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Opinion & Analysis

GolfRedefined aims to make club swapping easier

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There is a fair chance that the average GolfWRX reader has a few drivers hidden in their closets.

Maybe they are tucked away so the wife doesn’t find them and then have the nerve to ask you why you have four different drivers that say “Superfast” on them, yet you still refuse to buy anything but discounted detergent while buying groceries. Or maybe that is just me. But if you have more Callaway Razr’s than disposable ones, GolfRedefined thinks it has the solution for you.

GolfRedefined.com is a new exchange-based website offering golfers the option of signing up, paying a monthly fee and then requesting and trading for their choice of a large selection of fairly current drivers (just drivers for now). The selection and monthly fees are dependent on one of the three different packages you choose.

The monthly pricing starts at $24.95 per month or $69.95 per quarter for what is called the “birdie” program, and this, like all membership levels, allows you to request any driver that falls into that package, and then trade it for others basically an unlimited amount of times as long as you are a member. There is a shipping fee of around $12 to $15 as well that gets tacked on for each new driver you receive, while sending them back included pre-paid shipping.

Stepping up a notch in terms of driver selection, there is a “hole in one” plan as well that will bill you just under $100 quarterly and give you access to the newest drivers on the market. Then there is the “eagle” plan that will set you back just under $40 a month and is targeted at seasonal golfers.

Annually, the “eagle plan” would cost more than the “hole in one plan,” while offering an older selection of drivers. But it gives golfers the option of paying monthly, while the “hole in one” plan mandates that golfers make a quarterly commitment.

Obviously the idea with this site is to capitalize on the fact that many golfers like to tinker with a lot of drivers. Its target market is likely the guy who is tired of buying a $399 driver and then seeing a commercial promising him more distance or forgiveness, and not really being able to afford shelling out more money to try it out. Or of course the guy who loves his driver one day, and then wants to wrap it around a tree the next when he misses 10 fairways.

With GolfRedefined, you could change your current driver for another without paying full retail. And with an “eagle” package, you’d have access to basically any big name driver on the market including the new ones. Sounds great on paper if you are an obsessive tinkerer, and the website touts its merits in its FAQ section. But the math does make for some interesting things to ponder.

First off, there are a couple of reasons I couldn’t join. The service is only offered to the continental U.S. and it currently does not offer left-handed clubs. So while GolfRedefined is not a possibility for me right now, I wonder if it would be if I happened to be a right-handed golfer from say, Minnesota (I like people from Minnesota, they pronounce their “o” like we do, and thus they are all honorary Canadians in my book), would this service interest me?

Well, the “birdie” package costs roughly $300 a year and the drivers offered to those consumers is a mix of relatively new but not current models (Ping G15, Cleveland TL310, Taylormade R11, Diablo Octane to name a few). The website’s FAQ also says the average client makes about four trades a year which would bring the total to roughly $360 if I factor in shipping charges. So would I pay $360 for this service, to use four drivers in 2013?

To be honest, probably not, as I actually already own three of the four drivers I listed above (a G15, Tl310 and Octane) and my local golf store still has all of them new for between $95 and $150 factoring in U.S. conversion. I just bought my Cleveland TL310 for $95. You could buy two or three brand-new drivers offered in the “birdie membership” for less than the price of a year’s payments. And they are yours, you own them and can trade them in later for credit. You can’t do that if you have to return them to the site. So the price point of that program is maybe a bit of a concern.

The top-of-the-line “hole in one” program might make a bit more sense to a hardcore club-swapper. If you keep your membership for a year you’d pay roughly $400 plus the shipping dues. That would bring you to roughly $460 a year if you are an average member making about four trades. That is more expensive than almost any premium driver on the market but if you planned on using three or four a year, as well as upgrading every year, I could see how that might be appealing to someone who always wants to try something new, and maybe have a status club in the bag. But I could also see how if you ever found something you really liked and wanted to stick with it, you’d feel you were spending a lot to use it. Though I suppose people who stick with drivers is not really GolfRedefined’s target audience.

