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Dick's Ball-Jokes Ad Infuriates Golf Purists

New Spot Says Top Flite Gamer Gives Timid Golfers 'The Balls to Go for It'

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Dick's Sporting Goods is joking about balls in a new TV spot for its Top Flite brand, and it's infuriating some white-shoe golf purists.

In the spot that's aired on the Golf Channel, we see a golfer disappointing his buddies by announcing he's going to "lay up" on his tee shot -- rather than manfully driving over a hazard.

Suddenly, a Top Flite rep pulls up in her branded golf cart and cheerfully asks: "Does someone here need some balls?"

That leads to a back and forth between the Top Flite rep and the chicken-hearted golfer over the size and "dimples" of Top Flite's Gamer balls. We know Mr. Play-it-Safe is finally sold when we hear the sound of drilled tee shot. A voiceover declares: "Top Flite. The balls to go for it."

Then we have a punchline after the tag when another member of the foursome asks to check out the merchandise. "Nobody touches my balls," says the golfer.

Top Flite continues the "Balls" humor on its corporate Facebook page with a post reading: "You don't need bigger balls, just the right ones. Don't even think about laying up and go for it with the Top-Flite Gamer ball. Grab some for your next round."

Golf Digest wrote the new campaign is "sophomoric, inappropriate, and very funny." (Gold Digest has been catching its fair shair of heat lately for a recent cover featuring Paulina Gretzky.)

And not everybody was laughing on Top Flite's Facebook page.

One customer complained: "Your commercials are disgusting; apparently your product is not good enough to stand on its own, it has to be supported by bathroom talk."

Another said the spot is an "insult" to mature viewers: "How appropriate that [Top Flite] has been bought by DICK'S. Thanks goodness for the remote."

Others complained that it's inappropriate to air the spot in daytime when kids are watching.

Ad agency Martino Flynn, Pittsford, N.Y., created the spot and at least one other. A spokesman confirmed the shop came up with the ad but declined further comment. A spokesman for Dick's Sporting Goods also declined to comment.

Advertising Age Player

Dick's, which operates more than 500 stores nationwide, bought the Top Flite brand from Callaway Golf last year and now sells a wide variety of Top Flite clubs, bags, gloves and balls in its stores and on its web site.

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