: COBRA Golf has introduced a new KING LTD Driver. It features a SpacePort design that allowed the brand’s R&D team to strategically position the Center of Gravity (CG) and make COBRA Golf’s key internal speed and stability technologies visible for the first time.
“The KING COBRA franchise is synonymous with the brands’ heritage. Now, the new KING LTD driver is the next generation of product under the KING COBRA
Cobra King LTD Driver
name, building upon the legacy created by COBRA Founder, Tom Crow, in 1990,” said Tom Olsavsky, VP Research & Development COBRA Golf. “We knew that if we were going to reintroduce the KING Cobra it had to be something much more advanced and special, incorporating innovative technologies that would only surpass its’ legacy. And we are confident we did that with the KING LTD driver; it is truly game-changing for golfers and fit for a KING.”
For some background on the new design, we take a step back in time. In September 2014, COBRA GOLF teamed up with The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and Nanoracks LLC, on a materials science research investigation that launched on board SpaceX CRS-4 and was on the International Space Station for six weeks. The KING LTD driver features a SpacePort window that is incorporated into the sole of the driver, which was inspired from the Space Station’s cupola module, a 9’ 10” earth and space observation platform. COBRA’S SpacePort window is locked in place by the use of Spiralock thread technology, which is designed to withstand high vibrations and loads during impact without over tightening or loosening.
The SpacePort system consists of a 16-gram Aerospace grade Aluminum dual-purpose weight and translucent port system that allows golfers to view the internal driver technologies. By removing the port, golfers can visually access all the hidden COBRA technologies: 811 Titanium E9 Face, Low CG Hosel, and Textreme Carbon Fiber Crown. In total, there are more than 28 grams of discretionary weight strategically positioned in and around the Port perimeter positioning the CG low and to the back of the clubhead. The Port also removes the necessity for Hot Melt Glue, a sticky substance typically used in drivers to catch internal debris and achieve final club head weight, saving an additional 4-grams; instead, a more efficient solid structured and more precise weight is placed into the head, behind the SpacePort, further optimizing the mass properties. The Port also allows final swing-weight tuning, with 0-12 grams Tungsten weight, at time of build to precisely fit the golfer.
Through key structural component weight reduction and critical placement of the discretionary weight, COBRA Golf said it has created the lowest CG on the driver market today. Depending on the head configuration, the CG is on or below the “Neutral Axis”, a perpendicular line extending back from face center, delivering unprecedented “ZERO CG” technology. The ultra-low CG improves the efficiency of the club head to ball impact, according to the company, and allows golfers to achieve higher ball speeds, higher launch angles and lower spin, all three contribute to distances gains off the tee.
“The KING LTD is the only driver to ever reach below ZERO CG ? by combining the Space Port with new materials, the KING LTD reaches optimal performance, never been done before by any other driver to date,” said Olsavsky.
The KING LTD driver is available in five lofts ? 9°, 9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5°, and 12° and three draw settings ? 9.5°D, 10.5°D and 11.5°D. The KING LTD PRO is also available in five lofts ? 7.0°, 7.5°, 8.5°, 9.5°, and 10° and three fade settings: 7.5°F, 8.5°F, 9.5°F. Both options are equipped with an Aldila Rogue Black 60 gram graphite shaft and Lamkin UTX/KING LTD grip. A variety of custom shafts are also available. Availability for KING LTD and KING LTD PRO begins in the US in early November at a suggested retail price of $449.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA - August 13, 2015 - Srixon® is excited to announce the introduction of the new Z 355™ line of woods and irons, the latest addition to the Srixon Z Series™ golf clubs used by elite professional staffers such as Graeme McDowell, Keegan Bradley and Hideki Matsuyama.
Like all Z Series clubs, Z 355 offers tour-influenced performance, real innovation and stunning design. What separates Z 355 is that every club is engineered to maximize the golfer's swing consistency, and the key technology that promotes this performance is Action Mass™.
"As a brand Dedicated to Improving Your Game, we ask ourselves every day: What truly helps golfers get better? What technologies would actually improve upon game-improvement," said Chris Beck, Srixon Brand Manager. "Our extensive swing testing revealed that the most effective club design for consistently making successful golf swings is by strategically moving more weight into the club head and raising the balance point of the shaft."
