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Q&A with Oakley Golf: “We’re armed and ready to be a leader”

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Al Janc, Oakley’s sports marketing manager, took the time to answer these questions from GolfWRX Managing Editor Zak Kozuchowski about the future of Oakley Golf.

ZK: The two latest additions to Team Oakley, Bubba Watson and Zach Johnson, have both won The Masters (Bubba in 2012, Zach in 2007). But they have different personalities and contrasting styles of play. How are they both fits for Team Oakley?

AJ: Bubba and Zach do have different personalities, different games and go about their business in different ways on the golf course. We believe this is a benefit, as both guys appeal to different target demographics, which widens our consumer base.  While both of these young men have contrasting styles, they have values that align with our brand’s core values of Passion, Authenticity, Performance, Humility and Innovation. Bubba and Zach believe in family and faith and they respect the game of golf.  They maintain professionalism on and off the course, and believe the game of golf should be for everyone to play and enjoy, not just the elite.  They both keep themselves in excellent physical shape and wear the Oakley apparel collection very well.

ZK: How do endorsements like Watson’s and Johnson’s work? Do athletes approach Oakley, or vice versa? 

AJ: It works both ways. In some instances, we have identified and pursued athletes. In other instances, we’ve been approached by individuals that, after meeting them and analyzing their body of work, we felt they were a good fit for the Oakley brand and culture and signed them up to endorse the brand.

Courtesy of Oakley

ZK: The Oakley website lists team members in dozens of sports. What is the company’s commitment to golf and where does it see growth potential?

AJ: Most people know Oakley as a performance eyewear company, but even avid golfers still don’t know we’re committed to categories  outside of our eyewear: apparel, footwear and accessories. This perception is quickly changing, however, due to a number of factors: the performance of our athletes on professional golf tours around the world, the quality of the products we’re producing and the incredible ambassadorship Oakley maintains at the grassroots level. From a US standpoint, there are tremendous growth opportunities as it pertains to a number of entities in the golf space—apparel, footwear, accessories, women and active ophthalmic eyewear. From  a global standpoint, there is huge a opportunity in every segment of our golf business as we are now diving into a wider market.

ZK: Who is the Oakley Golf brand targeting – golfers or athletes? Does Oakley believe that there is a difference between the two?

AJ: Oakley does not believe there is a distinction between a golfer and an athlete any more. Years ago, people who played golf didn’t have the physical skills to keep up on the diamond, gridiron, or basketball court. That is not the case any longer. The athletes playing the sport of golf now, and in many cases, are choosing to be a golfer rather than a football, basketball or baseball player.

ZK: In your opinion, what’s the most important thing a golfer wears on the course?

AJ: It would probably be the golf shoe followed closely by  eyewear.  Golfers spends an incredible amount of time on their feet during the course of the day, so their shoes need to be as  light and comfortable as possible without giving up any performance benefits when it comes to swinging a driver and knocking a ball 300 yards or more. The shoes need to have a stable platform, be light and comfortable with incredible traction all wrapped in design lines true to the Oakley design.

Courtesy of Oakley

Eyewear is key piece of equipment as well. We are really seeing a trend in players protecting their eyes from the sun, wind and foreign particles blowing around on a golf course.  You cannot reverse eye damage and you are seeing many of the modern players understand this and adapting to wearing eyewear.  We believe those athletes who play in eyewear have a huge advantage over the competitors who don’t by reducing eyestrain from squinting into the elements all day long. Oakley has created an array of lens tints specifically suited for the game of golf and the changing light conditions. We also have sports specific frames like Fast Jacket and Radar Lock that were conceived so athletes and consumers have the ability to change out their lenses in varying light conditions quickly and easily.

ZK: What should golf fans expect from the Oakley brand in golf in 2013 and beyond?

Innovation. Innovation is in Oakley’s DNA. The company was built on the premise that “everything can and will be made better,” and that includes our own designs. With patented technologies in our eyewear, apparel and footwear we’re armed and ready to be a leader in the industry when it comes to cutting edge innovations for the sport of golf. We’re excited about the many opportunities that lay in front of us as a brand.

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. DLanger

    Jan 16, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Dave Pelz was pictured wearing Oakley shoes all last year in Golf Magazine. It looks like Oakley is making the push, but in my opinion they need to match Addidas in performance and comfort. For me, Addidas fits me best and has the best platform for lateral movements. Last year’s models could not compete with my 3 year old Tour 360’s.

  2. jhill

    Jan 15, 2013 at 9:52 am

    That’s cool they think ZJ has fans… good for him. He does wear glasses when he plays I think so that was probably part of it. They need to scrap everything and start over on shoes. Keegan looked ridiculous last year in those things. Bubba is very marketable. That partnership has some potential. I just hope they let him wear FJ’s until they get things figured out.

