Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Are you REALLY paying that much for a name?! Come On!!

I hate to be the guy to beat a dead horse, but if you're playing the wrong equipment you're not going to improve as fast as you could. If you're playing the wrong equipment for a lame reason, then it's even worse! By far, the #1 reason people give at my demo days for not trying or buying custom fit non-branded names is the resale value. Correct, RESALE VALUE of the clubs that they're going to buy because it improves their game. Why are people so concerned with the resale value of something  that they will pay PREMIUM PRICE when new just to resell it and get something "better" another year down the road.

Sure, the resale value of an off-brand component set of irons is not going to be near the resale of a big name, but they're not going to be the same price at the start either.  Let's launch a hypothetical....

Say you're fit to a no-name driver with a premium brand shaft.  You are smashing the ball longer than you ever have, and straighter. It's a great club. Retails for $300 just for a nice round number.

You go out and are fit for a Tayloring XM 917 (see what i did there) and are hitting it the same as the No name club. Retail is $450-ish.

That's $150 difference.  $150 that can go into lessons or maybe even 3 rounds of golf!

The brand names will come down in price, but ask yourself why that happens? To make way for new things. New gimmicks. New paychecks to the tour pros who play them. All of that affects resale anyway. You can get $200 for a club when it's still new, but basically half the price of new retail and that's what you're looking at. The older it gets, the worse that ratio gets too.

Money makes the world go 'round. Ever since people started trading trinkets for items, someone has tried to think up new ways to make people part with their scratch.  The saturated golf market has made us all - even me at one point - think about what we're playing and tell ourselves that we NEED the new stuff.  Real talk - Technology is maxed out. These gains they're making in COR and MOI are minute at best and, very much like paying $499 to gain 5 yards over your existing equipment, not worth the effort.  Things like "multi material" technology were tried before but never caught on because we weren't into gimmicks back then. Things like the hybrid iron have been around for a long time, but now they're rebranding as a "crossover" and people are biting at a premium price.

Club manufacturers build a lot of clubs. Thousands. They send them all over the world and put all sorts of stickers and designs on them for rack appeal. Anyone who has tried to re-ell a club out there and done it, consider yourself lucky.  A quick search on some popular sale and auction sites will show pages and pages and pages of the same club.  Manufacturers know this, and they're the only ones making the money hand over fist. They advertise and pay players top dollar to play their gear all so hopefully you'll believe what they tell you. Ontop of that,  you get to advertise for them for FREE with all your branded gear.

Bottom line, if it helps you hit the ball farther and straighter then by all means buy it, brand name or no. Just be sure you're testing everything before you do it and not JUST paying for a name.    It's all smoke and mirrors and a good club builder will tell you that first hand. Go see your local guy and try some things out.  I know you'll be glad you did.

No more lonely golfers?

Let's chat a little about the new ruling by golf's governing body. No longer will scores played alone be able to count towards a players handicap.  Why?  The reasoning is to curb "sandbagging" or posting higher scores in a bid to get more strokes during handicapped tournaments when a player is actually better than their 'cap.

In my opinion, this is one of those times where a new rule is not needed but rather where the old rules need better implementation. How does the USGA intend for this to be policed? What is in place to keep Player A from going out with a buddy or just with a random person and still posting a score that is not accurate?  In a word - NOTHING.    Very much like other hot topics of politics and rules, there is nothing to stop an evil person from being evil. They don't follow the rules anyway, like this is going to stop it? Short of verifying every single score, the ruling only serves to anger and penalize those who would follow the rules. I play a lot solo. I count every single stroke on rounds that post to my handicap, even when I'm the only one on the course. I take pride in what I shoot and constantly strive to be better. I'm as upset as anyone else when an 18 handicapper at my club posts a 73 in tournament play. "Best day I've ever had" they say. Sure it is.  Still, it just sits in my gut the wrong way about this new ruling. Now when I - and honest to a fault golfer - get the chance to spontaneously play because my wife has last minute plans with her girls, I need to make sure I'm paired up with someone in order for my round to count. I've had some bumper days alone too. Days where everything clicks and I'm just in the zone. No more.

I suppose I should be glad though - those rounds won't count and my handicap might balloon. That being said, it would no longer be an accurate representation of my abilities as a golfer. It will be my abilities on days when I was able to find someone to golf with.  If last year is any indication, I'll be south about 15 rounds of golf for my handicap. Some high, some low. Not a great cross section when you only get to play maybe 35 rounds in a year. *sigh*. Come on, USGA. We're supposed to be growing the game, not making it annoying.

Read the whole story here:

Nobody for miles and miles...... ahhhhhhhhhh.