Is Top-Flite A Good Golf Brand? (Not Especially)
If you’ve not been playing golf for very long then you might not be sure of which brands are good and which are bad.
You may have come across their clubs and maybe wondered is Top-Flite a good golf brand?
In my opinion, Top-Flite isn’t a great brand. It is marketed as purely a value option for beginners so if you are serious about your golf you will want to look elsewhere.
History Of Top-Flite
The Top-Flite name is most associated with golf balls. Anyone who’s been playing for a few years will have no doubt come across them either in a golf shop or found them on the golf course.
Spalding introduced the Top-Flite ball in 1971. It was undoubtedly one of their most successful golf products and millions of golfers down the years have parted ways with their cash in exchange for various different models of Top-Flite balls.
Spalding got into a number of financial issues and the golf division was sold and ended up changing hands a number of times before Callaway took it over in 2003.
This meant Callaway had the rights to a number of trademarks including Top-Flite, Strata and Ben Hogan. They also got their hands on a ball manufacturing plant in Massachusetts.
The Top-Flite brand was then sold on to Dick’s Sporting Goods in 2012 and they now use a variety of manufacturers to produce equipment under the Top-Flite brand.
This is a pretty common business model in retail. If you can buy up some reputable brands and use them as “in-house” brands you can retain significantly more profit than just by selling other manufacturers’ products.
Do Any Professionals Use Top-Flite?
The majority of professionals will use equipment based on them being paid. I doubt that Dick’s Sporting Goods has the budget to spare for a number of expensive endorsement contracts. The last time I can recall a big-name carrying the Top-Flite logo would have been Lee Trevino back in the 90s.
Aside from the fact that there’s no money involved, the clubs themselves are designed for beginners and wouldn’t suit a tour professional. There are many professionals that don’t have club contracts so they can play the equipment they want. I don’t recall seeing anyone play Top-Flite equipment in the last 20 years or so.
Is Top-Flite Made By Callaway?
Top-Flite is now an in-house brand of Dick’s Sporting Goods. Callaway owned them between 2003 and 2012. They used a lot of the intellectual property to get their own ball manufacturing off the ground.
Which Brand Is Better Than Top-Flite?
Any premium brands such as Titleist, Callaway, Ping, TaylorMade et cetera. Obviously, better is somewhat subjective and also comes at a significantly higher cost.
If you only play a handful of times a year then using a package set of Top-Flite clubs or balls is unlikely to make much difference to the quality of your golf but will save you a good deal of cash.
In fact, in one sense buying a packaged Top-Flite set could improve your golf as you could spend the money you save on lessons!
Who Makes Top-Flite Clubs?
They are made by Dick’s Sporting Goods at their Costa Mesa site.
Is Wilson Or Top-Flite Better?
For me, Wilson just tends to edge it. While they do offer package set deals and distance balls They try to occupy the middle ground by offering good quality wedges, drivers, putters and irons. Don’t forget that Wilson Golf clubs were used by some of the best players in the history of the game.
I did have a Wilson harmonized putter for a while that while cheap wasn’t particularly well made though so you need to pick the right product.
“You get what you pay for” is a cliche but it is a cliche for a reason. Looking at reviews of Top-Flite clubs you do see a percentage where the clubs have broken in quite a short space of time.
What Happened To Top-Flite?
The Top-Flite brand was sold several times after struggling to maintain sales and is now owned by Dick’s Sporting Goods who produce clubs, balls and accessories using the Top-Flite name.
Are Top-Flite Balls Any Good?
I haven’t tried any of their recent models to be fair so can’t comment. However, I was never a fan of their lineup during the 90s and 2000s. Other than their Strata model they all seemed very hard to me. Most people called them “rocks”.
They are at the cheaper end of the market. If you are likely to lose a few balls then you should probably check them out.
At the moment they don’t seem to do a urethane-covered ball though so better players will probably look elsewhere.
What Balls Does Top-Flite Make?
There are a number of models in the Top-Flite range.
Probably the most famous name was the Distance XL. Dick’s will sell you 4-dozen of these for $35! For casual golfers that tend to lose plenty of balls that seems like a pretty good deal.
The Gamer model is a 3-layer ball with an ionomer cover – at one time it did have a urethane cover. This is a mid-range ball and costs roughly $2 each.
You can also pick up the Hammer or Bomb models. Do you spot where they are going?
Ladies are also catered for with the Empower model.
Given those sorts of prices, you might wonder why other balls cost so much?
Is Top-Flite A Good Golf Brand: Conclusion
In the end, it comes down to your budget and expectations. If you are on a tight budget then a package set from Top-Flite might seem like a good option when you compare that with the cost of just a current driver from the likes of TaylorMade or Callaway.
On the other hand, If you want to achieve your potential then the performance of your clubs and ball will be of a higher priority to you. In this case, you will probably be better off looking for a custom fit set and a better quality golf ball. If your finances don’t quite stretch that far then you could always take a look at the second-hand market.
At the end of the day box sets of clubs will always sell because it is a simple one-stop solution for casual or first-time golfers.