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Blurred Lines: Mizuno launches JPX-900 Tour irons

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Mizuno, which has set the golden standard for players irons over the years, is blurring the lines between a blade iron and a forged cavity back with its new JPX-900 Tour irons. The new irons pass the eye-test for a blade, but they’re pumped up with performance features usually reserved for Mizuno’s bulkier JPX irons.

A Mizuno JPX-900 Tour 6 iron at address.

A Mizuno JPX-900 Tour 6 iron at address.

Like Mizuno’s MP iron models, which are designed for the most discerning and skilled golfers, the JPX-900 Tour irons are made from Mizuno’s Grain Flow forged 1025E Mild Carbon Steel to give golfers the familiar soft, solid feel for which Mizuno is known.

“We wanted to make the best Grain Flow Forged iron ever,” says David Llewellyn, Mizuno’s Director of R&D.

What’s different about the JPX-900 Tour irons is the more aggressive styling, which is part form, part function. The addition of Mizuno’s angular “Power Frame” to the cavity increases moment of inertia (MOI), which makes the irons more forgiving. Yet according to Llewellyn, the refined cavity-back irons should be an easy transition for its staff players, Chris Wood and Luke Donald, who currently use the company’s MP-5 blade irons.

JPX900_Tour_CloseUp 1

Mizuno’s MP-64 irons, a forged cavity-back that many in the Mizuno community believe to be the best-feeling Mizuno iron in recent memory, was used as the benchmark for the acoustics of the JPX-900 Tour irons. By using the company’s HIT (Harmonic Impact Technology) system, which measures and quantifies sound frequencies, Mizuno was able to mimic the acoustics of the MP-64 irons while improving on their construction.

Specs

MizunoJPX900Tourironspecs

In terms of looks, the JPX-900 Tour irons are smaller than the MP-25 irons released in 2015, with a lower toe height and a “more modern design” than the MP-25 irons, Llewellyn says. Another note of distinction: the soles of the JPX-900 Tour irons which are thinnest ever used on a JPX model, and feature the same sole geometries Mizuno has been giving its MP irons for several generations. This design will create more versatility than ever from a JPX offering, something better players will surely appreciate.

JPX900_Tour_3Clubs+Shafts

The stock shaft for the JPX-900 Tour irons is True Temper’s Dynamic Gold AMT, which uses an ascending weight design to improve performance of each iron. In the X100 flex, for example, the 3-iron shaft weighs roughly 115 grams, while the pitching wedge shafts weighs about 130 grams. The lighter long-iron shafts help golfers hit higher-flying long-iron shots, making it easier to hit and hold greens, while the heavier short iron shafts provide added stability for greater precision.

JPX900_Tour+GolfPride

Mizuno’s JPX-900 Tour irons, available Sept. 16, will sell for $1,199.99 in either steel or graphite. There is no upcharge for custom shafts or grips.

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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.

49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. Ufourix

    Aug 22, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Will they be offered in Left Handed??

  2. TWShoot67

    Aug 16, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I use to play Mizuno blades for the longest time 14’s, 29’s and even the 33’s. Didn’t like the 32’s, but these look like they might be that perfect go between blade and cb. If they feel like my old time dizzy blades with a little extra punch Mizuno may have me back. But for now I’m sticking with my King Cobra pro mb/cb’s. Definitely can’t wait to demo. Love the minimal offset, one thing I din’t like about the 29’s in the scoring clubs was the huge amount of offset thus the Tiger combo of 29’s in long irons and 14’s in scoring clubs.

  3. tonks

    Aug 15, 2016 at 7:26 am

    I am using Mizuno TP9s with DG S400 shafts for the last four years (designed in 1986). I bought them from someone who had only used them four times from new (they were still in the original Mizuno box!). I find them well balanced and accurate and they look fantastic. The loft of the 7 iron is 37 degrees. Does anyone have any thoughts as to how they compare with MPs and JPXs should I want to change to a modern club?

