Bag Chatter is a series of interviews that spotlights brands around the golf industry and the people behind them. We’re looking to make this a regular thing, so please comment and share through your medium of choice.
If you have a brand and are interested in participating in these interviews, you can email email@example.com for consideration. Today’s interview is with Sam Uisprapassorn (pronounced WEE-pra-pa-sorn), who is one of the partners behind Cut Golf.
Let’s start with an easy one. Tell me about Cut Golf. Where are you guys based? How long have you been in business? In what ways has it grown since you started? All that kind of stuff.
We are based out of Costa Mesa, California. We founded the company about a year ago and it’s been a very fun year to say the least. I’m an avid golfer. Every spare moment I have, I prefer to have a golf club in my hand. Basically, the way it all started was that I was trying to learn how to hit a cut shot and I honestly started losing a bunch of balls (you know how it goes). I just got tired of losing expensive balls and thought there had to be a way to trim out a lot of the excess cost and just provide golfers with a damn good ball at a reasonable price. So a bunch of guys that I run around with all banded together and decided we were going to do this. We all bring something different to the table in terms of our talents, backgrounds, etc. and it’s been a really great experience so far.
How did you go from, “I’m tired of losing expensive golf balls” to “I’m in the golf ball business now?” What did that process look like?
When the moment came that we all decided we were going to do this, we started shopping around for a manufacturer, which took quite a bit of time, but that was really the majority of what it took, I suppose. We told them what we were looking for as far as things like cost and performance, and they would all submit things that they could do on their end with manufacturing processes, dimple patterns, and things like that. It’s been a really fun ride!
In your opinion, what is Cut Golf’s secret sauce? Why would a consumer buy your ball over someone else’s?
We’re interested in a no-nonsense, no-frills approach. I didn’t slave away in my garage making golf balls or anything like that. I don’t profess to be someone like Dean Snell with decades of golf ball design experience (though I think his story is fascinating and cannot be ignored). I would never say our ball is BETTER. We don’t market more distance, more spin, etc. like a lot of people do. We just use different language. We just say it’s the best damn ball under $20. If that resonates with you, we’re your golf ball. What separates us from the majority of our competition is that we don’t have a huge budget. We absolutely cannot afford to pay people to play Cut, so we approached people on social media and just said, “Tell us what you think and tell your friends what you think.” Everything has really grown out of that, to be honest.
In your opinion, is it fair or unfair to lump companies like yours separately from Titleist, Bridgestone, etc? Are the direct-to-consumer folks like you, Vice, and Snell playing a different game than the big boys?
The Cut perspective is that we deserve a seat at the same table as the likes of Titleist because we’re a golf ball company. We’re here to grab a slice of that market… just like our counterparts are. That goes for us and Vice just as much as it does for Callaway and TaylorMade. Now, on the other hand, Titleist (for example) spends ridiculous amounts of money on R&D and we can’t compete with that. We just can’t. So I can understand why some people lump the direct-to-consumer folks on one side and the “big boys” on the other. But we are all fighting for the same consumer, so in my mind, I think that’s what counts.
Talk to me about your golf game. How would you rate your game today?
Well, I work a full-time job and I do the Cut Golf thing on the side, so I rarely get the chance to actually play golf anymore. They say the more successful you are in the golf industry, the less you get to play golf, and I have definitely found that to be true. My tee shot is mostly horrendous, so that’s what I always struggle with. My handicap is at a 16 right now, which is terrible. If my tee shot behaves, I’m in good shape. My iron play is pretty strong. My short game is good for the most part, but it comes and goes like most amateurs. All that to say… my game needs work. But it doesn’t mean I’m not having fun.
Where are your balls designed? By whom?
We worked with our manufacturer on that. We’re not really allowed to share any details about our manufacturer, but we developed the ball with them. Essentially what we did is we shopped around different manufacturers. When we chose one, they had an engineer on staff and that was who we went back and forth with. We played with the dimple patterns and the compression rate and all that until we got it right.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring one album with you, what would it be? If this is too hard, I’ll let you slide with one artist’s music.
I used to work in the music industry out here in California. This is such a hard question. If I’m stuck on an island, I would say something like Jack Johnson’s music would be what I’d want to have around. If it’s only one album I can listen to for the rest of my life, though, I would have to say Hotel California, but that is a ridiculously hard question.
