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Q&A: An inside look at TaylorMade’s marketing

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Bob Maggiore, chief marketing officer for TaylorMade-adidas Golf, is the man responsible for the company’s aggressive marketing campaigns that have redefined its product launches the last five years.

TaylorMade calls some of these launches “culture bombs,” which take place during PGA Tour tournaments to showcase the company’s products in a highly visual, untraditional way.

At the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, TaylorMade launched its #onebucket challenge, which allowed golfers to receive a free bucket of balls at their local golf course or driving range if they demoed the company’s RocketBladez irons. Plus, if a golfer registered for the #onebucket challenge online, he or she was entered into a sweepstakes to win a golf trip to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort with a guest.

To spread the word – TaylorMade believes it will take golfers one bucket or less to change – the company offered Pro-Am participants $100,000 donated to the charity of their choice if they made a hole in one on No. 17 at Pebble Beach while wearing a yellow #onebucket-branded bucket hat. The (some say ugly) hat became a leading story at Pebble Beach, as celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, Jim Harbaugh, Wayne Gretzky, Chris Berman and most of the TaylorMade’s Tour staff were spotted wearing it.

Maggiore took time to answer questions from GolfWRX’s Zak Kozuchowski about the past, present and future of TaylorMade’s marketing campaigns.

ZK: How is TaylorMade marketing different now from when you joined the company 14 years ago?

Maggiore: The major difference today is the speed by which we get the consumer excited. When I began in the golf industry, product life cycles were longer and products didn’t reach their peaks until months, even years of existence. The ramp up time was also a lot longer. Today, products are launched much quicker and it’s our job to make them buzz worthy within 30 days.

There are so many more touch points and levers to pull today. And that’s where the fun begins. Our group is more creative and faster than anyone else in the industry. We aren’t just running TV and print ads anymore. We are closer to the golfer than ever. Social and mobile engagement is much bigger piece of our go to market planning – and those obviously weren’t an option back then. The explosion of smart phones, social media and really a consumer mindset shift that demands instant content has changed the game dramatically. These disciplines used to be layered onto an existing campaign a day or two before launch. Today, you can’t even have a product go-to-market discussion without the digital, social and experiential teams.

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am - Round Two

Johnson Wagner wearing a yellow TaylorMade bucket hat as part of the company’s #onebucket campaign at the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

We also approach the PGA Tour much differently. In fact, the PGA Tour has become fertile ground for us to tell our stories. In the past, we were satisfied if our tour players were a walking billboard for us – wore our logo, played our product and carried our bag. Players today are much more engaged. Just like any golfer, they too get excited when we bring out the new equipment and they can’t wait to get on a launch monitor and test the performance. Best of all, they buy into our strategy to create hot products. Earlier this year our players supported our national One Bucket challenge by wearing yellow bucket hats. I never imagined there would be a day when Dustin Johnson would wear a yellow bucket hat! Before that it was supporting R1 and adizero at the onset of the West Coast Swing. By integrating our product campaigns into the tour, we can have conversations with the golfer, rather than push the message on them.

ZK: Take us through the making of a “culture bomb.” How and when does it start, and how do you evaluate its success?

Maggiore: As I mentioned, we have a unique group of crazy smart and passionate golf marketing experts on our campus. Ideas literally come from anywhere. Our ideation sessions are a crazy, mash-up process that often ends with someone taking a wiffle ball to the face. And I mean that quite literally. If you could be a fly on a wall in of our ideation sessions, you would see our teams in bean bag chairs playing with Legos as footballs and baseballs zip through the air. The room smells like a combination of pizza, candy and Dry Erase pens. We watch movie clips and intake an insane amount of highly caffeinated drinks. All of this craziness is part of the creative process.

This process has bred some really insane ideas. Our New York City white-out event, hearts on hats, bucket hats, a RocketBallz foul pole, yellow shoes with flying people, skydivers and more. Moments like these are all designed to strike an emotional chord with the consumer and bring excitement to our sport. If GolfWRX is talking about it, then we know we were successful.

