Today the USGA decided to ban the anchored belly putters. The anchoring of the belly putter has been a huge marketing success over the past couple of years. The top players have begun using this technique to win major tournaments and put themselves at the top of the money list.
As we know sponsors love to get their products in the hands of top golfers. Top names such as Keegan Bradly, Webb Simpson, Matt Kucher and Ernie Els are among the top tier of golfers that use the belly putter. This prominence at the top of the game of golf has made it easy to market and drive up sales of the anchored belly putter.
The use of this putter has not come without controversy.The games purists with heavy clout have spoken against the use of this club.
Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer have voiced their disdain for the use of the belly putter, but you cannot help but think that marketing may have something to do with the decision to ban the putter.
I am not trying to create a conspiracy theory, but open your mind to a marketing technique that you can use for your business. It is called creating a market. It is a good technique to use when your business starts to slow down and you need to boost sales.
How could the USGA’s decision to ban the belly putter actually be a marketing strategy for the club manufacturers?
• Sales of belly putters have been relatively brisk over the past three years and thousands of golfers now swear by them.
• Now that they are being banned, the golfers will have to replace them if they play any type of competitive golf.
• The top golfers will now be changing putters and will no doubt be endorsing the putters that run $200 to $1000 each.
• This will then create a market for putters in an industry that is being hit hard by golfers hanging on to their clubs longer during the soft economy.
So it could be a return to the purity of the game? If purity was the desire, why allow them in the first place?
As a marketer you always have to be aware of business advantage of your product or service. A long term marketing plan should include creating a market when sales are soft. The USGA is a shrewd group of businessmen and women, and my hat comes off to them as they played this one well where it counts, on the greens!
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