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My $41 Scotty Cameron putter

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When it comes to putters, Scotty Camerons are about as good as it gets.

Phil and Tiger used to use one, and even after signing a lucrative endorsement deal with Nike, Rory McIlroyhas spent most of 2013 rolling his putts with a Cameron.

Cameron putters can be custom made, up to the smallest of details. Without a fitting, these babies can retail for as much as $350 or more.

So imagine my surprise and interest when I looked around on the web and found a new Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter for the amazing price of $41. There it was, problem solved. It could be mine for next to nothing. My mind started racing — what if I bought 10 of these? Surely, I could sell them for more than that on eBay or Craigslist. Suddenly, I was considering a new career as a putter trader.

There was no “click to buy,” or anything like you usually see on Amazon. Just an email address to Natalie Yan. I contacted her and received a reply about a week later. Natalie asked how I was doing and informed me that the putter was still available. And how many pieces did I want? I replied that I only wanted one, but if I was satisfied I would buy more. She emailed me an invoice, and informed me that I could pay with PayPal. With shipping, the total cost came closer to $86. Still a steal.

However, I couldn’t help but be a little suspicious. The site where I found the putter, diytrade.com, is similar to eBay. It is based in China, and allows individuals to sell new or used merchandise. My seller was claiming that I was buying the product wholesale, which is how I was getting it so cheap.

It’s true that a lot of golf clubs are made in China, so maybe it made sense. But I took a closer look at the invoice that Natalie sent me. It came from “Factory 16 building, Shitanbu industry area, Tangxia Town, Dongguan City, China.”

I decided to email the people at Scotty Cameron directly and see what the deal was. Their response was the following:

Please be advised that the website that you provided is not affiliated with Acushnet Company. Please note that there has been an increase in the number of websites that offer counterfeit product for sale, especially at prices that seem “too good to be true.” We recommend that you make your Acushnet purchase through an authorized account.

I decided to forward the email to Natalie and see what she said. She never replied.

I looked into it a bit more, and on the Acushnet site, there was a guide to avoiding counterfeit clubs. Among the warnings was:

“If the goods are shipping from, or located in, China or Hong Kong, they are probably counterfeit.”

Club makers have recognized that this is a serious problem and have acted. A few years ago, Callaway, Cleveland/Srixon, Ping, TaylorMade and Titleist put together an organization called Keep Golf Real. The slick website has extensive information about how to spot fakes, as well as the latest news on the fight against counterfeit. KeepGolfReal estimates that 2 million counterfeit clubs are produced every year.

The organization has had some success. In January 2012, it announced that it shut down 62 websites where counterfeit clubs were sold. A restraining order froze their Paypal accounts, and Joe Nauman, executive vice president for corporate and legal at Acushnet, called it an important message sent to counterfeiters.

However, despite their progress, how much of this fight are they actually winning? Counterfeits can still be bought with relative ease on eBay. And doesn’t shutting down 62 sites mean that more and more of these sites are popping up, and that eradicating all of them is likely impossible?

Officials at Keep Golf Real accepted that it will be a challenge, and acknowledged that the best way to win this fight was through education. The organization’s theory is that if people stop buying counterfeit clubs, counterfeiters will stop making them. Perhaps this is somewhat naive, especially in a tough economy everyone is looking to cut costs, but it is a laudable mission.

Their success or failure will become clearer in the longer term. Meanwhile, they keep fighting, but the factories in China stay busy.

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  17. Joe

    Aug 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I’m sorry, was this article written by a grandparent/parent of someone who works here?
    These are generally the kind of people who wouldn’t know that something that is being sold from China at a stupidly low price is fake.

  18. Jimmy Wu

    Jun 7, 2014 at 2:42 am

    When I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

  19. jc

    May 22, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    so scuuty camelon is not a real person?
    thank goodness I have authentic bin Horgan and Calaweigh clubs from china.

    • Klondiko

      Aug 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Would go perfectly with the Ray Ben sunglasses I bought in mexico for $5.

