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Opinion & Analysis

Explaining PXG: The supercar analogy

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Every idea has to start somewhere.

Whether it be in a garage, basement, or in a conference room with a blank piece of paper, it’s how the idea is executed that will ultimately determine its success. When you’re Bob Parsons, execution is your specialty. When you have an idea to build some of the most technologically advanced clubs on the planet—you bring in some of the world’s best mad club scientists to help you bring them to life.

Product design is a difficult space, regardless of industry, and certainly in golf. With almost any consumer product you have to work within a lot of different constraints

  • Technology: Not every company can afford to innovate to create real breakthroughs
  • Materials: Just like with technology, some materials become too expensive to use in the consumer marketplace
  • Time: Time is money, especially when you have smart people on board that deserve proper compensation. You need to see a return to justify products and design, and that often leads to forced product cycles.

All of these factors add up to products being designed into price categories. For example: economy car vs. luxury vehicle. No chance an economy car is going to have the horsepower or options of the luxury version because of what the inherent cost to produce is.

Where you don’t see this model is in supercars—they design what they design, use whatever materials and technology they can, then worry about price.

PXG is building supercars!

What started with a phone call and a piece of paper has become one of the golf industry’s most talked-about brands. Designers Mike Nicolette and Brad Schweigert have been given the opportunity to create products as they see fit, and with input from Bob, a self-professed golf club nut, these mad scientists are changing the industry.

Watch the fourth installment of our video series with PXG, The Disruptors, to find out how.

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Ryan Barath is a writer & the Digital Content Creation Lead for GolfWRX. He also hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on GolfWRX Radio discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club fitter & master club builder who has more than 16 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop in Hamilton and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, and wedge grinding.

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Aztec

    Aug 20, 2019 at 11:52 am

    You could probably get away with this marketing nonsense with the general public but amongst golfwxers? Umm…no.

  2. DJ

    Aug 20, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Zach Johnson, James Hahn, Lydia Ko, and Billy Ho… no longer relevant with switch to PXG.

  3. Curt

    Aug 20, 2019 at 3:29 am

    Gimmick. If they were so advanced they’d be banned on tour. Hopefully they charge so much because they use every companies patents and need to pay off those debts. Extreme also starts with an E.

  4. dat

    Aug 19, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    But it ISN’T a supercar. There is NO governing body of street cars besides safety requirements and even then if you produce a low number you can get away with nearly anything – ask TVR. In golf, much like in F1 racing, we have major governing bodies who control exactly how good a club can be, much like how good a Ferrari or Ford or any other F1 car can be. It is down to the driver to win. Down to the golfer to win. Not the equipment.

    These clubs are NO better than any others according to many tests on independent sites who do not receive paid placements or promotional articles.

    • Rascal

      Aug 19, 2019 at 11:50 pm

      Well said. But everyone’s gotta eat so…

  5. Dwight

    Aug 19, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    This is a terrible analogy… except in the respect that just like you can find a car like say the Kia Stinger that will beat most any production “super car” in a 0-60 for a fraction of the cost, you can also ship around and find as good or better performing clubs at a fraction of the cost. Swing and a miss there but enjoy your PXG commission.

  6. HDTVMAN

    Aug 19, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    So you’re comparing a Yugo to a BMW in this article…some companies can and some can’t? Don’t think so. I’d put my Ping i500’s, Callaway Apex, TM P-series, Titleist T-series up against PXG…YOU ARE PAYING FOR MARKETING FOR EVERY BRAND, BUT MUCH MUCH MORE FOR PXG! Hey Bob, how many majors and tournaments has PXG won? You’re better than the rest? Prove it to me. I said the same to Titleist when the TS series came out, and they DID prove to me that they are the real deal. I’m in Phoenix in 3 weeks…prove it!

  7. TLW

    Aug 19, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    How much did Parsons pay for this article?

  8. Comish

    Aug 19, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    Have to agree w/JP here, I’ve had a set (what a waste of money) Apex iron longer, straighter, and a lot less expensive. So now they have come out with a less expensive model…must not be hitting their numbers.

  9. Ryan

    Aug 19, 2019 at 10:03 am

    Bob Parsons: Here’s my business model. I am going to make the same clubs as the competitors, but add some little spins on it and then market it as amazing technology that can’t be matched. Then I will charge 5x as much for the clubs as the competitors. People will buy it because its a status symbol.

  10. JP

    Aug 19, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Super cars perform at a way higher level than say Camrys or Accords. PXG golf clubs are simply on par with Ping and others.
    .
    Bob Parsons decided to build Honda Civics and charge a million dollars for them by making claims they run like Ferrari’s.

