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A Golf Geek’s Dream: Time in the Tour Van

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One week ago, I walked up my driveway with a bounce in my stride that I only get at the end of a great day. Watching the sunset from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro was special, but spending the day in a PGA Tour Van at the Valspar Championship was beyond words.

“Honey, I’m home,” I called out to my girlfriend as soon as I walked in the door. “I went to the Valspar and watched a bunch of tour players hitting bullets on the range,” I said. “But then I got to hang out in a tour van and watched Scott build a set with an SST Pure. It was the most amazing thing!”

“Sorry,” she said, looking at me like I was a bit crazy, “but I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

I tried to explain it in plain English.

“Today, a friend took me into a tour van and introduced me to Scott E. Garrison,” I said. “Scott owns and operates a tour van. His van is basically a tractor trailer truck that’s a pro shop on wheels and steroids. Imagine a science lab crossed with a tailor shop crossed with the best stocked pro shop you could imagine.”

Tour_Van_Ryan_6

Scott E. Garrison (right) and Bob Van Sweden, my hosts for the day.

“Let me see if I get this,” she said. “Your great mood is because you spent the day in a tractor trailer truck?”

“Not just any… Scott’s,” I said. “He travels to about 32 tour events per year, usually stays from Monday to Wednesday, repairing, fitting and building clubs for tour players. His van is full of the most unbelievable technology, a lot of which you can’t find anywhere other than a van like his. He has a couple of lie and loft machines, a gripping station, a saw, a belt sander and a machine to get shafts PUREd.”

“A PUREd?” she asked. She looked at me like I was crazy and speaking a foreign language.

Scott_E_G_Tour_Van

Scott E.G.’s Tour Van.

“Yes, a PUREd,” I said, barely holding back my excitement. “It’s this machine that analyzes golf shafts and identifies the most stable plane. It’s helped PGA Tour players earn $2 billion around the world.”

“PureD made $2 billion?” she asked. “Sounds like a vitamin or a workout tape.”

“No, it’s better,” I told her. “What you do is load a club shaft into the machine, then the machine spins the shaft around to locate the strongest point in the shaft. When the machine identifies the spot it even marks it! Then, when Scott builds a club, he puts that spot into the 12 o’clock position on the club, which optimizes performance.”

Scott_E_G_SST_Pure

Scott using his SST Pure machine.

Her interest piqued. “Why is that important?” she asked.

“Because even something as well built and precise as the shafts in golf clubs have individual characteristics that can be used to make how you use them more or less effective. In this case, it allows you to position the club so it can be its strongest, most consistent and most effective when you swing.”

“Wow, now I get it,” she said. “So that machine could be the difference between someone winning or losing on tour?”

“Exactly,” I said. “I also got to watch Scott put together a set for a big deal on the PGA Tour while the guy stood there. The process was pure artistry. First, Scott looked at the desired specs for the player. Then he weighed all the heads, all the grips, PUREd the shafts and then set upon building what was literally a perfect set.”

“A true artist at work,” she said.

“You got it,” I said. “As he moved effortlessly, he spoke of the precision required in his work, teaching me about the nuances of the process, as well as the challenges of working with tour players. Many of these guys can tell even one swing weight.”

“At one point he held up two brands of golf grips: an Iomic and a Golf Pride,” I said. “He pointed to the end of a club and said, ‘See here, Iomic has no butt, but Golf Pride has about a quarter-inch butt. When you build, you better account for the difference.'”

Tour_Van_Ryan_1

A Golf Pride grip (right) and an Iomic model.

I kept chattering.

“He was moving from machine to machine through the process, snipping a little hear, measuring a little there, then some mixing and a little light banging and VOILA!” I said. “The perfect set; all lengths, swing weights and frequencies spot on!”

I had her attention as she sat sipping her water.

“The process continued,” I said. “A hybrid for another household name player. Then a putter grip and then a loft and lie check.”

Scott told me that many PGA Tour players came into his Tour van every week to check their lies as he measured a golf club using his $6,000 digital loft and lie machine. “And then there are some who come less often,” he said. “Depends on the guy. Some are very particular, others are not.”

Scott_E_G_Tour_Van-Rear

I continued recounting the events of the day to her.

“Around 11 a.m., the Pro-Am was about to start,” I said. “The players and everyone other than Scott left the van. As he continued to work I asked, ‘Was that stressful?’ He laughed. Just how he looked at me, it was clear that he loves his work as much as any artist or craftsman who needed to be on his game all the time. He made it all look very easy.”

“And then what?” my girlfriend asked.

“I watched him work silently for a long time,” I said. “It really felt like he was the master sword fitter, arming the greatest Samurai in the land, and I was watching him build the swords that would make the difference between life and death.”

“Come on young Skywalker,” she said laughing. She kissed me and led me into the kitchen for for dinner; I could smell the spaghetti bolognese, my favorite.

“It didn’t just seem like it,“ she said. “He probably was.”

“Yup,” I said. A perfect day, as I kissed her lightly on the cheek, a happy, contented man.

Scott has one of the most amazing Instagram pages (@scotteggolf). It is AWESOME and a must follow! He also offers “Tour Experiences,” where you can have him build you a set of clubs. To find out more, you can visit his website at ScottEGGolf.com.