As I said, ideas can come from anywhere – even outside our walls. Prior to the 2009 SuperBowl, E-Trade approached us to a partner in a SuperBowl ad. The famous E-Trade baby wore a TaylorMade visor in the spot and it netted widespread attention for our brand. We have also seen our products featured on mainstream shows like Sopranos, Entourage, Modern Family and The Office to name a few. For us, it’s incredibly validating that there are others outside our sport who like what we are doing and willing to include us in their projects.

I give all the credit to our marketing group. We know we have to raise the bar every year. Others are going to try and do some of the same things we do. They will try and mimic our speed and launch behaviors on tour. We have the brightest and most innovative group of marketers who love the game and are golfers themselves. I wouldn’t want to work with any other group.

A member of an elite parachute team delivering an R1 driver to a TaylorMade Staff Member at the Northern Trust Open. The clubs were emblazoned with the names of wounded veterans from Operation Game On, a non-profit organization that uses golf to rehabilitate combat-injured military members.

ZK: It’s said that good products sell themselves. True or false? 

Maggiore: Gary Adams, who founded TaylorMade, used to say “the product doesn’t lie.” The meaning behind that statement is that a tour player, the better player and the average player WILL KNOW if a product lives up to its performance claims. The club has to look and feel just right. It needs to be the best sounding. Above all else, it needs to be the best performing. This holds true for all of our brands including Adams Golf as well as our adidas Golf and Ashworth apparel. The fabric and fit have to be superior, the footwear has to be just right. We are lucky to work at a golf company where the R&D group makes our jobs as marketers easy. Our marketing team is at an advantage in that we have the best products.

That said, do I believe good products sell themselves? No, I don’t. Even with the best products, we still have to create more energy than anyone else in the industry. Innovation is critical, but equally important is the marketing of the innovation.

ZK: Some members of GolfWRX feel that TaylorMade has gone too far with its distance claims, such as the promise of 17 more yards with the 2012 RocketBallz fairway woods and now the promise that the 2013 RocketBallz Stage 2 woods are even longer. What do you have to say to them?

Maggiore: If you have seen what we have seen, I don’t think we have gone far enough with our distance claims. Since the introduction of the original RocketBallz fairway wood last year, we have seen golfers of all levels pick up as much as 50 yards compared to their old gamer. We called that the “RocketBallz Factor.” At the highest level, we heard stories from our tour team that players were likening the flight of the ball to a driver. In fact, some players were hitting it too far! We saw Darren Clarke gain 30 yards with RocketBallz over his old 3 wood. The Speed pocket is a technological breakthrough. If you aren’t playing a fairway wood with a Speed Pocket, I can assure you that you are losing distance. Last year’s RocketBallz fairway wood was the BEST fairway wood that the BEST metalwood company in golf has ever made. What’s scary is that the RocketBallz Stage 2 is better.I guarantee that it will beat your gamer – including the original RocketBallz model.

ZK: The USGA’s likely ban of anchored putters in 2016 has created a heated discussion in the industry around bifurcation – the creation of different sets of rules for amateurs and professionals. Your CEO, Mark King, was quoted recently as saying bifurcation is “inevitable” and “coming fast.”

How would bifurcation affect TaylorMade marketing campaigns?

Maggiore: Regardless of where the dust settles, we will continue to make the best performing products better than our competitors and make golfers better. So from an equipment manufacturing standpoint, that’s our promise.

I have been at this company a long time and I know what our R&D team is capable of engineering. If I let my mind wander a bit, it’s fun to think what that team could do if they didn’t have constraints. You combine the talents of our world class R&D team with the speed and creativity of our marketing group and I promise that we would all be blown away.

ZK: Thank you so much for your time, Bob.

