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For too long, Michelle Penney says, women’s golf club design has followed one key principle.
That principle, ‘shrink it and pink it,’ has been a staple in the women’s golf manufacturing industry for years, according to TaylorMade’s Principal Engineer of Product Development.
For the brand’s latest offering, the Kalea Premier range, that philosophy couldn’t be further from the reality.
“When we did another Kalea project, we didn’t want to just re-hash the same thing again,” explained Penney.
“It’s a fine line, but so many companies do the ‘shrink it and pink it’ approach. Make it smaller, make it lighter, give it lady-pop colours and call it a day. We want Kalea Premier to be feminine, but not girly.
“It’s little black dress versus little pink dress.”
You might be thinking: “That’s all well and good, but is it really that different from the rest?” Well, the answer is most certainly; “Yes.”
With many other product launches, the women’s offering feels like something of an afterthought. When bunkered attended the launch of Kalea Premier, it was clear that years of market research had culminated in TaylorMade creating a product specifically designed for golfers who care about performance, and don’t want a second-hand version of a men’s product.
Frankly, that’s the way it should be. As Penney, who was also the brains behind TaylorMade’s hit Stealth range, goes on to explain, women shouldn’t suffer from half-hearted product design when their male counterparts get the real deal.
“Women golfers are like men golfers, right? We’re not going to tolerate a product that’s half designed. We’re too intelligent for that.
“When we go to a golf store, we’ll see Product ‘A’ versus Kalea Premier and recognise that Kalea Premier is a premium offering.
“Even just looking at the bag, you can see the detail. Golfers are willing to spend a bit more for that extra quality. If we find something that is geared towards us and resonates with us, we’ll buy it. We just haven’t found the right product, until now.”
So, what can you expect from Kalea Premier?
Firstly, don’t count on seeing these clubs in the hands’ of tour professionals. Instead, think about those who are keen players, but want a product that is going to give them that edge over their competitors.
It’s far from a game improvement club, but has all the technology a serious amateur would expect from a serious range of clubs.
“We had a lot of work to do, as I think golf in general did,” Penney said. “With this product, we wanted to be very intentional with how we made the product for women.
“We started market research years ago, trying to understand what women are playing golf, what affects them in terms of buying the product and then liking the product. That was several years in the making.
“We went back to the drawing board and looked at the market research and we saw this big gap. Our competitors seemed to be in the gap and we thought, ‘we can do better than that.’
“What came out of our market research was that a lot of women prefer something that doesn’t just have flowers on it and isn’t necessarily pink. ”
Interested in the range? Take a look at the details of Kalea Premier here.
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