Hopkins Golf Unveils VL Pro Ball
By Torleif Sorenson on 12/19/13
Greg Hopkins is the former CEO of Cleveland Golf and now pilots Hopkins Golf in the equipment business. Until recently, their primary product offering was custom wedges. But now, his company has unveiled the VL Pro, a three-piece ball that is designed to compete with the Callaway HEX Chrome, TaylorMade's RocketBallz, and Titleist's NXT Tour. While at Cleveland Golf, Hopkins had made noises about the company getting into the ball market.
In an interview with Golf Digest's Michael Johnson, Hopkins said that the USGA's rules on equipment have "created a parity situation we can take advantage of." To that end, his first foray into the ball market is the Hopkins Golf VL Pro, which has three-piece construction and a Surlyn cover. The VL Pro's performance is advertised as being "as good or better" than the aformentioned HEX Chrome, RocketBallz, and the NXT Tour, although the Hopkins Golf web site does not yet provide technical specifications.
One potentially attractive advantage is in price: Hopkins Golf is selling the balls at US $19.99 per dozen. Bulk discounts are also being offered; four dozen VL Pros will sell for $69.99 ($17.50/dozen), while eight dozen can be had for $119.99 ($15/dozen). As a bonus, free shipping is available.
Given the stiff price and expensive packaging of the commensurate offerings from Titleist, Callaway, and TaylorMade, we will indeed be interested in how Hopkins Golf fares in the ball market.
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Image via Hopkins Golf
[ comments ]
I thought that most golf balls are actually manufactured by a handful of companies. For some time (maybe still?) Bridgestone manufactured Nike's balls. Of course the design and materials were specified by Nike but they rolled off of Bridgestone's production line. So if Hopkins balls are made under contract, how do they shave so much from the cost? The materials and manufacturing cost would have to be similar to other companies.
My first assumption is they'll shave cost through limited A&M, unlike the big boys that have ads everywhere (TV, Online, Social Media, and so on).
Reading about this and noticing my own reaction to the retail price (I'm accustomed to getting barely used prov1s for less) I realize that I am the golf industry's worst nightmare.
And per Wes11's suggestion they ought to have called it the VX Pro Ball. More impact.
Duke of Hazards says:
Yeah, I don't buy new balls either. If people start buying and losing Hopkins VL Pro's, I might pick up a couple dozen AAAA Recycled on the cheap.
My understanding is that these are available online only, not in stores, so the price differential is provided by the store margin.
Ya, I get ProV1s for about $0.50 ea., look like new, play same as $3.00 ProV1s. I donate the difference to charity. The cynical-bastid-who-wants-a-beer-after-golf charity, of course.
We did a full review of them at our site, www.clubupgolf.com. They're not bad, but the cover is a bit hard and they don't spin enough around the greens. Great price though.
Tim Horan says:
I discovered a ball in Thailand made by Toppoint Golf simply called T1 three piece that I swear were better than Pro-V1s and lasted better. They sold in Thailand for around $6 per dozen and then there were bulk discounts. I thought about distributing them in the UK but needed to buy a minimum of 200 doz. Kane Golf in Scotland used to stock the two piece Quantum ball by Toppoint nice feel but spun like crazy off the driver. Almost vertical take off in the wind.
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