Several weeks ago, Costco emailed many of their customers and told them their Kirkland Signature four-piece golf balls were back in stock.
The original Kirkland Signature four-piece balls were well-received in Fall 2016, selling out multiple times. The balls returned in Spring 2018, with a different set of features. And Costco had a complementary three-piece ball to sell alongside the four-piece model.
So, when the new balls hit their stores and website, they sold out quickly. However, these new golf balls were not up to standard. Numerous golfers shared pictures online of the balls' covers being cut easily after a small number of swings. The unreliable cover conjured comparisons to old balata balls.
The feedback -- which includes a 2.1-star user rating on Costco's website and critical public commentary from MyGolfSpy -- got back to the company, and they realized they were selling a bad product. Costco responded by doing the right thing, reaching out to customers to offer a full refund for those who purchased the four-piece balls.
— Gerencher (@gerencher) September 24, 2019
In part, the email shared on Twitter reads, "Feedback we received since the item went on sale shows that some of the balls do not meet the high standards that are expected for the Kirkland Signature brand."
Costco automatically refunded the purchase and shipping prices for the balls without requiring customers to return them.
The original Kirkland Signature four-piece ball sparked online conversation about the warehouse club upending the golf-ball economy. Many golfers tried to figure out the recipe for the original K-Sig, wondering if the ball was an overrun of another manufacturer's ball run, if Costco had licensed an OEM's golf-ball recipe or some other entirely different explanation. After the initial fervor and the introduction of a new version of the ball with substantially different features, it became clear the company did not have a long-term agreement to run production of the original. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see if Costco continues to sell these balls or will seek out a new design to license.