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Graphite Design makes a bad move closing its doors

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Strategies don’t often change in the middle of a hot streak.

That’s why it came as a shock to the golf industry that Graphite Design International, the company that manufactures Tiger Woods’ driver shaft, has decided to vacate North America, closing its U.S. headquarters in San Diego and laying off all of its employees effective Nov. 30.

Margins for shaft makers have been shrinking in recent years, as OEMs have insisted on lower prices from component makers. But the timing of GDI’s decision is strange, given the success the company has enjoyed in recent years.

The company was founded in Japan in 1989, where it has dominated marketshare for more than a decade. But since Woods first began using the company’s Tour AD DI 6X shaft in his driver in 2010, the GDI products have seen a spike in usage on the PGA Tour.

Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Jonas Blixt, Mark Wilson and Johnson Wagner all trusted at least one GDI shaft in route to victory on the PGA Tour in 2012. And Adam Scott, who is No. 6 in the Official Golf World Rankings, plays the company’s shafts in his driver and hybrid.

According to sources who spoke on the condition of anonomity, GDI decided to consolidate operations to its world headquarters of Chichibu, Japan for tax purposes. They said that the company will also remove its shaft representatives from the PGA Tour in 2013 and is in the process of ending its current contracts in North America.

PGA Tour players depend on reps for product information and custom shaft services. How can GDI expect to maintain its presence on the PGA Tour and its affiliated tours in North America without representation? Does the company expect OEM tour reps to provide these services for them?

Chances are they won’t. In the ultra-competitive golf shaft industry, OEMs will work with companies that provide great products and great service. Who is Nike supposed to call for support when Tiger wants a new shaft for an updated driver model … Japan?

GDI will find out what a bad decision this was in the years to come. Graphite Design’s recent success can be directly attributed to the usage of its products by Woods and other top golfers. The company’s decision to leave North America jeopardizes PGA Tour usage of GDI products, and also adds communication hurdles between the GDI and major OEMs.

If Graphite Design sticks to their current strategy, “Graphite who?” will become the sentiment in the Americas.

Click here for more discussion in the forums.

This story was a combined effort of the GolfWRX Staff

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Dan

    Aug 6, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    GD shafts are very, very good but, so are Miyazaki, Aldila, Fujikura, etc. Now, if all of these companies jump ship we might need to panic.

  2. Joe Golfer

    Jul 8, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    I think the professional ranks will still have access to plenty of GDI shafts if they want them. It’s not like they have to order them and have them overnighted. They simply keep a fair amount in stock.
    As for the average golfer, they aren’t playing aftermarket shafts to a great extent, since they don’t want to pay $360 or whatever for that shaft after purchasing a driver.
    As for these being stock shafts in OEM drivers? Dream on. Some of these name brand shafts that go into OEM drivers are not even made by the actual company that is branded on the shaft. The name brand company allows some lesser company to make the shaft, then use their name and shaft model, then they stick it into an OEM clubhead, but it is no where near the quality of the real $300 to $400 shaft.
    The only aspect of this that would hurt GDI is if they eliminate their tour reps that tout their shafts to the professionals.
    If they were smart, they’d still keep a couple of tour reps on staff, as that would not be costly, and it would keep their shafts in the public eye. Keep putting those $360 shafts into pro’s bags, give them a very distinctive paint job that the public recognizes, then put cheap crappy $20 versions of that shaft with the same paint job into the OEM clubs that we buy in golf stores.

  3. gocanucksfan123

    Mar 17, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    For all those thinking this will go away on tour, just watch some really good emerging golfer (ex. young Tiger) start playing this shaft, and then watch everyone else start playing it too.

  4. phil

    Feb 24, 2014 at 11:21 am

    It just speaks to more greed and bigger margins for equipment companies….The industry speaks out of both sides of their mouth, on one hand they pay lip service to growing the game and making it more accessible to the masses but on the other hand make it hands down the most expensive recreational sport to participate in. That being said 70 plus rounds a year and a basement full of the latest gear I drink the kool-aid by the liter.

  5. Rixi

    Feb 24, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Well, let’s face it, other nations are emerging while we are submerging. Will Graphite Design lose market share because they left Cal? Doubtful.

    The price of my GD Tour AD 65i’s were included with my new 712 AP1s and well within budget. You can find GD shafts reasonably priced if you hunt.

    I love the reaction and the performance improvement with my Tour AD 65i’s over my former TT steels. I really, hopefully think they will very much remain in the US market, if they can keep up with the stiff competition. Pun intended.

    My $.02.

  6. Ben

    Feb 20, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    The problem with their shafts is that they are super high prices. The golf masses aren’t gonna kick down 300 bucks for a premium shaft when they can get a driver for 400 with a decent shaft.

    • Justin

      Sep 11, 2014 at 12:00 am

      I’ve had my best driver numbers with an 85g Wishon S2S Black shaft… Most people don’t realize that the $300 (heII, even $100+) models aren’t the only “it” models. Quality and decent price can go hand in hand, if a person’s willing to look.

  7. Ken Boucher

    Dec 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I am a GD dealer, I have been informed of all the changes and it looks like it will be a better deal for customers. Cost of a shaft will decrease if anything and I will easily be able to get shafts be it for woods hybreds or irons. As a Miura dealer I can attest to the quaility these tour ad iron shafts are especially matched with Miura irons. Best of the best, so yes they are still going to be available and this was nothing more than a simple business decision

    • Rixi

      Feb 24, 2014 at 11:25 am

      I have to agree with you. These are the best shafts I have ever hit with my brand new 712 AP1s. I am an avid (Ah hem, wagering) recreational golfer. So I need/want the best equipment for the best price. GD shafts are a good choice for any player who wants to do better.

      I absolutely do not see them walking away from the US market.

  8. Mark Burke

    Nov 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    The Graphite Design Shafts are so expensive. Last time I broke my driver shaft when I threw a temper tantrum on the course during a tournament on my way to another 86. I reshafted with a stick I found by the homeless shelter. My buddy New York gave me some tape and bam new driver shaft.

    This has been a tip from Mark Burke Golf Bum

    PS I am Still trying to clear my name

    • Rixi

      Feb 24, 2014 at 11:30 am

      How many yards can you get with that new “whip flex” duck tape, El Cheapo driver stick? ;>)

  9. Carl

    Nov 4, 2012 at 5:36 am

    HOW WILL ANYONE GET IOMIC GRIPS IF THEY ARE ALL THE WAY IN JAPAN??? WHAT DO YOU THINK THERE IS SOME TYPE OF MAGICAL MACHINE THAT CAN FLY THEM THRU THE SKY AND INTO THE COUNTRY FOR DOMESTIC USE?!?!?! Oh wait….

    Look, The bottom line is that OEMs will do whatever it takes to get the shafts that tour players want to play, in the players hands and ready to play (and hopefully win).

    —“What are they going to do call JaPaN?”

    Yes. That is exactly what they are going to do. And I am positive that GDI will get the OEMs a truckload of their shafts, ready for play, within a reasonable timeframe (3-5 days).

    Graphite Design shafts are already manufactured in Japan. The only thing that is going to change for the NA consumer is where their shafts are being directly shipped from.

    The day that Graphite Design becomes “Graphite Who?” in the Americas, is the day that this site dies.

  10. Cameron

    Nov 3, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    People are misinformed if they think GDI is leaving because of California tax policy. If GDI is leaving because of tax issues it is due to federal taxes not state taxes.

  11. ACGOLFWRX

    Nov 3, 2012 at 7:30 am

    They have made the right decision! The company will do better outside the U.S.A anyway….

  12. Adam

    Nov 2, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Smart move. Get out of Cali and away from the massive taxes. No smart company will stay in America. We are taxing ourselves to death. Hate to go overseas. But you have to do what you have to do to survive.

  13. Jay

    Nov 2, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    This might be one of the daftest golf related opeds i’ve ever read. Thanks for the entertainment zak.

  14. timmy

    Nov 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I think its a good business decision

    Also not having a sales rep on site is not going to be a big deal

    Players will have access to the shaft no matter what and if they want to know more about the specifics they can simply send them an email or contact the rep in japan via social media.