      • Ryan

        Aug 13, 2014 at 7:42 pm

        You got ripped off! Your Ray Bens are probably fake. I, on the other hand, got some SWEET Oaklee sunglasses for 4 dollars on Ebay.

  20. TLE

    May 14, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    I bought a $50 knock off putter from China, and to be honest it’s better than the $400 SC putter I bought from Golftown

    • Justin

      Aug 17, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      It’s all about how it fits, and if it’s pleasing to you. The du jour designer name, the price, the metal used, how it was milled… the only time all that matters is if it matters to you. If you tied a red brick to a shovel handle and averaged <35 putts a round, wouldn't that be your "it" putter?

    • elpatoreal

      Sep 7, 2014 at 10:16 am

      If you like the cheaper putter better, why didn’t you just buy a similar looking putter from Tiger Shark or Tour Edge or some other company? Why support counterfeiters? I’m not trying to provoke you, I’m just genuinely curious.

  21. Renee

    Apr 24, 2014 at 11:47 am

    You will not hear me crying for the transnational corporations exploiting cheap labor pools and shipping jobs overseas. This is part of the consequences or ‘cost factor’ their bean counters forgot to factor in. In addition, Intellectual property is free game overseas. Hindsight is always 20/20 right.

  22. jim

    Mar 16, 2014 at 11:00 am

    the chineese labour regulations for a smelter lets titleist and most club makers function over there rather than here western so why should we not buy the back street ex-factory worker not make a living?how many ethics minded businesses have put employees out of the system ie work related persuits.

  23. Eligio

    Mar 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I too sent away for one of these $41 specials, knowing full well it was too good to be true. It looks real from 10′ away but as you get closer, it is a really bad knock off but for a total of around $80 I couldn’t resist.
    For all of those complaining about the cost of an authentic SC, no one is holding a gun to your head. Just say no!

    • john

      Mar 29, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Why would you buy it, if you know its fake?

  24. swingspeed

    Jan 3, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    “If the goods are shipping from, or located in, China or Hong Kong, they are probably counterfeit.” Maybie i’m wrong here but aren’t that model of scotty’s made in china and shiped from china?

    • Joseph

      Mar 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      No “real” Scotty Cameron putters are made in China. Everything is made in the US. Made in Southern California.

  25. JaMarcus

    Aug 30, 2013 at 12:15 am

    How could the author not realize he was really purchasing a $41 Scotty Camwong putter?

    • Christian

      May 6, 2014 at 11:44 pm

      Ha! got me laughin hard on the Scotty Camwong…

  26. Kevo

    Aug 5, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Why would you even waste your time thinking a $41 dollar Scotty is legit? This article was a waste of time to read.

  27. Mike

    Aug 1, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Writer left one thing out…………
    How did the putter perform?

    BTW…….Karsten Solheim was the putter design genius. Scotty has been riding on his coattail for years.

    I don’t blame him though. Whatever it takes to make a buck or two.

    • Keith

      Aug 1, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      I have never used the Scotty Cameron counterfeit putter. I have about 200 putters in my modest collection.
      Right now I am using a Ping Kushin Scottsdale that I bought for less than $100 and it seems to be working just now.
      You know that it is often the puttee and not the putter!

  28. Keith

    Jul 31, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I bought a Scotty Cameron putter complete with head cover from China for $53 Canadian all in and of course knew it was a fake.it looks just like the real thing but I wanted to see the counterfeit for myself. It was delivered to my home in Toronto 10 days after placing the order.
    The head is light in weight and I have never used it.
    Speaking of counterfeit who does Scotty copy with a lot of his famous over priced putters. Ever compare the heads with a Ping Anser?

