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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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5 things we learned Thursday at the 2018 Open Championship

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The dirt during the run-up to Carnoustie and the 2018 Open Championship wasn’t exactly dirt, but it wasn’t far off. The brown fairways, the nearly-as-fast-as-the-greens stimpmeter readings, and the lunar bounces and run-outs signaled something not far from the US Open at Shinnecock Hills last month.

Names like Molinari, Fleetwood, Koepka and Reed were mentioned as challengers for the Claret jug. When Thursday arrived, the winds did not blow and the rains failed to fall. Carnoustie offered hope across the front nine, then exacted her revenge over her closing stretch.

We learned a few things about how this year’s curse, and tournament, will play out over the weekend. It’s your turn to find out what we discovered.

1. No layup is safe, no bunker or burn is out of reach

We watched in disbelief as Tiger Woods hit 6-iron 277 yards into a drive-zone bunker. We sat aghast as Sergio Garcia drove 400 yards into the Barry Burn, then played out of the brine. Those fairways at the mouth of the river Tay were a hacker’s dream and a tournament professional’s nightmare. Yardage books and round strategies might go out the window after round one. Carnoustie’s lumps and lows carom balls across the pasture with reckless, unpredictable abandon. Conclusion: three more days of viewing enjoyment.

2. The greens beguile, no matter the speed, no matter the golfer

The commentators were inconsistent with their explanations on how the putting surfaces changed as the day wore on. As soon as one said that the greens firmed up as the day went on, another suggested that they slowed down. The winds did pick up a bit, explaining the drying of the putting surfaces throughout the day. The biggest victim was Tiger Woods, who could not dial in his lag speed, and left putt after putt some five feet shy of the hole. Some he made, some he missed. Know this: the big cat awakened with a stiff neck, requiring the application of medical tape. The oddest bit of apparel since Martin Kaymer’s 2011 scarf had wags and fans wondering how badly hurt he was.  All things considered, even-par 71 was a triumph for Tiger Woods.

3. It isn’t smart to bet against Brooks Koepka

The tougher the challenge, the higher he rises. The course brought the two-time US Open champion to his literal knees, with two doubles and two singles over a five-hole stretch on the front nine. By day’s end, he stood a bit taller at one over, 72. For those who think he’s out of it, he was six back of the first round leader at Shinnecock in June, and today, he sits 6 shots behind Kevin Kisner after day one of The Open.

4. Tony Finau wants us to believe in him

A month after he played in Sunday’s final pairing at the US Open, Finau is again in the mix in a major championship. Finau etched 8 birdies on his card, signed for four under, 67, and sat in a three-person tie for 2nd after day one. Easily ranking as one of the most relaxed, restrained players of championship golf, today Finau was electric, but four bogeys per round won’t do over the next three days.

5. And your leader is…

Kevin Kisner. The South Carolina native began with four fours then made his only bogey of the round at the fifth . Unfazed, he eagled the sixth and uncovered four birdies over the closing 12 holes, for 66. The two-time PGA Tour winner wasn’t flawless from tee to green. He depended greatly on the flat stick to salvage his round. Par putts over the closing holes all dropped in, from six to 26 feet, and Kisner was atop the board after 18 holes. Odds are he won’t stay there, as no one makes all his putts. Kisner will need to find his approach play tomorrow to remain in the mix.

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Tiger arrives at Carnoustie with KT Tape on neck

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Two black strips of tape are peeking out above Tiger Woods collar and the golf world is losing its mind. Woods arrived for his first round at Carnoustie with what appears to be KT Tape on his neck.

The tape, popularly worn by Michelle Wie in any number of configurations, is designed to “reduce tissue pressure.”

Further, KT Tape’s website explains more of the thinking behind the tape

“When an area of the body is injured through impact or over-use, the lymphatic fluid builds up causing inflammation and swelling. This accumulation of lymphatic fluids may cause increased pressure on muscles and tissue which can cause significant discomfort or pain…It is believed that when applied correctly, KT Tape lifts the skin, decompressing the layers of fascia, allowing for greater movement of lymphatic fluid which transports white blood cells throughout the body and removes waste products, cellular debris, and bacteria.”

So, there you have it.

But what’s going on with Woods specifically. Well, we don’t know. Is Woods having issues with his quadriply surgically repaired back? Did he wake up with a stiff neck after a rough night of sleep in a hotel bad (as has happened before)?

We don’t know yet. Of course, that hasn’t stemmed the tide of panic. News of he tape was not well received in the Twitterverse.

We’ll update this story when we know more, however, Woods’ camp says it’s “no big deal” and that Woods merely woke up with a stiff neck, according to Steve DiMeglio of USA Today.

