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Dunlop Balls: Aiming High while Keeping Prices Low

Company's Golf Balls Promise Performance without Sticker Shock


Dunlop Balls: Aiming High while Keeping Prices Low
March 4, 2003 - Sixteen name-brand golf balls for only $11.95? Are they LoCo?

No, they're Dunlop.

Dunlop is one of the oldest brands in golf, and it's a brand that is re-establishing itself with golfers interested in quality and value.

Dunlop's three ball lines for 2003 are showcases for a company that is aiming high while keeping prices low.

It's the DDH that features an MSRP of $11.95 for a 16-pack of balls. The LoCo Bite, a new version of the company's very popular LoCo distance ball, features an MSRP of $16.95 for a 12-pack. And the "65" - one of the classic golf ball brands of the 20th Century - has been updated as the "65u" with an MSRP of $24.95.

"We keep our overheads down and concentrate on making the game affordable by offering consumers great prices for high performance equipment," says Shane Duffy, VP/Marketing for Dunlop Sports Group.

And what are Dunlop's aims when it comes to quality? The 65u packaging includes the following: "Compare performance and price to Titleist Pro V1 and Callaway HX."

That's heady territory, and territory that usually carries a price tag twice what Dunlop suggests for the 65u.

"For the 65u, we wanted to make a urethane ball for the average player - as well as one the average player could afford," Duffy says. "Most urethane balls have a high spin rate, which is great into the green, but not good off the tee as more spin (especially side spin) equals less accuracy. So on the 65u, the target was to make a urethane ball that flew straighter off the tee but still offered a high spin rate into the green."

Dunlop's patented "Moebius" dimples are non-circular and help with accuracy by aerodynamically reducing spin off the tee. The urethane cover helps with feel on irons and results in more spin into the greens.

The LoCo Bite - which goes to market in April, 2003 - has a solid low-compression core and features a new "SpinFlex" cover that utilizes the HPF polymer developed by DuPont.

The result is better spin into the greens than the original LoCo, but with the same distance on drives and softer feel on irons.

"LoCo seemed to strike a chord among golfers looking for exceptional distance and great feel at a price well under $20," Duffy says. "With the LoCo name, packaging and reputation now well-established, we expect LoCo Bite to have instant appeal to a certain kind of golfer who favors a low-compression, high-spin ball, and wants it at a great price."

The DDH line now features three options, depending on what the golfer is looking for: the "Deep Distance," "Arrow Straight," and "Butter Soft."

Prices for the DDH begin at $11.95 for the 16-pack. An 18-ball pack that includes a mesh ball bag features an MSRP of $12.99; and a 24-ball pack is priced at $17.95.

When a company invites comparisons to the Pro V1 - as Dunlop does with its 65u - you know it's confident of the quality of its products.

But how does it manage to keep prices so low? Duffy says there are several factors.

"Firstly, we own our own factory, producing all of our golf balls in the U.S.," Duffy says. "There are some premium brands out there who 'source' balls from factories they do not own. This adds a step in the process and results in higher prices for the consumer. We do not have to deal with this so we can be sharper on pricing."

Dunlop also stays away from another very expensive practice: Paying Tour players to use its products.

"One of the key ways to grow the sport of golf is to make it affordable for more consumers," Duffy says. "We feel we are more than playing our part in this."

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