    • John

      Aug 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ORIGINAL DESIGN IN THE GOLF EQUIPMENT INDUSTRY!!!…not only did Scotty cameron LICENSE the design when it was patented (which it hasn’t been for over 25 years now) but so did every other company that has ever made a putter…tell me Keith, what would you do to improve the design and functionality of the original Ping Anser…maybe mill it, check for Scotty…how about add weight to increase moi?…check for Scotty…there aren’t original designs anywhere any more, only small tweaks to existing ones.

  29. Bob

    Jul 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    The sad thing is, $41 is the price that an authentic cameron should be. The most over-rated putters on the market.

    • John

      Jul 31, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Couldn’t agree more…my uncle works for a company that supplys raw metal to kitchen-aid, I’m sure you’ve all heard of them…guess where the RECYCLED 303 stainless gets sent???…any guesses, that’s right Scotty Cameron (Acushnet) gets the metal that kitchen-aid doesn’t want to use for their knives. I can’t help but laugh at anyone out there that truly believe the materials cost more than $41…I won’t give numbers out of respect for business ethics, but the most expensive parts of ANY cameron putter (including some circle t’s for all you big spenders out there) is the shaft and grip combined…then whatever labor they have to pay the guy in the factory who has to stare at the Cnc mill…thanks and have a good day, boom

      • Mike

        Jul 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        i agree with you john, however i think it’s poor form to “boom” yourself. thanks and have a good day.

      • Mike

        Jul 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        BOOM! that’s for john.

        • John

          Jul 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm

          Actually mike, it is intended to be used yourself, in its origination, the person made a groundbreaking comment followed by “boom!”…don’t tell people what is or isn’t “good form”, who do you think you are the Internet comedy etiquette investigation bureau?

          • Will

            Mar 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm

            Wow. He just said he thought…I mean it’s how he feels.

            Just an opinion. He didn’t say you used it wrong.

      • J

        Aug 7, 2013 at 11:00 pm

        Why in the world would you think that anybody else thinks that the materials are worth $41???
        What finished product do you buy that the retail price = the cost of the materials? I don’t care if a putter is made from recycled rabbit turds and bottle caps from raspberry SnApple as long at it performs.

        Just try and make a putt with your Kitchenaid since it obviously is made from superior materials.

        • Brandon

          Apr 20, 2014 at 11:04 pm

          Probably the best comment I have ever read on GolfWrx. Freaking Hilarious

      • J

        Aug 7, 2013 at 11:03 pm

        And those other pesky costs of doing business like….maybe say…a building, insurance, administration, advertising, r&d, etc.

        • John

          Apr 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm

          lol! r&d for putter designs that don’t change. Every single golf company has the same typical putter designs and they all just add their unique touch to it. White, circles, logos, etc.

          I could be wrong, but I don’t think there’s a ton of r&d going on in the SC camp.

          That original comment is awesome.

      • Justin

        Aug 17, 2014 at 11:35 pm

        I laugh at that stuff, too. The cost of the metal is but a small fraction of the overall cost. The hype (demand) and Tour usage are bigger contributors to the cost. If everyone decided one day to stop buying SC’s, I’d bet you could get them for no more than $50.

    • Rixirox

      Mar 25, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Well, maybe in your humble opinion. I think my SC GoLo is the best thing since my old beat-up, Acushnet Bullseye Blade. And better than my White Ice and Daddy Longlegs.

      So I don’t care whos says what. By the time I got done buying all the junk that didn’t work, I was in a bit more than the price of a Scotty.

      So buy your Scotty up front and save money and time by not buying everybody else’s BS.

    • Joseph

      Mar 28, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      The putters are milled from a 10 pound billet of stainless steel. No other putter on the market is made this way. And they’re made in the US. Sorry, but these putters are anything but over-rated.

      • adrian

        Apr 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm

        totally agree, Ive been through 2-balls and #7’s, Ive tried ping zings and none compare to the SC’s I’ve had and have just bought a new one!

        People who say they arent worth the money are the kind of people who wear velcro trainers cutting cost or use a ten quid putter from sports direct and blah blah about the same materials!

        Try an SC love it, put it down because your missus will have a fit if she finds out what the stick cost!

