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7 times the auto industry influenced new golf equipment

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Golf clubs and cars. Not much in common except you use a car’s trunk to transport golf clubs to the course, right? Not so fast…

Ignoring the obvious size and price differences, the two things do have similarities, and more than they can both technically “drive.” Cars and golf clubs are designed to be aerodynamic, and for that reason we see similarities in their styling. After all, engineers have similar tasks with high-performance cars and clubs, notably, making them faster and more efficient. That’s why we hear many of the same trigger words in both worlds, including MOI (moment of inertia), a measure of twisting and turning, and CG (center of gravity), a measure of weight distribution in relation to the center of mass.

It’s only right, therefore, that car companies and golf club companies align themselves in the marketplace, even if it’s just for one-off products. Below, I take a look at golf clubs that were inspired by or made in collaboration with the auto industry.

Bentley gets into golf clubs

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Bentley Golf stopped us in our tracks at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show in January, where myself and others took the time to drool over the Bentley on the show floor, and look at this… Bentley-inspired clubs!

While you can get a set for around $2,000, the full custom fitting experience, which includes custom shafts made just for you, will run you about $100,000. That’s a lot of zeroes. Would you rather own the car or the clubs? If you’re thinking about your budget, then neither are for you. See more Bentley Golf photos here.

Ferrari and Cobra

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Before Callaway’s drivers were made with input from Boeing, these limited-edition Cobra drivers were made with input from Ferrari’s aerodynamic experts. And as you’d expect, the influence of the Italian supercar brand drove the price of a driver to $2,000, roughly five times as much as the average Cobra driver at the time.

The Ferrari driver was designed using the Cobra ZL driver platform, and came equipped with a Ti 6-4 face with carbon fiber on the crown and sole, according to Golf.com. It was said to produce 1-3 mph more ball speed than the ZL, but never made its way to the PGA Tour, although Ferrari fanatic Ian Poulter tested it extensively.

Cobra’s Ferrari driver was released along with a collection of putters, hats, jackets, shirts and other overpriced items.

Mercedes AMG golf clubs

MercedesBenzGolfClubsAMGBefore Bentley Golf drove onto the floor at the 2016 PGAM Show, Mercedes Benz rolled out a line of golf equipment at the show in 2012.

WSH Inc. acquired permissions to use the Mercedes Benz logo in its production of the line, which included drivers, woods, irons, wedges and putters. The drivers ($399) and woods were made in conjunction with aerodynamics specialists at the company, and employed “Venturi Channels” used to “to manipulate airflow whereby a funnel is created as air flows through the vehicle, and is constricted, and as it flows out…a jet effect is created,” according to an article from Golf Digest.

Click here to see more photos of the Mercedes AMG.

Callaway and Lamborghini 

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Lamborghini and Callaway combined forces in 2010 and developed a high-strength, lightweight material called “Forged Composite” that was used in both Lamborghini’s cars and Callaway’s drivers. The collaboration yielded the Callaway RAZR Hawk and Diablo Octane drivers, which boasted a lower CG thanks to the lighter material.

Callaway continues to use its Forged Composite construction to this day, although its new XR 16 Sub Zero driver debuted a new composite construction called “Carbon Triax” that the company says is lighter.

Kinsler races into putters

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Kinsler Fuel Injection is a company that makes engine parts for race cars. James Kinsler, son of the company founder, used his mechanical engineering expertise and love of golf to start a golf company called Kinsler putters.

Its first run of putters feature a strong visual influence from the automotive industry, as you’d expect, with its curves and anodized finish. The alignment slot has an uncanny resemblance to a hot wheels track, as well. Read more about Kinsler’s putters here.

A Grand Theft Auto golf club?

GrandTheftAutoIron

I know, this isn’t inspired by an actual automobile. But this 5-iron designed after the Grand Theft Auto V video game — which featured a fictional “Los Santos Golf Club” — is pretty cool. The club can currently be found on eBay for around $250.

