Jeff Summitt Explores Marketing Misconceptions and Inaccuracies in Golf Club Design – Center of Gravity
As a technically inclined person, I take information seriously. I shouldn’t matter whether the information is laid out as written text or appears as a diagram trying to describe something complex, but there should be a level of truthfulness in the context. One of the pet peeves I have (and I have many) is when companies exaggerate claims of shifting the center of gravity in one of their designs
One example of what you might see is the following hybrid. The yellow/black icon shows the center of gravity of the original clubhead, while the blue/black icon represents the center of gravity moving rearward as the clubhead is expanded. While there is some truth to the CG placement becoming more rearward; it is no where near the proportionality that really occurs.
It is the responsibility of a marketing department (or outside agency) to tout the claims and benefits of a product and come up with a marketing angle to help sell it through. In what starts out as good intentions becomes exaggerated. For instance, the engineers / technical staff present the diagrams to the marketing department. In reality it looks like the following.
Like something out of a Dilbert cartoon, the members of the marketing department may hear the words that are spoken, but they don’t sink in as presented. Rather what they see is not enough difference to get the point across so they innocently move the two icons in the diagram further apart. Every manufacturer is trying to squeeze as much discretionary amount of weight out of the head to optimize the performance. Even by saving 10 to 15 grams (which is considerable) may only shift the center of gravity 4 or 5 millimeters. Converting this amount to a unit of measure you may be more familiar will accounts for only two-tenth of an inch. To the lay person this may not seem like much difference nor look sexy in a diagram when the icons overlap, but believe me the technical people get excited by these small, but meaningful amounts.
So the next time you see a comparison of centers of gravity amongst clubheads in a catalog, magazine ad or in somewhere in cyberspace, you may want to think again and realize it may only be implying the difference is there but maybe not to the extent and accuracy that they really are.