  4. Tim

    Aug 12, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Does anyone else see the Ping s55 when you look at these irons? The toe portion of the cavity is identical as well as the general shape of the cavity. Overall design goal is exactly what the s55 achieved: smaller, players cavity back iron. Good news for all the fans of Ping’s S line who have being asking Ping to forge their clubs.

    • KK

      Aug 13, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Just the high toe weighting. Everything else is very different, including the unseen tech.

    • Double Mocha Man

      Mar 17, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Does anyone else see the Titleist AP1 and AP2 irons when they look at the back of these clubs?

  5. Dane

    Aug 12, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    To bad Mizuno doesn’t offer the Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts in custom. That’s my favorite iron shaft. These irons would be awesome paired with those shafts. Most of the club manufacturers carry that shaft but for some reason Mizuno does not.

    • L

      Aug 12, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Not this again.
      There is no need for those shafts. Mizuno can build their clubs to precise spec with the standard ones. No need to spend the extra money for labels

      • Dane

        Aug 14, 2016 at 1:51 am

        It’s not just labels. The Tour Issue model has a tighter tolerance and are more consistent compared to the standard shafts. I can feel the difference between the two and others can agree with me. It’s the #1 shaft model on Tour. Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway and Ping offer that shaft but not Mizuno. That’s unfortunate in my honest opinion.

        Also, Go to TrueTemper.com where they have a video explaining the differences between the two shafts. Your not paying more for a label, your paying more for a better, tighter tolerance and more consistent shaft.

        • Jim

          Aug 14, 2016 at 11:39 pm

          ….and everyone on tour was ALSO SST Pured….every shaft can be found to have a most stable plane to install in the head for optimum feel & performance.

          while it’s been illegal to manufacture a shaft specifically with a ‘spine’ to be inserted in a specific orientation, It’s not illegal to ‘find’ it in a shaft and reinstall it so it lies on a better axis…

          I’m diggin KBS now after being an original Brunswick Rifle defector from DG X100’s

        • Christopher

          Aug 15, 2016 at 11:05 am

          From what I remember originally they’re the same shaft, just cherry-picked. There wouldn’t be any difference in feel or performance between two shafts weighted the same, with the same playing characteristics. The only difference would be the label and the upcharge.

          An expert clubmaker could cherry pick the same exact Dynamic Gold shafts off the rack and there would be no difference, apart from the price. You’re only paying more for True Temper to sort the shafts correctly, which is arguably something they should do in the first place.

        • Scooter McGavin

          Aug 15, 2016 at 4:52 pm

          No, you can’t feel the difference.

          • Eric

            Aug 16, 2016 at 8:55 pm

            Some players won’t feel the difference between the standard shafts versus Tour Issue shafts but good players will. Plus the Tour Issue shafts look better with the Tour Issue shaft band.

            • Christopher

              Aug 17, 2016 at 4:10 pm

              They’re the same shaft, so they’re imagining a difference. The only difference is that each shaft will match your other shafts in your irons to a tighter margin, but you could cherry pick the standard Dynamic Gold shafts to achieve the same result. Imagine if you bought new pool balls for your 9-ball table, one or two balls are slightly heavier or lighter than the others, that would be your Dynamic Gold set, and the Tour Issue’s would all be same weight. They’re the same balls, they just have tighter quality control with the Tour Issues.

  6. MP-4

    Aug 12, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    “…should be an easy transition for its staff players.” Highly doubt LD would move from the MP-5 to a JPX iron. Going to be awhile before anything surpasses the MP-5. Looking forward to the JPX 900 driver though, which I think is the most interesting club of the new JPX line.

  7. bogeypro

    Aug 12, 2016 at 9:34 am

    What is your beef with Mizuno? Did they touch you inappropriately or something? They make great equipment. Don’t get mad at them if you can’t play it…

    • smizzletroll

      Aug 12, 2016 at 11:58 am

      no, they didn’t touch him, thats his beef. professional troll of golf message boards, ridiculously sad…

  8. KK

    Aug 11, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Beautiful but these don’t look very forgiving– basically an MB. Tour is a good name.

