The Acushnet Company, parent company of the top-selling Titleist golf balls, launched a new ball brand today—Union Green—and in a bit of an upset, it has nothing to do with the USGA’s saber-rattling about rolling back the golf ball.
Union Green features two new non-urethane-cover golf balls on the affordable end of the price-point universe (sub-$30). According to the brand's website, the two-piece Teebird emphasizes straight flight and “astonishingly long distance,” while the three-layer (dual core) Pindrop promises “serious green-grabbing control.” Both balls are conforming, and appeared on this month’s List of Conforming Golf Balls.
But the Union Green brand is clearly pointed at a lifestyle, as the website touts shirts (including T-shirts with the slogan “United by Golf”) and hats that seem a departure from the tour-centric, performance-driven and elite golfer-focused Titleist brand. Images on the site even feature golfers with their hats on backwards, wearing skateboard sneakers.
The site's home page proclaims, “Union Green is for people who head to the first tee just as they are and love to play the game on their own terms. They play for fun, to escape the routine, and find the golf course as the perfect place to connect with the people who share their passion.
“We recognize and embrace players who respect quality and performance yet are looking for golf to be no nonsense, no frills, all enjoyment.
“All are welcome.”
In other words, think more East L.A. muni vs. Wall Street finance exec Hamptons retreat. The new products on the Union Green website, including the golf balls, can be purchased directly by consumers.
According to a company statement, Union Green is the result of consumer research: “Acushnet does extensive research and is always looking to connect with consumers to better understand what motivates them to play golf and purchase golf equipment. During its research, they identified a group of consumers that were less traditional and weren’t currently loyal to any one particular brand. Acushnet aims to reach these consumers through this new brand.”
It’s a hybrid kind of golf-consumer, according to the company.
“The target for Union Green is a consumer that enjoys playing golf, but does not identify themselves as a golfer. These consumers may not have grown up with a deep love and respect for the tradition of golf, but their casual engagement with the game shouldn’t be dismissed as a lack of passion.”
The Union Green Teebird ($20) and Pindrop ($28) are available starting today.