Monday, March 11, 2013

Non-Conformity As a Selling Point for Golf Clubs

If the anchoring ban stands, will golf manufacturers continue making long  putters and belly putters and market them to golfers for their anchored benefits? And will golfers continue to buy those clubs and use them in an anchored manner?

My opinion on that, right now, is no, that anchoring will fade away in the wake of the ban and all the rabble-rousing by golf company CEOs and complaining by golfers who currently anchor will amount to much ado about nothing. But that's right now. My opinion changes a lot on these questions.

In fact, a couple months ago, after TaylorMade CEO Mark King went off on the USGA and said his company would simply ignore an anchoring ban, I wrote a post headlined "Get ready for pro shops filled with non-conforming equipment."
Polara Advantage driver

Golf balls that don't conform to R&A/USGA rules, and clubs that don't conform, don't typically get stocked in pro shops. They don't normally get a lot of ink from golf publications. They don't, as standard practice, jump up and down, wave their arms, and shout, "hey look at me, I break the rules!"

But one company is trying to change that. Polara Golf, right now, is making, selling and touting non-conforming equipment, and the fact that its balls and clubs do break USGA rules is heavily touted in the company's press releases and ads. This isn't one of those small-print, back-of-the-magazine campaigns, but a company trying to take non-conformity mainstream.

Polara's first product was a golf ball that, through various design qualities that are, in fact, against the rules, greatly reduces (according to Polara, anyway) slices and hooks.

And now the company has taken the obvious next step by addressing driver distance. The Polara Advantage driver is non-conforming, and that's a selling point for the company.

"The Advantage Driver goes far beyond the performance limits set forth by the USGA," Polara's press release states right up-front.

What's non-conforming about it? From the press release, two against-the-rules elements are clear: its "trampoline effect" is above the limit (meaning the Polara Advantage driver exceeds the USGA/R&A limit on COR); and the club is 475cc in size (again, exceeding the "legal" limit established by the governing bodies).

Polara, the company says, "invents golf equipment that is only limited in its performance by the Laws of Physics."

Question: Are you willing to play with equipment that you know is non-conforming? Golf equipment companies are eagerly awaiting your reply.

2 comments:

  1. Question: what is the difference between a driver that corrects your hook or slice and the Polara ball? Answer: the ball costs $2, the driver costs $300, and the large golf companies could afford to "convince" the USGA to approve their $300 solution

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  2. a tradition of golf that predates the USGA is for 4 golfers to agree on the rules on the first tee: mulligans, gimme putts, etc. The USGA RUles are for the highest level competitions. Scrambles - not conforming to USGA rules; best ball company outings - not part of USGA rules... 100M golf charity event rounds per year - not played according to USGA Rules. If you play in a USGA sanctioned tournament, play by the rules. Otherwise, play your game and have fun. Establish a handicap with your nonconforming equipment: this levels the playing field for everyone.

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