Bob Van Sweden is a full-time club fitter in St. Petersburg, Florida. His website is http://www.golfrepaircenter.com/.

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Brendan is the owner of Golf Placement Services, a boutique business which aims to apply his background in golf and higher education to help educate players, their families and coaches about the process! Website - www.golfplacementservices.com Insta - golf.placement.sevices Twitter @BMRGolf

59 Comments

59 Comments

  1. Fyearoldgolfer

    Mar 16, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    People spouting off with out doing the basic research of checking google. SSTPuring
    Was developed by engineers interested in making a golf club better and matched
    to the end user. I didn’t use it 20 years ago because of the expense, but now every
    set of iron shafts I buy are pured. I now also get wood shafts pured to be aligned
    in the hosel setup I will use the most in my adjustables, and aligned in my glue in heads
    that still out perform whatever current club heads offered now. I see some noticeable
    Improvements every 3 – 5 years, and only buy that head if it outperforms all my current
    backups. 15 drivers that need to be culled down to 5. 36 fairway clubs, 7 hybrids,
    15 sets of irons, I’ve lost count of wedges 60 or 70, 8 – 10 putters, plus another
    4 for sentimental reasons. 8 driver shafts for adjustable heads, only 2 fairway shafts
    for adjustable heads, more coming out of some of the unneeded drivers. Played this game
    more than 47 years, I can feel a one swing weight difference club to club, my club fitter
    tested me all the time without telling me what he was doing, I thought I could only
    tell if it was 2 or more swing weights, but he taught me better. Go find your old set of irons
    and have them fitted. Sure your own is not a current pw/8 iron, but I would bet you the cost of the new shafts that you play them better, and now your upper end iron is a 4 or 3 iron
    that outperforms your new off the rack hybrid.

  2. Iliketomoveitmoveit

    Mar 16, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I thought the article was pretty cool but still left out a lot of details on what really goes on in these vans from stop to stop. I for one would love to hear more about the back-end operations that make these tour events so successful year after year – from the tour van guys, the caddies, the volunteers, photographers, clubhouse chefs, and more! I think it’s a very overlooked aspect of golf operations that people don’t either seem to care about or even know what impact they have on making an event a success. I say more of these kind of articles/insights – the golf fans want to know!!

  3. People's Champ

    Mar 16, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Great read and obvious the hackers don’t get it. You can’t win them all Brendan. Keep it up.

  4. Hooker T. Washington

    Mar 16, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I love how everyone’s objective on here is always to find ways to bash the articles and/or the writers. Brendan, I want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and the conversation/story style it was written in was somewhat refreshing compared to your typical articles.
    To all of you who are speaking so negatively on shaft PUREing, it definitely does make a difference…maybe only a minute one in some circumstances, such as steel iron shafts, but noticeably in graphite shafts. Granted, you will only see or feel this difference if you are swinging very consistently day in and day out. I don’t know if they still offer them when you have the process done, but I had received a full page printout with graphs and explanations of the PUREing process when I had a bi-matrix driver shaft PUREd years ago…the shaft was stabilized by 94% compared to the usual logo-down install position…and yes I saw a significant increase in consistency!
    So to all the naysayers…go put some work in on your swing or seek out a PGA professional for help improving your game…then go try a driver with a PUREd shaft

    • Jim

      Mar 16, 2017 at 10:41 am

      We don’t build ANYTHING without PURing . No one second guesses us. It’s built into our pricing. Every one of our (hundreds) of demo shafts are PURED and PROFILED. We can replicate the exact feel and performance of the club you used for your fitting because of this.

      Puring is for real. It absolutely works. For those who doubt or simply don’t understand, here’s the best analogy:

      Remember that set of irons – or maybe your current set where you could just KILL (say) the 4iron, but the 5 or 7 never quite worked or felt as good – as buttery as thar ONE perfect feeling club….

      the perfect one had the shaft installed on the optimal plane – simply by chance – because of where the silk screened logo got rolled on….the other ‘evil’ iron – the one that felt ‘harsh’ or couldn’t draw the ball with – whatever – THAT shaft was put in with it’s SEAM on a detrimental axis…

      Keep spending $48 a dozen on overpriced BS balls and stick your head in the sand on puring….it’s YOUR loss

  5. carl spackler

    Mar 16, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Look at the seg golf website. The only reason he has a truck is for advertising purposes, so it makes sense that this article is just another advertisement. I’m just disappointed there are not more pictures of him making the shaka sign. Hang ten bro!

  6. Jeffrey Purtell

    Mar 16, 2017 at 3:45 am

    I have tried both Pured and non-Pured on the same equipment and found there is no difference. In fact, my handicap is now lower with an un-Pured set of clubs. If you get a kick out of paying lots of money to have an extra sticker on the shaft of your club, then knock yourself out.

  7. Stevegp

    Mar 16, 2017 at 12:33 am

    Golf is indeed highly mental. I’m curious about the benefits of Pureing shafts. There are some true believers and I respect that. However, many disagree to its worth and value. Like them, I would like to see some facts and proof of the benefits it provides. Sometimes it is difficult separating facts from marketing spin.

  8. The dude

    Mar 15, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Fairytale story at best

  9. CCTxGolf

    Mar 15, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    “Wow, now I get it,” she said.

