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What equipment are college golfers using? We polled 61 coaches to find out…

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Editor Andrew Tursky and I decided to set out to better understand what brands college players are using. In order to gather statistics, we created a survey and collected the following data from coaches:

  • What level of golf do you coach?
  • Do you coach men’s or women’s golf?
  • What best describes your attitude towards equipment?
  • Is it ethical for coaches to accept money from club manufacturers?
  • Among the top 5 players on your team, what drivers do they play?
  • Among the top 5 players on your team, what irons do they play?
  • Among the top 5 players on your team, what wedges do they play?
  • Among the top 5 players on your team, what putter do that play?
  • Among the top 5 players on your team, what golf ball do they play?

The survey was created using Survey Monkey and then placed on my business Facebook account. The survey was completely optional. In 48 hours, 61 college coaches responded to the survey. Of them, 78.6 percent of them coach Division I, 8.2 percent of them coach Division II, and 13.1 percent coach either DIII, NAIA or NJCAA. Of the respondents, 77 percent coach men’s golf, while 23 percent of the respondents coach women’s golf.

Of the respondents, 64 percent believe it was ethical for coaches to accept money from club manufacturers, 99 percent believe that players should play whatever they want, and 87 percent preferred that the product should be fit properly. Only 1 percent (one respondent), suggested that they try to influence players and their equipment decisions.

In terms of different equipment played by the top 5 players at these schools, here’s what we found out…

Drivers

  • 10 schools reported exclusively using TaylorMade
  • 3 schools reported exclusively using Titleist
  • 1 school reported exclusively using Ping
  • 1 school reported exclusively using Callaway

For the other respondents, we examined the percentage of players on each team using product:

  • 42 percent TaylorMade
  • 23 percent Callaway
  • 17 percent Titleist and Ping
  • PXG, Bridgestone and Nike combined made up 1 percent.

Irons

  • 7 schools reported exclusively using Titleist
  • 2 schools reported exclusively using TaylorMade
  • 2 schools reported exclusively using Callaway
  • 2 school reported exclusively using Ping
  • 1 school reported using exclusively Wilson Staff

For the other respondents, we examined the percentage of players on each team using product:

  • 30 percent Titleist
  • 20 percent Ping
  • 16 percent Callaway
  • 14 percent TaylorMade
  • 9 percent Mizuno
  • 4 percent Srixon
  • 3 percent PXG

Please note Miura, Cobra, Bridgestone and Nike were also mentioned, but made up less than 3 percent combined.

Wedges

  • 12 schools reported using exclusively Titleist
  • 2 schools reported using exclusively Callaway
  • 1 school reports using exclusively Mizuno
  • 1 school reported using exclusively Ping

For the other respondents, we examined the percentage of players on each team using product:

  • 34 percent Titleist
  • 21 percent Cleveland
  • 18 percent Ping
  • 16 percent Callaway
  • 9 percent TaylorMade
  • 2 percent rest of manufacturers

Putter

  • 8 schools reported using exclusively Scotty Cameron
  • 6 schools reported using exclusively Odyssey
  • 3 schools reported using exclusively Ping
  • 1 school reported using exclusively Bettinardi

For the other respondents, we examined the percentage of players on each team using product:

  • 34 percent Scotty Cameron
  • 24 percent Odyssey (including Toulon)
  • 19 percent Taylor Made
  • 17 percent Ping
  • 2 percent Edel
  • 2 percent Bettinardi

Golf Ball

  • 32 schools reported using exclusively Titleist
  • 3 schools reported using exclusively Bridgestone
  • 1 school reported exclusively using TaylorMade
  • 1 school reported using exclusively Callaway

For the other respondents, we examined the percentage of players on each team using product:

  • 33 percent Titleist
  • 27 percent TaylorMade
  • 25 percent Callaway
  • 10 percent Bridgestone
  • 5 percent Srixon
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Brendan is the owner of Golf Placement Services, a boutique business which aims to apply his background in golf and higher education to help educate players, their families and coaches about the process! Website - www.golfplacementservices.com Insta - golf.placement.sevices Twitter @BMRGolf

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. ChipN'Run

    Mar 19, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Possibly of interest to the golf merchandising crowd.