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52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Kappa

    Apr 8, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Wow, this is the first comment thread that I read from the very top and finished and I’ve got to say that it was really intriguing, not to mention entertaining 🙂 The hate and distaste people have on Tmag’s marketing at the beginning and middle portion until the more civilized and less biased comments near the end. Well here’s my opinion as an average golfer in my teens. Why is this affecting you so much? I personally think that TM is brilliant and people are now more into the game, regardless of the Tiger Woods effect. It is the one company that really connects to people done thru little events that even give incentives to those that just try it out. TM is the only one that does this in my country. What are the other manufacturers doing to push their product lines? I actually think that some other companies have better clubs such as Mizuno and even Yonex! but then nobody will really consider them with TM’s marketing since they aren’t really doing as much effort now are they? Kids here and young professionals are really getting into golf because of these little significant things that TM does which I do believe is important to golf. I don’t see them doing anything wrong, but then again this just what I think. Whoo, you guys have moved me so much to comment, cool XD

  2. Matt

    Apr 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Keep in mind Adams came out with the ‘slot’ first. I will say this. The xtd was longer and launched higher than the RBZ. If TMAG markets Adams like they market TM, Adams would out sell TM. The Adams stuff is superior. Forged irons, driver, hybrids, fairways.mand even the YES putters. I’ll keep trusting my Adams gear. Little hype. Great products.

  3. bootscrilla

    Apr 7, 2013 at 11:17 am

    just*

  4. bootscrilla

    Apr 7, 2013 at 11:16 am

    No TM for me until they put out some black woods again, ust make it an option!

  5. Mat

    Apr 7, 2013 at 1:24 am

    The equipment is decent. The marketing is effective, but it’s effective in an annoying way.

    If you’re going on volume, and that’s what they do, they are taking the Samsung approach. Slightly more innovative, they are going for margins on volume, discounts, and marketing prowess. They don’t really do anything “sneaky” by adjusting your iron stamps… they flat out admit that the hot lofts are what does the trick.

    If you are a “traditionalist”, as in you think a 7-iron should be a certain range of loft angle, you’re missing the point. They know what they’re doing. All they want is for someone to pull 7, go 10 yards longer than their buddies 7, and the buddy goes to buy TM next time so he isn’t “behind”. It’s brilliant peer-pressure, social-media stuff.

    Microsoft was heavy into marketing not long ago, and marketing drove the spec sheets. When marketing departments run your company, it takes one campaign to undo all the good pub it builds up. If you go from research, customers will give you a pass if they think you’re trying. It’s a dangerous game.

  6. Bob

    Apr 6, 2013 at 4:43 am

    It is funny – not a huge fan of the taylormade stuff, but my kids love it. By virtue of that alone, I respect Taylormade and the general trend of infusing a young and vibrant mojo into golf. I am sure there were nay sayers in the past about every change away from “real golf” (which is always a relative term). Some folks just hate change -not sure why. For me it is all about the kids and the next generation that will put their own mark on this great game we all love.

  7. footwedge

    Apr 5, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    I play a distance iron. Oh wait a minute, I say I play a distance iron but I don’t really. Its not deceptive, it’s not lying . . . .

  8. Boomboom

    Apr 5, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Wow. Some of these comments crack me up. Golf is a great game with a great history. Golf companies are big business with bottom lines, shareholders, etc. Don’t confuse the two. TM is not ruining the game of golf. They do what other companies can’t. They bring new products to market quicker than anyone else because of their superior R&D, Manufacturing, and marketing. Judging by some of these comments, golf companies should be non-profit organizations that release clubs every 2 years in only black color schemes.

  9. rjh

    Apr 5, 2013 at 10:21 am

    a few years back i came back to the sport after taking about a ten year hiatus. thanks to my son who found my sticks in the garage and starting swing them. they were as tall as he was but he like hitting them so we bought him a few junior clubs that fit him. i have to say this, the play has gotten worse. the swings i see are an abomination of the sport. give the oem credit, well give everyone credit. we have become a society of trying to fix things without putting in the time or effort to get the results they strive for. take this pill and you will make more money or be able to keep your johnson up longer. not that the fact that your 25 pounds overweight and god forbid actually walk a golf coarse to get a little exercise. then it becomes, swing this club and that duck hook you hit on ever other hole or that slice that you put threw a house window that was 50 yards away from the coarse will all be fixed. its obvious were buying into it. i understand that technologies has always effected the game of golf and always will but i think we need to slow down and see what is more important. gigantic orange club heads, bobby jones and old tom morris are rolling in there graves. perhaps this why i am spending time with my son teaching this game. it is a game of what you put in it is what you are going to get out of it. and what sticks you are swinging is not going to matter.

