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Henry-Griffitts Keeps Rolling

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Long before custom golf club fitting became mainstream a small company out of Idaho was preaching the benefits.  Right from their beginning in the early 1980's Henry-Griffitts' (an amalgamation of names of founders and PGA Pros Randy Henry and Jim Griffitts)  philosophy was that ALL golf clubs needed to be fitted.  With golf swings, abilities, and physical stature all very individual things, "off the rack" was just not in their vocabulary.  Lie boards and interchangeable clubheads for fitting are among the standards they were responsible for.

Turning to 2010, more than a quarter century has passed but the passion of HG remains.  The entire golf industry realized that maybe fitting WAS the way to help golfers get more out of their equipment and HG is still adhering to that policy – just as they have from the day they sold their first golf club.

We recently spoke with current Henry-Griffitts President Randall Henry, the son of Randy Henry, about the state of HG and what they have in store for 2010 and beyond.

Even in a time of turmoil in the golf equipment business they feel their approach has carried them through nicely. Henry says that because of that their market position does not vary much from what it has in the past.

"We still always try to think of ourselves as innovators and forward looking," he explained.  'We are still in-line with the certified teacher/fitters and very much believe that are key in the golf business.  They have a distinct knowledge and advantage  over somebody going online to buy clubs or somewhere else where that knowledge and experience is not available.  That is our market; we still only do custom fit golf clubs."

Henry says having a strong and stable relationships with the fitters and pros who sell their equipment has been a real advantage as the markets have ebbed and flowed.  "That is really the reason why we are still around, because we have found good people and they rely on us just as much as we rely on them.  We feel our teachers and fitters are the best in the world and they feel the same about us.  That is the relationship we have."

From an equipment perspective he says that symbiotic relationship has advantages for the consumer.  "They (the fitters) guarantee to give the best fit that they can and we guarantee that what they get is exactly what they order every time."

The company backs that commitment with a 100 day fit guarantee.  "We really encourage our customers to take a look at the clubs when they come in so they get exactly what they ordered," he explained. "That is how we differ; we make sure the people get exactly what they order, every time. Our quality control is second to none," he boasts.

Henrys says their customers are not numbers, they have been "names" from the very beginning and they choose to preserve that level of service.  Often the first time customer becomes a long-time customer and they want to ensure the interaction with the company is as good as it can be right off the hop.

As they move forward Henry says they are taking more steps to keep the communication with the fitters and the customers even more active.  It is all part of their focus on customer service.  "We like to think we'll go the extra mile – that the golfer not only gets a set of golf clubs but an evaluation system and an experience that shows them they are now in a relationship with Henry-Griffitts."

Although proud of their custom fitting heritage Randall says they are not bitter in any way that most major manufacturers have adopted custom fitting and stormed into their niche.  "It's just nice for the people like my dad and everyone at HG to see it being embraced.  From the start it was about the golfer getting to have a better golf experience so we think it is great to see."

On that note Randall also mentions that when he started out his father went to many major manufacturers to talk custom fitting and he was often dismissed and told that basically, "he was crazy," and they could never offer that.

In some ways they still don't, according to HG's President.  'They may offer club-fitting but what we do is the furthest extreme of it.  The same level of service that a tour player receives is what we feel the customers gets with us."

He continues, "Many of them have good fitting systems; it's just nice to see people realizing that equipment does affect motion.  That is always what we have said and the big boys are kind of jumping on board with that now."

Although they have plenty of laurels they could rest on HG is firmly focused on where they are heading next while still utilizing the traits that brought them to where they are today.

"We probably have more plans for 2010 than we have had since the early days," Randall claims.  "With the economy a lot of people are hitting the brakes but we plan to hit the gas."

At the PGA Merchandise Show next week they introduce a number of products across the board – a big occasion for them.  "We don't just come out with golf clubs because it is a new year; we come out with new products when we think it is better. We don't like to change every 6 months just for the sake of it; we do it when we feel there is something for the golfer to gain."

Plans for 2010 also involve growing their dealer network and getting more consumer recognition for what they offer and what their history has been.  "We are looking to grow in areas where we haven't been," says Henry.  He points out a focus on the American Mid-West (they have new production facilities in Ohio) and in Canadian markets as well.

Henry also lays out that the changes also involve a new look, including a fresh logo.  "There will be a lot of focus on cosmetics.  We will have a new look for HG, a little more modern."

He concludes with a promise, "There is a lot of new blood here and our staff are buzzing.  There will be a lot of new looks on everything for HG this year and I think everyone will like it."

——

This article provided to GolfWRX.com by Flagstick Golf Magazine – (www.flagstick.com)

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pga tour

Andrew “Beef” Johnston WITB 2017

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2017 RSM Classic (11/14/17).

