Michigan Department Store Golf Equipment Ad From 1925

Michigan Department Store Golf Equipment Ad From 1925

Michigan Department Store Golf Equipment Ad From 1925 This golf equipment ad from the August … Read more.

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Feeding Your Golf Addiction In The Winter, Part 2: Maintain Your Equipment

Feeding Your Golf Addiction In The Winter, Part 2: Maintain Your Equipment

This is the second in a series of essays on things to feed your golf … Read more.

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Lexi Thompson’s Cobra Clubs That Won the Meijer LPGA Classic

LexiThompsonStixopenerLexi Thompson’s victory Sunday at the Meijer LPGA Classic is her first of the 2015 season and fifth of her career. Thompson, 20, shot a final-round 65 to defeat Gerina Piller and Lizette Salas by one stroke at 18-under 266.

Below is a look inside Thompson’s bag of Cobra clubs, complete with yardages and comments from an interview in June at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.


Cobra AMP Cell Pro, 7.5°, Fujikura ZCom SIX-x shaft, 265 yards; $190

LEXI SAYS: “It feels very solid, and I love the ‘Sunday’ blue. I also love looking down at it and having the confidence that it’s good for me. My usual ball flight is a 10-yard draw, but I can work it left to right, too.”


Cobra S2 Forged, 4-PW, Project X Rifle 5.0 shaft; price n/a

4-iron: 191 yards

5-iron: 181 yards

6-iron: 171 yards

7-iron: 161 yards

8-iron: 151 yards

9-iron: 141 yards

PW: 131 yards

LEXI SAYS: “I’ve never been a blade-type person — I love looking at an iron that’s a little bigger. These feel very solid and soft at impact. I don’t shape my irons much. I hit a lot of controlled straight shots, but I can shape these when I need to.”


Cobra Tour Trusty, 51° — 112 yards

56° bent to 55° — 95 yards

60° bent to 59° — 83 yards; $100 each.

All wedges have True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300 shafts.

LEXI SAYS: “When my Cobra guy sets up my wedges, he always does artwork on them. These have a smile. My nephew Nico has his name on there, too. It gets me smiling whenever I pull out a wedge. Make it fun!”


Cobra Fly-Z+ 3/4, 13°, Aldila Tour Blue 60s, 230 yards; $250

LEXI SAYS: “I mostly use it off the tee when I have to dial back. I do go for par 5s with it, but I prefer it off the tee.”


Cobra Fly-Z 2/3, 17.5°

Aldila Tour Green 85s, 210 yards; $200

LEXI SAYS: “I use it to go for par 5s. I like the lower flight, especially on windy days.”


Odyssey Tank Cruiser 330M, 34”, 3° loft; $250

LEXI SAYS: “I’ve had it in my bag since last November. Before that, I didn’t feel comfortable with my speed, and I was really handsy with short putts. This is heavier, and I’m using a big grip, which takes my hands out of it more. I’ve gained a lot of feel. I also changed to cross-hand. I love how I’m putting now.”



Callaway SR 3+; $40

LEXI SAYS: “It’s really good into the wind and downwind. It reacts the way I want around the greens, and it checks on little chips.”




courtesy of Rob Sauerhaft (golf.com)


The Scientific Origins of Golf Equipment Fanboy Culture

The Scientific Origins of Golf Equipment Fanboy Culture

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Written By: Jay Baker


We have all experienced an Internet troll at one time or another. For those who are unfamiliar with the term “troll”, consider yourself lucky, but also know that it refers to someone who relentlessly posts messages online (forums, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) with the intent to inspire outrage. The trolls are the guys who write what’s very often ill-informed nonsense, and they do it with the sole objective of pissing otherwise reasonable people off.

It is believed that the majority of Internet trolls live in their mom’s basement.

The troll isn’t always dissimilar from the fanboy. In the golf world, fanboys love the brands they play deeply, and they support them whole-heartedly, passionately, and very often aggressively.  If you don’t share that same sense of deep affection for <insert brand name here> because they or their products <insert marketing tagline here>, then you sir are a moran (outrage and spelling seldom play well together).