  3. Troy Vayanos

    Jan 14, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    It’s interesting because I’ve always identified Oakley as predominately an eye wear company. Even after seen Rory McIlroy wear their clothing it’s always been their eye wear that I have associated them with.

    This will be the challenge for Oakley to change the perception and have themselves viewed as a leader in all golf and athletic apparel.

    Bubba and Zach are two great role models for golf and Oakley have done well to sign both. Losing Rory McIlroy will hurt them but these two guys are very well respected and always command plenty of television coverage.

    Thanks for the interview, much appreciated.

    • FATZ

      Jan 15, 2013 at 9:39 am

      Hard to take footwear seriously when NONE of their athletes wear it.

      Rory didn’t, Bubba doesn’t, Zack doesn’t. Only guy who did is Keegan and they let him get away.

      • floycota

        Jan 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm

        Oakley shoes are great, the problem with them is that they don’t make most of their styles in anything but D. People have wide and narrow feet. Start making more sizes and I’ll start buying them again. They are my favorite shoes, when I can get them in a wide.

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Equipment

2020 GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Golfer Looking to get Better

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It’s that time of year again, GolfWRX members, the moment we start filling our wish lists with the golf gear we want this holiday season.

The GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide was created to ensure that our readers give (and hopefully receive) the very best golf gifts on the planet. These gift ideas will suit any budget, and each item was hand-picked by our staff.

In an effort to provide more value and tailored recommendations, we’re presenting our guide as a series this year, targeting “the purist,” “the gearhead,” “the value seeker,” “the golfer looking to get better,” “the clothes horse,” and “the big spender.” (Editor’s note: remaining installments to publish tomorrow and Wednesday)

You know the golfer looking to get better by his/her closet full of every infomercial training aid and a pursuit of forgiveness that would put the most penitent sinner to shame.

Here are our best recommendations for “golfer looking to get better” in your life.

Get a lesson

James Oh

Former tour player and now Southern California based coach to a number of fast-rising players in college and on tour, James teaches not only the swing, short game, etc., but he is also arguably one of the best Golf IQ coaches out there.

Book a lesson here. 

George Gankas

Get on the mat with the hottest teacher in the U.S. and longtime coach to Matthew Wolff and Akshay Bhatia. In a few years, these appointments will be few and far between.

Book a lesson here. 

James Ridyard

Short game teacher to the best—notably Francisco Molinari. A private session with James is expensive, but it’s worth the investment and then some. The best way on the planet to get your short game dialed.

Book a lesson here. 

Marcus Potter

Young and nimble, Marcus Potters career has taken off via word of mouth and Instagram. Schedule an in-person or video-based session with Marcus, and you will be putting like a young Ben Crenshaw.

Book a lesson here. 

Get Better at Home

PlaneMate

The hottest training aid in 2019 continued to be fire in 2020 as players are now learning how to utilize it over the winter to hit the ground running in the spring.

Buy here. 

Gankas G Box

If you really want to learn how to rotate like the best players in the world, there is no better and easier-to-use aid in the market. Good indoors and out.

Buy here. 

Get Faster

SuperSpeed Sticks

No longer a secret tool on tour, the SuperSpeed Sticks offer adults and juniors the ability and training program to truly hit it longer. If you want to build true speed and learn how you hit it farther, the SuperSpeed Sticks are a necessity.

Buy here. 

At-home practice facility

If you’ve got the dough to do it, building a Foresight hitting bay at home is almost like cheating. Not only can you dial in your swing, your clubs, and a create sound practice routines, you can also have some fun and play multiple iconic tracks over with your friends in the comfort of your own home.

Buy here. 

Wellness

Urban Golf Performance

For the SoCal crowd, buying a membership at Urban Golf Performance in Los Angeles puts you in an all-encompassing golf ecosystem that works with your body, your game, your mind and your bag. Its Equinox for golfers—and oh yeah, Collin Morikawa works out there amongst a bunch of other PGA pros and college stars.

Book here. 

For the .com crowd

Me and My Golf online membership

It’s a rabbit hole of tips, tutorials, and insight for golfers of all levels. Arguably the biggest golf platform on YouTube now offers you the VIP experience.

Buy here (7-day free trial).

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2020 GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide: Golf gifts for the Value Seeker

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It’s that time of year again, GolfWRX members, the moment we start filling our wish lists with the golf gear we want this holiday season.

The GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide was created to ensure that our readers give (and hopefully receive) the very best golf gifts on the planet. These gift ideas will suit any budget, and each item was hand-picked by our staff.

In an effort to provide more value and tailored recommendations, we’re presenting our guide as a series this year, targeting “the purist,” “the gearhead,” “the value seeker,” “the golfer looking to improve,” “the clothes horse,” and “the big spender.” (Editor’s note: remaining installments to publish tomorrow and Wednesday)

You know the value seeker by his/her eschewing of anything that will put a significant dent into the wallet while still getting the most from their game, this includes equipment, practice tools, or anything else you might find filling out a golf bag – maybe even the golf bag itself.

