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Japan’s golden touch to flatter Chinese golfers

other Updated: Dec 06, 2011 23:52 IST
AFP
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Japan’s Yamaha Corp. plans to tap the growing Chinese golf equipment market with made-for-China golf clubs, painted gold to attract wealthy customers, a company official said Tuesday.

The two clubs, a driver and an iron, with gold-coloured 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 home, Yamaha spokesman Yasushi Ito said.

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The company, 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, he said.

“China is a promising market which is at present patronised by high-end customers. There is demand for these kind of glittery clubs,” Ito said.

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 per cent of them were shipped abroad.