    Very bizarre way to write this article. Sort of a weak advertisement not trying to be an advertisement actually.

  10. Bert

    Mar 15, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    I’ve identified the spine on graphite shafts, but are you saying KBS steel shafts are so out of round they need to be Pured? Is this process the same as identifying the spine? Seems like these high quality steel shafts would be perfect no matter how aligned in the club head.

    • Bert

      Mar 15, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      Or is it frequency matching?

    • Jim

      Mar 16, 2017 at 11:13 am

      Once you ‘find the spine’ – all steel shafts have one – even &500 graphite shafts have one….where do you put it? Prior to SST we would manually test each shaft for Freq, have to ‘spine’ it, then dry fit the head to FLO (Flat Line Oscillate) it, then Freq it again…

      A set of our clubs come with the factory shaft logos pointed all over the place…it looks like someone just glued them together and didn’t bother to ‘line em up’ for a “nice display”. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s way more work to build the best, most exacting products….
      In house SST system saves time and guarantees every one of your 280-400 per club irons we build you feels perfect…
      NO One buying top shelf shafts or custom clubs ever says “don’t” PURE it…

      “I tried both Pured and not Pured clubs” – yeah, right…

      • Bert

        Mar 16, 2017 at 7:55 pm

        Thanks Jim, I’d like to learn more about the process.

        • Jim

          Mar 17, 2017 at 12:19 am

          I went to one of the very first intro seminars and workshops. John Kennedy @ Westchester CC hosted it and it was awesome. Go to their website. It’s all true. Every steel shaft has an internal weld. It produces a ‘spine’ Graphite shafts have several manufacturing process’ but most common is layers rolled on…each sheet has a start and a stop so sometimes they ‘gather’ more to one side than the other, thus producing a ‘ridge’ or stronger side…

          Logos are silk screened on or decals applied as the shafts roll down a work surface, so have only a roulette chance of being in concert with this strong side.

          IF this spine ends up at say 3 or 4 oclock, it would make the club harder to ‘turn over’ smoothly and produce a gentle draw…if it’s installed @ 4 or 5, draws easily become a larger sweeping hook. Put in at 4,5,6, the shaft feels ‘harsher’ and transmits more vibration. Some ot these may also produce more or less droop at high speed, thus making a single lie angle change number not as accurate with all irons (our high end fittings adjust each clubs lie angle individually as sometimes folks release longer flatter lying clubs different from more upright ones – the ‘human factor’)…

          anyway, it works. And the machine was time consuming and manual. There was a high probability of operator error as one had to rotate a large lathe chuck smoothly and stop accurately on cue. There was no way this could be adopted to mass production.

          the machine itself was 25k PLUS royalties! No “garage club builder” has one – or is gonna get one.

          we waited for 2 years until they made us a ‘better offer’ and did the spining by hand, then freq’d it on 4 planes by hand to make sure we had it right, then dry fit the head and ‘bounced it’ up and down slighty turning the face so that the club would eventually bob up and down on a single plane – “Flat Line Oscillating”….
          We got one of the first new fully automated machines (no more painstaking precision – or possible operator error, and we can do ten shafts in the time it took to do 3 before.

          We also purchased a dozen asst shafts from Golfsmith ($10 up charge when everyone was charging 30 or 35 for a raw shaft) and 7 of them were totally off from when we retested them, SO, it’s quite probable anyone – not the trolls – who legitimately had it done and was unhappy simply had shafts that were not properly done…

          What sold me – one of our regular ‘haunters’ had a Kmart Adams driver with the std Adams $10 graphite shaft and said he wanted to try it….I took his club and hit it a dozen times – all over the place. After we pured it, he and I BOTH hit it remarkably better. The hook became a draw and toe side hits on high speed video showed less than half of the torque that was opening the face which produced better gear-effect. It stopped several ‘toe-pushes’ from becoming further right toe-push-slices’…

          BOTTOM LINE. It’s 100% legit

      • Jeffrey Purtell

        Mar 17, 2017 at 3:01 am

        Jim, my friend, why would I lie. Im saying I pured my old set of irons (perfectly flo-ed them. Are there different ways to perfectly flat line?????) and now use a set of the same irons that have been reconditioned and the shafts have not been flo-ed/ pured. So yes I have tried both. Maybe if I was a robot I might have felt a difference. Cheers.

        • Jim

          Mar 17, 2017 at 11:37 am

          I’m telling you flat out….Your shafts were NOT done properly. Period.

          After we got our first machine it took me maybe 30 or 40 attempts to really ‘get it’. My partner and I would check each others shafts we had done…It was a significant investment in time to get it dead on. We bought 10 shafts from Golfsmith to check their work (we needed some for stock anyway, and it was only a $10 up charge)
          Only 3 came out dead on when we retested them….and a couple of em hadn’t even been prepped for PURING properly.

          The shaft had to be prepped…any mfr stickers removed (pain in the butt – they never just ‘peel off’) and the butt had to be cut PERFECTLY square and the shaft seated by hand in the chuck. The operatot had to roll the chuck smoothly and consitently ‘hand over hand’ and stop perfectly on cue, then roll the opposite direction.

          I’M CERTAIN yours were not done properly.