    Will this decision diminish the presence of GDI shafts on the tour? Definitely not. Professional sports is all about performance and GDI has proven its quality and performance in such a powerful way people and players will continue to look for their product.

    • Richard

      Nov 4, 2012 at 8:43 am

      I disagree. Just my opinion but I see the future in this one. Only memories of GD shafts in a few years. Little on tour since no reps to peddle them and very little if any on OEM shafts since there will be no presence in North America.

  15. Nuke LaLoosh

    Nov 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    It is a result of California tax policy. Why stay in a high tax state/country when you can manufacture elsewhere and import. Simple economics!

  16. EJ

    Nov 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    WHO CARES, ROBOTI SAYS STEEL IS BETTER ANYWAY! LOL

  17. Paul Carlson

    Nov 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    This post seems a bit hasty to me. I would have appreciated a more thoughtful analysis of their US decision. If the shafts are in demand, the reps will find a way to get them. I agree with JR & John on this one.

    There must be a reason they’ve done this. Could it be they’d rather focus on eastern markets? China? Korea?

    Just my .02

  18. John Muir

    Nov 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Graphite Design shafts will still be available, they’ve granted exclusive aftermarket distributorship to a group led by their current CFO and their current vp of sales.
    John Muir
    clubmaker online

  19. jr

    Nov 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    How can you say it’s a bad decision? Have you seen their books? Do you know what their making? Losing? Have you run a worldwide shaft manufacturing company? These companies don’t make decisions by the seat of their pants.

    • sdgfhjkhgjkdfsfg

      Nov 2, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      This article went from informative to an op-ed quicker than a Cameron scam.

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Opinion & Analysis

Don’t Leave Your Common Sense in Escrow Outside the Golf Course Parking Lot

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Disclaimer: Much of what follows is going to come off as elitist, harsh and downright mean spirited — a pro looking down from his ivory tower at all the worthless hacks and judging them. It is the opposite. The intent is to show how foolish WE golfers are, chasing around a white ball with a crooked stick and suspending all of the common sense we use in our every day lives.

Much of what follows is not just the bane of average golfers, but also low handicappers, tour players and even a former long-drive champion during his quest for the PGA Tour… and now, the Champions Tour. In other words, if WE take ourselves a bit less seriously and use a bit more common sense, we are going to have more fun and actually hit better golf shots. We will shoot lower scores.

FYI: All of the examples of nutbaggery to come are things I have actually witnessed. They’re not exaggerated for the sake of laughs.

It’s winter time and most of you poor souls are not enjoying the 70-degree temperatures I am in Southern California right now (see, you all hate me already… and it’s going to get worse). That gives us all time to assess our approach to golf. I am not talking course management or better focus; I am talking how WE golfers approach our successes and failures, which for many is more important than the aforementioned issues or the quality of our technique.

Why is it that golf turns normal, intelligent, successful and SANE people into deviant, ignorant failures that exhibit all of the tell-tale signs of insanity? I also forgot profane, whiny, hostile, weak-minded, weak-willed and childish. Not to mention stupid. Why do we seem to leave our common sense and sanity in escrow in a cloud outside the golf course parking lot… only to have it magically return the moment our car leaves the property after imposing extreme mental anguish on ourselves that Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (don’t feel bad if you have to google this) would find extreme?

Smarter people than I have written books on this, but I think they missed a key factor. Clubs, balls, shoes, bags, gloves, tees, the grasses, especially the sand in the bunkers, the Gatorade they sell at the snack bar, hats, visors, over-logoed clothing, golf carts, etc., are all made with human kryptonite. Not enough to kill us, but just enough to make us act like children who didn’t get the latest fad toy for Christmas and react by throwing a hissy fit.

Bob Rotella has said golf is not a game of perfect, and although religious texts say man was made in God’s image, thinking we are perfect is blasphemous. We all play golf like we think there is an equivalent of a bowling 300. We expect to hit every drive 300 yards (the bowling perfect) with a three-yard draw… in the middle of the face… in the dead center of the fairway. All iron shots must be worked from the middle of the green toward the pin and compressed properly with shaft lean, ball-first contact and the perfect dollar-bill sized divot (and not too deep). Shots within 100 yards from any lie should be hit within gimme range, and all putts inside 20 feet must be holed.

