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Custom wedge company Hopkins Golf opens it doors

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For most amateur golfers, the ultimate goal is to play like a pro and shoot as close to par as possible. Most will never get there, but players can now customize their clubs like tour pros at a “better value” in hopes of lowering their score.

Hopkins Golf officially launched its website this week with the goal of providing golfers with “tour authentic, custom-built equipment factory direct at a fair price.”

“This is a banner day for us,” said Greg Hopkins, CEO of Hopkins Golf who has more than 30 years of experience in the golf business. “For a long time, we’ve been preparing to be able to get golfers custom wedges just like Tour players get. We can’t wait to hear their reactions when they receive the true tour experience for themselves.”

By heading to its website, golfers can customize their wedges the way the pros do in eight steps or less. The wedges are available for men and women, in six different lofts and seven different grinds. The price of the wedge runs about $100 each, with some additional fees for extra features such as custom engraving, stamping, paint fill, ferrules, grips and shafts.

Headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif., Hopkins Golf has partnered with UPS and placed its club assembly inside UPS facilities. UPS will handle shipping for the company and will allow for less overhead cost for the company, leading to a lower cost for the consumer. The typical golf company takes five steps before his or her clubs are delivered to the player, the company said in a press release. Hopkins Golf golf takes three.

Capture
Chart courtesy of Hopkins Golf.

Hopkins Golf was founded earlier this year when Greg Hopkins left his position as CEO of Cleveland Golf to start his own company.

According to its website, professional players who use Hopkins include Don Pooley Jr., who won the 2002 U.S. Senior Open and the 1985 Vardon Trophy, John Huston, who has seven PGA Tour wins, and Danny Pohl, a member of the 1987 Ryder Cup Team.

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David Cheng is a former ESPN Production Assistant. He is currently pursuing his master's from Villanova's School of Communication and holds a bachelor's degree in journalism with a marketing minor from Emerson College.

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Taylor Made

    Dec 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    They dont offer different bounce. So much for “custom”. LOL

  2. Taylor Made

    Dec 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Who cares if their assembly is inside UPS?? The savings is not passed on to the consumer. It goes in Hopkins pocket. This whole operation sucks. Can get better clubs off the rack.

  3. Brock Libby

    Sep 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Intrigued by these, but the graphic implies that some UPS worker is the one building the wedges.

  4. Kyoung

    Jul 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Anybody test out these in the field?
    Does anybody know the bounce? Forgive me if i should know.
    I ordered a 56 Heel/Toe Grind, and 52 helf Grind
    Wanna know how the 56 compares to a Cleveland 56 14 bounce i’ve played for 3 yrs

    I couldn’t pass on the custom club with some grind options.
    It does add up when you start customizing, but i was in abut 165 for custom color, grip, grind options.
    Personally i dont think its that bad considering some of the new Clevelands with the “milled face” are 120. I dont really buy into the more spin with the milling on the face. Especially if youre a hi80’s/90 hitter like me.
    Thanks and please let me know if you’ve tested these out on the course!

  5. Karl

    Jul 9, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I bought a 56* wedge fully customized with engraving, paint fill, and a free shelf grind promotion, added a colored lamkin midsize grip, and colored ferrule for $136 shipped. +1″ shaft, with 3* upright lie for no extra charge. I got the wedge in about 6 days and I could not be more pleased. It’s absolutely perfect and feels amazing! I will be ordering a 52* and a 60* soon.

    • Karl

      Jul 9, 2013 at 11:43 am

      You just cannot get that level of customization off the shelf. Thank you Hopkins Golf!

    • Kyoung

      Jul 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Hi,
      Just ordered a 52 Shelf Grind, and 56 Heel Toe Grind.
      Did u get to use these on the course?
      I used a Cleveland 56 14 bounce for years and wanna know how the 2 compare.
      Thanks.

  6. Randy

    Jul 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Hey, marketing guy at Hopkins Golf here. I have to say that I’m really surprised by the cast vs. forged discussion. I’ve toured the factories and worked out on the tours and I thought that argument was put to bed. Heat treating changed the game. Cast 8620 that when heat treated properly is the best of all worlds; the consistency of casting and the feel of forging. If tour players can’t tell the difference in feel, why are amateurs so concerned about it?

    • Steven

      Sep 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      hey randy,
      since you work at hopkins golf can you tell me why their phone numbers are not in service and their email is essentially the same. i have been trying to return my wedges which rusted in a matter of two days back and i finally called five days ago and got a woman on the phone who was nice and said i would be receiving the free shipping label via email. im no computer wiz but emails go through in a matter of minutes, not a week. i am very displeased with the quality of the wedges, the price, and the customer service. i just bought two vokey design wedges for $227 compared to the $246 i spent on hopkins wedges just to have a four leaf clover… dumbest decision i have made in a long time. all i want to do is get my money back and be done with hopkins golf. worst experience of my life. if your a serious golfer. go to cleveland or titliest, bottom line.

