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Good ideas are worthless without good people

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In all honesty, I originally titled this video “The Great Recruiter”—my reason for that was how fascinated I was with Bob’s ability to pick talent from top to bottom to push this startup forward. Let’s be clear, it’s a startup and one that was doubted, ridiculed and laughed at from jump street.

During the initial video of this series, Bob and I went back in time, into his childhood, his military time and the beginning of his now-empire. What I discovered is that more than anything was Bob’s belief in himself, but more importantly, the people he trusts. Like his days in the military, he lives and dies by the people he chooses to stand next to and in my opinion, the best businesses have this to their core.

Bob is a guy that came from nothing, its a fact and there is not zig-zagging around it. This company and the others he owns were built up from the dirt. Whether you agree with how he goes about his business or not, he and those who work with him succeed for one reason (yes, money helps, but move past that), they believe in Bob. And Bob believes in them.

Do I think that it’s all roses and butterflies every day at PXG? No. I don’t. But it’s not supposed to be. Startups, especially the successful ones are a constant tug of war between vision and hurt feelings. The folks in this video, understand that and look well beyond the here and now. This is where I think Bob’s upbringing and military career come into play. When you are in chaos and everything is on the line all the time, egos need to get tossed out the door, and you need people that are mission first and feelings second….or third. So, like I’ve always said…PXG isn’t designed for everyone to love it all the time. If you like it, tune in. If you don’t, change the channel.

The brilliance isn’t in the idea, it’s in the construction of the team that will love and care for this idea. In every interaction I have had with a PXG employee, they all WANT to be there, WANT to sell the brand, WANT to see it grow. Proof is in the pudding, beyond all doubt and criticism PXG was listed as No. 123 on INC. Magazine’s INC 5000 for 2019.

This video features just a select few of the folks behind PXG, the engine, so to speak. It’s a motley crew of people who are golf nuts, but more importantly, they ride or die with PXG. I’m sure I’ll get some flack for coming across as a pitchman for PXG. I’m not. I just like companies that push. People that push and won’t stop till they get to where they need to be. Bob reminds me of my dad (although the dollar amounts are different)—people didn’t expect much from them and they succeeded despite it all. Bullish at times? Yes. Does everyone love them? Probably not. Do they care? No.

Hope you enjoy.

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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons. @johnny_wunder on IG

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. gwelfgulfer

    Sep 3, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Glad he’s good at picking Top player talent to make sure everyone knows he’s made the best equipment ever. Wait…

  2. The Infidel

    Sep 3, 2019 at 8:59 am

    This is without doubt a fluffy puff piece for PXG. You’ve even acknowledged it. We didn’t learn anything about the company except for how much his employees love his cheque book and him. That does nothing for the equipment nuts who want to know more about their tech and process. It says a huge amount that half the actors in this video are PXG marketing staff.

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Podcasts

The Gear Dive: Rocco Mediate

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In this episode of The Gear Dive brought to you by Fujikura, Johnny has a serious heart-to-heart with six-time Tour Winner and all-around legend Rocco Mediate. This is a must-listen! They talk gear, sobriety, the 2008 U.S. Open, and Rush.

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 Gear Dive WITB Edition: Ping Tour rep Kenton Oates talks Viktor Hovland

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In this WITB Edition of The Gear Dive, Johnny chats with Ping Tour rep Kenton Oates on the ins and outs of Puerto Rico Open Champion Viktor Hovland’s golf bag.

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

They also cover Jim Wells Putters and the legendary Ping Eye 2 wedge.