        • adrian

          Apr 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm

          although that said, I always try to source a bargain, buying from shops is always way over what you can pick up a brand new putter for nearly new or *mint*!

  30. Joel

    Jul 31, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    wow…it seems if someone was trying to track down counterfeit clubs to stop companier that diytrade has it all… mostly all from the same small handful of companies but I cant help but feel like $140 ap2’s and $150 r1’s arent legit lol.

  31. Bart

    Jul 30, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I have a Scotty Cameron and I putt so bad with it I’m just about ready to pay someone $41-00 to take it away. I’ll stick with my old Anser 2.

  32. c masty

    Jul 30, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Whoever is trying to stop the counterfeiting is doing a knock out job stopping the counterfeit too. You can still go to diytrade.com and buy Scotty putters for 40 bucks.

  33. Rogier

    Jul 30, 2013 at 4:57 am

    I purchased a few “limited” Scotty Cameron headcovers this year for $20 a peace from a Chines website.
    They look and feel exacly the same as the originals

    • Nick

      Jul 30, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Aside from the fact you are helping a scam artist profiteer off the Cameron name, I would be much more inclined to buy a headcover I thought was fake then a club or ball where there is going to be an impact on performance that translates into hurting your game. Theres is obviuosly still the ethical element to contend with but at least the club/ball performance won’t suffer.

  34. Josh C

    Jul 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    “And doesn’t shutting down 62 sites mean that more and more of these sites are popping up, and that eradicating all of them is likely impossible?”

    Shutting down ALL of them? Yes, thats impossible. But if Keep Golf Real has shut down 62 sites in two years, you have to think that will deter some folks from making new counterfeit sites if they know they will just get shut down sooner rather than later. Sounds like a solid job by Keep Golf Real.

  35. mark

    Jul 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Great article not only club making but golf balls have been counterfeited also.

  36. Matt

    Jul 29, 2013 at 11:17 am

    It really took you an email to Scotty to figure out a $41 putter isn’t real? Not only is Scotty much more expensive wholesale…the materials alone cost more than $41 to make it.

    • John

      Jul 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Lol I was thinking the same thing…life lesson when something sounds “too good to be true” it usually is…emailing cameron about that = ROTFL

    • Mateo

      Jul 29, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      I’ll agree that wholesale is much more but the cost of the materials is much less.

  37. Cj

    Jul 29, 2013 at 11:13 am

    My uncle bought me this brand new r11 once and you could not believe how happy i was, but when i first took it to the range to try it out I realized that the sound of it was like of an empty can that sounded nothing like the ones i hear normally so i checked it online and fount out it was counterfeit you could not believe the disappointment in my face but i was happy because when i was hitting it i lost a good 50 yards

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Opinion & Analysis

Clark: A teacher’s take on Brandel Chamblee’s comments

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Because I’m writing to a knowledgeable audience who follows the game closely, I’m sure the current Brandel Chamblee interview and ensuing controversy needs no introduction, so let’s get right to it.

Brandel Chamblee, a former PGA Tour player, now plays a role as a TV personality. He has built a “brand” around that role. The Golf Channel seems to relish the idea of Brandel as the “loose cannon” of the crew (not unlike Johnny Miller on NBC) saying exactly what he thinks with seeming impunity from his superiors.

I do not know the gentleman personally, but on-air, he seems like an intelligent, articulate golf professional, very much on top of his subject matter, which is mostly the PGA Tour. He was also a very capable player (anyone who played and won on the PGA Tour is/was a great player). But remember, nowadays he is not being judged by what scores he shoots, but by how many viewers/readers his show and his book have (ratings). Bold statements sell, humdrum ones do not.

For example, saying that a teacher’s idiocy was exposed is a bold controversial statement that will sell, but is at best only partly true and entirely craven. If the accuser is not willing to name the accused, he is being unfair and self-serving. However, I think it’s dangerous to throw the baby out with the bathwater here; Brandel is a student of the game and I like a lot of what he says and thinks.