    • Eric

      Apr 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      you got that right!

      Hackers are still hackers with their new shinny TM clubs and better players don’t need them.

      Whether I play with modern gear or older persimmon and blades my score doesn’t change. That’s because one day I decided that I would take responsibility for my own golf swing and not blame my short comings on equipment. It’s all very silly.

  10. evanm

    Apr 5, 2013 at 5:19 am

    Culture Bomb? This article and taylormade are lame.

  11. DJ Golf

    Apr 5, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Mark King is laughing (at you haters) all the way to his country club.

    • Matt

      Apr 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      This is a fact. Fun y thing is I played the r11 driver. Nothing from TM since has been “better”

      Yet the continue to sell. Marketingg is 90% of business.

      Why do you think TM made Adams woods white this season? God forbid a TM staffer is playing a different OEM’s stick.
      it’s laughable and brilliant.

  12. J

    Apr 4, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Their Marketing is second to none. Their investment into their product is second to none.

    Their claims about distance are generated because, like everyone said before me, they jack up the lofts.

    I’ve got a 24* Mizuno Fli-Hi. If I buy new irons from just about any OEM… I’m going 6-PW. I won’t need a 5 iron as every one I’ve test hit has a 27-28 degree 6 iron.

    Yup… That’s about 10-15 more yards.

    It’s not technology…it’s not equipment… It’s marketing and deception.

    But they all do it…. All of them.

  13. Philip

    Apr 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Taylormade is doing what any business would do, effectively sell its products. They have fallen into the same love/hate story as Apple has because of their dominance.

    The truth is… what the consumer wants will be produced. If the consumer wants distance, a smart firm will find a way to do so. If you don’t like the idea of “longer” irons, don’t buy them.

    More importantly, Taylormade has changed the game from the boring old guys to a more modern and younger player, friendly atmosphere.

    If anything, you haters should be buying their products to repay them for the positive benefit they bring to the game.

    • Matt

      Apr 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      That is silly. Positive benefit?

      TM, like all golf OEM’s owe tiger woods trillions. Without tiger….golf wouldn’t be what it is today.

      Give me a bag full of Adams, titleist,, ping, mizzy, cobra, Nike, Cleveland irons before you give me those shaved face, strong loft, hit a 7 iron 220 irons from TM. Hit one 220, the next 180, the next 200….

      Yawn.

  14. Nick Farrow

    Apr 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    This guy is marketing Magic… they should call him Magic Maggiore..

  15. Skaffa77

    Apr 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Man…the TM hate gets heavy in these comments. Just because TM’s marketing doesn’t appeal to you doesn’t mean it’s not successful…maybe you aren’t their target audience.

    I have some TM woods (driver, 3 wood), but I don’t necessarily like all of their equipment. I’m probably more a Titleist guy based on the set of clubs I own, but I was at the range yesterday (after a long winter) and it occurred to me that 8 out of the 10 people hitting balls all had white painted drivers. TM is doing something right…and people are buying their gear.

    Ultimately, if their product doesn’t live up to the claims or consumer expectations, people would stop buying them.

  16. SN

    Apr 4, 2013 at 1:03 am

    What marketing(/marketer) does is making customers to “want” the product, which not neccessarily need it.

    Almost all golfers (i said “almost” for you hypocrites, satisfied yet?) want more distance, let’s face it.

    What i don’t understand is the hate.
    Why every hater is trying to be like “i hate it first, hey, i said that i hate it first! I’m the cool guy who says no to something that the mass like”

    • marty

      Apr 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

      to each their own. people will like what they like and hate what they hate. who cares?

  17. marty

    Apr 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    meh. nice try, TM.