There is at least an argument (a polite one, of course) to be made that golf companies actively cultivate fanboy culture. Sometimes it just happens by accident. At a minimum, every golf company wants you to be passionate about their products because a passionate fan is often a loyal customer. Every golf company wants loyal customers.

You are cordially invited to join #TEAM<insert company name here…and make sure it’s in ALL CAPS>.

Unfortunately, sometimes passion and loyalty cross a line and things get a little weird, plenty vitriolic, and very often downright hateful.

No company is immune from fanboys (except maybe for Warrior Golf – don’t call them, they’ll call you). Fanboy culture is pervasive enough to make one wonder how it is exactly that companies like TaylorMade, Titleist, Ping, and Callaway can reduce the behavior of grown men to that of petulant children arguing over which Disney princess is best?

FYI, it’s Cinderella.

Would it surprise you to learn that there’s an actual science behind your disdain of anything Nike?


Choice Supportive Bias

The first expensive driver I ever bought was a Callaway Big Bertha War Bird with an RCH 90 shaft. The driver was almost too pretty to hit. The dull industrial gray finish gave it a blue-collar look. Every detail was designed to do real work.

The first time I put it in play, I was joined by  a friend who had also just purchased a new war stick, the TaylorMade Burner Bubble. Could you imagine if TaylorMade relied on paint to sell clubs today? All day we compared the performance of our drivers. As he hit mine, I could see a certain level of buyer’s remorse beginning to set in. Big Bertha was clearly winning the battle.


After the round, however, he raved about his Burner. He went so far as to recommend it to the other golfers in clubhouse. My friend was trying to satisfy a post purchase rationalization. He stuck to his guns despite the contrary reality. He certainly wasn’t going to admit to himself that he’d just made a very expensive mistake. My buddy experienced what’s called Confirmatory Bias, and it’s in play every time we buy something.

Think about the last time you purchased a new car. After you drove it off the lot, you probably went online to check out other personal reviews of the car. Chances are you enjoyed reading the reviews that supported your decision, and looked for fault with those that suggested that your new Pontiac Aztek was an outhouse on wheels. We focus on what’s good while dismissing the negatives.

As buyers, we look for like-minded reviews and people to justify and support our purchases. Golf equipment is expensive, especially for something none of us really need. Your brain’s concept of this discretionary expense feeds on justification.

As golfers we defend our purchases. We’ll argue that the technology justifies the cost. We’ll point to like-minded reviews, and the facts as dictated by the golf companies that created them, as proof that we made the right decision. No matter how compelling the evidence to the contrary, we cling to our beliefs. These bouts of Cognitive Dissonance are a large part of the reason why a golfer might feel inclined to act out and occasionally rage against anything and anyone who even hints that his shiny new driver isn’t everything he believes it to be.


Companies Listen To Crazy

In 2002, Joss Whedon, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, decided to piggyback on his TV success by creating a new show known as Firefly. It was basically a TV version of Star Wars, which would make you think it would have been successful. The reality, however, was that the ratings sucked. The show was canceled after just 14 episodes.

So what did all the Firefly fanboys and girls do? They took to Internet forums to let the television execs know what a crappy multi-million dollar decision they had made. That coupled with strong DVD sales lead to a Firefly based major motion picture called Serenity.

Fanboys had once again proven that a mob mentality can achieve the desired results

The same situation plays out to some degree in golf retail more often than you think. Remember the Taylormade R1 when it came out? If your reaction was “Not another white driver!”, you probably do. So what happened? While most of you cried like a sorority girl after a positive E.P.T., some of you took to your golf forum of choice and expressed the frustration via a CAPS LOCKED diatribe for the ages.



What did that get you? You got a black R1 driver of course.

The R1 isn’t an isolated example. Elite Scotty Cameron fans clamored for a black putter production model from 2008 until 2011. In 2012 Mr. Cameron finally caved to fanboys and introduced the Select line.

Nike released an all red Covert driver last year that was close to perfect in every way with the exception that it was red. Never mind that an all-red driver named Covert is as ironic as a wrinkled ironing board; by the time summer rolled around Nike had an all-black version on shelves.

