The PXG Effect

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PXG has arrived, and the reality is, it isn't the failure, fad or gimmick du jour some golfers and competitors hoped it would be. Fads don’t leave footprints in 26 countries. Gimmicks don’t land professionals like Zach Johnson and Billy Horschel. Fads fade, and they certainly don't change the entire landscape. Gimmicks become punchlines in internet forums.

PXG is neither.

The early signs suggested PXG would be limited to the bags of one-percenters and those wanting to garner a few more looks at the range. What's happening is far more drastic. Boutique brands are getting their bells rung, and mainstream OEM's aren't entirely immune either. A sudden shift in market dynamics has left PXG in prime position to be a major force in professional golf.

PXG is here to stay.

PXG is the company few saw coming, yet somehow in just over 12 months, it has forced premium market bulwarks Miura and Epon to seriously examine their businesses. At the same time, it has chipped away at industry mainstays like Callaway and Titleist at high-end custom fitting locals like TrueSpec Golf and the New York Golf Center.

Call it the PXG effect.

TaylorMade is on the verge of being sold off. Nike has exited the equipment industry, and GolfSmith is closing stores while considering bankruptcy. None of this bodes well for an industry oft reported as being in decline, and yet a start-up company with a pricing structure many said would guarantee its failure has increased sales by 1,100% since last October.

It’s possible history will look back and earmark the advent of PXG as a defining moment in golf equipment history.

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The Requisite ORIGIN STORY

Bob Parson’s story is well-documented, but for the sake of context, here’s the abbreviated version.

Parsons is the billionaire GoDaddy founder, who habitually spent hundreds of thousands of dollars annually on golf equipment. It’s a ridiculous number that crosses the boundary between absurd and unbelievable, which is why it’s important to note that MyGolfSpy was able to verify Parsons’ claim independently.

Despite his money and his efforts, Parsons was never able to find the perfect clubs. So rather than continuing to experiment with the status quo, he decided to launch his own golf equipment company. Early in his endeavor, Parsons convinced Ping's varsity team of engineers (Brad Schweigert and Mike Nicolette) to join him, ostensibly by offering them every engineer's Shangri-la - no time constraints and an unlimited budget.

The pair was given one rather onerous task: Develop the world’s finest golf equipment.

While there’s been plenty of conversation around whether or not PXG has met the standard it set for itself, what no one is talking about is the significant and disruptive impact PXG is already having on the collective industry landscape.

“Last June, we hadn’t sold a club. Now, we’re at a run rate (based on May 2016) of $42 million”, Parsons told me. $42 million is a long way from peak TaylorMade money, but we can’t lose sight of that fact that we’re talking about a one-year-old company playing by its own rules. In doing so, PXG is creating equipment showcasing a combination of ball speed, forgiveness and playability, and design the industry hasn’t seen before.

Early on, competitors scoffed pointed fingers and even laughed. PXG wasn’t a serious threat to anything. Spending money by the bucket guarantees nothing. Having a reputable name doesn't assure success either. If it did, Nicklaus golf clubs would be da kine rather than a forgettable footnote in the annals of golf equipment history.

PXG was labeled a fad, a joke and a flash in the pan. The entire equipment industry is contracting, and the conventional wisdom is that only a fool would start a golf company in this environment.

People like Bob Parsons are different. They see opportunities others don't. They have the courage (and the resources) to defy conventional wisdom – even when it requires delivering a message which causes a certain degree of consternation for the establishment.

In this case, the message is that golf companies have been responsible for relatively little actual innovation over the last decade.

While PXG started as a venture of passion, Parsons believes if you focus as much on the process as you do the product the profits will eventually come.

“I never expect anything. I focus on doing the job right and think why it will work, not why it won’t.” - Bob Parsons

Thus far the approach seems to be working.

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PUTTING THE BOOT IN BOUTIQUE

"We're selling the hell out of them."

Competition is good for consumers. It forces companies to produce higher quality products and keep prices in check. But on the industry side, there’s a profound anxiety that accompanies the entrance of a company like PXG into an established market.

Jeff Sheets, Technical Director for Premium Market Mainstay Epon asserts “We love PXG...they’ve opened up new price points to people.”

One has to wonder if the welcoming committee might be hiding torches and pitchforks. A $2000 set of irons isn’t new, but a competitor with legitimate technology and a growing tour presence is an entirely different kind of threat to the market segment previously dominated by Epon and Miura.

“We’re selling the hell out of them [PXG].” said Hoyt McGarity, Co-founder of TrueSpec Golf.

If PXG is winning the sales battle, then someone has to be losing it. McGarity told us that, at TrueSpec, PXG wins the majority of the time. Epon remains within shouting distance, but where’s that leave Miura? McGarity opines, “Well, this has got to be killing them.”

Josh Chervokas, CEO of the New York Golf Center, is seeing similar results.

“No doubt, PXG is hot right now. They’ve thrown a bunch of money out there...the word is out there, and they’re expanding this segment of the market…they don’t have the same tech advantage in woods as they do in irons, but absolutely, ball speed is real technology. It’s not a fad.” - Josh Chervokas

PXG has the advantage…for now, but it’s a copycat industry and we expect competitors will react and respond in some fashion. Says Mike Nicolette, Director at PXG, “We expect that, and we appreciate that. Competition is good.”

With 70 approved patents and counting, it will be an uphill battle for anyone, especially engineers operating under the type of time and budget constraints that don’t exist at PXG.

Neither Miura nor Epon was willing to share detailed numbers, but Bill Holowaty, Executive VP of Product Strategies for Miura, did concede, “PXG has had an impact on [consumer] purchasing decisions.”

Dustin Vaughn, Program Manager for Epon North America, quantified it a bit better. “From 2014 to 2015, we were up 30%. 1st Quarter of 2016 was flat to down, but 2nd Quarter of 2016 looks a lot more like 2nd quarter 2015.” Dustin chalks the poor start to 2016 up to a native curiosity.

“People were going to try it [PXG] no matter what. If it comes down to PXG and Epon, we should win 99% of the time.” - Dustin Vaughn

But should and do can be as different as John Daly and Corey Pavin.

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Chipping Away at the Mainstream

What about the mainstream golf companies?

The premium market is one that the big boys might be well advised to avoid, but that hasn’t kept some of them from testing the waters.

Nike is gone, and TaylorMade is in a period of transition. When the dust settles, mainline OEM’s may be content to split the share from those who dropped off. For the time being Callaway, Ping, Cobra, and Mizuno haven't directly responded to PXG, but Titleist has shown a willingness to enter the fray.

Earlier this year, Titleist released its C16 concept series of drivers and irons. The new models feature new materials, new technology, and a brand new price point. Equal parts compelling and risky, and made in actually limited quantities, C16 was the litmus test for Titleist’s viability in the premium market.

According to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity, the C16 has exceeded Titleist’s every expectation. We’re told that there are less than 200 of each driver head left, and the likelihood is that additional Concept products will be released to the premium market in the future, though not on any specific timetable.

With the impending arrival of the 917, the waters could get muddied. Visually, 917 is almost indistinguishable from the C16, but its mainline technology comes at a substantially reduced price. Will this sabotage the premium line while leaving the average golfer wondering if he might be getting watered down technology?

PXG has no such dilemma. Unlike Epon and Miura, PXG has a single story based on quantifiable technology, and unlike Titleist, there aren’t similar products available at significantly lower price points.

Epon and Miura aren’t the only ones feeling the heat from PXG. Callaway’s Apex line was the darling of 2015 for custom clubfitters, but PXG is poaching sales from Callaway’s aging (by today’s standard) flagship as well. This isn’t so much a knock on Callaway as it is a statement on the legitimacy of PXG. When the product costs twice as much, and you don’t have a track record or any history to leverage, and yet it’s winning performance battles, and golfers are buying it, that speaks volumes.

Perhaps more correlative than causal, you may have noticed that iron prices are on the rise. Callaway, Ping, and Mizuno have both introduced new product at the $1200 mark. The point of interest here is the trend, not the absolute number. As baseline prices creep higher, the price gap between niche and mass market slowly shrinks, and consumers may be inclined to go with the more expensive product, especially when it offers better performance.

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AN OVERNIGHT FORCE ON TOUR

The PGA Tour is a meritocracy where players earn the privilege to compete for millions of dollars on a weekly basis.

It’s also where golf equipment goes to be validated.

While many equipment and ball counts are routinely bought and sold several times over, it's fool’s logic to willingly sacrifice quality for short-term money. The best way to enjoy the fruits of the lucrative PGA Tour are to stick around, and that can't happen unless you consistently play well.

So how in the name of Zeus’ beard did an unproven start-up land some of the best players on the planet? Naysayers want to believe it’s Parson’s deep pockets, but PXG insists players came to them. The answer, according to PXG’s staffers, is simple.

The equipment is better.

Zach Johnson took his entire team out to Scottsdale and examined anything and everything from all possible angles before reaching the same conclusion as Ryan Moore, James Hahn, Billy Horschel, Chris Kirk, and most recently, Charl Schwartzel. These aren’t some also-ran hacks – they’re elite professional golfers whose equipment is inextricably linked to their success.

Think about that for just a moment. A growing list of elite professional golfers is trusting their livelihood to a less than two-year-old equipment company. That’s nothing short of remarkable.

These aren’t isolated cases either. Other names you’d know have kicked the tires on PXG, but sources speaking on condition of anonymity have told us that, more than once, the decision has come down to money, and it was PXG that wouldn’t pay the ask. For all of its apparent resources, the company isn’t spending recklessly.

Nike folded its hand and expectations are TaylorMade will make sizable spending cuts on Tour. If you believe in the traditional pyramid of influence, where the PGA Tour Pro is the top of the food chain, this leaves PXG is in prime position to be as big of a force on tour as it wants to be.

For Every Action…

"You don't see Ferrari at the Detroit Auto Show, do you?"

With the sudden emergence (and success) of PXG, a competitive response is inevitable.

Epon is retooling its North American product offerings. August 25th witnessed a teardrop shaped wedge with multiple bounce/grind options, and - here’s the kicker - an iron with the spring steel face technology of the 503/703 series in a head similar in shape to the AF Tour. Color it however you please, but this is most certainly Epon’s answer to the PXG 0311T.  You can also expect Epon to have a more forceful presence at the PGA show in January but don’t expect to see PXG there.

“You don’t see Ferarri at the Detroit Auto Show, do you?” Parsons asked rhetorically.

Miura’s intentions remain a bit of a mystery, though Holowaty did promise, “There will be lots of new products you haven’t seen in the past...lots of really cool things coming.”

The tacit question is will these cool new toys have the firepower to go head to head with PXG? The question for Miura isn’t as much will they change as can they change? The DNA of Miura is that of a small, family run business who believes better players will ultimately “Discover Perfection”. It’s not an edgy company with a bent for pushing the technology envelope. That said, if rumors of Tiger Woods bagging Miura irons come to fruition, Miura could find itself in prime position to disrupt the disrupter.

Callaway, Ping, Cobra, Mizuno and others will likely stay the course while incorporating like technologies to the extent it fits within the brand identity and, more importantly, the brand budget.

Both Callaway and Ping have worked hard to establish solid identities which don't require an elite line to compete directly with PXG, while companies like Cobra and Mizuno simply aren't large enough to find the kind of reward that justifies the risk.

With few challengers in a market one could argue PXG created for itself, sales will continue to climb, and when we're talking about it as a 100-million-dollar company, you can bet every OEM will have a version of the 0311/0311T.

Much like the 1949 Willys Jeep Station Wagon is the reason every auto manufacturer makes some version of an SUV, PXG will be the reason every OEM has an iron with player aesthetics and game-improvement ball speeds.

This has always been the holy grail of iron design.

It’s not always about who is purchasing your products (demographics). The way a company can alter the attitudes and opinions of people (psychographics) makes it possible to create new boundaries. When people alter why they want a particular product, cost becomes less of a determining factor.

Who would have believed that it would be routine to spend $300 on a pair of Beats headphones, $400 on a Yeti cooler, or $700 for a damn phone? So is $2,800 set of irons really any more absurd?

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Only the Beginning

The significance of PXG isn't limited to sales figures and the number of PGA Tour wins. It's equally visible in both calculated (Epon Personal 3) and uncharacteristic (Titleist C16) product releases from its competitors.

The greatest impact a company can have is to forever change the landscape of its industry. Graphite shafts, woods made of metal, solid-core balls, Anser style putters. To varying degrees, all were received with a healthy skepticism, but in time each proved to be universally better than the status quo.

PXG is broaching new territory; its identity is as unique as it is unprecedented. There isn't a single company PXG is looking to emulate. In this regard, PXG is the embodiment of Parsons himself. Boundaries be damned, PXG is doing to do what it wants to do, and it’s going to do it with an unapologetic flair; pushing boundaries while providing those consumers that can afford it with the best-performing golf equipment on the market.

McGarity says, “I don’t see them going anywhere…[they’re] only gaining traction and getting bigger.”

How big will PXG get? As big as it wants.

About Chris Nickel

Chris is a self-diagnosed equipment and golf junkie, and he's proud of it. When he's not coaching the local high school and middle school golf teams, he's probably on the range or trying to keep up with his wife and seven beautiful daughters.

Chris is based out of Fort Collins, CO and his neighbors believe long brown boxes are simply part of his porch decor.

"Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different."

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Comments

{ 176 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan September 27, 2016 at 1:25 pm

I was always waiting for a high end iron company to hit it big in the states. I always wondered why a company like Honma with no beneficial technology sold like hotcakes in Asia but Americans wouldn’t even look twice at it. The market has always been wide open for a company that could get Americans to shell out $3k for a set of irons, but everyone has been okay so far with $6-1k iron sets. It’s not like the money isn’t there for the clubs. We just want performance for that money, even if it is nominal gain. Vokey sells his hand ground wedges, Scotty sells his custom putters…and yet there’s never been a high end iron till now worth buying. Good for pxg. I hope they keep it coming.

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M2G3 September 25, 2016 at 12:34 am

I’m a scratch player (not bragging just giving context) and have owned the 0311T’s twice with 3 different shafts combinations.

Currently playing apex pro 16’s which I think perform better when playing golf (shots from different lies, rough, etc). 0311Ts were great on Trackman but did have their issues on course.

PXG woods are a real issue. Zack Johnson and Chris Kirk both hate their drivers and most of the staffers don’t play their fairways.

I’m not giving up on PXG equipment but they have some work to do. I get their business model and I know they are selling a lot right now. Not sure if they will sustain it though. Also, with all the start up and ongoing expenses, I doubt PXG has actually made any money. But, I don’t think that matters to BP.

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Tom Crowder September 18, 2016 at 6:03 pm

Need some gloves !

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PXG September 18, 2016 at 8:43 pm

We have them on PXG.com!

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Tom Crowder September 18, 2016 at 8:44 pm

I will check !!

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Tom Crowder September 18, 2016 at 8:55 pm

Says not available at this time! G Fore Golf Gloves!

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PXG September 18, 2016 at 10:51 pm

Tom Crowder what size are you trying to order?

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Tom Crowder September 18, 2016 at 10:59 pm

XL regular ! Left (right handed golfer)

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Tom Crowder September 19, 2016 at 4:32 pm

I ordered my Glove..Thanks for the help….

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PXG September 19, 2016 at 4:55 pm

Tom Crowder Awesome! I’m glad you were able to get that order placed. We’re looking forward to you getting it out there on the course!

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Wally September 18, 2016 at 12:42 am

Where can I get this clubs?
Thanks

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Jerry September 17, 2016 at 12:48 pm

It would be interesting to see a pie chart of total dollars spent on “golf” by market segment, i.e. Clubs, balls, apparel, green fees etc. my guess is clubs are the smallest segment. Heck, Nike just signed Jason Day to a 100 million + contract for apparel. I worked in the tech industry for 17 years selling large phone systems and we joked that every company needed one. But the bad news was they only needed “one”. Expensive clubs are not “consumables” like balls or even apparel. I blogged before that clubs don’t represent the volume of sales at golf shops. Clubs draw us in to look and feel and demo but the typical shop makes their money on consumables. Walk around a “Dicks” and do a mental calculation on shelf space. Look at what brand dominates all others. PXG might be the greatest thing since 4-pronged plastic tees but they are no threat to the Nikes, Mizuno’s or Titleist’s of the world. Good luck tho.

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PXG September 16, 2016 at 10:53 pm

Called and left a VM. The site issue is fixed now though :)

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Natalie Hanson-Fossum September 16, 2016 at 10:26 pm

I just sent you an email please let me know if you don’t receive it.

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Natalie Hanson-Fossum September 16, 2016 at 10:24 pm

K I just messaged Mike too. We are located in WI. I will email you. Thanks for your help.

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Natalie Hanson-Fossum September 16, 2016 at 10:07 pm

Anything I try to order it pops up & says it’s not available??

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PXG September 16, 2016 at 9:41 pm

Hey Natalie Hanson-Fossum, are you ordering on PXG.com? What error do you get? You can also call 844.PLAY.PXG to get your order placed that way.

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Jeff September 15, 2016 at 6:15 pm

I am curious why some folks think these irons are so expensive but will spend $350 on a putter or $500 on a driver. Personally I think golf clubs are too expensive but I drive a 2011 Ford so I am an outlier.

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Michael Tomasi September 15, 2016 at 6:00 pm

I’m a club builder with 11 years experience and heard you guys needed club builders. I applied online but haven’t heard back. I’m in Colorado now but can relocated ASAP.

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Ken Collins September 15, 2016 at 5:27 pm

I’m in

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Hula_Rock September 15, 2016 at 12:13 am

Isn’t this the same writer who down played JDM? doesn’t this kinda fit in the same catagory? thoughts?

