Stealth. Paradym. AeroJet. Every new golf club released has a name, and they're almost always designed to communicate something to the golfer that might want to buy them. Perhaps it's to equate the club's name with power, or looks, or just being cool.
Maybe the name is simply designed to indicate the next generation of a club family or to differentiate between different models of clubs in a series.
But how do golf club companies come up with the names of their golf clubs? While not every manufacturer works exactly the same as another, there are some important steps that they all share when coming up with new golf club names.
How golf clubs get their names
As mentioned, each golf club manufacturer has their own philosophy when it comes to naming club. Companies like Srixon, Ping and Titleist prefer alphanumeric combinations for their clubs -- typically to differentiate between types of clubs, who the clubs are meant for and where they are in a series. For them, naming clubs is relatively simple.
For example, Titleist's current driver lineup is named TSR. They have TSR1, TSR2, TSR3 and TSR4 within that family. They've chosen to use this naming convention to communicate the difference between each driver, ranging from a lower-spinning product for better players to a more forgiving driver. With each new generation of TSR, they could just as well keep that name and brand them based on the model year they're released.
However, in the past, Titleist has used a different naming convention. They have using the number 9 followed by the last two digits of the year the club is initially released, followed by some letter or alphanumeric combination to indicate different models. Their tastes change over time, but they're generally in this school of philosophy.
Cobra, for example, is different. They want their clubs to have names as part of a lineup, featuring the common brand name. For 2023, their lineup is called AeroJet, and that name carries through from their driver, to fairway woods, to hybrids and irons. Then, they differentiate their products in those lines with a subname -- Max, LS, etc. -- that gives golfers and idea of the different options available to them.
TaylorMade, Callaway and some other companies use a similar style of creating a branded family for their clubs.
One of the most important aspects of naming golf clubs -- other than their branding philosophy -- is the availability of intellectual property. A club company has to know that they can own the branding to their equipment without worrying about being sued.
So, when companies come up with family brand names or naming conventions, they search the US Patent and Trade Office database to see if their preferred names are even available as a trademark. Given the history of trademarks in the United States, lots of have been taken, so many of the preferred names are ruled out simply on that basis. However, once a company is able to find a name that they like and know the intellectual property is available, they can then register for that trademark and go with it.
Some companies prefer not having to deal with finding new names every year for equipment, so they prefer to stick with iterations and alphanumeric combinations. Some much prefer the splashy vibe. Whatever a company chooses, though, they put in a lot of thought and effort into their names to make sure it communicates to golfers exactly what they want them to know.