Willie Nelson’s Rolls Royce Golf Cart 

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OK, it’s technically not a golf club, but I wanted it on the list. Country music star Willie Nelson once had his 1981 Rolls Royce replica Golf Cart seized by the IRS, and it was auctioned in 2012 for about $4,200. The cart had a mini bar, radio, head lights, turn signals and of course, the iconic look of a Rolls Royce. It now sits in the Kingman Museum on Route 66 in Arizona.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Jeff

    Jun 26, 2016 at 1:05 am

    How about the Porsche Design JC Grind Irons truly item of beauty and distinction http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTYwMFgxMjAw/z/ySEAAOSwpDdVetb7/$_3.JPG

  2. Frank

    Jun 24, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    I stopped reading at “myself and others took the time…”, written by someone with a degree in journalism.

    • Steve S

      Jun 24, 2016 at 10:10 pm

      Frank, ya beat me too it. This is a product of our great colleges….

      • Steve S

        Jun 24, 2016 at 10:13 pm

        Then I use the wrong “to”. Of course I have an excuse “I r an injeneer”.

  3. Tex

    Jun 24, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    What about the Porsche Driver from the early 2000s? That thing was awesome!

  4. Forsbrand

    Jun 24, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Pininfarina of Ferrari fame influenced a set of mizuno woods and irons around 1992

  5. Shallowface

    Jun 24, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    When I saw a club called Mercedes AMG, it occurred to me that many of today’s golf clubs look like they could have been designed by AMC (of Pacer and Gremlin infamy).

  6. M Sizzle III

    Jun 24, 2016 at 9:08 am

    I think the title of the article is misleading. Physics influenced the car industry, and the golf industry, but I don’t see a lot of cross-pollination between the two industries. I haven’t seen gull-wing doors on golf bags, chrome drivers, spoilers on 3 woods, etc… Perhaps, re-title the article to be “7 times the Auto Industry Tried to Relate to the Golf Industry”

  7. Michael_Germany

    Jun 24, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Hi Andrew,

    prior to the Mercedes AMG venture, there was a Williams Sports golf project. Not sure, if it’s still alive, but they had a following in the Asian market IIRC. They released the product two or three years prior to the AMG golf clubs.

    Regards
    Michael

  8. Milo

    Jun 24, 2016 at 8:36 am

    I want the Kinsler putter

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Equipment

Don’t get AMP’d up. Rickie is just testing shafts, y’all

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As you may have seen in our tour photos this week, Rickie Fowler has a new/old set of irons in the bag. Specifically, Fowler is gaming a set from 2013: the Cobra AMP Cell Pro.

But WHY?! Didn’t we just hear all the buzz about his self-designed Rev33? Well yes, we did.

Although the rumors and conspiracy theories may run wild, in this case, it’s a nothing burger.

He’s testing shafts folks, Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100, specifically, to get ready for major season.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JULY 02: A detail of the bag and clubs of Rickie Fowler of the United States during the first round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on July 02, 2020 at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

But why didn’t he put them in the Rev33?

That’s a simple one as well: time and economics. Rather than pull apart his gamers or have a set chauffeured in from Carlsbad, Fowler, who was messing around with the AMP’s at home and who doesn’t have Rev33’s with X1oo’s hanging on his wall, brought them to Detroit this week to test.

If all goes well, we can count on a set of Rev33’s with X100’s to be built at HQ. If not, no harm, no foul, and we go back to the Rev33 with his normal KBS C-Taper 125 S+ shafts.

If anything, I find the coolest thing here is Rickie’s instinct to not be wasteful. That’s a good thing right?

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The best golf clubs for the money

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What are the best golf clubs for the money?

It’s a common question golfers ask, and depending on your skill level and budget, the answer can vary greatly. So, to help you figure out what the best clubs for you are, we’ve broken it down into a few categories to help you in the decision making process.

Best golf clubs for the money

Beginner Golfer – Entry-level budget

Getting your first set of clubs is all about maximizing value to get enjoyment out of going to the course or the range and most often involves buying a complete package set. Could you go directly to a high-end fitter to have them set you up with thousands of dollars would of gear? Of course, but it would be like getting handed the keys to a supercar without ever having a driver’s license—drive over a few curbs with a starter car before taking those skills to a four-lane highway.

