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Forum Thread of the Day: “What ever happened to Scratch Golf?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Dr Rangelove who as a fan of club manufacturer Scratch Golf, wanted to know what had happened to the company. Our members filled Dr Rangelove in on the details that while Scratch Golf was no more, the owners Patrick Boyd and Jeff McCoy (with help from Don White) were back with their new golf business National Custom Works producing handmade irons and wedges for their diehard customers.

Scratch Golf founder Ari Techner, aka FairwayFred, popped into the thread to fill our members in on some of the details on what happened to Scratch Golf.

“I think the best way to tell the short version of the story is, it is VERY hard to compete with the big boys in the golf equipment industry.  I started Scratch with Jeff McCoy at 23 years old with a $10k investment in my garage, and we grew it to a multi-million dollar company that changed the way companies offer customization to their customers.” 

“We did a ton of things amazingly well but made a few mistakes along the way which as a small company without deep pockets you just can’t do.  In the end, the company was taken over by an investor who has done nothing with it that I know of.  I’m very proud of my work at Scratch and have very fond memories of all we did there.”

Our members have been reminiscing about the company’s clubs, as well as discussing the latest handmade irons and wedges on offer at National Custom Works. 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.

  • mothon: “I remember not too long ago seeing scratch clubs in the bags of a ton of good players at the local courses, so I went out and bought two 8620 wedges which I still game to this day.   I don’t see Scratch clubs in any bags these days.”
  • MtlJeff: “It’s crazy how time flies, and I have to remind myself that many new members might not remember Scratch Golf in their heyday. For those that don’t, Scratch was THE brand here for quite some time. They had 2-3 standard sets, but you could get the full tour experience and get a completely custom set for something like 2500$ (very reasonable). It was unfortunate becomes it seemed like the challenges started when the company was experiencing it’s most expansion and recognition, Hot list awards, LPGA and PGA staffers. I always wondered if that was the cause of the issues. Ari does not need to answer that I am just wondering aloud. I will say that some members were probably too hard on Scratch at the end (though backlash to popular niche brands is also common online) because at the end of the day I can’t imagine a company better-exemplifying everything that we are as a site. I wish Scratch was still around.”
  • KMo23: “Scratch is back and better than ever! Those clubs were meant to be Uber premium and IMO not massed produced. Get your Don White custom grinds while he’s still doing them boys! Treat yourselves! Can’t wait to get mine! Had a set of DW blades back in scratch days and have been searching since!”

Entire Thread: “Whatever happened to Scratch Golf?”

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. pete

    Feb 14, 2019 at 1:43 am

    another golf company that went down the tubes!this other company same thing down the tubes!

  2. Tom

    Feb 12, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    C- Ya

  3. rex235

    Feb 12, 2019 at 2:58 am

    Gianni-

    Met and interviewed both Patrick Boyd and Don White in 2012. Have posted photos on Golfwrx.

    Then, Scratch didn’t offer a LH model of the irons shown in your photo.

    PS -‘Twas also my understanding FairwayFred is Ari Techners Wrx handle.

  4. Putt Stuff

    Feb 11, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Ari Techner is FairwayFred, it says as much in his signature. Cheers

  5. Speedy

    Feb 11, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Good luck going forward.

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Low handicapper switching to game improvement irons”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from jasonTel3 – a low handicap player who plays blades but who has had his head turned by game improvement irons. According to jasonTel3, every ball was hit straight when testing out a set of Ping G400’s at a simulator, and he’s been asking fellow members for advice on whether he should make the move to GI’s.

Here are a few posts from the thread discussing jasonTel3’s conundrum, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • balls_deep: “My first thought is to say don’t do it.. but then if you’ve hit them, liked them, and the numbers were right, it could be a good option. A friend I play with uses G400 and they have too much offset for my liking. I also don’t like that you can see the cavity on the 4 and 5 iron. Top line is actually very nice for a SGI iron. I just read the Ping Blueprint article on Golf Digest where they were talking about how some players hit small heads better. I definitely fall into that category. That said, I just ordered a set of i210 to try as I had really good luck with the i200 and should never have sold them. Have you tried the newer I series? IMO it’s GI help in a players look with an acceptable sole width. Long story short though – if you felt comfortable and the fit was right, why not try them? If you don’t work the ball a ton, I don’t see any issue with it. High and straight is a good way to go!”
  • hammergolf: “I’ve been playing Ping G25’s for 6 years. Still can’t find anything I like better. I can hit any shot I need to whether it’s my stock draw, fade, high, or low. And when I hit it a little thin, or on the toe, it still lands on the green. My thought is why play golf with a club that will punish you for mishit when you can play one that will help you.”
  • azone: “Everyone has an opinion, and here is mine. If you are/have been a good ball striker with a sound mental game, your mind will keep writing checks your body may not be able to cash as you get older or don’t practice enough. Those “ugly” forgiving irons look beautiful when a miss ends up on the green, and you are putting– not in rough or deep in a short side bunker. Those irons won’t be AS ACCURATE as, say, a blade, BUT if you aren’t as dependable as in the past, your results will be better. I used to keep two sets of blueprinted irons; blades for practice and CB for play. I play with guys that have cashed checks playing…and they don’t care how ugly the iron is.”
  • Jut: “As a decent player (and ball striker) and a sweeper/picker (I could hit off of a green and not take any landscape with me), I’ve found much success with the F9s (which, with the wide sole, are very similar to the G410 irons). In the past 4 years I’ve gone from Mizuno MP-68 to Callaway Apex CF16 to Ping i500 (a brief and bad experience) to the Cobra F9’s. For what it’s worth, the Cobras have been the best of the bunch by far.”

