As the age-old question goes: Are golfers considered athletes? Ok, maybe not age-old. John Daly, Craig Stadler and even Jack Nicklaus put kinks in any argument that the stereotypical definition of athleticism is required to be a successful golfer. However, with athletes like Gary Woodland, Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods choosing golf instead of another “more athletic” sport, the argument now has some substantiality. The youth of today is seeing younger, more fit players taking the reigns of professional golf.

PowerBilt is taking the argument a step, a few powerful kicks and a choke-hold farther by signing professional MMA fighter Cub Swanson to their team to promote the company’s new Air Force One DFX driver and other new releases. Swanson is an avid golf who grew up in Palm Springs, Calif., and will help PowerBilt in their marketing campaign with an edgier personality.


“We’re in the process of signing other extreme sport athletes,” said Ross Kvinge, president of PowerBilt. “Cub is the first because of his passion for golf and his connection to the local community. Cub gives us the opportunity to enhance the future of golf and the idea of golfers as athletes. In signing Cub, other MMA athletes, and additional extreme sports figures, we are reaching younger demographics to entice them to consider PowerBilt for their golf equipment. We are breaking the mold of who golf companies should endorse.”

Not only does the new campaign influence young athletes to take up the game, but it will help develop their bodies to become more powerful, specifically for the needs of a golf swing.

“PowerBilt will announce a power golf fitness program in 2014 that will showcase Cub and other extreme athletes,” Kvinge said. “The program will feature custom fitting instructions and extreme fitness techniques with the theme of ‘get your game power-built’ from the ground up with PowerBilt Golf.”

Golfers like Rickie Fowler, who engages himself in the motocross and extreme sports world, help to expand the horizons of golf and perception of the sport. PowerBilt is moving in a similar direction.

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“We need to get them off the electronic games and out on the course,” Kvinge said. “The youth are following the extreme sports athletes and we feel we can have an impact by reaching out through our athletes and introduce them to golf. PowerBilt will reach out to baseball players, MMA fighters, BMX, Motocross, surfers and snowboarders.”

The newest technology from PowerBilt represents the edgy quality of the company’s marketing direction and philosophy. The Air Force One DFX driver features Nitrogen N7 “Nitrogen Charged” technology, which is a newly patented method that reinforces the club face without adding weight.

The driver also comes equipped with a forged titanium body, titanium cup face technology and what the company calls an “aerodynamic clubhead shape.” It’s available in either a high MOI or Tour Series, with lofts of 8.5 degrees, 9.5 degrees, 10.5 degrees and 12.5 degrees. Both drivers are sold at retail starting at $299.99, with an upcharge for certain shaft models.

Maybe the PGA Tour won’t be stealing its tour pros from the UFC or NBA anytime soon, but the sport of golf is definitely moving in a more athletic direction with the help of PowerBilt, and a generation of younger, in-shape and body-conscious players.

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Andrew Tursky is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team while earning a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.


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  1. Does anybody remember that Calloway tried something like this? Commercial with tattooed guy hitting a ball out of a trailer. Remember the Diablo?….?…..neither do I. Powerbilt is still Powerbuilt….the club that big box stores sell to people that are new to golf or don’t want to/can’t spend the money on name brand clubs. Good marketing try but I am going to stay with name brands a model year or two old or demo’ed and save some money.

  2. I don’t get it… seems like they’re trying too hard. There’s not even a crossover at any point in the commmerical b/w the two sports. It’s just a guy doing MMA with a Powerbilt tee on and then pics of a driver interwoven. This could have been more effetive IMO had at the end the MMA guy changed into athletic golf apparel, pulled the driver, gave a mean look down the fair way and then crushed a drive.

  3. Pay atention to most low handicap golfers. They often are the more than not a pretty good athlete. Comparing NFL players to pro golfers is apples vs oranges. It’s not even fair to compare a defensive back vs an offensive lineman. I think of Olympic athletes that throw javelin or dicus. It requires good form to optimize efficiency and maintain consistency. Are they athletes? Hard to deny if you see there physiques. Golf is like this. Can you do it and not be athletic? Sure, but don’t forget about that unathletic kid that played right field in little league. He played but prob wasn’t very good.

  4. Golf is a sport because physical training is will make you better. Those who are physically fit have an advantage over those who are not. You could play soccer while holding a beer and being 340 lb. You just will be out advantaged by those who are in shape. Therefore the difference between a sport and a game is wether physicality makes any difference.

  5. Sport it is, just not an athletic one. Hand eye coordination and balance does not make you an athlete. That would be like calling throwing darts an athletic sport, or archery, fly fishing.

  6. If you can drink beer and smoke cigarettes while your doing it it’s not a sport it’s a game.
    If your waist is 46 and your length is 34, your not an athlete, but you could be a golfer.

    • That’s just a stupid statement. You can drink beer and smoke while playing any sport and I’m pretty sure there are some guys in the NFL and maybe even the major leagues with a waistline pretty close to that. If your only definition to what makes a sport running then I guess golfs not. But to me great balance, body coordination and hand eye coordination are very athletic traits. Elite golfers display if nothing else great hand eye coordination so its definitely a sport. Just look how unathletic golf makes some of the so called greatest athletes of other sports look. Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky almost look spastic and don’t even let me get started on Charles Barkley!