You know there will be people reading this that demand I ask the following question: What data do you have that supports claims of how well your golf balls perform? What do you have that you can share?
We did extensive testing on our balls. We tested four-piece urethane to four-piece urethane, three-piece urethane to three-piece urethane, etc. So we did apples-to-apples testing and to sum it all up… our balls are just as good as the competition, which is all we claim to be. At worst, we may be 5 yards off the competition. At best, we may be 5 yards better than the competition. All of that seems to be really dependent upon the specific player, but the end result is that we’re pretty much neck and neck on performance with our direct competition. And for the record, I would put it out there that if you’re the guy that hits Competitor A 5 yards further than Cut Grey (for example), I think that’s great. We’re not out to convince that guy that we’re better regardless. We genuinely hope everyone out there likes our product, but we also know that’s not realistic. So if you personally think Competitor A’s ball is better than Cut Grey, then go with Competitor A and have fun.
Out of curiosity, is there anyone out there playing Cut golf balls on a regular basis that would turn some heads among readers?
Honestly, we’re not really looking to land a bunch of tour pros. That’s just not really our style. The most famous person I think I can come up with that plays Cut golf balls is Steven Haushka, who is the field goal kicker for the Buffalo Bills. He happens to be a good friend of one of our management partners. There’s also a relief pitcher for the White Sox named Chris Beck who hit us up on Instagram and we sent him some Cut balls to Coors Field to meet up with him out on the road. The thing is, though, we never sought those guys out and for me, that’s just so rewarding. We’re not necessarily looking to land Rory McIlroy, for instance. His livelihood depends on his golf ball, so if it doesn’t perform exactly how he wants, it’s a very different feeling for him than it is for most amateurs. He’s literally paying his bills with his golf equipment. I’m not going to try to offer him millions of dollars to play Cut golf balls. That being said, if he happened to try Cut golf balls and loved them and thought they were better than anything else he ever played, I would be pretty darn excited about that.
If you could sit down with a hero of yours (dead or alive) over lunch, who would it be and what would you ask them? Doesn’t have to be a golfer…
I would have to say Herb Brooks, who is one of the most iconic hockey coaches ever. He’s most well known for coaching the 1980 gold medal team in the Olympics. I’m a huge hockey guy. I would love to sit down with him and ask him, “Am I doing this right?” Not necessarily in hockey, but in life. Am I leading my company right? Am I doing my marriage right? Am I parenting my kids right? I would really like to ask him that question because I respect his opinion, but mainly because I would expect a guy like Herb Brooks to tell me the unfiltered truth and I think our society is missing a lot of that today.
Tell us more about the company, about your lineup, and how people can find you on social media and the internet.
As far as social media goes, Instagram is our mainstay. @cutgolf is the main handle and @cutgolf_mgmt is the handle that the business partners use. Our twitter handle is @CUTgolfco. You can find us on Facebook as Cut Golf. Our website is www.cutgolfco.com, which of course is the best way to learn about our lineup and make a purchase if you so desire. Speaking of our lineup, we have a two-piece, surlyn cover ball in Cut Red and a three-piece, surlyn cover ball in Cut White. Our two marquis balls are Cut Blue, which is a four-piece with a urethane cover, and our latest product is a three-piece, urethane cover ball called Cut Grey. We just launched it last week and so far, we’ve been very pleased with the turnout. As always, though, whatever equipment you happen to be playing, get out there and have fun. That’s what it’s all about. That’s why we got into this. We’re golf addicts just like our customers are.
Mizuno JPX 919 Tour Forged, 919 Forged, and 919 Hot Metal hit USGA’s conforming list
As alerted by our always investigative GolfWRX Forum Members, three new Mizuno JPX irons have shown up recently on the USGA Conforming Clubs list; JPX 919 Forged (there is no image of the RH version, but there is of the LH), JPX 919 Hot Metal (and LH), and a JPX 919 Tour Forged iron.
Although still unannounced and unreleased by Mizuno, it’s likely these JPX 919 irons will be the replacements for the previous JPX 900 series. If you remember, Brooks Koepka won back-to-back U.S. Opens using JPX 900 Tour irons; now, it seems there may be a replacement for that iron on the way, judging by the USGA Conforming List.
Check out the Mizuno JPX 919 irons below, as listed on the USGA Confirming list.
