (not dissimilar to the way many forged irons are made) and then milled by hand into the finished product. This isn’t to say one method is objectively better or worse than another, only that they perhaps may arrive at a different result and may be for different customers.

“When we first came to market, everything we sold was direct to the consumer.  The golf industry was quite different in those days, so if you wanted to be competitive, you had to keep cost and margins as low as possible.  Then we started to partner with Scratch in 2013, which made sense for a lot of reasons.  Essentially, Scratch would work with the customer to define specifications and such.  They would send us that information and we would make the putters.  When Scratch went under in 2015, there were a host of other things going on in my life, though.  My first child had just been born and I had a full-time career as well, so going back to the way things were didn’t make sense.  I didn’t have the capability to have everything go directly through me anymore, so we made the decision to kind of shut things down for a while.”

Custom James Ingles Putter Covers

For the last five years, James’ life has mainly been focused on raising his two young kids and making a living as a building surveyor. By his own admission, he hadn’t even been playing much golf and had instead taken up long-distance running. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic started taking hold, and he started to introduce his now-five-year-old son to golf.

“We had gone to the driving range and Jude was having lots of fun hitting golf balls.  I also started to realize I could actually find the middle of the club face every now and again, so that was promising.  I then took him to the local pitch-and-putt and all of a sudden, all of my enjoyment for golf really just started flooding back.  I started an Instagram account for the golf business [@jamesinglesputters by the way] and posted pictures of Jude and I playing and also pictures of old putters I’d found lying around my garage.  Loads of people started commenting and messaging and it just felt like there was some unfinished business there.  Ultimately, I suppose that’s why we’re launching the business again and you and I are having this conversation.”

James Ingles putters have two main forgings that they can work from: the aforementioned 28g and also the 12g, a traditional heel-toe weighted blade design which can be finished in a number of ways depending on the customer’s preference. They are also capable of milling custom shapes from billet steel.  In addition to putters, James will be doing many small runs of accessories such as putter covers, ball markers, and divot tools.  All information can be found on his new website.

Your Reaction?
  • 9
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Equipment

Callaway announces huge all-stock merger deal with Topgolf

Published

on

Callaway Golf has announced an all-stock merger agreement with TopGolf with the number of shares to be issued based upon an implied equity value of Topgolf of approximately $2 billion – including the 14% already owned by Callaway.

Callaway first invested in the golf entertainment company, Topgolf, back in 2006 entering an exclusive golf partnership agreement at all Topgolf venues.

 

On the new deal expected to be completed in early 2021, Chip Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Callaway said that the all-stock merger between the two can create “an unrivaled golf and entertainment business”.

“Together, Callaway and Topgolf create an unrivaled golf and entertainment business. This combination unites proven leaders with a shared passion for delivering exceptional golf experiences for all from elite touring professionals to new and aspiring entrants to the game. We’ve long seen the value in Topgolf and we are confident that together, we can create a larger, higher growth, technology-enabled global golf and entertainment leader.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Callaway will issue approximately 90 million shares of its common stock to the shareholders of Topgolf, excluding Callaway, which currently holds approximately 14% of Topgolf’s outstanding shares. Upon completion of the merger, Callaway shareholders will own approximately 51.5%, and Topgolf shareholders (excluding Callaway) will own about 48.5% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.

Topgolf’s revenue for 2019 was approximately $1.1 billion, and the company currently has 63 locations worldwide, including 58 in the U.S., and has more than 23 million customers. Find out all about Topgolf here.

Your Reaction?
  • 44
  • LEGIT3
  • WOW10
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK8

Continue Reading

Equipment

What irons are left-handers playing? – GolfWRXers discuss

Published

on

In our forums, our lefty members have been dishing on the irons currently in their bag. WRXer ‘1221’ is in the market for a new set and wants to see what other left-handers have been finding success with, and our members have been sharing their clubs in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • dclccoritti: “Titleist…all blades. Love the look of the new TM P7-CB’s.”
  • LeftyMatt24: “I’m in T100s bent weak. They are an awesome middle ground between blades and players. Titleist offers their full line in left and right-handed. The new SEL from Mizuno is a good option. Can’t go wrong with Srixon z785 either.”
  • The_Champ: “Ping Blueprint.”
  • Llefty: “Srixon 585 3-PW and Bridgestone JGR Tour B HF2 5-AW.”

Entire Thread: “What irons are left-handers playing?

Your Reaction?
  • 2
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK3

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending