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PXG and the Rise of Luxury Golf Equipment

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Karl Benz is widely credited as being the creator of the first practical motorcar. While Mercedes-Benz would spawn from Karl Benz original company, it was Rolls-Royce that made luxury synonymous with automobiles. Parsons Xtreme Golf is doing the same thing with golf equipment. This is a story about the niche market of luxury goods and how the principle of luxury has found its way into the mainstream golf equipment industry.

By the end of 1903, Sir Henry Royce had designed and built his own gas-powered automobile that boasted a 10-horsepower engine. Charles Rolls met Royce in 1904 and vowed to sell as many of Royce’s cars as the man could make. Thus, Rolls-Royce was born. In an early advertisement, the company called the six-cylinder Rolls-Royce, “Not one of the best, but the Best Car in the World.”

Today, if you’re searching for a Rolls-Royce on the company website, you won’t find a price on any of its vehicles, not even its pre-owned cars. Similarly, you can’t find a price for any golf clubs (save for the putters) on the website for Parsons Xtreme Golf. You can’t find a price because if you’re a serious buyer, the price is extraneous. The saying, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it,” comes to mind.

If you have time, you should check out the Rolls-Royce website. The homepage has this elaborate short film where Kate Winslet narrates the story of Rolls-Royce. The short film opens with a view of the camera gliding through a cloudy sky with a fade-in title, House of Rolls-Royce Presents. “It may surprise you to know,” Winslet says, “There is, in this world, a place where beauty is made.”

On the other end of the spectrum, when you log on to Ford’s website, you see “A vehicle for every lifestyle.” Where Ford wants everyone to own one of its cars, Rolls-Royce wants to sell to people who settle for nothing less than the Best Car in the World.

***

For a long time, the golf industry has operated much like Ford. Most of the manufacturers have produced similarly priced clubs at a similar level of quality all aiming for a share of the same market. Boutique golf equipment manufacturers such as Scratch and Fourteen have built fantastic forged irons, but their price points still pitted them against the behemoths of the golf world. Miura and Epon stand out as companies that have successfully built a bridge between luxury goods and golf equipment with higher price points, but PXG took it to the next level.

Bob Parsons has driven his proverbial Rolls-Royce down Main Street with claims placed gracefully on the PXG About Page. He says PXG makes “the world’s sexiest, most forgiving golf clubs that launch higher, go farther, feel softer and have a sweet spot the size of Texas.” His colloquial description is my favorite.

“Simply put, PXG clubs are the Duck’s Nuts.”

Since PXG released its first line of clubs, its most popular being thin-faced, forged irons filled with a material called thermoplastic elastomer, the discussion has focused disproportionately on the price of the clubs and not the quality. The question most golfers have asked is, “Is there any way PXG clubs can be twice as good as anything else on the market?” It’s a fair question, but it’s irrelevant. Is a Rolex watch 10 times better than a Citizen? It doesn’t matter. Because if you’re looking at the price, then you can’t afford the Rolex, so your opinion of quality doesn’t really apply to the Rolex, does it?

Every article about PXG clubs I’ve read has some comment that resembles the following, “The price of these clubs makes no sense. This is Parson’s pet project and the company won’t be around in two or three years.”

Maybe it is just a pet project for Parsons, a billionaire with an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, but the truth is, Parsons is a bit of genius. He’s not a genius because he has invented the greatest set of clubs in the history of golf, although some golfers do say that about his clubs. It’s because he identified a hole in the market, and he has filled it with a thermoplastic elastomer.

Related: What makes PXG irons and wedges so different?

Another common tirade I’ve seen is something similar to the following: “The prices are laughable…You can only do so much with a technology…and there is only so much of a premium you can charge here today…”

The prices are laughable… for someone who can’t afford them. The observation about money running out is different because it shows the commenter doesn’t necessarily understand what Parsons is doing. Parsons has said over and over again, “I’m not competing with TaylorMade and Callaway because my target customers are major earners.” And that’s why he’s seeing success. In an interview with Michael Collins on The “Golf” Podcast, Parsons said the company is on track to reach $100 million in sales and will be profitable for 2017.

***

Bob Parsons, whatever your opinion of him is, is using the emotion of luxury to drive his success. In an article published in Psychology Today, Dr. Peter Noel Murray (Ph.D. in Psychology) discusses the emotion of luxury:

“…consumers also are rational beings; aware that they can buy products at mass market retailers which have aesthetics and features similar to luxury brands but are a lot cheaper…Is the rational mind more likely to choose mass market while our emotional mind yearns for luxury? Is it that simple?”

Dr. Murray goes on to say, “we can be emotionally drawn to good design, and then rationally decide whether the exceptional qualities of luxury design are worth the additional price versus the ‘good enough’ qualities of a mass market alternative.”

Golf is a brutal combination of the cerebral and the physical, and because of this players make club choices primarily on subjective and inherently emotional qualities. It’s why players can walk into a store, hit several models on a launch monitor providing all sorts of data and chose a club that might not produce the best data because it feels better.

“Purchase behavior is a direct result of how a consumer perceives that a brand delivers the emotional end-benefits of buying and owning,” Dr. Murray says. “The emotional end benefit is basically, ‘Who am I?’ And how does a brand help define who I am?”

People have an emotional connection to luxury brands. As Dr. Murray points out in his article, this connection typically occurs within the realm of people who have the financial means to purchase luxury brands. Rolls-Royce only wants those people. So too, does PXG.

When people who love cars watch Top Gear and see Jeremy Clarkson roll out in a brand new Ferrari, they don’t look at it and say, “The price on that car is ridiculous.” They say, “That car is amazing,” and then enjoy the test Clarkson puts the Ferrari through, watching in awe of its power and elegance. I know, I’m one of those car lovers.

***

So, why do we look at PXG and say things like, “Those clubs are ridiculous. There’s no way they could be that much better?” The comparative quality is irrelevant. Basic economics says that the market equilibrium lies where supply meets demand. Parsons doesn’t need the equilibrium because he’s not trying to scale; he’s trying to build clubs that people are willing to wait in line to get. That’s how luxury works.

As Dr. Murray puts it, “The luxury brands they [the consumers] treasure have the rare and intangible quality of truth…Luxury brand truth is a visceral connection between consumer and brand.” He goes on to say, “Truth is expressed in narrative and other communication which breathes life into the brand, evoking perceptions of authenticity and timelessness.”

Related: PXG’s new 0811X Drivers, 0341X Fairways and 0317X Hybrids

What Parsons has done so well is ensure that his marketing matches his personal feeling about the product he’s created. Because without those two living in harmony, there would be no authenticity; without authenticity, there is no truth. The narrative Parsons tells with his marketing and his clubs is something those who can afford them relish. This narrative, coupled with successful use of the clubs by LPGA and PGA Tour players such as Lydia Ko and Zach Johnson, has given PXG the platform to take luxury golf equipment mainstream and that’s the gap PXG is bridging. Thanks to brilliant marketing and truly revolutionary designs, luxury golf equipment is no longer a fringe niche.

Welcome to the era of Rolls-Royce, Porsche and Ferrari in golf equipment.

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Adam Crawford is a writer of many topics but golf has always been at the forefront. An avid player and student of the game, Adam seeks to understand both the analytical side of the game as well as the human aspect - which he finds the most important. You can find his books at his website, chandlercrawford.com, or on Amazon.

107 Comments

107 Comments

  1. jerseychris

    May 6, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Lemme know when the pros start paying for the clubs rather than getting payed to play them. Then I’ll take a look.

  2. Guia

    Apr 21, 2017 at 12:03 am

    Is a Mercedes any better than a Chevy? Probably not, they both get you to where you are going.

    The difference is what you can afford. Those that are well heeled usually want to drive something that doesn’t look like every other car on the road.

    Just because you have expensive clubs it does not make you a player. But having less expensive clubs doesn’t either. Play what you want.

  3. Joe

    Apr 18, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    I played with a friend the other day who bags PXG irons. He shot 107. I beat him by 29 strokes.

    I’m serious.

    Obviously I carry a lower handicap and play a lot more golf than he does. I’m not hating on expensive clubs (I play Miura irons). I’m just saying that you can’t buy a golf game.

    I’ve hit his clubs. They’re fine. They feel pretty soft. A bit large for my taste. Are they better than other clubs on the market? No. Not whatsoever.

  4. TeeBone

    Apr 18, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Nothing new here. There’s a sucker born every minute. Single clubs have been selling for thousands of dollars in Japan for a long time. Why? Because people will pay it. Not because they’re worth it. Why do they pay it? Because if it costs so much, it must be better. Brilliant!

  5. Lowell

    Apr 17, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I just think that you can only make the bow that much better with price when in fact the Indian needs some lessons.

  6. rich

    Apr 17, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    I will put my Apex Edge pro’s up against these any day. I bet they play no differently when I strike the ball in the middle of the face or high on the heel. If the PXG 7 iron goes 10 yards farther than my 7 Iron, I will pull out my 6 iron. I just don’t get it, no need to spend this much money on clubs. They don’t make you better, you should spend that extra money on lessons. I see the PXG’s in the classified section and laugh at the ball marks all over the toes of the clubs. Yeah, you hit those clubs well…lolll

  7. Caroline

    Apr 17, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Life is short play what you want and can afford period. Nothing is golf is more FUN then making the tee time…getting up and going to the course…after that the pressure builds and the fun leeks away. Having a bag full of sticks you are proud to call your own and playing the ball you adore just make the game so much more enjoyable…less then 5% of golfers are playing at any sort of top level golf where every little variable in equipment makes a difference between getting that second shot close enough to make eagle on the 600 yard par 5 or just a birdie putt. owning PXG equipment is just another example of having fun with the game, for me I am happy as heck when I pull that Ping 9 iron out on the short par 3.

  8. Mr Muira

    Apr 17, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Shank Shank Shanketty Shank Shank.

  9. PGA

    Apr 16, 2017 at 12:23 am

    Play Golf America! :-p

  10. Martin T

    Apr 15, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    I own PXG irons for more than a year. All I can say is that I look forward to PXG smaller iron heads as even 311T are too big and have a fat sole. I think this is what PXG will do soon, smaller heads as they have to know currenlty that for some better players their clubs may feel clunky. It is the same why so many best golfers decide to play real blades with small MOI and not heads that are visibly game improvement stuff.

  11. Mark Walgren

    Apr 15, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    People are idiots for spending that much on irons, lol… $3000 for a set of irons?! I get collecting fashionable watches, high-end watches and cars but these are golf clubs… they go into the dirt and poop… these are not fashion items nor are they collectable.

    • ooffa

      Apr 16, 2017 at 6:33 am

      I feel badly for you.

    • Tom

      Apr 16, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      Mark the same thing can be said about Cameron putters.

      • Jim

        Apr 16, 2017 at 10:45 pm

        ….especially when they don’t perform better on off center hits….

  12. Patrick norm

    Apr 15, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I get where Bob Parsons is coming from. Americans don’t have a premium golf brand like a Miura or other high end Japanese manufacturers. Clearly he has the resources to withstand the start up costs and build up of his brand. Clearly the PXG clubs perform at least as well if not fractionally better than the top mainstream brands. And b cause the price is a premium he’s not aiming for the masses. Just the demographic that won’t flinch at $300.00 for an iron or $800.00 for a driver.
    Here in Canada the Callaway Epic Driver retails for $695.00 Canadian dollars at Golf Town or about $520.00 USD. That’s a lot of money regardless but Goof Town is selling many of these new drivers. I’ll wait a couple of years.
    If I had the money, I may treat myself to these PXG clubs but for now I’m mainstream. I’m not a PXG customer, I’m a Callaway, Taylor Made ” last year’s model at 60% of the original price guy”.
    Personally , I’ll spend my extra golf money of lessons. I know it’s the best way to improve.

  13. Billable Hours

    Apr 15, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    I’m getting fitted for PXG’s next week. If they perform, price doesn’t matter. The difference between them and Mizuno/TM etc is more or less one month’s club bill, and if $2k is that significant to you you probably shouldn’t be spending $1k on more traditional OEM golf clubs.

    That said – if they don’t perform, I won’t buy them.

    • Kevin

      Apr 15, 2017 at 11:54 pm

      Do yourself a favor and try out some of the other high end brands available here in the states. There is better equipment available.

      • Desmond

        Apr 16, 2017 at 11:13 pm

        Do yourself a favor and recognize that the best equipment is what fits an individual golfer. Better is what fits. If PXG fits the gofler, so be it.

    • Mr Muira

      Apr 17, 2017 at 8:17 am

      Sure, PXG is going to have your swing path fixed, the face fixed and you’ll be hitting it out of centre all day long…lol.

  14. Rod

    Apr 15, 2017 at 9:03 am

    The question, is PXG or will it ever be a profitable entity? The luxury car and or other luxury manufacturing co’s have struggled throughout time. Will PXG make it or will Mr. Parsons continue to carry it with his other entities, which I believe he could do for quite a while. Has not the golf hard goods business seen shake-ups where each time it emerges with fewer contestants battling for market share or will the game of golf ever be able to truly grow and sustain the growth and create and maintain demand for clubs. The problem is that golfers start playing,without proper instruction spend dollars upon hundreds of dollars on equipment rather than instruction, get frustrated due to lack of progress or improvement and quit. The manufacturers, now mostly all publicly held must produce profits at certain levels as mandated by wall street, have changed to a strategy of marketing prowess rather than true innovation to sell clubs to impatient participants who believe that everyone can become a tour level player without practice or physical restraints. It can be compared to spalding holding a power forward or centers basketball camp for high school seniors that are five feet tall. The manufacturers must stop the snake oil sales approach to selling product. Wake up consumers and smell reality and be content with enjoying the game at your skill level.

  15. Ian

    Apr 15, 2017 at 7:12 am

    How do you become a millionaire? Start by being a billionaire and then release a line a of duck nut clubs…

  16. Matt

    Apr 15, 2017 at 2:24 am

    Golf equipment is super affordable compared with a lot of sports and pastimes, so dunno what all this fuss is about – I’m fine with spending a few grand to get set-up with nice equipment (albeit it probably won’t be PXG as I can’t handle the look of all those screws but if it plays good for some then never say never).

  17. Dan

    Apr 15, 2017 at 12:54 am

    As my aunt used to say, ‘If you have it, flaunt it’ and if you have the money then by all means buy what you want. If that means PXG, Honma, Miura go for it. I’m on SS now and couldn’t have afforded them even when I working and I was making real good money then. I just had other priorities like paying the house payment, feeding the family, college tuition, etc. I have always bought the best clubs I could afford and got fitted. I do keep my fingers crossed that the weekly or bi-weekly player who is the backbone of golf doesn’t get priced out of quality golf equipment and playing golf because of rising green fees. Go Cobra Golf, high quality product at a fair price IMHO!

  18. Dat

    Apr 15, 2017 at 12:12 am

    PXG is garbage. This native content needs improvement.

  19. alan

    Apr 14, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    spilt your lungs in blood and thunder when you see the white whale. break your backs and crack your oars man if you wish to prevail. this ivory leg is what propels me harpoons thrust in the sky.

  20. Fredo

    Apr 14, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    HATE! Or what, ain’t no big deal. The numbers for my swing pointed towards PXG, and I honestly thought they were hideous looking. But looks aside, irons this forgiving were NOT staying out of this hacks bag. Result: dropped from a 12 handicap to a 9. End of story

  21. Dave R

    Apr 14, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    They are more than likely a very good product but cost is rather high. But then if you feel comfortable and it gives you confidence and your a young up and comer go for it. And all the best in your endivors.

  22. Kip

    Apr 14, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    I saw a Korean lady at the range today with these clubs and a cheap beat up golf back. Talk about sending a mix message. I understand the premise. If you was to broadcast to the world that you have money to burn these are the clubs for you. They are good clubs, but there are a lot of great clubs out there. You cannot compare these clubs to a Ferrari as it is a car that is at top of the food chain in terms of luxury and performance. There are not many cars on the market that out perform Ferrari therefore the price is justified. As for these clubs, it’s a status symbol and nothing more. It’s known that PXG spend millions to get players to use their club. If I was offered a million or 2 million to use a golf club I would sacrifice and play poorly for a while to get that check and that is what you are seeing on the LPGA and PGA. I don’t blame them as I would do the same thing. The sad thing is that you will have people who really don’t have the money go into debt to get these clubs just to make it look like they are wealthy. The sport of golf is an after thought. I wish PXG the best. I checked them out for my daughter and she didn’t like them. We are now looking at the Mizuno JPX 900’s which are beautiful to look at and a joy to hit. Also checking out Fourteen. My daughter is getting amazing results with their wedges. If PXG ever gets to the point where is performs like a Ferrari and leave practically everyone in the dust I will take another look at them.

    • Jim

      Apr 14, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      Without a doubt…go with the Fourteens…their proprietary graphite shafts are simply excellent. The tolerances blow Mizuno away…..Honma, Miura, Epon & Fourteen use only the finest Japanese steel selected in smaller batches

  23. Miuralovechild

    Apr 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Got fitted recently and the PXG driver performed the best for me. Very rock solid and forgiving. Hell yeah it was worth the money. I’m hitting over 80% of my fairways. I went into the fitting completely open minded. Hit the Epic a little further but less accurate. Went with Oban Kiyoshi black SST pured. Wish I would have gotten fitted a long time ago. The irons felt nice but not any better than my Miura’s. Can’t wait to see my numbers with the lower spinning 0811x. I’ll do whatever it takes to play better and have more confidence. I grateful my club fitter has EVERYTHING to try.

    • Jim

      Apr 14, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      That’s the key…”Everything to try” – including shafts. Even better – indoor outdoor full length range…we use ‘better’ yellow balls for the fittings (B6’s) so they’re plucked out at the ball washer from the range balls and only used for fittings. Having ‘everything’ to try is a substantial investment by your professional fitter, and testing on Trackman against ‘all comers’ over a 60 or 90 minute session proved that club & shaft combo DID work best for you. Period. Great choice going with the Oban too…they’re awesome & when SST Pured, even more consistent.

      I’M a total Miuta guy, but got an awesome full staff Callaway deal and the Apex Irons with 110gr RECOIL shafts are killer.

      While I always say I personally don’t care for the TOO soft feel of the PXG irons, they crush everything else on OFF center hits, even my beloved Miura’s and now Apex irons….

      Let’s remember the cat who ‘created’ them was a chopper, and if I have a sweet spot the size of Rhode Island, and miss it, I’ll take my licks – so to speak and go hit it again….I always figured a 90 yrs worm burner from a swing that deserved it was better than a GI iron getting it airborne and sending it 45 yrds longer into the woods or the rough

  24. JOEL GOODMAN

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    SLUGS THAT WORK THERE DO NOT PLAY GOLF.

  25. ooffa

    Apr 14, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    They are the best clubs I have ever owned. Most definitely worth the money. If you can swing it you owe it to yourself to get a set of these.

  26. Matt

    Apr 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Dunno why golfers are such tight arses sometimes. Golf equipment isn’t expensive compared to a lot of sports. Cycling for example; bikers who don’t even race the lowest category (or race at all) are rolling around everywhere on USD $5,000 – $15,000+ pro bikes. I don’t have a set of PXG clubs, but appreciate great gear and companies who make it (nb. just got fit and bought a GBB Epic which feels like an instant classic, but the rest of my gear is tried and tested new+older stuff) as well as appreciate the look and feel of old hand made persimmon’s and forged blades. Ultimately, there’s always gonna be an affordable end of the market for equipment so if you’re on a budget there are tons of options – don’t see the point in running down a favourite pastime such as golf…

  27. Barry

    Apr 14, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Rolls Royce, Bugatti, Laborghini, LV etc. is for russian & chinese wannabes, maybe some degenerated upper class from the middle east. Come on, real guys don’t need that embarrassing stuff for their egos. Same with PXG!

    • Tal

      Apr 14, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      Your comment only holds water if you yourself can afford a Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc. but choose not to buy one. Otherwise it sounds like you’re just trying to make yourself feel better.

  28. Taffy

    Apr 14, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Status status status. You have all missed the point. PXG is selling exclusivity. Quality performance or anything else are not as important as showing you are wealthy enough to buy them. It makes a statement about you. Clever clever Mr Parsons!

  29. Flyer7

    Apr 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Mizuno all day every day!

    • Tom

      Apr 14, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      • Brian

        Apr 14, 2017 at 9:21 pm

        Comparing a blade to a cavity and a hollow iron design?

        • Tom

          Apr 14, 2017 at 10:57 pm

          Brian it was a side by side due to the results of a golf wrx poll. Inquiring minds wanted to know.

      • Jim

        Apr 14, 2017 at 10:35 pm

        Without a doubt…go with the Fourteens…their proprietary graphite shafts are simply excellent. The tolerances blow Mizuno away…..Honma, Miura, Epon & Fourteen use only the finest Japanese steel selected in smaller batches

  30. Hohohon

    Apr 14, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    • Patrick norm

      Apr 15, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      I don’t what language this is but I thought this company made sound equipment? And how do these clubs measure up to Titleist Callaway Ping Taylor Made, etc. ?

  31. Robert Morgenthal

    Apr 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Rolls Royce and Ferrari don’t have media ads with their founders as their spoke person. Tacky ads do not convey Luxury, Exclusivity or Limited availability. Even Lincoln uses Matthew McConaughey.
    Food for thought…

    • Adam Crawford

      Apr 14, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      That’s because Rolls-Royce was founded in 1904…The founders were in the original ads.

  32. BD57

    Apr 14, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    The comments by people slamming PXG are funny ….

    PXG doesn’t care what anyone who isn’t interested in buying their stuff things about their stuff.

    All they care about is whether ENOUGH people are interested in buying their stuff.

    That they’ve signed a representative tour staff says their stuff is “good enough” for these tour players to risk their livelihoods on it.

    I don’t play PXG. Thus far, haven’t wanted to spend that kind of money . . . . but if I went for a “blind fitting” (one where any head and any shaft would be tried in any combination) and the PXG stuff performed best, I’d sure think about it.

  33. Tom54

    Apr 14, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    If ever PXG starts making a dent in the golf market all the other major manufacturers have to do is come out with a spinoff luxury line of clubs and charge 2-3 times the price. Kinda like Toyotas Lexus brand, Hondas Acura brand etc. As far as I’m concerned these well know club makers are the top of the line anyway. PXG could be the next Delorean of the club market.

    • Jim

      Apr 14, 2017 at 2:04 pm

      They already are….’cept they were chasing Callaway when ‘the plans were laid’ – hence the jumps of between 2-450 per set with ‘Tour Select /limited/ etc.

      For years we’ve known the big 4 OEM (not inc ping) “best” @999 were actually pretty poorly manufactured mediocre heads Mr. Miura would’ve tossed back in the smelter….They can’t increase their ‘special’ hand picked for tour staff & family lots to maybe sell a thousand or two @ 300 club if the other guys do too

    • KCCO

      Apr 14, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      They have….if they are gonna show profits in 2017 they put a dent. Article could not have explained any better. A z06 will ride right along side of a Porsche GT3 on a track. At half it’s price. Someone prefers the Porsche, so be it. Their money, let them spend it. They obviously perform, Ryan Moore demonstrated at the masters, who cares how some spend their money. In regards to golf, their are guys with 6 figure numbers in putters. (On this site) Is that any diffferent? Or buying a TMAG tour head for $800 vs. retail $450 W/shaft? I could careless if someone wouldn’t care to pay the price for my golfbag. I could careless to pay the price for the limited edition Ruger. Perform any better than my Sig? Probably not but that’s his thing, this is mine. Enjoy the finer things in your passion as your only here so long to enjoy. Careless what others opinion are about your spending. It’s for your pleasure, not theirs.

      • Geoff

        Apr 14, 2017 at 4:15 pm

        Re: your claim that they have made a dent, all the article “explained” was that Parsons told someone they were going to be profitable this year. That doesn’t mean it will happen.

        Evidence that they perform is Ryan Moore at the Masters? That’s the best you can come up with? I guess I can say PXG sux. Just look at Zach Johnson and James Hahn at the Masters.

  34. Jamie

    Apr 14, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    pretty sure i could get a master fitting into mizuno, tm, titleist etc w/ custom shafts and still be paying way less than PXG. so why go pxg?

    now the analogy to other luxury products… i can’t get my toyota camry to behave or feel anywhere remotely close to a Bentley.

  35. Shallowface

    Apr 14, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    I can afford them, but the reason I can is that I’ve made a lifelong habit of avoiding frivolous purchases.

  36. GMatt

    Apr 14, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    So according to the author (and Bob Parsons) Iif I buy PXG irons and hit my 7 iron 340 yards, and win every tournament I enter because they are the best….LOL
    I’ll bet Parsons also has some land in Florida to sell that MIGHT have a slight drainage problem

    It’s a luxury product (actually more of a status product “I’m rich and can afford them”) I’m sure they are good clubs but they don’t seem to be outperforming anything else out there now and their tour pros certainly aren’t dominating, if you can afford them kudos to you but don’t brag to me that they are they best performing….Save your breath

  37. Geoff

    Apr 14, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    GolfWRX must’ve emailed emailed their contributors and asked who would be willing to ball wash Parson’s duck nuts. This guy was the first to respond.

    • sleeper

      Apr 14, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      So the whole point of this article is higher price = greater luxury, which somehow = business success? PXG may cost more, but until they prove themselves to be superior at anything (performance, looks, durability, whatever) the brand won’t be known for anything other than its price. And as soon as the status-seeking or try-everything consumer segments are tapped out, we’ll know whether PXG has a future. I kinda doubt it.

  38. BigSeanM

    Apr 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    PXG clubs are the best, know why mean. I am going to get a set when my settlement comes in.

  39. Ryan

    Apr 14, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    So, I’d love for the author to qualify this statement: “This narrative, coupled with successful use of the clubs by LPGA and PGA Tour players such as Lydia Ko and Zach Johnson, has given PXG the platform to take luxury golf equipment mainstream and that’s the gap PXG is bridging.” To what success are you referring, please?

    • KCCO

      Apr 14, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      Did Schwartzel play well in masters? I think he did fine. Moore? Clubs didn’t hurt him either. Can’t knock their staff. Once they profit, more players will get contracts. Just because Parson’s has money doesn’t mean he is gonna just start throwing huge contracts at whomever? He’s doing things smarter than anyone would have thought. After 2017 he will let “PXG” pay for more staffers, you will then see how smart and how long this company is here to stay. If someone one the masters playing PXG anything, he would be profiting yesterday.

  40. Mike

    Apr 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    I can’t say if the PXG products are any better or worse than other equipment manufacture’s. I do see tour pros who are under contract with other manufactures for bag and however many clubs putting PXG equipment in the bag. This tells me that the PXG equipment is at minimum equal, but if it was equal why not just stay with the current brand, so there must be some benefit that the PXG equipment offers over the current brand. I read a reference to Lydia and her recent struggles. I am no expert, but with her swing changes and coaching changes, I am not surprised to see some decline. I think we have all seen players make a change, have a performance drop in competition and then once the changes are ingrained and trusted in competition perform at a higher level than prior to the changes. I believe it has little to do with the PXG equipment she changed to. The PXG brand has been interesting to follow, from the design and looks of their equipment to the Tour players they are signing, it’s definitely been a quick rise. I look forward to the next chapter

    • Rod

      Apr 16, 2017 at 7:22 am

      Would Lydia play PXG if she had not been paid to do so? I think not. They are clearly good clubs but so are Mizuno, Titleist, Ping, TM and the others. If they are so special, I wonder why Cristie Kerr is no longer using them? She won today using Ping I believe.

  41. Mower

    Apr 14, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    In my opinion, PXG has missed-the-mark… aesthetically. The overuse of screw heads makes their clubs look over-machined or something the military would come up with. Their logo branding is another aesthetic abomination. The chunky, Iron Maden-like design does not exude a professional grade product. If anything, it makes them look like they should be selling in Walmart stores.

    What brands do exude professionalism? Answer: MIURA & FourteeN.

    How to avoid making your product look like a Tonka toy? Answer: Hire a graphic designer and not a family member who’s feelings you don’t want to hurt because they have delicate sensibilities.

  42. David

    Apr 14, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I don’t like this article. For many reasons. everyone stated them well already and I agree. expensive things are about performance or looking cool. These things don’t perform and yes they are hideous.

  43. bob keane

    Apr 14, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Funny how all of their staff players are doing worse than before they switched to PXG.

  44. Shortside

    Apr 14, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Different strokes. Personally not a fan of all the screws. To my eye they look like unfinished prototypes.
    Now the Titleist C16’s? Gimme some a dat all day.

  45. Mark

    Apr 14, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Bling is not quality. Some designer brands make mediocre clothing…RL and Hilfiger shirts wash out of colour and shape faster than chain stores. Same with sports gear. Nike bling or Saucony and Brooks technology? Some of the wealthiest guys in our club use 10 year old sets of clubs and laugh at the guy with a maxed out credit card and a new set of clubs.

  46. BarryLA

    Apr 14, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Rolls Royce, Bugatti, Laborghini, LV etc. is for russian & chinese wannabes, maybe some degenerated upper class from the middle east. Come on, real guys don’t need that embarrassing stuff for their egos. Same with PXG!

  47. Tyler

    Apr 14, 2017 at 11:48 am

    I was recently fit for new irons. I test PXG irons and found them to be no better than the Srixon 765’s I eventually went with.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Parson’s were awesome. If they would have gone farther or felt better I would have got them. I have a credit card. But they didn’t. The Srixon’s outperformed and suited me better. More expensive doesn’t always mean better. I think we all know that already though.

  48. WarrenPeace

    Apr 14, 2017 at 11:39 am

    I notice Zach Johnson isn’t doing so well since moving from Titleist? If the clubs create confidence….great..but on a technical level, the swing produces good and bad shots, not the tool. Its an emotional buy for sure and if you have the dough- get some. Your game will still suck until you fix the mechanics.

  49. Chubbs

    Apr 14, 2017 at 11:19 am

    One key point the author forgot to include about luxury brands: they are exclusive. Exclusivity breeds a feeling of desire by those that can’t afford the product. And those that buy PXG probably gain a sense of superiority from this exclusivity.

    • Adam Crawford

      Apr 14, 2017 at 11:32 am

      That’s a great point! You’re right, I didn’t spell that out but it’s a critical part of the Psychology with luxury.

      • new stuff!!

        Apr 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm

        exclusivity also breeds feelings of contempt – haters are always gonna hate – especially stuff they can’t afford, they need to convince themselves that it’s not worth it to make them feel better that they can’t afford it. just lots of noise. for us who understand the PXG business model just ignore the noise, to fight is futile.

        • Lester Diamond

          Apr 15, 2017 at 6:05 am

          Well golly gee, aren’t you f*&%$in’ precious.

    • Robert

      Apr 14, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      The problem with this theory is there is absolutely nothing to gain from PXGs. Titleist MBs feel better and I don’t even like Titleist. Is the ballspeed just as good? Yeah, for me, it was similar ballspeed (TM). When I buy a Ferrari, I know it’s superior to a Toyota Corolla in many many ways. IMHO, I personally don’t feel like you get that when you buy PXG clubs.

      • farmer

        Apr 14, 2017 at 6:22 pm

        Actually, a Corolla is better for going to the grocery store. The Ferrari would win coolest-milk-run-ride-ever contest, hands down.

    • Geoff

      Apr 14, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      Exclusivity only breeds a feeling of desire when the brand in question has an established reputation, especially by those who cannot afford it, that the high price is justified. “I can’t afford it, but if I could, I would definitely buy it.” PXG is miles away from acquiring that kind of reputation.

      • Adam Crawford

        Apr 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm

        Not going to argue with that, however, what I find interesting about PXG, and what prompted his article, is that the company is creating a scenario in golf where this can happen. They do have a ways to go, but they’ve made it further than many other companies because they understand their market.

  50. Myron miller

    Apr 14, 2017 at 11:18 am

    My issue with them is some of the advertising is that they are the “best clubs money can buy”. That implies that they are better than any other clubs technically. And technically does count in this or else its a clear FTC case of false advertising.

    With Epon and Miura, they are clearly and proven better technically than standard mass-market clubs. Are they worth the significant price difference they have or just somewhat better. that’s a debate that can’t be won or decided. Yes, they are definitely better but worth the extra money more, who knows.

    Whereas PXG advertises on its site: “PXG WAS DEVELOPED WITH ONE GOAL IN MIND: TO CREATE THE BEST-PERFORMING GOLF EQUIPMENT ON THE PLANET, WITHOUT REGARD TO COST”. So clearly the difference in performance versus the cost is a factor in people’s mind. Are they definitely better technically. That’s as indicated by the comments above a real question.

  51. S Hitter

    Apr 14, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Another terrible self-aggrandizing advert-iclie.
    And PXG is not the first, the Japanese have been doing for decades. At least in Japan they have gold-plated, gold-painted, beautiful looking, nice-feeling, nice-to-hold, great-performaning, worth-the-money golf equipment that will make you feel good and make you look good, like a Rolls or a Ferrari. And the Japanese ones cost about 10 times as much as PXG.
    Here’s an example. http://g3.globeride.co.jp
    And, at least the Japanese are up front and honest about the specs of their products.

  52. Richard

    Apr 14, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Spot on. Not sure why all the haters… if it works for you and can afford them, go for it. Love them.

  53. Brian

    Apr 14, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Ferrari and Rolex watches are beautiful works of art in combination of being of fantastic quality and performance. PXG clubs are, in my opinion, ugly clubs that perform no better than any other iron out there.

    If a Ferrari was no better in quality and artistic value than a Toyota Camry, then yes, we would talk about the ridiculous price of the Ferrari.

    • Mower

      Apr 14, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Aesthetically they’re missing-the-mark with the generous use of screws heads. It makes them look over machined, like military grade and does not exude a ‘professional quality’. On top of that, their logo branding is horribly designed. Big, blocky Iron Maden-looking chunkyness does not help their goal.

      Who does exude a professional quality? Answer: MIURA, FourteeN.

    • Jeff

      Apr 14, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Eh, I was gifted a $10k Rolex and my Casio keeps better time and date by far. I still wear my Rolex more. The brain is odd.

      • Adam Crawford

        Apr 14, 2017 at 1:07 pm

        Right, and that’s the whole point. It’s not a quality discussion, it’s an emotional/status discussion. Some people are able to separate emotion from consumer decisions, but most aren’t, myself included.

  54. Kevin

    Apr 14, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Only problem with your comparison is a Rolls-Royce is actually a higher quality product than a Ford. Where PXG is of the same quality as all the OEM equipment.

    Nothing revolutionary about what PXG has done. Take some outdated technology, thermoplastic whatever, and call it a brand new idea. Throw a ton of money into advertising with false claims about the quality and watch it sell. You are not paying for quality like you do with other high-end brands, you are paying Zach Johnson to keep missing cuts and paying for ads on TV.

    • Adam Crawford

      Apr 14, 2017 at 11:17 am

      You can’t claim that their quality is the same as other OEMs because that’s subjective, just like I didn’t claim it was better than other OEMs. Those are claims that can’t be objectively made so they are irrelevant to the discussion. The idea of luxury is all about how the person feels owning whatever luxury item. It has nothing to do with objectivity in quality.

      • Steve Rawlinson

        Apr 14, 2017 at 11:29 am

        Whereas you *can* claim that the quality of a Rolls Royce is higher than that of a Ford.

      • tourgrinder

        Apr 14, 2017 at 11:39 am

        The problem is, you DID claim that, by implication. I quote, “Most of the manufacturers have produced similarly priced clubs at a similar level of quality all aiming for a share of the same market.” Thus, the clear implication that all other OEMs are all basicaslly in the same boat as per quality-for-price and just not quite up to the quality level of PXG. As a 40+ year verteran in marketing, communications, advertising and promotion, including some years with quality manufacturers such as Ram and Wilson, your points are all well-taken, but actually bordering more closely to the writings of a PKG press release, or some hired PR and publicity gun for Bob Parsons. Nothing wrong with that, really. It is the business you’ve chosen, as some “Godfather” character once said. I’ve written comments before on this website about several PXG-related articles. Since my earlier comments, I’ve actually had an opportunity to hit demos of PXG irons. They feel very solid and even slightly “soft,” although that may be the wrong word. However, in truth, I would say I also have several sets in my closet — Ram Tour Grind irons from the 80s and Ram Pro-Set irons from the early 90s. They all feel just as solid and just as ‘soft.’ Several of these sets are like new and hardly used. I cordially invite Mr. Crawford, or Mr. K from Golfwrx, to buy any of these sets I have in my closet for $3,000 a set.

    • John

      Apr 15, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      I have a set of 0311t irons, my taylormade mc irons which were fitted had lofts and lies all over the place (6 & 7 irons nearly the same loft but EIGHT degrees different lie angle)…. Pxg’s were perfect out of the wrapper (had them checked on arrival). The quality IS better – hard pill to swallow for the cheap skate but it’s the truth. If you want an angle you can argue? They don’t make you shoot lower scores – it’s the Indian not the arrow, you can’t buy a golf game.

      • Kevin

        Apr 16, 2017 at 12:07 am

        LOL. Having proper loft and lie out of the box is not what I would call quality. Sounds like you drank the full bowl of kool-aid.

        • John

          Apr 17, 2017 at 6:20 am

          I would say quality of manufacture and build ARE indicators of quality by definition.

        • ROY

          Apr 17, 2017 at 10:02 am

          SO what would you call having a 6/7 iron “nearly the same loft” with lie angels 8 degrees apart?? Just a bad break from a top quality manufacturer??

  55. Jay

    Apr 14, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I own a luxury car because of the performance and it looks nice. I’ve tried PXG woods and I can honestly say the performance wasn’t as good as the big name brands, and I didn’t really like the way it looked. Oh well. Besides that doesn’t PXG use the same shafts as everyone else? Shaft = engine. That’s where the car analogy goes astray.

  56. Ryan

    Apr 14, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I will say, the one guy at our course who has PXGs also has a staff bag and drives an E63 AMG Black Series. Not only high earners, but people who want you to be WELL AWARE that they are high earners.

  57. Rich

    Apr 14, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Over rated and way over priced. What happened to “The sexiest clubs” claim?

  58. TigerArmy

    Apr 14, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Porsche over Ferrari every day!
    Mizuno over PXG every day!
    iPhoneve Samsung every day!

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Podcasts

Gear Dive: How Tiger Woods used to adjust his clubs based on swing changes

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Ben Giunta, a former Nike Tour Rep and now owner of the TheTourVan.com, joins host Johnny Wunder and TXG’s Ian Fraser on this episode of The Gear Dive. Ben discusses working in-depth with Nike Athletes before the company stopped producing hard goods. He has some fantastic intel on TW and the setup of his sticks (around the 14-minute mark). They also discuss Ben’s new endeavor.

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

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The 2018 NCAA Men’s National Championship: By the Numbers

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For the 2018 NCAA Men’s Championship, 156 participants (30 teams of five, and six individuals) will collect at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma on May 25-30 to determine the 2018 NCAA Individual Champion and the NCAA Team champion.

There will be three days of stroke play on Friday through Sunday (54 holes). From there, 15 teams and nine individuals advance to a final day of stroke play on Monday. That will determine the eight teams who will advance to match play, and the individual 72-hole stroke play champion. Match play format on Tuesday and Wednesday will then determine the national team champion.

Who will win? Well, let’s look at the numbers from the NCAA Men’s Championships in the past 9 years (when they began playing match play as part of the national title).

Average winning score for individual stroke play

  • For 3 rounds of stroke play — 832 strokes (avg. 69.3 per golfer)
  • For 4 rounds of stroke play — 1137 strokes (avg. 71.06 per golfer)

Number of No. 1 seeds to win championship: 0

Average match play seed of eventual winner: 4.5

Where the winners have come from

  • 44 percent of winners (4 out of 9) are from the SEC: Texas AM (2009), Alabama (2013, 2014) and LSU (2015)
  • 22 percent of winners (2 out of 9) are from the Big 12: Texas (2012), Oklahoma (2017)
  • 22 percent of winners (2 out of 9) are from Augusta, GA: August State (2010, 2011)
  • 11 percent of winners (1 out of 9) are from the PAC 12: Oregon (2016)
  • 11 percent of the match play field has historically come from mid-major teams

Mid-Majors that have Qualified for Match Play

  • August State (2010, 2011)
  • Kent State (2012)
  • San Diego State (2012)
  • New Mexico University (2013)
  • SMU (2014)
  • UNLV (2017)

Mid Majors with 4+ Appearances in the NCAA National Championship 

  • UCF (2009, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018)
  • Kent State (2010, 201, 2013, 2017, 2018)
  • North Florida (2010, 2012, 2013, 2018)

So with facts in hand, let’s hear your opinion GolfWRX readers… who’s going to be your team champion for 2018?