Speaking of target audience, I also wonder about whether the obsessive tinkerer has much use for a completely stock driver. For example, he site does not reference an ability to change the grip, adjust the length, or hot melt/lead tape the head for swing weight purposes. This might not be a problem for 99 percent of the golfers out there, but obsessive tinkerers seem to comprise the main target market of this website. I wonder how many players out there switch drivers four times a year but also want to play them all completely stock?

I would also be interested in hearing reviews of actual members. While the FAQ section seems to be geared heavily at customer satisfaction, it is also pretty vague in regards to stocking levels and damage policy. The site does promise to try to have all new drivers in stock at all times, but there is no guarantee of turnaround time. There is also no guarantee that the shaft flex of your choice will be available either. Do they stock more regular then stiff? Any X flex? These also might be concerns for the compulsive tinkerer. As far as the damage policy goes, you are covered for “everyday” wear and tear but I’m not sure what that is. What about skymarks? The site promises all clubs are in “new” or “new like” condition. If I skymark a driver do they throw it out? Do I get charged for it?

OK, I’ve been a bit tough on GolfRedefined, but in all fairness, with any program you are never tied in to anything long term (the longest commitment seems to be three months) and you can quit at any time. In the end, spending $25 to $40 a month to try out a bunch of drivers and see where it goes could be fun. The site does say that if you decide you want to keep a driver, they will sell it to you and allow you to cancel when your term is up. So there is that. I could also see this being of value to someone who only plays a few months a year, wants to use a $350 driver, but doesn’t want to pay for one. If you take the “hole in one” membership and pay $100 for three months, you could use a Ping G25 this golf season for only $100. That isn’t bad.

Feel free to check out the site for yourselves and form your own opinions (click here). Worst case you have another option of how to go about acquiring clubs, and for any golfer, that is a good thing.

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Jeff Singer was born and still resides in Montreal, Canada. Though it is a passion for him today, he wasn't a golfer until fairly recently in life. In his younger years Jeff played collegiate basketball and football and grew up hoping to play the latter professionally. Upon joining the workforce, Jeff picked up golf and currently plays at a private course in the Montreal area while working in marketing. He has been a member of GolfWRX since 2008

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. JKratz

    May 9, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Just learn how to use an auction site. Buy and sell the drivers you want/don’t want. You may incur some losses, but not a monthly fee. And…you may even MAKE money if you know what you’re doing!

  2. Tyson

    May 1, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    In Canada where did you get your drivers for 95-150$?

  3. Spencer

    Apr 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I got as far as “Monthly fee” before I stopped reading.

  4. kloyd0306

    Apr 25, 2013 at 5:27 am

    This will fail because it’s dumb…….

  5. Flip4000

    Apr 23, 2013 at 9:46 am

    If your a golfer who cares about spending extra money on after market shafts, your probably someone who doesn’t buy 3-4 drivers per year and therefore the program doesn’t appeal to you. I think its more for the guy who maybe is a little older or the single post college grad with a little bit of income to throw around or someone who just likes to try the latest and greatest drivers rather than trying to fully customize a driver to their game.

    Look, when you rent a car, they dont let you pick any custom rims or aftermarket parts to put under the hood, nor should it matter since its a RENTAL,this program is the same concept. if your someone who wants to custom build a club just for “you”, then just continue buying clubs at store or online for a discount and throwing whatever expensive shaft you feel like on it.

    I think its more for the person who cant make it out to a demo day or doesn’t have access to a demo day in order to try a club on the course and see how it may or may not fit their game. we have all hit a driver on a simulator and said to ourselves “psh, clearly i drive the ball farther than this” or ” oh sure i hit it good at the store but what would it look like on the course”. With this program you basically get to have your own demo day at your course when ever you feel like it, which i think is kinda cool. I am not someone who really cares about the latest and greatest so i wouldn’t ever use this program but i can see the market for it

    i think the target market was mis represented in this article;it appeals more for the guy who sees the new Taylormade driver is in stores and immediately heads down to golf galaxy to take on the latest yard challenge rather than people who take time to tinker with their clubs. Just my thoughts

    • Blanco

      Apr 23, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      I guess those guys do exist… but looking at the web site, in particular the Anser Driver… has four stock shaft options that are completely different in every way. Not only are you prevented from selecting a specific shaft, you aren’t even made aware of the shaft you’re choosing.

  6. Blanco

    Apr 23, 2013 at 2:18 am

    Nice idea. Poorly thought out.

  7. justplay

    Apr 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    sounds dumb!!!

  8. J

    Apr 21, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    No shaft options mentioned on their website.

    So this is a service that lets you try out completely stock, bare bones drivers.

    Nope.
    Their not offering custom shafts and custom lengths, different grip types… All of the stuff that their target audience would be after means failure.

    You want ” tinkeres ” to use your clubs? Offer more than stock. Period.

  9. Trevor

    Apr 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    I don’t like the idea at all. Seems almost scam-like and why not try them out the store before buying them anyway?

  10. Ronald Montesano

    Apr 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Key words: disposable income!

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“I Love You, Tiger!” At Big Cedar lodge, an outpouring of affection for Tiger Woods

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What a difference a year makes.

About one year ago, Tiger Woods was in Branson, Missouri at Big Cedar Lodge to announce that he was designing a golf course there; Payne’s Valley, his first public course. That day was attended by hundreds of national and local media, the Lieutenant Governor of Missouri and Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops owner and the visionary behind the amazing golf complex that has been established at Big Cedar Lodge.

That day, Woods had not played competitive golf for awhile, and he was recovering from multiple surgeries. Woods took a couple of ceremonial swings, the last of which clearly left him in physical distress. Days later, he was in surgery again and his playing career looked to be all but over. The situation became worse when Woods was arrested for driving under the influence, found with multiple substances in his system. It seemed as though the sad mug shots from that arrest might be as prominent in his legacy as the smiles and fist-pumps that accompanied his 79 wins and 14 major championships.

Fast forward to yesterday, where Woods was back in Missouri to do a Junior Clinic at Big Cedar. An estimated crowd of over 7,000 kids and parents showed up on a school day to catch a glimpse of Woods. The atmosphere was carnival-like, with sky divers, stunt planes making flyovers and rock music blaring from giant speakers. When Woods finally arrived, the reaction was electric. Mothers and their kids were chanting. “Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!” at the top of their lungs. Photographers battled soccer moms for position to get a picture of his swing. Some of the kids were as young as 6-years-old, which means that they had probably not seen Woods hit a meaningful shot in their life. At one point, when Woods was hitting shots and explaining how to execute them, a woman shouted, “I love you, Tiger!” Not to be out done, a woman on the other side of the crowd, who was their with her husband and kids, shouted “I love you more, Tiger!” Maybe the only people with more affection for Woods would be the people in the golf business. A senior marketing official in the golf industry leaned over at one point in the event and said, “God, we could use just one more from him.”

Woods swing looks completely rehabilitated. He was hitting shots of every shape and trajectory on-demand, and the driver was sending balls well past the end of the makeshift driving range set up for the event. But even more remarkable was the evidence of the recovery of his reputation. Surely there are still women out there that revile Woods for the revelations of infidelity, and no doubt there are those that still reject Woods for his legal and personal struggles. But none of them were in Missouri yesterday. Mothers and children shrieking his name confirmed what we already knew: Tiger Woods is the single most compelling person in American sports, and he belongs to golf.

Unlike a year ago, Woods is swinging well, and seems as healthy and happy as he as ever been as a pro. Add to that the unprecedented outpouring of love from crowds that once produced a combination of awe and respect, but never love. Fowler, McIlroy, Spieth and the rest may get their share of wins and Tweets, but if the game is to really grow it will be on the broad, fragile back of Tiger Woods. It’s amazing to think what can happen in one short year.