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Amanda Kocis September 15, 2016 at 1:04 am

Excellence happens when you pursue to best YOU possible…not always emulating others is the best way to go!!!!! Congrats PXG

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John Naughton September 15, 2016 at 1:00 am

It’s the Indian not the arrow.

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Paul Haynes September 15, 2016 at 2:07 am

But a skilled Indian shooting premium arrows will out shoot the skilled Indian shooting shitty arrows.

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John Naughton September 15, 2016 at 2:48 am

Paul Haynes interesting perspective but you can’t buy or invent a squared club face at impact. Regardless of the quality of the arrows, the results will be the same. It’s Nothing against Pxg, I’ve worked in the industry long enough to see through the latest and greatest. The current tour staff has not done anything “game changing” using pxg.

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Fred September 14, 2016 at 7:10 pm

The price issue concerning PXG equipment is really a non-issue. Parsons is no more worried about the average golfer being able to afford his clubs than BMW, Mercedes, etc., is worried about Honda owners being able to afford their cars. There has always been a market for those willing to pay more to get more. Parsons knows this, and that’s the market he is catering to. For the most part, I have to believe that those players who can afford to shell out $5K – $8K for his clubs, are the same people driving high-end automobiles; they want something better and can afford to have it. The idea that PXG will/could be bad for golf in general is ridiculous. All the BMW, Mercedes, Porsche sales in this country each year make little, if any, dent in sales of Ford, Chevey, Honda, Toyota, etc. And just like with Ford, Chevey, Honda, etc., there will always be a market for Callaway, TaylorMade, PING and Titleist. Bottom line: there’s no more reason to worry about PXG clubs hurting the market than high-end cars doing the same to the auto industry.

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Dave Callum September 14, 2016 at 9:53 pm

They are awesome! For anyone wondering!
Pure butter!

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Dave Callum September 14, 2016 at 11:26 pm

1.5 clubs longer than my Callaway musclebacks

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PXG September 14, 2016 at 11:43 pm

Woah thats a nice pick up right there! We love hearing from our satisfied customers :)

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John Naughton September 15, 2016 at 2:59 am

The stock lofts are different between the two companies which causes different results.

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Mike Ulrich September 14, 2016 at 8:59 pm

I’ll just keep applying for openings until then. 😉 sales…marketing…operations…I want in! 😉 crazy ideas await!

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Leon Martysiewicz September 14, 2016 at 6:04 pm

Great clubs … But come on … Ridiculously priced

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Peter Sundh September 14, 2016 at 6:10 pm

I know they really have to raise the price to a much higher level!

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Leon Martysiewicz September 14, 2016 at 9:19 pm

why … $400 a head ( Cndn ) … That’s 3 times the price foamy other club … PS … How many wins have they had on the PGA ?

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Ron Urban September 14, 2016 at 11:11 pm

Not ridiculous at all!!

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Dave Callum September 14, 2016 at 11:27 pm

Quality costs $$$ – and great is an understatement!
Ford or Porsche you decide!

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PXG September 14, 2016 at 6:04 pm

Hey Collin, you can view our current openings and add your resume to our talent pool at Careers.PXG.com

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Michael Haas September 14, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Awesome irons, awesome hybrids and woods and awesome Driver!

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Daniel Craig September 14, 2016 at 5:06 pm

I’ve actually been thinking about selling my car to get a set and just taking the bus to the course.

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Charlie Carnevale September 14, 2016 at 6:01 pm

You haven’t hit PXG yet ,,, if you had the car would already of been sold!

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Lee Mathew Kennedy September 14, 2016 at 4:27 pm

I have a set of 0311’s in Massachusetts and I just ordered a set of 0311XF’s for Florida…that’s how much I enjoy playing them..YES I know they are expensive but I’ve worked hard all my life and I can do it so..why not..!!

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Charlie Carnevale September 14, 2016 at 6:00 pm

You fit in the PXG box sir! Awesome.

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Ted Fujita September 14, 2016 at 4:21 pm

Anyone know how much of these irons cost? 4/P

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PXG September 14, 2016 at 4:40 pm

Hey Ted Fujita, Our irons are $350 a piece. This includes the head and premium steel shaft offering from our matrix. We also custom fit all clubs, so your swing weight, loft and lie are are ideal for your game.

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Ted Fujita September 14, 2016 at 6:28 pm

PXG thx

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PXG September 14, 2016 at 8:20 pm

Ted Fujita The Xtreme Dark finish is an $150 up-charge per club. It is a Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coating that’s applied to the outside of the clubhead. The coating has been used in the auto industry in fuel injection systems and other long-life metallic uses.

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Ted Fujita September 14, 2016 at 9:39 pm

PXG ok thx for the info

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Dennis Zanone September 14, 2016 at 12:11 pm

These clubs may be all that they say they are but this does not address golfs biggest problem, attracting new golfers. People may spend the big bucks for a boat or sports car without previous experience but all you have to do is turn the key and step on the gas. Clubs that are more forgiving would help the game but have be in a price point would have to be reasonable.

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Walt Kozlowsky Jr. September 14, 2016 at 4:02 pm

PXG with be the future “norm” in the golf club industry. There will always be someone looking to go the inexpensive route, but there are many more who are looking for the best product available. Thank Bob Parsons for making it happen.

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dcorun September 14, 2016 at 11:38 am

The comment from Dennis hits the nail on the head. I love my Hyundai Sonata but, would love to own a Porshe, Ferrari, Lamborghini or even a BMW. But WHY! I can drive 180 but, I won’t keep my license for long. The Sonata fits my price range and my driving. Cobra and Cleveland fit my golf game and my price range. If I was a scratch player or better PXG would be on my want list but, why spend that kind of money when the clubs aren’t going to make me that much better for the price paid and I already play a pretty good game with the Cleveland and Cobra clubs in my bag. There is a place for PXG, Epon and Miura but there will always be a place for Cobra, Ping, Callaway and the others also. I’m 64 and an old saying I remember is do whatever floats your boat and enjoy the ride.

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Charlie Carnevale September 14, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Proud help pay their bills! Amazing irons.

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Eric Davis September 14, 2016 at 11:15 am

Of course there is a market for ultra-yacht-wealthy golf equipment. But it’s limited 7 ways from Sunday. As much as PXG says “We’re selling the hell out of this stuff” and aligns themselves with Ferrari, etc, the market is limited. The tough-guy gruff voice on the advertisements, the black clothing worn by an moderately-overweight Bob Parsons in the press photos above…calling your Tour Staff a “FORCE”, being gruff “DAMN” this “HELL” that in your ads…Yeah that appeals to someone just like Trump appeals to some- but at the end of the day it’s just golf equipment and are the irons that much better in the hands of a single digit handicapper than a Mizuno MP5? I’ve hit them extensively and it’s “no”. Certainly not + $2000 better for an iron set.

Let’s see the books in 24-36 months – . Because the market for $8000-$1000 golf club sets, as mentioned by vendors above, if so damn limited most can’t even fathom it. And don’t forget PXG has to pay that “force” of 14+ Tour Staffers also. And they aren’t Tesla – because Tesla doesn’t advertise; PXG advertises the hell out of radio, TV and print. And golf has plateau’ed at the best, and is declining by some accounts. Give us an economic blip like 2008 and Bob Parsons will be so sick of infusing cash into this company he’ll be unloading it like a guitar to a pawn shop for rent.. This is Bob Parsons “Im ultra rich and bored, I going to start my own vineyard”. Nobody get’s into golf equipment to get rich.

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jb September 14, 2016 at 12:56 pm

The books in 24-36 months are a non issue. First you are talking about a successful billionaire who built an empire of godaddy. You don’t get that successful without knowing how to run a business. PXG won’t be any different. Second even in a limited market there are ways to remain profitable without hurting the books. Do you think super yachts go out of business even though they sell maybe a handful of yachts a year?

To keep the books balanced all he has to do is keep a profit. You can add to the exclusivity by keeping a low supply and a high demand. By doing that, he can charge more, sell less and turn a bigger profit. Anyone who thinks he is churning out production numbers equal to that of other OEMs is a fool. These clubs are limited production with a cap (think his gold set where only a 100 or so are ever made). These all add to the value and why he can get away with a high price tag. That is the recipe for success in a limited market. Keep the brand exclusivity by keeping a low supply/high demand. Cap production and/or limit production. Low inventory levels, if any at all. I’m willing to bet that his manufacturing is made to order, and you can’t get these unless they are ordered and paid for. This helps too. By doing that, you guarantee 100% sale of all inventory. In a limited market, this is very easy to do.

In a nutshell he keeps his waiting list longer than his inventory list, and he can continue to sell clubs at that price, and sustain a profit. It isn’t that hard to do, and his marketing is helping build that foundation, which is always necessary, especially for newer companies. In 24-36 months, you won’t hear as much advertising from them.