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 70TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F3 (15 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 80TX

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H2 (19 Degrees)
Shafts: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 90HY TX

Driving Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 2 & 3 Iron (17 & 20 Degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Irons: Titleist 718 MB (3-9)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (46-10F, 50-08F, 54-10S)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Super Rat I GSS Inlay
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Pistol

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Newport 2
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Cord Pistol

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Super Rat II GSS Inlay
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Cord Pistol

WITB Notes: Beef was testing a variety of putters ahead of The RSM Classic. We will update this post when his choice is confirmed. 

Related:

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

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Equipment

The hottest blade irons in golf right now

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As we’ve written before, the decision to put a new driver in the bag is usually obvious. Better numbers at testing, perceptibly longer distance, and as long as your bank account allows, you have your new gamer.

The iron switch, however, is a trickier beast. Comfort with the variety of shots one needs to hit is key. Confidence from one’s long irons through the higher lofts is critical. Thus, even the greatest enthusiasm for a new iron release isn’t always followed by a mass exodus to gaming said irons. This is doubly true at the professional level, where the tools are critical to a player’s livelihood.

That said, the combination of forum chatter, GolfWRX member enthusiasm, and what we’re spotting in our WITB photos from tour stops are a reliable indicator of the hottest irons in the game.

And judging by the response to our recent Instagram post, we’re confident that these four models are the hottest blade irons in golf right now.

Callaway Apex MB

Buzz built steadily for the Apex MB iron when we first spotted them in Tour players’ bags at the beginning of 2017. The irons are the product of direct feedback from the company’s Tour staffers, according to Luke Williams, Director of Product and Brand Management at Callaway. Forged from 1025 Carbon Steel, these irons have the shortest blade lengths, the thinnest soles and the smallest overall heads in the vast line of Callaway irons. They’re designed for maximum workability, and for tour-desired turf interaction.

Related: Callaway (finally) launches new Apex MB and X Forged irons

Mizuno MP-18

The pioneers of Grain-Flow Forging, Mizuno went back to its roots with the MP-18 iron model. A throwback to the great muscle backs in the company’s history, Mizuno was shooting for the look of an iron that could have been forged a century ago. Shorter blade length, cambered top line, sharp, compact wedges, all combined with the most minimal badging make the MP-18 an instant classic that set the GolfWRX forums afire.

Related: Mizuno brings the MP family closer together

TaylorMade P730

TaylorMade’s P730, particularly in its prototype incarnations, made quite a splash on the PGA Tour. Building on the heritage of the TP-MB irons, P730 was developed in collaboration with the very best players in the world. The 1025 carbon steel irons irons feature a smaller profile and crisper lines than the MB series irons. The combination of the clean look and a deep rear groove have players drooling. Discussing working with Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose to design the P730, TM’s Senior Director of Irons, Tomo Bystedt said, “What these players need is a very low-inertia club that they can [manipulate] easily, almost like a surgeon’s scalpel.” Behold the scalpel.

Related: Taylormade expands forged offerings with P730 and P790

Titleist 718 MB

“For the purist there is no substitute for a one-piece, muscle back iron. The 718 MB is the modern choice for those desiring a traditional forged look and feel,” says Titleist in the 718 MB marketing materials.

It’s hard to argue with that statement from the “appearance of a classic forged iron” standpoint. Purists appreciate that the 718 MB maintains Titleist’s traditional lofts (the 6-iron is 31 degrees, the pitching-wedge is 47 degrees), thin top-line, minimal offset, and limited badging. In short, if it ain’t broke…

Related: Titleist’s 718 irons offer endless possibilities.

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Whats in the Bag

Austin Cook’s Winning WITB: The 2017 RSM Classic

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution TX-Flex

3 Wood: Ping G400 Stretch (13 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujifuke Motore Speeder VC 7.2 TX-Flex

Hybrid: Ping G400 3 Hybrid (19 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91X

Hybrid: Ping G400 4 Hybrid (22 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91 X

Irons: Ping S55 Orange Dot (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour S-Flex

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 SS (50-12, 56-12), Ping Glide 2.0 WS (60)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne 
Grip: SuperStroke Mid-Slim 2.0

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

5095fce33e880406a172796becbc64f8 6900daf1b0d2a2751ffa5557ac3865f7 2340677acd0b3c6d0f53ae8fa46c2024 80f602716821fd9518f148951913c9c0 4df372aac347ad61f031f519a1fd1edb 48039d9dfced6272ba047b51e6265d03 6fecf1d551cb1559587f1f17392ba7c8 0519679f5fdaaae2ffbaf2d97c0def72 5445ea5d9987cddfda04efba5d2f1efd

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