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Interesting POV from new Pres. of MN PGA President


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Was reading a quick interview with Steve Fessler, the new president of the Minnesota section of the PGA.  (Full article here)

 

This response hit me on 3 levels...

 

 What trends do you see in pro shop sales? Any favorite gear or merchandise?

This may be the one of the toughest areas in the golf business. A lot of “watch” type course yardage devices will become popular versus phone apps (which burn up battery life). Hard goods and soft goods are difficult with the internet. However, the internet can't fit someone for the proper shaft and loft. We are the experts and new adjustable heads now allow us tools we never had in the past.

As for brands, Taylor Made was a beast last year, while this year I think Nike will step up a bit in popularity. The top of the line companies all have quality products – players just need to figure out which one they like best.

One area I would love to see grow is the use of music in golf carts and on push carts. Music creates energy and a much more upbeat atmosphere. At Riverwood, we encourage our players to use music devices as much as possible. Nothing obnoxious, but it allows the average golfer to get away from this stuffy atmosphere and dead noise. Let's change the image!

First - as a club pro he's painfully aware how hard it is for pro shops to sell gear, but is stressing that a PRO can help you get fit.  Can this save the pro shop?

Second: TMag was beast, even though it showed some sagging sales.  What does that say?  And it seems like Nike is poised to make a move...

Last:  Music in the carts?  Yeah baby!  Let it rock.  Glad to see the PGA is starting to loosen up a little...

 

What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
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"The man is a menace! Cut that off! Music is a violation of our personal privacy! He's breaking the law!"

 

My wife wears headphones with her iPod when we play to help eliminate distracting noise. She calls it "her spousal filter"

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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Not sure how the level is on pros in the USA. I can only speak for the countries I know. Pros are generally not good enough to do fittings and don't have the correct tools. In general. Nots of brilliant guys out there with TrackMan, but a normal pro is a guy who gives lessons on the range. 

 

TaylorMade is still a beast in the industry. They were amazing in woods. So high that even if they fall a little they're still up there. And their reputation among golfers hasn't changed that much. Shops, media, golf fanatics online ;) --- there's been a negative change there, but not that much among their regular customers. Next year looks good for TM. They've corrected themselves, especially with Aero.

 

Nike will be #1-2 within the next 3-5 years.

 

Music? Yes :D

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1st Point -   Sadly, I think course pro's are falling ever more behind specialty ranges and bm stores in the fitting department.   They don't seem to be able to afford the monitors and they never have the fitting carts available except on fitting weekends.   Sad part is that they have the knowledge and the integrity that the pimple-faced, monitor-jacking sales guys at Dick's don't have.

 

2nd Point -   I think he could be right about Nike.   Their balls are now finally very good.   The woods seem to have found legitimacy and the new irons look sexy.   Time will tell.

 

3rd Point -  I'm all for music and it's spreading.   One of the courses I frequent, the Avis "We try harder" course that added Foot Golf to great success -- starts blasting music from the their loudspeakers every evening after 5.   No one has complained and all the evening chipper putter practicers love it.

bag - SunMountain Synch with Ogio Synergy X4 cart
driver - :callaway-small: Optiforce 440, Paderson Kevlar Green stiff 46.5"
fwoods - :taylormade-small: Jetspeed, 3HL regular
irons - :taylormade-small:  Speedblades 3-8, 85g stiff steel, 2 up
wedges - :edilon-small: Scor 40, 45, 50, 54, 58
putter - :ping-small: Ketsch 35" slight arc, SuperStroke 2.0 mid-slim
ball - :titelist-small: ProV1x

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deleted duplicate

bag - SunMountain Synch with Ogio Synergy X4 cart
driver - :callaway-small: Optiforce 440, Paderson Kevlar Green stiff 46.5"
fwoods - :taylormade-small: Jetspeed, 3HL regular
irons - :taylormade-small:  Speedblades 3-8, 85g stiff steel, 2 up
wedges - :edilon-small: Scor 40, 45, 50, 54, 58
putter - :ping-small: Ketsch 35" slight arc, SuperStroke 2.0 mid-slim
ball - :titelist-small: ProV1x

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He needs to write the USGA and tell them to change the ruling that music is not allowed while playing.

 

A lot of guys have speakers in their carts where I play and I tell them not to use them during tournament play just in case.

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Most courses where lessons are given have nothing to do with the pros. It's the pros business, and the course stays out of it. Sadly, that means the expensive launch monitors are not used. I agree that these pros are better suited to fit golfers than B&M stores, but they don't have the equipment to do so.