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eric September 15, 2016 at 11:25 am

Let’s talk irons only since that’s all i’ve seen guys buy – iron sets only – that’s the bulk of their biz.. If 100 people per state in every state from Vermont to Kansas, Montana thru Ohio, bought a set of clubs from PXG (and THAT figure is HIGH) thats 5000 iron set per year, $3000 for irons.

I don’t know the math but let’s say he built in 100% PROFIT back to PXG AFTER paying the authorized reseller. That’s 5000 sets at $1500 bucks profit. $7.5 million. Sound like a like? Go pay your employees, Engineering, R&D facilities, several million to the tour staff, Tour Van, advertising.

.and I guarantee they aren’t selling 5000 iron sets per year. Not even half of that. And most folks only buy irons – the two people with PXG clubs that I’ve encountered were iron only – Callaway drivers in both situations.

PXG failed before it was born.

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eric September 15, 2016 at 11:28 am

…and let me add an additional variable. Both guys I encountered with PXG iron sets have already moved on because they were gear guys with GAS. Gear Acquisition Syndrome. They just wanted to see what the hype was about. One guy has the new Srixon 965 blades now and the other has Miura CB-57. Only so many of these addicts out there.

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Shane McInnes September 14, 2016 at 7:23 am

I give them 5 years and they will be swallowed up by one of the big boys!!! 100% guarantee it

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Luca September 14, 2016 at 3:05 am

I just spoke with a clubmaker PXG distributor in Italy ( I’m an amateur clubmaker) about the PXG screws. He just told me that screws on irons are not removable, on woods and resques only…. So where is the utility of them? Can someone explain it to me?

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Chris Nickel September 14, 2016 at 10:36 am

Certainly. The screws in the irons allow for a comparatively tremendous amount of weight to be distributed toward the perimeter of the club and precisely positioned w/o creating a larger footprint.

Basically, it’s what makes the club so forgiving.

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deadfish September 14, 2016 at 1:08 pm

It is basically the difference between using loctite on the irons and not using it on the woods and resques.

The screws are also fine tuned before being secured and made non removable. I’m also willing to bet if someone was brave enough to use a butane torch the screws on the irons could be removed just like the woods and resques.

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Brent Wilhelmsen September 14, 2016 at 3:49 am

Just like diarrhea during the holidays

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Bryan LaRoche September 14, 2016 at 2:15 am

My Golf Spy is quickly becoming my favorite equipment outlet. Where are y’all based out of?

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Hector September 13, 2016 at 9:12 pm

Scratch Golf remember them?

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George F Blackshaw IV September 14, 2016 at 12:23 am

Just gonna sit here and lol.. Even if I could afford them, they look way to pretty to hit, I’d just hang them up and say look at these babies!!

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Nocklaus September 17, 2016 at 5:30 am

Have you seen the topline, the big topline? I don’t think thats’s very pretty…

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Eric Kelso September 13, 2016 at 11:53 pm

Love it if I could sell it…

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Chal September 13, 2016 at 5:05 pm

It absolutely kills me when there are so many people on here that say price is the issue and that the company will never be relevant because a vast majority of golfers can’t afford the product. PXG does not care if you can’t afford the clubs, they are not designed or made so that you can afford the clubs. Much like Porsche doesn’t care that I can’t afford their vehicle. The company is marketing their equipment to a very high end consumer and could care less about the average golfer.

Personally, I have hit the irons and I do believe in the technology. The numbers I saw were better than any other iron offering and I quite enjoyed the feel off the clubface.

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Eric O'Brien September 13, 2016 at 8:37 pm

Sold a $10K set today :)

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Jason Geraci September 13, 2016 at 8:38 pm

I love to hear that

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Eric O'Brien September 13, 2016 at 8:39 pm

Me too. Sold a $8k set yesterday. The stuff speaks for itself and when it’s built and fit correctly it’s arguably the best club on the market!!

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Fred September 13, 2016 at 6:06 pm

That said, Eric, one has to wonder – at least I do – are all those who are dishing out $8,000 to purchase a set of PXGs really good enough to take advantage of what they have to offer, or are they like the guy who buys a Porsche just to have one? It will be interesting to see if any of the Nike-sponsored players try to team up with PXG now that they have the chance to do so. The best of them, Rory, could have easily done that, but, instead, chose to stick with his current clubs – at least for a while. In the end – for me, anyway – unless you make your living and support your family through golf, it makes no sense to spend that much money on a set of clubs that may or may not, based on your skills as a player, improve your game.

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RC September 13, 2016 at 8:05 pm

Or you have disposable income and don’t think twice about such a purchase.
That said, I am considering a set if when fitted, it makes sense as to afford me a better playing experience overall in the quality of shots it provides. (Notice how I didn’t say lower my score)
For many avid golfers, like myself, who enjoy time out on the course with family and friends and are not “looking for that second glance on the range,” could care less about the price… If a set of xxx clubs could do the same at 20% of the PXG’s, I still stand be my above statement.

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FTWPHIL September 13, 2016 at 9:07 pm

Enough green will never fix your backswing, and all the dough won’t cure a club ho.

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jb September 13, 2016 at 3:25 pm

Bob Parson is the Elon Musk of golf. Elon Musk challenged the status quo of automobiles with the Tesla. The electric car that wouldn’t be successful because it was 1) Electric, 2) Electric, 3) Electric, and 4) Electric. Seriously though the Tesla went against big oil and the profits made from it. A car that had no infrastructure to support keeping it drive-able for anything longer than a short trip to work. However; with no budget in mind, he built the infrastructure to support it and defied odds. It doesn’t make the Tesla a better car, but what he did was pave the way for the electric car and the future of automobiles in general.

Bob Parson has done the same thing in golf. He had no budget, and only wanted the best club you could possibly make with as much performance as possible. He has designed clubs with finite tuning and materials never thought of before. An forged head made like a cast club with an injected material to make it solid…Seriously!!! Would any other company think to do that? NO! That is why Bob Parson is the Elon Musk of Golf.

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Kevin O'Connell September 14, 2016 at 2:37 am

I admire Musk for his genius- he is a mad scientist who wants to change the world. He also had the stones to risk his huge fortune from Paypal on Tesla and other things. That being said I’m no fanboy who thinks he can do no wrong. Tesla and Space-X are have been majorly funded with taxpayer dollars, and taxpayers had no say in it. Before you get all teary-eyed about how Tesla cars are going to save us from glarmal colding please google pictures of what a lithium mine looks like. I laugh every time I see a rich greenie driving a Tesla and sneering at us plebes. Parsons has built PXG with his own money and stubborn-ness. I admire him equally if not more.

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David N Weeks September 16, 2016 at 11:30 am

Musk has been and continues to be highly subsidied by government funding. He has built his billions on the backs of American citizens tax dollars.

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Jimbo September 13, 2016 at 2:28 pm

Ok MGS, time for some testing. Show us some PXG comparison data. Clubs that cost two or three times what a mid-line set cost should show a distinct advantage in lowering scores.

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jb September 13, 2016 at 3:18 pm

It doesn’t need to. PXG has a price tag that separates it from competitors. It would be like comparing a Porsche Cayenne to a Subaru Crosstrak. There is no comparison because of the vast money difference. Whether it is better or not doesn’t matter, it is the cost that matters. It matters even more when you consider the direction golf is going (declining) and here you have a true luxury brand turning a profit….

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Bill S. September 13, 2016 at 3:40 pm

Lets forget the cost of the PXG’S for a little while and have MGS do a Real Comparison of data. To see if there is the actual performance difference in PXG’s and Titleist, Taylormade, Ping, and Callaway as stated by PXG themselves.

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Jb September 13, 2016 at 5:51 pm

This wouldn’t prove anything at all. The point is Bob Parson isn’t building clubs to compete with anyone. He is building clubs with no cost in mind. That separates him from every other club. However; since you insist let’s examine the outcome. What would it prove?

If PXG is better what does that do? Nothing! It isn’t going to drive sales at all. It also doesn’t help distinguish between other brands. What brand is better not named PXG?

That’s why it doesn’t work and never will. Again try comparing an entry level SUV to a Porsche SUV. Does the performance difference really matter? Absolutely not. Even though Porsche is clearly better, no one is going to pick a Porsche over an entry level SUV unless they can afford it. So again, why compare? What does it prove?

You think his pure gold edition irons are better performing? Why? Those are pure “look what I have” clubs.

My point is, you can’t compare clubs at all that aren’t in the same class. Just like cars. You don’t compare luxury offerings to base model economy class. The reason is the price and target audience. The day PXG makes a club that targets the same audience as TM and the rest, is the day you’ll see a comparison.

Ask yorurself this… If the comparison was so important why don’t we see Miura and Epon clubs being compared with TM and the rest? The reason is 1) cost and 2) target audience.

Golf whether you like it or not has classes of clubs. Box sets, OEMs, etc. you don’t see Wilson box set being compared to TM do you? Why? Because 1) Cost and 2) target audience.

