Titleist flips Costco the birdie over golf ball patents

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Costco Kirkland Signature golf ball
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Costco sells just about everything, but it’s the warehouse club’s Kirkland Signature golf balls that have one sporting goods manufacturer flipping them the birdie!

Read more: 9 secret perks that make a Costco membership totally worth it

Battle of the balls: Costco vs. Titleist

Costco’s Kirkland Signature golf balls have been a surprise hit out on the greens since they were introduced last year. As the warehouse club notes, “Many reviewers compares the KS golf ball to higher-priced ‘tour quality’ golf balls.”

As with all things at Costco, the balls are cheap to buy. Typically sold in packs of 48, the Kirkland Signature golf balls have a unit price of $1.25 each.

Compare that to the $4 or more that you’ll pay for a ball from a national brand like Titleist, Callaway or TaylorMade!

But the popularity of the Costco golf ball, which is currently sold out, has irked Titleist.

USA Today reports that Titleist’s parent company, Acushnet Holdings Corp., wrote a threatening letter to Costco saying the warehouse club’s KS golf balls infringe on 11 patents — most of them having to do with the size and position of the many dimples on the golf ball’s surface.

Acushnet also believes it has a superior product. Therefore, the letter argues, Costco is engaging in false advertising by affixing their famous guarantee — that all Kirkland Signature products must “meet or exceed the quality standards of leading national brands” — to its private label golf balls.

That letter prompted Costco to preemptively file suit against Acushnet. The warehouse club wants the court to strike down Acushnet’s claims and to rule in its favor in the dispute.

Ironically, it’s been nearly impossible in recent weeks to get the Kirkland Signature golf balls that should retail for $1.25 a piece for less than you’d pay for a Titleist ball!

That’s because the Costco golf balls are currently on back order. The lack of supply has driven up the price and resellers are currently asking for $5 or $6 per ball on secondary marketplaces like eBay.

USA Today notes that the Costco golf balls should be back in stores in April. But act fast — on a ball this hot, supplies are sure to sell out quickly!

Read more: 11 of the weirdest returns Costco employees have ever seen

Costco CEO shares tips with Clark Howard to help you save money

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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