January 30, 2017

NO SUCH THING AS QUALITY:

The Most Coveted Ball in Golf Is From Costco (Brian Costa, 1/30/17, WSJ)

Costco, the warehouse retail giant, first began selling golf balls last fall, under its Kirkland Signature brand that is affixed to a wide range of products and carries discount prices. Available for $29.99 for two dozen, the balls instantly ranked among the cheapest on the market.

But what made the balls a hot item among fanatical golfers is the revelation that, by some accounts, they perform like rivals that sell for more than twice as much.

That idea sent shock waves through a billion-dollar industry, left Costco out of stock for weeks at a time and caused secondary-market prices for the ball to soar. Its popularity is threatening one of the sport's long-held consumer beliefs: when it comes to the quality of golf balls, you generally get what you pay for.

"This is just a perception killer," said Adam Beach, owner of an equipment review website called MyGolfSpy, which bills itself as the Consumer Reports of golf. "This will change the entire industry."

Making the phenomenon all the more surprising is that Costco isn't really in the golf business. It doesn't employ teams of ball engineers, researchers and designers like name-brand ball makers such as Titleist, Callaway and Bridgestone. It doesn't endorse any professional golfers.

Posted by at January 30, 2017 8:38 AM

  

« MAKING THE ACLU GREAT AGAIN: | Main | RETIRING RECORDS RIGHT AND LEFT: »