Mizuno JPX 919 Forged
Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal
Mizuno JPX 919 Tour Forged
SPOTTED: Srixon “Z785” and “Z585” irons
Photos have recently popped up in our GolfWRX Forums of Srixon “Z785” and “Z585” irons. It’s been nearly two years since the company released it’s previous Z565, Z765 and Z965 irons, so it’s possible (if not likely), based on nomenclature, these could be the replacements for that series.
The photos in our forums show Z785 short irons (5-PW) and Z785 long irons (4 and 3), but it does not appear that the Z785 irons shown in the photos are driving irons, so it’s likely these photos come from a mixed set.
We do not have any official tech or release information about new irons from Srixon at this time, so we’re left to speculate for the time being. What do you think about the photos of these Srixon “Z785” and “Z585” irons?
Check out the photos of each below, and click here for more photos and discussion.
Srixon “Z785” irons
Srixon “Z585” irons
Michael Kim on why he switched to a Titleist TS2 driver, and the change he’s making for The Open
Michael Kim set a tournament scoring record at the John Deere Classic last week, so, needless to say, the UC Berkeley alum was firing on all cylinders.
With respect to one of those cylinders, Kim, historically not a great driver of the golf ball, was 34th in Strokes Gained off the tee and tied for second in driving accuracy with a new Titleist TS2 driver in his bag last week. For reference, he’s 192nd in Strokes Gained off the tee and 183rd in driving accuracy for the season. In other words, while Kim’s incredible putting (+13.51 strokes gained: putting) helped, the Titleist TS2 driver he began experimenting with at the FedEx St. Jude Classic also played a role.
We caught up with Kim by phone from Carnoustie and asked him about the decision to put the new TS2 in play.
“When I hit it, I liked it right away. I noticed the biggest difference on mishits. On my old driver, the ball speed would drop a little bit on a toe or heel hit, but with the new one, you barely saw any [drop in ball speed]. And it was definitely going straighter off the mishits. Straighter and longer, honestly.”
“Generally, I don’t make a switch, especially with the driver mid-year, but I put it right in play. And I’m working on some new things with my swing…I kind of turned the corner at the Quicken Loans…obviously hit it great at the Deere.”
“I tried the TS3, but it was a little too low spin for me. So we kept the same shaft [Aldila Rogue Black 60X] and I think it’s the same setting.”
Kim also mentioned he’s putting a steel-shafted driving iron in play for The Open this week–on the recommendation of a guy who knows a thing or two about playing well at the British Open.
“Zach Johnson told me on the plane ride here that I should maybe try a driving iron. So…I got out here and I asked to try a couple of different driving irons…On Tuesday, I tried out a couple of different T-MBs…2-iron, 3-iron. The 2-iron was going way too far, so I tried the 3-iron on the golf course. The way the course is set up, it’s just so firm…It’ll be great if there’s some wind. Exactly what I’m looking for. I’ll put it in play and I’ll probably use it a decent amount throughout the week.”
With respect to Kim’s wedge setup, Vokey Wedge rep, Aaron Dill, offered this comment
“Michael Kim has a really good short game that shows tremendous confidence. Michael uses a great system with his gap wedge having higher bounce, this help with flight and consistency, his 56 is high bounce for bunker and all shots needing extra bounce, and his 60 is a low bounce L for all tighter conditions and shots that need easy and fast lift. The beauty of this setup is it covers multiple shot window and types.”
We’ll see how it works out for him. Kim is competing in his first Open Championship. He tees off at 9:04 a.m. local time with Ryuko Tokimatsu and Chez Reavie.
Confirmed: Ernie Els did indeed beat the crap out of Steve Marino aboard a private jet
Brooks Koepka’s Winning WITB: 2018 U.S. Open
Spotted: Ping i210 irons and Glide Forged wedges
Spotted: In-hand photos of the new Ping i500 irons
Pro golfer Hosung Choi has the most ridiculous golf swing you’ll ever see
Spotted: New Titleist “TS2” and “TS3” drivers at the 2018 U.S. Open
Dustin Johnson’s Winning WITB: 2018 FedEx St. Jude Classic
Bobby Clampett: “The 2 big problems with club fitting”
Spotted: Tiger Woods testing a TaylorMade Ardmore 3 putter (updated w/ in-hand pics)
Kevin Na’s Winning WITB: A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier 2018
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