We get these ideas from watching the best players in the world late on Sunday, where all of the above seem commonplace. We pay no attention to the fact that we are significantly worse than the guys who shot 76-76 and missed the cut. We still hold ourselves to that ridiculous standard.

  • Group 1: “Monte, you’re exaggerating. No one has those expectations.”
  • Group 2: ”Monte, I’m a type-A personality. I’m very competitive and hard on myself.”

To the first group, the following examples say different. And to the second group, I am one of you. It’s OK for me to want to shoot over 80 percent from the free throw line, but at 50 years old and 40 pounds over weight, what would you say to me if I said, “I’m type-A and competitive and I want to dunk like Lebron James!” Oh yeah, and I want to copy Michael Jordan’s dunking style, Steph Curry’s shooting stroke and Pistol Pete’s passing and dribbling style.” That seems ridiculous, but switch those names to all-time greats in golf and WE have all been guilty of those aspirations.

I don’t know how to answer 18-handicaps who ask me if they should switch to blades so they can work the ball better and in both directions. The blunt a-hole in me wants to tell them, “Dude, just learn to hit the ball on the face somewhere,” but that’s what they read in the golf magazines. You’re supposed to work the ball from the middle of the green toward the pin, like Nicklaus. Well, the ball doesn’t curve as much now as it did in Nicklaus’ prime and most tour players only work the ball one way unless the circumstances don’t allow it. “And you’re not Jack Nicklaus.” Some joke about Jesus and Moses playing golf has that punch line.

Wouldn’t it be easier to get as proficient as possible at one shot when you have limited practice time, versus being less than mediocre on several different shots? This also applies to hitting shots around the greens 27 different ways, but don’t get me started…just buy my short game video. Hyperbole and shameless plug aside, this is a huge mistake average golfers make. They never settle on one way of doing things.

The day the first white TaylorMade adjustable driver was released, I played 9 holes behind a very nice elderly couple. He went to Harvard and she went to Stanford. He gets on the first tee and hits a big push. He walks to the cart, grabs his wrench and closes the club face. She tops her tee shot, gets the wrench and adds some loft. Out of morbid curiosity, I stayed behind them the entire front 9 and watched them adjust their clubs for every mishit shot. It took over 3 hours for a two-some. These are extremely nice, smart and successful people and look what golf did to them. Anyone calling this a rules violation, have a cocktail; you’re talking yourself even more seriously than they were. Old married couple out fooling around, big deal if they broke a rule. No tournament, not playing for money, they’re having fun. They had gimmies, mulligans and winter rules. Good for them.

This is an extreme example of a huge mistake that nearly 100 percent of golfers make; they believe the need for an adjustment after every bad shot… or worse, after every non-perfect shot. How many of you have done this both on the range and on the course?

”(Expletive), pushed that one, need to close the face. (Expletive), hit that one thin, need to hit down more on this one. (Expletive), hooked that one, need to hold off the release.”

I’ll ask people why they do this and the answer is often, “I’m trying to build a repeatable swing.”

Nice. Building repeatable swing by making 40 different swings during a range session or round of golf. That is insane and stupid, but WE have all done it. The lesson learned here is to just try and do better on the next one. You don’t want to make adjustments until you have the same miss several times in a row. As a secondary issue, what are the odds that you do all of the following?

  1.  Diagnose the exact swing fault that caused the bad shot
  2.  Come up with the proper fix
  3.  Implement that fix correctly in the middle of a round of golf with OB, two lakes, eight bunkers and three elephants buried in the green staring you in the face.

Another factor in this same vein, and again, WE have all been guilty of this: “I just had my worst round in three weeks. What I was doing to shoot my career low three times in row isn’t working any more. Where is my Golf Digest? I need a new tip.”