His overriding message in that interview is that golf over the last “30-40 years” has been poorly taught. He says the teachers have been too concerned with aesthetics, not paying enough attention to function. There is some truth in that, but Brandel is painting with a very broad brush here. Many, myself included, eschewed method teaching years ago for just that reason. Method teachers are bound to help some and not others. Maybe the “X swing” one player finds very useful, another cannot use it all.

Brandel was asked specifically about Matthew Wolff’s unique swing: Lifting the left heel, crossing the line at the top, etc. He answered, “of course he can play because that’s how he plays.” The problem would be if someone tried to change that because it “looked odd.” Any teacher worth his weight in salt would not change a swing simply because it looked odd if it was repeating good impact. I learned from the great John Jacobs that it matters not what the swing looks like if it is producing great impact.

Now, if he is objecting exclusively to those method teachers who felt a certain pattern of motions was the one true way to get to solid impact, I agree with him 100 percent. Buy many teach on an individual, ball flight and impact basis and did not generalize a method. So to say “golf instruction over the last 30-40 years” has been this or that is far too broad a description and unfair.

He goes on to say that the “Top Teacher” lists are “ridiculous.” I agree, mostly. While I have been honored by the PGA and a few golf publications as a “top teacher,” I have never understood how or why. NOT ONE person who awarded me those honors ever saw me give one lesson! Nor have they have ever tracked one player I coached.  I once had a 19 handicap come to me and two seasons later he won the club championship-championship flight! By that I mean with that student I had great success. But no one knew of that progress who gave me an award.

On the award form, I was asked about the best, or most well-known students I had taught. In the golf journals, a “this-is-the-teacher-who-can-help-you” message is the epitome of misdirection. Writing articles, appearing on TV, giving YouTube video tips, etc. is not the measure of a teacher. On the list of recognized names, I’m sure there are great teachers, but wouldn’t you like to see them teach as opposed to hearing them speak? I’m assuming the “ridiculous” ones Brandel refers to are those teaching a philosophy or theory of movement and trying to get everyone to do just that.

When it comes to his criticism of TrackMan, I disagree. TrackMan does much more than help “dial in yardage.” Video cannot measure impact, true path, face-to-path relationship, centeredness of contact, club speed, ball speed, plane etc. Comparing video with radar is unfair because the two systems serve different functions. And if real help is better ball flight, which of course only results from better impact, then we need both a video of the overall motion and a measure of impact.

Now the specific example he cites of Jordan Spieth’s struggles being something that can be corrected in “two seconds” is hyperbolic at least! Nothing can be corrected that quickly simply because the player has likely fallen into that swing flaw over time, and it will take time to correct it. My take on Jordan’s struggles is a bit different, but he is a GREAT player who will find his way back.

Brandel accuses Cameron McCormick (his teacher) of telling him to change his swing.  Do we know that to be true, or did Jordan just fall into a habit and Cameron is not seeing the change? I agree there is a problem; his stats prove that, but before we pick a culprit, let’s get the whole story. Again back to the sensationalism which sells! (Briefly, I believe Jordan’s grip is and has always been a problem but his putter and confidence overcame it. An active body and “quiet” hands is the motion one might expect of a player with a strong grip-for obvious reason…but again just my two teacher cents)

Anyway, “bitch-slapped” got him in hot water for other reasons obviously, and he did apologize over his choice of words, and to be clear he did not condemn the PGA as a whole. But because I have disagreements with his reasoning here does not mean Brandel is not a bright articulate golf professional, I just hope he looks before he leaps the next time, and realizes none of us are always right.

Some of my regular readers will recall I “laid down my pen” a few years ago, but it occurred to me, I would be doing many teachers a disservice if I did not offer these thoughts on this particular topic!