When you understand that, you will understand why PXG won’t be compared….because it doesn’t matter. They aren’t in the same class.

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Aaron Kurczi September 14, 2016 at 8:10 am

I would still like to see a test as many others have said. I get it that people on a Subaru budget don’t but Porsche’s, but I hit these earlier this year and ended up buying the Ping GMax’s, and it was not at all due to the cost…it was due to the fact that I consistently had better numbers with the Ping’s. I think it would be interesting to see how these stack up to the OEM’s and other premium brands.

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W.B. Neal September 14, 2016 at 10:08 am

Why are you steering clear of a comparison against another club. The object is the same, to hit the ball better. Your comparison of a Porsche vs an entry level SUV is fine. I might only be able to afford an entry level SUV but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to test drive the Porsche just to feel the difference. Having info on both vehicles to compare I could then decide if the Porsche is worth mortgaging the farm for.

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jb September 14, 2016 at 11:44 am

The object is the same, yes, but that is not the object of business.

A comparison is always by definition in business a comparison of direct competitors in the same class/sub-class. PXG is not a direct competitor and it is not in the same class. No matter how you look at it, it never will be. That is the main reason why you don’t do a comparison. The other reason why is just a logical reason.

If you compared PXG to OEM offerings, what is stopping you from comparing box set to OEM offerings? Hell why not compare box set to PXG for that matter? Lets just do a mass comparison and through in every driver from box sets, OEMs, components, and even PXG. There is absolutely no logic behind it. You say the object is to hit the ball, so why not do this type of comparison?

The car example is great. The object of a car is to get you from point A to point B. The object is the same. So why don’t we compare minivans and Corvettes? Lets compare a Kia Rio to a Ferrari to see which is truly better. Where is the logic in that?

It just isn’t the good business practice. You compare direct competitors in the same class. All drivers in a 399-499 price range are compared. They are direct competitors because of their price range. This excludes any driver that costs more and less. You don’t compare a box set to OEM set for the same reason. It doesn’t matter what performance differences there are, they simply aren’t in the same class. They aren’t direct competitors.

A comparison would be fun to see, I’m sure they exist, but you won’t see them included in Best of comparison, because they aren’t direct competitors because they aren’t in the same class.

Same reason why you don’t compare Blades, CBs and GIs in the same test. Not the same class, even though the price is the same.

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Nocklaus September 17, 2016 at 6:09 am

Now this is not a business site and therefore how they do their business is not very important here. How their products compare is.
As they are game improvement clubs, why not compare them with other gi clubs?
I don’t think it’s fair to talk about the difference between a Subaru and a Porsche as the price difference is huge compared to the mere $1000 you have to pay extra for a PXG iron set.

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Eric Davis September 14, 2016 at 11:28 am

As a low single digit (not bragging, there are many single digits on this forum) I wouldn’t not shoot better scores at all with PXG. So why pay the money. Why? Golf equipment is all about PERFORMANCE. And when two things compare evenly it because about the free hat. and leather jacket they give out when you buy into the brand. And no single digit capper I know cares about the brand. They care about taking your wallet on the 18th green. The CEO cares about buying the brand and PXG-embroidered travel bag. But he shoots 85-90 at Congressional – and his peers are a limited group. A successful company needs market share – and PXG won’t find it long term.

In the article above Chris Nickel closes saying “How big will PXG get? As big as it wants.” I’ll amend this thought by adding “…as long as Bob Parsons keeps pumping cash into it.” I’d love to see his books because Bob is currently upside down in this venture, financially.

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Bill S. September 17, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Seems to me that there is a lot of Intelligence and “No Common Sense” in that Reply.
I would say that you must be a owner of PXG’s?

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Sillybell September 13, 2016 at 4:05 pm

I seriously doubt PXG is profitable and won’t be for many years…if ever.

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Ben September 13, 2016 at 3:49 pm

On the launch monitor my Callaway Big Bertha Iron 8 goes 145 and PXG goes about the same, but doesn’t feel as crisp. Maybe a little less. I’m tellin’ ya I hit them- and I get to hit a LOT of different irons for fun- and there is nothing even remotely special about them.

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Alex September 16, 2016 at 1:54 pm

The feeling of crisp? What does that feel like?

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Shanks for nothin September 13, 2016 at 2:26 pm

I have a hard time understanding why so many people think that PXG should have more wins to prove the quality of the equipment. They have been in the game for less than one season and have 2 major victories (Champions Tour, LPGA Tour) and 2 other PGA Tour wins this season. If you are using this reasoning, just do the math. Winning % is extremely high for the number of tour pros on staff compared to other equipment companies

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Eric September 13, 2016 at 2:07 pm

Not sure why people are getting bent out of shape about price. Your standard OEMs charge over $1k for their premier off-the-shelf irons. And when you start looking at the boutique brands (Miura, Epon, Fourteen and PXG), you’re easily over $2k and possibly closer to $3. If you wanna get mad about something, get mad about the OEMs not selling equipment that justifies their cost ($500 for an M1 driver or $1,200 for Titleist 716 AP2s, both off the rack). At least PXG has demonstrated there is some science and data behind their products.

If you take golf seriously enough to be on blogs, you’re already in a smaller category of golfers and probably believe in buying the best equipment you can budget (unique to each individual). Personally, I don’t see a problem spending nearly $3k in irons, but that’s because I know it’ll probably be 3-5 years before something else yields a worthwhile gain in performance.

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Kenny B September 13, 2016 at 2:04 pm

It’s actually a very intriguing business model. Just because the masses can’t afford the product, doesn’t mean that the business won’t be successful. There will always be people that will buy a product that has the best technology and manufacturing that is available, even if it is priced well above the current market leaders. It has happened before. When stereo systems were playing vinyl records, a very good sound system could be bought for under $1000, certainly good enough to reproduce music from LPs. But then high-end electronics arrived well before the digital age, and component systems could cost $3K or more (back in the 1970’s). Did it produce a better music experience? Clearly, it did for some people, and there were also those that just wanted to show off the best equipment to their friends. The fact is that there is a market for it, and there always will be as long as the performance is there to back up the cost.

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Donn Rutkoff September 13, 2016 at 5:18 pm

You’re right about the money. Wrong about Lp vinyl. Turns out that even $10,000 turntable does not reproduce ALL of the info in the waves pressed into good vinyl. Of course we didn’t know that until better turntables were designed to match digital hi end playback quality.

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Kenny B September 13, 2016 at 5:46 pm

The key here is good vinyl. Most were not. However, the better systems could pick out information pressed into the vinyl that the good systems may not. Did people miss that information? They probably didn’t even know it was there. Maybe if they had used a googlephonic stereo with a moon-rock needle. :)

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Donn Rutkoff September 13, 2016 at 7:24 pm

Googl phobic I love it.
Who would be more stunned if they return to visit today, Ben Franklin or Ludwig Beethoven?
Or Ben Hogan?

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Andrew Henke September 13, 2016 at 6:34 pm

True. There are currently turntables selling for ~375k usd…

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Nocklaus September 17, 2016 at 6:24 am

So, do these gi irons have the performance to back up the cost. Well we don’t really know, do we. Just because they are expensive (a mere $1000 more for an iron set) and Zac Johnson are playing them doesn’t make them a better product. What do we know about their technology and manufacoring process other than what PXG has told us? 0
So let’s see a test comparing them to other clubs.

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Captain Andy September 13, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Tomorrow, today will be yesterday. So, if we have enough tomorrows, we can reflect on which clubs were the best yesterday, today.

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FTWPhil September 13, 2016 at 9:18 pm

Just hoping to see that Plutonium in a golf club by tomorrow’s yesterday!

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William Sell September 13, 2016 at 1:38 pm

Has anyone reviewed the stats of the players that have joined the PXG stable? Better? Worse? Same? Probably not since PXG isn’t laying claim to how much Johnson, Horschel, et. al have improved their game since their conversion.

That’s where the rubber meets the road my friends. If you can show me hard numbers, you might convince me to shell out the money for a set.

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Alex Nickel September 13, 2016 at 7:50 pm

If you have to see numbers to think about shelling out money for the clubs you are better off with cheaper clubs.

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Tom September 13, 2016 at 1:32 pm

A complete side note before I get to my point:
I enjoy your articles and I appreciate your reviews. I’m always taken back by what seems to be a few haters slamming some of your articles. I keep wondering when I see these severely negative comments why these haters continue to receive your emails and read your articles?

My main point is, in any brand or industry or product type (golf equipment, cars, electronics, etc.), there is a good-better-best buying group. From marketing experience, the ‘average’ percentages in these groups of buyers are 35% = good, 50% = better, and 15% = best. To pick a product group like golf iron sets, a rough cost estimate would be the good (entry level) is $250-$500 per set, the better (mid-point) is $501-$900, and the best (top of the line) is $901-$1,200.