          Also, much to MY surprise and dismay, PURED shafts DON’T FLO! …yeah, I was bummed….”cause I know all the work we did manually to find and orient the strong side and then ‘tweek it a little’ from there to get the Flat Line bounce did absolutely produce better feeling and more accurate clubs…I loved the feel as did our customers, making us a Top 25 Custom Shop – before we finally came to a deal w/SST…

          • Jeffrey Purtell

            Mar 17, 2017 at 9:49 pm

            Your last paragraph is exactly what I did. Bare original shaft, spine only as a reference, strongest bend toward target, then fine tune flo with head on. I even rigged up a slip pulley so each Twang of the shaft would be consistent. If this is the wrong way, so be it. Perhaps my lower handicap and better play is more mental in the fact that the reconditioned set looks and feels like a 100% brand new set (which I also did the work myself) and I get satisfaction out of that, who knows? Cheers.

            • Jim

              Mar 19, 2017 at 12:11 am

              Sounds like you took the time and did it right! I think the issue we have here is terminology.
              You weren’t wrong, you were mislead.

              PURING is the SST proprietary term for what their machine does. It was hijacked years ago by folks – some out of ignorance, some out of malice, and some who never actually seriously checked out what it was.

              A lot of us builders who were all kind of seperately working on this in it’s infancy and spent their time sweat and money figuring out the process (you and I both used) felt ‘challenged’ when this new, very expensive machine came out – as if all the stuff we were doing to make the best clubs we could – when so many other builders/repair guys – and OEMS didn’t bother taking the extra time to do all those extra steps…..

              Problem was we were flying blind. We built (same type everything) clubs with the spine in at 9:00, 12:00 etc, but ultimately we were guessing, so we’d hit em over and over and have several of our ‘better stick’ regulars try them and we ended up with the spine up @ 12:00 as it seemed to provide the best ‘feel’ as folks reported, and seemed less likely to hook as opposed to the 9:00 position which ‘seemed’ to feel more harsh, and ‘turn over’ more than 12… again, all soley based on human feedback at the time…we used the Cheetah (pre trackman) on a full length outdoor range 10 years ago for this as it had become standard with our builds….We were well aware of SST, but it was still pretty expensive. Fortunately, they wanted IN to our shop, and after almost 18 months of back n forth and haggling, they made us a better offer…

              Prior to getting the unit it’s successes were getting good press, and we never told anyone we ‘pured’ our shafts, we did absolutely promote how we ‘tuned them’ and promoted the manual FLO process with a video we’d run in house, or take the customer into the shop and demonstrate the process first hand.

              Whatever you read, or were told about what/how to do what you did (love the slip release!) Simply never should have lead you (and A LOT OF OTHER FOLKS) to believe it was PURING a shaft…

              the machine – designed by total NASA engineer types – takes the guess work out, cuts the time and it absolutely works….

              If a new driver shaft is in your future, seek a well regarded cat in your area and have them do it for you. I promise you won’t be sorry

              Regards & happy motoring. J

              • Jeffrey Purtell

                Mar 19, 2017 at 1:44 am

                All good mate, sounds like I was doing similar stuff to what you were doing 20 years ago, lol. I failed to mention I also did this process on my old Fairway woods (910 Titleist with Aldila Rip A shafts) but never my Driver (913 D2 Aldila Rip A). I now have 913 fairways with untouched shafts and the same driver. Funnily enough, I have just this minute done a google search of SST Puring near me, Im in Wollongong south of Sydney NSW Australia, and only found 2 places in Queensland (1000+ Klm away) that does it.

              • Jeffrey Purtell

                Mar 19, 2017 at 2:46 am

                All good mate, sounds like I was doing similar stuff to what you were doing 20 years ago, LOL. Happy golfing, cheers.

                • Jeffrey Purtell

                  Mar 20, 2017 at 2:43 am

                  Arghh! Silly double post. I thought the first one didn’t post so I shortened it and they both posted. Doh!

        • Jim

          Mar 17, 2017 at 3:32 pm

          FLO / SPINING IS NOT SSTPURING….Folks have been alluding that – mostly silly articles or threads – sometimes worse; the mildy competent club builder. The guy @ big box repait counter who discounts the SST machine – as he will never touch one, the small shop guy or hobbiest – some of which no doubt read some of our work from years ago when we first started “profiling” shafts and figured out one side WAS stronger than the other….We had to see the proof SST PURING was for real, and it is. I can’t defend it enough here.

          We balked at the price, and it was an expensive service….It is NOT related to all the manual work and time we spent to “tune” the shaft for the head (high MOI shaped drivers vs pear shaped heads)….that’s where it became – as good as we were – kinda ‘flying blind’ vs the machine….

          When clubs are spined – first step to manually FLOing them, what side goes where? We all debated that back n forth – a case can be made for all 4 compass points, and the process, when done right did produce more stable & consistent clubs, but the biggest thing with irons was feel…

          The SST machine simply does it better and absolutely provides both quantifiable & kinesthetic improvement….

          tbere’s no doubt in my mind, your clubs were not done properly….

          Peace

  11. andy

    Mar 15, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    i wish there was a standard for buttcaps would make life so much easier.

  12. Dave R

    Mar 15, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Great article would like more of these very interesting about shafts.