  9. Dat

    Aug 11, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    I think they look very different for Mizuno in a good way. Really looks like the engineers spent their time on this one. A true leap in the generation of their products. I don’t care what they call them as long as they perform.

  10. Double Mocha Man

    Aug 11, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    They look like a streamlined version of the Titleist AP-2 irons.

  11. Tom Duckworth

    Aug 11, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    I have never owned a set of Mizuno irons but have always wanted to . Just never got around to it. I have some Wilson FG Tour V2s with some Nippon shafts that I just can’t kick out of the bag. These look really nice I never liked the looks of the 800 series and didn’t think the MPs were right for me. The MP-64s are beautiful and I was thinking about getting a used set for fun and to try them out. Maybe I’ll have to look into these. This is the first series of JPX irons that look good to me funny I always thought MPs were some of the best looking irons out there and JPX the worst . Hope to see some reviews soon. Maybe Mizuno will want some WRX testers.

  12. Brian

    Aug 11, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    You should stick with your Callaways and their 29 degree 7 iron.

  13. Jay

    Aug 11, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    While the “no upcharge” is nice, if you prefer a more stock shaft – DG S300 – kind of have to feel you are getting hosed.

    • DJ

      Aug 11, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      Why would anyone take a chevy when the caddilac is the same price? They are not targeting the cheap end with these irons.

    • Jim

      Aug 14, 2016 at 11:30 pm

      Actually, it was a huge, smart move from Callaway…First year of Apex irons, they knew they were so good – and 1099 – $100 more than other big OEM’s ‘BEST’ they offered whichever shaft you needed for no upcharge. That helped make them a huge successs.
      When Rocketblades died a painful death after only 8 months and Speedblades (the next ‘greatest iron ever made’) came out with the same POS $9.00 shaft as Rocketblades for $899, getting into Apex (a FAR better head) w/KBS C-Tapers or Project X’s for 200 more wasn’t that big a stretch for shoppers.

      it’s a smart move for every OEM. Cripes – even Adams put CTapers in that funky black head a couple years ago, and they came to market for 699. It destroyed that dog Speedblade head…

      DG’s are reliable shafts – the standard we judge from – kinda like an IBM Mainframe – but if for no extra charge, you can
      definitely get a better feeling better performing stick.

      it always goes back to getting fit by an expert – with outdoor ball flight & proper launch monitor… Steel shaft tech has been blowin’ up big time in last 5 years. Take advantage of it!

  14. Bl

    Aug 11, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Looks cool. Smaller than the MP-25? Even better.

  15. Chuck

    Aug 11, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    1. So no tungsten in the soles or the toes? Do they accomplish most of what is going on with the tungsten inserts in other brands, with just the shape of the perimeter weighting? I’d be fine with that. My gripe with the tungsten-weighted Titleists was that the head was just a shade too compact for my own tastes.

    2. Are these the strongest lofts that Mizuno has ever offered?

    3. I would want a lot more information on the sole grinds. Does Mizuno offer anything custom in that regard? Can you order a blunted leading edge?

    4. So is this the prelude to a new MP model?

    • Brian

      Aug 11, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      1. Mizuno has never used tungsten inserts in their irons and these do not depart from that standard.
      2. These have the same loft specs as the MP-25, MP-15, and MP-5; so no, these aren’t lofted strong.
      3. You would likely have to order custom sole grinds from Mizuno’s Yoro arm and should expect to pay a premium to do so.
      4. No idea

      • tl

        Aug 11, 2016 at 4:30 pm

        And, they are also still 1/4″ shorter than Titleist

        • kloyd0306

          Aug 12, 2016 at 8:57 pm

          Don’t you mean that Titleist are 1/4 inch longer than Mizuno?

          There is no industry standard for length. Who is to say that Titleist’s lengths are the correct length? Besides, stock lengths are only for stock clubs and if you are buying stock clubs from anyone, you may as well drive a car that does not have an adjustable seat, an adjustable steering wheel or adjustable mirrors.

          Mizuno measures length WITHOUT the grip. Titleist measures length WITH the grip. There is still a small difference but not a 1/4 inch when both are finished.

