Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New-Golf-Driver_600 Over the past several weeks I've spoken with numerous golf club manufacturers about their 2010 products. All of them were upbeat, enthusiastic about the new clubs and technologies, and eager to get them in the hands of golfers.But I didn't talk to anyone who was expecting a surge in sales next year, which is understandable given the fragile state of the economy. Consumers' financial concerns have also led manufacturers to focus on a specific number: $299. That is the key driver price point they are targeting.The newest clubs with state-of-the-art technologies will still cost more, especially when custom shafts are added, but many companies are trying to release new drivers with proven technologies for less than $299.While watching CNBC a few months ago, I heard an economist talking about the "trade down" effect in the restaurant business. In a recession, people still want to go out to eat. But instead of going to their favorite restaurants, they choose fast-food chains. (As our wallets tighten, our waistbands bulge.)The $299-driver trend is a similar phenomenon. For many golfers, it's tough to justify spending more than $500 for a new driver, but $299 is easier to stomach and can still provide a significant upgrade.My question for you is this: If you are thinking about purchasing a new driver, how important is the $299 price point to you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments area below.Follow David Dusek on Twitter(Photo by David Dusek)

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