      • Taylor Made

        Dec 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm

        It says right on the site that the wedges will rust.

      • David Smith

        Dec 12, 2013 at 8:53 pm

        They’re meant to rust… dumbest decision you say? perhaps you should read what you’re buying before making arrogant remarks.

      • john

        Jan 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm

        hey goof-ball they are meant to rust.

  7. Joe

    Jul 2, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Sic Golf has custom handmade wedges forged in japan for the same price as these… lol

  8. Eve

    Jun 27, 2013 at 3:08 am

    CAST. Nuff said.

  9. Jimmy

    Jun 26, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Overpriced and nothing really “custom” about them, so you can get some stamps and engravings, wow, who cares? Everything else you can get at any reputable golf store like grips, shaft, etc. They can keep them. I doubt it outperforms my Cleveland 588 RTX wedges that I got for 40$ a piece brand new.

    • J

      Jun 28, 2013 at 10:32 am

      What about the custom grinds, loft, lie? The grind is very important, and not something you just get off the shelf… Looks good to me

  10. G

    Jun 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    $166 isn’t bad for custom wedges. Maybe you should cut back on all the unecessary stampings/paint fill/colored grip and only concentrate on what you need to PLAY the game

    • J

      Jun 26, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      I didn’t do anything other than standard paintfill and ZERO stampings…

      Purely for a grip ai could tolerate and the grinds I want…

      The point is… A brand new company charging those prices is a bit pretentious..

      I will be able to get my choice of grips and grind from Callaway when the MD2’s come out for about the same or less… And besides that… I just said no thanks. I didn’t actually say it was out of one or criticize… Maybe the two of you should learn how to read and stop making assumptions…

      I said what I did and said no thanks. Was a pretty simple statement.

      • Adam

        Jun 26, 2013 at 11:05 pm

        I just went through the process with one wedge and it came out to $130.99 with spinner shaft, upgraded grip and colored ferrule.

        Not to bad for a semi custom wedge (no stampings or paint fill).

        Maybe there was an option that you had in there by accident???

      • Jake

        Jun 28, 2013 at 10:30 am

        I just did it for three wedges, without custom stamping or engraving, with the black steel shaft, lamkin grip, custom grinds, and it was $367 for my three wedges! I think that’s a phenomenal deal. Maybe their was some glitch on the page or something like that, b/c I’m not sure how it could get to $500.?

  11. Ryan

    Jun 26, 2013 at 11:29 am

    So you want custom wedges for off the rack prices then? $166 each seems reasonable…

  12. J

    Jun 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

    After one trip through the customization program I was over 500.00 with Hi-Rev shafts… Lamkin grips and grinds on 3 wedges… 500.00

    No thanks.

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pga tour

David Duval WITB 2018

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Equipment accurate as of the 2018 Zurich Classic (4/24/2018). 

Driver: Cobra King F8+ (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubish Tensei Orange CK 60TX

Fairway Woods: Cobra King F8+ (12.5 & 17.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubish Tensei Blue CK 70TX

Irons: Cobra King Forged C8 (3-PW)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Cobra King (50, 52, 56)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (50), Nippon N.S. Pro WV125 Tour Only (52, 56)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Newport
Grip: Ping Pistol

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Duval’s clubs. 

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pga tour

K.J. Choi WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Valero Texas Open (4/18/2018).

Driver: Ping G400 Max (9 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-6x

Driver: Ping G400 Max (9 degrees)
Shaft: Ozik Matrix MFS M5 60X

3 Wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7x

5 Wood: Ping G400 (17.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-8x

Hybrid: Ping G400 (22 degrees)
Shaft: Atlus Tour H8

Irons: Ping G400 (4-PW)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 120X

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (50-12SS, 54-12SS, 58-10)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Ping Sigma G Wolverine T
Grip: Ping Pistol

Putter: Ping PLF ZB3
Grip: Super Stroke KJ

Putter: Ping Sigma Vault Anser 2
Grip: Ping Pistol

WITB Notes: We spotted Choi testing a number of clubs at the Valero Texas Open. We will update this post when we have his 14-club setup confirmed. 

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Choi’s clubs. 

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Accessory Reviews

I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went

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Corica Park Golf Course is not exactly the first place you’d expect to find one of the most experimental sports movements sweeping the nation. Sitting on a pristine swath of land along the southern rim of Alameda Island, deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the course’s municipal roots and no-frills clubhouse give it an unpretentious air that seems to fit better with Sam Snead’s style of play than, say, Rickie Fowler’s.

Yet here I am, one perfectly sunny morning on a recent Saturday in December planning to try something that is about as unconventional as it gets for a 90-year-old golf course.