 

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GolfWRX Morning 9: Rory wants to be this guy again | 2 incredible stories | Tiger the reimagined

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Good morning, GolfWRX members. As most of you are signed up for our newsletters, you likely already know that I’ve been sending this little Morning 9 roundup of nine items of note.

In case you’ve missed it, or you prefer to read on site rather than in your email, we’re including it here. Check out today’s Morning 9 below.

If you’re not signed up for our newsletters, you can subscribe here.

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

July 19, 2018

Good Thursday morning, golf fans. As Rob Miller aptly tweeted, I have no idea who is leading The Open. [looks at leaderboard] I have no idea who is leading The Open. Erik Van Rooyen, a South African currently playing on the European Tour, leads ’em all at the time of this writing.
1. Carefree Rory?
That is, Rory wants to be carefree, on the golf course, at least.More like the guy pictured above, if you will.
  • Ryan Lavner of Golf Channel writes...”I just think, as you get older, you get a little more cautious in life,” said McIlroy, 29. “I think it’s only natural. There’s something nice about being young and being oblivious to some stuff. The more I can get into that mindset, the better I’ll play golf.”
  • “And so on the eve of this Open, as he approaches the four-year anniversary of his last major title, McIlroy finds himself searching for a way to channel that happy-go-lucky 18-year-old who was about to take the world by storm, to tap into the easygoing excellence that once defined his dominance.”
  • “…McIlroy has at times looked unsettled between the ropes. It’s difficult to compute, how someone with seemingly so much – a résumé with four majors, a robust bank account, a beautiful wife – can also appear disinterested and unmotivated.”
  • “I think sometimes I need to get back to that attitude where I play carefree and just happy to be here,” he said. “A golf tournament is where I feel the most comfortable. It’s where I feel like I can 100 percent be myself and express myself. Sometimes the pressure that’s put on the top guys to perform at such a level every week, it starts to weigh on you a little bit. The more I can be like that kid, the better.”
2. Ash Turner’s incredible story
Ged Scott chronicles Turner’s “journey from cerebral palsy to his first golf major.”
  • A taste…”A freakish accident at the age of one, when he fell into a fish tank and fractured his skull, left him with a rare form of cerebral palsy. There were fears he may never be able to walk properly again….Incredibly, the 22-year-old from Lincolnshire is now preparing to play in the 147th Open Championship – his first major tournament.”
  • “The condition he suffered from until the age of six, called ataxia, affected muscle control in his arms and legs. His parents, Simon and Angie, turned to golf as a way of improving his co-ordination and balance.”
  • “I don’t remember much,” he said. “Only what my parents have told me, but the main problem was that I couldn’t put my heel on the floor properly and would only walk on my toes. When I fell over, I wouldn’t put my hands out, so for the first three years at school I had to wear a crash helmet.”
  • “My dad had played a lot of golf when he was younger. And so my parents bought me some plastic clubs to see if it would help. And it did…I was soon smashing the ball out of our back garden, which was when they bought my first proper set of clubs.”
3. Tiger Woods, recalibrated
Excellent stuff from Christine Brennan discussing the shift in Tiger Woods’ rhetoric about his golf game in the course of this comeback effort.
  • “He still says he wants to win (who doesn’t?), but because he hasn’t won a major in more than 10 years, his expectations understandably have been lowered. The drive and impatience that made Tiger who he was for at least a dozen years have been replaced by age and perspective. Personal scandal, injuries, surgeries and the march of time have changed the golfer who for so many years looked untouchable.”
  • “He fought this development for several years, exuding a confidence that his play simply could not match. Now, he appears to have accepted it. And with acceptance comes the freedom to dream again, but in a different way.”
  • “Each tournament I keep coming back to, I keep feeling a little bit better because I’m starting to play some golf again,” Woods said Tuesday when asked about his confidence level going into this major compared with the first two of the year. “I feel like I have a better understanding of my game and my body and my swing, much more so than I did at Augusta (for the Masters in April).
  • “That’s just going to come with a little bit more experience, and I think that I’ve made a few adjustments. I’ve changed putters. I’ve tweaked my swing a little bit since the West Coast swing. And everything’s gotten just a little bit better. I’ve put myself up there in contention a couple times. Just need to play some cleaner golf, and who knows?”
4. What’s the big deal?
Karen Crouse frames Brittany Lincicome’s start at the Barbasol as a “what’s the big deal?” moment since Brittany has played with the boys her whole life. While that may take something away from the magnitude of said moment, it’s an interesting take.
  • “Lincicome, a Florida native, played from the back tees through high school, where she held the No. 1 spot on the boys’ team, and she does the same these days in practice rounds with her husband, Dewald Gouws, a former long-drive champion.
  • Now 32, Lincicome will not be trying to make a statement by competing against men this week at a PGA Tour event. She regards her appearance here at the Barbasol Championship, an event taking place opposite the third men’s major, the British Open, not as a glimpse of the future but as a return to her roots.
  • “I have played with a lot of guys growing up,” Lincicome said, “and I just feel like they push me to want to be better and play better.”
  • Regardless, it’s an interesting contrast to the furor that surrounded Annika Sorenstam’s inclusion in the Colonial field.
5. Whither the weather?
Because it’s The Open, weather will be a major storyline this week…even if it ultimately turns out to be an absence of weather and scoring is low, weather will remain an focal point.
Thus, we ought to take a look at the forecast, no?
  • Thursday: High of 68 degrees and sunny with just a few clouds early with skies becoming partly cloudy later in the day. Wind 5 mph or less until late morning when breeze moves up near 10 mph with gusts near 15. Wind moves up close to 15 mph later in afternoon with gusts around 20 mph.
  • Friday: High in upper 60s once again, with 80-90 percent chance of rain in the morning with winds around 10 mph and gusts just short of 15 mph. Cloudy in afternoon with some rain showers and winds fading slightly.
  • Saturday: High of 64 degrees. Skies mostly cloudy early and then partly cloudy later in day. Just 20 percent chance of rain. Winds 5-10 mph all day with gusts up to 15 mph.
  • Sunday: Temperature to reach into lower 70s. Similar to Saturday with cloudy skies early before partly cloud in afternoon. Once again, just 20 percent chance of rain. Wind at its strongest, around 10 mph with 15-20 mph gusts in the morning. Will get up to 15 mph with gusts almost to 25 mph later in afternoon.
Of course, all of that could change in an instant…
6. Think winning at Carnoustie is hard?

