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Opinion & Analysis

This Comeback Better Be Different, Tiger



First of all, let me be the first to say that I am a HUGE Tiger Woods fan and want him back in the game; golf is much better off with him around. That being said, I am growing tired of the talk of his latest “comeback” already, and it hasn’t even begun. Will this really be the time he takes it slow and only competes when he’s physically ready? Or will he be 4-over par at the turn in his next outing and withdraw… then say he needs more time to heal and needs more reps, and then disappear for six more months?

Golf needs Tiger, but I’m not so sure Tiger needs golf any longer, nor do I feel that he is as invested in the sport as he was previously. And who could blame him? He’s made tons of cash, won a bunch of Majors, and has endorsements that will keep him relevant for many years to come. However, I think he knows that his quest for Jack’s 18 Majors is over… really over, and I think it has deflated him. And maybe he’s having fun just being at home, being a father, and being a memory.

This brings me back to my first thought; this comeback better be real and it better last. As usual, he’s cleared by the doctors, he’s back to hitting balls and posting videos, and he says he’s getting ready from a health perspective. But does anyone believe him 100 percent? I don’t. In my opinion, we’ll see the same thing as last time and the time before that; one bad tournament round and he’s out. The fact of the matter is that I don’t think he can handle being second best, or third, or 1164th (his current world ranking), to today’s players and I feel that when he comes back and cannot be the “old” Tiger instantly, he won’t be able to handle it mentally and emotionally. Therefore, I feel that if he cannot be patient, and come back this time at 100 percent, I feel the end of Tiger’s career is approaching quicker than most hope.

Also, from a professional perspective, let’s face it, Chris Como hasn’t had enough time to mold Tiger back into Tournament shape. Anyone can hit the ball well on the range — we all know that. Chris is surely doing the best he can with what he has been given, but he can only do so much if his player isn’t committed or healthy. Tiger’s all but lost his edge and he knows it, but can he deal with being just another good Tour player and not the best any longer? And put in the work required at the pace that’s necessary for his body? I don’t think he can.

So my message to Tiger is this: Be honest with yourself. Be honest with your message to your fans, but most of all DO NOT come back until you are ready. Missing a cut or two does not mean the comeback is a “failure” either, as long as you’re 100 percent committed to the game. We are tired of hearing “I’m back,” only to watch you leave again and again. No one will blame you if you say “enough is enough, my body can’t handle it.” In fact, we’d embrace you more if you just told the truth.

But until then, we’ll hope this time is different…

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Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico ( He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 15 people in the world. Punta Mita is a 1500 acre Golf and Beach Resort located just 45 minuted from Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Banderas on three sides. Amenities include two Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses- with 14 holes directly on the water, a Golf Academy, four private Beach Clubs, a Four Seasons Hotel, a St. Regis Hotel, as well as, multiple private Villas and Homesites available. For more information regarding Punta Mita, golf outings, golf schools and private lessons, please email:



  1. JuNiOR

    Oct 25, 2017 at 12:51 am

    Stay single keep hitting it hard with the midnite hostess at Denny’s new girl every night then be honest about it and you might be in the right frame of mind at that point to be a PLAYER again.

    But if making the cut is the ultimate goal, time to reevaluate the why’s, even if it’s for the all mighty dollar.

  2. Schwartzman

    Oct 21, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Everybody is an expert on golf, clubs, Tiger, politics, religion and sseexx.

  3. Someone

    Oct 21, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Who are you to make demands of Tiger? He has done more for golf than you have done in your lifetime. If Tiger wants to make an attempt to keep coming back, let him. It is his right and he has earned the opportunity to keep trying. Whether he wins or fails is a matter of him getting up there and trying, but not trying at all equals failure, especially when it is in his primary career. You are ridiculous for trying to put stipulations on an athletes comeback. How about we as readers demand your articles actually be written with some quality, tact, and validity? How about we demand that you stop coming back to post on this site until you post something of meaning instead of click bait. You are ridiculous for thinking that you have any stake in whether or not Tiger can come back to golf. He is a grown man and well accomplished in the field of golf, both on and off. Take some time to think about what you write next time. Don’t furnish your personal feelings in an article and try to brandish it as a material. The site isn’t asking for your personal feelings about the happenings of golf, it’s asking you to provide insight that readers can’t get since we all have lives that consist of more than golf. Your article should have been titled, “Tiger’s coming back, but here are a few things that could hold him back from success…” and then at the end you could add on your “personal feelings” about the situation. Other than that, this ‘article’ is a worthless rant with no real golf insight, just all personal feelings about tiger’s comeback, as if he owes you ANYTHING…

  4. Jose Canseco

    Oct 21, 2017 at 8:03 am

    He should just hang it up and admit to HGH and roids that made him, like me, in the 90’s.

  5. Mike

    Oct 21, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Hogan came back and he was really bad. Then again he was a real man

  6. Mr Muira

    Oct 21, 2017 at 6:41 am


  7. Moses

    Oct 20, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    You’re starting to sound like Skip Bayless.

  8. Jack Nash

    Oct 20, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Why is Woods coming back?


    • Schwartzman

      Oct 21, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Icy Hot Back Patches …… together with Shaq?!!

  9. Garry Pierce

    Oct 20, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    who is this BOZO? Looks like he is trying to ride TW for 15 minutes of fame. How tRumpian of you Tom.. you’re fired

  10. moses

    Oct 20, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Tiger doesn’t owe you a F’ing thing. He can attempt to come back as often as necessary and as long as his body allows it. If his body won’t allow it then that’s just the way it is. Tiger gets to ride off into the sunset any which way he sees fit.

    • Jacked_Loft

      Oct 21, 2017 at 6:32 am

      +1. What an arrogant article. Famous comebacks: Nikki Lauda, Lance Armstrong, Bobby Baun, Jack Youngblood, Michael Jordan…just to mention a few. Remember that Tiger fractured his Tibia and then went out and won the 2008 US Open? 91 holes on a bum leg, and you’re telling him not to play games with his comeback?

      • Jose Canseco

        Oct 21, 2017 at 8:05 am

        But Armstrong was juiced. As was Eldrick.

    • Dr Troy

      Oct 21, 2017 at 9:53 am

      Well said, Moses.

  11. RP Jacobs II

    Oct 20, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    “All but lost his edge” ????????

    That edge went out the window the evening that he pasted the fire hydrant.

    The aura of invincibility was gone and with it the “edge.”

    In my eyes he was the Greatest Player ever and the second Greatest Champion.

    Excellent article and thoughts!!

    Very Nicely Played?????


  12. Robert Parsons

    Oct 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Nobody scripts comebacks like we do. Period.

  13. Milton

    Oct 20, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I always find it interesting when a person says “let me start off by saying, I’m a big fan of ____” before they rip the person their a big fan of a new one. I like TW, he brings an exciting element to golf. He has the 2nd most majors of anyone that played the game. At his best he revolutionized the game. However I’m not a Tiger fanatic. I like anything that helps our game. My only concern is that the writer of the article acts as if Tiger owes us something. As is TW owes it to us to come back healthy or not come back at all. If he comes back and fails, at least he tried. If he comes back and wins, well cool good for him. The guy says I’m a big Tiger fan then literally rips him to shreds.

    Thats not what we typically do in golf, but sadly it’s becoming the norm.

  14. Jay

    Oct 20, 2017 at 11:08 am

    The tough part about the Tiger comeback is that he’s admitted numerous times that he’ll never be able to practice the way that he used to when he was at his peak. So, in that sense, the old Tiger is definitely gone for good. However, if he can have sustained health (physically and mentally) for a 4-5 year period, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’d win again because he’s just that good – and if he can do that, he can win majors again for sure.
    BUT, I think we’re fooling ourselves if we think this latest surgery is going to magically fix everything – unless his swing is built to protect his back, he’ll continue to have issues and will fall into the same pattern.

  15. Darryl

    Oct 20, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Quick straw poll, how many people on this site will quit the game if Tiger doesn’t return? The result is how badly the game of golf needs him.

    • Andrew

      Oct 20, 2017 at 11:55 am

      They left already. Your idea is correct regardless. Any industry that devolves into relying on the shallow wants of the cool kid bandwagon is already dead. Golf didn’t stoop that low but it tried thanks to the ignorant hype of a few clown children who make a living in golf but never took a real economics class. The game of golf transcends any 1 man, even 100 men, and thank God for that.

  16. OB

    Oct 20, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Washed up, finished, kaput, gonzo, no good no mo’ …. believe it

  17. jgpl001

    Oct 20, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Tiger was one of the greatest ever and he took golf to a whole new level. This comeback though is nonsense and will not happen. Age and time away means the world of golf has moved on. Even back at full fitness he wouldn’t make a cut on the web dot com tour

    Very sad, he had an astounding career, but he just needs to leave it so now and stop the nonsense

    • Garry Pierce

      Oct 20, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      who are you to decide what TW does? How about you quit posting!

  18. 8thehardway

    Oct 20, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Tiger wants to be golf’s Eldrick (then Elder) Statesman. The job’s open and it’s the perfect role to counterbalance his past, regain role-model status, offer an enduring mea culpa for those into moral judgements, be a hero to his kids and elevate his status beyond the sport the defines him… in all, a very satisfying arrangement.

    There won’t be a lot of tournaments, and the early ones an indication of conditioning more than competition, but the prospect of another Jack-at-the-1986-Masters performance will start gaining traction, which is another way of saying sponsors will shower our Arnie-Jack amalgam with endorsements.

    The quest for Jack’s 18 Majors isn’t a thing anymore… he can’t sell it and nobody’s buying it; but the optics of immortality has more than one focal point and he’s a consummate lenscrafter.

  19. The dude

    Oct 20, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Great Article Tom!…’s what almost everyone is thinking… I’ll bet he doesn’t play though…his swing kinda sucks…and his short game peaked 13 years ago… his ego won’t allow bad play…which is inevitable. I predict a showing at the masters followed by a withdraw….citing back issues of course

  20. MB

    Oct 20, 2017 at 3:00 am

    How many millions is he going to make just from appearance fees? That’s all he’s getting ready for! Lets admit it. He’s not going to be playing the Sr circuit, so he’s going to try to collect as much as he can while he’s still able to swing a bit. For the good players and competitive players who were successful during and post-Woods era of extra dollars it may have been nice, but for the rest of us, it was like watching a bus load of unruly children got dropped off and ruined it for everybody else sort of thing, out there on the courses, that had to also had to spend millions more in maintenance and rules keeping, as well keeping the peace about the place as these unruly beginners and non-golfing beer-guzzling poorly behaved behemoths tore up the place.
    It’s best if he just didn’t play but started hanging out with Deepak Chopra and brought about enlightenment and peace to the world on the whole and the world of golf behavior.

  21. TexasSnowman

    Oct 20, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Tiger as we knew him is Not coming back. If everything goes right for him on this latest comeback (doubtful), he will return, suffer no major injuries and be a top 40 player. He could win a few tournaments and maybe even catch lightening in a bottle and contend in a major or 2 for old times sake. Odds of this actually happening: ~10%. More likely, his body will not cooperate and he will officially retire and play an occasional tourney for nostalgia value.

  22. JD

    Oct 19, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    I normally completely enjoy Tom Stickney columns but not this one. Story has been written 100 times, part of me suspects it was only written because of the amout of clicks anything about Tiger gets.
    Here’s my opinion:
    The man has done enough to shoot whatever he wants, wherever they’re lucky enough to have him. It’s not even a debate, at this point it’s like getting a chance to watch Nicklaus or Palmer. How he plays is beside the point, that he’s playing is enough. Ratings will go way up because he’s maybe the best to ever play and he makes people excited about the game. He’s Tiger Woods.

  23. Walt Bismarck

    Oct 19, 2017 at 7:37 pm

  24. prime21

    Oct 19, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    This comeback better be different? Or else what? You’re going to write a nasty article and follow that with some advice on how to fix his swing? Tiger has 100% EARNED the right to do whatever the heck he wants as it pertains to playing on the PGA Tour and if it weren’t for him, it is highly likely that your business would not be as good as it is if he were to have never played the game. Show the man the proper respect and wish him Good Luck, then stop watching if you already think you know how it is going to play out. But please, do not try to tell Tiger friggin Woods what to do or how to do it, you simply have no right. I realize you’re a big WRX Superstar now, but I think telling Tiger how he should handle his comeback takes arrogance to a whole different level, does it not? I often give you “Likes” for your instruction pieces. If they would create a new vote, this one gets an “EPIC FAIL”!

  25. UnclePhil

    Oct 19, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Comeback?! Comeback to what?! 2001? Or no, maybe 1996 for you nostalgic clowns! 2005? Ain’t nothing comin’ back!! Maybe my latest driver will get taken back if it continues to act a fool! Ceremonial golfer at best, tourney host the most. Dude, hit da bricks, take care of your kids my friend!

  26. TeeBone

    Oct 19, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Totally unfair. Tiger was healthy enough to play in his recent comebacks, but re-injured his back under the stress of tournament competition. He didn’t just “quit”. Besides, these guys are independent contractors. They only get paid when they perform. They don’t owe anybody anything.

  27. henry

    Oct 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I agree w everything you said – except that golf needs Tiger. Yeah he might make the casual fan who only knows who Rickie and Jordan are watch a tournament here or there, but unfortunately most of those people have forgotten about Tiger. The PGA Tour is in the best place its been in quite some time.