Here are our best recommendations for “the value seeker” in your life.

Tour Edge Hot Launch series clubs

Tour Edge and its Hot Launch line of clubs are one of the undisputed leaders when it comes to offering game improvement technology and value to golfers of all skill levels. The newest Hot Launch 521 Series, which includes the Hot Launch E521 and Hot Launch C521 line, can be broken up into two categories to help players quickly identify which clubs they should most consider, and it goes from drivers all the way down to wedges.

The Hot Launch E Series offers high-MOI, extreme game improvement designs with a singular focus on delivering easy-to-launch performance, which is built around correcting the most common miss in golf: the dreaded slice.

The Hot Launch C Series is designed for golfers who desire classicly shaped clubs that offer optimal launch and spin rates, while still getting all the benefits of easy to hit, forgiving clubs built around maximizing MOI.

Buy here.

Snell golf balls: $28.99 (when you buy 5 dozen)

The premium golf ball market if full of high-end competition from major OEMs, and in the direct to consumer market, there is value to be had at the cost of performance, but with Snell golf balls, you get the best of both worlds.

Founder Dean Snell has been in the golf ball business for over 25 years, and with Snell Golf, you can skip the middle man and go directly to the source—and save money. Beyond just saving money on one dozen, the more you buy, the more you save. When you buy 5 dozen (hopefully that’s at least a season’s worth for most golfers on your list), it breaks down to only $28.99 a box!

Buy now. 

Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft Premier putters: $129

Golfers love milled putters, and Cleveland Golf’s Huntington Beach Soft Premier line proves that you can get a milled putter packed with technology for under $150.

The Huntington Beach Soft Premier line is all about enhancing the looks and feel of the putter while continuing to offer familiar shapes and proven technology. The grey satin finish reduces glare and offers a premium look—without a premium price.

Buy here. 

GoSports Golf Practice Net: $79.99

Practicing your golf game shouldn’t just be a nice weather activity, and whether it’s winter or summer unless you are a member at a club or have already purchased a membership at a local range, buckets of golf balls can really add up.

Buy here. 

Golf Avenue gift card

Golf Avenue is one of the largest online shops for used clubs, and there is no better value when it comes to gear than buying used. They also offer a huge selection of new closeout priced bags, shoes, and accessories to help outfit any golfer with the essentials.

Buy here. 

Imperial hat: >$30

The Imperial brand is over 100 years old, but they never rest on their laurels and are constantly working on new designs and partnering with others to create unique collections. From dogs to donuts they have fun graphics and styles to find the perfect fit for any golfer on your list. You can get what amounts to a premium, custom hat at a reasonable price.

Buy here. 

Linksoul Gaiter Gift Box: $65

When it comes to premium face coverings that are stylish to boot, Linksoul’s offerings are first in class. And with the average price of a quality poly/cotton-blend gater running in the $20-25 range, take advance of the opportunity to snag four for $65.

Buy here.

Caddy Tek CaddyLite V3 3-wheel push cart: $176

There is no better way to enjoy a round of golf than walking the course, and with the Caddy Tek CaddyLite V3 you can do that in style and at a great price. It’s compact and comes with an umbrella holder along with an undercarriage cooler bag to keep your clubs and accessories at your fingertips as you stroll the course in style.

Buy here.

Gogogo ProGS24 Laser Rangefinder: $90

Nobody wants to be the “What yardage did you get?” golfer in your group, and with the Gogogo laser range finder, you won’t have to be! It can measure larger objects up to 650 yards, but also has a “flagpole locking function” to help get you locked onto the pin inside of 150 yards, along with 6X magnification for ease of use. For less than $100, it’s hard to find a better value and more highly rated (4.5 stars on Amazon.com) laser range finder!

Buy here. 

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GolfWRX Classifieds (11/23/20): Tour issue TaylorMade M5, Ping G410 LST, Jones Trooper bag

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member mykdel – Jones Utility Trooper bag

Jones makes some of the nicest carry bags on the market for walkers and this Utility Trooper is in amazing shape and for a crazy good price – best to act fast on this one.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Jones Trooper bag 

Member mupepperbuy – Ping G410 LST driver

The only thing nicer than the G410 LST driver are these pictures of said driver for sale. Even with the G410, the G400 LST continues to be popular with golfers of all skill levels thanks to its low spin performance and stability.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Ping G400 LST

Member Snipzky9 – TaylorMade Tour Issue M5 driver head

Unlike the modern SIM, the TaylorMade M5 was never released to the public in an 8° head – only as a tour issue item, which makes this head particularly rare.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: M5 Tour Head

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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