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With the success of the Kirkland putter, what’s next for Costco and golf?

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It was like a raging fire that started with just a single spark—Costco getting into the golf market with a private label Kirkland Signature ball that challenged the conventional consumer mindset about what was possible from a non-traditional golf brand.

Enter the Costco putter

Almost four years later, Costco took it another step further when they introduced their very first private label golf club, the Kirkland Signature putter, the KS1, and once again the golf market and consumers took notice.

Within days of showing up online and at warehouses around the U.S., the KS1 putter was officially sold out and they were being resold online for more than double the price.  At GolfWRX we had an exclusive interview with Tim Farmer, Costco vice president, and general merchandise manager, you can read the whole story here: The story behind the Costco KS1 Putter

This leads us to the question “What could be next for Costco’s private label in the golf market place moving forward?” Like many Kirkland Signature products, Costco saw an opportunity in the marketplace and created a product to meet demand. They’ve already done it with accessories including the Kirkland Signature premium Cabretta leather golf glove, and the recent release of hats.

Is the KS1 putter just be the beginning?

When I spoke with Farmer about the release of the Costco KS1 putter we talked about other potential products without ever going into specifics beyond a potential replacement for the current 3-piece urethane ball.

The only answer, when asked about other clubs beyond the putter was, “We are always working on new products that offer value to our members,” and to this day the answer still has my mind thinking of the many potential options for a club that could offer value to golfers.

If we look at the current golf club marketplace every segment has a clear leader or a couple of companies the take up a major part of the category sales. When thinking about the general consumer and a club that requires the least amount of customizing of at least can be done quickly after the fact, I continually think of wedges—and this could be Costco’s next step. Perhaps a set of three wedges sold in a box with distinct lofts—most likely being 52, 56, and 60 degrees.

Why Costco wedges?

In the current market, brand new wedges from major OEMs sell for over $150 each, and most are bought off the rack with small adjustments like lie changes and grips done after the purchase. This makes a new set of three wedges cost over $450 before tax, and with that in mind, is why you see most consumer golfers, only replace one wedge at a time instead of all three at once—and there you have the sales pitch!

If Costco introduces a set of three wedges under the $250 price point (my assumption would be they probably settle around $225), then you give golfers a huge opportunity to replace a neglected part of their bag with three new clubs for the price of one and a half major OEM products.

Costco and the Kirkland Signature brand have time and time again proven people wrong when they launch new products in spaces where they are newcomers. In golf, it was the ball, and then the putter, and if my hunch is right, you may one day be able to buy yourself some KS wedges.

 

 

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Ryan Barath is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Bill Barker

    Jun 25, 2020 at 11:21 am

    Well the balls seem to work well if you don’t mis-hit them and leave a cut which I haven’t seen on a ball in years.

  2. Charlie

    Jun 24, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    I have been very happy with the Kirkland golf balls. For me, they perform as well as name-brand pro model golf balls that cost 2-3 times as much. At my grip-it-and-rip-it local GC near Austin, TX, I lose very few balls but seems like every month I find lost Kirkland balls more often. Must be more and more golfer are using them.

  3. Delbert

    Jun 24, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    A bag deal with Justin Rose or John Daly is next. We find those Kirkland balls in the range bucket every day. They are taking over. Run!

  4. boydenit

    Jun 24, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Go Costco Go! Enough of the overpriced China stuff! Golf Shafts $399, Drivers $500, Bags $250, Putter $299, Golf Balls $52/12 that are off center! Kirkland balls are 24 for $30, Gloves are 4 for $20 and now a Kirkland putter! Golf needs healthy dose of Deflation!

  5. Brian

    Jun 24, 2020 at 8:56 am

    The Kirkland stuff prior to the putter would suffice, but I have to imagine this will be the start of more clubs. Can’t wait to see what irons or wedges the come out with

  6. Cody Reeder

    Jun 23, 2020 at 10:21 am

    So who is going to end up more disruptive? PXG with their ultra premium price strategy or Kirkland with the budget strategy??

    • simms

      Jun 23, 2020 at 6:16 pm

      PXG is playing the low end game also, where you been.

  7. jgpl001

    Jun 23, 2020 at 4:07 am

    Why would anyone want to buy this stuff when OEM’s last model and mint second hand clubs are heavily discounted – M5/M6, SM7 wedges, Cobra F9, Callaway Epic, Ping G400, Ping i200, etc.

    Would you rather bag a mint M5 with a top notch upgraded shaft for $250 or a Costco driver?

    If the answer is the Costco driver than you are on the wrong website…

    • Ryan Barath

      Jun 23, 2020 at 9:06 am

      It’s a very valid point, but we have to remember that there are a lot of regular golfers that don’t want or like to buy used equipment, and also want to be able to buy a club/clubs and immediately use them.
      Costco has built one of the biggest businesses in the world by delivering exceptional value and building a strong relationship with its members. “If Kirkland is on it, then it must be a great product” is how many shoppers view Costco products and if they do deliver something as I have hypothesized then it will sell and it will be a great value for those golfers looking for new wedges.

      • jgpl001

        Jun 24, 2020 at 9:31 am

        And you make a good point also, but the look of a bag and the clubs you play means a lot (snob value is alive and well) and a Kirkland bag with Costco clubs leaves me a little flat. For me the point is if you go into any golf shot there will always be bargains in OEM lines, discontinued models, etc., just pick them up, pay and go out and play

  8. je

    Jun 22, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    Not sure about it. Many good major brand clubs will be heavily discounted a couple of years later. I even got mint callaway 2019 wedges for $60 from callaway preowned. Last year, it was $160. I know many were curious and bought ks1. But aren’t those good odyssey putters half off years later? And aren’t those odyssey putters better? For wedges, they lost values even quicker as new wedges will give more spin (at least they claim so). Looking at the price of a few year old vokey wedges, the most popular brand in wedges, I’m not sure how many would buy kirkland wedges.

  9. gwelfgulfer

    Jun 22, 2020 at 11:53 am

    If they want to change opinions, do a 50/54/58 set rather than 52/56/60 given the jacked lots of things, it would better suit gapping. Well, unless you have one of those sets that has 2 ‘wedges’ before you even get to a the 50/52 degree range…

  10. Carolyn

    Jun 22, 2020 at 11:15 am

    At my Costco they are selling 2 dozen VICE 3 piece urethane balls for $29.95…the last issue of the 4 piece ball was a flop…they still had a few putters this week but I did not see it as such a great deal, just an Odyssey putter with a different name plate. What next maybe a Driver from the same company that makes the Tommy Armour for Dick’s they can sell for $199?.

  11. Fredo

    Jun 22, 2020 at 11:11 am

    There is 2 chances I would game any big box stores equipment, slim to none, and slim left town. Sorry had to get that in. The real reason is that I want my local golf retailer (Alameda GolfWorks and Corica GC) and golf courses to stay open, so I support LOCAL!

    • Tyler Durden

      Jun 22, 2020 at 12:28 pm

      NOBODY CARES

    • brian

      Jun 22, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      I’ll support my local golf courses by playing more rounds with the money I save on golf balls, gloves, and gear from Costco.

  12. brian

    Jun 22, 2020 at 9:33 am

    I have to say, I’ve been very happy with the Kirkland golf products I’ve used. The original 4 piece ball was fantastic and the 3 piece is a great value proposition and performs very well. However, in my opinion, the Kirkland gloves are the real winner. The sizing is a little bit inconsistent, but the quality for the price ($5 per glove) for a piece of equipment you replace with regularity cannot be beat. They’re also very durable, from my experience.

    • Brandon

      Jun 23, 2020 at 12:05 am

      Agreed. I have enough K Sig gloves in the closet to last a few years.

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Equipment

GolfWRXers showcase their first ever driver

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In our forums, our members have been displaying their first ever driver. WRXer ‘Mackepa’ wants to know what driver fellow members learned the sport with, who himself began with a Callaway Little Bertha 5 club set.

Our members have been sharing photos of their first driver and how they feel about the club today.

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.

  • mogc60: “Hogan Speedslot persimmon. Had the 2 and 4 wood as well. My grandpa insisted I start playing golf at 15, and he gave me these.”
  • scooterhd2: “Still gaming my first driver (above photo). I’ve cheated on it a few times but keep going back to it. Worn grip, epoxy rattle, and all. Just goes straight for me.”
  • electroleum: “The first driver I had with a proper set of golf clubs was a MacGregor Dx Power Pyramid driver. Had the full matching set.”
  • jwhite86: “My first real driver was a Taylor Made 360… bought it right after the 500 series came out… let a friend try it at the range, and it immediately got a sky mark…”

Entire Thread: “GolfWRXers showcase their first ever driver”

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (05/26/21): Autoflex Shaft (Pink) SF505XX

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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 Autoflex Shaft (Pink) SF505XX.

From the seller (T-Bone84): “Brand new shaft that was put in my SIM 2 and never hit because I got a PING that I like so much better, my stupidity is your gain.  Measures 44” tip to grip with Taylormade adapter and Tour Velevet Midsize. $675.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Autoflex Shaft (Pink) SF505XX.

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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Whats in the Bag

Xander Schauffele WITB 2021 (May)

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Driver: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond (9 degrees @8, 6GF, 6GB)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD BB 7 X (custom black, 45.5 inches, tipped 1 inch, D3)

(Photo via Callaway’s Johnny Wunder)

3-wood: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond (15 degrees @14.5)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7 X (43.25, tipped 1.5 inch, D3)

7-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (20 degrees @18.8)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 9 X (black, 41.5 inches, tipped 2 inches, D3)

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

(Photo via Callaway’s Johnny Wunder)

(Photo via Callaway’s Johnny Wunder)

Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 (52-10S), Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (56-10 @57), Titleist Vokey Design SM8 WedgeWorks (60-T @61)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: Odyssey O-Works #7 CH Red

(Photo via Callaway’s Johnny Wunder)

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X (2020)

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