Connect with us

Equipment

Tour Proto No More: TaylorMade launches P750 and P770 Irons

Published

on

You may remember that we first spotted TaylorMade’s Tour Proto irons being tested at the 2016 RSM Classic in November. The company announced that the irons will be available for purchase on March 17 with new names: P750 and P770.

P750

234132-P750-17_IRN_3quarter-979e77-large-1484691673

The P750 irons are currently being used by TaylorMade Staffers Jason Day and Justin Rose, who were key in the development of the irons. TaylorMade calls the irons a “true forged blade with a shallow cavity,” and they look the part. The irons are designed with narrow soles, thin top lines, minimal offset and tight leading edges to give better players precise control over their trajectory and shot shape.

To create the P750 irons, TaylorMade uses a new multi-step forging process that delivers “a high-tonnage strike, three times more forceful than a standard forging press.” The company says the result is a more precise club head that requires “minimal hand polishing” after the forging process.

234129-P750-17_IRN_Sole-0acbc0-large-1484691672

The faces, grooves and cavities of the P750 irons are CNC milled, and 5-gram tungsten sole weights are co-forged in the irons to put the center of gravity (CG) in a position that TaylorMade says “delivers optimum workability for the best ball strikers.”

They’ll sell for $1600 for eight irons (3-PW) with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold shafts and Golf Pride’s Tour Velvet 360 grips. A variety of custom shaft options, many available at no added cost, will also be offered.

P770

234123-P770-17_IRN_3quarter-a2e54b-large-1484691253

The P770 irons use a larger, multi-piece design to offer more distance, height and forgiveness to golfers who need it. The irons maintain a tour-quality look, however, with less offset, thinner top lines and shorter blade lengths than their predecessors to maintain workability and feel, according to TaylorMade.

“We spent countless hours working with our PGA Tour players to develop the most complete players iron we have ever created,” said Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade’s Senior Director of Iron Creation. “Drawing inspiration from some of our most successful irons, P770 challenges the status quo of what a players iron should be.”

234124-P770-17_IRN_Exploded-a3f9fa-original-1484691254

To create the irons, TaylorMade engineers focused on lowering CG while enhancing the forgiveness of the irons. Key to the design is a 70-gram tungsten “wireframe,” which is welded to the face of the 3-7 irons to boost performance (the 8-AW use a one-piece forged construction that delivers improved precision). The tungsten wireframe, which gives the irons their muscular appearance, is lightest at its center and heaviest on its ends to maximize moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of ball speed retention on off-center hits.

234127-P770-17_IRN_Wireframe_Tungsten-20b064-original-1484691258

The 3-7 irons also feature a undercut positioned behind the face to boost performance along with shallow face profiles, shorter hosels and tapered face-thicknesses, a design that makes the top of the club faces thinner and the bottom of the club faces thicker to push weight lower in the club head while enhancing sound and feel.

The P770 irons will sell for $1200 for eight irons and are offered in 3-PW, AW with KBS FLT steel shafts (S and X flexes).

Related: In-hand photos of the P750 and P770 irons. 

Your Reaction?
  • 274
  • LEGIT51
  • WOW38
  • LOL12
  • IDHT8
  • FLOP18
  • OB20
  • SHANK462

80 Comments

80 Comments

  1. LouF

    Aug 5, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    I can buy the P770’s for $1,050. Or APs, $1,050. Apex CF16s, $1,050. Mizunos from $1,000 up. Cobra King Forged, $1,000. Srixon Z765, $1,000. I wouldn’t pick up P750’s could care less what they charge, not aimed at my game.

    But Taylormade is ruining the game and making it unplayable? I don’t even play TM but really? This has been going on for some time, nothing new.

  2. Walter

    May 3, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    I was just at the driving range and someone had left one of these P770 irons behind, it was the 8i with a Steelfiber i95 shaft. So I decided to hit it a few times before I turned it in to the proshop. All I can say is NICE, very nice, felt better than my Mizuno’s. Don’t know what the SW was but it was light, probably guess at a D0. Just comparing to mine which have the Nippon NS 950gh shafts. I wish he had left the whole set I would have loved to hit a few of the other irons too. Might have to watch for a set of these on ebay in the coming years.

  3. good wood

    Feb 5, 2017 at 3:15 am

    I still like my R9 driver and fairway metals better than all the newer stuff. The rocketballz were horrible! My Taylormade sponsored club pro couldn’t even hit them. Several of the guys at PGA superstore in Texas told me to stick with the R9 fairway metals. And the R11s was a total dud also, at least that was what I was told by a vendor that has full access to the tour. And Yes, he showed his badge and lanyard.

