MacGregor Becoming a Golfsmith House Brand

MacGregor Golf has been around as a golf equipment manufacturer for more than 110 years. But that long company history is at an end - retail giant Golfsmith has purchased the MacGregor name and will keep the MacGregor brand alive as a "house brand."

Golfsmith, based in Austin, Texas, has several "house brands," clubs it makes and sells under the brand names of formerly independent companies. Among those are Lynx and Snake Eyes; MacGregor will be the newest.

MacGregor, which was based in Albany, Ga., claims that more majors (59) were won with MacGregor clubs than with clubs made by any other company. Many of those majors were accounted for by Jack Nicklaus, who was long associated with MacGregor. In fact, Nicklaus was the owner of MacGregor for many years, before selling in the 1980s.

More recently, MacGregor was associated with Greg Norman, making The Greg Norman Collection apparel line. Norman acquired partial ownership of MacGregor several years ago, but when Norman switched to playing TaylorMade clubs recently many saw the writing on the wall for MacGregor.

Golfsmith's news release announcing its acquisition of the MacGregor brand claims that "the MacGregor Golf brand will further solidify Golfsmith's proprietary brand and product strategy, which is positioned in a complementary manner to the strong presence of the major golf brands."

It's that "complementary" role that Norman believes doomed MacGregor. Norman told Golfweek, "The golf equipment industry is not conducive for mid-tier brands."

Golfsmith said the MacGregor brand will be re-launched with game-improvement clubs and balls, plus accessories suchs as bags and gloves, with new MacGregor-branded product ready for the holiday shopping season later this year, but most planned for Spring 2010.

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