All Srixon Z 355 clubs - the driver, fairway, hybrid and irons - incorporate Action Mass to deliver incredible consistency with maximum distance and forgiveness. Z 355 clubs will be available for pre-booking on Friday, September 4, 2015, and will launch in North America on Friday, September 18, 2015.
Z 355 Driver
Designed for massive distance, the Srixon Z 355 driver features Action Mass technology, which combines a higher head weight (211 grams) with an ultra-high balance point Miyazaki® Jinsoku™ shaft to help increase ball speed while promoting a more consistent, stable swing for players seeking maximum distance and forgiveness. The Z 355 driver's 450 cc club head features QTS™ Adjustability, which offers 12 unique settings for loft, lie and face angle. A fast and powerful 6-4 Ti cup face creates an even larger sweet spot for increased consistency and distance off the tee. Available in men's lofts of 9.5°, 10.5° and 12.0° (10.5° and 12.0° available in both RH and LH options) and women's lofts of 12.0° and HL (15.0°), the Z 355™ drivers have a minimum advertised price (MAP) of $349.99. For more information, please visit Srixon Z 355 Driver.
Z 355 Fairway
Srixon's new Z 355 fairway wood also features Action Mass technology, which combines a higher head weight with an ultra-high balance point Miyazaki Jinsoku shaft in each of the four different lofts. The higher MOI head design is designed with a shallower profile to promote easier launch. A fast and powerful HT1770 maraging steel face creates a larger sweet spot for increased consistency and distance from the fairway or off the tee. The 3-wood features a powerful cup face design and a forward-positioned 40-gram inner floating bar, which promotes a higher launch, lower spin trajectory with maximum face flexibility. Available for men in 3W (15.0°), 4W (17.0°), 5W (19.0°) and 7W (22.0°), with the 3W and 5W available in both RH and LH. Women's options include 3W (15.0°), 5W (19.0°) and 7W (22.0°). The Z 355 fairway woods have a MAP of $229.99. For more information, please visit Srixon Z 355 Fairway Woods.
Z 355 Hybrid
The new Srixon Z 355 hybrids integrate Action Mass technology in playable head profiles designed to fit a wide variety of players and optimize shot versatility. A higher head weight with an ultra-high balance point Miyazaki Jinsoku shaft help increase ball speed and promote a more consistent, stable swing for players seeking maximum distance and forgiveness. The HT1770 maraging steel face creates a larger sweet spot for increased consistency and distance. Available for men in 3H (19.0°), 4H (23.0°) and 5H (26.0°) - all in both RH and LH - and for women in 4H (23.0°) and 5H (26.0°), RH only. The Z 355 hybrids have a MAP of $199.99. For more information, please visit Srixon Z 355 Hybrid.
Z 355 Irons
Developed with the sole objective of consistency, the Srixon Z 355 irons are packed with technology designed to deliver incredible distance and increased accuracy. The Z 355 irons feature Action Mass technology, which combines higher head weights with one of two premium ultra-high balance point shaft options - the Miyazaki Jinsoku graphite offering, and the Nippon® NS Pro® 950GH DST steel option. Both options are engineered to help promote a more consistent, stable swing on every club. The class-leading Tour V.T. Sole™, which has been one of the most buzzed about technology inside the ropes, has been enhanced for the Z 355 and delivers more consistent turf interaction. A two-piece construction in the 4-7 irons (maraging steel face, 17-4 steel body), and one-piece construction in 8-A (431 steel) offers full set playability and versatility. Available in men's (RH and LH) and women's (RH only) options, the Z 355 irons have a MAP of $899.99 (8pc graphite) and $799.99 (8pc steel). For more information, please visit Srixon Z 355 Irons.
For additional information on Srixon, Cleveland® Golf, and XXIO® products or staff players, please visit: srixon.com, clevelandgolf.com andxxiousa.com.