  16. Justin

    Aug 11, 2016 at 11:34 am

    If they are in fact smaller than the MP25s then I’ll be salivating over these. May have to work up a combo set with MP25 4 and 5 irons

  17. Dj

    Aug 11, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Look like 716 ap2

    • Scooter McGavin

      Aug 11, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Yeah, except that they don’t.

    • Brian

      Aug 11, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      They look like the club that the Ap2 aspires to be.

      • Dj

        Aug 11, 2016 at 5:50 pm

        Except ap2 will outsell by 20 times

        • Brian

          Aug 12, 2016 at 8:39 am

          I’m not a Mizuno shareholder, so their sales aren’t a concern of mine.

  18. rpm300

    Aug 11, 2016 at 10:52 am

    They look nice, but as usual for Mizuno, they have way too muck offset in the short irons.

  19. Alex

    Aug 11, 2016 at 10:23 am

    My gosh, those look incredible. However, am I the only person who thinks those grooves seem like they’re extending too far on the toe?

  20. sumsum

    Aug 11, 2016 at 10:21 am

    I hear they will be offering Recoil now with no upcharge, might make this a mean set!

  21. Marty Moose

    Aug 11, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Mizuno makes very nice clubs. If I were one of the current Nike staffers, I’d be talking to Mizuno. Even if that means a pay cut. Prob turn out to to be the same $ if they continue to wear Nike clothing.

  22. Nolanski

    Aug 11, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Pretty

  23. LabraeGolfer

    Aug 11, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Best selling irons of 2016-2017…. Well should be anyway at least for better players. They look fantastic and they are Mizuno’s so I know they will perform.

    • Mikec

      Aug 12, 2016 at 9:12 am

      So you are making a predication that these will lead iron sales??

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Equipment

What It’s Like: TaylorMade Golf’s “The Kingdom”

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One of the best parts of this job beyond the people we get to meet is the facilities. All of the core OEMs have a “place” that is exclusive, away from anything normal, and you gotta know someone to get a ticket in.

That’s what the “What It’s Like” series is about. Those certain OEM places with no doors open to the public. Those places that if you happened to sneak in, there is no way you can Fletch your way around into two steak sandwiches and a bloody mary.

I never admit this, but I used to manage a night club in Los Angeles called Les Deux (it was cool for a minute). It was a fun although soul-sucking endeavor but the thing that made the experience stick out was the exclusivity of it. If you got in by knowing someone, greased the door guy (me), or got invited it was four hours of awesome. Yes, it’s a lame example but there is, unfortunately, something about getting to the other side of a closed-door that is just awesome.

TaylorMade Golf’s “Kingdom” is location No. 1, and as you would expect, it’s nothing short of pure golf ecstasy.

My Experience

I have been to TaylorMade HQ quite a number of times, and typically those visits involve time at what I call the gear junkie mecca  (short of Tiger Woods’ garage or the Nike Oven graveyard now called Artisan) AKA The Kingdom.

The coolest thing about it is how subtle the location is. Located just steps away from the front door of TM HQ (and a very random corporate basketball hoop) sits a small yet elegant building that if you didn’t know was there, you would fly past it. Once you pull into the side parking lot, unload your sticks and head to the door there is still that feeling of “will they actually let me in?”

Here’s the thing. The best (all of them) have been in here. To test, practice, hang out, get fit, get wowed to potentially be on staff and everything in-between. A schmuck like me should get nervous, but then it happens, the door opens and you are not only let in but you are greeted by the master of ceremonies and a man I truly adore Tom “TK” Kroll.

With the passion to match not only yours but anyone else who walks in, he makes sure every nuance is seen and experienced. From the lobby with current TM athletes on the wall to the locker room with your custom locker that sits next to an exact replica of Tiger’s bag. There are snacks, extras shoes, gloves, swag, coffee, beer, and all your wildest dreams….and we are barely in the facility.

From a 35,000 foot view, The Kingdom has everything a golfer would ever want, need, or wish for. Starting with Duane Anderson’s putter studio that has tested thousands of strokes from players ranging from a 20 handicap to Rory McIlroy. The data compiled in this room is staggering. We did a video (link below) that gives you the full rundown.

