Clear, the PXG of the golf ball industry


Ed Brown has just taken the lead on Clear, a premium ball brand. At $68 a dozen, the former boss of Patrón tequilas and gentleman driver, wants to apply the recipe for his success for this golf ball. While Parson (PXG) did not want to make a ball because he considered it almost impossible to override the PRO V1, will Clear be able to conquer the ultra-competitive market of golf balls?

A new boss with multiple successes

For those who do not know Ed Brown, he was until last year the leader of the Patròn tequilas. When he came to the head of the brand, the production was 118,000 cases in 2001. After having bought a farm to make his own tequila, he eventually sell the brand Patròn Spirits to Baccardi for the sum of 5, $ 1 billion in 2018 and a production of over 2 million cases. In addition to this success, he was for many years a gentleman driver in the World Endurance Championship. If you want to discover what a gentleman driver is but also his career, I invite you to watch the eponymous mini-series on Netflix.

Today, Ed Brown sets himself a new challenge: to reign over the world of the golf ball. For that, he ended the membership that charged $90 a box of 12, and returns to a more decent price at $68 a dozen.

A growing market

The very high end in the golf is carried out marvelously. With the Papy Boom, the brands are exploiting the vein; the birth of PXG, Honma sponsoring Justin Rose, and Callawy and TaylorMade brands are becoming more expensive.

So how can Clear find its place in a market dominated by Titleist and its PROV1 or even better create a new segment?

The guys are willing to spend a fortune on a driver or a putter, but they keep it for a long time,” Ed Brown said. “ With golf balls, you can see a guy coming to Rolls Royce in a country club and the next minute he’ll be there fishing for golf balls in the lake or playing with practice balls. So it’s a challenge, you’re trying to get someone to spend a lot of money on a ball that will only be there for one shot. ”

For now, the brand is restructuring to provide a perfect service.

“… Do I have the distribution networks, do I have the right people behind the brand, and do I have the right people who use the brand? kind of things, I’m very patient about how I do it. “he added.

Even though he’s friends with Bob Parsons, PXG’s founder, Ed Brown is not looking for his advice. Moreover, Bob Parsons adds that if his clubs are successful it is because they bring a benefit in terms of performance. For golf balls, he thinks it’s a tough market.

2 ball models: The red and the black

Red is a soft-touch 3-piece ball, while black is a firmer 4-piece ball. Ed Brown insists that when players have tested one of these two balls, they will see and feel the difference and the performance gain.

The ball is expensive because of the manufacturing process. The brand owns the technology of the core but also the urethane cover and stringent quality control measures.

“It’s about proving that we are the best but also bringing the product to the masses and marketing it in a way that I want,” added the brand’s boss. Besides, he tried to change the brand before going back.

“I love simple slogans like ‘Clearly the best’ or ‘Clearly Perfect’, so I said I could not change the name.”

Strong Marketing and Brand

Brand and marketing were an undeniable strength of his previous success with Patròn. Notably by the fact that the distributors of this tequila drew a substantial advantage.

For now the balls are only available via the website. But he has clearly announced that he will do everything to make Clear more profitable for a distributor than Callaway, Titleist or TaylorMade.

And influencer marketing is no exception to the rule. The first pro to play the ball is Skip Kendall on the Champions Tour, but moves with the PGA Tour or LPGA players are underway.

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Ed Brown, Clear’s boss is playing the AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach with Graeme McDowell in the background

 

Ed is giving himself 2 years to make Clear, the best golf ball in town. But do high prices is a brake on development of golf ball which can land in the water on the first shot?

What are your thoughts? Let’s discuss it and leave a comment below.

About Nicolas BYKOFF

Writing about golf? Why not? After having spent nearly 20 years in the game, I am granting myself the right to write about golf. Don't agree? Contact me.

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