PXG seems to have made progress due to the fact the equipment is very high-performing and they have a multi billionaire funding the company without shareholders breathing down their neck. Parson’s can spend several million dollars without any fear of losing it all and I personally hope he has lots of success.

In the end, PXG may be taking the extreme high end of the market from 15% of the golf equipment buyers but more than likely, 90%-95% of golf equipment buyers will not be buying this price level of equipment.

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Ben September 13, 2016 at 3:51 pm

I know its insane. its almost as if sometimes we agree with Tony and sometimes we don’t. Weird, man.

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Chris Nickel September 13, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Thanks for your comments. It’s always interesting (however exceptionally predictable) to read the comments. Some people have some very valid critiques and questions, but most of the the overly negative comments are fueled by misinformation, poor reading skills or the spawn of people who just enjoy being online and negative, in no particular order. That’s just one of the realities of the blogosphere…

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JB September 13, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Options are good, the tech is real!

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Bob Boyce September 13, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Good article. I have been in the golf repair/sales world for about six years and our customer base will not spend $2000 for a set of irons. It is difficult to get them into a $500 set of irons.

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Bob Pegram September 13, 2016 at 5:46 pm

It depends on the economics of your local market. Some areas of the country have golfers with lots of money.

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Jason Geraci September 13, 2016 at 5:08 pm

A company that is “here to stay,” needs a little more than 2 years to convince me. It also doesn’t need a website fanboy, continually raising it’s flag.

Your credibility continues to be be lowered with everyone of these articles that are “puff” pieces for PXG.

Let the sales and the persistence do the talking.

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Bryan LaRoche September 14, 2016 at 3:54 am

$42 Million is a pretty healthy start…

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Scudder Graybeal September 13, 2016 at 12:57 pm

I’ve seen a lot of this while 36 years in the industry. Talk to us again in 3-5 years.

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Chris Nickel September 13, 2016 at 1:29 pm

I’d be interested to know what you’ve seen that mirrors what PXG is doing

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Christian Furu September 13, 2016 at 4:55 pm

I love you guys at MGS, but there’s no such thing as “The PXG effect”.

“Footprints” in 26 countries? Yes – they’ve got fitters. What is it? 14-15 locations for 240 million people (quite a few million of those play golf) in 10 countries in Northern Europe + Scandinavia?

People in the industry said Nikes exit didn’t matter. They were so small. PXG is smaller. A lot smaller. You guys are close to PXG. It looks like theres’s a “PXG effect” when you’re that close. Look at if from the outside. The position of a normal golfer. The guy who spends his money on new clubs every year. Buys tons of golf balls because they keep mysteriously disappering after a tee shot. He doesn’t have a clue what PXG is, and when you tell him he will say that it still doesn’t mean anything to him.

There is not and will never be an effect. You can buy Ping engineers and designers. You can buy all the torx screwes in the world. But you can’t buy an effect.

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MyGolf Spy September 14, 2016 at 12:24 am

Endorsing? You mean retweeting and sharing equipment photos? All of our writers do that basically nearly every company in the industry when we find something interesting For the record, Chris has no more a connection to PXG than anyone on our staff – that is to say no more a connection than any of us have with Callaway, Cobra, PING, Nike Wilson, TaylorMade (although they’re not what you’d call fans right now), Titleist…should I keep going?

Whether or not KZG is relevant to you doesn’t change the fact that the emergence of PXG has impacted its business, as it has Miura, Epon, and arguably mainstream companies as well. You also can’t discount the growing impact on tour where PXG is now a part of every free agent discussion. That’s not true for many industry mainstays.

You think there’s no impact. Fine. You have an opinion. Chris has an opinion. Let’s come back to this discussion in a few years and see where we are.

I can assure you there will be no regrets, 1, 5, or 10 years from now. Part of that stems from the quality of the work, part from the fact that your content marketing accusation is total bullshit, and you should know better. It belittles the hard work that Chris and the team put into this article. You don’t like the story, fine. Fair game, and we can live with that, but at least respect the work, the effort, and the fortitude it takes to tell a story you believe in even when you know readers are going to bash the hell out of you.

Brave writers tell readers things they don’t want to hear, and write stories equipment companies don’t want written, and the truth is, and I bet you know this too, there are very few brave writers in the golf equipment industry because it is dominated by ad dollars. Whether or not you like an article doesn’t make us any less the exception.

We are so proud of the final product.
Let me spell it out (again) for you and everyone who still hasn’t figured out how we do things around here. First – we write whatever we want, whenever we want, and we’re not going to apologize if that occasionally rubs the industry and even our readers the wrong way sometimes. We own our opinions

So as it relates to matters of fact vs. opinions, let me spell out the facts of our advertising model as it relates to the biggest names in golf. Fortunately, it makes for some pretty simple arithmetic.

Ad Dollars (including content marketing) accepted from big golf companies by MyGolfSpy:

Callaway – $0
Cobra -$0
Titleist – $0
Wilson – $0
Nike – $0
TaylorMade – $0
PING – $0
PXG – $0
Mizuno – $0
Bridgestone – $0 (they do provide balls for Most Wanted Testing)

I’m sure I’m forgetting more than a couple, but I promise you that no other golf media outlet of consequence, including, I’d wager, the ones you write for, can honestly say they accept ZERO advertising from the major companies they cover. So again…dismiss Chris’ opinion on PXG all you’d like – as I said, fair game, but be clear about this. We paid Chris for the article (because, unlike some of our competitors, we pay all of our writers. That’s the whole of the financials behind this story. – Tony Covey (Editor, MGS)

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Justin Blair September 14, 2016 at 12:26 am

One thing to think about: the same people the OP says that don’t know what PXG is, don’t know what Miura (or KZG, for that matter) is either.

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MyGolf Spy September 14, 2016 at 4:57 pm

Jimmy MacIlroy well yes, we do have affiliate links. It’s in-part, what allows us to not rely on money from the golf companies. Although it’s probably worth mentioning given this thread, there are no PXG affiliates, so we get nothing there.

Also worth noting, there’s actually not a lot of money to be made through golf affiliate sales, but if you’d like to see them go away, by all means, feel free to donate…tell your friends too.

Unlike other media outlets, where OEM ad dollars often dictate the content that gets put in front of you, we make all of our decisions based on what we think is interesting…or a story worth telling. Sometimes that rubs readers and the industry the wrong way, but isn’t that the way it should be?

We don’t expect we’ll be agreed with all the time, but we certainly hope people can still be respectful.

Back to the affiliate links, buy…don’t buy. No pressure from us, but you can be assured that what you’re reading on MyGolfSpy isn’t there because one of the big golf companies paid us to put it in front of you. – Tony Covey (Editor, MGS)

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Ben September 13, 2016 at 12:53 pm

I am friends with an actual high end clubfitter and he let me hit the PXGs. You aren’t missing anything. They are irons, that’s all. BTW calling New York Golf Center high end is ridiculous. Its just a small chain Golfsmith. The employees know nothing about fitting, they could all just easily be working at Best Buy. My fitter was away for a few weeks and I wanted my Betti putter regripped and 14g counter weight put in to replace 11g. No one who worked there , not even the club builder had ever heard of weighting a putter grip. I ran out the door.

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Jerry September 13, 2016 at 12:25 pm

As a lifelong golfer I obviously want golf to thrive. If new companies come into the game and improve our lot, all the better. If the big boys move from TM or Cally to PXG that would be interesting. But as an analyzing person I need to understand why? While the article was a nice read I didn’t read anything about better “feel”, “control”, “shot shaping” etc that would make me a potential buyer. So do the inserts actually function? Are the weights better than a nice clean Mizuno MP? Frankly I am wondering if clubs have reached the stage of buying gas at the pump. When I was a kid my Dad gave hell for buying what he called “cheap gas” for the family car. Today I’m like most people and shop for the low price. I’m not saying clubs are at the generic stage. I still have my favorite brand of irons and woods (Mizuno irons and TM woods). Every year I do my own A/B testing. Same for balls. I haven’t switched from Pro V1X’s and until I see some hard evidence, why should I?

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Chris Nickel September 13, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Jerry – Some very valid points and questions. This article was less about particular attributes, although I did reference the combination of characteristics in the 3011T which is currently unrivaled, in my opinion.

In terms of feel, the PXG are entirely unique. For me, Mizuno tend to be a nice, soft bordering on marshmallow, type feel and EPON tends to be a bit firmer, yet incredibly dense feel. Miura sits in between these. The PXG feel isn’t the same as Mizuno, Miura or EPON. Because feel is so subjective anyway, I think it’s really something an individual has to judge for him/herself. For me, I thought the feel was really addictive. It’s soft, yet responsive. It’s firm enough, but entirely appealing.

Do the inserts function? Absolutely. It’s what allows PXG to create a super thin face, yet retain the feel people lust after. I couldn’t say PXG was any more “workable” but I can hit absolutely every shot I need to with them and my distance control is as good with PXG as it is has ever been.

