According to “reputable sources” close to golf website MyGolfSpy, TaylorMade, a subsidiary of Adidas, “is planning to launch a line of non-conforming golf clubs,” reports senior equipment insider Tony Covey.
“This is nothing less than the biggest equipment story since…well…maybe ever,” Covey says. “While one reliable source recently put the probability of a non-conforming line at 100%, I’d personally be shocked to see a single USGA illegal club with the TaylorMade logo on it. Adams (also owned by Adidas) is a better possibility.”
In addition to the above report, an independent source close to Polara Golf this week suggested even more, telling company officials that “TaylorMade will positively start selling a non-conforming driver starting in November,” with an announcement expected within 30 days.
The unofficial news comes several months after overtures from a senior TaylorMade official, suggested his company will follow Polara Golf’s lead in the manufacturing of non-conforming equipment designed for recreational players. “Our job is to make sure we get golfers excited to go out and play more golf, and we can do that with better performance,” said Taylormade's Sean Toulon. “If the ruling bodies don’t like it, then it goes wherever it goes.”
In reaction to the rumor, Polara Golf acknowledged TaylorMade’s interest in non-conforming equipment, just two years after the the upstart Carlsbad, CA equipment company made waves in The New York Times, Fox News, CNBC, and others with their Ultimate Straight golf balls and their Advantage Driver, new for this year.
Today golf is facing the same kind of decline in participation and revenues that skiing, baseball and tennis faced years ago. “It was the performance characteristics of oversized rackets, metal bats, snow boards, and shaped skis that helped increase participation and revenues for those sports because the new equipment made the sport easier to learn and more fun to play.
Polara Golf is executing a similar strategy for golf. We were the first golf company to invent, market, and sell recreational golf equipment that truly makes the game easier to learn and more fun to play. We’re flattered that others are seemingly following our lead.”
Last year, Polara Golf commissioned a Google Consumer survey that found 73% of golfers admit to not following the rules, fewer than 15% keep a handicap, and 63% would consider playing non-conforming equipment in an effort to maximize their enjoyment of the game. A similar poll conducted by MyGolfSpy found that 76% felt consumers should have better access to non-conforming equipment.
“The closest parallel I can find to golf equipment is competitive cycling,” concluded Covey. “If I just want something to ride around the neighborhood, my choices aren’t limited to legal bikes. I’m free to buy a non-conforming bike from any number of reputable, top-tier companies, and nobody is going to accuse me of cheating in doing so. How is that any different from a recreational golfer who plays non-conforming clubs?”