  4. JR

    Jan 25, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I buy as much equipment as the next guy and play to a fairly decent standard (never been higher than six in 45 years playing). In that time the one piece of equipment I’ve bought that I know took shots off my game is my laser rangefinder. So, as much as I like the look of the new TMs, I know they won’t make me swing the club any better. And, at the end of the day, if the swing is defective then no club is going to correct that.

  5. mike

    Jan 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    This looks like the cb and mc 2014 with a face lift everyone
    I have the 2014 and will not change for the same thing forged 8-aw like the cb2014 and mc………
    Dang….taylormade are realyy losing it…..bring some mb for lefties at least…….

  6. DJ

    Jan 19, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    stick with what you got and with what works. Bridgestone J40 DPC 5-PW. with 2 extra 6 irons off ebay for practice (punishment). and i got another brand new set (5-PW) in storage for $600 of Amazon 14 months ago.

  7. Jamie

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:37 am

    why are people getting so butt hurt about the price of these irons? who cares? don’t buy them. do you get hurt when ford sells a truck for 60k? No, you buy their 30k truck. and this isn’t why the game is being “ruined” as so many of you put it. its losing participation because its difficult, expensive, and takes 5 hrs.

    • Buck

      Jan 19, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      First you say that “this (club prices) isn’t why the game is being ruined”, and in the next sentence you claim that participation is dropping because it is too expensive. smh

    • The dude

      Jan 20, 2017 at 6:36 am

      Ding…

  8. NevinW

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Anything is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. There are plenty of other choices for great clubs that are a lot less money. If they sell them, they will keep making them at that price, if they don’t, they will stop. Either way it has no effect on me or my golf game.

  9. tlmck

    Jan 19, 2017 at 5:54 am

    Buy Malibu TE’s. You’ll be just as satisfied and richer.

    • tlmck

      Jan 19, 2017 at 6:01 am

      Meant Maltby TE. Damned spelling correction.

  10. Sh

    Jan 19, 2017 at 2:38 am

    Calm down, people. $1600 is MSRP. Which means it’ll be $1199 retail. Sheesh.

  11. Charles

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    What an ego play. “If PXG can do it so can we”. I’d love for someone to explain the $400 price diff between models.

  12. TonyK

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    1600 Shanks

  13. WolfWRX

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    $1600 is insulting. No wonder people are quitting the game in droves. This follows on the heels of major price rises by both Mizuno and Titleist in the last six months. It seems golf is in an unsustainable cycle of ever increasing costs and a smaller and smaller market. Perhaps this is the norm now? Gotta keep the shareholders happy after all.

    • The dude

      Jan 20, 2017 at 6:39 am

      Shank

    • JR

      Jan 25, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Wolf, it isn’t mandatory to pay these prices. I played a second-hand set of Cleveland TA5 irons for 10 years and I’d rate them as highly as anything produced by the big names. The problem we have now is that golf has become a game for ‘posers’ who have to be seen using the latest kit by the ‘designer’ brands – Ping, Mizuno, TaylorMade, Callaway, Cobra and now, it seems, PXG. Guys at my club are wearing Galvin Green waterproofs all year round because they were stupid enough to pay $800 for them and, apparently, want everyone to know it. If you play golf with me I’ll be more impressed if you shoot 69 with a set of irons you spent $300 on than if you shoot 83 with a set of irons you spent $1600 on. If you swing the club like a demented lumberjack trying to hack off his own foot then it doesn’t matter what you spend on equipment – you ain’t gonna get better!

  14. Matto

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Go buy some steel billets, hire some forge time, make the multiple dies needed for stamping, buy shafts & grips, import them and tell me how you go price-wise.

  15. The dude

    Jan 18, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Plenty of people will buy them…..plenty of people buy Rolex watches …..$90k cars…etc…and with Trump in office …we will only be paying a flat 15% fed tax rate. It’s all relative you cheap f*cks!!!

  16. Tom Duckworth

    Jan 18, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Yea $1600.00 is ridiculous and yes we can thank PXG for that.
    They don’t care if they sell less sets they will make as much off of one set as they use to selling two.

  17. Titlehead

    Jan 18, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Lefties???

  18. Dude

    Jan 18, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Why aren’t there slots on the face and sole? I thought that was revolutionary TM tech that would help all players?

    • WolfWRX

      Jan 18, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      Ha – so true. It was obvious those face slots would be gone within a year or two despite the absurd technological claims made at the time.

