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Bob Parsons explains why PXG Gen2 irons cost $400, but are “probably worth $1000”

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As part of the launch of its new 0311 Gen2 irons, Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG) offered me time to interview the man himself, Bob Parsons, who’s the founder and CEO of PXG. Parsons founded GoDaddy.com in 1997, among other companies throughout his professional career, and depending on how much you trust Forbes’ Net Worth estimates, he’s worth $3 billion.

So why did he start a golf equipment company, and what makes PXG so different? In my interview with Parsons (who’s quite the character, as you’ll find out), we discuss those questions and much more.

I encourage you to watch the entire interview (obviously), but for your viewing convenience, here are the topics we covered and the timestamps from the 12-minute interview above. Enjoy!

  • Scottsdale National Golf Club upgrades and new Gen2 irons (0:37)
  • What made you start a golf company? (1:25)
  • Spending $350,000 a year on golf clubs (2:24)
  • Recruiting Mike Nicolette and breaking the mold of product releases (2:48)
  • Were you nervous it took three years to upgrade the irons? (3:45)
  • New COR2 technology and its benefits (4:33)
  • Did you set out to disrupt the industry? (5:30)
  • PXG’s growth in size and Tour presence (5:55)
  • What’s your favorite country to play golf in? (6:41)
  • What’s your relationship with the military? (6:55)
  • What’s in your bag? (8:55)
  • What’s your relationship with GolfWRX? (9:45)
  • Why are these irons $50 more expensive? (10:09)
  • When can we expect new metalwoods and Gen3 irons? (11:18)
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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

70 Comments

70 Comments

  1. Biddles

    Apr 19, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    The logo and clubs are ugly as sin.

    To each his own, though.

  2. Robin

    Apr 18, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    I joined the Marine Corp out of high school. Best choice I ever made .
    If you never had the balls to be pushed, then you never know what Bob is really talking about.

  3. Brian

    Apr 11, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    I LOVE my PXGs, but if you don’t like them or think they’re too expensive, don’t buy them. But let’s not judge people who do buy and enjoy them. Golf is my only hobby and I’m all-in on it.

  4. Mike

    Apr 2, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    I have to say, I’m pretty shocked at these comments. He’s promoting his company and his products… what else would you expect him to say? He’s obviously a smart guy, so he wouldn’t increase the price unless it made sense. The fact that they are priced out of some people’s range leads to some of the criticism, I’m sure.

    As far as the products go, I’m a low single digit hcp and I can say with 100% certainty that misses w/ the PXG irons produce significantly better results than anything else I’ve ever hit. Center shots in any iron are great, but that’s not what its all about. Its up to the consumer to put a value on that, but to say this is not a top-of-the line product is inaccurate.

  5. Miles

    Mar 30, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    It’s a joke that PXG pushes all this military naming of their clubs and Bob is always talking about his service in the Marines yet PXG doesn’t offer any sort of military or veteran discount when many of the others like Ping, TaylorMade, etc. do offer one.

  6. Steve Wozeniak

    Mar 30, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    If Tour players had to buy them, don’t think they would be in many bags…….they would play another brand that is just as good. Simple as that, he has not cornered the market on physics

  7. Darryl

    Mar 19, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Who cares? If you can afford them and want them, buy them and enjoy them. Just don’t expect them to turn an 18 handicapper into a Walker Cup player.

    I’d never tell anyone how to spend their hard earned coin, but I do reserve the right to point and laugh when they get taken in by snake oil salesmen.

    Who am I to talk anyway, I’ve got 6 Scotty Camerons (until PXG, the ultimate in form over function) and I bought an ERC!

  8. SImms

    Mar 17, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    If you can afford and WANT to play PXG clubs go for it, golf is not just shooting par it about having FUN and enjoying it….just as playing Walmart clubs for years and then one day getting that set of Pings can make golf a wonderful experience, even going from a TopFlite to a PROV 1 can bring 18 holes of bliss…..

  9. rebfan73

    Mar 17, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    After watching this, Parsons reminds me of Chris Farley in “Tommy Boy”…..

  10. Scott

    Mar 17, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Drop da mic…

  11. Stephen

    Mar 17, 2018 at 9:58 am

    I’ve tried the gen 1 irons and they are superb and came very close to buying a set. In the end I upgraded my whole bag for less than a set of PXG irons would have cost me. Then there’s the reality setting in when you hit your lovely new PXG iron into a hidden stone that takes a chunk out of it! That doesn’t stop me being a fan of what he’s doing.
    You can spend £20k on an Audemars Piguet watch but a Casio will tell the time more accurately so it’s whatever you want to do with your money. I was more astonished by the price of the accessories – £500 for a stand bag, £200 for a sweater. That’s when you know Parsons wants PXG to be a luxury brand for those with enough money not to worry about the cost.

