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The End of Yes! Putters?

In a vivid sign of the times, Yes! Golf, maker of the C-Groove putter, has filed for bankruptcy.

We’re not lawyers here, but the bankruptcy proceedings seem to be signaling the end of Yes! putters, at least for now. The company owes $2 million and is liquidating its assets.

Of course, the brand could be acquired and revived at a later date. The Yes! web site alludes to “a potential change of ownership.” But why would a pending new owner wait for the company’s assets to be liquidated before taking over?

Yes! is far from alone in struggling amid an increasingly competitive equipment market that is also facing a challenging economy. Slotline and other putter makers have gone quiet recently, and we wouldn’t be surprised to hear of more shuttered doors in the year ahead.

At PutterZone.com, we consider this a sad day. We made friends with the folks at Yes! over the years, and they made numerous fine putters, including the standout Yes! Dawn putter. They will be missed in the marketplace.

The concern here is that the putter market is losing its middle ground and stratifying into two extreme categories: big global brands and independent artisans.

We love the artisans, but they are often out of reach of the average recreational golfer in matters of price and availability. And there’s nothing wrong with the global brands, either—in fact, some of the finest putters in recent years have come from the big boys.

That said, we are also fans of the Davids as well as the Goliaths, the up-and-coming companies that have enough resources to forge a strong retail presence, and who bring diversity and innovation to the broad market.

Who will replace Yes! Golf, Slotline Putters and, possibly, the next mid-level putter brand to go by the wayside?

Unfortunately, the answer may be a long time coming.

About Sean Weir

Sean Weir is the founder and editor of PutterZone.com, and the author of Putter Perfection, the definitive guide to putter fitting. Profile: Google+

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