    • prime21

      Oct 19, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      Seriously? Check the ratings from Tigers last two tournaments and compare them to any event thereafter. The reality is that Tiger STILL moves the needle better than ANY player on Tour and will continue to do so until he decides to pack it in. Does the PGA Tour NEED Tiger? No, it doesn’t. It is strong enough to exist without him, but only because of him. Is the PGA Tour better off when Tiger is present, absolutely. Whether you like him or not, Tiger is still THE MAN and there is nothing you can do about it!

    • Jay

      Oct 20, 2017 at 11:20 am

      The tour is DEFINITELY not in “the best place it’s been in quite some time” – no way. As much as the TV folks like to ingrain that in us to change perception – it’s all fraudulent. Ratings are down, sponsors are bailing, and if the trend continues, I’m pretty sure we’re getting to the point where purses will decrease, the TV $ will decrease as well, and tournaments may be eliminated. None of the top young golfers really move the needle, honestly. They’re all supremely talented, but they don’t bring in casual fans, period. All hard core golf fans (WRXers) will always watch no matter who is playing, but this isn’t about that. If golf is truly going to “grow the game” as they claim (or even just maintain), it needs an epic Tiger comeback or make some drastic changes to the game as a whole.

      • henry

        Oct 20, 2017 at 12:48 pm

        I guess im just stuck in my own mind of how awesome the tour is right now – im one of the obsessed that watches every tournament. And golf-wise, the tour is in a fantastic spot, but I guess that doesnt always equate to the bigger picture of the tour’s success. Cheers.

        • Garry Pierce

          Oct 20, 2017 at 5:09 pm

          awesome in parity? tour sucks. They need an ALPHA male. The group has no BAD GUY or Good Guy. I have a hard time calling Phil a good guy with his MAJOR moral character flaws. He should be in prison for insider trading. But Phil squeals and rats out a guy

  28. farmer

    Oct 19, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    The notion that Tiger is going to rework his swing for the next three or four months and then roar back into competitive golf like it’s 2013 is absurd. He will be 42 before the “real” 2018 season starts, coming off a year layoff, with multiple back surgeries since his last relevant year. What has been released tells of him working out twice a day, now he will start also doing serious swing work, this is the same path he’s been down before. There will be tremendous buzz when he reappears, a boost to tv ratings, but he’s going to have to show something for it to last.

  29. MW

    Oct 19, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Golf doesn’t need Tiger. It’s doing just fine without him as it has with all the greats once they leave. Certain people such as the author of the article seem to need him, but golf is bigger than any one player. If he comes back, great, if he doesn’t, that’s fine too. You have to accept that one day he won’t be able to compete again, and that may be now, and other greats will come along. If you can’t accept that you better end up finding another sport. May I suggest bowling?

  30. Methislife

    Oct 19, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Golf is loosing money and more importantly it’s loosing participants. Tiger can only help spark more people’s I treat in golf. If you think otherwise… you a fool. Tiger is the reason money is in golf and that’s pure fact. Tiger brings the numbers.

    Now, will tiger actually come back to being anywhere close to top 10 player? Could happen, would be awesome if happened, but will most likely not happen…

    Saying tiger past off course actions have ruled out any support for his return is funny. He didn’t cheat the game, he cheated his wife… boo hoo, he got divorced and she got a lot of cash. You all are a new breed of internet fools. Not angry trolls but self righteous attention seekers. I bet you all are the ones who complain about minorities at the course ha. You know it’s true. Deep down.

    • Guia

      Oct 19, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      Your mother raise anyone who isn’t a troll?

  31. Mike

    Oct 19, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Pat Perez has won 3 times all in the fall or in Jan/Feb Camryn. He also never had the mental issues of Eldrick.

  32. M. Vegas

    Oct 19, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Golf needs a guy that hits 5 wood off the tee, pulls it left of the green or air mails it, putts cuz he can’t chip, 2 putts for bogey, and then withdraws when’s he plus 6 thru 8….
    Yea we need that

  33. Derek jacks

    Oct 19, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    What a dumb post! Woods doesn’t owe anyone anything as far as golf so don’t get the ultimatum that things be better this time around. Who r u????

  34. Chip

    Oct 19, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Sorry his body can be as predictable as he wishes, Tom.

    • Mike

      Oct 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      You’re right, it’s just his physical issues keeping him from being the Tiger of old. Nothing mental going on there.

  35. Bruce Ferguson

    Oct 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    With all the young talent on the tour these days, I’m not optimistic over Tigers return. One thing for sure, if he ends up being frustrated on the course, I don’t want to hear cursing, or see spitting on the green or slamming a club in the ground. Be the man . . . count to ten, relax, regroup, focus.

