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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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Whats in the Bag

Joaquin Niemann WITB 2020

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Joaquin Niemann - WITB January 2020

Driver: Ping G410 LST (10 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7 X (45.25″, tipped 1″)

joaquin-niemann-witb-2020

3-wood: Ping G410 (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 X (tipped 1″, 43″)

Hybrid: Ping G400 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 95 X (40.25″, D2)

Irons: Ping iBlade (4-9)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.0 (-1/4″, D1)

Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 (46-12 degrees), Ping Glide Forged (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Putter: Ping Prototype PLD Anser (Black finish)
Grip: Ping PP58 Midsize Full Cord

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

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Shaft fitting: Is it worth it? – GolfWRXers have their say

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In our forums, our members have been discussing shaft fitting and whether it makes a substantial difference or not. WRXer ‘2ndCut16’ recently snagged a set of heavily discounted T100 irons on eBay and asks members:

“My question is, is it worth going to get a shaft fitting? They currently have DG S300, which was what was in my 714AP2 ( I was not fit for these either), but I’m curious how much the shaft may make a difference? I’m sorry if this has been covered before, I’m just recently was bit by the equipment bug and am trying to learn all that I can.

Given that I saved a good junk of the cost of the clubs, I’d be willing to spend a little to get the right shaft, if it is actually going to make a difference, I just wanted to check here before I spent the $100 for the shaft fitting.”

And our members have been having their say in our forums.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • nhaun2: “I definitely think it’s worth it with the way the technology has progressed the last 5-10 years. $100 seems kinda steep, but I feel like most places will credit that back or at least a portion of it if you make a purchase through them.”
  • Ri_Redneck: “Never worry about paying for something that is worth the price to YOU! If your goal is to be the best golfer you can be, then your priorities are far different from the average weekend golfer. Fitting is typically expensive, but the information you get can be well worth the cost. As ChipNRun mentioned. Most of us have a swing that probably won’t change much over the next few years. Knowing what shaft characteristics fit you allows you to oftentimes choose a set of ideal clubs right off the rack! Knowledge of your equipment will help you make the most of your equipment buying dollars and avoid falling prey to the marketing that is so prevalent today.”
  • thesamewise: “1 million percent worth it. The right shaft will complement your game and can accentuate your strengths and mask some of your flaws a little. I got the right shafts in my irons, and I just can’t believe how much they help.”
  • Ruleschamp: “Not gonna make that much of a material difference in terms of performance but if you want them to feel the way you like the club to feel then go for the fitting and just enjoy the fun.”
  • GLF4EVR: “Piece of mind may be worth it just so you do not have that little thought in the back of your mind about it. I have done my own tinkering for many years now. I have never had any lessons, and all the club building I have done was thru this site. Had the chance to see a professional fitter last year. Spent over 2 hours going over every club in the bag & was charged only $65. Only recommendations were what kind of graphite shafts to put in my irons if I want to switch & to play with the bounce on my 58 wedge. To me, that was the most worthwhile $65 I have spent on golf in a long time. To find out I was correct in all my work & the way I had gone about; it was just about priceless for me. It is kind of strange to not have that little voice in the back of my head anymore with any questions about my equipment & the fine-tuning I have done. My only thing I would say is to make sure the fitter knows what they are doing.”

Entire Thread: “Shaft fitting: Is it worth it?”

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Equipment

Chicago Cubs player Ian Happ auctioning off his 1/1 Bettinardi putter with proceeds going to Covid-19 relief

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Chicago Cubs Centerfielder Ian Happ is auctioning off his PROTO IH8 Bettinardi with all proceeds from the sale going to Covid-19 relief efforts for Cradles to Crayons.

The putter, which is open for bids until June 8, is a custom Bettinardi Queen B 8 Slant Neck milled to 365 grams from Double Aged Stainless Steel.

 

A 1/1 used by Happ on the course, the flat-stick features the MLB star’s chosen logos, including the Bettinardi ‘Hive’ logo in the pocket, IH8 Proto on the sole, and also his father’s initials KH. 

 

The putter comes with a unique team-only issued 2016 World Series Cubs Championship headcover, signed by Ian Happ on the W side and a Lamkin Deep Etched Grip.

 

Specs: 

  • Model: Bettinardi Queen B 8 Slant Neck
  • Dexterity: Right-Handed
  • Weight: 365g
  • Length: 35 inches
  • Face Milling: F.I.T. Face (Feel Impact Technology)
  • Finish: Black Chrome

You can bid on the putter here, with the current leading bid as of June 3 currently at $450.

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