The Niggle: How much are we influenced by tour pros?

Do we buy the gear that we actually want? Or do we buy whatever the tour pros are using?

As Ian Poulter makes the switch to Titleist and FootJoy after eight years with Cobra Puma, we have a think about how much influence this sort of thing has on the club golfer.

Are club golfers influenced by what gear the tour pros are using and wearing when it comes to making purchases? Or do we just make decisions purely based on what works best for us and we like the look of?

James Savage and Karl Hansell debate the issue.

JS – I’d like to think I’m someone not influenced by marketing or swayed by products which top athletes are seen to be using. It’s probably more of a sub-conscious thing but is definitely a factor for me when it comes to golf gear.

KH – I am a mark in that I’d love a set of Nikes and use their balls when I can simply because it’s a cool brand. And it’s a cool brand because Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy both use them. 

JS – I’m surprised by that, thought you were more of a free spirit. A feel player. But I’m the same. I like playing with a Pro V1 ball because it performs well but deep-down I also know it is the ball of choice for tour pros and that gives me added confidence with it. The box is also really gold and shiny… There’s some excellent product out there which isn’t endorsed or used by tour pros and sales probably suffer as a result which is a shame but that’s capitalism for you.

KH – I’m only a free spirit because beggars can’t be choosers. If I had the dollar I’d be a slave to fashion. The flip side of that, however, is that there are so many ‘other’ golfers, that there can’t be many people – outside the golfing industry itself – who know what irons Player A used when he lost in a play-off, or what putter Player B was using when he missed a birdie chance to gift victory to someone else. So yeah, the big guns make an impression – but they are a select few.

For the casual club golfer there can be no real reason for anyone to wear a turtleneck undergarment, other than to look like a professional" JS – I actually pay very close attention to what clubs all the pros are using, because it’s my job to know and I am genuinely interested. I would also be very interested to know how much of an impact it has on the club golfer when deciding which clubs to buy next. If they walk into the pro shop and like the look of a particular set of irons – would they be put off by the fact they were used by the player who lost in a play-off or had a shocker the previous weekend?

KH – I was going to add that I don’t think many of us would notice what brands or clothing the pro’s wear, but for the casual club golfer there can be no real reason for anyone to wear a turtleneck undergarment, other than to look like a professional. Just put a jumper on. We wouldn’t do it in everyday life, so why on the golf course? The answer: because it makes you look like a professional…

JS – Looking the part is a massive thing these days. We all want to look good. There’s never been so much cool gear to wear on the course. However, the good stuff isn’t cheap. I’m wondering whether or not this is a problem? Are some people are put off from playing because they haven’t got the right/best gear? I’d be interested to hear from our readers if they have ever felt that way. A few years ago I pulled out an old kagool to put on when it started raining and my playing partners found it hilarious. 



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