Why do golfers want everything to be black? I digress…


After 2 years of listening to forum-based moaning, Rory’s coveted putter has found it’s way to the market, albeit in limited quantities.

This community pressure is the same reason we don’t see as many Made For shafts anymore.

Golf companies read forums. That’s not a secret. The power of a community is much greater than a single individual. Golf forums have given a voice to the voiceless.

The consumer doesn’t always get exactly what he wants. For every R1 Black story, there is the unsuccessful call for Tiger’s actual golf ball (and everything else in Tiger’s bag). Still, this perceived influence gives a sense of power to the people. When we get what we want it serves to validate and reinforce the behaviors that we believe made it happen. We get louder, and we get crazier.

We Want To Belong

This is a golf website so I’m not looking to explore the authenticity of evolution as it pertains to man coming from ape, Adam, asteroids, or lizard people that live under ground. You guys can re-try the Scopes Monkey Trial in the comment section if you’d like. What I want to talk about is evolution in regards to passing genes and social traits from one generation to another, which is something I think we can all agree happens. Genes and social traits that were important to human survival 250,000 years ago still exist today, even though we live a very different lifestyle compared to cavemen. For example, your great (great, great, etc., etc.) grandfather needed his Fight or Flight response to survive a bear attack when all he had was a pointy stick. These days, your Fight or Flight response is about as useful as a VCR.

team callaway

The same thing happened with our need to belong to a group. It evolved out of necessity and still exists today (necessary or not). You can’t stop trolling TaylorMade threads because of the same trait your ancestors relied on to survive. Early man formed groups for survival purposes. These small groups of early man helped keep predators away and food on the table. Once beer and agriculture came along, the groups increased in size and turned into villages. The need to keep track of these large social groups actually furthered our brain’s development. Think about it… equipment discussions on a golf forum will stimulate your brain more than reading the Golf Digest Hot List by yourself.

Cavemen formed groups to survive. The management of groups required increased brain capacity, and a bigger brain lead to more social interactions; the origin of creativity and innovation. The desire by early man to impress his caveman group has led to every breakthrough humans have developed. Essentially, social acceptance spurred the development of problem solving skills in humans. The same force that drives your need to be part of #TEAMTITLEIST put a man on the moon.

Why does this need to belong compel us to attack others who don’t share our love for forward CG in the driver head? The human brain is a social tool that craves companionship to create networks. These networks are sometimes based on a fundamental or idea (like say golf clubs). Once we identify with an ideology, we’ programmed to attack other networks that challenge our fundamental beliefs.


Like any good marketing organizations, golf companies understand these primal needs, and have become increasingly adept at using Social Media to play to our base urges. They interact with us, they bring us into the fold, and in some cases, indoctrinate us into the brand culture. We are no longer a customer, we are one with the brand. We are part of the pack.

We don’t spit venom because we blindly believe in the principles and technology stories our favorite golf companies tell, but rather because we are programmed to defend our pack. Think about this within the context off the offline world. Each of us has likely stood up for a friend…even when we knew he was wrong. It’s really not much different.

Gamergate certainly proved that our online group interactions can snowball out of control. Gamergate was arguably lowest point of online bullying within any community. It’s never that bad in golf. Online golf communities are rather tame when compared to the communities built around video games, choppers, rice rockets, NASCAR, guns, TV shows, or the NFL. Perhaps we can attribute these differences to the gentlemanly nature of the game. Perhaps it’s because, for the most part, golf doesn’t have teams.

Fans of team sports find it easier to identify with a given group. Fans simply choose the team in closest proximity or they choose a frontrunner. Golf is an individual sport, so golfers must fulfill their social needs by aligning with an equipment manufacturer or apparel company. Your need to belong can affect your equipment decisions, choice of ball, what clothes you wear on the course, and many other  aspects of your golfing habits.

For many parts of the US, golf is a seasonal sport. In order to get their golf social fix, golfers go online to support their team in forum threads and comment sections. Winter is the leading contributor the rise in fanboy and troll culture. At least in the summer, golfers can step away from their keyboards and actually play golf.

