Many golfers baulk at the price of new equipment, but it could actually be a lot worse. Hannah Holden asked TaylorMade engineer Mark Greaney to explain
Every year when I cover the launch of new equipment the same question always appears: Why is new equipment so expensive?
I have been lucky enough to visit TaylorMade’s main research and development facility in California and I was blown away by the innovation and technology on display.
And while doing some work on the latest TaylorMade Stealth driver launch, I sat down with Mark Greaney, a principal engineer at the manufacturer to find out exactly what went into developing and bringing the carbonwood technology to the market.
And I had to ask him that all-important question that I get so often. Why do new drivers cost as much as they do?
“That’s a really good point,” he said. “I was living in Galway in 2003, and I went to interview for TaylorMade in January of that year.
“I grew up in Dublin and had played golf my entire life. I would always see these drivers down at the local store and they’d be so expensive. I remember before I interviewed with TaylorMade and before I got the job thinking, ‘How can a driver cost £500?’ That’s crazy. That’s so expensive.
“Then I got to TaylorMade, and I went to the factories, I saw the R&D, and my thought process changed to, ‘How can it only cost £500?’
“It seems like a bargain compared to the amount of technology that’s in there and the number of processes that go into it.
“At the time we were developing the R7 driver and there were between 200 and 300 people who touched the golf clubhead before it got to a consumer.
“There are just so many processes – hand finishing, manual processing of the weights and the face, and the shaft. Everything.
“I know the consumers look at £500 and they think its a lot of money, and it is for sure, but the fact that we could bring it in at £500 and not £800 is the suit of years of work and a lot of investments.”
Why are golf drivers so expensive?
For a more in-depth look at how TaylorMade’s technology and innovation has evolved over the last 20 years, read the in-depth story of how the Stealth driver came to market.