3 Reasons Taylormade Is Tanking
Since this time last year there have been reports that several major adidas shareholders want out of the golf business altogether. That means likely selling off Adams Golf, Ashworth and possibly even Taylormade. While it may be a bit premature to talk about adidas unloading the entirety of its golf division, if recent trends continue, the likelihood is that adidas will look to completely exit the golf business.
If you’re wondering what the actual probabilities of that happening are, I can’t give you a number. What I can tell you is that despite promises to the contrary, little (other than personnel) has actually changed at TaylorMade.
- The marketing has grown stale
- The products are uninspiring
- And perhaps most difficult to overcome, TaylorMade simply isn’t cool anymore.
You may not think that last bit matters, but in the golf industry, when you’ve lost your mojo, as TaylorMade has, it’s exceedingly difficult to get it back.
Just ask Callaway.
Of course, the resurgence at Callaway proves that with enough time, humility, and motivation to fundamentally change how your business operates, it is possible to recover.
After a 2nd quarter that showed double-digit declines from the previous year, the adidas Group has vowed to undertake major efforts to stabilize its golf division.
Apart from Adams HQ, what other action did TaylorMade-adidas Golf take?
With an eye towards clearing the retail channel of heavily discounted product from previous years, the company refrained from releasing any new product for the remainder of 2014. That was only the beginning.
There was a round of layoffs. Several long-time TaylorMade executives…holdovers from the Mark King era were dismissed. Internal teams were realigned, and realigned again (and again). Some prominent members of the TaylorMade team saw the writing on the wall and left of their own accords.
None of them appear to regret it.
The executive branch, marketing and PR departments…effectively gutted.
2015 rolled around and TaylorMade launched R15, AeroBurner, and RSi while the repurposed Adams brand launched red and blue.
The golf world mostly yawned, and when none of the above failed to turn the tide, adidas and TaylorMade CEO Ben Sharpe parted ways less than one year into his tenure. In a publicly-traded world, patience is an uncommon virtue.
Former Adams guy, David Abeles was brought back to replace Sharpe. One of the last true bonafide TaylorMade guys, Executive VP Sean Toulon, left. The company was hit with another round of layoffs.
It has been a difficult year for those inside TaylorMade…those that are left, anyway.
For all of its efforts, what adidas got in return was a 2nd straight year of double-digit declines in Q2 revenue, a 2nd straight year of significant declines in retail market share, and the harsh reality that TaylorMade can no longer, by any reasonable measure, call itself the leader of the golf equipment industry.
The mighty has fallen far – and it may not yet have reached bottom.
How Bad is it Really?
From a numbers perspective, it’s bad. The two most meaningful bullet points from the latest report:
- Q2 revenues down 26% on a currency neutral basis
- Revenue down 17% for the year (hard goods down 13%)
If you’re wondering what, other than unstable leadership, poor marketing, and mind-blowing arrogance, is at the heart of TaylorMade’s most recent incarnation of its annual decline, the adidas report places the blame on “sales decreases in most categories, in particular metalwoods and irons”.
Revenues are down because sales are down. Obvious enough, right?
By Hainer’s own admission, R15 and AeroBurner didn’t resonate with consumers, and that’s reflected in TaylorMade’s tenuous hold on the #1 spot for driver market share. The company considers its #1 Driver in Golf position as a birthright, and that’s about to slip away (although I suspect it will continue to reference its Tour use long after the market position is gone).
Callaway, the golf industry's metaphorical phoenix, has usurped TaylorMade to lay claim to the #1 spot in fairways, hybrids, and irons.
How Much Has Changed in 2 Years?
How much has changed in 2 years? Here’s a brief summary.
And here’s the proverbial kicker: It’s actually worse than it looks.
TaylorMade’s grip on the #1 spot in total driver and total metalwoods sales is rapidly slipping away, and what little lead they have left is again being driven by sales of heavily discounted models from previous seasons.
Despite being Job #2 (after shutting down Adams), TaylorMade still has a comparative abundance of old, low margin, product sitting on store shelves. Burdened with the old, retailers didn’t buy nearly the amount of the new that TaylorMade had projected.
When the old eventually runs out, so too, I suspect, will be TaylorMade’s #1 position in the driver category.
