Yamaha to sell gold painted golf clubs to wealthy Chinese customers

Yamaha plans to tap the growing Chinese golf equipment market with made-for-China golf clubs, painted gold to attract wealthy customers. The two clubs, a driver and an iron, with gold-colored heads will be priced at about 110,000 yuan ($17,000) for the pair, twice as much as similar clubs with black heads cost at Japan. Yamaha which makes musical instruments, audio equipment and sports gear, will start selling the clubs with the Impres X brand that has been used for clubs sold in Japan, at about 10 stores in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities this month.

The high-end clubs, stamped with the company’s Impres X brand, are vastly different from what is on offer in Japan, where the most expensive set of clubs costs Y700, 000 ($9005). Yamaha hopes the made-for-China gold-painted golf clubs will help establish itself as a high-end golf brand in China. Yamaha estimates China’s golf club market at about 10 billion yen ($128 million) a year at present, about one eighth of the Japanese market, which is shrinking by about five percent a year. Yamaha’s sales of golf-related goods amounted to nearly seven billion yen in the year to March 2011. About 40% of them were shipped abroad.