  18. Ron H

    Apr 3, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    It’s the quest to turn golf into a game of Distance above all that really irks me about Taylormade (and, to be honest, much of the rest of the industry). They’re helping to make the classic courses obsolete in that the tour pros can hit modern drivers (now 3-woods?) then gap wedge into par 4s. Worst of all, they’re lying to uninformed consumers about what an extra 50 yards from a fairway wood means: they imply lower scores, the reality is more like balls hit deeper into lateral hazards! 😉

    • Jack

      Apr 5, 2013 at 4:05 am

      Yeah, but they can’t really make us hit the ball straighter with all the engineering in the world. So distance it is!

      I wonder really how much difference clubs affect in terms of dispersion. And I’m not talking about hitting 10 balls each. Some kind of robot testing. Has it been done?

  19. Mike

    Apr 3, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    If TM marketing was that great then I surely would have one of their clubs in my bag or wear their latest shoes – but I don’t and don’t intent to buy TM/Adidas gear. RocketBalls clubs sound like tins to me and I am not excited about the flight or feel of the clubs. However love the spot when Johnson Wagner say “I’ll mustache#ier you” – brilliant!

    • Brian

      Apr 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      Taylormade is #1 in marketshare not brainwashing.

    • Jack

      Apr 5, 2013 at 4:03 am

      They must market to the masses to make the most money. Just how it works. I don’t have TM products, but I don’t disagree with what they are doing. Actually I have some backup TM forged blades with the screw thing in the back. The feel on them is pretty nice. But overall I like callaway drivers, royal collection woods, and titleist irons with some old gauge design wedges. But my walk bag is TM. Man I’m all over the place. But since I’m nowhere close to being good enough to be sponsored, I get to buy and choose what I like.

  20. Shill

    Apr 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I also no longer buy any tmag products. There are plenty of other great products, super good-ier and no shill tactics.

    • Brian

      Apr 3, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      You cant have Callaway Xhot series, Adams Super S, Cleveland 588 Altitude, MT, or TT irons, they advertise thier distance alot with “misleading” tactics, strengthen lofts, and lengthen shafts. However i did not like their new TMAG Dungeon campaign. They locked me in a dundeon and played all of their ads until i bought one. Just because they advertise alot that doesnt mean you have to buy the club. Just ignore ignore them. Your missing out on some good products just because they try to make money with ads.

      • Eric

        Apr 3, 2013 at 6:48 pm

        Brian, you need to chill out dude. If people are put off by their marketing efforts then it’s their right to shop elsewhere and express their discontent with the direction the company has taken. I don’t think most people are complaining about the quality of their product, it’s the disingenuous and juvenile marketing tactics that are turning them off.

      • Jack

        Apr 5, 2013 at 3:59 am

        Why is it misleading if that’s exactly what it does? Now if the competitors want to say sure you hit it further but your dispersion will be worse, then that’s fair game too, but they can’t because that’s what they do too. Bummer. I don’t know actually. Maybe it does go further and has lower dispersion at the same time. I still think that most clubs in the 3 categories of muscle backs (for the pros and manly men), cavity backs, and game improvement irons it’s largely just personal preference with very similar performance.

        It’s more the golfer than anything else, but of course the equipment makers can’t control that and are trying to help us. Advertising works. Why be mad at them for being creative and successful (#1 market share). It’s not like they gobbled up every other brand and took away choices like titleist clubs.

  21. Mick

    Apr 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Their clubs are ugly, their tour staff is getting dumb-ier, and the execs at TM don’t seem worried that they’re screwing with the integrity of the game for a few years of $500k salaries. What gives?

    • jim

      Apr 6, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      you’re 100% correct. I wish a few more people here could learn how to play the game and could show a little decency towards others.

  22. Taylor

    Apr 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Taylormade is a marketing powerhouse, deceiving TM diehards to dump their barely 6 month old equipment to buy the latest and greatest when in reality the latest and greatest provide only incremental improvements. Those improvements on the whole could really amount to one revolutionary product. Over the past couple of years TM has released several versions of its drivers, fairways and irons – all with minimal improvement from the last. Why not invest the time to incorporate all of the technology to make a really great product that golfers only have to buy once every 2-3 years? I am boycotting TM equipment.

    • Brian

      Apr 3, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      TM will stop making new products each year when people stop buying them. Your beef is not with TM its with uninformed consumers.

