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Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Romance of Golf Ball Names

Take a look at the picture above and observe the wonderfully inventive names used by the manufacturers back in the golden age of golf. The Ace, The Nimble Shilling, Tee Me and more. All romantic and fun names for the white orb. As a kid playing and growing up in the 70's some of these cool names were still in existence and I regularly played the Spalding Dot, Penfold Ace and the ubiquitous Dunlop 65 (named after Henry Cotton's remarkable score of 65 in the second round of the 1934 Open Championship at Royal St. Georges.) At that time my choice of golf ball was mainly dictated by what I found in the various ditches at North Hants Golf Club! I remember the sheer joy of finding a brand new Titleist in the trees and saving it for a special round - happy days! But I digress. In the last couple of decades the romance of golf ball names has all but disappeared - Pro V1, E5, B330, Tour iX dont conjur up much magic to me - as good as they all are technically.

It's interesting that TaylorMade, who have come up with many crazy names for their products in recent years have recently launched a golf ball with a name rather a mixture of consonants. It is called Lethal and though I haven't tried it, the name alone makes me want to give it a shot. Callaway also has their Diablo - a great name in my opinion. Let's hope that more of the manufacturers opt to add some more colorful names to their golf ball offerings - from a marketing perspective it's easier to build the brand with a name, rather than a bunch of numbers and letters. Consumers can then make an emotional connection to the name and build an affinity to a specific and interesting name.

Once more thing while I am on the subject - when will one of the golf ball manufacturers go old school and individually wrap the balls and package them in threes - what will that add to the cost - a couple of pennies? For those of you who don't remember wrapped golf balls - it was a special sensation unwrapping a new ball for a big game. It would be a great marketing differentiator and add some golden age romance to the game!

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