The Acushnet Company (Titleist, FootJoy) is off to a fast 2012. That’s no real surprise, of course, given the fact that the company is the equipment’s industry’s market leader in golf balls and footwear and among the market leaders in clubs.
Steve Stricker led a list of the top eight finishers at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions (and 10 of 11) to play a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball. Stricker used a Pro V1x, 909D3 driver (8.5), 906F2 fairway metal (13.5), 909H hybrid (19), AP2 irons (3-P), Vokey Design sand (254.10/bent to 53) and lob (260.12/bent to 59) wedges at the Plantation Course at Kapalua on Maui.
In the field of 27 players, 23 played a Titleist ball. Titleist also won the driver (13), fairway woods (12), hybrids (9), irons (14), wedges (38 including sand lob and approach) and putter count (14).
It’s not unusual for Titleist to be at or near the top in any of those categories. The big winner, other than Stricker, is FootJoy. The long-time leader in footwear is trying to increase its visibility and market share on the apparel. It’s up against adidas Golf and Nike Golf, so while three might not be a crowd, it might be enough to crowd out most other companies.
Whether or not Stricker, or any other player not wearing on red Sundays and not named Tiger can move the needle in apparel marketing remains to be seen, but look for FootJoy to try in 2012.
Stricker’s victory coincided with the launch of FootJoy’s first full line performance apparel collection now available at retail. He’s been FootJoy apparel since the beginning of the 2011 season and wore shirts from three of the Spring 2012 fashion color collections at Kapalua.
In addition to the apparel, Stricker wore FootJoy DryJoys Tour golf shoes and FootJoy Pure Touch Limited Glove.