    But, we have no information on:
    * Shaft models and flexes
    * Actual models of irons and woods

  2. Tom Medlin

    Mar 9, 2018 at 6:10 am

    Memories from the University of Maryland, mid 60’s. Our coach had an affiliation with US Royal, we were supplied with their ball for each match. They had a ” different ” dimple pattern that resembled that of a 1930’s ” mesh “‘ I don’t think anyone actually used them.

  3. jack baker 3

    Mar 2, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    Most golfers including college, play not whats best for them, but what the herd uses. Generally if you pay a loy of money for something its always the best.

  4. Jimmy Ray

    Mar 2, 2018 at 10:48 am

    How would you like to be at that school that uses exclusively Mizuno wedges: “OK, guys, our colors are orange and blue, so we’re ALL gonna use these sweet blue Mizuno wedges, not to win tournaments, but to look cool. I don’t care if you can’t get out of a bunker with any of the grinds, just shut up and let me count my payoff cash…”

    • Nate

      Apr 11, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      Mizuno makes some pretty darn playable wedges. If someone offered me a new set of free mizuno wedges and told me I had to play with them, I highly doubt I would be having issues getting up and down with them, especially hitting a wedge out of a bunker… I think you could hand a good golfer any wedge in the sand and see positive results… That being said, Mizuno wedges are not considered to be the pro’s choice when compared to vokey or muira.

  5. HDTVMAN

    Mar 2, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Hey, have TaylorMade give me a seven figure check and my dog will use their equipment!

  6. Ben Jones

    Mar 1, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    We used to get 6 balls of our choice or 9 of the ones that the school budget covered. That Nicklaus yellow ball was horrible.

  7. Gomer’s Pile

    Feb 28, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    These guys need to get paid ASAP. They are so talented and do so much for our game. This is golf in its purest form. NCAA tournaments should have $100,000 purse minimum. Take from the rich sports and give to the poor. These golfers need cash more than football and basketball players.

    • ProD1

      Mar 1, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      That’s exactly what is happening. Basketball and football revenues subsidize all other sports for the vast majority of big time programs.

    • Thomas Murphy

      Mar 2, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      ??? they need more cash? purses? doesn’t that make it less pure? football and basketball have TV contracts and big donors. Every other sport is a leach and should be grateful.

  8. DaveyD

    Feb 28, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    It appears that Taylormade has the favoured drivers, but Titleist leads the iron/wedge/putter parade.

  9. Matt

    Feb 28, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Those ball numbers should scare titleist like crazy….

  10. glfhsslr

    Feb 28, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    The players get clubs either free, or PUD pricing, Super cheap….a cameron per say is only like $180 total

  11. mr3puttz

    Feb 28, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Wow thats a lot of Camerons. I guess college kids have a bit more cash than I remember having around.

    • Lk

      Feb 28, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      Not to sound snide, but it wouldn’t surprise me if over 75% of D1 college golfers grew up in a country club.

    • RS

      Mar 30, 2018 at 5:15 am

      If you golf in college $400 is not a lot of $ for a putter that will last 5-10 years. Really, cmon now.

  12. Brian

    Feb 28, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    No ball retriever or manual score counter?!

  13. Aaron

    Feb 28, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Am I understanding the numbers correctly? Some schools “exclusively” use specific brands for different types of clubs? How likely is it that five players from one team all use TM drivers? Five players from another school all use Titleist irons?

    More recently I’ve heard of schools signing with one specific brand. But I’ve never heard of five players on any team all agreeing to use one brand of driver and another brand of irons.

    Or am I misunderstanding something?

    • Judge Smeills

      Feb 28, 2018 at 10:23 pm

      Not every school get deals or free clubs from every company

    • Brent

      Mar 1, 2018 at 12:32 pm

      Lots of schools sign with a brand and the coach receives a bonus if his starting players use that brand. Basically, some kids are forced into playing a brand.