There are three (one with an Iron Byron for testing) main inside hitting bays with all the bells and whistles you would assume. TrackMans, cameras, big screens, fresh gloves hanging on the wall, and a club fitting matrix with every TM combination you could think of.

The outside hitting area is heaven on earth. There is no other way to describe. Huge hitting area with multiple styles of grass, lies, pins, etc. Any shot you would need to hit can be recreated here on grass with a ball flying into the air and not into a screen. My favorite area is the Flick Tee. In honor of the great Teacher and longtime TM staffer Jim Flick. Its tucked up high and privately in the corner of the range under a tree and this may sound ridiculous but you can almost feel Mr. Flick standing there with you as you look out onto the facility. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

As mentioned, the man who manages your experience is Tom Kroll. He’s about as respected and beloved as anyone in the industry and for good reason. You combine passion with service you get an awesome human to hang out with. Everyone that has been through these doors has a TK story, which includes a chuckle and a smile.

I chatted with him recently about The Kingdom, and this is what he had to say.

JW: Walk me through how The Kingdom came to be what it is now? Basically origin to current day…

TK: Back in 1994, I was in R&D, running player testing, and we needed to find our own testing range. We built our headquarters in Carlsbad in the 1990s and added the range in 1998. Only robot, cannon and player testing were done at the start. Once in a while, a tour or staff pro would come out and test, but it was all operated from one building. At the time, what’s currently the clubhouse at The Kingdom was actually a maintenance building. But in 2010, The Kingdom was reimagined to the layout we have now.

Over the last three years I’ve been at The Kingdom, we’ve added GEARS, Quintic high-speed cameras, and a Foresight simulator bay. We transformed the putting lab with a Perfection Platforms articulating floor and SAM technology. Last year we resurfaced the main tee, redesigned and dedicated the Flick Tee, underwent a complete renovation of the short game area with new bunker complexes, redesigned the targeting downrange, and developed a par-3 routing. We partnered with Kurt Bowman Design, a longtime designer under Jack Nicklaus.

Our superintendent Mark Warren and his crew have done incredible work with our current maintenance equipment, and I can’t wait to see the conditions after we deliver a brand new fleet of brand new Toro equipment. We structured a long-term partnership with Toro and Turf Star Western.

JW: What is the simple function of The Kingdom? 

TK: We still have the robot bay and R&D does development work almost every day. We are mostly a resource for the entire company: Global Sports Marketing (Tour), developmental pros and ams, AJGA standouts, our Crusaders (club professionals), and commercial teams. We host pre-lines to introduce new product to our at-large teams and training events. We’re even a PR resource, hosting media, social influencers, celebrities, and professional athletes.

We also act as a hub for our Crusaders. They send their members to us, and we wholesale back to the staff account. I’ll do a significant amount of corporate events, charity events and have had “Flicks at The Kingdom” where we set up a giant projector and our employees bring their kids, beach chairs and blankets to watch a movie out on the range. Really a fun and cool event.

JW: Give me three awesome stories or experiences from your time there that you are cool sharing.

TK: It’s tough to only pick three! From Reggie Jackson stopping by to Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke, President Bush. Those may be the most haughty name drops of all time! What can I say, it is beyond the coolest job I have ever had! It’s truly tough to pick, but here are my three…

Story 1: Tiger was preparing to make his first PGA Tour start after fusion surgery and he just spends the day grinding out here. He was testing an early proto of the TW irons and to see how much speed he still had. There’s a sound that only he and maybe two or three others make when they center it up. That sound is something that goes through your body, I can still hear it. It sticks with you.

He’s playing old school lofts, which are three degrees weaker than any other tour pro, but the carry distances were still there, the windows he hits it through, holding it against the wind, flighting a 6-iron even ripping a 5-wood 275 yards. His feedback and ability to discern the most minute details working with the advanced teams developing the irons was fantastic to witness.

