Home Golf NEXGEN Golf: The Home Model That is Not a Home Model

NEXGEN Golf: The Home Model That is Not a Home Model

NEXGEN Golf: The Home Model That is Not a Home Model


In the case of Japanese manufacturers, NEXGEN Golf isn’t what you assume it’s.

However from a barely totally different perspective, NEXGEN Golf is precisely what you assume it’s.


Effectively, in the case of understanding your Japanese manufacturers, “confused” is pretty much as good a place to begin as any. Right here’s why. The Japanese golf gear market is precisely just like the North American market whereas, at the exact same time, nothing in any respect just like the North American market.

Extra confused?

Japan is well-known for having brand-specific shops. If you’d like Mizuno, you go to the Mizuno retailer. If you’d like Honma, you go to the Honma retailer. North American manufacturers in Japan do the identical factor. However the largest golf retailer in Japan occurs to even be the biggest golf retailer on the planet. They usually have every thing. All the pieces.

They’ve their very own home model. Two, actually.  

They usually’d prefer to moist their beak right here in North America.

An image of a Golf Partner, LTD store in Japan.

Golf Companion, LTD and NEXGEN Golf

Golf Companion, LTD is, in accordance with the Guinness E-book of World Data, the planet’s largest golf retailer by way of shops and secondhand golf equipment bought. The corporate was established in 1999 and employs greater than 1,400 in 500 shops all through Japan. Golf Companion owns an almost 60-percent market share in Japan with 70 p.c of its gross sales coming from used gear. It has over half 1,000,000 used golf golf equipment in inventory in a customer-searchable database.

As we talked about, Golf Companion additionally has two home manufacturers. We’ve already advised you about ProtoConcept. It’s a retailer model that ought to shatter every thing you assume you understand about retailer manufacturers.

A Protoconcept forged wedge

On this 12 months’s Finest Participant’s Irons testing, ProtoConcept’s C03TC solid irons completed a powerful fifth total. At $2,400 for a six-piece, Endo-forged set and $300 for a single, Endo-forged wedge, it positive as heck isn’t priced the place you’d count on a retailer model to be priced.

And that, kind of, is the place NEXGEN is available in.

“It’s not an affordable home model,” says Masashi Kamoda, NEXGEN Golf’s U.S. consultant. “In the event that they wished that, they’d have gone to China and acquired some open fashions. As a substitute, these had been designed in-house by Golf Companion’s personal design workforce.”

An image of the NEXGEN NS210 irons

NEXGEN Golf Beginnings

As talked about, Golf Companion, LTD opened for enterprise in Japan in 1999. The corporate began advertising and marketing golf equipment of its personal design in 2000, and golf balls of its personal design in 2004. NEXGEN Golf joined the act as a stand-alone model in 2006.

As of 2009, Golf Companion, LTD has been a completely owned subsidiary of Japan’s Xebio Firm, a sporting items and leisure conglomerate with almost $1.7 billion in annual gross sales. In its most up-to-date fiscal 12 months, Xebio posted almost $59 million in working earnings.

And since Golf Companion, LTD and its sister retailer, Victoria Golf, promote extra golf golf equipment than everybody else in Japan put collectively, it has a hefty database of what golfers purchase. Kamoda says NEXGEN leverages that data in the case of designing its golf equipment.

in image of the inventory at a Golf Partner, LTD store in Japan.

“They’ve all that information of their arms,” he says. “What do clients desire? What does the client like?”

And that’s essential in Japan. In case you assume we’re overwhelmed with selections in North America, it’s nothing in comparison with what the Japanese golfer can select from. Not solely are the entire main and most of the not-so-major North American manufacturers out there in Japan however additionally they have a mountain of JDM (Japanese Home Market) manufacturers out there. They embrace Bridgestone (whose golf equipment are massive sellers in Japan), OnOff, Yonex, Yamaha, PRGR and others, together with NEXGEN and ProtoConcept.