  13. Aaron

    Mar 15, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    How does Scott E. Garrison make money? Selling ads on his trailer? Invoicing players for his work? It makes sense when OEM staff players visit their respective brand’s trailer each week, but if Scott isn’t affiliated with any one brand, how is it worth his time?

  14. MrBluster

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Forgetting all the “my dog’s bigger than your dog” chatter- At the Tour vans at all levels, do the players pay for any work that is done or is it all free. Do they tip the operators? How about the equipment available on the ranges and putting greens?

  15. Sekim

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Bob “the guy asking the questions” is actually a well versed club-fitter in St Pete. I’ve been going to his shop for years and it’s a bit funny the way the article worded things. Bob knows all of that already. The tour van access is cool nonetheless…

    • Ummmm

      Mar 15, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      That’s because this is a fluff piece designed to get you to spend money on SST puring and hopefully from him.

  16. charles lee

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    For OEM manufactures to have all irons pured and perfectly built for tour players would force OEM manufactures to increase to price of clubs. Besides most Joes would never feel the difference. Pros are looking, holding, and swinging the golf clubs almost a 3rd of third of their lifetime. It makes a difference to them.

  17. Blake

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    More tour van content please

  18. Artie Jenkins

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Good article and from someone who plays PURE’d clubs I can say they are great. I’m not awesome but I can break par once a week. I think the bad comments are from people who haven’t been fit properly and are showing their ignorance. Poor suckers. Bring your wallet to Jupiter and we’ll play!

  19. Chris C

    Mar 15, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    The problem with this article is that it makes more than insinuations that Pure-ing makes a difference.

    Major OEMs have top engineers, testing facilities, and golf experts, that develop and test new materials and technologies in hopes that they can find something demonstrably better, that still confines to the rules set by the usga and R&A.

    Some technologies were milestones and have stuck around through time, i.e. Larger clubheads, titanium and then carbon and multi materials, face thickness innovation and every company is using a version of those technologies. Those milestones are few and far between.

    Now, Because of how close we are to the limits of technology within the rules, Companies spend many, many millions of dollars and grasp at straws when needed to find anything that they can legally claim is better so they can market that claim and sell more clubs, even if it barely makes a difference to ball flight. The fact that no major OEMs embrace this as a technology that they can even claim makes a difference, should tell anyone with any common sense that Pure-ing makes absolutely no difference to your ball flight.

    Will it hurt the golfer, no. And if it makes you more confident to spend money to “Pure” you’re shafts go ahead. But if you need to “Pure” your shafts to have more confidence, you might as well send me a check for whatever half the cost of “Pure-ing” is and I’ll just text you once a week telling you how awesome you are at golf. You’ll get more of your money’s worth…

    • Joey5Picks

      Mar 15, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      Manufacturers add a 1/4″ to the shaft, lower the loft 2 degrees and claim their clubs are the longest. People don’t care about Puring, they care about distance.

      • Chris C

        Mar 15, 2017 at 6:38 pm

        You’re absolutely right people do care about that more in the market, and for what it’s worth strengthening the loft and increasing shaft length does change ball flight and that’s something they can quantify and sell, unlike pure-ing.

    • Jim

      Mar 16, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Sorry….you couldn’t be more wrong. 20 years of PURING and the robot tests to prove it works. Has shaft manufacturing improved in that 20 years? YES! Dramatically too!

      Every steel shaft still has a welded seam creating a ‘spine’ even woven ‘asymmetrical’ graphite shafts had a spine – it was on the mandrel they were woven around….

      How can anyone ‘accept’ Frequency analysis / matching and not Puring?
      WE ROBOT TESTED factory issue irons with small increments of off-center / off plane strikes then took the club apart, pured it and retested it and the results are quantifiable better….PERIOD…It’s a fact the shitworks. PERIOD…. AND, it’s like $ 10 a club now….a fraction of what it was even 10 years ago.

      HONESTLY….IF YOU just got a set of APEX with 110gr Tour Recoil shafts and love ’em, you’re good! Why mess with them…..I HAVEN’T TAKEN MINE APART just to PURE them…..BUT if you’re reshafting clubs, or building custom from scratch, frankly, you’d be an idiot not to do it

      • Jim

        Mar 17, 2017 at 12:29 am

        ….IT IS ILLEGAL to Manufacture a shaft with a spine deliberately to improve performance. It is NOT Illegal to FIND the spine and install it in a certain way….those crazy rules again…

        • Jim

          Mar 17, 2017 at 9:02 pm

          ….sorry…one more bit to that….It would be illegal to install a shaft that was spined into the club in a position that would affect – or assit in producing a certain ball flight. Say someone wanted to help promote a draw or a fade, the shaft could be installed in a position that would absolutely contribute to that…

          adjustable heads / movable weights aside, according to the rules, the shaft can’t be made or installed to help….who’d know? – kinda like wearing a wedge inside your shoe to invert your ankle and help prevent the foot from rolling – also illegal…as is ‘planing down the sole of a shoe to promote same….

          lotsa equipment rules no one ever hears about….STPURING is legal, as it’s simply finding the most solid stable plane in the shaft – which is neutral for influencing ball flight – other than to reduce dispersion from imperfections in the shaft.

          the consistent feel is just a bonus

          • Jeffrey Purtell

            Mar 18, 2017 at 6:25 am

            Hi Jimmy, me again. I found the the most solid (strongest) and stable (perfect flo) in my shafts but apparently I didn’t do it properly. LOL. I really need that extra sticker on the shaft, hey.