Don’t lie… everyone reading this article has done that. EVERYONE! Improvement in golf is as far from linear as is mathematically possible. I have never heard a golfer chalk a high score up to a “bad day.” It’s always a technique problem, so there is a visceral need to try something different. “It’s not working anymore. I think I need to do the Dustin Johnson left wrist, the Sergio pull-down lag, the Justin Thomas downswing hip turn, the Brooks Koepka restricted-backswing hip turn and the Jordan Spieth and Jamie Sadllowski bent left elbow… with a little Tiger Woods 2000 left-knee snap when I need some extra power.” OK, maybe it’s a small bit of exaggeration that someone would try all of these, but I have heard multiple people regale of putting 2-3 of those moves in after a bad round that didn’t mesh with their downtrending index.

An 8-handicap comes to me for his first lesson. He had shot in the 70’s four of his last five rounds and shot a career best in the last of the five. All of the sudden, those friendly slight mishits that rhyme with the place where we keep our money show up. First a few here and there and then literally every shot. He shows up and shanks 10 wedges in a row and is literally ready to cry. I said, “Go home, take this week off and come back… and what’s your favorite beer?”

He comes back the next week, pulls a club and goes to hit one. I tell him to have a seat. I hand him a beer and we talk football for 15 minutes. Then I pull out my iPad and show him exactly why he is hitting shanks. I tell him one setup issue and one intent change and ask him to go hit one. It was slightly on the heel, but not a shank and very thin. I said to do both changes a bit more. The second one — perfect divot, small draw and on target. I walk over, put my hand up for a high five and say, “Awesome job! Great shot!”

He leaves me hanging and says, ”Yeah, but I hit it in the toe.”

Don’t judge him. Every day I have people with 50-yard slices toned down to 15-20 yards saying the ball is still slicing. These are people who won’t accept a fade, but slam their club when it over draws 15 feet left of the target… and so on. I can’t judge or be angry; I used to be these guys, too. During a one-hour lesson, I often hear people get frustrated with themselves for thin and fat, left and right, heel and toe. Apparently, anything not hunting flags or hit out of a dime-sized area is an epic fail. I also get emails the next day saying the fault and miss is still there.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!

My big miss has always been a big block, often in the heel. Instead, I now often hit a pull in the left fairway bunker out of the toe. I celebrate like I’m Kool & the Gang and it’s 1999… and I get strange looks from everyone. I can manage a 10-15 yard low, slightly drawn pull. I cannot not manage a 40-50 yard in the atmosphere block… that cuts.

So, now that I have described all of US as pathetic, let’s see what we can do.

  1. Be hard on yourself, be competitive and set lofty goals all you want… but you need to accept at least a one-side miss. If you hate hitting thin, weak fades, you need to allow yourself a slightly heavy over draw. Not allowing yourself any miss will make you miss every shot.
  2. Generally, the better the player, the larger the pool of results that are used to judge success. Pros judge themselves over months and years. High-handicappers judge themselves on their previous shot. Do you think pros make a swing change after 10 good shots and one minor miss? We all seem to think that course of action is astute. Bad shot, must have done something wrong… HULK MUST FIX!
  3. Don’t judge your shots on a pass/fail grade. Grade yourself A-F. Are you going to feel better after 10 A’s, 25 B’s, 15 C’s, 4 D’s and 1 F… or 10 passes and 40 fails? If every non-perfect shot is seen as a failure, your subconscious will do something different in order to please you. Again, 40 different swings.
  4. Improving your swing and scores is a lot like losing weight. No one expects to make changes in a diet and exercise routine and lose 20 pounds in one day, yet golfers expect a complete overhaul in a small bucket. Give yourself realistic time frames for improvement. “I’m a 12. By the end of next year, I want to be an 8.”  That’s your goal, not whether or not your last range session was the worst in a month. It’s a bad day; that is allowed. Major champions miss cuts and all of them not named Tiger Woods don’t change their swings. They try and do better next week… and they nearly always do.
  5. DO NOT measure yourself either on the mechanics of your swing or your scoring results according to some arbitrary standard of perfection… and especially not against tour players. Measure yourself against yourself. Think Ty Webb. Is your swing better than it was 6 months ago? Do you hit it better than 6 months ago? Are you scoring better than 6 months ago? If you can say yes to at least two of those questions, your swing looking like Adam Scott is less relevant than the color of golf tee you use.