Kamoda says the standard Japanese golfer tends to be extra of an gear geek than the standard North American golfer.

“Each are addicted golfers however Within the U.S. the main target is extra on taking part in golf. In Japan, the main target is extra on the gear and the expertise.”

An image of the inventory at Golf Partner, LTD in Japan.

Nonetheless Not Your Typical Home Model

Conventional home manufacturers in North America don’t actually transfer the needle. They’re most frequently former family names which have gone bust. DICK’S, for instance, gives Tommy Armour and Prime-Flite. When Golfsmith was in enterprise, it had MacGregor and Lynx as its home manufacturers.

NEXGEN Golf is definitely what Golfsmith had in thoughts when it purchased Lynx out of chapter in 1998. Golfsmith’s play was to have its head designer, Tom Wishon, design a full line of high-end golf equipment that it could promote completely. Golfsmith signed Payne Stewart and Ben Crenshaw to endorsement offers to play the brand new Lynx golf equipment on the PGA TOUR. Administration ultimately pulled the plug on the deal. As Wishon advised MyGolfSpy, administration grew to become involved that OEMs wouldn’t admire one in all their largest clients all of a sudden turning into a competitor.

an image of a NEXGEN utility club.

Since 70 p.c of Golf Companion’s enterprise is available in used golf equipment, OEMs in Japan don’t have that very same concern.

NEXGEN and ProtoConcept work collectively in very a lot the identical method as Cleveland, Srixon and XXIO do. ProtoConcept performs the Srixon-XXIO position, because it’s designed for higher gamers and is, comparatively talking, massive cash. NEXGEN fills the identical position as Cleveland in that it’s primarily a game-improvement model and is priced extra within the higher reaches of what we’d take into account “regular” golf equipment.

NEXGEN’s main outlet in North America is Fairway Jockey, though NEXGEN does have its personal US-specific web site (transport comes from Japan). You possibly can construct the membership you need with Fairway Jockey’s lineup of shafts and grips. For instance, a single NEXGEN Endo-forged, custom-built wedge with a KBS Hello-Rev shaft in black and a Golf Worth Tour Velvet 360 grip will run you $152.99.  A NEXGEN NS 210 driver with a real-deal HRZDUS Smoke Black, Inexperienced or Pink shaft goes for $637.99.

a picture of a NEXGEN forged wedge.

Will NEXGEN Golf Matter In North America?

That, after all, is the 100-million-yen query. Whereas we don’t have the identical mountain of kit choices as golfers in Japan, we aren’t ravenous, both. However psychologists say that once we’re confronted with so many selections, two issues occur. Neither of them is nice.

First, we regularly select not to decide on. Paralysis by evaluation units in because the choices really feel overwhelming. Second, analysis exhibits as soon as we truly do resolve, we are typically much less glad. We will’t shake that nagging feeling that we might have performed higher and any minor shortcoming in what we did select grows in its irritation issue.

Not being completely glad together with your order at Starbucks is one factor however these nagging emotions after dropping a grand on a set of irons is one other factor fully. It’s one of many explanation why the Huge 5 are the Huge 5. They’re protected selections. It’s once we attain past Callaway, TaylorMade, Titleist, PING or COBRA, purchaser’s regret rears its ugly head.

On the flip facet, dependable data makes sifting via all these selections simpler. And it could even lead you to a selection you hadn’t beforehand thought-about. That’s the problem all challenger manufacturers face and it’s doubly essential for Japanese manufacturers comparable to NEXGEN. It’s why NEXGEN desires you to know that whereas its golf equipment and balls are designed in-house, Bridgestone manufactures the balls, its wedges are Endo-forged and its woods and irons are made in the identical factories as Srixon and Cleveland.

And say what you’ll in regards to the Scorching Record however NEXGEN is proud that its NS210 irons earned silver this 12 months.

“We didn’t say something about our identify once we submitted them,” says Kamoda. “We didn’t promote or something, in order that they should have appreciated the efficiency.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here