    • TStrom

      Aug 19, 2019 at 3:18 pm

      Agree totally; if PXG clubs were so superior to “average” clubs, you’d expect to see the results from tour players making the switch…but you don’t…case closed…

    • blake

      Aug 19, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      So maybe PXG is like the Civic R?

  11. Ryan Mextorf

    Aug 19, 2019 at 8:51 am

    The supercar analogy would make sense if the clubs performed any better than it’s “economy car” counterparts (i.e. Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon…). Every PXG staffer has fallen off the face of the planet with their new supercars in the bag – funny how that works.

    Just because something is expensive does not make it inherently a better product.

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Opinion & Analysis

Breaking down The Challenge: Japan Skins—pros and cons for each player

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For the first time in over a decade, the PGA Tour will have a skins game event on its calendar, with Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, and Rory McIlroy participating in “The Challenge: Japan Skins.” With the abundance of star power in their foursome, here’s a quick look at why each of them may or may not walk away with the most skins at the end of their round.

Tiger Woods

PROS: The skins game system and exhibition match atmosphere will be a new experience for his competitors, but Woods has played in these types of events before. The excitement and pageantry from the event will be a familiar setting for him, and he may have an intimidation factor in his favor. The reigning Masters champion still can catch fire during a round, as well. For the 2018-19 PGA Tour season, his five-hole streak of scoring birdie or better during a single round was the longest such stretch among his fellow skins game participants. If he creates a similar streak on Monday, it may result in a profitable day on the course.

CONS: Tiger hasn’t played a competitive round in over two months, with his last start coming at the BMW Championship in mid-August. The competitive juices may take a while to get going, and coupled with his recent knee surgery, the rust on his game may be on full display.

Jason Day

PROS: With the skins game format rewarding aggressive play, Day will look to capitalize with his par-breaking ability. During the 2018-19 season, he made birdie or better on 22.9% of the holes he played. Additionally, he seems to like this time of the year; over the past couple of seasons, the Aussie has played very well in the month of October on the PGA Tour. In 2017 and 2018, his worst finish on the Asian swing of the schedule was T-11. He continued his good play in Asia with a T31 finish at The CJ Cup in South Korea this week.

CONS: While he a solid season on tour, it wasn’t to the same standard Day normally displays. He missed five cuts, the most times he missed weekend play since 2010. Prior to The CJ Cup, he missed the cut in two of his past four PGA Tour starts.

Hideki Matsuyama

PROS: Playing in his native Japan, Matsuyama looks to continue his great success in his home country. While he has enjoyed international success, he’s even better at home, with eight of his 14 professional wins coming in Japan. Additionally, Matsuyama can fill the scorecard with red numbers with the best of them. The Japanese star was third-best on the PGA Tour in total birdies during the 2018-19 campaign. His birdie barrages helped him finish tied-fifth for most sub-par rounds for the most recent season. Spurred on by his countrymen, the golfer representing the host nation will look to put on a show, and he has the firepower to do so.

CONS: The support of the crowd in Japan may be a double-edged sword, and the pressure to perform well may throw Matsuyama off his game. If the skins come to a putting contest, he will have the biggest challenge of all the competitors. His strokes-gained-putting statistic was the worst of all four competitors for the previous PGA Tour campaign.

Rory McIlroy

PROS: The reigning PGA Player of the Year may be the favorite on Monday. He played well throughout the season, with wins scattered throughout the calendar. His most recent play was hot, as he finished the campaign with a win at the Tour Championship. Among the leaders in nearly all the scoring categories, his competitors will have to be on top of their game to win skins from the Northern Irishman. McIlroy was the best on Tour in scoring average, helped by his making birdie or better on nearly 26% of all holes he played. His scoring average was even lower during later tee times, and with the finish to be set under floodlights, the bulk of the competition will occur during McIlroy’s favorite time of day.

CONS: Like Woods, this event will be McIlroy’s first since August. Not having played in nearly two months, coupled with this event being his first foray in an exhibition skins match, may be a disadvantage.

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Bogey Golf

Bogey Golf: Playing a round with pro

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Larry plays a round of golf with PGA Canada pro Evan Bowser. Evan teaches Larry a bunch of tips. We also discuss would you quit playing golf for 30 million dollars? and construct a Frankenstein’s monster to create the greatest golfer of all time.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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The 19th Hole Episode 97: The one with Butch Harmon

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The great Butch Harmon is was honored at the 2019 Houston Open, and he shares his experiences from a lifetime of golf with host Michael Williams, including what’s in the bag for the greatest teacher ever. Also features PGA Tour winner Troy Merritt talking about wining despite adversity and his work with Galvin Green golf apparel.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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19th Hole

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