We’re Better Than This

As a new golfer I was immediately initiated into Team Callaway. Team “Hangout With Chicks” happened to be all booked up at the time, and fortunately for me, Team Jacob and Team Edward hadn’t yet been formed. Naturally I gravitated towards other Callaway players and pros that played the company’s wares. I preached the benefits of the S2H2 technology to anyone who would listen. I still have no clue what it really means or what it actually does. The bandwagon effect is very strong in golf.

I have since realized the error of my ways.

The same commitment to hardline ideologies that can take a basic bible study group and convert it into a cult is what drives fanboy culture. The people involved in cults are almost always normal people with above average intelligence. They just want to belong to a group and have purpose. That’s not crazy, even if the behavioral manifestation is.

So the next time you decide to troll the other golf fanboys out there on forums, just remember they are after the same thing you are: the right to belong. Make sure to hear them out and understand where they are coming from. That is, unless they’re from Jonestown (or Carlsbad) and offering you Kool-Aid while you discuss slot technology. In that case, use the fight or flight response to run for your life.




Dick’s Firings Signal Major Recalibration of the Golf Equipment Industry

Dick’s Firings Signal Major Recalibration of the Golf Equipment Industry

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Written By: Tony Covey

The golf equipment industry’s retail model is broken.

That’s an opinion, but it’s an opinion shared by every last person I know in this industry.

As if we needed more evidence that the system is in need of recalibration, Dick’s Sporting Goods, the #1 sporting goods retailer in the USA, very recently fired 100% of  the PGA Professionals on staff.

That is, unfortunately, an undisputed fact.

ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported the number of people who lost their job at over 500. My sources put the number at roughly 550. Either way, it’s a bad situation.

As is usually the case when bad things happen, there is plenty of finger pointing right now. The fingers that aren’t being pointed at Dick’s are trained squarely on TaylorMade, and to a lesser extent, Callaway. Those who are being kind simply blame the equipment companies.

We have reached a tipping point.

Years of accelerated product cycles and equally accelerated consumer discounts have finally caught up with golf’s biggest retailer (Dick’s + the Dick’s-owned Golf Galaxy), and just as quickly it’s catching up with the industry’s two largest manufacturers…and everyone else too.

The Channel is Flooded

Selling off a little bit of inventory at a discount price isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s not killing anybody to slash prices and clear out a literal handful of PING and Titleist drivers after a one-and-a-half to two-year lifecycle.

When lifecycles drop to six months and the discounting starts after only 3 or 4 months, it’s a huge problem. It’s half the reason golfers have stopped buying equipment. We have no faith that what we can buy today won’t be cheaper tomorrow.

As one industry contact recently said to me, “golf equipment isn’t like toilet paper. People don’t need to buy it.”

Nailed it. Golfers don’t need to buy new equipment, and so for now, they’re not.

In fairness, nobody…not TaylorMade, not Callaway or anybody else plans on a six-month-release cycle. In golf, just like everything else, sometimes shit just happens. Nobody consciously set out to destroy the golf equipment industry.

The decision to drop the next big thing ahead of schedule is made for any number of reasons, not the least of which is the need to make the balance sheet look palatable for investors. You can absorb a bad quarter or two, but you can really only blame the weather for so long.

Eventually heads roll.

All In

The thing is, a business like Dick’s doesn’t buy as they go. They commit early, and they buy big. For a company the size of Dick’s Sporting Goods TaylorMade is their Costco, they save when they buy in bulk.

They did, and they got stuck holding the bag for a metric shit-ton of TaylorMade gear.

How bad is it?

I spoke with two senior level industry experts yesterday who estimate that a full 60% of Dick’s golf inventory is tied up in TaylorMade. Couple that surplus with another estimate that puts Dick’s TaylorMade sales down by upwards of 40% from last year, and well, it’s pretty easy to pinpoint the source of the congestion.

Net Down to Zero Profits

At any given Dick’s you’re likely to find upwards of 10 different TaylorMade drivers still on shelves. That number includes an assortment of standard models (R1, RBZ, RBZ 2, SLDR, SLDR S, JetSpeed), Pro & TP, black and white, and for good measure, a few Dick’s exclusive’s like the Gloire and RBZ SL.