 

My local B&M golf store has pros selling, fitting and giving lessons; they are personable, know their stuff and are a wealth of information. However, until about a month ago, they didn't have a LM.

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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  • 3 weeks later...

The pro I receive lessons from knows his stuff and has taught me a lot about fitting and what numbers do when elements are changed. He doesn't think the LM investment will see the return it needs to. He makes a good living teaching and doing regrips/reshafting/loft/lie for his core pupils, he doesn't want to risk spending the many thousands it costs to get to a point where you can fit someone just to find out the market wasn't there.

 

I play 9 holes later in the day to avoid the busy periods and even then I feel nervous putting on the radio on a bluetooth speaker to listen to football commentary. People can be...contentious.

 

Any pro advocating fresh air in the game is welcome but don't change the cup size. I was born to be bad at putting.

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Once I "discovered" fitting, I've been an advocate of courses/club pros at least developing a professional relationship with a qualified fitter.  If the club pro wants to focus on technique and fundamentals, I think it's a natural "fit" to establish a working relationship with a fitter for their students.  I'm really not sure why more of them don't.

 

As far as playing music on the course, I'm OK with it.  If I don't like your tunes, I'll take my hearing aids out ;)

  • Like 1

What's In The Bag

Driver :titelist-small:

Titleist 913 D2 10.5* (set to 9.75* / Neutral) 46" Paderson KINETIXX Kevlar Green - R

Fairway Wood

Tom Wishon 949 MC 16.5* Fujikura Speeder 569-A

Hybrid  :cleveland-small: Hibore 22* Aldila VS Proto Blue

Irons  :ping-small: G series 5-P

Wedges :ping-small:Glide 54* SS / 60* TS - SCOR 53*

Putter     :nike-small: Nike Method 001 / P2 Reflex grip 35"

Ball

Master Grip Tour C4

Bag

Datrek DG Lite  

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"Why, we play both kinds of music here. Country and Western!"

Just don't expect me to pay the bar tab and since I was once in the musician's Union I know that you better pay me upfront.

 

Now which one of them there tunes has trumpet in it again?

Ping G410 - turned down to11.25 degrees, neutral setting - Fujikura Motore X R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

SCOR 52,60

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Currently testing Edison wedges to replace SCORS that are wearing out. Also auditions for the 14th spot in the bag.  Current possibilities are a Ping 26 degree hybrid - duplicates the 9 wood or 5 iron but would be used almost exclusively for chipping or Tour Exotics 3 wood simply because you can carry 14 clubs and I might occasionally hit it in certain unusual wind conditions once every four or five rounds. 

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I can remember in the late 70s when a local big box store opened in our area. My Dad said at that time it was the beginning of the end for the club pros like him. Used to be you bought name brand "pro only" clubs from your local pro shop. Most of the club pros they had a deal and the sales was part of their compensation. As far as a club pro or small independent club shop I really cant see how they can afford these gizmos like LM or Trackman. Now most of these fitters that have been doing it for a while do have the experience and expertise to fit you properly. I don't believe half of what they tell you on a launch monitor at one of the big box stores. I am one of those that sit back silently and observe before forming an opinion. I have sat back and observed at our 2 big box stores and I think they don't know what they are doing half the time. I do know that everytime you go in those stores that they seem to have changed personell and they have a lot of turnover. I went to one of ours the other day because I won a $35 gift certificate in a scramble (closest to the hole on a par 3) I was just looking around and a pushy sales person came up trying to run a line of BS on me. I let him sprout off until I had enough and then I let him know that I am still in the golf business some and I aint a dumb a##. He sorta tucked his tail between his legs and went on. I ended up buying some grips and lead tape with my gift certificate. Now I don't have anything against someone who is honest and knows their stuff using a trackman or a LM but the guys that fit that critique around here do not see the money needed for that

Driver --- TM M-6 Evenflow 5.5 R 45 gr--- 4W Adams Tight Lies 16* Bassara 55g R flex-- 5W Adams Tight Lies 19* Bassara 55g R Flex--- Irons 5 thru PW Taylor Made TP CB ( 2018)  Steelfiber I 95 R Flex--- GW Callaway X Jaws CC 52* stock steel shaft--- SW Cleveland 588 56* S-400--- Putter Scotty Santa Fe Bulls Eye Fluted shaft "Rusty" Bag Old School Jones Classic 

 

 

 

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