  12. John B

    Mar 17, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Mr. Parson’s let me explain why I will never pay $3200 for a set of irons… because I can pay $1200 or less for the same quality and shoot the same scores as I would with your irons.

    • George

      Mar 17, 2018 at 1:26 pm

      Why exactly would he be obligated to explain anything to you. He can charge whatever he wants. It is your choice to buy or not.

  13. Dave

    Mar 17, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Lot of hate towards a guy just doing his thing.I could write a list a mile long of products that are “overpriced”. I respect anyone who is a self made billionaire. Being a former Marine who served in Nam,I’m sure he’s hurt by the comments of a bunch of jealous dudes behind a keyboard. I don’t own any of his products and probably never will but I find it hilarious how so many can’t stand others success.

    • doug

      Mar 17, 2018 at 5:20 pm

      It’s not about envy, Dave, more to do with a certain amount of fatigue that many of us feel in the face of some of the more egregious marketing spin and BS.

      As many have observed on the topic of sports gear generally…’It’s the Indian, not the arrow’.

      While I have no doubt that Bob’s clubs are well machined and all that ( though I’m curious to know what it actually costs to build one of his irons)the reality is that- to use an analogy – a Hyundai Santa Fe will get you from A to B with pretty much the same features, comfort and safety as its BMW SUV equivalent…at half the price.

      Parson’s clubs are for braggin’ rights. Or to use Ely Callaway’s own words when asked ( years ago) to justify the price of his drivers….” It’s like the cosmetics industry; I’m selling the dream”.

  14. Brett Weir

    Mar 17, 2018 at 9:16 am

    As a former CDN soldier, I have an enormous amount of respect for The Marines and the US Military but this Parsons guy is so arrogant and narcissistic.

  15. Brett Weir

    Mar 17, 2018 at 9:00 am

    PXG…for people who wants to buy a game and too lazy to learn it.

  16. Bob Parson Jr.

    Mar 16, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Hahahahaha, this dude is full of stinky Parson.

  17. dat

    Mar 16, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    He could charge $10K a club and someone would buy them. Doesn’t mean they are any good. I wish he would stop saying they are the best clubs in the world, because they just aren’t. They are the most expensive for the mass market though, he could say that from the rooftops and be correct. Very few JDM brands come close.

  18. Speedy

    Mar 16, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    They look like machine shop mistakes.

  19. Mat

    Mar 16, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Price-eXcessive Golf.

    Everything Bob Parsons touches is of mediocre quality, vast amounts of marketing, and stripper glitter.

  20. Bob Pearson

    Mar 16, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    My wife looked over my shoulder when I was reading & watching the video. She asked me why my name was on the headline…then realized that it wasn’t her Bob on the PC. So she said that Bob Parsons must be nearly family and perhaps he should send a set of clubs over to the Algarve in Portugal, for his “family” to test. 🙂

  21. Sean Foster-Nolan

    Mar 16, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    Great interview, I enjoyed it. I like Bob Parson’s passion and enthusiasm. As a former 0311 my hat is off to PXG. Great looking equipment, but a bit beyond my budget. 🙂

  22. DaveyD

    Mar 16, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    I like the look of the clubs and the notion that if I got a set, I could finally hit my slice with class.

    • Zero Ott

      Mar 17, 2018 at 2:35 am

      How can that be? They have the sweet spot the size of Texas! :-p

  23. Joe

    Mar 16, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    This whole thing is just marketing. Why are the clubs expensive? Because some people want to pay for expensive things. Why is Tiffany silver jewelry more expensive than the same silver jewelry without the Tiffany name? Because the name itself is a luxury. PGX are simply luxury products. The claim of spending $350k on clubs in a year, before he owned a club company, however, is just pure BS. That would mean that if he bought all $400 clubs ($400 per club, every club), he would buy 62.5 full sets of clubs in a year. There aren’t that many club sets to buy. He could buy damn near every club set made and probably refit all of them with four different sets of shafts, and still not spend that money, much less actually play with them. It’s just marketing BS. But it works, so he goes with it.

    • joro

      Mar 17, 2018 at 9:37 am

      Joe, you are right about 350K a year and if he really expects people to believe that, he must be total BS about his Golf Club. This guy is a lot of noise with no background other than being a loudmouth and BSer.

  24. Robert Parsons

    Mar 16, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    I’m so jealous, I’ll hate on them! Yes, jealous of Ping irons with some screws stuck in them! Call me jealous, but I’m buying screws in bulk to one day perfect my plain ole irons!