People who are looking for a deal or a “value” purchase aren’t going to seriously consider PXG. That said, I wouldn’t want to assume what someone else values and how much they’d be willing to spend on something. I can tell you PXG had higher ball speeds (ceteris paribus) than any other iron mentioned in this article. Higher ball speeds translates to more distance and for me, if I’m hitting 9 iron instead of 8 iron, I’m better off.

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Robert L Cooper September 13, 2016 at 4:16 pm

I don’t know of any business that has longevity without profit. PXG is priced way out of the reach of the majority of golfers.

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Fred September 13, 2016 at 1:38 pm

You’re right, Robert. And because their clubs are priced way out of the reach of the majority of today’s golfers, it doesn’t matter how good they are; very few people will be able to play them. Parson’s need to limit his advertising to “Town and Country Magazine.”

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Chris Nickel September 13, 2016 at 2:06 pm

It sounds like you’re assuming PXG will never be profitable, which is quite contrary to the current trend. That said, what if Parsons isn’t going to live and die by the profitability of this venture? I’m certainly not a billionaire, but I most certainly have hobbies I do which I’ll keep doing regardless of whether they make me a couple bucks or if I lose a few in the process.

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Fred September 13, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Chris: I’m really not talking profitability. I’m the consumer; I don’t care (and why should anyone care) if Parsons makes a profit or not. He has said himself he’s doing it because he can, and if he’s going to do it, he’s going to do it right. Even during the worst of times, there are still plenty of people who will continue to spend large amounts of money on luxury items – because they can. For now, I think I’ll stick with my Hogan irons and Titleist woods; they’ve never let me down.

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Rob Hoyle September 16, 2016 at 12:10 pm

Ferrari is priced way out of the reach of most drivers. Yet there they sit….

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Franklin Wesley Chung September 13, 2016 at 4:07 pm

Did they slash price of set of iron from $5000 to $2000?

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Jason Newsome September 13, 2016 at 4:19 pm

No, a full complete set is around $5k, just an iron set is a little over $2k

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Dennis Will68 September 13, 2016 at 11:50 am

If they would price them so the avarage amatuer could by them, more people would be interested…until then, they are in the back of minds in America…unless youre rich.

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BP September 13, 2016 at 1:42 pm

As the article points out, they don’t have to price them better if they can help the person believe that the irons are work paying for. I bought my Miura’s from Club Champion in Rockville. Admittedly I earn a decent salary and could afford a $200 fitting and ultimately a set of irons + driver shaft close to $2000. Are my Miura’s better than Titleist blades? No. But their weight, aesthetics and custom fitting w/ shafts ARE a better for me personally and I feel well worth the investment for how my game improved…. basically perceived value is in the eye of the beholder. No-one (some will) should by them for prestige. Sure – back of people’s minds for those only willing to pay Walmart or Ebay prices for a set of clubs but all of us on this site read the article and I bet you’d hit them if they were in a clubhouse near you…

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Jim Giles September 13, 2016 at 11:48 am

Unlimited resources are a fallacy. This guy is not a stupid businessman by any stretch. They outspend until he hits his magic # which any good businessman has. They are hot, in a very shallow market segment. Remember the guy’s playing on tour aren’t paying for their equipment and he showed he has a financial mindset and not unlimited spend when the article indicates he wouldn’t pay certain “individuals” ask… Tiger? Absolutely is making a splash in the ocean, will he have staying power? Most likely only if he can generate repeat business and brand loyalty which will come down the road. A lot of silly people buy XXIO just because the mainstream can’t. We will see. Love the effort and the story of the guy battling the big boy’s on their own turf.

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bill September 13, 2016 at 11:44 am

At a time when courses are seeing less play,,country clubs are shuttering their doors,,jobs are non-existent,,and disposable income is greatly reduced, is this REALLY the time for extremely expensive golf equipment? Yes, PXG obviously has a design that appeals, and, yes, OEMs will try turning out something competitive at higher price points (we’re already seeing it). But, when all the golf pundits worldwide are worried about declining participation in the sport, is this the direction the industry needs to be going right now?

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Chris Nickel September 13, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Bill,

It’s a fair question and I think some people probably feel anything which makes golf look, act or feel more elitist is bad. There are others who love the fact PXG is disrupting pieces of the market and forcing some OEMs to take a hard look at how they operate. Either way, it will be interesting.

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Dan September 13, 2016 at 11:44 am

Before you get to carried away there, no matter how ‘hot’ their brand is (perceived or otherwise), their distribution model will be severly limiting for long term sales growth. they may be in 26 countries, but not to any great level. I think there’s only 3 or 4 PXG outlets in the UK… to cover 4 million golfers? There’s no way they can sell upwards of $100 million just through the custom fitter network, as they’d need to generate repeat iron sales at that premium level to continue to grow year on year. Once you’re fitted with the ‘best iron ever’, where’s the immediate need to buy again? So they either stay small (ish) or go the mass market route & chase the big turnover…. be interesting to see how it evolves, as all those tour players do cost money. Oh, one last point worth checking out, that TPE insert thing… that was originally a Nickent design, and there’s a patent/s from around 2008/2009 that predates PXG’s. Elastomer inserts first appeared on Nickent’s Genex & ARC series of wedges and blade irons around that time. Great use of the idea for sure, but PXG didnt invent it.

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John craig September 13, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Dan. Nice call on the nickent arc irons. Probably the nicest irons I have ever used. Amazing how this has got lost in the PXG story. They have recycled 10 year old technology from a company no longer existing yet making it look like they are earth breaking.

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Dan September 14, 2016 at 2:26 am

I know, just the usual smoke & mirrors John, that’s the golf industry for you I guess. That old patent is still valid, lost in Dick’s somehwere, and it’s a wonder another company hasnt tried to buy it. That’d really make the story interesting…

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Harold September 13, 2016 at 11:35 am

Your writer said so people notice them on the range. So what!
I worked on the Champions tour with our shafts and got a lot of inside info from the pros.
Setting on range with Jim Dent one day (before pro-am) I ask him what he was watching. He said”checking out players he doesn’t wish to play with”. Players with all the fancy equipment and just there hitting their Drivers, nothing else. He said 90% of them hit only the shots they are good at. They are tired around the 10th hole after hitting all those drivers on range. So equipment didn’t matter. There just showing off. Put your own store on Wall Street.

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Alex September 13, 2016 at 11:34 am

Nice review. It is hard to argue with facts. The future of the OEM’s and club development will be interesting.

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Eron September 13, 2016 at 11:31 am

Prices going up across the board is a good thing now? My fitter who sells PXG has sold more made to order Callaway and Ben Hogan then PXG, but golfs not that big in my state. Maybe the key going forward for a lot of these companies is getting a billionaire sugar daddy?

I will admit, Parsons Extreme Golf is #1 for the corniest name in golf.

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The Club Nut September 13, 2016 at 11:27 am

Pricepoint aside – because honestly we’re going to see a secondary market even for these perfectly fit clubs like you wouldnt’ believe – i like what PXG is doing. I wanted to look into PXG as an asset in my market, but they’re just too far out there for the type of player that i fit. The sad part is that they’re really the only ones innovating at this point. In a market where everything is a rebranding or rehashing of old technology, PXG went out and found/manufactured a polymer that does what it wants and applied something that was once only for hybrids and woods into their iron series. It allowed them to make a best of all worlds product and they continue to make changes and tweak it to make it better. Similarly to Air Force One, they tried something that new that allows for different manufacturing and that’s going to bring them to the top. I’d like to see the new AFO get up there as well – though with a less catchy and more kitschie name, it’s going to be a tough run. Sex sells, and PXG found a way to make a really Sexy club.

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Tony September 13, 2016 at 12:10 pm

Very interesting comparison with Air Force One. I wonder what would have happened if Powerbilt had come out and said nitrogen was the greatest discovery in golf club history, signed two or three visible Tour players, and sold the driver for $500. Would it have been laughed off, or could it potentially have had a much bigger, PXG-size impact than it did?
I think the nitrogen driver was credible tech that got missed in a mess of terrible infomercials.

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The Club Nut September 13, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Agreed. Kvinge is re-launching AFO without the powerbilt name now. Should be interesting to see the route that they take in marketing and style. They certainly do perform, the ones i’ve hit anyway.

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Chris Nickel September 13, 2016 at 2:22 pm

They absolutely perform and I have a new fairway en route, which I’m expecting to do quite well. We shall see.

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Garry Pierce September 13, 2016 at 11:27 am

As long as the windbag Parsons has deep pockets PXG will be in business. I won’t be because sets are flying out the door. Instead of Mygolfspy’s pumping this jackoff, you should be calling him out for what is very wrong with golf. You think Parson’s even knows Mygolfspy even exists? Bet he really gives a morning dump too !

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Chad Mardesen September 13, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Story is a bit off in my opinion. PXG has paid for their presence, unlike other startups that did it on talent and demand for the product.

