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LA Golf Partners buys Matrix Shafts’ assets, launches “LA Golf Shafts”

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Reed Dickens, Founder and Chairman of the newly formed LA Golf Partners, is bringing a concept he once used in a baseball bat company into the world of golf shafts.

Marucci Sports, of which Dickens was the co-founder and former CEO, is the No. 1 bat in Major League Baseball (by a reported 20 percent over its competition), and it’s different because the company partnered with professional players who not only helped with product development, but who actually invested in the company.

Now, Dickens is bringing the same strategy into golf after winning a bid and purchasing assets (inventory, equipment and patents/IP) from Matrix Shafts on March 9th. LA Golf Shafts will partner with professional golfers; the company will build shafts for these pros “from a blank sheet of paper,” meaning they will be fully custom, according to Dickens. Also, those players will become partners with the company. As of now, LA Golf Shafts has not announced exactly which players will become partners.

LA Golf Shafts will also sell aftermarket shafts, with emphasis on the word aftermarket. According to Chief Operating Officer Chris Nolan — who’s the former General Manager of North America for Matrix Golf Shafts — LA Golf Shafts will be made with extreme attention to detail and with a different scaling approach. Therefore, the new shafts will be aftermarket-only, meaning they will not be the “stock” shafts in the golf clubs of OEMs. LA Golf Shafts will also offer the signature shafts of pros to the public, according to Nolan.

So, what’s the connection between baseball bats and golf shafts?

“There’s not just a few parallels, there’s dozens,” says Dickens.

Dickens, who was a baseball player growing up but is also a lifelong golfer and has a handicap in the “low teens,” says when the opportunity arose to buy the assets from Matrix he drew a number of connections between the baseball bat industry and the golf shaft industry. The similarities he noted included materials used, industry size, trade secrets and attention to detail of the products. He also recalls that player-after-player in the majors had issues with baseball bat specs that were off: “Some players kept a scale in their locker to make sure their bat actually weighed [the proper amount].” Now, Dickens says making golf shafts that are fully custom and “absolutely perfect” makes perfect sense given his background. He says that “custom” shafts doesn’t mean engravings or colors, however; he says they’re making prototypes for specific player needs.

Just four days after winning the bid, Dickens and Nolan said they already began making prototypes. While no player-partner for LA Golf Shafts has been announced, they say they’re shooting for Quarter 2 — “as early in Quarter 2 as possible” — to have a product at market.

In terms of pricing, Dickens says LA Golf Shafts will “position as a premium brand.” They will be “aggressive with margins,” and expect to sell “on the high end and above the high end” of what’s currently on the market, possibly “at a few different price points.” Dickens says philosophically that he places a premium on value, meaning he “won’t ask for more money than [the shaft is] worth” and that the company will “spend more money on making these shafts in order to give more to the consumer.”

As for LA Golf Partners, Dickens says the brand new company will continue “looking for good opportunities and looking for the right partners.” Dickens says the company will focus on not just traditional strategies in the golfing space, but will be looking for strategies that are different, possibly partnering with companies not in the golf space.

“I’m on a mission to grow and expand the game of golf,” Dickens says. “[LA Golf Partners will] invest in diverse golf businesses and grow the audience of who plays golf.”

The takeaway here? Dickens and LA Golf Partners have big plans for growing the game of golf, and they’re starting with a shaft company.

Certainly, GolfWRX will be the first to bring you in-hand photos of the new LA Golf Shafts when they release, along with all of the information on materials, tech and specs when we know them.

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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.

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. the dude

    Aug 28, 2018 at 11:56 am

    LA??….time to rethink that name

  2. Be Warned

    Aug 3, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Good luck getting a shaft that’s not a complete forgery. Unless they throw out the entire old inventory, don’t even waste your money. You’ll receive a repainted, random shaft.

  3. Tiger whisperer

    Mar 22, 2018 at 9:37 am

    GolfnRide – it would not take much research to find that composite bats are made out of the same materials that composite shafts are made from. Marucci makes composite bats, so it actually makes a lot of sense.

  4. ~j~

    Mar 21, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Another high end ‘solution’ for one’s swing flaws. Whe I’m sure it’ll he ‘fun’ and ‘cool’ to create ylur own personel shaft, I’m betting the only increases one will see is the dent in gheir wallets.

    Walt, you must have 100% driving accuracy and distance like DJ if you’re vested in one of those seven (wet) dreams shafts. Your strokes gained against your other rich friends must be thru the roof ????

  5. GolfnRide

    Mar 21, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Sounds cool, but am I missing something? Aren’t MLB bats made from wood? I don’t see the crossover “similarities” here.

  6. george

    Mar 20, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    “n terms of pricing, Dickens says LA Golf Shafts will “position as a premium brand.” They will be “aggressive with margins,” and expect to sell “on the high end and above the high end” of what’s currently on the market, possibly “at a few different price points.” …”
    ———————-
    Only the upper 1% and neurotic gearheads will afford to buy these overpriced status shafts to fix their swing faults with money and equipment.

  7. Ryan

    Mar 20, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    I preordered an M3 with a Matrix Black Tie 80 and I’m still waiting. Now I know why. I wonder if I’ll ever get it?