  36. Andrew

    Oct 19, 2017 at 11:01 am

    I was a Tiger fan, then I grew up and learned to be honest. Golf suffers when he is around now. He is a disgrace as a man and a person. Shame on the sell-outs who ignore his history of womanizing and phony remorse. You’re just as phony as Tiger.

    • hays

      Oct 19, 2017 at 11:26 am

      I’m so glad you know the guy on a personal level. you say you “grew up”…doesn’t sound like it

    • golfreality

      Oct 19, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      you left out drug addict

  37. Philip

    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:46 am

    I think you have it backwards … golf does not need Tiger – sponsors and OEMs liked the increase in revenues associated with Tiger, however, the system of golf is adapting quite well. On the other hand, I think Tiger needs golf! It is his entire life – if he was more balanced during his peak then he could walk away feeling complete … unfortunately, that isn’t what has happened and even if Tiger walks away officially – I don’t think in his head that he would truly be okay with that. It is what it is.

  38. Malcolm Herbert

    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I agree with 99% of the article, but strongly disagree that golf needs Tiger and tiger doesn’t need golf. I think golf does not need tiger at all. I agree that it’s better off with him, but the game is healthy enough and we have enough young and exciting talent that golf will be more than ok if we never see tiger touch a club again. Also, I do think that tiger thinks he needs golf. There are things in using life that are more important, like his kids and health, which suggest he doesn’t need golf, but tiger thinks he needs golf. He can’t walk away, it’s become a part of him that he can’t live without. Every time he leaves, he comes back as quick as possible- often too quick- and seems like he takes the first chance he can to come back. While I hope he can separate his life from golf to the extent that is healthy when it isn’t necessary, it seems like golf is always the first thing on his mind, and who can’t blame him. But it feels like he needs golf, and I know, while golf wants him and could use him, we don’t need him.

  39. Andy c

    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Golf does not need Tiger….it existed before Tiger and will exist after Tiger, The business of golf ie. those that make a living from the game may need him but the game of golf does not.

    • xjohnx

      Oct 19, 2017 at 10:43 am

      You’re right from an overall standpoint but, I think the interpretation is that golf has been suffering over the last few years and needs a shot in the arm. There is not one single person on this planet except Tiger that can really bring that in the direct way that Tiger can. Nobody is saying golf is going to become obsolete without Tiger, the point is golf needs Tiger RIGHT NOW.

      • Philip

        Oct 19, 2017 at 10:51 am

        Okay, so golf gets a quick shot … and then what? It does not address the long term. Hey, I enjoyed Tiger’s aggressive shots as much as anyone, but if he does that he likely won’t last one tournament and how much fun would it be for everyone to have a “safe” Tiger constantly in the top 10 – nipping at the more aggressive players and occasionally winning a tournament here and there.

      • Andrew

        Oct 19, 2017 at 11:13 am

        Golf is doing just fine now and does not need a shot in the arm, John. Tiger is less of a shot in the arm and more like a black eye. Golf suffered long-term because of Tiger. He represented a loss of decency and integrity that takes a generation to heal. Golf is better now without him and healing properly. The Tiger bandwagoners who don’t love golf or deserve it are gone, off to the next cool thing. Good luck and good riddance.

        • Dr Troy

          Oct 19, 2017 at 2:32 pm

          Andrew- Golf is doing fine now, yes. However, if you dont think for a second that TW will not entice more people to watch more golf, then you are young and naive sir. Obviously, you have a disdain for him and thats your choice, but there are a TON of Tiger fans that will watch regardless. Most could care less of his personal life, as so many stone throwers on here obviously do. And as far as a “black eye”, how about you ask some TOUR pros how much extra money is in their bank accounts because of Tiger. The sport of golf has no black eye, nor really ever did(I think you are confusing it with the NBA). Your reference to “healing”?? Really?? What happened, did we all go through mental and physical torture?? Ok…Sure.

        • Snowflake

          Oct 20, 2017 at 12:30 am

          You probably don’t think you’re a racist. MAGA. Ignorant.

          • Mat

            Oct 21, 2017 at 12:45 pm

            Based purely on what’s written above, I don’t think he’s racist either. You must put in a lot of time in the gym to be strong enough to walk around with that enormous chip on your shoulder.

          • LD

            Oct 22, 2017 at 9:27 am

            I agree with Mat. Care to point out his “racism” in his post? Astute user name, BTW. Absolutely perfect.

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Opinion & Analysis

Could Dollar Driver Club change the way we think about owning equipment?



There’s something about golfers that draws the attention of, for lack of a better word, snake-oil salesmen. Whether it’s an as-seen-on-TV ad for a driver that promises pure distance and also fixes your power slice, or the subscription boxes that supposedly send hundreds of dollars worth of apparel for a fraction of the price, there always seems to be something out there that looks too good to be true.

Discerning golfers, who I would argue are more cynical than anything, understand that you get what you pay for. To get the newest driver that also works for your game, it may take a $150 club fitting, then a $400 head, and a shaft that can run anywhere from $100 up to $300-$400. After the fitting and buying process, you’ve made close to a thousand dollar investment in one golf club, and unless you’re playing money games with friends who have some deep pockets, it’s tough to say what the return on that investment actually is. When it’s all said and done, you have less than a year before that driver is considered old news by the standard of most manufacturers’ release schedules.

What makes a driver ‘good’ to most amateur golfers who take their game seriously is a cross section of performance, price, and hubris. As for that last metric, I think most people would be lying if they say it doesn’t feel good having the latest and greatest club in the bag. Being the envy of your group is fun, even if it only lasts until you snap hook your first drive out of bounds.

As prices of general release equipment have increased to nearly double what it was retailing at only 10 years ago, the ability to play the newest equipment is starting to become out of the question for many amateur golfers.

Enter Tyler Mycoskie, an avid, single digit handicap golfer (and the brother of Tom’s shoes founder, Blake Mycoskie). Tyler’s experience with purchasing golf equipment and his understanding of uniquely successful business models collided, which led him to start the Dollar Driver Club. With a name and logo that is a tongue in cheek allusion to the company that has shaken up the men’s skincare industry, the company seeks to offer a new way of thinking about purchasing golf equipment without completely reinventing the wheel of the model that has seen success in industries such as car leasing and purchasing razors.

The company does exactly what its name says. They offer the newest, top of the line driver and shaft combinations for lease at a cost of about a dollar per day.

The economics of the model seem too good to be true. When you purchase a driver, you are charged $30 plus $11 for shipping and it’s $30 per month from then on. You can upgrade your driver at no extra cost each year and your driver is eligible for upgrade or swap after 90 days of being a member. After a year, the total cost comes to $371 with shipping, which sounds a lot nicer than the $500 that it would cost to purchase, as an example, a Titleist TS3 with a Project X Evenflow T1100 today.

The major complaint most people would have is that you still don’t own the driver after that year, but as someone with a closet full of old golf clubs that diminish in value every day, which I have no realistic plans to sell, that doesn’t sound like a problem to me or my wife, who asks me almost weekly when I plan on thinning out my collection.

The model sounds like an obvious win for customers to me, and quite frankly, if you’re skeptical, then it’s probably just simply not for you. I contacted the team at the Dollar Driver Club to get some questions answered. Primarily, I want to know, what’s the catch?

I spoke with a Kevin Kirakossian, a Division I golfer who graduated from the University of Texas-Pan American in 2013 and has spent virtually his entire young career working on the business side of golf, most recently with Nike Golf’s marketing team prior to joining Tyler at Dollar Driver Club. Here’s what he had to say about his company.

At risk to the detriment of our conversation, I have to find out first and foremost, what’s the catch?

K: There’s no catch. We’re all golfers and we want to offer a service that benefits all of our members. We got tired of the upfront cost of drivers. We’re trying to grow the game. Prior to us, there was no way to buy new golf clubs without paying full price. We take a lot of pride that players of all skill level, not just tour pros or people with the extra budget to drop that kind of money every year, can have access to the latest equipment.

With that question out of the way, I delved into the specifics of the brand and model, but I maintained a skeptical edge, keeping an ear out for anything that I could find that would seem too good to be true.

How closely do you keep an eye on manufacturers and their pricing? It would seem that your service is more enticing as prices increase in equipment.

K: The manufacturers are free to create their own pricing. We work closely with manufacturers and have a great relationship with them. As prices increase, it helps us, even if they decrease, I still think it’s a no-brainer to use our service, purely for the fact that new equipment comes out every year. You don’t have a high upfront cost. You’re not stuck with the same driver for a year. It gives you flexibility and freedom to play the newest driver. If a manufacturer wants to get into the same business, we have the advantage of offering all brands. We’re a premium subscription brand, so we’re willing to offer services that other retailers aren’t. We’ll do shaft swaps, we’ll send heads only, we have fast shipping and delivery times. We’re really a one-stop shop for all brands.

What measures do you take to offer the most up to date equipment?

K: We will always have the newest products on the actual launch date. We take pride in offering the equipment right away. A lot of times, our members will receive their clubs on release day. We order direct from the manufacturers and keep inventory. There’s no drop shipping. We prefer shipping ourselves and being able to add a personal package.

The service is uniquely personal. Their drivers come with a ball marker stamped with your initials as well as a stylish valuables pouch. They also provide a hand signed welcome letter and some stickers.

Who makes up the team at Dollar Driver Club?

K: We’re a small team. We started accepting members to our service in 2018 and it has grown exponentially. We have four or five guys here and it’s all hands on deck. We handle customer inquiries and sending drivers out. It’s a small business nature that we want to grow a lot bigger.

When discussing the company, you have to concede that the model doesn’t appeal to everyone, especially traditionalists. There are golfers who have absolutely no problem spending whatever retailers are charging for their newest wares. There are also golfers who have no problem playing equipment with grips that haven’t been changed in years, much less worrying about buying new equipment. I wanted to know exactly who they’re targeting.

Who is your target demographic?

K: We want all golfers. We want any golfer with any income, any skill level, to be able to play the newest equipment. We want to reshape the way people think about obtaining golf equipment. We’re starting with drivers, but we’re looking into expanding into putters, wedges, and other woods. We’ve heard manufacturers keep an eye on us. There are going to be people who just want to pay that upfront cost so they can own it, but those people may be looking at it on the surface and they don’t see the other benefits. We’re also a service that offers shaft swaps and easily send in your driver after 3 months if you don’t like it.

At this point, it didn’t seem like my quest to find any drawbacks to the service was going well. However, any good business identifies threats to their model and I was really only able to think of one. They do require a photo ID to start your account, but there’s no credit check required like you may see from other ‘buy now, pay later’ programs. That sounds ripe for schemers that we see all the time on websites like eBay and Craigslist.

When you’re sending out a $500 piece of equipment and only taking $41 up front, you’re assuming some risk. How much do you rely on the integrity of golfers who use your service to keep everything running smoothly?

K: We do rely on the integrity of the golf community. When we send out a driver, we believe it’s going into the hands of a golfer. By collecting the ID, we have measures on our end that we can use in the event that the driver goes missing or an account goes delinquent, but we’re always going to side with our members.

The conversation I had with Kevin really opened my eyes to the fact that Dollar Driver Club is exactly what the company says it is. They want to grow and become a staple means of obtaining golf equipment in the current and future market. Kevin was very transparent that the idea is simple, they’re just the ones actually executing it. He acknowledged the importance of social media and how they will harness the power of applications like Instagram to reach new audiences.

Kevin was also adamant that even if you prefer owning your own driver and don’t mind the upfront cost, the flexibility to customize your driver cheaply with a plethora of high-quality shafts is what really makes it worth trying out their service. If for whatever reason, you don’t like their service, you can cancel the subscription and return the driver after 90 days, which means that you can play the newest driver for three months at a cost of $90.

In my personal opinion, I think there’s a huge growth opportunity for a service like this. The idea of playing the newest equipment and being able to tinker with it pretty much at-will really speaks to me. If you’re willing to spend $15 a month on Netflix to re-watch The Office for the 12th time in a row or $35 a month for a Barkbox subscription for your dog, it may be worth doing something nice for your golf bag.

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Opinion & Analysis

A conversation with a Drive, Chip and Putt national finalist



I’ve been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend all of the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National since the inception of this amazing initiative. I’ve also been extremely lucky to have attended the Masters each of the past 10 years that I have been a PGA member. Each year, I’m still like a kid on Christmas morning when I walk through the gates at Augusta National, but nothing compares to my first trip in 2010. I was in absolute awe. For anyone that’s been, you can surely agree that Augusta National and the Masters Tournament is pure perfection.

The past few years at DCP finals, I couldn’t help but notice the looks of sheer excitement on the faces of the young competitors as well as their parents. That led me to reaching out to one of this year’s competitors, Briel Royce. A Central Florida native, Briel finished second overall in the 7-8-year-old girls division. She is a young lady that I know, albeit, not all too well, that competes in some of my youth golf organization’s Tour series in Florida. I spoke to Briel’s mom at Augusta and then reached out to the family after their return to the Orlando area to get a better idea of their DCP and Augusta National experience…

So how cool was it driving Down Magnolia Lane?

Briel: “Driving down Magnolia Lane was awesome.  Usually, you do not get to experience the scenic ride unless you are a tour player or a member. Everyone got extremely quiet upon entry. There were tons of security along our slow ride. Seeing the beautiful trees and the Masters Flag at Founder’s Circle in the distance was surreal. Having earned the right and opportunity to drive down this prestigious lane was breathtaking. I would love to do it again someday.”

What was the coolest part of your time at Drive, Chip and Putt at Augusta National?

