Srixon Sports three-pronged attack

    Golf Retailing editor, Dan Owen caught up with Lionel Caron, Chief Operating Officer at Srixon Sports Europe to find out how the three distinct brands give them an advantage in the marketplace.


    How have the three brands settled into their new Ash Vale HQ?
    Very well, thank you. The move was a tremendous change for us at the beginning of 2023 and we are now fully installed in our new HQ for UK and Europe.

    We are now in a larger facility and a more modern environment for the team to work in. The previous location in Alton was too small to welcome and support the team and the changes were necessary to support the growth we have experienced in Europe and UK for a few years now.

    The new building also features a larger production facility with the warehouse and workshop producing our made-on-demand golf clubs across the 3 brands for UK, Europe and the Middle East. This in turn gives us a larger production capacity and helps us to reduce lead time on custom fit orders for retailers throughout these different regions.

    Cleveland Golf has launched an entire new line of hardware for 24. How has the product improved, and why should retailers look to stock it if they aren’t already?
    First of all, this collection which consists of a driver, a fairway wood, a Hy-wood, a hybrid and two sets of irons is designed for game improvement players looking for easy performance.

    The R&D Department has worked extremely hard to get a level of performance never achieved previously with Cleveland Golf clubs.

    From a retailer standpoint, the strengths of Cleveland Golf remain the same: our price point positions us as a perfect alternative to the bigger brands, a strong combination of low commitment requirement and greater margins to inflate cash flow and, as usual for our Group a 2-year product life cycle. This is all part of our long-term vision and B2B approach to the market that I believe helps protect the retailers business.

    In addition to the woods and irons line up, the new CBX4 completes our wedge offering for players using cavity back irons, helping to make their short game easier and more efficient. As you know Cleveland Golf is the leader in innovation for this sector of the market, delivering the largest portfolio of models, heads, bounces, finishes and lofts to offer every golfer a solution for their short game. This CBX4 cavity back wedge will complement the blade version released last year, the RTX6 model and our super game improvement family, Smart Sole. Featuring our largest faces, extra wide Three-Tiered Soles, plus HydraZip spin and UltiZip groove technologies, Smart Sole also now features Full-Face grooves, taking the guesswork out of wedge play and making it easy to get on the green in one swing.

    XXIO 13 has also just been unveiled. How has the lineup improved in 24?
    XXIO is a unique brand in the market, providing lower swing speed golfers with such qualitative products that are probably the lightest on the market.

    The attention to detail in production for this 13th generation is phenomenal. The materials used are best-in-class and focus on our mantra “lightweight technology and easy to swing”. We guarantee any golfer trying XXIO clubs will experience something completely unique. Through our limited distribution network, the retailers who are promoting XXIO to their lower swing speed players audience have all experienced huge revenues and grateful customers who have recovered lost distance and performance simply by switching to XXIO.

    What is new from Srixon?

    We have two exciting new launches for Srixon this year in the golf ball category, with the new AD333, the best two-piece ball model in the UK and EU markets plus the new Q-STAR TOUR. This three-piece ball, with its lower compression offers the perfect combination of distance and feel. The new Q-STAR TOUR model will also be available in the split-colour DIVIDE version, providing perfect alignment when putting.

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of looking after three distinct golf brands concurrently?

    Sometimes it’s easy to think of it as a disadvantage because we must look after three brands and spread our efforts to support each of them. But honestly, it’s not. Each brand targets a different audience.

    We specifically develop game improvement products with Cleveland Golf. XXIO is a luxury product designed for slower swing speed golfers and Srixon is our tour-inspired brand with premium-performance forged golf clubs. It’s all positive from my side because we have different R&D and engineering teams fully focused on working and developing different categories of products, which ultimately will benefit a wide variety of golfers. Whilst other brands are trying to accommodate the same golf clubs with different shaft variations, we specifically produce golf clubs that are perfectly adapted to the requirements of each category of golfer. You’ll never come across a customer who cannot find the perfect club offering for him or her in our range along with a higher level of performance compared to what they used to play with.

    Golf is changing and trying to become more sustainable; how are you expanding your efforts in that area?

    For years we have been going to great lengths to improve sustainability across the entire business. Since 2005 our manufacturing facilities at Ichijima and Miyazaki in Japan have been achieving zero emissions. We have also engaged drastic efforts to reduce the usage of plastic within our ball packaging.

    Our Sports Business is also actively engaged in efforts to make carbon neutral golf balls and tennis balls a reality. Our Golf Business has set targets to raise the sustainable raw material content of all practice golf balls sold to 20% by 2030 and to complete the transition to 100% sustainable raw materials in all golf balls sold by 2050.

    As an example of our journey on this path, at last year’s Dunlop Phoenix Tournament Srixon showcased Z-STAR+e. This environmentally conscious golf ball concept (not for sale) incorporates biomass-based materials in selected parts while maintaining the exceptional standards of the existing Z-STAR model. The ball cover of the SRIXON Z-STAR+e is made from bio-urethane extracted from corn, which lowers carbon dioxide emissions in the manufacturing process compared to traditional petroleum-based materials. This is a milestone for the ball manufacturing and as far as I know probably the first ball made from 100% sustainable raw material in the world. GR

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    As an avid golfer since the age of eleven Dan lives and breathes all things golf.  With a current handicap of eleven he gets out and plays as often as his work life (and girlfriend) allows. Dan confesses to still being like a kid at Christmas when it comes to seeing the latest golf equipment. Having served as GolfPunk’s Deputy Editor, and resident golf geek for the past 13 years and working for golf's oldest brand, John Letters Dan brings to GOLF RETAILING an excellent understanding of the sector.