That is a winning formula, and just like bad habits in your swing, you can’t wake up one morning and tell yourself you’re no longer into self flagellation. It takes effort and practice to improve your approach and get out of your own way… but more importantly, have some fun.

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Opinion & Analysis

15 hot takes from Greg Norman on our 19th Hole podcast

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Our Michael Williams spoke with the Great White Shark himself, Greg Norman, for GolfWRX’s 19th Hole podcast. Not surprisingly, the two-time major champion had no shortage of hot takes.

While you’ll want to check out the full ‘cast, here are 15 takes of varying degrees of hotness, from Norman’s feelings about bifurcation to whether he’d pose for ESPN’s Body Issue.

1) He wants bifurcation immediately, rolling back technology for the pros, rolling it forward for amateurs

“I would instigate a bifurcation of the rules. I would roll back the golf ball regulations to pre-1996. I would roll back the technology that’s in the golf equipment for the professionals. And I would open up the technology and give it to the masses because the pros who developed the maximum club head speed of 118, 120 are the ones who maximize what technology is in that piece of equipment. So the person who’s under 100 miles an hour does not hit the ball an extra 30, 35 yards at all. They may pick up a few yards but they don’t get the full benefit of that technology…I would definitely do that because I think we’ve gotta make the game more fun for the masses. “

2) He has no relationship with Tiger Woods and doesn’t plan to watch him play golf

“And this might sound kind of strange. What I’ll say is … I really, in all honesty, I really don’t care what Tiger does with golf. I think Tiger is, golf probably needs him to some degree but golf doesn’t need him, if you know what I mean, because there’s so many other incredibly talented great young players out there, probably a dozen of them, maybe even more, that are equal, if not way better than Tiger, and they can carry the baton of being the number one player in the world. So, I get a little bit perplexed about and disappointed about how some of these guys get pushed into the background by the attention Tiger gets. I hope he does well. If he doesn’t do well, it doesn’t bother me. If he does do well, it doesn’t bother me.”

3) He plays almost no golf these days

“I really don’t play a lot of golf. I played with my son in the father-son at the end of last year, had a blast with him. Played a little bit of golf preparing for that. But since then I have not touched a golf club.”

4) He doesn’t enjoy going to the range anymore

“To be honest with you I’m sick and tired of being on the driving range hitting thousands and thousands of golf balls. That bores me to death now. My body doesn’t like it to tell you the truth. Since I’ve stopped playing golf I wake up without any aches and pains and I can go to the gym on a regular basis without aches and pains. So my lifestyle is totally different now. My expectations, equally, is totally different.”

5) It took him a long time to get used to recreational golf

“But I’ve been in this mode now for quite a few years now so the first couple of years, yes. My body was not giving me what my brain was expecting. So you do have to make those mental adjustments. Look, there’s no difference than when you hit 40, you’re a good player or not a good player. Things start to perform differently. Your proprioception is different. Your body is different. I don’t care how good you are and how great physical shape you are. Your body after just pure wear and tear, it eventually does tend to break down a little bit. And when you’re under the heat of the battle and under the gun, when you have to execute the most precise shot, your body sometimes doesn’t deliver what you want.”

6) He’s a big Tom Brady fan

“I’m a big fan, big admirer of his. He gets out of it what he puts into it obviously…But he’s also a role model and a stimulator for his teammates. No question, when you go to play Brady and the Patriots, you’d better bring your A game because he’s already got his A game ready to go.”

7) He believes we’ll see 50-plus-year-old winners on Tour

“I said this categorically when Tom Watson nearly won at Turnberry in his 50s, when I nearly won at Royal Birkdale in my 50s….if you keep yourself physically in good shape, flexibility in good shape, as well as your swing playing, and your swing. Yeah, maybe the yips come in maybe they don’t, that depends on the individual, right? But at the end of the day, my simple answer is yes. I do believe that’s going to happen.”

8) The Shark logo has been vital to his post-golf success

“But I realized very early on in life too that every athlete, male or female, no matter what sports you play you’re a finite entity. You have a finite period of time to maximize your best performance for X number of years. And with golf, if you look at it historically, it’s almost like a 15 year cycle. I had my 15 year run. Every other player has really has had a 15 year run, plus or minus a few years.”