  23. Bman

    Apr 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Anybody who is ok with this kind of marketing and braggadocio had better not EVER complain about idiots yelling out things at tournaments. They’re both part of the recent in-your-face culture shift. Can someone please stop it?

  24. Brian

    Apr 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    You people bashing Taylormade are ridiculous. They are doing what everyone else in the industry is doing and guess what, they are the best at it. They are #1 in marketshare. Everything, marketing wise, is working like a charm. You make it seem like Taylormade is producing bad products. You say you wont buy TM anymore? Then you cant buy Callaway. The XHot driver shaft is lengthened and you cant buy almost any game improvement iron that advertises distance (JPX, RBladez, XHot, Covert, G25) all the lofts are strengthened, because they are all liars? NO, the marketing is for the people who are uninformed about golf club specs (lofts, shaft lengths…) If you are a truely informed buyer you will know that marketing exists but you will look past it and look at the specs, feel, and look. If you are buying/not buying a club based on an advertisement, then you are making an emotional/irrational descion as opposed to a rational/informed descion. The products TM makes are no better or worse than any other on the market. Do you think they could get to #1 with poor products. Thats not how business works.

    • Llamont

      Apr 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      TMag’s RocketBladez marketing strategy isn’t completely straightforward. Stamping a club that is spec’d 2 clubs stronger and then telling the consumer that they will hit TMag’s RocketBladez 7 iron (which is actually a 5 iron) farther than your current non TMag 7 iron (which is actually a 7 iron) is not being truthful. I’m sure other OEMs are doing the same thing but TMag has the money to put behind the gimmick. That is my beef with the deal. Since when did 3 irons start coming in at 18*? In closing, you are entitled to your opinion and I’ll keep mine 🙂

      Oh, and I do have several TMag woods that I keep as backups because they are solid.

      • youstink

        Apr 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm

        Llamont, What I am having trouble with here is the haters who think they know what they are talking about, are actually just ignorant. TM does have strong lofts and they will not deny that. This is no secret. But let me explain to you and all the other folks out there why. They have created a face in an iron so hot that it goes farther and higher than all those who they compete against. Inverted cone tech and the speed slot, it has grown the traditional sweet spot from the size of a pee to a quarter.(8 times larger) In turn a hotter face. If you don’t want to hit the 7 iron like a PW then you have to strengthen the loft to optimize trajectory. So your lesson is you get more distance, control and forgiveness out of your irons with proper trajectory. That is what is behind these new irons.

        You are right you do have a choice. Play what you want and if all those don’t sound good have fun with your non forgiving, traditional playing, short clubs. Let the others hit 7 and 8 irons from where you hit your 6 iron and stop hating on them. And btw last time i checked it was easier to hit a green with less club in my hand!

        The hate is histarical from these clowns out there. News flash golf is no longer traditional nor is sport. Sorry to make your day cloudy but your ignorance is telling!

        • Blopar

          Apr 5, 2013 at 2:08 am

          Size of a PEE ? Wow are you illiterate!

          • Taylormade

            Apr 5, 2013 at 10:52 am

            Out of his entire post, THAT is what you took from it? Lol, you have no argument.

        • Llamont

          Apr 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm

          Llamont, What I am having trouble with here is the haters who think they know what they are talking about, are actually just ignorant. TM does have strong lofts and they will not deny that. This is no secret. But let me explain to you and all the other folks out there why. They have created a face in an iron so hot that it goes farther and higher than all those who they compete against. Inverted cone tech and the speed slot, it has grown the traditional sweet spot from the size of a pee to a quarter.(8 times larger) In turn a hotter face. If you don’t want to hit the 7 iron like a PW then you have to strengthen the loft to optimize trajectory. So your lesson is you get more distance, control and forgiveness out of your irons with proper trajectory. That is what is behind these new irons.
          You are right you do have a choice. Play what you want and if all those don’t sound good have fun with your non forgiving, traditional playing, short clubs. Let the others hit 7 and 8 irons from where you hit your 6 iron and stop hating on them. And btw last time i checked it was easier to hit a green with less club in my hand!
          The hate is histarical from these clowns out there. News flash golf is no longer traditional nor is sport. Sorry to make your day cloudy but your ignorance is telling!

