While living in Manhattan, it was very hard to get to the golf course on a regular basis due to having to travel outside of the city to play. Now that I’m back in suburbia, golf courses are abundant, and there is ample opportunity to play (my grandfather, father-in-law, friends, etc). I had a bit of free time this past Sunday as Sherri was at a bridal shower for my cousin Dean’s fiance so I packed up a few of my golf clubs and went to Fairview Golf Center in Elmsford, NY to hit a few golf balls at the driving range and to test out some new drivers.
I am in the market for a new driver this season so did a little research before I got to the proshop and wanted to sample the Cobra, Callaway, and Nike drivers. I sampled about 7-8 different drivers and ended up really liking the Ping G5, Cleveland Hibore XL, and the Nike SQ Sumo. For the most part, I was hitting 200-275 with those clubs and fairly straight. Not bad!
There was something special about the Nike SQ Sumo club. For whatever reason, when the pro handed it to me, I got excited. I grew up wearing Nike sneakers, watching Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods… and now, Lebron James. While I was playing ice hockey, Nike was just emerging as a leader in hockey equipment and started dominating the market. Basically, wherever I played sport, Nike was there… and they dominated.
I couldn’t wait to hit the club as I walked up to the practice tee. It held up nicely. Very nicely. I was skeptical at first as to whether or not the club would play well against Ping, Callaway, and Cleveland which are native golf organizations but it really did. The club had a little pizazz to it as well… a bit of yellow on the head and a multicolor face. It stood out nicely.
Nike did very well with me. I showed extreme loyalty to the brand as the club hit just as well [to me] as the Ping and Cleveland. The club felt fantastic and sporting the swoosh put a little hop in my step. I’ll never be Tiger, but I wouldn’t mind having the same tools of the trade as him.
Check out Wikipedia’s definition of the Q Score if you’re interested in learning more about brand affinity and measuring the familiarity with a brand. In this article in Fast Company, Linda Tischler talks about that a brand must not function well, but must also feel good too. Nike struck that chord with me more than any of the other clubs. Maybe we should compare advertising spending between the club brands?