  25. Jim P

    Mar 16, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    they hate us cuz they aint us

  26. Mitch

    Mar 16, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    i guess inclusion ain’t part of his vocabulary…

    • Steve Egender

      Mar 16, 2018 at 5:16 pm

      Go Bob Go, lets build some house around that beautiful property in North Scottsdale and maybe a grocery store and some restaurants. SEMPER FI! Your irons are the best!

  27. Egor

    Mar 16, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    GoDaddy = mediocre hosting for way more than the competition
    PXG = (probably) decent clubs for way more than the competition

    Marketing baby.. The golf world is a lot smaller than the hosting/domain market so there are only so many people who will eat the bovine excrement before they figure out what it really is.

  28. Steve

    Mar 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    The elephant cortex has as many neurons as a human brain, suggesting convergent evolution.

  29. Billable Hours

    Mar 16, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    The PXG hate always makes me laugh – grown men jealous of another man’s toys

    • preston

      Mar 16, 2018 at 4:17 pm

      You assume that it’s jealousy. I can assure that I’m not jealous of any man’s pxg “toy”.

    • Bob Parson Jr.

      Mar 16, 2018 at 10:23 pm

      Your comment says more about you Thant the alleged haters.

  30. Ell

    Mar 16, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Has PXG won more pro tournaments than Calloway, Taylor Made, Ping or Wilson? If not then why not if they’re supposed to be so damn good? How many majors have these clubs been in the winners’ bags?

    • steve

      Mar 16, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      “Calloway” has literally won ZERO pro tourneys.

  31. JS

    Mar 16, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    If those irons were not so ugly, I’d think a second longer about taking them for a test ride … but would still say “no chance” when asked about buying them. IMHO, if you’re considering spending this much for irons, go buy a set of Miura’s. If you don’t have the game for the Miura’s, then go invest in lessons. PXG is nowhere in this equation.

  32. Gmatt

    Mar 16, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Bob, maybe you should have spent that (sic $350k) for new clubs on some lessons and that “scratch golfer inside of you” might have come out years ago….

    This guy is so full of BS his eyes are brown

    • Bob Parson Jr.

      Mar 16, 2018 at 10:24 pm

      In the industry we call it a Full of Parson.

  33. Ryan

    Mar 16, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    You know, I’ve heard him previously say that the year before he started PXG he was spending $250k on clubs, now it’s 350k. I guess when the Gen3’s get to market it’ll be a half million.

  34. joro

    Mar 16, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    IF he did make the perfect club how many people are capable of using them the way they are meant to be used. It is nothing but an ego thing for hackers to show they have the money to afford them and show off to their friends who are still taking their money.

  35. Donald Dubyak

    Mar 16, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    these Golf Club manufacturers whether it’s ping Titleist TaylorMade Callaway pxg or any of the other well known companies get fitted for your golf swing other than that I have some bad news you can’t buy Talent

  36. SY

    Mar 16, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Where’s that military discount Bob? Lets knock off a few $$$ for ID holders.

    • Jim

      Mar 16, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      HooYah that! Especially for a lot of my disabled vet students. Some could really benefit from the softness & super performance from off center hits

    • Jerry

      Mar 16, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      I’d like a rebate for buying the Gen 2 after buying Gen 1 — all of that research for Gen 1 went to Gen 2. I know – Fat Chance. Slim and none, and Slim left town.

    • Jim

      Mar 16, 2018 at 5:34 pm

      No joke. We have a waiting list for heads to arrive & for pretty much every client it is indeed a significant investment.

      More ‘rich guys’ in 65K cars blab “400 a club – I’ll just tell my wife kisd my ass” never come back. The guy who already knows their a lot, tries one, comes back a week later & asks to demo it again and then asks how much are they really…and we explain the Trackman fitting, shaft prices, our in-house SST Puring and they say “I’m gonna ask my wife” – THAT’S the guy who comes back with 2000 cash to order the heads & book his fitting.

      The fitting starts with his irons, then some hits with same shaft on various other brands before getting the PXG with what we feel (kinda know 4/5 times) that’ll work best and if it doesn’t put up better numbers, the feel and confidence it gives that person is what sells it… they never ‘under perform’ and the off center & mis hits are quantifiably better than anything else.

      Sometimes the good hit numbers aren’t significantly better distance wise, and in virtually every single fitting I’ve ever done- 2000+ especially with drivers, someone always crushes one or two longer – even 10yds on occasion than the head/shaft combo they buy which they ultimately hit it better more consistently

  37. vince guest

    Mar 16, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    You know what, how can you not like Bob, he’s a character, enthusiastic and PXG are creating some excellent clubs. I don’t play them but I have hit them, unfortunately they’re just priced outta my ballpark.

    • Tim Armington

      Mar 16, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      Totally agree with you! I find Bob very likeable. After watching the video i was “daydreaming” about owning a set!!! Guess my jpx tours will have to do. Great interview too. I have no doubt that he spent that much $ on equipment before starting PXG. You would have to if you were startin a company like PXG.

  38. Paul

    Mar 16, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Bob tells you why his snake oil is not only the best, but that its so good, it should be valued even higher.

  39. Travis

    Mar 16, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    They cost $50 more because anyone who bought PXG before will inevitably shell it out again. PXG is spending a fortune in marketing and sponsorships that they need to make up the cost somehow.

    PXG clubs may be fine and all but Parson’s is a joke. Probably should have spend $350,000 a year on lessons and not equipment. But maybe that would’ve been too hard of work for him.

  40. Andrew Pavlov

    Mar 16, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Can we get his taradiddle bagged? My garden can use the fertilizer.

    • Joe

      Mar 16, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      Seriously? I honestly thought I had heard of every word there is but you pulled that out?

      • Andrew Pavlov

        Mar 16, 2018 at 2:33 pm

        Well … I could have just said BS I guess… but I was trying to take a higher road..lol! P.S> Crossword puzzles are good for this sort of obscure word thing.

  41. dc

    Mar 16, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    They cost that much because there are other really wealthy people willing to pay that much regardless of the performance.

    • doug

      Mar 16, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      A bloke in work boots, a hi-viz vest, carrying 20 YO blades in an old leather bag over his shoulder – who really knows how to golf his ball – will beat most of us regardless of how much we fork over for irons designed by Parsons, Elon Musk, Karl Lagerfield or whoever.

      As some others have observed; you can’t buy talent. But as Parsons clearly recognises, there are enough folk out there willing to spend vast amounts of dineros chasing the by-product of talent.

      I’ve heard it called ‘the Mercedes Benz Syndrome’. Don’t make ’em affordable or the potential market won’t respect the product.

      After recently handing over my Mizuno and Titleist heads to be reshafted, gripped and weight adjusted for my golf-crazy 11YO, I bought a 2nd hand set of Ping i25s. Had ’em adjusted for my height and expectations…and have since dropped to a single figure GA with these comfy work-horses.

      So thanks but no thanks Mr Parsons. You keep selling the sizzle, but let me play the game my way.

  42. Carmen Sandiego

    Mar 16, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Where in the world is your audio engineer?

  43. HDTVMAN

    Mar 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    LOL. Those irons aren’t worth any more than Callaway Apex, Ping i200, TaylorMade P790, or Titleist AP2/3. I sell and fit irons, and once the customer has picked out the iron set he hits and likes best, we try different shafts, then do the fitting, which I can do in 5 minutes. Parsons’ says his shafts are better? The steel shafts everyone sells, from KBS to Project X, to True Temper are found on tour as well as in our store. Graphite shafts can get expensive, up to $500+, but those are not for the amateur. Unless you swing in excess of 115 mph, and the average amateur is 75 to 95, you will not get the benefits of these expensive shafts, and stock & basic upgrades are perfect. Parsons is a marketer, that’s it! Now, if you are looking to buy new irons, you will notice that the prices are up at least $100. This is called the Parsons’ Effect. Companies such as Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping, & Titleist feel that if people (a very tiny percentage) will pay a premium price from one company, they will pay more for their new products. Bottom line…PXG are HIGHLY Over-rated and Over-priced. It’s called MARKETING 101, and Bob Parsons is a very good teacher.

  44. James T

    Mar 16, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Bob’s a billionaire… it’s a hobby, he doesn’t need to turn a profit. Do any of the rest of us amateur golfers turn a profit? Or do we pay out and play for fun?

    • Andrew Pavlov

      Mar 16, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      Nonsense, this is not a hobby for BP and he became wealthy because he understands that he needs to turn a profit on all his business ventures. I would agree it may not be his primary business focus but he wants it to be run in the black just the same.

      • Richard

        Mar 17, 2018 at 7:43 pm

        Absolutely. Couldn’t agree more. You don’t become a billionaire by giving things away. Actually, generally speaking, the only way you become a billionaire is stepping on people’s heads in one form or another for most of your life so no way he’s going to run this company in the red. His ego wouldn’t allow it.

  45. Jerry

    Mar 16, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Okay, it’s good to hear from Bob. Not any substance, but it’s good to hear an owner discuss his clubs and his take on the industry. He’s definitely “one of a kind.”

  46. Andrew

    Mar 16, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Has PXG made a cent of actual profit yet?