      • dog

        Jan 19, 2017 at 3:59 am

        slots reduce spin giving higher handicaps more distance hence why they are in their game improvement irons, the players these are targeted towards usually dont need extra distance and definitely dont want want reduced spin with their irons, also why most forged/blade clubs lofts arent as strong as game improvements, slots are irrelevant for low handicaps

        • LD

          Jan 19, 2017 at 5:56 am

          “slots are irrelevant”
          The only part of your post based on truth.

          • dog

            Jan 19, 2017 at 4:10 pm

            Taylormade P750 7 iron loft – 34*
            Taylormade P750 6 iron loft – 30*

            Taylormade RSi 1 7 iron loft – 30.5*

            another part of my post “based on truth”
            do your research before you comment

            • Bud

              Jan 20, 2017 at 4:25 pm

              Jason Day played Psi Tour irons last year which had slots.
              7 iron loft – 34*

              Now he’s switching to clubs without slots. Apparently he doesn’t think they are relevant either.

              • JR

                Jan 25, 2017 at 2:38 pm

                Really? You think Jason Day is playing the irons he wants to play? When you’re being paid $50 million plus a year to promote a manufacturer’s gear you play with what they tell you to play with.

              • rodger Davidson

                Aug 24, 2017 at 7:48 am

                No he didn’t.
                He played with the same irons as he did in 2015, the RSI TP irons. He only had a PSI iron as his 2 iron that he used off the tee.

        • Shankalot

          Jan 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm

          You actually know what you are taking about. Great explanation. I consider you the 1% on this site.

          • mike

            Jan 29, 2017 at 8:04 am

            Yes its true but i can tell you the way these guys play and go to the range and hit thousand of bucket plus there hole season….let me tell you that there club are good to go to the garbage….no groobes anymore….i play 30 game a year and im pretty sure 2 more years and ill be good to change me too my irons….

  19. Mark

    Jan 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    $1600? Are they taking the p£$s? They look cheap and nasty not premium product.

  20. DC1

    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    I guess TM has subscribed to the ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ pricing theory. I’m very happy with my cally apex irons from a couple years ago, and will watch these to see how they perform in the hands of regular golfers. On pricing, I have to agree with everyone else that the list prices won’t hold at all…and yes, six months later they will be available for less than half of msrp. That’s just where the market is, unless TM only wants to sell these sticks as very limited editions with fancy colored grips.

  21. Jonny B

    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    $1600 = SHANK

  22. Philip

    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Are you sure that you were talking to a US representative and not a Canadian who gave you Canadian prices? At this point Miura (before they raise prices for the buy out) are looking affordable.

  23. Ayeayeejeff

    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Just can’t get behind a domestic set over 1500 stock. really am impressed with the look of both of them though, so from a design aspect well played Tmade, from a marketing standpoint, I hope you didnt mass produce these puppies.

  24. Brian

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I am waiting for the typical “6 months and I will buy them for half the price” comment.

  25. ColmMcC

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I think I’ll stick to my PS2’s and spend 600 on lessons …. so game improvement and a $1000 saving ….
    Good looking Irons … but I thought mine were for the 4 months it took them to bring out the PSi’s and made mine “old” …. … I still cant manage the churn rate on these clubs .. I had my old coin foirged RAC’s for 13 years – loved them … and guess I will keep my PS2’s for a little longer as they are just bedding in ( or is that I’m just bedding in 🙂 )

  26. Mr.Nodoubt

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Sick. Great job Taylormade! A down company charging 1600 for a set of players irons. Genius…

  27. Rich

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    $1600.00 are you serious!!! If you think spending $1600.00 on a set of irons is going to help your game you are NUTZ!!!!

  28. Deadeye

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    I’m not even going to bother to reply.

  29. Buck

    Jan 18, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Well, someone has to pay for all those Tour players they added this year.

  30. Kosko

    Jan 18, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    What has happened to the price of irons for cripes sake…. Always been a Mizuno guy and they are up to 1200…. the days of a <$400 driver and irons under a grand appear to be gone sadly.

    • Buck

      Jan 18, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Spot on, and the reason why I will be building myself a set of Maltby irons.

      • Teaj

        Jan 18, 2017 at 2:19 pm

        I normally change my irons every year but have kept mine for 2 whole years…. I know right, kind of a big deal. But I am with you once my irons have no more grooves left I will opt to build my own set.