…Try winning at the host of The Open with one arm. Dan Shepherd caught up with Mike Benning, winner of the 1994 Society of One-Armed Golfers world championship at Carnoustie.

  • He writes…”When things get challenging during the 147th Open this week on the Championship Course at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland, the players would do well to think of Mike Benning-specifically the fortitude he channeled into success at the venerable venue.”
  • “Benning grew up with golf at Congressional while his father, Bob, was head professional at the iconic country club in Bethesda, Md. Due to a rare form of cancer, Benning, who was already a top junior in the Washington, D.C. area, lost his left arm below the elbow to amputation at age 14.”
  • “Rather than let that stop him from playing, he learned to adapt. So much so that he won back-to-back Society of One-Armed Golfers world championships in 1993-94. The first win came at Seaford Golf Course in Sussex, England, in 1993. Benning defended his title at Carnoustie in 1994, the 56th and 57th renditions of the annual event, which began in the 1930s.
  • “Benning was low medalist in stroke play at Seaford, shooting 80-81-161. With the top 16 finishers advancing to match play, Benning won four matches in two days to become champion. He went to Carnoustie the next year full of confidence but couldn’t find the form initially that carried him at Seaford, qualifying 10th in medal play.”
7. Up and down
Based on your handicap, how often should you actually get up and down? It’s a good question. Most of us hope to save par every time we miss the green, but do you know how often the pros do that…a 25 handicapper?
  • According to Peter Sanders, the pros get up and down roughly 64 percent of the time. A 10 handicapper does so 32 percent of the time, and a 25 handicapper does 15 percent of the time.
8. The purest form of golf

Zach Johnson, maker of 11 Open cuts in a row, winner in 2015…

  • “I just think it’s the purest form of golf that we have,” Johnson said. “Whatever Mother Nature has is what you get. More than that I’ve gotten accustomed to bumps and rolls, hitting it low, hitting it high, getting accustomed to the speed of the greens. I think the main key there is I’ve just embraced it, you know what I mean?”
  • “I love it,” Johnson said. “My game feels good. It’s one of those things, I don’t know what to hit on each tee box and even if you think you know, you might get a bad bounce right where you want it and it may not work. It’s a matter of patience.”
9. For your listening pleasure
As we inch toward the weekend, a couple of audible items for your listening pleasure.
First, Johnny chatted with Bob Lamkin of Lamkin grips (Bob’s always a great interview). They discussed–among a number of other subjects–Jack Nicklaus’ grip preferences.
Second, Michael WIlliams talked with famed architect David McLay-Kidd and commentator Mark Rolfing about the challenges of Carnoustie, among other subjects.
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