Last summer I wrote a guest post for another golf blog about the demise and eventual sale of MacGregor Golf. In May of 2009, MacGregor golf was sold to Golfsmith International Holdings for a pitiful $1.75 million, and with that one of the greatest, most storied golf companies in history was gone. Well, not entirely. Golfsmith vowed to restore the MacGregor name and re-launch the brand under their umbrella. MacGregor was to assume the flagship position in Golfsmith’s lineup of component clubs.
While Golfsmith isn’t usually associated with premium forged irons, most golfers that play MacGregor irons are discriminating low handicap players that are used to the soft feel and feedback of forged blades. MacGregor tried to accommodate the average golfer, but really they were always a player’s club company. After the sale of the company they also lost their master club maker Don White to Scratch Golf. So it doesn’t seem like a company known for cavity back, game improvement component clubs would be the best to re-launch the MacGregor brand, but that is what is going to happen.
Along with several of our friends and colleagues, we received an interesting package this week at Intothegrain.com world headquarters – it was simply a white box with the MacGregor logo on it. Inside was a plush carpet of plastic grass, a MacGregor VIP golf ball and Hat clip. A card attached to the package simply reads: “Mark it on your calendar and watch your mail. The new MacGregor launches this April – And your exclusive preview is on its way.”
I’ve had several sets of MacGregor irons over the years – the latest being the MT Pro-M blades. I also have a set of V-Foil 1025M blades that are still my backup set. In recent years leading up to the sale to Golfsmith, it is my opinion that the quality of MacGregor’s forgings had suffered, but I can’t prove that. They just didn’t seem to be as solid or consistent as previous models.
I’m cautiously optimistic about the re-launch of the brand. If Golfsmith relaunches the brand with forged clubs and the quality of the clubs is maintained, they should do fine. I’m just afraid Golfsmith will attempt to redefine MacGregor as a club for the everyman, which they are not. I’m also afraid that the historic MacGregor name will slowly sink into mediocrity like other once great brands that have been assimilated by Golfsmith such as Lynx and Snake Eyes…
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