Yamaha to sell gold painted golf clubs in China

A golfer plays at the Mission Hills golf course in Haikou in November

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. 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 percent of them were shipped abroad.

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