    • Jack Nash

      Mar 21, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      Check Ebay. You’ll probably find a ton there.

  8. DB

    Mar 20, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    “spend more money on making these shafts in order to give more to the consumer.”

    So the cost to make them will be $20 instead of 10-$15? I’m guessing the prices will be $400+. Also, LA Golf is a terrible name. Most people don’t have good thoughts when they think of LA.

    • Jack Nash

      Mar 21, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      Well, if they’re in LA a sanctuary city/State labor will be cheaper. He did say he’d be aggressive on margins which doesn’t necessarily mean tighter.

  9. walt

    Mar 20, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    “n terms of pricing, Dickens says LA Golf Shafts will “position as a premium brand.” They will be “aggressive with margins,” and expect to sell “on the high end and above the high end” of what’s currently on the market, possibly “at a few different price points.” Dickens says philosophically that he places a premium on value, meaning he “won’t ask for more money than [the shaft is] worth” and that the company will “spend more money on making these shafts in order to give more to the consumer.”
    Golf shafts only affordable for the top 1%… and gearheads will have to bleed for these shafts.

  10. carl spackler

    Mar 20, 2018 at 8:23 am

    seems like a bad move to drop the matrix name, especially when there are alot of pros using existing matrix shafts now

  11. Miuralovechild

    Mar 20, 2018 at 1:38 am

    LA Gear would be a better name! I’ll stick with no nonsense Oban unless my club fitter tells me different.

    • Robert Parsons

      Mar 20, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Wasn’t LA Gear a cheesy clothing company from the 80’s? They did a lot of neon, pastels, & stretchy nylon stuff. Hahaha

    • stueldo

      Mar 16, 2019 at 7:10 pm

      Like that comment.

  12. SImms

    Mar 20, 2018 at 1:26 am

    Before you believe all this and that about shafts find and read Mr. Adams (original founder of Adams golf) article about golf shafts…..from a guy that made a living competing with the best golf club OEM’s in the world. In a nut shell once you have the right flex, kick point for your swing it matters little how “Premium” the shaft is….

  13. walt

    Mar 19, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Great, but will your shafts beat out the autoclave cured Seven Dreams $1200 graphite shafts …. or will they be floppy soggy oven-cured shafts filled with excess epoxy plastic?
    Autoclave curing sucks out the redundant expoxy and the shaft is predominantly graphite fibers. All of the graphite shafts on the market now are oven-cured and reinforced with exotic metallic of graphite fibers to compensate for the spaghetti performance…. and after 40 years of graphite shafts the engineers still haven’t figured out how to improve performance…. other than Seven Dreams.

    • F

      Mar 20, 2018 at 12:27 am

      They haven’t tried to figure anything out. It’s all been figured out already. The question was how any of these companies could make any of these types of things affordable at the recreational golf level. Any rich tech and materials companies in cahoots with the world governments supplying space-age advanced materials can make anything, and have always done so. It was always the questions of costs allayed to the public, was the issue, not the ability to make anything. You wouldn’t have been able to afford anything they had put on to the Space Shuttle 40 years ago at Walmart and Target, or even Apple and Microsoft levels – until now. But there are still materials and tech being developed and used that Joe Public won’t be able to afford, until they can make them readily available and affordable again. Where do you think microchip tech came from. Where do you think graphite and graphene came from. It’s as if each one of us could own the Large Hadron Collider one day. But we won’t be able to.

      • walt

        Mar 20, 2018 at 12:10 pm

        Haven’t you noticed? All the OEM club and shaft makers have given up on the shrinking recreational golfer market and are now catering to the super-rich where price doesn’t matter…. e.g. PXG, Muira, TM, Ping, etc.. They are overpricing their latest and greatest super game improvement clubs so they can survive. Look at the U.S. car companies who only make a profit selling pickup trucks for blue jean crowd personal use. Same with golf clubs.

    • Aaron

      Mar 20, 2018 at 12:44 am

      Walt won’t stop telling anyone and everyone about Seven Dreams shafts. Super annoying.

      • rebfan73

        Mar 20, 2018 at 8:01 am

        Agreed

      • walt

        Mar 20, 2018 at 12:03 pm

        Yup… super annoying for the gearheads who are stuck with their floppy soggy inconsistent pizza oven-cured graphite shafts loaded with extra epoxy plastic that makes them play like limp spaghetti and spraying the ball all over the place. Losing pride in yer WITB sticks must really hurt…. boo hoo 🙁

    • JDS

      Mar 20, 2018 at 9:29 am

      Nice Ad.

    • Skippy

      Mar 22, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      It’s Seven Dreamers.

  14. Steve P

    Mar 19, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Worst name they could have ever picked for this new company. When I think “LA”, I don’t think of quality golf equipment.

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WRX Spotlight: Argolf Mordred putter

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Product: Argolf Mordred putter

Pitch: From Argolf: “…each ARGOLF putter is named after an Arthurian legend.”

“Mordred was known as a notorious traitor who fought King Arthur at the Battle of Camlann, where he was killed, and Arthur was fatally wounded. The images depicting Mordred are reflected in the winged design of the putter which aids in stabilization and alignment, as well as its coloring.”