Entire Thread: “Low handicap going to game improvement irons”

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Stitch headcovers

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Product: Stitch headcovers

Pitch: From Stitch: “Your game should match your style. At Stitch, we aim to merchandise our line of products so you can easily put together items that not only match your bag and what is it in it, but also match your style and personality. We want to make it easy for you to have a unique and color-coordinated golf bag. We have designed unique products that have defined color schemes so that choosing which items to put in your bag becomes easier. We aim to provide you with various looks, mixing and matching our head covers to give you confidence that the purchase you make for your bag will take you to the course in style. Let us help you dress your game.”

Our Take On Stitch Headcovers

Stitch is a relatively new company – founded in 2012. The company initially only created premium headcovers but has grown into so much more, with all sorts of golfing accessories now on offer on their site StitchGolf.com. Their bags, in particular, are now some of the most popular amongst golfers, with the quality and uniqueness provided leading multiple Tour players to sport them in tournament play.

That sign of quality in the bags bodes well for what the company was founded on – their headcovers. Stitch provides both leather and knit headcovers in a variety of designs that do as good a job as any in covering the needs of all golfers.

Stitch describes the companies Monte Carlo headcover as being their “classic, timeless design”, and for those looking for that vintage style to add to their set up then they can’t go wrong with this headcover. A mainstay in the likes of multiple tour winner Paul Casey’s bag, the Monte Carlo headcover, as with all of the companies leather covers, is hand-crafted from 100% leather and is both water and stain resistant. The cover comes in four color codes: Black, White, Navy and Red, and at $68 is the most affordable of all their leather headcovers.

Other options in the leather department range from their intricately designed Camo cover which comes in a multiple color design, as well as Stitch’s tribute to “The King”, through their Arnold Palmer headcover.

The AP cover comes in a minimalist black with white stripes for a classic feel, but it also comes in a white color code decorated with red, white and yellow stripes which, for myself at least, looks even more alluring. Part of an exclusive collection, the only issue with the AP cover is that only those located in the U.S. are currently eligible to get their hands on one. But for those in the states, the company is now offering a set of three AP leather covers for $128 instead of $298 should you use the code APLEATHERS on their site.

From their Tour Racer, USA, Shamrock and Bonesman editions, Stitch provides a great choice when it comes to their leather covers, and as previously mentioned, all are hand-crafted from 100% leather, water and stain resistant and will assure an excellent fit on your clubs.

Stitch also provides knit headcovers which contain not only excellent designs but also the same quality which has gone into their leather covers. All of the companies knit covers are made from Techno Wool, which is 100% acrylic and designed in order for your clubs to stay entirely dry. Another feature of the knit covers from Stitch is their smart fit design which ensures all of the covers retain their shape over a long period, as well as providing for a cover that will reliably stay on your club.

The knit covers from Stitch cost $68 ($72 for the limited AP cover), and there are currently seven different designs available to choose from over at StitchGolf.com. The leather covers are, unsurprisingly, a little pricier, but still very affordable, ranging from $68-$98. The covers deliver in both style and performance, and for a relatively new company, it speaks volumes that the likes of Jim Furyk, Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau and many more tour pros are now sporting the company’s creations.

 

 

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Equipment

Bettinardi signs Jason Kokrak (he’ll play custom Tour Department DASS BB8 Triplane putter)

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Bettinardi Golf has announced Jason Kokrak as the latest player to join the companies Tour staff, and the Canadian will play the companies custom Tour Department DASS (Double-Aged Stainless Steel) BB8 Triplane putter.

Kokrak began using the Tour Department DASS BB8 Triplane putter which features Bettinardi’s  F.I.T. Face Milling at the Honda Classic back in February. Since then, the 34-year-old has risen over 40 places in the Official World Golf Ranking up to 65th, and he has also leapt 30 spots in this season’s strokes gained: putting category in the same period.

Speaking on the new partnership, Kokrak praised the “quality, touch, and feel of the putter” from Bettinardi.

“Since switching to a Bettinardi putter earlier this year, I have been so impressed with the quality, touch, and feel of the putter. Bettinardi has the ability to craft anything I want from a solid block of metal, all milled in the USA. This was a big confidence boost to my putting and I look forward to a great partnership.”

Speaking on the addition of Kokrak to the companies tour staff, Robert Bettinardi, President and Founder of Bettinardi Golf stated

“Since switching to a Bettinardi putter earlier this year, I have been so impressed with the quality, touch, and feel of the putter. Bettinardi has the ability to craft anything I want from a solid block of metal, all milled in the USA. This was a big confidence boost to my putting and I look forward to a great partnership.”

Kokrak will next tee it up at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Course next month after finishing T23 at last week’s PGA Championship.

 

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