As we recently unveiled our new Hireko Golf Equipment 2013 catalog online, you will have plenty a chance to read through all the marketing information and pour over the specifications that you won’t need me to repeat that for you. Rather, I would like to give you some additional information that won’t appear anywhere else about our new ladies line called the iBella Obsession. These will be the first of our new heads to reach our warehouse and hopefully into your or your customer’s bag for the coming golf season.
How does this line differ from the other iBella line – the Bellissima?
The Bellissima ladies golf line was design for very slow swing women or those that might be new to the game whose biggest obstacle is getting the ball airborne. So the Bellissima has higher lofts. More accomplished women golfers tend to gravitate to modified men’s models, but with ladies (or sometimes senior or even regular flex shafts), potentially smaller grips and shorter lengths. Men’s clubs tend to be strong lofted and harder to get the ball airborne even with lighter and more flexible shafts. The Obsession collection bridges that gap in providing a balance of high loft and additional spin for ease of play for the vast majority of women golfers who play this great game.
What makes this line different from the previous iBella Obsession line?
To sum it up – a lot! For starters, these new models don’t have the stronger lofts associated with men’s clubs. But more importantly, there were newer technologies in their construction that it enhanced the weight distribution for increase trajectory and greater forgiveness making them all-around better clubs.
In our former Obsession collection we also had way too many club options that it became confusing to select from. That is, does the golfer need a 9-wood, 4-hybrid or 4-iron? That is a tough question to answer. However, we still wanted to offer those women in the mid lofted clubs the option of choosing between the 5 and 6 in either a hybrid or iron – whichever they felt more comfortable using. After all, this game is built partially on confidence.
What did we keep for the original Obsession line?
What made women and high school aged girls gravitate toward the previous Obsession line was the bright vibrant colors and the “Bling” – or the authentic Swarovski crystals that adorn the new clubs. Think of it as jewelry with a purpose. I don’t expect men to understand, but when we spoke with women, those were the things they liked the most. Oh yeah, they also stated these clubs still had to perform.
VIEW TECHNICAL DIRECTOR JEFF SUMMITT’S VIDEO REVIEW OF THE NEW IBELLA OBSESSION COLLECTION
OK, but what about performance?
I remember getting the first playable samples. Normally I would run out and hit the clubs and grab a bunch of buddies to do the same. However, this was intended for a totally different market. I enlisted the help of some friends to gather women golfers of different skill levels. One time I asked them to bring their current driver and just compare it to an Obsession driver (note, not fitted to them) and give me their feedback.
The most skilled woman actually brought two drivers she rotated between and she could pound the ball. One was a Callaway and the other a Ping and both were current models with lower lofts and with R-flex shafts. I began thinking, oh my, she is going to overpower this driver or end up hitting it too high – this is going to be a long day. After watching ball after ball fly out on the range, there were really no differences in distance or direction of clubs costing 2-3 times more. Luckily, the other women were more of the target market strength-wise. At the end, I asked if they would be interested in purchasing the Obsession driver in the future and almost all said emphatically yes. That was our goal; provide clubs that were fun to own and still performed as good as the brand names.
OK, I’ll admit this. I snuck out to the range with one of the 5-irons just to see how it played with a shaft and grip I currently use to give it a fair test. All I can tell you is that had to be one of the easiest clubs I have ever used and ended up in my bag for more than a month this past summer. If anyone asked, I was prepared to come up with something like, “Oh, my wife must have stuck it in the wrong bag”. But if you see any men this coming year with some girly-looking Obsession clubs in their bag this year – don’t laugh and certainly don’t make a friendly wager because you might just loose.
Why don’t you include a #3 hybrid in the set?
When we looked closely at sales of previous ladies-specific lines, we noticed very few #3 hybrids were sold as they are with men’s lines. Instead, we saw a higher percentage of #7-woods sold. After all it makes sense. A #7-wood, like a diamond, can be a woman’s golfers best friend. It is easy to get up in the air as well as stop the ball on the green instead of rolling off like a# 3-hyrbid could on the same distance approach shot.
Why don’t you include a #4 iron?
The answer is nearly for the same reason as the #3-hybrid, but their abysmal sales were even more compelling not to offer this option. We figured if the average lady golfer isn’t buying or requesting the #4-iron, why even offer it. Again, the more skilled women will usually opt for the modified men’s sets which will have a 4-iron, but the Obsession is for the larger group of women golfers who are savvier when it comes to shopping for their clubs.
“Bling” in the New Year
It may come as no surprise that the majority of our readers will be men and they may not have read this far down. But if you did, share the word with your fellow female golfers that here is an affordable, great looking and performing series of drivers (yes we will have some limited editions models this years), fairways, hybrids and iron out there called the iBella Obsession.
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