Having a huge selection of gear, particularly at discount prices isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the consumer, but it’s a huge problem for Dick’s right now.

Because of the way most major manufacturers handle price cuts (a process known as Net Down), Dick’s (and everyone else) only makes much in the way of an actual profit when it sells the very latest and greatest.

For the rest of it (the 6+ month old stuff)…the cost of those discounts was already applied to the purchase of the new gear. So while selling a few R1s might clear some shelf space, it doesn’t actually make Dick’s any real money.

Good news…all those near-zero profit drivers, they still count in the market share reports (Dick’s doesn’t provide info to Golf Datatech, but most other retail outlets do).

Once upon a time retailers could Net Down and still turn a profit. Not anymore, not with this much surplus. With the retail market and the industry as a whole in decline, the accelerated release model has very quickly been proven unsustainable.

Enough Blame to Go Around

While TaylorMade faces the brunt of the criticism, the reality is that this mess isn’t totally on them. Callaway followed the TaylorMade model, and as recently as last year was still talking about being extremely aggressive with their releases.

I’m guessing plans have changed.

Over the last few seasons, Cleveland, Cobra, Adams…actually let’s call it what it is – EVERYBODY not named Titleist, PING, or Nike has aggressively discounted gear early in the season, and they too have contributed to the equipment clog.

Let’s pause for a moment to appreciate those few companies who refused to contribute to what is now, inarguably, a total clusterfuck.

If you’re going to blame TaylorMade for being the leader, shake an angry fist at all of the followers too.

Dick’s shouldn’t get a pass in this either. It’s not a victim by any stretch. Absolutely TaylorMade has been known to do some arm twisting. You want the biggest wholesale discount, you’ll need to buy more inventory than anyone can reasonably expect to sell in this market.

Not only did Dick’s load up with the standard stuff, they partnered with TaylorMade on those exclusives I talked about too. Dick’s went all in with TaylorMade and they got busted.

Dick’s twisted its own arm.

Sadly…that’s only half the story.

The Other Half of the Story

There’s more to this than just a flooded retail channel. It would be easy to view those 500+ golf professionals who lost their jobs this week as collateral damage in TaylorMade’s war on the rest of the golf industry, but the reality is they’re victims of a badly miscalculated power play on the part of Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Have you ever stopped to think why Dick’s even staffed PGA Professionals in the first place? I mean, when you really think about it, it’s ludicrous.

You think the average big box customer cares about custom fitting, or having access to a credentialed PGA Professional? C’mon.

Would Best Buy hire sound engineers to sell stereos?

It’s just bad business to pay someone 40-50K per year to do the same job that somebody else will do for $10 an hour.

That’s not a knock on the PGA Pros who lost their jobs. It’s a safe assumption that the vast majority are more skilled and much more knowledgeable than the average Dick’s associate. They don’t deserve to be out of work right now. They’re talented guys who were in the wrong place.

What I’m suggesting is that Dick’s had a plan…and it wasn’t a particularly good one. The Big box business doesn’t need much in the way of professional anything, at least not at the ground level.

It’s reasonable to assume that the idea to staff PGA Professionals was conceived with the belief that by offering custom fitting (your actual mileage with that will vary) and other services (club repair, regripping) more commonly associated with Green Grass and mom and pop golf businesses, Dick’s could take an even bigger chunk out of the ass of the little guy…and the club pro too.

Credentialed PGA Professionals would add authenticity to Dick’s golf business. They would legitimize the money grab.

Dick’s misread the market and its own customer base.

Big Box is All About Price and Instant Gratification

While there will always be exceptions, the average big box customer doesn’t much care who’s behind the counter. He doesn’t care about custom fitting either.

The majority Dick’s golf customer doesn’t know the store has a PGA Professional on staff. If he does, it doesn’t much matter, because he’s not at Dick’s for the service anyway. He’s there for the inventory. He’s there for instant gratification. Dick’s has what he wants and he doesn’t have to pay for shipping.

Golf consumers aren’t much different than any other consumer. They want what they want for as little as they can possibly spend, and because of MAP Pricing, Dick’s can’t sell him a driver for any less than anybody else.

