GOLFING GOLIATH NOW THE DAVID OF GOLF EQUIPMENT: But that's just fine.
WEST PALM BEACH–How many David and Goliath stories have you heard? Many! But how many stories have you heard where David becomes Goliath and Goliath becomes David? Perhaps not that many! Would you believe that Jack Nicklaus finds himself in that role reversal at this stage of his career?
A Goliath on the golf course in his competitive days and currently in golf course design, he finds himself now in the role of David as he brings to market his 2007 line of Nicklaus Golf Equipment targeting all golfing consumers.
And it is a role that just suits him and Bob Kelly, CEO of Nicklaus Golf Equipment, just fine. "We have three goals for NGE," says Kelly, who has been at the helm of NGE since its inception in 1992.
"First, Jack and the company are committed to designing and manufacturing the highest quality products, and the most technologically advanced products on the market to suit levels of play for all golfers, Second, we want to maintain a level of profitability and third, we want to stay in the price point range that best suits our customers.”
While Nicklaus Golf Equipment has been in existence since 1992, it has only been a year since Jack has owned the company 100 percent. “He bought out his partner, Nelson Doubleday, this past year giving him complete control and voice in designing and manufacturing equipment to aid golfers at every stage of their golfing developing by providing superior equipment and industry-leading service,” adds Kelly. “We know we are the David of the golf equipment industry…and that’s fine with us. Our brand is Jack Nicklaus…the greatest golfer to ever play the game…a true ambassador that transcends the sport. Jack’s intense
focus, passion, determination coupled with his unparalleled integrity and his excellence in everything he does is the engine that drives the company,” adds Kelly. Unlike the rest of the golf equipment industry, Nicklaus Golf Equipment does not rely on massive national advertising budgets or numerous pros playing the equipment on the pro tour. “We have built a profitable business by working closely with our retail partners, providing them with marketing programs, quality product and strong customer service. We are a 30 to 40 million dollar business that is profitable. We will continue to grow and stay profitable and that is the goal,” says Kelly.
“One of the biggest boosts the company had was when Jack reunited with Clay Long who is acknowledged as one of the most experienced and respected club designers in the industry. Clay has more than 26 years in designing clubs with many of those years at Macgregor Golf Company where he made equipment that Jack played with and won. Having Clay aboard has given us a strong competitive edge: Clay the expert designer and Jack the expert tester par excellence.
“Clay has been the chief product designer for all of the Nicklaus Premium Products since 2001. He is a +twohandicapper himself. Hence, our competitive edge is simple—Nicklaus and Long together again.
“When our customers purchase Nicklaus Premium Golf Equipment—the standard bearer of our line—they are getting equipment fitted for their game. Not off the shelf or in a box, but custom fitted for their game. The Nicklaus Premium Product Collection can only be found at retailers that have fitting capabilities. Since no two golf swings are a like, we take pride in producing fitted equipment to the customers’ specs with an unusually quick turn around time in our facilities in West Palm Beach. “One of our business missions is to aid all golfers at all levels of their golfing development. Hence, if someone is just entering the game, our Golden Bear Golf Equipment is best suited for their game at a reasonable expense? A middle of the field—mid handicapper—golfer would benefit from the Jack Nicklaus Golf Equipment line. “We even re-evaluated and re-designed our women’s line.” The new line, called Compri, is available in a unique configuration of 3/3/3 (three woods, three hybrids and three irons). A matching putter and bag are available and sold separately. Each club in the set has higher than normal lofts, making it easier for the woman to get her shots airborne especially for those just entering golf or those in the mid to high handicap range.
“Regardless of which of our three lines, our customers can rest assured that the equipment bears the name of the greatest player in the game and it is endorsement that really matters. David trying to slew Goliath one club at a time,”