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Can a little something possibly turn into something big? One equipment company is intrigued to find out if that is possible. The car industry has its super cars that are sold in limited quantities but fetch exorbitant prices. For example, Ford is selling only 500 GT Supercar at $400,000 a piece. Applicants have until May 12th to state their case why they should be one of the few to own one of these dream machines. Go figure?

But Titleist is dipping its toe into this pool as its R&D team has been pushing management to give it some addition room to work with on the club side of the business. In turn management is throwing the ball back in R&D’s court by saying let’s see what you can do. The result is Titleist Concept Clubs have been unveiled. In speaking with Titleist officials, the company’s engineers have expressed a strong belief that it can do more with club performance and yet stay well within the equipment rules governing the game. In large part equipment is often engineered with the best players in the world in mind. Yet only a relative few are fortunate enough to be considered in this category and frankly, they never pay for their equipment. But they validate the product and process to those that ultimately fund the golf economy.

titleistconceptclubsThe new Titleist Concept Clubs initiative provides an avenue to showcase highly innovative technologies, ultra-premium materials, advanced construction methods and cosmetic treatments that result from this rigorous, ongoing R&D process, the company said. Concept Clubs can also provide golfers a glimpse into the future, as Concept product technology may (or may not) transition into next generation in-line Titleist products. By their nature, Concept Clubs are super premium and released in extremely limited quantity (in the U.S. only). So while it isn’t necessarily intended to be a growth platform in terms of revenue possibilities, it could quite easily become a testing/proving ground for something that may be in a future Titleist product. Meanwhile, don’t be surprised if this topic enjoys a considerable amount of buzz. For example, the Titleist Concept C16 Driver is carrying a minimum advertised price of $999. Factor in the taxman and its well over a grand. Titleist said it will only produce 1,500 drivers.

The equipment business and especially the retail sector have been challenged with respect to price expansion throughout the years. The limited quantities will undoubtedly go fast, in part since the volume isn’t that significant relative to the overall market. Golf still possesses some early adopters, the kind that have to be the first to have something and Titleist also enjoys a strong following of “serious” players. In the instance of Titleist Concept Clubs, fitting is a necessity, but not mandatory. The company isn’t looking to create a new category in the equipment space, according to Titleist officials. In fact, its R&D department is said to be extremely optimistic that it can increase the distance recreational players hit the ball. Titleist also has 1,000 sets of C16 irons that it will be selling. The minimum advertised price is $2,699 (set of 8, steel), $2,999 (set of 8, graphite), which will immediately eliminate many from considering it. According to VP of Golf Club Marketing, Josh Talge, the C16 irons can play one club longer than Titleist’s AP1s with the same loft. The C16 line will never see the light of day at retail. But it will generate word of mouth by those who elect to give them a try. “Titleist is about performance,” said VP of Golf Club Marketing, Josh Talge. “Titleist is also about innovation.”

In conjunction somewhat with this super premium product introduction, the company is starting on April 28 (on consecutive Thursdays for two months), Titleist Thursdays. It is providing some of its product experts at facilities nationwide to conduct club fittings, offer product trial, and answer questions. Consumers can sign up for a free fitting of Titleist metals, irons, or wedges or try the entire Titleist golf club lineup including potentially the C16s. All of the fittings will be conducted with Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls and data will be collected with TrackMan ball flight monitors. So for anyone interested in taking the latest Titleist metals, irons or wedges out for a test drive, they may discover the C16 driver or irons might enter into the conversation. Sign ups are available on a first come first serve basis as well as walk-ups are welcome.