          @youstink: I played competitive golf in high school and college and I worked in the pro shop of a golf course during the same time from 99′-04′. I’ve been around the game (business and pleasure) long enough to know that the “little” amount of knowledge I have, when it comes to club fitment and technology, is beyond that of an ignorant view. Speed slot technology in irons has been around for over 20 years and hot faced irons have been around since the days of Callaway’s X-14/X-14 PS with the variable face technology. At the end of the day, the reason for the RocketBladez “longer length” is because they took a club and stamped it 1-2 clubs less than the specs suggest (which by the way, thanks for pointing that out in your reply). And for the record, I was able to post a logical response without any insults or name calling 🙂 Have a wonderful Friday and a pleasant weekend.

  25. 8thehardway

    Apr 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I’d bet these naysayers entered TaylorMade’s last giveaway with posts of praise and appreciation.

    The only way I’ll get 17 more yards closer to the green is by moving up a set of tees; that said, in my foursome one guy plays Rocketbladez and an R1 driver, two others use some fairway woods/hybrids and I play their Burner Plus irons which make a real difference in my game. I know when something works and I understand hype; what I don’t get is the hate.

  26. Trevor

    Apr 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    There you have it folks, the company is nothing about their equipment they actually make, it’s all about their marketing and how many consumers and how fast they can get them out. Think about that a little and tell me again why I would ever want to be something like this?

    TaylorMade, stop ruining golf please.

  27. Steve

    Apr 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Facepaint, ugly yellow bucket hats, extra long shaft clubs for distance, 4 irons labled as 6 irons. Blech. I’m not buying anything Taylormade

  28. Frank

    Apr 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Of course you’re going to gain yards when you’re hitting a 13.5* 3 wood when you’re comparing it to a 15* club…

    • Llamont

      Apr 4, 2013 at 3:12 am

      …or you’ll hit your irons “farther” when you take an 18* 2 iron and stamp it as a 3 iron like they did with the RocketBladez.

  29. Eric

    Apr 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    You’ve taken the traditional game of golf and turned it into a circus. Please stop.

    • Jack

      Apr 5, 2013 at 3:52 am

      It’s hard to argue with them. Look at Titleist. I would say they take a very conservative approach to marketing and product development. Their stuff is very conservative and less flashy. Some people like it. The majority right now though is the flashy white driver heads with graphics. If it continues to sell well, then those will be the majority. Titleist only changes their products every couple years. I like it, since it keeps value better. I like their products because it’s very solid and less fluff. But their marketing is strongest probably in their golf balls. Marketing helps the products sell and that’s just how it is now adays. TMag sees how Apple did it. Now they want to replicate in their own way.

  30. Michael

    Apr 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Seems to me the guy is practicing very sound business.

  31. evan

    Apr 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    i hate everything about taylormade with a passion.

  32. Nice PR campaign

    Apr 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    What a classic PR piece. The heat against TM is so hot the creative director is now personally doing interviews. C o c k y !!!

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Oldest set you have played lately?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Bogeygolfer55 who asks WRXers for the oldest set of clubs they have played lately. The responses may surprise you, with some members going way back in time and still finding the older clubs effective.

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.

  • No_Catchy_Nickname: “1980 Ram Tour Grinds, Honma and Mizuno woods from, I think, the 80s, Ram BeCu gap wedge (don’t know the year), Ram Tom Watson Grind SW, and a TaylorMade TPA IX putter.”
  • Hatchmanss76: “1985 Titleist Tour Model Blades and Cobra Persimmon 2 and 4 woods. Low running darts off the Tee all day in strong windy conditions.”
  • tannyhoban: “Played a set of Cobra Greg Norman Signatures early this year with the autoclave stiff graphite shafts. One last fling before moving them on. Sweet set of irons.”
  • NixLix26: “Cleveland TA3’s form forged. Still a great iron set.”

Entire Thread: “Oldest set you have played lately?”