Viktor Hovland WITB

Driver: Ping G410 LST (9 degrees @ 8.5; flat standard, CG shifter in draw)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Black 6.5 (44.5 inches, D3 swing weight)

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees @ 14.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Blue AV 85 TX

Irons: Callaway X Forged UT (21 degrees), Ping i210 (4-PW)
Shafts: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-85 X Hybrid (21), KBS Tour 120 X (4-PW)

  • Standard length, .5 degrees flat, D2+

Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 (50-SS, 56-SS @ 55, 60-TS)

  • 50SS (35.25 inches, 1-degree flat, D3, “Half Moon” Grind)
  • 56SS (35 inches, 1.5-degree flat, D3+)
  • 60TS (34.75 inches, 2-degrees flat, D4)

Shafts: KBS Tour-V 130 X

Putter: Ping PLD Prototype “Hovi”

  • 36″, 20-degree lie, 2.5-degree loft, stepped shaft

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride MCC White/Black 58R

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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: Realistic expectations

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(Today’s post is one I actually wrote nearly eight years ago, but I’m using it to start a series about “thinking your way to better golf.” I hope you enjoy the next few weeks.)

One of the great regrets of my life is that I missed the fatherhood experience, never having had children of my own. As I get older, I find that I gravitate to the younger folks, and offer my help whenever I can, whether on the golf course, on the water fishing, or just life in general. One of my joys is working with younger kids on their golf. That includes instruction, of course, but what I think is more important for them in the developmental stages is to learn to manage
their expectations. Actually, we all could benefit from that bit of advice.

On Sunday, I had the joy of playing with the 16-year-old son of one of our partners at SCOR Golf. Kyle is a tremendously talented young man who I’ve worked with quite a bit, but he really hasn’t committed himself to golf yet. I’m talking about the kind of commitment that keeps him working hard at it as long as there is daylight. He might not ever get that, and that’s OK, but he hasn’t figured out yet that your expectations can only rise from your achievements, and not from your desires.

On a core level, Kyle has great strength but hasn’t learned to harness it yet. He wants to choose his clubs based on his maximum distance with that club—if everything falls exactly into place. Like most golfers, and especially young ones,
he’s enamored with the power game. When we play, I show him that throttling back and controlling the shot is much more reliable.

What I discovered Sunday is that Kyle has very unrealistic expectations about what a round of golf should really be like. He, like most of us, expects all the shots to be struck solidly and fly like he imagined. So I explained that he hasn’t
earned the right to have such expectations yet. His scores average around 90-95 and his best ever is an 85.

So, here’s my point (finally)

Kyle was off to a good start with three pars and two bogeys in his first five holes. He kind of “fat-pulled” a 4-iron approach on a 200-plus yard par three. His shot left him only 10-15 yards short and left of the green, but he wheeled around, dropped his club and expressed his disgust with the shot. And I got on him about it. “What’s wrong with that? It’s a difficult par-3 with a 20 mph crosswind and you are in good position to get up and down or at least make no worse than bogey on one of the hardest holes on the course.”

I went on to explain that he was only two pars away from tying his best round ever, and if he just played for bogeys – and stay excited—he would probably make twice that many or more. And I seemed to get through to him of the reality
of golf, or his golf at least. He stayed in the moment, with only a little more cajoling from me, and shot an 86—one shot off his best ever! And I MADE him congratulate himself on his accomplishments. Instead of focusing on those few
shots that were bad, and the 2-3 doubles he made, I told him to focus on the good that came out of that round.

So, here’s my point (or points) for managing your expectations, too.

  1. If you are a low single-digit player, you’ll still only hit 2-3 shots a round just like you wanted.
  2. If you play to a 12 or higher, any shot that keeps you in the game isn’t really all that bad.
  3. Regardless of your skill level, there is no such thing as a “birdie hole” when you are standing on the tee. A “birdie hole” can only be claimed when you have executed an approach to makeable putt range.
  4. If you are a 12-15 handicap player, you only need to make 3-6 pars to beat your handicap, as long as you don’t chop up any holes. Bogeys are good scores unless you regularly shoot in the 70s!

So, the next time you are on the golf course, try to set and manage realistic expectations. Your golf will be better for it, and you’ll have a ton more fun.

NOTE: I read a great article this morning by Geoff Ogilvy about the quality of golf being played on the PGA Tour. It reflects what I’ve often said about how the modern tour professional plays the game. Here it is.

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