            • Jim

              Mar 19, 2017 at 12:48 am

              …Hey Man they’re like the weights for balancing tires absolutely KEY components….lol
              Funny, but for the first few years (flo or SST) the biggest beef people had was the shaft logos were all over the place…a couple folks reeeaally bummed out! “I need that for alignment” (?)… we never got into the trend that started a few years ago where dudes were “too cool” to have any logo visible – even asking for the grip to be installed upside down….If people want the stickers, we’ll give them to them. We don’t put em on anymore as part of the build…

              too funny! 🙂

              • Jeffrey Purtell

                Mar 20, 2017 at 2:50 am

                All good, I slipped that one in there as a bit of cheek. lol. When I did my 910 fairways with the aldila shafts the graphics were all over the place with the factory A1 setting. Now my 913’s are untouched straight up graphics.

  20. Chuck S.

    Mar 15, 2017 at 11:40 am

    This OPINION piece is nothing more than a dressed up ad for PURE Shaft Technology. If this tech is so great then why don’t all the other OEM trucks have them as well? Also, the style in which this is written is totally bogus. Who talks like that? Especially to their girlfriend…

  21. Daniel

    Mar 15, 2017 at 11:01 am

    The Pros all Pure their shafts because guys are willing to do it for them for free, then claim it was that process that helped them win however much money they won that week. The pros probably don’t even know the difference, and just say “sure” when one of these guys asks them if they want their shafts Pured. Then that same guy goes and tells all his retail clients “(Insert big name) has all of his shafts Pured, you are missing out if you don’t”

    The difference is the retail buyer pays $30 per club and gets no value.

  22. John O

    Mar 15, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Been wondering why my scores are still around 100. Need my shafts pure’d.

  23. Miramar

    Mar 15, 2017 at 10:48 am

    The bonsai tree in the background is much more real than the PUREd shafts…

  24. GolfnRide

    Mar 15, 2017 at 10:41 am

    An awkward, uncomfortable read…

    • Pete S

      Mar 15, 2017 at 11:32 am

      There’s a 0% chance that conversation went that way.

  25. ken

    Mar 15, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Wow..The curmudgeon is strong in you three people.
    Get this straight…You WISH you could be building clubs for the best players in the world.
    Hell you’d all be happy just to be the guy that removed the grips prior to regripping the shafts.

  26. Matt Abramson

    Mar 15, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Why did you have to write the article in story form? And then, to write the plot as you did, in such a weird fantastical form involving a women you claim to be you girlfriend? Confusing and awkward. When trying to scam people on a bogus technology, the use of logos (an appeal to logic/reason) is much more effective than the use of pathos. Trying to appeal to the emotions of the reader is very ineffective, ESPECIALLY when you write it the way you did – in fictional story form.

  27. Chris

    Mar 15, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Lol. Pure-ing is still a thing? Making a living off of nonsense. Must be nice.

    • cc ryder

      Mar 15, 2017 at 10:46 am

      pure-ing is real and I feel as if it helped my game and tournament play.

  28. Ummmm

    Mar 15, 2017 at 9:35 am

    lol@pured

    The scam is still alive!

    • cc ryder

      Mar 15, 2017 at 10:47 am

      Scam? LOL… troll I say. Pured shafts work. Work for me and for many of the best in the world.

      • McPickens

        Mar 15, 2017 at 1:17 pm

        the technology and science is sound, the actual benefit or increase in performance is what is questionable and any gains are likely in your mind

      • Ummmm

        Mar 15, 2017 at 2:42 pm

        It took you two posts saying the same thing?

        There is literally 0 scientific proof it helps. It was invented by garage club makers as a means to help revenue and be yet another thing those evil oem and big box stores don’t do.

        It’s a scam pure and simple.

        If you think it helped, since golf is very mental, great. But it didn’t actually do anything for you. This isn’t 1965 and shaft quality and consistency is such that it’s not something that is the concern these snake oil people want you think it is.

        • Jim

          Mar 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm

          You know nothing of which you speak.

          spoken like a true troll

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Opinion & Analysis

A day at the CP Women’s Open

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It’s another beautiful summer day in August. Just like any other pro-am at a professional tour event, amateurs are nervously warming up on the driving range and on the putting green next to their pros. As they make their way to the opening tees, they pose for their pictures, hear their names called, and watch their marque player stripe one down the fairway. But instead of walking up 50 yards to the “am tees,” they get to tee it up from where the pros play—because this is different: this is the LPGA Tour!

I’m just going to get right to it, if you haven’t been to an LPGA Tour event you NEED to GO! I’ve been to a lot of golf events as both a spectator and as media member, and I can say an LPGA Tour event is probably the most fun you can have watching professional golf.

The CP Women’s Open is one of the biggest non-majors in women’s golf. 96 of the top 100 players in the world are in the field, and attendance numbers for this stop on the schedule are some of the highest on tour. The 2019 edition it is being held at exclusive Magna Golf Club in Aurora, Ontario, which is about an hour north of downtown Toronto and designed by noted Canadian architect Doug Carrick. The defending Champion is none other than 21-year-old Canadian phenom Brooke Henderson, who won in emotional fashion last year.

From a fan’s perspective, there are some notable differences at an LPGA Tour event, and as a true “golf fan,” not just men’s golf fan, there are some big parts of the experience that I believe everyone can enjoy:

  • Access: It is certainly a refreshing and laidback vibe around the golf course. It’s easy to find great vantage points around the range and practice facility to watch the players go through their routines—a popular watching spot. Smaller infrastructure doesn’t mean a smaller footprint, and there is still a lot to see, plus with few large multi-story grandstands around some of the finishing holes, getting up close to watch shots is easier for everyone.
  • Relatability: This is a big one, and something I think most golfers don’t consider when they choose to watch professional golf. Just like with the men’s game there are obviously outliers when it comes to distance on the LPGA Tour but average distances are more in line with better club players than club players are to PGA Tour Pros. The game is less about power and more about placement. Watching players hit hybrids as accurately as wedges is amazing to watch. Every player from a scratch to a higher handicap can learn a great deal from watching the throwback style of actually hitting fairways and greens vs. modern bomb and gouge.
  • Crowds: (I don’t believe this is just a “Canadian Thing”) It was refreshing to spend an entire day on the course and never hear a “mashed potatoes” or “get in the hole” yelled on the tee of a par 5. The LPGA Tour offers an extremely family-friendly atmosphere, with a lot more young kids, especially young girls out to watch their idols play. This for me is a huge takeaway. So much of professional sports is focused on the men, and with that you often see crowds reflect that. As a father to a young daughter, if she decides to play golf, I love the fact that she can watch people like her play the game at a high level.

There is a lot of talk about the difference between men’s and women’s professional sports, but as far as “the product” goes, I believe that LPGA Tour offers one of the best in professional sports, including value. With a great forecast, a great course, and essentially every top player in the field, this week’s CP Women’s Open is destined to be another great event. If you get the chance to attend this or any LPGA Tour event, I can’t encourage you enough to go!

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Podcasts

TG2: New podcaster Larry D on his show “Bogey Golf”

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GolfWRX Radio welcomes a new podcast, Bogey Golf with Larry D and we talk to Larry. He lets us in on his show, who he is, why he loves the game, and even what’s in his bag! Rob missed his member-guest and Knudson got a new driver.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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Opinion & Analysis

Getting to know Payne Stewart

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Ever since that final putt fell in Pinehurst in 1999, Payne Stewart’s memory has enjoyed mythical qualities. A man of complex charm, but many of us who grew up without him recognize only his Knickerbocker pants, his flat cap, and his W.W.J.D. covered wrist wrapped around that United States Open trophy.

I had a wonderful opportunity to play a round of golf with two men that know a lot about Payne. One through friendship and the other through journalistic research.

Lamar Haynes was Payne Stewart’s close friend and teammate on the SMU golf team. He’s full of stories about Payne from the good old days. Kevin Robbins is an author who just finished a new book on Stewart’s final year of life, set to release to the public for purchase this October. He works as a professor of journalism at the University of Texas but has also enjoyed an impressive career as a reporter and golf writer for over 20 years.

We met at Mira Vista Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, to talk about Payne. Robbins is a solid golfer who spends time working on his game, which tells me a lot about his personality. He is one of us.  As for Haynes, the guy hasn’t lost much since those SMU golf team days. He can still swing it. Fantastic iron player. And both men are wonderful conversationalists. They offered a unique perspective on Stewart—the golfer I grew up idolizing but never really knew. There’s a good chance you don’t really know him, either. At least not the whole story.

“Most golf fans now know the story of his ’99 U.S. Open win,” Robbins said.  “What they don’t know is where he came from.”

Robbins’ book, The Last Stand of Payne Stewart: The Year Golf Changed Foreverchronicles Payne’s last year on earth with dramatic detail, covering his triumph at Pinehurst and the Ryder Cup at Brookline. And, of course, it tells the story of that tragic plane crash that took our champion from us. What the book doesn’t do is hide any of the blemishes about Payne’s life that have either been forgotten or pushed aside by brighter moments and memories.

“I thought that the other Payne Stewart books, while they have a place, they didn’t tell the whole story,” Robbins said.

The whole story, from what I read, was Payne being brash. A poor winner and sometimes a poor sport when he lost. He often said things he shouldn’t have said and then made those mistakes again and again.

“He had no filter,” remembered Haynes.  “Several close friends on tour had a hard time with him when he won his first Open. He didn’t take into account any of the consequences his words could create. He had a huge heart. Huge heart. But at times there was just no filter. But he grew a great deal over the last 2 or three years.”

It’s most certainly is a book about a change. A change in a man that was better late than never. But also a change in golf that began at the turn of the century and hasn’t really slowed down since.

“The 20 years since his death, to see the way golf has moved, what the tour looks like now,” Robins said.  “There was an evolution that was taking place in 1999 and we didn’t know how it would manifest itself. But now we do. So when you see Brooks Koepka hit a 3-wood in the US Open 370 yards, well that all really had its beginnings in 1998 and 1999. The Pro-V1 ball was being tested in 1999 and being rolled out in 2000. Fitness and equipment, sports psychology, nutrition. All of those things that a guy like Payne Stewart really didn’t have to pay attention to.”

But that change that occurred in Payne, culminating in his final year of life, is something worth learning. It’s a lesson for all of us. A guy on top of the world with still so much to fix. And he was fixing it, little by little.

“He was authentic,” Haynes said. “And he learned a lot later in life from his children. With their Bible studies. You saw a change in him. Very much. He had a peace with himself but he still would revert to his DNA. The fun-loving Payne. Raising children and being a father helped him tremendously.”

Payne was passionate about so many things in life but his children became a primary focus. According to Haynes, he would be so loud at his daughter’s volleyball games…yelling intensely at the referees…that they gave him an option: Either he wouldn’t be allowed to watch the games anymore or he needed to become a line judge and help out with the games. So, Payne Stewart became a volleyball line judge.

Lamar brought the head of an old Ram 7-iron along with him to show me. Damaged and bent from the crash, the club was with Payne on his final flight. He had it with him to show his guys at Mizuno as a model for a new set of irons. That Ram 7-iron belonged to Haynes and Payne had always adored the way it looked at address.

“Payne also used my old Mizunos the last year of his life,” Haynes said.  I had received the MS-4s 10 years earlier from Payne in 1989. They were like playing with a shaft on a knife. The sweet spot was so tiny on the MS-4. They made the MP29 and 14s look like game improvement irons. Payne used those. Then Harry Taylor at Mizuno designed him an iron, which later became the MP33. The 29 and 14s were very sharp and flat-soled. Well, Payne loved this old Ram iron set that I had.. He asked for my Ram 7-iron for Harry Taylor to model his new set. He liked the way it went through the turf. He had it with him on the plane. This is the club that started the MP33.”

It was Lamar Haynes, the man who seems to know just about everyone in the golf community, that set Robbins on this writing journey. Robbins had written one book previously: The story of the life of legendary golf coach Harvey Penick. But this book came a bit easier for Robbins, partly due to his experience, partly due to the subject matter, and partly because of Lamar.

“There’s a story here,” Robbins said. “With any book, you hope to encounter surprises along the way, big and little. And I did. I got great cooperation a long the way. Anybody I wanted to talk to, talked to me thanks to this guy Lamar Haynes.”

“Lamar said the first guy you need to talk to is Peter Jacobsen,” Robins said. “And I said ‘great can you put me in touch with him’ which became a common question to Lamar throughout the process.” Robbins chuckled.  “Literally 2 minutes later my phone rings. ‘Kevin, this is Peter Jacobsen here.'”

“Peter told me the story about the ’89 PGA championship in our first conversation. So literally in the first 10 minutes of my reporting effort, I had the first set piece of the book. I had something. Lamar made a lot happen.”

Lamar Haynes and Kevin Robbins

The book is not a biography, though it certainly has biographical elements to it. It is simply the story of Payne’s final year, with a look back at Payne’s not so simple career mixed in. The author’s real talent lives in the research and honesty. The story reads like you’re back in 1999 again, with quotes pulled from media articles or press conferences. Anecdotes are sprinkled here and there from all of Payne’s contemporaries. The storytelling is seamless and captivating.

“I was pleasantly surprised how much Colin Montgomerie remembered about the concession at the 1999 Ryder Cup,” Robbins said. “Colin can be a tough interview. He is generally mistrustful of the media. His agent gave me 15 minutes during the Pro-Am in Houston. This was in the spring of 2018. I met Colin on the 17th hole and he had started his round on 10. Just organically the conversation carried us to the fifth green. Just because he kept remembering things. He kept talking, you know. It was incredible. Tom Lehman was the same way. He said “I’ll give you 20 minutes” and it ended up being an hour and a half at Starbucks.”

The research took Robbins to Massachusetts, Florida, and Missouri—and of course, to Pinehurst. He met with Mike Hicks, Payne’s former caddie, there to discuss that final round. The two ended up out on Pinehurst No. 2, walking the last three holes and reliving the victory. It gives life to the story and fills it with detail.

“Part of what I hoped for this book is that it would be more than just a sports story,” Robbins said.  “More than just a golf story. The more I started thinking about where Payne began and where he ended, it seemed to me…and I’m not going to call it a redemption story although I bet some people do. People when they are younger, they have regrets and they make mistakes. They do things they wish they could take back but they can’t. So, what can they do? Well, they can improve. They can get better. That’s what Payne was doing with his life. He was improving himself. It was too late to change what he had done already. So what could he do with the future? He could be different.”

“It was accurate,” Haynes said.  “I had a tear when I finished it. I texted Kevin right afterward. I told him I couldn’t call him because I’m choked up so I texted him.”

So here’s two men who knew Payne Stewart, albeit in very different ways. They knew he was flawed in life but he got better. Was Payne Stewart that hero at Pinehurst, grabbing Phil Mickelson’s face and telling him the important thing is he’s going to be a father? Yes. But he was so much more than that. He was so much more than I knew before I read this book. Most importantly, Payne Stewart was always improving. A lesson for all of us, indeed.

If you want to hear more about my experience, tweet at me here @FWTXGolfer or message me on Instagram here! I look forward to hearing from you!

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