    • Jerry

      Mar 16, 2018 at 11:59 am

      I hear that question a lot with PXG. Haven’t heard an answer.

      • ML

        Mar 16, 2018 at 1:43 pm

        Does it matter? They’re a private company and they keep operating and expanding.

    • DB

      Mar 16, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      We might be surprised. I know just one fitter who told me he was selling a full set of PXG every single week. I couldn’t believe it.

      I would be in the market for the irons if the cost was reasonable, maybe $175. But I understand the high cost is part of the appeal for many golfers.

      • Bob Parson Jr.

        Mar 16, 2018 at 10:26 pm

        Yeah, they are appealing for the high handicappers, lol……

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News

Breaking down FedEx Cup changes | Details in amateur golfer’s death | USGA survey

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Yes, I know in the subject line of the email version of the M9 I said “FexEx.” I am an idiot. With the cat out of the FedEx box, however, there’s nothing I can do…
1. FedEx Cup changes officially official…
As had been previously established, the Tour will move from four playoff events to three. Most dramatically, the rumored staggered Tour Championship scoring, with the No. 1 player on the points list starting at 10 under, is now a reality. The next four players in the standings will being a 8 under through 5 under. No 6-10 will start at 4 under. Every five players after that will start a stroke further back, with No. 26 through 30 beginning at even par.
  • There will also now be a $10 million regular season bonus pool sponsored by Wyndham Rewards, aptly named the “Wyndham Rewards Top 10.”
  • The FedEx Cup Playoffs will wrap prior to Labor Day, thus finishing before the NFL season kicks off. The field for The Northern Trust will be 125 players, 70 for the BMW Championship, and 30 for the Tour Championship, with the points remaining the same for the first two events.
  • Regarding the $10 million Wyndham Rewards Top 10, the Tour says it, “will also put an even greater premium on excelling over the course of the FedExCup Regular Season.”
  • The leader of the top 10 will earn $2 million, with the runner-up pocketing $1.5 million. The existing FedEx Cup bonus pool will now total $60 million-$25 million more than the existing pool. Accordingly, the FedEx Cup champion will earn $15 million, rather than the $10 million in the current system.
2. …still not playoffs
And yet…still the Playoffs are not playoffs, as Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner points out.
  • He also offers this take: “In a move that surely will alienate many of its hardcore fans, the Tour on Tuesday unveiled its new format for the Tour Championship. Beginning next year, players will begin the week at East Lake with a predetermined total based on their position on the points list, the leader starting at 10 under par.”
  • “In an age of points and projections, the Tour’s desire for simplicity is understandable – RIP, Steve Sands’ whiteboard – but its new-look finale violates the spirit of competitive sports…There are no head starts in sports. That’s the beauty of them.”
3. Details in amateur golfer’s death
Look, this story is just awful. May Celia Barquin Arozamena rest in peace. That said, details were scarce in the initial report of her on-course murder, yesterday, so I made the decision to wait until there was more of substance to report. Now there is. It’s horrible. Here it is.
  • Per an ABC News report…”A homeless man has attacked and killed a top amateur golfer from Spain who was playing a round near her university campus in central Iowa, leaving her body in a pond on the course, according to police.”
  • “Collin Daniel Richards, 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a student at Iowa State University (ISU)…Barquin was found Monday morning (local time) in a pond at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 50 kilometres north of Des Moines.”
  • “Police were called to the golf course around 10:20am to investigate a possible missing female after golfers found a golf bag with no one around it.”
  • “Officers found Barquin’s body some distance from the bag, with several stab wounds to her upper torso, head and neck, according to the criminal complaint filed on Tuesday against Mr Richards.”
  • “A police dog tracked Barquin’s scent to a temporary camp along a creek near the golf course, where Richards had been living in a tent, the complaint said…Officers found Mr Richards with several fresh scratches on his face consistent with fighting, and a deep laceration in his left hand that he tried to conceal, it said.”
4. Tiger Woods off probation
Golf Channel Digital report…”Tiger Woods’ year-long probation stemming from last year’s DUI arrest has been terminated a month early.”
  • “According to Sam Smink of WPTV, Woods, 42, was let off probation early for successfully completing all regular and special conditions of his probation after pleading guilty to reckless driving and entering a diversion program last October.”
  • “Under the conditions of the program, Woods was required to pay a $250 fine and court costs, attend a DUI school and undergo a substance abuse evaluation and treatment program. He was also subject to random drug and alcohol testing under the program.”
5. The Full Dechambeau
Bryson DeChambeau, scientific method in tow, is testing the effects of morning dew on his golf ball.
  • Before we get into specifics: I don’t think there’s anything crazy about this. Golf is a game of variables and minimizing misses. Any effort to further understand a variable or minimize a potential miss is wise. Full stop.
  • Anyway, here’s what BAD was doing per Christopher Powers, “DeChambeau, who does things a little differently to say the least, took his preparation to a different level on Tuesday at East Lake ahead of this week’s Tour Championship. According to the PGA Tour’s Sean Martin, who was watching DeChambeau closely on the range, the Mad Scientist was spraying his golf balls with water to simulate morning dew, because of course he was.”
Photo via PGATour.com’s Sean Martin.
6. Spieth’s violation settled
…but we know not how.
  • ESPN’s Bob Harig…”With next week’s Ryder Cup, Spieth will have played in just 24 events this season after competing in 24 last year. All along, he had planned on being at East Lake, where he won the 2015 FedEx Cup.”
  • “PGA Tour regulations stipulate that a player in violation of the policy is subject to a “Major Penalty,” which can include a minimum fine of $20,000 and a suspension of at least three tournaments.”
  • Don’t expect Spieth to be sitting out any tournaments. In fact, according to the PGA Tour’s Andy Pazder, it appears that Spieth will be adding events in the coming season.
  • “We have come to a resolution,” said Pazder, the tour’s chief tournament and competitions officer, on Tuesday at East Lake, site of this week’s tournament. “You will see it next season. I think it will be good for the tour, for fans and for golf in general.”
I guess we’ll look forward to that next season…
7. Jay Seawell reflects
PGATour.com’s Helen Ross filed an excellent look at the work of Alabama men’s golf coach, Jay Seawell.
  • A bit…”Under Seawell’s guidance, the Crimson Tide won national championships in 2013 and ’14, and finished runner-up in 2012. Five of his former players are on the PGA TOUR right now – Justin Thomas, Trey Mullinax, Tom Lovelady, Bud Cauley and Michael Thompson.”
  • “Seawell says Thomas was probably 15 years old when he started recruiting the future world No. 1. He remembers getting a call from someone who said the teenager might be interested in attending Alabama and Seawell followed up immediately. After all, he says, Thomas could have gone anywhere in the country. He had the “buffet in front of him,” the coach explains.”
  • “The recruitment on him started from him, believe it or not, and that’s the way it happens a lot,” Seawell says. “There are a lot of players out there and so he just kind of sent word through a third party who called my phone.”…”They said, ‘Hey, I think Justin Thomas would be somebody who’d be interested. They wanted me to know that if you’re interested they would like for me to watch him play.’
  • “So it kind of was initiated by Justin and his father and of course, when we first saw him we were like, ‘Wow, this is great.'”
8. USGA survey time!
The USGA wants your feedback on the distance debate.
  • As for the essence of the questionnaire, Geoff Shackelford had this to say.
  • “The USGA/R&A distance survey is a bit like a Robert Trent Jones design: needlessly long, seemingly takes longer to get through than you think, isn’t the most rewarding experience and you’d never do it again….But unlike some tired old RTJ effort, this one really won’t cost you a dime and will entertain at times if you are intrigued by reading between the lines or general survey construction.”