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12 reasons serious golfers don’t realize their potential

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What stops serious golfers from realizing their potential? If you are an amateur who wants to get better, a young player trying to achieve more, or a young professional with big dreams, this article is for you.

I’ve made a career out of helping athletes maximize their abilities, golfers in particular. And the things I see young playing professionals doing prior to our work together is often what is holding them back. The reality is that most young players, no matter what their level, have three key problems:

  1. They’re distracted by what’s not important
  2. They have no detailed structure and plan to reach the targets they determine are important to them
  3. They have no formal process to develop mindset and attitude

In the list below, I share what I see working with these young players and some common blind spots.

1. No real plan and steps to achieve targets

Most players do not know how to create a long-term and short-term plan that outlines all steps needed to reach targets. Players should have yearly plans with targets, steps and actions and weekly plans to organize/schedule their time and prioritize key needs.

2. Not focused enough on the object of the game

This goes hand in hand with No. 1. Surprisingly, players seem to forget that the object of the game is get the ball in the hole in the least amount of strokes. Trophies and checks are not issued for the best swing, the best putting stroke or most balls hit.

3. Not enough pressure in practice

Most young players have loose practice. The intensity of feelings between the practice tee and the course are too different. Focus and intensity must be a part of all practice. Add competition and outcomes to sessions so some urgency is created.

4. Too much practice time on full swing

The data is clear — most shots in golf happen from 100 yards and in from the green. If the majority of practice time is not spent on these shorter shots, practice time is wasted.

5. An obsession with the look of the swing

Players are not generally prepared to own their own swings and embrace the differences that make them unique. Obsessing over swing mechanics is a major distraction for many players. Many players convince themselves that if it doesn’t look “good” on their iPhone, their swing won’t get results.

6. No structure with the driver

Since scoring is the main goal, a consistent, reliable shape to each shot is important. My experience has been that if players are trying to go both ways with the driver, that is a sure-fire way to elevate numbers on the card. Pick a shape and eliminate one side of the course. Predictability from the tee increases a player’s confidence to put the ball in the fairway more often, creating more opportunities to score.

7. Expectation that they will hit the ball well everyday

Many players have the unreasonable expectation that they will hit lots of fairways and greens every time they play. This expectation leads to constant disappointment in their game. Knowing that the leading professionals in the game average about 60.6 percent driving accuracy and 11.8 greens in regulation per round should be a good benchmark for the expectations of all players.

8. Trying to be too robotic and precise in putting

Some players get so caught up in the mechanics of putting that their approach becomes too robotic. They become obsessed with precision and being perfect. Feel, flow and instinct have to be a central part of putting. This can get lost in an overly robotic mindset trying to be too precise and perfect.

9. No process for assessment and reflection

Players do not have a formal process for assessing practice or rounds and reflecting on the experience. The right lessons are not consistently taken away to ensure step-by-step improvement. Knowing how to assess practice, play and ask the right questions is key to development.

10. Getting in their own way

The voice inside of most young players’ heads is not helpful for their performance. It’s often a negative, demanding voice that insists on perfection. This voice leads to hesitation, frustration and anger. The voice must be shaped (with practice) into the right “emotional caddie” to support efforts and promote excellence over perfection.

11. A focus on the negative before the positive

A default to the mistakes/flaws in the round before looking at the highlights and what worked. When asked about their round, most players highlight three-putts, penalty shots and any errors before anything else. Emphasis should always be on what went well first. Refection on what needs improvement is second.

12. The blame game

Young players love excuses. Course conditions, weather, coaching and equipment are a few of the areas that are often targets, deflecting responsibility away from the player. Many players do not take full responsibility for their own game and/or careers.

I hope this provides some insights on roadblocks that could get in your way on the path to reaching your targets in the game. Whether it’s lowering your handicap, winning a junior tournament, working toward the PGA Tour — or just general improvement — considering these observations might help you shorten the road to get there.

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