“So you know you have that definitive piece of time you got to work with and then what you do after that is understanding what you did in that time period. And then how do you take that and parlay it? I was lucky because I had a very recognizable logo. It wasn’t initials. It wasn’t anything like that. It was just a Great Shark logo. And that developed a lot of traction. So I learned marketing and branding very, very quickly and how advantageous it could be as you look into the future about building your businesses.”

9) He’s tried to turn on-course disappointments into positives

“We all … well I shouldn’t say we all. I should say the top players, the top sports men and women work to win. Right? And when we do win that’s what we expected ourselves to do because we push ourselves to that limit. But you look at all the great golfers of the past and especially Jack Nicklaus, it’s how you react to a loss is more important than how you react to a victory. And so, I learned that very, very early on. And I can’t control other people’s destiny. I can’t control what other people do on the golf course. So I can only do what I do. When I screw up, I use that as a very strong study point in understanding my weakness to make sure that I make a weakness a strength.”

10) Jordan Spieth is best suited to be the top player in the world

“I think that Jordan is probably the most balanced, with best equilibrium in the game. He’s probably, from what I’m seeing, completely in touch with the responsibilities of what the game of golf and the success in the game of golf is.”

11) His golf design is built on two pillars

“Two things: Begin with the end in mind and the least disturbance approach. I think we, the industry of golf course design industry, really did the game of golf a major disservice in the 80s and 90s when everybody was leveraged to the hilt, thought they had unlimited capital, and thought they could just go build these big golf courses with big amounts of money invested in with magnificent giant club houses which weren’t necessary. So, we were actually doing a total disservice to the industry because it was not sustainable.”

12) He’s still not happy about having essentially invented the WGC events and not getting credit

“I’ll always be a little bit salty about that because there’s a saying that I keep telling everybody, “slay the dreamer.” I came up with a pretty interesting concept where the players would be the part owners of their own tour or their own destiny and rewarded the riches if they performed on the highest level. And quite honestly, Michael, actually a friend of mine sent me an article, it was a column written, “Shark and Fox Plan to Take a Bite out of the PGA”. And this is written in 11/17/94 and I literally just got it last night. And I’m reading through this article and I’m going, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I was ahead of my time!” I really was ahead of my time.

So, it was very, very kind of like a reflective moment for me. I read it again this morning with a cup of coffee and I did sit back and, I’ll be brutally honest with you and your listeners, and did sit back and I did get a little bit angry because of the way I was portrayed, the way I was positioned.”

13) He was muzzled by the producer at Fox

“I’m not going to dig deep into this, I think there was just a disconnect between the producer and myself. I got on really well with the director and everybody else behind the scenes, some of my thought processes about what I wanted to talk about situations during the day, and it just didn’t pan out. And things that I wanted to say, somebody would be yelling in my ear, “Don’t say it, don’t say it!” So it became a very much a controlled environment where I really didn’t feel that comfortable.”

14) Preparation wasn’t the problem during his U.S. Open broadcast

“I was totally prepared so wherever this misleading information comes saying I wasn’t prepared, I still have copious notes and folders about my preparation with the golf course, with the players, with the set-up, with conditioning. I was totally prepared. So that’s an assumption that’s out there that is not true. So there’s a situation where you can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

15) He would do ESPN’s Body Issue

“Of course I’d do it. I think I like being fit. I think on my Instagram account I probably slipped a few images out there that created a bit of a stir…And I enjoy having myself feel good. And that’s not an egotistical thing, it’s just none of my, most of my life I’ve been very healthy fit guy and if somebody like ESPN wants to recognize that, yeah of course I would consider doing it.”

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TG2: “If you could only play one brand, what would it be?” (Part 2)

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“If you could only play one brand, what would it be?” Brian Knudson and Andrew Tursky debate their choices in part 2 of this podcast (click here in case you missed Part 1). Also, TG2 welcomes special guest and GolfWRX Forum Member Ed Settle to the show to discuss what clubs he has in the bag.

Listen to our podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

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