You know who can? eBay. It’s the only place where anyone has a competitive advantage at retail.

Those who are actually interested in fitting and a full-service experience, they were never going to come to Dick’s in any meaningful numbers. The Big Box stigma is too strong. Those guys…probably guys like most of you; you’re going to a custom fitter, or a golf specialty shop.

Dick’s believed that it could make golfers see them as something more than a big box sporting goods store. They were wrong and 500+ PGA Pros are out of work today because of it.

What Happens Next

This unfortunate Dick’s situation isn’t the story. It’s barely the start of a much larger one.

Big, big (and much needed) changes are coming to the golf equipment industry. Participation in the sport is dropping, and while I’m not one who believes it’s time to start the countdown to the total demise of the game just yet, the current retail sales model is broken. It’s clearly not sustainable in this declining market.

I don’t have any details solid enough to print just yet, but the firings are just the beginning of major changes to Dick’s golf business. The forecasters at Dick’s don’t believe the golf equipment industry has hit bottom yet. They’re cutting back…on inventory, and on floor space.

Make room for Yoga. That’s where the money is. And I’m not kidding.

That alone will impact the industry in a big way. Inside their biggest revenue source, golf companies will have less square footage peddle their wares. It’s a potentially massive shift.

We believe we’re going to see a much more restrained industry. Expectations will be reset. Product cycles will rationalize, and the rapid discount game is going to come to a very sudden halt.

Direct to consumer sales will be a larger part of the strategy for most golf companies, and that’s going to take yet another chunk out of what’s left of the retail guy’s ass. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

My guess is that all of this trickles down to my side of the industry as well. There will likely be fewer and smaller media events. The free equipment frenzy that keeps the average golf blogger banging away at his keyboard is going to end. There’s going to be much less to go around.

Existing advertising models? We’ll see.

The entire golf industry is going to contract and consolidate.

Some will no doubt accuse us of being overly dramatic (we respect your opinion), but the industry has been tumbling towards this inevitability for a while now, and the firings at Dick’s are only a harbinger (what an ominous word, right) of even bigger changes to come.

At the risk of overstating it, we believe this is nothing less than chapter one of the biggest equipment story in the history of MyGolfSpy.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story…

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

Golf Pics of the Week – Equipment Overload Editon

Golf Pics of the Week – Equipment Overload Editon

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My God, What  A Week

This week we’ve had new releases from TaylorMade, Nike, and perhaps most significantly…or at least most interestingly (visually anyway), Tour Edge. We’re on such an equipment overload that I almost thought about skipping the pics of the week and heading out to the golf course…so I could actually try some of that new equipment.

Unfortunately for me some of the stuff we found was just too cool to ignore. We’ve got that Tour Edge fairway, and old see-through Callaway prototype, what I think is a really cool shaft photo, and a must see hand engraved wedge from Edel golf.

We’re also changing the Pic of the Week rules (not that we really have any). If a pic wins, I’ll find another related pic (same company, same source, same something), and we’ll let that company or guy (or girl) ride it out for as long as they can. Something new each week…that’s the plan. Let’s put the three-peat in play.

But First . . . Last Week’s Winner

Nike Golf’s Practice More

Normally I'm not a fan of Nike's motivational poster approach to social media, but this one kinda works.

The Golf Pics of the Week (Click to Enlarge)

David Dusek posted showed us what Adams Scott's original Futura X headcover looked like.
GolfSpy X found this old Callaway Prototype (from when HasthtagChad was in diapers) in his office.
UST-Mamiya posted this really cool pic of their new ATTAS 5 Go-Go Shaft.
This Edel wedge was 100% hand engraved by Clyde Wynn.
The new Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro Fairway (Photo provided by Fujikura) has a sole unlike any other.
Nike would like you to know that their custom department will stamp your wedges for you.
This George Spirits Sakura putter is limited to 100 units.
Geotech has a new prototype driver.
PING says Happy Birthday to Angel Cabrera.
Torque Golf posted this sweet little Miura Small Blade 1-iron.

Vote Now!

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)