        Heads 4-PW = $242.90
        Shafts (if you don’t want to use your old ones (7 Shafts) = $180.95
        Ferrules = $6.95
        Grips (12) = $40.80
        Epoxy = $16.65
        Grip Tape = $12.60
        Grip Solvent = $9.20
        Tip weight kit = 6.95

        Total with Shafts $517 + $20-40 for shipping and then tax in Canada
        without Shafts $336.05 + shipping and Tax

        Maybe this will be the new way people purchase Clubs

        • James

          Jan 18, 2017 at 3:55 pm

          I’m going to be adding custom-fitting to the list of services I offer over the summer as a coach based near Marbella. I’m absolutely going down the route of component company because the product is just as good, arguably better, but the cost to consumers is so much less as you spell out. It just makes more sense

          • Neil Cameron

            Jan 19, 2017 at 6:29 am

            wishon from Diamond Golf Uk is your best bet

  31. Boobsy McKiss

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Great looking irons.

    I really wonder goes on in the meetings of these companies when it comes to pricing their stuff. Is the CEO some brash hard head that tells the CFO to take his numbers and shove it? I can’t imagine highly paid CFOs and CMOs coming up with these ridiculous prices.

  32. Smitty

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:38 am

    $1200 and $1600 for these irons?! GTFOH Taylormade!! I don’t care how good they look or how many hours you put into working with Tour pros. That is absolutely insane.

    • Anthony

      Jan 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      That’s nothing!!! In Australia they will be $1999!!!

      • john

        Jan 19, 2017 at 12:04 am

        actually they’re $230 per club in Aus in AUD (which is $1610 AUD or $1210 USD), golf stuff is often cheaper here but don’t tell anyone coz then they wont be able to scream about the australia tax

  33. Clay

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:26 am

    That i200 is looking better and better.

  34. birdy

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:25 am

    i like the look but the price is ridiculous. they better be offering any shaft as free upgrade.

  35. Rolo

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:23 am

    “TaylorMade calls the irons a true forged blade with a shallow cavity”

    That’s like saying this is a true real banana with a taste of orange.

  36. CB

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:20 am

    “true forged blade with a shallow cavity,” – doesn’t that make them cavity backs not blades?

  37. Jeff

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Irons without slots on the bottom and sides, has Taylormade lost it’s mind? Any iron that doesn’t have a slot is garbage and is 20 yards shorter. I bet the PWs don’t even go 200 yards.

  38. Tom

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Tax Return Boy’s.

    • Glfhsslr

      Jan 18, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Who gets a Tax return lol

    • Tom

      Jan 18, 2017 at 1:22 pm

      or those who pay taxes

      • WashedUpHasBeen

        Jan 18, 2017 at 2:09 pm

        FFS It’s called a tax refund. A tax return is what you file in order to get your tax refund.

        • Tom

          Jan 18, 2017 at 3:24 pm

          Aww thnx.. I’m looking forward to getting money back in the form of a refund from the state and feds.

  39. golfraven

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:01 am

    The cleanest looking clubs from TM for quite some time. I guess they looked at Mizuno and Ping for quite a while and decided to fusion both looks together. Will be interesting to demo those but will likely mot end up in the bag cause I am not typically a TM guy.

  40. ultimate hacker

    Jan 18, 2017 at 10:49 am

    ill just grab some nice blades at that point, nothing hits pure like a blade. but not everyone can use them..

  41. LDav

    Jan 18, 2017 at 10:35 am

    1600 for irons is crazy however the 1200 option is basically a revised PSI Tour with a much cleaner look and most likely a better feeling off the face. the 1600 option I would say, replaces the past generation MB’s

  42. Dj

    Jan 18, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Hard pass at that price

  43. Xav

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:57 am

    I’d rather bag the i200’s anyways… $800 for the set! Plus they look better cast or not…

    • Egor

      Jan 18, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      i200s are said to be amazing from a friend who is a club fitter. Can’t wait to hit them. I left the TMaG irons train several years ago. I still carry an R15 and Stage 2 3w I picked up for 1/5 the new price.

  44. Brian Moore

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:56 am

    30 degree Pitching Wedge this year?

  45. LD

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:55 am

    $200 an iron with DG shafts? No thanks. I thought the Ping i200’s were overpriced a bit, but this is ridiculous.

  46. Mr Muira

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Blah Blah Blah.

  47. Beef

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Yes I had to read that twice… $1,600 is a lot of money. Saying that, this has the makings of a very tasty mixed-set provided the lofts aren’t jacked beyond recognition.

  48. SRG

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:40 am

    $1600!? That’s absolutely outrageous

  49. Dat

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:20 am

    $1600? What?! Is this supposed to be a 1/2 price PXG competitor? Taylormade has lost their minds.

Leave a Reply

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Equipment

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

Published

on

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!

Your Reaction?
  • 34
  • LEGIT10
  • WOW5
  • LOL1
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP2
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Equipment

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

Published

on

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.

Your Reaction?
  • 15
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Equipment

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

Published

on

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”

Your Reaction?
  • 5
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending