The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - 2

RECREATIONAL GOLF An opportune time for equipment creative disruption: Why Wilson Golf could be in Position A By Jim Koppenhaver W inston Churchill is credited with the quote, "Never let a good crisis go to waste." Our own mayor here in Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, expanded on that more recently by saying, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." While I'm not party-aligned with the mayor, I have to say that I've been a big fan of some of the ways he's put the above thinking in motion here in Chicago (i.e. unpopular but factually sound assessments of the number and distribution of Chicago public schools and eliminating the ones where the math doesn't work). This month's article looks at how we might put that logic to work in the golf industry in the midst of a sea change in the golf equipment sector. I have to admit I've been lying in wait for over a decade for the stars to align on this. Let's go back in time to Spring of 2004 and the International Network of Golf (ING) conference. One of the State of the Industry panelists (interestingly the panel was moderated by our now Editor-in-Chief Jim Dunlap) was the Media & Communications Director for Nike Golf. During the panel he had outlined how Nike was going to revolutionize golf by applying their marketing muscle, prowess, etc. to the golf equipment category to both grow the category and steal share to become the dominant player over the next 5 years. (That would have been '09, quick fact check shatters that crystal ball prediction). My comment to him was, "I think you're going to find that tougher sledding than you think but I do think you'll have success in carving out a piece of the equipment category with all the assets at your disposal." I went on to ask him why they didn't think about the category disruptively in parallel and outlined to him why I thought Nike also developing and launching recreational equipment could be a much easier, less-contested path to growth. There were several support points to my theory: * Nike had no golf "tradition" to defend so, unlike other players who were all committed to the "serious golfer," Nike could have followed their "big tent" positioning in other sports founded upon the principle of, "If you have a body, you are an athlete." * They were likely going to have better success and distribution in the off-course, big-box retailer channel where it's all about volume and the largest consumer base vs. tradition, legacy and the sometimes sacred ground of green grass (which is governed quite often by the PGA pro). They had less to lose in the eyes of their retail partners with the radical concept of introducing recreational equipment. 2 The Pellucid PersPecTive * They had an experienced and talented group of designers and, at one point, rumors circulated that several of the major equipment manufacturers had developed recreational (AKA non-conforming) prototypes, everyone was just waiting for someone else to open that can of worms and then be a fastfollower if it caught on. They had the ability to bring a good product to the market. * They had the patience, money and marketing savvy to take on the USGA if it became a war of words and who could shout the loudest for the longest. Despite all that, he explained to me that Nike had observed the clash and carnage from the PING-USGA smackdown and the combination of that and an initial confrontation with the USGA on the CoR issue had persuaded them that being "in the fraternity" was the more likely path to success in equipment than being the party crasher who somehow becomes the life of the party before the night's over. In other words, unlike any of Wilson Golf checks a number of boxes for being the next likely candidate as the spoiler for recreational golf equipment. the other sports in which they've competed and ferociously innovated to win, they were choosing to play ball in golf and try to out-Titleist Titleist. I bit my tongue and moved on to the next conference in the rotation and similar discussions, just different players each time but a consistent logic that everyone was going to win by outplaying the folks with brand equity, the green grass loyalty and distribution base and the pyramid of influence working in their favor. The next logical candidate to be the standard bearer (OK, guinea pig) for developing and introducing recreational golf September 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016

An opportune time for equipment creative disruption: Why Wilson Golf could be in Position A
Companies launch pay-per-hole, pay-for-time options
Superintendents key players in courses’ survival
Myrtle Beach market a testimony to cooperation
Golf weather impact: Aug down slightly; July utilization holds
Cardinals not the only ones in the red in St. Louis
Finally, some help for golf ’s time crunch
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - 1
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - An opportune time for equipment creative disruption: Why Wilson Golf could be in Position A
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - Companies launch pay-per-hole, pay-for-time options
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - 6
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - Superintendents key players in courses’ survival
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - 8
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - Myrtle Beach market a testimony to cooperation
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - 10
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - Golf weather impact: Aug down slightly; July utilization holds
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - 12
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - Cardinals not the only ones in the red in St. Louis
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - 15
The Pellucid Perspective - September 2016 - Finally, some help for golf ’s time crunch
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