FootJoy is more than a golf shoe manufacturer with key parts of their business coming in apparel and gloves.
I caught up with Maria Bonzagni, Senior Director of Marketing for FootJoy Gloves & Accessories, to discuss the new SciFlex Tour glove and the latest developments of their expanding range.
Hi Maria. I have used the SciFlex glove a lot, so what is different about the SciFlex Tour?
We have just launched the SciFlex Tour glove and the neat thing is we are able to blend new material science. A hot melt bonded construction on the back of the glove works with the power knit mesh to allow us to reduce the amount of seam in the glove which makes it more comfortable across the back of the hand.
Is the SciFlex one of your top sellers?
It is the top selling performance glove in the UK market. What it does is blend the performance of the leather from Pittards, which gives great all conditions play, with the breathability and flexibility built in with the SciFlex component on the back of the glove.
Is the glove waterproof or water resistant?
As your hand perspires the technology in the tannage improves the grip, so the leather becomes moist and humid and therefore performs better in those conditions.
That sounds similar to the RainGrip glove that gives better grip when it gets wet?
RainGrip is the ultimate and will adhere the club to your hand in a downpour. SciFlex Tour does not go to that extreme, but it does quite well in wet weather.
How has the glove business been this year?
At FootJoy we’ve outperformed the market. With the economic and weather challenges when players do get out to play they want to make sure that they perform at their best and we think with our products we have done well because of that.
What developments or trends that have seen certain gloves doing better than others?
I think the trends are about colour. As you walk through the show you can see everything is being uplifted by the colour and this year we are adding more colour to the FJ Spectrum line. In Autumn 2014 the FJ Spectrum came to the UK and it exploded with our sales tripling in that time frame.
We are adding camouflage colours for women and men, as well as a new purple. It all allows people to wear a coloured glove with a conservative outfit and make a statement. They are very popular.
You also have a large range of socks? I’ve got the FJ Merino socks on and love them.
They’re great socks, but unfortunately we don’t do them anymore as it was hard to convince golfers in a warm climate to wear wool. It was a challenge between the retailer and consumer.
So what is in the range now?
We now have the ComfortSof and the ProDry that has cushion management from heel to toe with moisture management. Then we have the TechSof Tour that has the same moisture management, more cushioning and breathability with a subtle level of support and then you get total support from the Tour Compression range of socks.
The Tour Compression was new in 2014, but in 2015 we are expanding the compression range as golfers are really appreciating the benefit of having less fatigue when you are walking around the golf course for four or five hours.
Have you done any studies to measure that?
We don’t have a quantitative study, but we do have the experiential study of players we have talked to how telling us they are much more comfortable in our products and that is because they are first and foremost made for golf. A FJ sock is not just a sock and an FJ glove is not just a glove, they are performance products specifically designed for a purpose.