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Fantasy Preview: 2018 Fort Worth Invitational

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Under a new name, but a very familiar setting, the Fort Worth Championship gets underway this week. Colonial Country Club will host, and it’s an event that has attracted some big names to compete in the final stop of the Texas swing. The top two ranked Europeans, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose are in the field, as are Americans Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler.

Colonial is a tricky course with narrow tree-lined fairways that are imperative to hit. Distance off the tee holds no real advantage this week with approach play being pivotal. Approach shots will be made more difficult this week than usual by the greens at Colonial, which are some of the smallest on the PGA Tour. Last year, Kevin Kisner held off Spieth, Rahm, and O’Hair to post 10-under par and take the title by a one-stroke margin.

Selected Tournament Odds (via Bet365)

  • Jordan Spieth 9/1
  • Jon Rahm 14/1
  • Justin Rose 18/1
  • Webb Simpson 18/1
  • Rickie Fowler 20/1
  • Jimmy Walker 28/1
  • Adam Scott 28/1

Last week, Jordan Spieth (9/1, DK Price $11,700) went off at the Byron Nelson as the prohibitive 5/1 favorite. Every man and his dog seemed to be on him, and after Spieth spoke to the media about how he felt he had a distinct advantage at a course where he is a member, it was really no surprise. Comments like this from Spieth at the Byron Nelson are not new. When the event was held at TPC Four Seasons, Spieth often made similar comments. The result? He flopped, just as he did last week at Trinity Forest. Spieth’s best finish at the Byron Nelson in his career is T-16. The reason for this, I believe, is the expectations he has put on himself at this event for years.

Switch to Colonial, and the difference is considerable. Spieth’s worst finish here is T-14. In his last three visits, he has finished second, first and second. While Spieth may believe that he should win the Byron Nelson whenever he tees it up there, the evidence suggests that his love affair is with Colonial. The statistic that truly emphasizes his prowess at Colonial, though, is his Strokes Gained-Total at the course. Since 2013, Spieth has a ridiculous Strokes Gained-Total of more than +55 on the course, almost double that of Kisner in second place.

Spieth’s long game all year has been consistently good. Over his previous 24 rounds, he ranks first in this field for Strokes Gained-Tee to Green, second for Ball Striking, and first for Strokes Gained-Total. On the other hand, his putting is awful at the moment. He had yet another dreadful performance on the greens at Trinity Forest, but he was also putting nowhere near his best coming into Colonial last year. In 2017, he had dropped strokes on the greens in his previous two events, missing the cut on both occasions, yet he finished seventh in Strokes Gained-Putting at Colonial on his way to a runner-up finish. His record is too good at this course for Spieth to be 9/1, and he can ignite his 2018 season in his home state this week.

Emiliano Grillo’s (50/1, DK Price $8,600) only missed cut in 2018 came at the team event in New Orleans, and he arrives this week at a course ideally suited to the Argentine’s game. Grillo performed well here in 2017, recording a top-25 finish. His form in 2018 leads me to believe he can improve on that this year.

As a second-shot golf course, Colonial sets up beautifully for the strengths of Grillo’s game. Over his previous 12 rounds, Grillo ranks first in Strokes Gained-Approaching the Green, second in Ball Striking, third in Strokes Gained-Tee to Green and eighth in Strokes Gained-Total. The Argentine also plays short golf courses excellently. Over his last 50 rounds, Grillo is ranked ninth for Strokes Gained-Total on courses measuring 7,200 yards or less. Colonial is right on that number, and Grillo looks undervalued to continue his consistent season on a course that suits him very well.

Another man enjoying a consistent 2018 is Adam Hadwin (66/1, DK Price $7,600), who has yet to miss a cut this season. The Canadian is enjoying an excellent run of form with five top-25 finishes from his last six stroke-play events. Hadwin is another man whose game is tailor made for Colonial. His accurate iron play and solid putting is a recipe for success here, and he has proven that by making the cut in all three of his starts at Colonial, finishing in the top-25 twice.

Hadwin is coming off his worst performance of 2018 at The Players Championship, but it was an anomaly you can chalk up to a rare poor week around the greens (he was seventh-to-last in Strokes Gained-Around the Green for the week). In his previous seven starts, Hadwin had a positive strokes gained total in this category each time. Over his last 24 rounds, Hadwin ranks seventh in Strokes Gained-Approaching the Green, 15th in Ball Striking, and ninth in Strokes Gained-Putting. He looks to have an excellent opportunity to improve on his solid record at Colonial this week.

Finally, as far as outsiders go, I like the look of Sean O’Hair (175/1, DK Price $7,100) at what is a juicy price. One of last year’s runners-up, his number is far too big this week. He has had some excellent performances so far in 2018. In fact, in his previous six starts, O’Hair has made five cuts and has notched three top-15 finishes, including his runner-up finish at the Valero Texas Open. The Texan has made three of his last four cuts at Colonial, and he looks to be an excellent pick on DraftKings at a low price.

Recommended Plays

  • Jordan Spieth 9/1, DK Price $11,700
  • Emiliano Grillo 50/1, DK Price $8.600
  • Adam Hadwin 66/1, DK Price $7,600
  • Sean O’Hair 175/1, DK Price  $7,100
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