Costco inadvertently undermined the golf industry and sent golfers into a frenzy when it introduced its own Kirkland Signature line of golf balls last fall, the Wall Street Journal reports. South Korea's Nassau Golf, which makes golf balls for a major golf equipment company TaylorMade, decided to sell some of its leftover balls to Costco. Costco, being Costco, slapped a Kirkland Signature logo on the balls and sold them for $29.99 for two-dozen—one of the cheapest prices for golf balls anywhere. That would've probably been the end of it, except golfers started realizing the balls performed as well as higher-end golf balls, such as the Titleist Pro V1, which sells for $4 per ball.
CBS Sports blames what happened next on a combination of an "insane wave of marketing and good publicity" and golfers' "fanatical mindset" about their equipment. The Kirkland Signature balls flew off Costco shelves and have been almost entirely sold out for the past two months. They can, however, be found going for double their retail price on eBay or in the golf bags of people with Costco "connections." As expected, this has not been welcome news for TaylorMade, and Nassau Golf now says it will no longer be selling leftover balls in such high quantities. That means it's unclear if the Kirkland Signature balls will ever again be widely available at Costco. (Read more golf balls stories.)