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GolfWRX Exclusive: Costco Kirkland Signature wedge set coming soon (plus new balls for 2021)

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For gear heads, there is always a small amount of cynicism when a new company enters the golf equipment game. These companies are typically small startups selling big promises—but in the case of Costco and its new Kirkland Signature three-piece wedge set, we have one of the biggest forces in retail disrupting the golf equipment space and offering golfers performance and value as they have never experienced before.

The Costco Kirkland Signature 3-piece wedge set

Just over a month ago, we were the first to report on the Kirkland Signature wedges on the USGA and R&A conforming clubs list. Since then, there has been a lot of speculation on how and when they would be released.

Once again, GolfWRX was granted an exclusive interview with Tim Farmer, Costco vice president and general merchandise manager, to discuss the new three-piece wedge set along with a number of other new products being introduced in the coming months and into 2021—but before we get into the details of the new wedges and more, its time for a refresher.

History of the Kirkland Signature brand, from Costco 

“By taking the lead in sourcing and formulating new products, co-branding with premium national and international brands, and partnering with top manufacturers around the world, we’ve created an exclusive range of (Kirkland Signature) products that reflect our members’ tastes and exceed their expectations.”

Costco’s approach is to capitalize within a market where they believe an opportunity exists to be a price disruptor to other products currently available, and they are taking dead aim at golf.

The original golf breakthrough came with the introduction of the Kirkland Signature Tour Performance four-piece ball in late 2016. The story goes, Costco was approached by a manufacturer with its own IP on a golf ball design and the opportunity to produce a ball under the Kirkland brand. Independent testing conducted by a third party and Costco’s own internal testing proved the four-piece ball offered exceptional performance. The ball was then approved and shortly after arrived in warehouses.

“That’s when things went a little crazy,” says Farmer.

The $1.25 Golf Ball That Flew Off Costco's Shelves Is Only Growing ...

The price of $29.99 for two dozen four-piece urethane balls seemed too good to be true, but in the age of social media and launch monitors, golfers were buzzing, and the balls sold out almost immediately company-wide. Demand and buzz even created a secondary market where the golf balls were selling for 4-5 times their initial price including on eBay.

Costco was both shocked and excited, and the ball became the proof of concept that its own line of golf products could be in high demand by members.

The Kirkland Wedge set story

With the success of the golf balls, it was just a matter of time before Costco got into the club business, and its first product was the KS1 putter, which was a milled design with adjustable weights. Much like the golf balls, consumers were excited to test the new putter, and it quickly sold out across all locations and online—creating a rabid secondary market, much like the original ball.

The wedge shares a similar creative story to the putter in that Costco buyers approached a well-respected design firm, in this case, the Southern California Design company, to develop the wedges and work with a manufacturer for production. This isn’t SCD Co’s first time working in golf either—it had a hand in the (visual) creation of the Cobra AMP Cell irons, and another company Indi Golf and the StingRay wedges.

From concept to creation, the Costco team was deeply involved, and once prototypes were developed it was time for testing.

“The Kirkland Signature wedges have been independently tested and rate extreme high compared to other top brands in the industry” – Tim Farmer

This is a key to the Kirkland Signature promise – “To create products that meet or exceeds leading national brands,” and considering the more simplistic nature of wedge design relative to other clubs like drivers and fairway woods, that involves multi-material construction and other forgiveness mechanisms along with potentially expensive graphite shaft options. Wedges across the industry have fairly generic stock specs and shafts, which creates the potential for Costco to excel in the space.

The wedges won’t have multiple bounce or grind options like wedges from entrenched golf brands, but when you consider the vast majority of golfers have little understanding of those specs anyway and are mostly concerned in making sure they have a gap, sand, and lob wedge, these play the part extraordinarily well. The designers even made sure the soles feature both the loft and club designation (G) 52 degrees, (S) 56 degrees, and (L) 60 degrees.

The Kirkland Signature wedges have a traditionally shaped teardrop silhouette with moderately cambered soles and have milled groves to offer maximum spin and short game control.

Costco Kirkland Signature “Milled face Technology” wedge specs

Consistent with other packaged golf clubs, the specs reflect the greatest opportunity to offer a set of three wedges to the largest part of the golf consumer bell curve

  • Construction: Cast from soft 8620 carbon steel, with milled faces to maximize spin
  • Lofts & Lengths: 52°- 35.5″, 56°- 35.25″, 60° – 35″
  • Shafts: True Temper Wedge shaft (Steel only)
  • Grip:  Proprietary Kirkland designed grip – Manufacturer undisclosed
  • Right-hand only 

PLEASE NOTE: We at GolfWRX are doing what we can to secure wedges for in-hand pictures!

Availability & price

According to Farmer, the wedge set will become available online and within the top 50 US (golf) sales stores in the first week of October, with plans to expand into more stores moving forward.

The price for the three-piece set will be $159.99, which prices each individual wedge at just over $53 a wedge—an absolutely unheard of price point for a brand new OEM wedge.

As a newcomer to the golf space, Costco and its buyers are constantly changing their outlooks for products, and I have been told they have forecasted for a higher demand for the wedges compared to the KS-1 putter (which we will talk about in a moment) meaning for those early adopters, it should be a little easier to get your hands on a set when they hit shelves—or in the case of Costco, the warehouse floor.

Other new products on the horizon

When I last spoke with Tim Farmer about the launch of the KS-1 putter, I asked about other potential new products, and although at the time he was vague in confirming anything beyond a potential replacement to the popular three-piece ball, in our most recent discussion he was able to confirm that a new three-piece ball design has been finalized and should be in warehouses towards the end of October and into early November this year and priced at $24.99.

The last product confirmation from Tim is a completely new Kirkland Signature four-piece urethane performance ball with the current timeline having them arriving online starting in early 2021 and priced at $29.99. Unreal value in the golf ball market.

We would not be performing our journalistic duty if we didn’t remind you that it was just over a year ago when Costco initially launched its second-generation four-piece ball that struggled with quality control and was quickly pulled. Those customers who did purchase them were refunded immediately—which is another shining example of Costco’s commitment to customer service and standing behind all of its products.

With that in the rearview mirror, Tim told me they are very excited about the new four-piece urethane ball and are looking forward to getting it into golfers’ hands.

Last but not least, for those still interested in getting their hands on a KS1 Putter, Tim was excited to inform me that stores, which previously carried them, as well as the online store, should be getting a restock around the middle of October.

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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.

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. EdR

    Nov 5, 2020 at 11:33 am

    Costco is discriminating against left handers!!

    None available for us!

  2. Matt Derian

    Oct 6, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Any sightings yet?

  3. John M

    Sep 8, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Just ordered Kirkland putter weights off Costco site. Hurry! Make sure you hit refresh

    • Dave

      Sep 8, 2020 at 5:25 pm

      You are the man! I check every morning. I just got one. Thank you!

  4. Jason

    Sep 6, 2020 at 12:56 am

    Current balls are rubbish. Hope the new ones are better

  5. StanL

    Sep 2, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    So, how do we know which costco stores are the top 50 in golf equipment to be able to purchase in store? Their website leaves a bit to be desired

  6. Tom Davis

    Sep 2, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    At least the 54 and 60 degree clubs HAVE to have some bounce. Has Costco published what the bounce of those clubs will be?

    • Bob

      Oct 24, 2020 at 7:38 pm

      10 degrees on the 52 and 56 8 degrees on the 60 is what is on the box. In stock at La Quinta Costco

  7. jim

    Sep 2, 2020 at 10:27 am

    LOVE THIS QUOTE. “Wedges across the industry have fairly generic stock specs and shafts, which creates the potential for Costco to excel in the space.”

  8. Jack Nash

    Sep 2, 2020 at 10:25 am

    Play the 3 piece ball and it’s great.

  9. Howard Hayden

    Sep 2, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Are quoted prices for the new balls for a dozen or two dozen?

  10. Jarnio Bubly

    Sep 1, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    If one of these kids signs with Costco Kirkland and wins with a freshly developed full set of these at the extremely lower price points I wonder how it’d change the equipment industry?

    • Gianni's Dad

      Sep 1, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Spieth ditches the 009 for the ksig1 lol

  11. Dave Sims

    Aug 31, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    C’mon for real? You can get like new Cleveland’s and Vokey’s for $49 on eBay. Who gonna buy wedges with a big Costco Sig brand writing on the back. They look like Kmart clubs, anybody for some KSig Vodka to match you 60*?

    • sinkster

      Sep 1, 2020 at 11:00 am

      Careful with Ebay as at that price point most certainly fakes.

    • Brian

      Sep 1, 2020 at 6:15 pm

      Chinese counterfeits, perhaps.

      • Sam Snead

        Sep 1, 2020 at 8:04 pm

        There are probably a hand full of contract manufacturers who make irons and wedges in China for 90% of the golf industry. These CMs make the top tier to bottom and possibly heads that are later turned into fakes. Basically if a company provides tooling and/or drawings they will make it. The same concept as Endo making all the heady forgings. Price is dictated by the amount of quality, materials and marketing.

        That being said, if I we’re saving money on a wedge I’d go used or get some Wilson harmonized. Anyone who says groves wear out hasn’t looked at photos of Gene Sarazen’s or Seve’s club faces

  12. Annsguy

    Aug 31, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    This should make for some fun debate in the morning.

  13. Mashed Potato

    Aug 31, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    Is it true that they only come in packs of 10?

  14. Matt Smith

    Aug 31, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    Has several key similarities to Vokey wedges

    • jgpl001

      Sep 1, 2020 at 5:26 am

      Yes, it comes in 52, 56 and 60 deg lofts, it has grooves and a true temper shaft and a grip…..end of..

  15. GMac

    Aug 31, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    I just purchased the Kirkland putter this past Friday online. Currently in stock. No weight kit available.

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Equipment

XXIO unveils next-generation X lineup

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XXIO has today introduced its all-new XXIO X family of clubs that launch at retail on February 11, 2022.

At the core of the new lightweight X drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids is ActivWing: a technology that stabilizes the clubhead by altering aerodynamic forces at work in the first half of the downswing. The airfoil generates lift to guide the club to its optimal impact angle in design to provide maximum speed and distance.

Speaking on the new additions, Brian Schielke, General Manager at XXIO. said

“XXIO X has the DNA of every XXIO product – lightweight and easy to swing. However, it’s tuned to the more accomplished player. More compact irons, lower spinning woods, and stiffer shafts make X a great choice for better players looking to increase their speed and experience the benefits of XXIO.”

The woods feature Rebound Frame Technology, with four alternating layers of stiff and flexible zones enhancing overall COR.

In addition, for the first time, X drivers feature Rebound Frame with a Cup Face in design to offer more power on strikes across the face, while on the irons, a thinner face allows the entire face to flex more extensively while grooves etched deep into the interior of the iron body further enhance flex.

The clubs contain a heavier clubhead and an extremely lightweight shaft which work together in a bid to increase ball speed and swing speed at the same time, while manufacturers positioned mass under the grip, behind the hands in design to help players find the ideal spot at the top of their swing to make the downswing more consistent.

In addition, XXIO is also introducing its Rebound Drive golf balls which feature the company’s proprietary Rebound Frame Technology, which interposes areas with high and low rigidity in a bid to produce just the right amount of flex for higher initial ball speeds along with a pure feel at impact. 

Specs, Availability & Pricing

XXIO X

  • U.S. Retail Launch Date: February 11, 2022
  • Pricing: $699.99 for XXIO X driver, $399.99 for XXIO X fairway woods, $299.99 for XXIO X hybrids, $199.99 for individual steel irons/$224.99 for individual graphite irons, $1,199.99 for six-piece steel set/$1,349.99 for six-piece graphite set

XXIO Rebound Drive Golf Balls

  • Colors: Premium White, Lime Yellow, Premium Pink and 4 Color Pack (Premium Pink, Lime
  • Yellow, Orange, and Ruby Red)
  • U.S. Retails Launch Date: February 11, 2022.
  • Pricing: $49.99
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3-wood (or alternative) for someone who can’t hit one – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing 3-woods for players who generally struggle with the club. WRXer ‘SpartyJeff’ is looking to add a 3-wood to the bag despite his difficulty to hit the club and kicks off the thread saying:

“I’m about a 3 handicap and currently have a massive gap between driver and 2 driving iron. All in all, I’m not a bad ball striker, but I absolutely cannot hit a 3-wood. Bagged the Titleist 915F for years (I know bad idea). Any suggestions on forgiving three woods? Been kicking around the idea of the Callaway Apex UW and a 2 hybrid (used to love my 2 hybrid).”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts 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.

  • MilfordLefty: “A forgiving 3-wood is a 5-wood. The 17° Apex UW is 5-wood loft with an inch shorter shaft, so a good option.”
  • Dax279: “If you can, try the PXG XF 3 wood. I was surprised to find how easy it was to launch off the fairway and the tee. It is lofted 1 degree higher than a regular 3-wood as well and so is kind of like a 4-wood.”
  • kwxsports: “‘ve got a TM High Launch 16.5 that is the easiest I’ve ever hit. It’s really a 4-wood I guess.”
  • scooterhd2: “Cobra F6 Baffler.”

Entire Thread: “3-wood (or alternative) for someone who can’t hit one

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Club Champion acquires TXG

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Club Champion has today announced the acquisition of Canadian fitter and builder Tour Experience Golf (TXG), bringing the two most prominent custom club fitters on the continent together.

This integration marks the first time that Club Champion will bring their club fitting services beyond USA borders.

Speaking on the merge, Nick Sherburne, co-founder of Club Champion, said

“We are incredibly excited to bring Ian and his crew into the Club Champion family. We’re looking forward to bringing the best of both our capabilities together to serve every golfer.”

According to the press release, the intent behind the merger is “to further expand custom club fitting services across the Canadian golf market and to bring some crossover to the fitting content available for all golfers from both brands.”

On the acquisition, Ian Fraser, TXG’s founder, stated

“There has always been a mutual admiration between TXG and Club Champion. We share a similar belief that every golfer deserves the best possible equipment for their game, and now we get to work together to further that message.”

Club Champion currently has an in-house studio and production crew, while Fraser and his team at TXG have built a digital platform through social channels, including YouTube. TXG has amassed millions of views across the digital board, with 175K subscribers on YouTube alone at the time of publication.

Per the release, TXG’s existing content strategy will lend itself well to Club Champion’s growing presence, and both brands plan to lean on each other to produce quality content for golfers of all levels.

“We’ve got a podcast, they’ve got a podcast. They’ve got awesome video content and we’ve only just started dipping our toes into that lake. This partnership is about so much more than just the masterful club fitting and building services we both offer. It’s about bringing two of the most prominent names in the golf equipment industry together to promote the best possible clubs, the best possible experience, and the best possible service you can find this side of a Tour card.” – Adam Levy, CEO of Club Champion

 

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