“With a lower center of gravity that surpasses all mallet putters in the ARGOLF collection, Mordred boasts one of the highest MOIs available on the market. Precisely milled from a solid block of aeronautical-grade 7175 Aluminum, Mordred appeals to the eye with its clean and sophisticated look. Using the most advanced technology, Mordred is shaped through a 5-axis milling process that differentiates itself from its competitors in design and performance due to its aerodynamic features.”

Our take on the Argolf Mordred putter

When you are dreaming of your next high-end milled putter, Argolf might not be the first name that pops into your head. Argolf is a French company founded in 2010 by a couple of aeronautical industrialists and a golf professional. By combining the expertise from both sites, Argolf has created a line of milled putters that not only look like art but with performance that rivals more well-known brands.

Mordred is a large mallet that boasts a very low center of gravity and super high MOI. Milled out of a solid block of aerospace-grade 7175 aluminum, the design is influenced by the aerodynamic lines from F1 race cars. The face features Argolf’s C-Claw technology that produces a more consistent forward roll without skidding. The Mordred is finished off with a single orange site line, a black PVD shaft, and a Pure midsize grip.

When you open the box, you are greeted with a nice grey and orange head cover that feels high quality and durable. Headcover removed, you will say hello to one of the larger mallet putters you have ever tried. The finish is a matte dark gray that eliminates glare and contrasts well with the orange paint fill. Traditionally high end milled putters have milling lines on most of the head and ARGOLF hid most of those in this head. The milling lines and marks are still visible on the rounded sections, but any flat surface is perfectly smooth. From what I have been told by machinists, it is more expensive to remove those lines and marks.

Any mallet putter that boasts high MOI, the style is going to be love or hate. At first, I was taken back by how busy the Mordred is, but out on the course, those flowing lines melt away. Not once was I distracted by them while lining up a putt. Size is going to take some getting used to as it just frames the ball different than any other mallet I have tried.

Feel and sound is where Mordred really shines. I have putted with aluminum putters before, and depending on the design they can have a different sound or feel. The C-Claw face really offers a softer feel and sound with just a slight click at impact. Not as crisp as carbon steel, just a little more muted and I enjoyed the sounds and feel with the Titleist AVX.

ARGOLF’s C-Claw technology does what it says and gets the ball rolling with zero skidding, even on long uphill putts. Putting side-by-side with a standard faced putter you could easily see tell the difference in the first foot of roll. Some face technologies can cause issues with distance control, but every putt rolled out to the expected distance. Compared to a traditionally milled face the Mordred will roll a fraction farther, but something that is easy to adjust to with a handful of putts on the practice green.

Shots off center go almost exactly where you aimed; the toe miss leaks just a touch right. Putts struck on the heel go straight and lose minimal distance while feeling still very solid. Toe strikes leak a hair right and are met with a small amount of vibration letting you know you missed the center of the putter.

Overall, Argolf’s Mordred putter is a great option for someone who is looking for a super forgiving putter. A minor complaint is no grip options for a putter at this price. I like a standard size, firmer grip and there are no other options to select from. The other thing that could become an issue is how well the finish holds up. I always use the headcover when I am not using my putter and the finish still has a few minor marks on it. If you are anti-headcover you might notice faster wear. Those are pretty small issues, and I think that ARGOLF has a really solid putter here.

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Odyssey/Toulon Santa Monica putter”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases an Odyssey/Toulon Santa Monica putter which has got plenty of our member’s attention. Some have likened the blade to Tiger’s Newport 2, and a number are hoping for a release at retail soon.

For more photos, check out the full forum thread here.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Weston11: “Absolutely beautiful!”
  • Scotty1140: “Sweet putter. Definitely inspired by Tiger’s Newport 2. Needs a bit more of a bevel on the trailing edges from address IMO. Always love a tri-sole. This coming to retail? Would like to roll this.”
  • Wdwfreak: “Bring that one out, and you have a sale. I like that a lot.”

Entire Thread: “Odyssey/Toulon Santa Monica putter”

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Forum Thread of the Day: “What golf-related Father’s Day gift did you get?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from nuttinbutapeanut, who asked fellow members what golf-related gift they received for Father’s Day. Our members share what they received, as well as gave on Father’s Day.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • OSpreyCI: “PXG 0811x Driver. Thank you fam bam.”
  • Aviador Naval: “Two hours of time with my son hitting balls and practicing short game on a day with beautiful weather. As an empty nester, that is 1000x more valuable than anything material.”
  • Kingcat990: “Took the father in law golfing, and we posted some horrendous scores. Had a great time piling garbage on the scorecard.”
  • Gautama: “New golf shirt and shorts, and got a surprise treat in a tee time for the whole clan on a little executive 9 hole, par 33 course. First time we’ve done it…my wife, my two sons aged 22 and 18, and my two daughters aged 9 and 6. The whole course was crawling with groups like ours… Not the fastest round any of us have ever played, but very fun.”
  • granata10: “New ping hoofer golf bag. It was needed and wanted.”

Entire Thread: “What golf-related Father’s Day gift did you get?”

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