In case it isn’t abundantly clear by now, let me spell it out for you; last year’s massive reorganization and restructuring plan failed miserably.
And so, as you might expect, adidas is hatching a new, improved, and more aggressive plan to fix the ongoing problems at TaylorMade-adidas Golf.
Translation: we’ve hired experts to tell us how much of the nearly 143 million we spent on Ashworth (2008) and Adams (2012) combined we can get back, and who might be actually be willing to give it to us.
Both brands failed to find an identity under TaylorMade, and now both appear likely to be jettisoned.
Adams most likely will eventually continue its slow death as a house brand logo for a national or even regional sporting goods chain. Ashworth, who knows, and more to the point; given how TaylorMade-adidas Golf has managed the brand since acquisition; who – other than perhaps Freddy Couples and John Ashworth himself - cares?
Do They Even Have What It Takes To Be #1 Again?
Given what we’ve seen over the last 2 years, TaylorMade doesn’t seem capable of reinventing itself as the lean, mean, profit machine adidas envisions. A year’s worth of restraint, reorganization and realignment, and the bottom line is still scribbled in increasingly darker red.
The products are disinteresting. The marketing is uninspiring, and most troubling, the systemic hubris that long ago convinced decision makers that just being TaylorMade is all that’s necessary to dominate an industry, vigorously persists.
For the last 2 years TaylorMade has been a portrait of insanity, and even if new leadership can somehow figure out how to stop heads from butting walls, it’s unlikely that adidas shareholders have the patience for a complete turnaround.
I’d wager that adidas’ long-term plan for TaylorMade is to stabilize the brand, offload it when there’s a semblance of upside, and let the new buyers worry about growth.
A 3rd straight August promising big changes at a struggling TaylorMade almost assuredly won’t fly with adidas shareholders. If the latest and greatest plan to fix TaylorMade fails, the only realistic next step will be for adidas to rid itself of its greatest liability.
TaylorMade without adidas is a very different golf company and that would for a very different golf equipment industry.
CARLSBAD, CALIF. - August 4, 2015 - Today Callaway Golf Company (NYSE: ELY) officially announced the new Great Big Bertha Driver and Fairway Woods. The Callaway Great Big Bertha Driver is a technological breakthrough, designed with an aerodynamic, multi-material clubhead, a next generation R*MOTO face for high ball speeds across the face, and an adjustable sliding weight for more dispersion control without sacrificing forgiveness. The Great Big Bertha Driver is built to get the most distance for all golfers, so they leave no yard behind.
Live now, the Callaway Great Big Bertha webpage features a suite of multi-material content related to the new products, including product videos, imagery and more: callawaygolf.com\leavenoyardbehind
The Great Big Bertha Driver ($449.99) and Great Big Bertha Fairway Wood ($249.99) will be available at retail on August 28, and golfers can pre-order them starting August 14 on CallawayGolf.com. Both new Great Big Bertha products feature excellent stock shaft offerings with a comprehensive list of aftermarket shafts at no upcharge.
The company also announced the Big Bertha Alpha 816 Double Black Diamond Driver and Big Bertha Alpha 816 Fairway Woods for better players looking to fine-tune their club performance.
The Big Bertha Alpha 816 Double Black Diamond Driver features a deeper face, next generation R*MOTO face technology for high ball speeds, and two distance chambers. Golfers can put Callaway's gravity core in the left or right chamber for shot-shaping control, and then set the gravity core up or down to increase ball speeds based on their impact location.
The Alpha 816 Double Black Diamond Driver ($499.99) and Big Bertha Alpha 816 Fairway Woods ($299.99 each) will both be at retail and online on September 18, and they will be available for pre-order starting August 14 on Callawaygolf.com. Like the Great Big Bertha clubs, the Alpha 816 Woods feature excellent stock shaft offerings with a comprehensive offering of aftermarket shafts at no upcharge.
About Callaway Golf
Callaway Golf Company (NYSE: ELY) creates products designed to make every golfer a better golfer. Callaway Golf Company manufactures and sells golf clubs and golf balls, and sells golf accessories, under the Callaway Golf® and Odyssey® brands worldwide. For more, please visit CallawayGolf.com