 

 

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Opinion & Analysis

A trip down Magnolia Memory Lane: Patron fashion at the 1991 Masters

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Like a lot of golfers out there, I’ve been getting my fix thanks to the final round Masters broadcasts on YouTube via the Masters channel. Considering these broadcasts go back as far as 1968, there is a lot we could discuss—we could break down shots, equipment, how the course has changed, but instead I thought we could have a little fun taking a different direction—fashion.

However, I’m not talking players fashion, that’s fairly straight forward. Instead, I wanted to follow the action behind the action and see what we could find along the way – here are the 1991 Highlights.

I love the “Die Hard” series as much as anyone else but one fan took it to a new level of fandom by wearing a Die Hard 2 – Die Harder T-shirt to Sunday at the Masters. This patron was spotted during Ian Woosnam fourth shot into 13. Honorable mention goes to Woosie’s gold chain.

There is a lot going on here as Ben Crenshaw lines up his put on 17. First, we have the yellow-shirted man just left of center with perfectly paired Masters green pants to go along with his hat (he also bears a striking resemblance to Ping founder Karsten Solheim). Secondly, we have what I would imagine is his friend in the solid red pants—both these outfits are 10 out of 10. Last but not least, we have the man seen just to the right of Ben with sunglasses so big and tinted, I would expect to be receiving a ticket from him on the I20 on my way out of town.

If you don’t know the name Jack Hamm, consider yourself lucky you missed a lot of early 2000s late-night golf infomercials. OK so maybe it’s not the guy known for selling “The Hammer” driver but if you look under the peak of the cabin behind Woosie as he tees off on ten you can be forgiven for taking a double-take… This guy might show up later too. Honorable mention to the pastel-pink-shorted man with the binoculars and Hogan cap in the right of the frame.

Big proportions were still very much in style as the 80s transitioned into the early 90s. We get a peek into some serious style aficionados wardrobes behind the 15th green with a wide striped, stiff collared lilac polo, along with a full-length bright blue sweater and a head of hair that has no intention of being covered by a Masters hat.

Considering the modern tales of patrons (and Rickie Folwer) being requested to turn backward hats forward while on the grounds of Augusta National, it was a pretty big shock to see Gerry Pate’s caddy with his hat being worn in such an ungentlemanly manner during the final round.

Before going any further, I would like us all to take a moment to reflect on how far graphics during the Masters coverage has come in the last 30 years. In 2019 we had the ability to see every shot from every player on every hole…in 1991 we had this!

At first glance, early in the broadcast, these yellow hardhats threw me for a loop. I honestly thought that a spectator had chosen to wear one to take in the action. When Ian Woosnam smashed his driver left on 18 over the bunkers it became very apparent that anyone wearing a hard hat was not there for fun, they were part of the staff. If you look closely you can see hole numbers on the side of the helmets to easily identify what holes they were assigned to. Although they have less to do with fashion, I must admit I’m curious where these helmets are now, and what one might be worth as a piece of memorabilia.

Speaking of the 18th hole, full credit to the man in the yellow hat (golf clap to anyone that got the Curious George reference) who perfectly matched the Pantone of his hat to his shirt and also looked directly into the TV camera.

It could be said the following photo exemplifies early ’90s fashion. We have pleated Bermuda shorts, horizontal stripes all over the place and some pretty amazing hairstyles. Honorable mention to the young guys in the right of the frame that look like every ’80s movie antagonist “rich preppy boy.”

What else can I say except, khaki and oversized long sleeve polos certainly had their day in 1991? We have a bit of everything here as Tom Watson lines up his persimmon 3-wood on the 18th. The guy next to Ian Woosnam’s sleeves hit his mid-forearm, there are too many pleats to count, and somehow our Jack Hamm look-alike managed to find another tee box front row seat.

You can check out the full final-round broadcast of the 1991 Masters below.

 

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The 19th Hole Episode 119: Gary Player joins the 19th Hole!

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Hall of Famer Gary Player gives an exclusive one-on-one interview with Host Michael Williams about his life in golf, his thoughts on the current game and his tips for thriving even in difficult times.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

 

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