To come full circle, I played with him in the Southern Cal Amateur when he was 16-years-old and had a front-row to his 62 at Hacienda, I was keeping his scorecard so he has my autograph. To again be standing three feet from him while he goes through the process is just special.

Story 2: I’m going to put two guys in the same bucket (because The Kingdom is so magical, I hope the golf gods are okay with it). Rory now spends a day out here the week of Farmers–he has for the last two years, and with the U.S. Open there 2021, I think he’s a lock for the next few. He went through two sets of irons in a wind quartering off the right at 20-25 mph. The consistency of launch, speed and spin were shockingly close! It was one of the greatest ball-striking exhibitions I’ve ever witnessed. We handpicked the range after his day, it took us 10 minutes He’s also the most gracious, down to earth person.

Jon Rahm stops by five or six times a year. To watch his sessions in the putting lab, to see Duane show him what’s changing and getting Jon back to baseline and see his confidence, to the 4-iron flop shots after we tell our Seve stories. Jon is part of the family. His brother and dad came out before Jon and Kelly’s wedding. He’s one of the two or three others where the sound goes through you.

Story 3: Has to be Operation Game On (OGO). We have partnered with  Tony Perez for over 15 years, we are the cherry on top of a 6-10 week program where wounded veterans take lessons and the graduation is a fitting at The Kingdom. I had a dear friend, Joe Horowitz, who’s a golfer and a musician, here late one day and I mentioned the OGO guys were coming the next day. It’s Veteran’s Day and the Marine Corps Birthday. Not to mention Jon Rahm would be here for a last tweak before he left for Dubai. Joe shows me a video of him singing the national anthem at the Jaguars game a few weeks before, and we both say let’s do that for the OGO guys. I get in early and send an email to all employees to be on the tee at 9 a.m. sharp. We have the OGO guys arrive and Jon is hanging in the locker room. I’m stalling to get all the employees onto the tee through the side gate, I walk the boys into the bay and hit the roll up door. Outside are 250 employees cheering these guys on! Joe sings the anthem (goose bumps every time), then happy birthday to Jon and the marine corps. There’s fittings, a pizza truck, Jon Rahm signed U.S. Open staff bags for the OGO boys. Then, get this, Jon goes on and wins that week in Dubai!

JW: If you could change anything about the property or the experience what would it be?

TK: At TaylorMade, the relentless pursuit of improving is in our DNA. The Kingdom is no different. We’re constantly innovating and reimagining the downrange experience. From targeting, to conditions and turf types, we’re always nuancing and squeaking out ways to be better. One example, we’re designing each of our targets with a specific purpose. When players are testing at The Kingdom, we want them to feel that every shot has a consequence. So, we want to deliver a real-world experience in every testing situation. We went through a massive redesign last fall and are currently still working with the advanced research team on new ways to enhance our testing and fitting experiences to meet the way that players perform in competition.

When it comes to the overall experience, The Kingdom has transformed from a predominantly R&D and fitting facility to the most capable environment to test, measure and understand how equipment performs and how golfers interact with their equipment. I call it the ultimate truth machine. We help golfers at every level uncover the insights they need to improve. After each session, we’re going to know everything about the club, the player and the ball flight.

So we came from a place where we were mainly focused on research, fitting, and selling. Our goals have changed. Now we obsess over how to help golfers get better.

What would I change? If you’re curious and passionate about making change, the answers are out there. The first thing we do is listen. We’re going to change everything that needs to be changed in order to meet our goals. I have an incredible focus group to bounce ideas off of. To ask our tour pros, club professionals, and teachers for feedback on the design ideas and what they like and prefer is fortunate. We’re constantly learning, we’re constantly improving, and if there’s a better way do something, then we’re going to figure it out and do it.

JW: What does the kingdom look like in 10 years?

TK: We have a lot of incredible plans for new targeting, bunker complexes, and refining the purposeful design of the range and short game area. Beyond that, we have designs for new teeing areas, a new short game complex, adding another GEARS system and Foresight Simulator, along with other new technologies. I can’t disclose all we do, since the R&D guys get a bit jumpy when I start going on about all the cool stuff and high science! I don’t know exactly what The Kingdom looks like in 10 years as technologies and our understanding continue to improve, but I do know give me six months, and we’ll have done something new. Always grinding to get better!