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Big Max Aqua Sport 2 cart bag

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Product: Big Max Aqua Sport 2 cart bag

Pitch: From Big Max “Big Max was founded 1994 and has grown into a global market leading push cart and golf bag brand. Europe’s #1 push cart brand was launched into the U.S. market in 2014. Big Max golf bags are manufactured using the highest quality materials and workmanship. Our bags are designed to deliver the best user experience in design, form, and function.”

Our Take on the Big Max Aqua Sport 2 cart bag:

Well known for their push carts, Big Max introduced themselves to the cart bag market with their Aqua Sport 2 bag. The bag’s primary selling point is the 100% waterproof element, and with the dreary winter months now upon us, it’s a much-needed asset.

Beginning with the look of the bag, it is indeed big and sturdy as you might expect with a cart bag, yet surprisingly, still relatively lightweight and mobile. The bag is exceptionally spacious boasting a 9.5 inch, 14-way compartment, and an oversized putter well which can be very beneficial for those that like an oversized grip on their flat-stick. The separation is both impressive and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Ultimately, the bag hinges on its waterproof quality, and it’s a feature which delivers in spades. The bag contains the i-Dry Rainsystem to provide water and tear resistance, and I was able to put it to the test on a wet day out on the course recently. The fabric casts away water superbly, keeping each item in the bag dry – delivering undoubtedly on the claim that the bag is 100% waterproof.

As for the storage areas, the bag has enough options for a retreat, let alone a day out on the course. The bag contains seven waterproof compartments, with both sides of the bag sporting large storage areas where you can stash larger items such as jackets. One of my favorite chambers is the “Cooler” pocket which is a great feature and ideal for carrying even a large water bottle (or whatever else you like to drink on the course!), with the specialized battery pack pocket coming in a very close second.

The bag contains a sweet umbrella storage area and even came equipped with a matching Aqua umbrella  which was another pleasant surprise. Clubs can be protected easily from the elements with Big Max’ transparent waterproof hood, while rubberized zips show that the company has gone to those extra lengths to provide a 100% waterproof bag.

A large comfortable strap sits the bag nicely and comfortably over one’s shoulder, and two rubberized handles provide for ease when lifting the bag.

I got to test out the vibrant red cart bag, which is the loudest of the colors provided and my personal favorite. Still, for those that prefer lower-key tones, then the brand have you covered with black-silver, charcoal-black-red, navy-black-silver and silver-black-cobalt color code options available.

Overall the Big Max Aqua Sport 2 cart bag is a mightily impressive bag which ticks the box in every department and provides you with an array of options storage wise. For winter months the bag’s values are priceless, but the seven pocket system and lightweight but robust nature means that it’s a bag which will also be seeing plenty of action in the summer months.

The bag retails at $299, and from now until christmas comes with a free matching Aqua umbrella worth $39.99. The Big Max Aqua Sport 2 cart bag is available to purchase now at BigMaxGolf.com.

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Forged game improvement irons?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from jjfcpa who opens up a discussion on forged game improvement irons. Our members have been discussing the array of forged irons on the market, and which ones WRXers rate highest in each department.

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.

  • Millhill88: “In the GI Category…. If you’re set on forged, look at the Srixon 585’s. Very forgiving, great feel and loooong. If you’re open to “forged feel”, try the Titleist T300’s. I switched from the 585’s to the T300’s. Both of these are great for all handicaps. I’m a “9”, and wouldn’t play anything but a GI iron.”
  • JanKo: “Cobra Forged Tec Blacks are awesome as well. Decent looking head with good feel, pretty forgiving and better spin consistency than a lot of other heads I played.”
  • PreppySlapCut: “Big fan of the Miura CB-301.”
  • reider69: “I have had the 900 forged since they were released and I still love them. Very forgiving and long. The topline is much and thinner and sleeker looking than the 919’s albeit with a bit longer blade length. I still get compliments from people who see them in the bag as well.”
  • JDMRN81: “I recently had a chance to hit Honma’s TW X irons, and I was very impressed. Not very long heal to toe but does have wider soles. Great looking irons overall.”

Entire Thread: “Forged game improvement irons?”

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