And for our international readers, the R&A’s

9. Out of bounds
I want to call your attention to the fine work Ms. Amanda Rose is doing for GolfWRX. She’s only made a handful of videos at this point, but this former college golfer has something of the spirit and substance of Katie Nolan; and it’s a voice we certainly could use in the golf media space.

Check out her latest Out of Bounds video

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The FedEx Cup overhaul is official. Here are the details

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The PGA Tour substantiated the rumored changes to the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Tuesday, unveiling a new playoff format in general, an overhaul of the Tour Championship in particular, and a new regular season points race.

As had been previously established, the Tour will move from four playoff events to three. Most dramatically, the rumored staggered Tour Championship scoring, with the No. 1 player on the points list starting at 10 under, is now a reality. The next four players in the standings will being a 8 under through 5 under. No 6-10 will start at 4 under. Every five players after that will start a stroke further back, with No. 26 through 30 beginning at even par.

There will also now be a $10 million regular season bonus pool sponsored by Wyndham Rewards, aptly named the “Wyndham Rewards Top 10.”

The FedEx Cup Playoffs will wrap prior to Labor Day, thus finishing before the NFL season kicks off. The field for The Northern Trust will be 125 players, 70 for the BMW Championship, and 30 for the Tour Championship, with the points remaining the same for the first two events.

“This is a significant and exciting change for the PGA Tour, our players, our partners and – most importantly – our fans,” said PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan. “As soon as the Tour Championship begins, any fan – no matter if they’ve followed the PGA Tour all season or are just tuning in for the final event – can immediately understand what’s going on and what’s at stake for every single player in the field. And, of course, players will know exactly where they stand at all times while in play, which will ratchet up the drama, consequence and volatility of the competition down the stretch.”

Regarding the $10 million Wyndham Rewards Top 10, the Tour says it, “will also put an even greater premium on excelling over the course of the FedExCup Regular Season.”

The leader of the top 10 will earn $2 million, with the runner-up pocketing $1.5 million. The existing FedEx Cup bonus pool will now total $60 million—$25 million more than the existing pool. Accordingly, the FedEx Cup champion will earn $15 million, rather than the $10 million in the current system.

Alternatively, there’s Geoff Shackelford’s summary of the changes: “This will be easier to follow than the current system where algorithms proved consistently boring to follow. This has to be better…the FedExCup as we knew it, did not work.”

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GolfWRX Morning 9: The real problem with the FedEx Cup | Golfer at gunpoint | What elite junior golfers all do

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

September 18, 2018

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. Feinstein: the FedEx Cup Playoffs still aren’t right
Most agree the PGA Tour is yet to deliver the FedEx Cup (pardon the pun) of our collective dreams. John Feinstein offered some constructive criticism.
“Chances are good though, based on reports of the planned changes, that the tour still won’t get it right. It has been trying-sort of-for 12 years now to get it right. The problem is it doesn’t REALLY want to get it exactly right. Which is sad, because it shouldn’t be that difficult.”
  • “Because it wants so badly to convince the public that the events it controls are REALLY important, the tour barely gives more credit to those who win a major than to those who win the John Deere Classic or The CareerBuilder Challenge.”
  • “The winner of a regular tour event receives 500 FedExCup points. Those who win a WGC event-also part of the tour-receive 550 points.”
  • “Which is why a major should count for at least three times as much as a regular tour win in the points system. Winning a major is SO much harder than a regular tour event: the quality of the field; the pressure on Sunday; the understanding that you are playing for history, not just money.”
  • “It is ludicrous that Brooks Koepka won two majors this year and goes into the Tour Championship in seventh place on the points list. Tony Finau, who has not won anywhere, is third. Koepka could add the Tour Championship to his resume this week and NOT win the FedEx Cup. Seriously?”
Additionally, Feinstein levels the suggestion most of us agree on: the Playoffs should be actual playoffs.
2. …and speaking of still not right
Joel Beall follows up on the story of Montana parents being barred from watching their children play high school golf.
  • “It appears Kelly’s group has garnered a partial victory, as the MHSA has introduced a rule on a trial basis this fall that will allow non-participants on the course during events. Twelve guideline have been implemented, which state that spectators have to stay 40 yards from golfers and that cell phones must be turned off upon entering the property.”
  • “We will try it at all levels and see how it goes,” Luke Kloker of the MHSA executive board said to Montana’s Sidney Herald. “Every other state seems to be able to figure out how to make it work.”
  • “However, this pilot program will come with a price. The MHSA also announced that it will charge $10 for admission to the course for golf events. While it’s common for high-school sports like football, basketball, and baseball to charge entrance fees, it’s highly unusual for golf.”
What’s the rationale? Funding a beer cart?
3. Rosaforte on how Keegan made it all the way back
Tim Rosaforte does his usual picking of the low-hanging fruit and juicing it for all its worth with his latest: a look at Keegan Bradley’s resurgence. (Not a criticism of Tim. He does what he does and he does it well)
  • A morsel…”The decline in Bradley’s young career started with an exchange of high-profile swing coaches starting 2013, when he left Jim McLean for Chuck Cook and went back to McLean before settling on Darren May, an English teaching pro at The Bear’s Club.”
  • “We worked hard on making him accept the fact that he needs to be somewhat of an average putter, because his ball-striking and driving stats are so good,” May explained. “They’re all shooting scores in different ways.”
  • “Ranked second in strokes gained: approach and sixth in strokes gained: tee-to-green, Bradley ultimately fed off the success his close friend Webb Simpson achieved in 2018, when he overcame the anchor ban with a win at The Players and a spot on Furyk’s team.”
  • “Our career arc has been the same,” Bradley said, referring to Simpson. “Watching what he did really changed my mentality.”
  • “The final piece of Bradley’s resurrection were the words of encouragement passed along by Michael Jordan through a relationship cultivated at The Bear’s Club. Not long after he signed for the 78 at Ridgewood, Bradley started reading MJ’s inspirational words on his phone. His basic message: Take from the experience and build on it.”
4.  Evian finally has that major feel
Randall Mell writes (rightly) that major championships cannot be manufactured. Thus, the Evian was always going to have to grow into to fine garments the LPGA bought for it in awarding that status.
  • “There’s more to creating major-championship tradition than jacking up the purse, renovating a course and draping the winner in her country’s flag after it came flapping from the heavens under a skydiver’s parachute.”
  • “It takes Sundays like the one Angela Stanford delivered at Evian this past week….It was a big day for more than Stanford, who was such a feel-good story, breaking through at 40 to win her first major with her mother at home fighting a second bout with breast cancer.”
  • “It was a big day for LPGA commissioner Mike Whan and Evian Championship founder Franck Riboud…The Evian Championship finally measured up.”
5. Patty’s new Scotty?
While Reed is a free agent, he’s had nothing but success with an Odyssey White Hot Pro 3. Scotty Cameron is turning on the charm however, making the putter above to woo Captain America, according to David Dusek.
“A yellow box arrived at Titleist’s PGA Tour van Monday at East Lake Golf Club, containing a new, customized Scotty Cameron Tour Rat I putter that has a slightly darker, non-glare finish. While Reed is not a Titleist staff player, the putter, trimmed in red, white and blue, has Captain America stamped into the bumpers of the head, a nod to Reed’s nickname after the 2016 Ryder Cup.”
6. Want to be an elite junior golfer?
Our Brendan Ryan found some interesting results in exploring where PGA Tour pros played their junior golf.
  • “Based on the data of these 24 PGA Tour players, their average home course has a yardage of 6,772 and slope of 132. Wowzers! Can’t believe it? It makes perfect sense: To be competitive in golf, you must shoot under par. Shooting under par, like riding a bike, or walking, or writing, is a skill. It is developed through a combination of repetition and feedback.”
  • “Easier golf courses allow players the opportunity to shoot lower scores and build confidence. Over time, these skills become habit. When players enter tournaments, it is more likely they shoot under par. Breaking par at your home golf course is only the first step towards becoming an elite junior golfer. The data suggests that players (both boys and girls) need to average approximately 69 per round to win on the AJGA – on 6,800-yard courses for boys and just under 6,000 yards for girls.”
  • “No major championship venue has ever had a junior member go on to win, or even play, the PGA Tour. That’s right: the PGA Tour is not filled with junior members from Augusta National. Why? Because while playing Shinnecock Hills is an absolute treat, the course is extremely difficult, and 74 is a great score. Junior members at such courses create habits of shooting 74, and when they enter tournaments, like the AJGA, in general, they get beat.”
7. Coastal resorts weather the hurricane
Golfweek’s Martin Kaufmann reports…”Hurricane Florence inflicted untold millions of dollars of damage on the Carolinas, but most of the popular resort destinations along the coastline were not hit as hard as initially feared.”
“The hurricane looked like it was going to deliver a direct Category 4 blast to the coastline where North Carolina and South Carolina meet. The storm weakened as it made landfall but still wreaked havoc as it moved slowly across the Carolinas. But the damage was not as bad as initially feared.”
“North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Mayor Marilyn Hatley told the Myrtle Beach Sun News that she felt “blessed and thankful” that the area, while hit hard, didn’t suffer the devastation that had been anticipated.”
8. Odds to win the FedEx Cup
Per the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook…
2/1: Bryson DeChambeau
11/5: Justin Rose
6/1: Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson
8/1: Justin Thomas
16/1: Brooks Koepka
40/1: Jason Day, Rory McIlroy
50/1: Keegan Bradley, Billy Horschel, Webb Simpson, Francesco Molinari
60/1: Bubba Watson, Cameron Smith
100/1: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Reed, Patrick Cantlay
150/1: Tommy Fleetwood
250/1: Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler
500/1: Aaron Wise, Paul Casey, Hideki Matsuyama, Kevin Na, Kyle Stanley
1000/1: Marc Leishman, Gary Woodland
5000/1: Patton Kizzire
9. Golfer threatened at gunpoint…for trying to retrieve his golf ball from somebody’s yard
Just the facts, ma’am…
KDKA CBS Pittsburgh report…”Police say a Butler County man pulled out a pistol and threatened a golfer who was trying to get a ball out of the man’s yard.”
  • “According to state police, a 42-year-old Butler man was playing golf at the Bonnie Brook Golf Course on Serene Lane around 2 p.m. Sunday when he hit a golf ball in the direction of a nearby home.”
  • “When the man went to retrieve the golf ball from the yard, a 55-year-old man came out and the two got into an argument…During the argument, the man pulled out a pistol and threatened the golfer.”
  • “The 55-year-old man will be cited with terroristic threats, simple assault and harassment. He has also been told not to contact the victim.”

 

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