  14. Joe

    Feb 28, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Pro V’s suck and are over priced. TP5 TP5X and Chrome Soft Chrome Soft X are by far better golf balls.

  15. James T

    Feb 28, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    I am curious why coaches would think it’s ethical to accept money from manufacturers???

    • Thomas A

      Feb 28, 2018 at 4:38 pm

      How do you think football and basketball coaches get paid? Big East basketball coaches were paid millions by Nike, most of the time more than doubling their school salary. Happens at every school.

      • James T

        Feb 28, 2018 at 5:51 pm

        … still doesn’t make it ethical. I played college golf and if my coach had told me to play anything other than what I was playing I’d be pissed. Though I did appreciate the brand new sleeve of Titleists before every match.

        • Jack

          Mar 6, 2018 at 11:10 pm

          Well if I got a real custom fitting and free new clubs, it would be actually beneficial to my game and I’d do it. Just shoving off the rack clubs to players would definitely be unethical.

          This of course comes down to the same dilemma (to a lesser extent but still exists) for college players not being paid. Like basketball, they are amateurs and don’t make money. But really they should be paid directly by the brands rather than the brands paying the schools. What does amateur status really matter? That they can play in amateur tournaments? The NCAA just needs to changes their rules to allow pro student athletes to compete. It’s pretty simple if not for the school money grab and greed.

  16. Drive for Dough

    Feb 28, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Don’t even play Titleist but will be the first one to say that they make the most solid equipment outside their Drivers.

    Not surprised by the breakdown tbh.

  17. Stump

    Feb 28, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Can you break out the numbers for women golfers?

  18. Roger

    Feb 28, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Those numbers are close for un-sponsored golf balls. Love to see that!

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “New Ping G410 Driver?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from hervygolf21, and it surrounds the new G410 driver from Ping that is allegedly set for release at the beginning of 2019. Our members have found out plenty of information on the latest driver from Ping since the thread began, apparently, and here’s a quick look at some of the features you might expect from the new model (if you take forum members’ word for it).

According to the thread, the PING G410 will be black with red accents, will have a higher MOI than the current G400 model, will still contain the Ping Turbulators and will be offered in 12 degrees without draw weighting. It’s also believed that the G400 Max will remain current until July/August 2019, but at a lower price point.

Here are a few posts in the thread reflecting on the news, but make sure to check out the entire thread and join the discussion at the link below.

  • lc1342: “Love both the G400 LST and G400 Max, but if they are bringing out something better… I’ll take it!”
  • cz13x4: “This sounds like a very interesting update. Not keen on red but very interested to see what comes out.”
  • roho: “Late January?  Sounds like maybe a PGA Show unveil in Orlando.”

Entire Thread: “New PING G410 Driver”

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Equipment

Ben Hogan adds Ft. Worth “White” to iron lineup

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After the launch of Diamond Black Metal finish Ft. Worth “Black” irons earlier this year, Ben Hogan’s nickel-chrome Ft. Worth irons are back…sort of. The Texas-baed company today announced the launch of Ben Hogan Ft. Worth White irons.

Now with respect to the “White” designation, If you’re skeptical/confused, well, let’s just have a look at a comment on BH’s Instagram post announcing the iron launch and the company’s response…

jonmodica: “Very unclear the changes from previous model… also… white? It’s chrome…..”

Benhogangolf: ”@jonmodica More progressive specific to each club head, a more aggressive V-Sole pattern and the ‘white’ is opposite of the popular and newly designed Ft. Worth Black.”

There you have it, folks. “White” as in contrast to the Ft. Worth Black irons, and the Ft. Worth White is not merely a re-issue of original chrome Ft. Worth, according to the company.

With respect to the changes to the V-Sole system, the company said this in its marketing materials for the Ft. Worth Black.

“Feedback from strong players and robot testing indicated that the leading edge could be increased on certain irons, and trailing edge softened … especially with less-than-full shots in the shorter irons.”