It’s called Golfboarding, and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an amalgam of golf and skateboarding, or maybe surfing. The brainchild of surfing legend Laird Hamilton — who can be assumed to have mastered, and has clearly grown bored of, all normal sports — Golfboarding is catching on at courses throughout the country, from local municipal courses like Corica Park to luxury country clubs like Cog Hill and TPC Las Colinas. Since winning Innovation Of the Year at the PGA Merchandising Show in 2014, Golfboards can now be found at 250 courses and have powered nearly a million rounds of golf already. Corica Park currently owns eight of them.

The man in pro shop gets a twinkle in his eyes when our foursome tells him we’d like to take them out. “Have you ridden them before?” he asks. When we admit that we are uninitiated, he grins and tells us we’re in for a treat.

But first, we need to sign a waiver and watch a seven-minute instructional video. A slow, lawyerly voice reads off pedantic warnings like “Stepping on the golfboard should be done slowly and carefully” and “Always hold onto the handlebars when the board is in motion.” When it cautions us to “operate the board a safe distance from all…other golfboarders,” we exchange glances, knowing that one of us will more than likely break this rule later on.

Then we venture outside, where one of the clubhouse attendants shows us the ropes. The controls are pretty simple. One switch sends it forward or in reverse, another toggles between low and high gear. To make it go, there’s a throttle on the thumb of the handle. The attendant explains that the only thing we have to worry about is our clubs banging against our knuckles.

“Don’t be afraid to really lean into the turns,” he offers. “You pretty much can’t roll it over.”

“That sounds like a challenge,” I joke. No one laughs.

On a test spin through the parking lot, the Golfboard feels strong and sturdy, even when I shift around on it. It starts and stops smoothly with only the slightest of jerks. In low gear its top speed is about 5 mph, so even at full throttle it never feels out of control.

The only challenge, as far as I can tell, is getting it to turn. For some reason, I’d expected the handlebar to offer at least some degree of steering, but it is purely for balance. The thing has the Ackerman angle of a Mack Truck, and you really do have to lean into the turns to get it to respond. For someone who is not particularly adept at either surfing or skateboarding, this comes a little unnaturally. I have to do a number of three-point turns in order to get back to where I started and make my way over to the first tee box.

We tee off and climb on. The fairway is flat and wide, and we shift into high gear as we speed off toward our balls. The engine had produced just the faintest of whirrs as it accelerated, but it is practically soundless as the board rolls along at full speed. The motor nevertheless feels surprisingly powerful under my feet (the drivetrain is literally located directly underneath the deck) as the board maintains a smooth, steady pace of 10 mph — about the same as a golf cart. I try making a couple of S curves like I’d seen in the video and realize that high-speed turning will take a little practice for me to get right, but that it doesn’t seem overly difficult.

Indeed, within a few holes I might as well be Laird himself, “surfing the earth” from shot to shot. I am able to hold the handlebar and lean way out, getting the board to turn, if not quite sharply, then at least closer to that of a large moving van than a full-sized semi. I take the hills aggressively (although the automatic speed control on the drivetrain enables it to keep a steady pace both up and down any hills, so this isn’t exactly dangerous), and I speed throughout the course like Mario Andretti on the freeway (the company claims increased pace-of-play as one of the Golfboard’s primary benefits, but on a Saturday in the Bay Area, it is impossible avoid a five-hour round anyway.)

Gliding along, my feet a few inches above the grass, the wind in my face as the fairways unfurl below my feet, it is easy to see Golfboards as the next evolution in mankind’s mastery of wheels; the same instincts to overcome inertia that brought us bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, and more recent inventions such as Segways, Hoverboards and Onewheels are clearly manifest in Golfboards as well. They might not offer quite the same thrill as storming down a snowy mountainside or catching a giant wave, but they are definitely more fun than your standard golf cart.

Yet, there are obvious downsides as well. The attendant’s warning notwithstanding, my knuckles are in fact battered and sore by the time we make the turn, and even though I rearrange all my clubs into the front slots of my bag, they still rap my knuckles every time I hit a bump. Speaking of which, the board’s shock absorber system leaves something to be desired, as the ride is so bumpy that near the end I start to feel as if I’ve had my insides rattled. Then there is the unforgivable fact of its missing a cup holder for my beer.

But these are mere design flaws that might easily be fixed in the next generation of Golfboards. (A knuckle shield is a must!) My larger problem with Golfboards is what they do to the game itself. When walking or riding a traditional cart, the moments in between shots are a time to plan your next shot, or to chat about your last shot, or to simply find your zen out there among the trees and the birds and the spaciousness of the course. Instead, my focus is on staying upright.

Down the stretch, I start to fade. The muscles in my core have endured a pretty serious workout, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the strength for my golf swing. It is no coincidence that my game starts to unravel, and I am on the way to one of my worst rounds in recent memory.

Walking off the 18th green, our foursome agrees that the Golfboards were fun — definitely worth trying — but that we probably wouldn’t ride them again. Call me a purist, but as someone lacking Laird Hamilton’s physical gifts, I’m happy to stick to just one sport at a time.

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