Technical achievements abound in today’s golf equipment. Multi-material club heads, carbon composite graphite shafts, intricate centre of gravity designs to promote optimum launch – but they’re all features touted by every brand in the market today.
So what is a self-respecting golf aesthete to do if he wants something in his bag that no commoner has?
At January’s PGA Merchandise Show, Bentley unveiled its very own line of golf clubs and accessories. True to form, a standard set of eight irons retails for about US$3,500 (S$4,700), more than thrice that of an otherwise high-performance set of clubs from one of the popular golf brands. The price escalates if frills like alligator grip and US$10,000 custom carbon shafts are added.
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Why would a car manufacturer venture into a market that has seen better times? “Most Bentley owners are using clubs that probably aren’t in line with the rest of their lifestyle, in terms of the watch they wear, the holidays they go on or the car they drive,” says Peter Lord, director of Professional Golf Europe, which holds the licence for sale of Bentley golf equipment and apparel.
Of course, you can rationalise that the clubs are made in a Japanese town famed for making samurai swords. In a world where almost all other clubs are manufactured en masse in China, that is a cache that should warrant the price tag.
Then again, the elites of the world probably don’t need an excuse to spend money, as long as what they get for it sets them apart. For sure, Bentley golf clubs will do that, and likely help with their games as well.