JW: Tell me a little bit about your career at TaylorMade.

TK: 31 years is hard to do in a “little bit” but I’ll try to give you the Clif Notes! Bob Vokey ran our Tour department and had me running his repair shop in Vista after George Willett took a job driving the Tour truck for TaylorMade. I was refinishing wooden clubs and repairing clubs for the local country clubs. I told Bob I was going broke making $4.50 an hour and driving all over San Diego. I asked if he could get me a job at TaylorMade and I started on the custom line with Wade Liles! Get to work at 2 p.m., off at 1 a.m. and golf in the morning. It was the life! Not to mention, I was lucky enough to meet my wife who worked for the company.

I started our player testing and worked for the great Dr. Benoit Vincent–the smartest man I know. I was a pretty good player, and I played a bunch of USGA and national amateur events. But when I did a TV commercial, I lost my amateur status and made the decision to turn pro. I quit my job and started that journey. Our CEO wanted me to take a leavem and I said: “I need to be all-in on this.” I had two children, a mortgage, car payments and had to buy health insurance while getting through all three stages of Q School. I realized I was a better amateur than a tour pro. We had our third child, and then I got the sales rep job in San Diego. After 10 years of sales, I moved inside the building and the ran innovations department before taking over our metalwoods category when we hit our highest market share in history. I spent a few years in product creation, ran global experiential for a few years and then got the best gig in all of golf here at The Kingdom. Been here for three years, and we’re just getting started!

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Puma Golf teams up with Ernie Els in support of Autism Awareness Month

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Puma X Els Autism

April is National Autism Awareness Month, and Puma Golf has teamed up with ambassador Ernie Els in support of the Els for Autism Foundation.

Throughout April, Puma will donate a portion of every individual sale of the brand’s Ignite Pwradapt Caged shoes with the proceeds going towards the Els for Autism Foundation.

Puma X Els Autism

Every pair of Caged shoes sold this month will include a blue Els for Autism shoe bag and puzzle piece ribbon lapel pin – with the color blue and the puzzle pieces representing Autism Awareness.

Puma X Els Autism

The Els for Autism Foundation helps deliver and facilitate programs designed to serve individuals with autism spectrum disorder. You can purchase the shoes here.

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What GolfWRXers are saying about “Boutique brands vs Major OEMs”

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In our forums, our members have been discussing both boutique brands and major OEMs and why the former “trail the OEMs in drivers and woods”. WRXer ‘gr8 flopshot’, who plays a bag full of boutique clubs bar woods, poses the question and it’s got our members talking in our forum.

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.

  • DaRiz: “Irons, wedges, and putters don’t change much, and for all the technology OEMs try to pack in there, it’s more about how they look and feel. So boutique can fit in nicely here. Drivers/FW, on the other hand, definitely benefit from the millions of dollars in R&D, and it is probably really hard to compete. You can argue that COR is maxed out, but the tiny changes in launch conditions, spin rates, and forgiveness add up.”
  • MattM97: “One reason why I and most other lefties don’t go boutique is options. At least with OEM’s for drivers and most woods we get the most of what is released, some versions and loft we don’t get but better than nothing. I’m not against boutique; I love my putters, I love the look of a lot of wedges, I would absolutely love a set of Japanese forged CB irons one day. Just woods I’ll stick to OEM options.”
  • sniper: “The Wishon 560’s I had built years ago were as good (or better) as anything I’ve had. My current set of MP-18SC’s and Wishon’s are the best feeling irons I’ve played. Both came from a club builder and not built by the OEM. Obviously on the Wishon’s.”
  • RogerInNewZealand: “Genuinely good point. It’s like why we buy JDM, Yonex Ezone 420…and the famed J33 Bridgestone driver from long ago! T.E.E is another one..always a surprise there. With your wood/driver if your sorted that’s fine! You don’t have to bag an exotic club to hit fairways.”

Entire Thread: “Boutique brands vs Major OEMs”

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