“So, in our ongoing quest to design and manufacture the best clubs in golf, we’ve modified the V-Sole Technology used on the Ben Hogan Ft. Worth BLACK slightly. The sole maintains the same basic design principles as the original V-Sole but has been optimized for each iron in the set. In effect, we’ve strengthened the leading edge from the sole to the face on some of the Ft. Worth BLACK irons, while reducing the trailing edge bounce on others.”

Obviously, the company scrapped the PreciseLoft system introduced with the original Ft. Worth irons. That system offered four loft profiles, all with consistent four-degree gaps. After finding the vast majority of players preferred the “mid-high” launch profile, the company did away with the others…and returned to tradition iron number (rather than loft) stamping on the toe.

The aforementioned lofts in the 4-PW set range from 22 degrees to 46 degrees.

“The Ft. Worth White Irons are illustrative of how Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company interacts with and listens to its customers,” said Scott White, President and CEO, Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company. “On the heels of our sales success with the Ft. Worth Black Irons, we found many ‘traditionalists’ who wanted to play this iron design with the standard nickel-chrome finish, so we accommodated them with this launch.”

Ft. Worth White irons are available for purchase on the Ben Hogan website exclusively for $700.00 per seven-piece set (4-PW).

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Equipment

Ping’s new Sigma2 putters are length-adjustable, and one of them “fetches” the ball from the hole

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We recently spotted photos of Ping’s new Sigma2 putter line in our GolfWRX forums, but what we didn’t know at the time was that there is an adjustable-length system built into their Pistol grips.

The USGA conforming, length-adjustable feature allows golfers to change lengths between 32 and 36 inches in approximately 0.25-inch increments with a turn of the small Ping wrench that fits into the butt end of the grips.

“The adjustable shaft is just a really cool technology,” said John K. Solheim, Ping President. “Our engineers took a very complex technical challenge and simplified it for the benefit of golfers. It allows you to experiment with various lengths and ultimately self-fit yourself. You’re no longer limited to a specific length measurement. You simply adjust it until you’re comfortable, ideally with your eyes directly over the ball. We call it ‘invisible’ technology but once you customize it to your length, the results will be very clear on your scorecard.”

Also, we’ve since learned that the Sigma2 Fetch putter head fits into a standard size golf hole, and the design allows golfers to simply place the bottom of the putter head into the hole to pick the golf ball out without bending over.

Each of the 9 new head models in the Sigma2 line have a new face technology as well, made to be softer and more responsive than the Sigma G putter faces. The “dual-durometer” face inserts, which are made of PEBAX material, have a softer outer layer, and a firmer inner layer, designed for greater player feedback, according to Ping.

Additionally, Ping’s familiar TR face design pattern alters in depth across the face to speed up mishits — the goal being to have greater speed consistency regardless of where the golfer strikes the ball on the face.

The Sigma2 putters, which are now available for pre-order at Ping golf shops around the world, are offered with either the PP60 (midsize and lightweight), the PP61 (inspired by the PP58), or the PP62 (larger, more rounded shape) grip, which are each equipped with the length-adjustable system.

Read below for full specs of each putter, as per Ping’s press release.

See more photos and discussion about the Sigma2 putters here.

Ping Sigma2 Anser

Putter Type: Blade
Finish: Platinum or Stealth
Head Weight: 350 grams
Stroke Type: Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/- 2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 ZB 2

Putter Type: Blade
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 350 grams
Stroke Type: Strong Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 Kushin C

Putter Type: Mid-Mallet
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 360 grams
Stroke Type: Straight
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 Arna

Putter Type: Mid-Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 360 grams
Stroke Type: Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 Tyne

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 365 grams
Stroke Types: Straight, Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-2)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Tyne 4

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 370 grams
Stroke Type: Strong Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Wolverine H

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 370 grams
Stroke Type: Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Valor

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 365 grams
Stroke Types: Straight, Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-2)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Fetch

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 365 grams
Stroke Type: Straight
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-2)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Ping Sigma2 putters.

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