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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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Forum Thread of the Day: “Maverick McNealy’s custom Odyssey/Toulon putter cover”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases Maverick McNealy’s custom Odyssey/Toulon putter cover. The eye-catching cover has got our members talking in our forums, and the reaction to the cover has been very positive.

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.

  • Fritzer: “Sick cover, love the SJ logo considering he played for the Jr sharks.”
  • chafita: “Awesome cover.”
  • tdk8180: “You better win with a cover like that…ballsy putting a San Jose logo on there….jeez”

Entire Thread: “Maverick McNealy’s custom Odyssey/Toulon cover”

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New 2020 Cleveland Launcher UHX irons feature a combination of hollow and cavity back irons

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Cleveland Golf has introduced Cleveland Launcher UHX irons, which incorporate hollow back long irons with cavity back short irons.

The unique approach looks to provide maximum distance and forgiveness in the long irons (4- 7-irons) through lower and deeper weighting in the hollow back construction while focusing on precision and control from the 8-iron to PW with a cavity back design in this addition to the 2020 Cleveland iron lineup.

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2020 Cleveland Launcher UHX irons: Details

The new additions also contain a high-strength, HT1770M variable steel face insert in each long iron. According to the company, improved mass distribution in the face insert is designed to deliver higher ball speeds and more distance on each shot.

Speaking on the new Launcher UHX irons, Director of Engineering, Research and Development at Cleveland, Dustin Brekke stated

“This combination of cavity back and utility irons into one set offers the perfect blend of distance and accuracy. A new variable face pattern delivers more distance due to hotter faces with better mass distribution.”

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Both the hollow and cavity back irons feature a V-Shaped Sole which is designed to offer both improved speed retention and forgiveness through improved turf interaction. The company’s Tour Zip Grooves and enhanced Laser Milling aim to provide maximum spin on each Launcher UHX short iron.

Arriving in both left and right-handed options, Cleveland’s Launcher UHX Irons officially launch on October 4 and are priced at $799.99 MAP for a seven-piece steel set and $899.99 MAP for a seven-piece graphite set.

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2020 Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo irons feature “turbocharged” face insert

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Cleveland Golf has unveiled new game improvement Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo irons which feature a new “thinner, hotter” turbocharged face insert designed for more speed and forgiveness.

Along with the turbocharged face insert, the new additions also contain a fully hollow construction. The design of the fully hollow construction allows for optimized sole weighting and bids to offer players both a higher launch and maximum forgiveness.

cleveland-launcher-hb-irons- 2020-cleveland-launcher-irons-2

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo irons: Details

Speaking on the new Launcher HB Turbo Irons, Dustin Brekke, Director of Engineering, Research and Development at Cleveland stated

“These irons allow game improvement players the ability to get the ball into the air better than any iron on the market. Now with a thinner, hotter face, the Launcher HB Turbo Irons give you a half club more distance over the previous generation.”

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The irons feature a redesigned HiBore Crown, which pushes the center of gravity low and deep within the base, a placement which is designed to allow golfers to launch their ball higher.

The clubs also contain progressive shaping throughout, as the brand seeks to provide players with a smooth transition by offering maximum forgiveness on long irons to optimal control on short irons.

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Cleveland’s Launcher HB Turbo irons hit retail on October 4, and are available in both right and left-handed options. The new additions are priced at $799.99 MAP for a seven-piece steel set and $899.99 MAP for a seven-piece graphite set.

 

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