Now just because you’re looking at a box set doesn’t mean you don’t have options. Wilson, for example, offers various sized sets for golfers based on static height measurements—which is a perfect starting point. It’s important for you to start off on the right foot, and even if they aren’t a perfect fit, the closer you are to the ideal set will make getting started a lot easier and a lot more fun.

The other option is to buy used, and with so many resources available online including used specialty sites like GolfAvenue.ca, you can find clubs in the 5-plus-year-old category that are going to offer tremendous value if you know where to look. This way of shopping for clubs often requires a bit more research to make sure you are buying the best clubs suited for your game, but depending on what you buy, you could get many years out of clubs purchased this way.

Check out the podcast link below for the GolfWRX, On Spec Episode- Building a $500 golf bag:

Play a lot of golf, and looking for value

This is where I believe most golfers tend to fit in, and it is also where you have the greatest number of options when looking for equipment. The idea of value will mean different things to different people, but when looking to get the most out of your equipment, getting fit is going to offer the best long term value for your game.

Depending on where you are buying your equipment, you can still buy “new” but purchase a previous generation model to save sometimes up to 30 percent, and if you are one of the lucky ones that happen to fit into “off the rack” irons and wedges, minus a grip or lie adjustment, then you can once again shop for previous-generation gear and see huge savings while still getting the best equipment for you.

The other option of getting great value and great quality equipment is shopping DTC—direct to consumer. There are a number of brands that have forgone the traditional selling channels and allow you to purchase custom-fit clubs direct for up to half the cost of traditional manufacturers including Ben Hogan, New Level, and Sub 70. These brands offer top-of-the-line gear, but thanks to their marketing approach and streamlined operations you can get fantastic value and high-quality gear built just for you.

Play a lot of golf – spare no expense

If you fit into this category, you are going to have the greatest number of options when it comes to finding equipment. Just like with any consumer product/experience, this approach is the most expensive, but it also puts the highest value on maximizing performance over anything else.

The most common scenario is working with a brand agnostic club fitter and if you are looking for one near you, check out our GolfWRX best drivers of 2020 article for our list of some of the best club fitters and facilities in North America.  Brand-agnostic fitters won’t limit your set by brand and will instead go through every option within your fitting parameters to make sure you are getting the most out of your clubs.

The best golf clubs for the money but will ultimately be based on your budget but the price doesn’t have to be a reflection of the amount of fun you can have playing golf.

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We want our members’ WITBs! Submit your WITB to be featured on the GolfWRX front page

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Greetings, GolfWRXers!

WITB (both member and Tour) has been at the heart our site since day one. Today, it’s a major component of our front page content, and there is no shortage of member WITB threads in our forums as well.

What we’d like to do is standardize the presentation of some member WITBs and member WITB photos so we can feature them on the front page. More to the point: We want to showcase our members’ WITB in the same way we do, say, Tiger Woods on the front page.

We think that beyond the “seeing your name in lights” factor, it’ll create some really cool material for the front page and it will also be incredibly informative and helpful for fellow members.

So, what do we mean by “standardizing” the presentation?

Look at Tiger Woods’ 2020 Farmers Insurance WITB below.

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 60 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 70 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 80 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7TW (3-PW)

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: TaylorMade MG 2 “Tiger MT Grind” (56-12, 60-11 degrees)

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Grip: Ping PP58 Blackout

Golf Ball: Bridgestone TourB XS

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Additionally, we will showcase an image of the club in question for each section and a full bag shot (minimum dimensions 1024×768) as the featured image. For the purposes of the thread, feel free to add all the photos at the end or insert them throughout.

In addition, feel free to add a paragraph or two about your set up, the method behind your madness, your age, current handicap index etc. Anything you feel that’s relevant and that you think your fellow WRXers will find informative and beneficial!

We’d like you, GolfWRXers, to share your WITBs in this thread using the format above.

So get submitting your WITB in our forum as we’ll be publishing them on our front page over the coming days and weeks!

Share your WITBs here.

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