Briel: “Everything was cool about the DCP. Not too often do you see people taking walks in the morning with green jackets on. We were not treated like kids. We were treated like tour players, like we were members at Augusta. The icing on the cake was when they took us to the practice green and we were putting alongside Zach Johnson and Charl Schwartzel. Everyone was confused when we first got there because we weren’t certain we should be putting on the same green around the pros. Again, we were treated like we were tour players. Where else would I be able to do this? Nowhere other than DCP at Augusta. One of my favorite reflections is having Bubba Watson watch us chip and congratulating each of us for our efforts. He did not need to do that. He took time out of practicing for a very important week in his career to support the DCP players. I think his actions show what the game of golf is about: the sportsmanship, the camaraderie, and support.”

How did you prepare for the finals?

Briel: “I prepared just like I did for every other tournament, practicing distance control, etc. But to be honest, you really can’t practice for this experience. The greens are like no other. The balls roll like they are on conveyor belts. I didn’t practice being in front of so many cameras, Bubba Watson, Condeleeza Rice as well as many other folks wearing green jackets. You need to practice playing under extreme pressure and scrutiny. When it is game time, you need to just do your thing and concentrate; have tunnel vision just like the ride down Magnolia Lane.”

What tour pros did you get to meet and talk to?

Briel: “WOW! I spoke to so many tour pros while I was there. I spoke to Keegan Bradley, Annika Sorenstam, Nancy Lopez, Zach Johnson, Mark O’Meara, Gary Player and Patrick Reed. I also met up with the U.S. Woman’s Amateur Champion, Jennifer Kupcho, and 14-year-old baller Alexa Pano. I’m still in awe!”


How fast were those greens?

Briel: “Those greens were lightning quick. The balls rolled like they were on a conveyor belt; you didn’t know when to expect them to stop. Had I practiced these speeds a little more, I would have putted the 30-foot like a 15-foot and the 15-foot like a 6-foot putt.”

I also wanted to ask Briel’s parents a few questions in order to get a better idea from the standpoint of the mom and dad, on what an increasable experience this must have been.

So how cool was it driving up Magnolia Lane for you guys?

Mom and Dad: “Going down Magnolia Lane was a dream come true and we wouldn’t have EVER been able to do it without Briel’s accomplishment. Driving down was so peaceful; the way the trees are shaped like a tunnel and at the end of that tunnel, you see the Masters Flag and Founder’s Circle. Just thinking about all the legends, presidents, influential people driving down that road and we were doing the same thing was extraordinary. We appreciated how slow the driver took to get us down the lane for us to take it all in. A lot of tears. It was heavenly.”

What was the coolest part during your time at Drive, Chip and Putt and Augusta National?

Mom and Dad“The coolest part was seeing 9-year-old Briel compete at Augusta National! Seeing the whole set up and everything that goes into making this event what it is, we have no words. They made these kids feel like they were royalty. We are so truly blessed, thankful, and grateful for everything that was provided to Briel to make this a truly awesome experience. We don’t want to share too much as it needs to be a surprise to anyone else that’s reading this that may make it there.”

How impactful do you feel this initiative is to golf in general?

Mom and Dad: “You can’t possibly make any bigger impact on golf than to let golf’s future attend the best golf course and the coolest event, Drive, Chip and Putt at none other Augusta National during Masters week. The day after the event, we had a handful of people walk up to Briel to tell her that she was an inspiration to their older daughters who now want to play golf. They even requested a picture with Briel; how cool! This initiative is definately, without question, growing the game.”

It goes without saying that you were incredibly proud of your daughter but what may have surprised you most on how she handled this awesome experience?

Mom and Dad: “We are so incredibly proud of Briel! She handled this challenging and overwhelming experience very well for only being 9 years old. She was cool, calm and collected the whole time. The atmosphere at Drive, Chip and Putt can chew you up if you let it, but she didn’t let all of the distractions get to her, she embraced them.  Out of all the competitions she participated in to earn her invitation to Augusta, we truly feel she treated this whole experience like she was not at a competition but a birthday party where she was having a blast. She made many new golf friends and we met amazing golf families we anticipate spending more time with in the future. You don’t get to go to many parties where Bubba Watson is hanging out with you like he’s your best friend.”

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The 19th Hole (Ep 76): Rees Jones on how Tiger won at Augusta and will win at Bethpage!



The Open Doctor Rees Jones talks with host Michael Williams about the key holes that shaped Tiger’s win in Augusta and his chances for victory at Bethpage Black in the PGA Championship. Also features John Farrell of Sea Pines Resort (host of this week’s RBC Heritage Classic) and Ed Brown of Clear Sports.

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

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19th Hole