Costco’s latest version of its budgeted golf ball flopped, but the company tried to make good

September 25, 2019
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The old saw goes that when a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is. That’s what purchasers of the latest version of Costco’s Kirkland Signature ball might have found out recently. The good news is that customers are getting their money back—and then some.

The Kirkland Signature ball, a product that in its initial version drew a cult following and instant sellouts, is now the subject of a refund from Costco. Customers were notified recently of the refund for the new ball, the Kirkland Signature Performance One ball, because of complaints about the new ball’s durability.

According to initial reports on Golf News Net and Reddit, Costco is offering a refund of the purchase price of the ball, which was selling for $29.99 for a two-dozen pack. The Kirkland Signature ball was touted as a four-piece urethane construction, a dual-core construction similar to that found on many name brand models that sell for more than three times that price. The initial Kirkland Signature ball, which was first introduced in 2016, drew headlines for its performance and was the first golf ball under the private label of the wholesale warehouse membership retail chain. That product was named to the Golf Digest Hot List in 2017, but later was the centerpiece of dueling lawsuits between Costco and Acushnet, makers of the top-selling and top played ball in professional golf, the Pro V1. Acushnet accused the Costco ball of violating 10 patents. That case was settled out of court in 2018.

In an email to Costco customers, Tim Farmer, Costco’s vice president and general merchandise manager, apologized for the Kirkland Signature ball’s problems.

“Our records show that you recently purchased the Kirkland Signature 4-piece Golf Balls,” the email reads. “Feedback we received since the item went on sale shows that some of the balls do not meet the high standards that are expected for the Kirkland Signature brand. Therefore, Costco is refunding your credit card for your purchase and the shipping costs (two separate credits). There is no need to return the item.

“As with any Kirkland Signature item, if ever you are not completely satisfied with the product, your money will be refunded. Please accept our apologies, and thank you for your continued support.”

Farmer did not immediately return Golf Digest’s request for information on specifics of why the Kirkland Signature Performance One failed to “meet the high standards that are expected for the Kirkland Signature brand,” or whether Costco was continuing to pursue developing new versions of its own private label golf ball. There has been isolated chatter on several golf equipment websites on the performance and durability of this current Kirkland Signature ball. The Kirkland Signature Performance One ball was submitted for consideration but did not earn a position on the 2019 Golf Digest Hot List.