PXG will be around until Parsons gets bored. Nothing more, nothing less. Profit means nothing. They won’t take market share from anyone really…they’ll cater to a different crowd (people who likely buy anything and everything, regardless of it makes it in the bag or not).

The key to PXG’s longevity is Parsons’ attention span. Nothing else.

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Jason Newsome September 13, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Ask Miura about their market share

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Chad Mardesen September 13, 2016 at 4:36 pm

The lions share of their revenue comes from manufacturing clubs for other OEM’s. The second source of their revenue is the Asian market. Long story short, Miura comparison doesn’t apply.

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Fred September 13, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Good point, Chad. Once again, a tournament champion (BMW) was wearing a hat that didn’t have PXG on it. Perhaps another key to Parson’s longevity would be to find success on the PGA and LPGA tours. So far, there’s been very little for him to brag about.

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Chris Nickel September 13, 2016 at 2:32 pm

You do realize nearly 1/3 of PXG staffers have a win this year? For a company 1.5 years old, I’d say that’s quite a bit to brag about.

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Fred September 13, 2016 at 4:37 pm

Unless Parsons has added another staff pro to his team that I don’t know about, Hahn is the only PXG staffer to win on the PGA tour this year, which is where my primary concern is. Here’s my issue: Zach Johnson is quoted as saying he is playing PXG clubs because the are far superior to any other clubs being made, including the Titleist clubs he used to win his 10 tournament wins. I don’t care how old the PXG company is; if the clubs he has now are THAT much better than his previous sticks, then he should be doing much better than he has been. Rory is arguably as good, if not better, than anyone currently on the PXG staff. From what I’ve read, Parsons showed an interest getting him to use his clubs. Instead, Rory has decided to stay with his, dare I say, (inferior?) Nike clubs until further notice. Given the history of those on the PXG staff, I’d say they’re being “in the flow” would have more to do with them winning a tournament than the clubs they were using. Just my opinion, of course.

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Travis Fussell September 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm

They will never make any money. Period. It’s a billionaire’s playground. That’s it. Their marketing goes hard though.

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Chris Peyton September 13, 2016 at 2:56 pm

“S E X Y”

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Brian Terry September 13, 2016 at 2:50 pm

It amazes me that all you hear about is wanting to grow the game of golf. And all Parsons wants to do is create more division between the 1% and the average golfer. I’ll just keep my Taylormade stuff and kick your ass.

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Chris Peyton September 13, 2016 at 2:56 pm

By crating golf clubs? Mad you can’t afford them … Probably not good enough to play them … Don’t worry about it

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Fred September 13, 2016 at 12:58 pm

Statistically, the pros using the PXGs aren’t doing any better than they were with their old clubs. Ask Zach.

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DerrickBonar September 13, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Took the words right out of my mouth!! Where are all the tour wins at? Exactly

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DerrickBonar September 13, 2016 at 1:30 pm

“creating” BTW, did Brian Terry offend your family name or something? Took that pretty personal huh? He is stating a valid point. If golf is steadily on the decline, is it smart to create even more divide in the game of golf?! Just because you can afford them does not make it worth it either. You sound like a lot of fun to be around too!

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Brian Terry September 13, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Chris Peyton I assure you that I can play these irons, no I can’t afford them maybe someday?

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Fred September 13, 2016 at 12:56 pm

You’re right, Brian – just like DJ used his TaylorMades to kick everyone’s ass at the BMW. But, hey, Billy Horschell and Chris Kirk both ended up tied for 10th with their PXGs. Poor Zach tied four 42nd.

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Joe Corona September 13, 2016 at 7:40 pm

More 1% garbage. Makes me laugh though. I’ll still kick yer butt. Good for you. The only people creating more division between the “1%” and the average person are the politicians telling you to hate them. Sheep.

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tom September 13, 2016 at 10:58 pm

Joe – amen! Years ago when I was growing up, my friends and I aspired to be successful like the “1%’ers” not hate them for being rich.

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Donn Rutkoff September 14, 2016 at 1:32 pm

A bit of a stretch there to put your own politics into Parsons head. On zero evidence. You aren’t contributing any value to the discussion.

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Ryan Holcomb September 13, 2016 at 2:42 pm

American brand > Japanese brand. IMO

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Eric Davis September 14, 2016 at 11:19 am

In principle only

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Dennis Duncan September 13, 2016 at 2:40 pm

$$$$$$$$$$$$

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Ben September 13, 2016 at 10:37 am

This is merely a swan song of an asset bubble helping only the super rich. When this current Fed created asset bubble bursts PXG will be gone and we will be buying $700 callaway and Ping iron sets once more.

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Charlie Carnevale September 13, 2016 at 3:08 pm

No,, WE won’t. Hit the clubs,,, then speak !

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Gil Bloomer September 13, 2016 at 2:27 pm

It’s nice to know that another golf company can emerge during these horrible times and become an instant “player” in the equipment arena. Yes, most of us can’t afford these clubs but maybe at some point their price points will be adjusted to get the general golfing public interested in them. If they don’t life will go on as well. Also, sad to see that Nike bit the dust in the equipment business and other companies are having trouble but whenever the economy turns around we’ll have the more stable companies still in the golf business. As far as PXG, it’s neither love nor hate, just out of mind.

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chemclub September 13, 2016 at 10:05 am

While their price point is well above what I would pay based on my expected return on investment from these clubs, I do respect PXG for doing something new and different. The elastomer filled iron is pushing the envelope and you have to give them credit. My local boutique golf shop sells a lot of PXG so many are obviously believers. I think the new designs are most revolutionary in their irons. Woods and putters don’t seem to be anything different.
People buy Miura’s and we don’t call them crazy, despite the fact that forged steel is forged steel. I’m not a believer in the magic pixie dust of Japanese foundries – its all just chemistry (flame suit on).

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Guy Crawford September 13, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Don’t love or hate PXG but for sure can’t afford it 😉

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dr. bloor September 13, 2016 at 9:56 am

Remember when Tony Covey told us a few years ago that Nike was the 800 pound gorilla on the block that was going to dominate hard goods forever and ever amen?

Good times.

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Tony Covey September 13, 2016 at 10:20 am

Yeah…got that one wrong. It happens. Nike had every resource in the world, but, among it’s list of issues, struggled to identify its consumer. PXG has already cleared that hurdle.

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Lee Shaw September 13, 2016 at 11:20 am

Got too agree there Tony, very bizarre how a sports company of the magnitude of Nike can get it so wrong.

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John craig September 13, 2016 at 1:29 pm

Tony. One issue I am very dissapointed in mgs is not calling out PXG for copying old nickent technology and heralding their designs as breakthrough. It’s a crock. The tpe filled blade and wedges were a nickent ARC (accelerated rebound core) Design from around 2005. how about some transparency from the one all about keeping the industry honest?

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Tony Covey September 13, 2016 at 2:10 pm

We’ve heard this one before, and I’ve addressed it before.

Big picture, across all of golf, and probably every other industry too, just because something looks similar, doesn’t mean it’s the same.

Nickent ARC was in fact a hollow cavity blade with a polymer filling. Similar in cursory appearance but an entirely different material, entirely different construction, entirely different result. The most significant difference, and the most significant advantage to PXG’s design is that it allows for significantly thinner, unsupported faces. That means higher peak ball speeds, and much more consistency across the entire face.

The screws/weights are too frequently dismissed as a gimmick, but it’s an incredibly efficient means of swing weighting. That obviously wasn’t part of the Nickent design either.

We’ve posted cutaways of PXG 0311’s in the past, and I think you’ll find them readily available in a google search. It’s a bit harder to find actual Nickent cutaways, but compare PXG to Nickent’s digital renderings and the differences are readily apparent and significant.

By way of comparison, the face on a PXG 0311 is 50% thinner than the next thinnest in the industry. That gap may have closed a bit in the last year or so, but PXG still maintains a significant design advantage in that regard.

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Dennis September 13, 2016 at 9:20 pm

Thats the problem with the automakers too. I really believe that the automakers think that every household makes $100,000. All the American makes cost about $40,000 for a well appointed car. They need to go back and look at their demographic much more closely. You always have the luxo cars, but the average joe, what can he really afford? Some of those Korean cars are nicely appointed and can be had for reasonable money. Same as the golf equipment I buy and use. Bought most of mine either demo, used, or was new marked down the following year. I will play what I can afford, and I don’t buy every year or even every other year. Just not in my cards. I play mostly Cally too, with Cally balls that are just a little more than I’d like to pay, but they do help my game. Someone will buy these clubs, Parsons is counting on it…

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Mat Davis September 13, 2016 at 10:42 am

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” – Niels Bohr

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Gavin De Luna September 13, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Eric Ng, Darren Tan, Keira Nishan Singh, Brian Yong Hui Tan

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Darren Tan September 13, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Buy!

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Mike Miller September 13, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Nike thought the same thing!

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