Acushnet Co., has offered buyout packages to 125 workers, or about 4% of its U.S. staff, reports Massachusetts' South Coast Today. Citing the lagging economy and sharply declining sales, representatives Acushnet told the Today that these “voluntary separations” would be followed by layoffs beginning in February.

Joe Gomes, the company's director of communications, told the Today that employees who were offered voluntary sepration packages would have until the end of January to decide whether to accept the offer, and added that Achushnet expects 30% to 50% of employees to particpate as the company tries to minimize layoffs.

Wally Uihlein, the chairman and CEO of Acushnet, told the Today, “We've got an obligation to balance expenses with sales…this is clearly the most egregious contraction of the economy tha we can remember going back 30, 40 years.”

Acushnet includes the Titleist, Cobra, and Footjoy brands.