Golf Retailing spoke to Ben Welch, Golf Club Category Manager at Titleist, about how the new limited edition black T100.S and T200 irons can help retailers sell the full T-Series line-up
What was the thinking behind the line extensions?
We would not call these line extensions, but more limited release finishes. We know golfers love the chrome look and feel we have always utilised in our iron family, but there are a growing number of players that love the look of the highly polished black PVD – even tour pros, most notably Lanto Griffin and Cameron Smith on the PGA Tour, are starting to put them in play.
Why not introduce black finishes at the launch of a line?
That is a good question. We find that making a limited finish available after launch, as we have done with the T100.S and T200, helps to inject new interest in the whole T-Series range, which in turn helps to support our two-year product life cycle strategy. We always see a real spike in the entire line up when these products are brought to market, making it an important opportunity for retailers to help drive further interest in the entire line-up.
Why is the black finish popular? Have you experimented with other options?
We are always experimenting with different colours and finishes, but it is hard to move away from the stealthy look of the high polish black PVD that our customer has come to love. There are also a lot of golfers out there who like to complement their black finish Vokey Design wedges with these irons to create an all-black line-up, which looks especially eye-catching.
How do the black finish and these limited-edition products potentially help a retailer?
These black irons are a unique opportunity for us to give the end consumer something they have been telling us they want. We have already seen great demand for both the T100.S and T200 thanks to their blend of classic design and modern technology, offering the look and feel of a player’s iron, alongside the speed, launch and forgiveness of a more distance-focused product. Not everyone will be able to get a set of the limited finish products, but by highlighting these with consumers as a way to once again talk about the benefits of the core product, we are giving retailers a chance to take advantage of the increased demand they generate in the entire T-Series line-up.
How important is Wedgeworks becoming to the Vokey brand?
Customisation is a growing trend amongst the best players in the world, but also with regular golfers. The ability to make each product bespoke to the individual golfer’s game has always been something we have strived for, and our increased investment in the WedgeWorks programme here in Europe ideally positions us to do that. Following the recent addition of a dedicated wedge ‘cell’ at our European HQ in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, we can now meet the growing demand for this kind of service – giving retailers a chance to offer a range of grinds, bounces, finishes and lofts, alongside any number of customisations options, to suit everyone’s game.