Jump to content
GolfSpy MPR

NPG Episode 32: You Down With DTC?

Direct to Consumer Golf Products  

51 members have voted

  1. 1. What direct-to-consumer golf products have you already purchased?

    • Driver/FW/hybrid
      12
    • Irons/Wedges
      17
    • Putter
      13
    • Balls
      14
    • Other/None
      8
  2. 2. What's the biggest factor that would keep you from ordering DTC clubs?

    • Lack of Tour presence
      1
    • Unable to test them
      38
    • Lack of trustworthy reviews
      3
    • Concern about quality control
      9
  3. 3. What club are you least likely to buy direct-to-consumer?

    • Driver/FW/hybrid
      25
    • Irons/Wedges
      13
    • Putter
      13
  4. 4. What's the biggest appeal of DTC clubs?

    • Price/value
      43
    • Better customer service/relationship
      3
    • Not buying from the big OEMs
      5


Recommended Posts

Our Sponsors

Today we talk Direct-to-consumer golf clubs. You may be familiar with DTC golf clubs, but how should you best navigate the growing world of DTC clubs? Also, we go in depth about our recently completed Most Wanted Driver test: What's new, what's not, and what to look for in the future of Most Wanted testing.

1:01 - 2020 Most Wanted Driver testing
18:27 - The ups and downs of Direct to Consumer golf clubs

🔊 Listen to NPG:

📺 Watch NPG:

  • Like 3

:callaway-small: Epic Flash Sub Zero, 9°, Aldila Rogue White 70 X
:taylormade-small: M4 3HL 16.5°, Atmos Red 60
:cobra-small: F6 5-6W, 19.5°, Fujikura Motore 6.3
:755178188_TourEdge: CBX 20°, Project X HZRDUS 85 5.5
Currently testing: :Sub70: 699 Pro, Modus3 105, 5–PW
:cleveland-small: CBX 48°
:cleveland-small: RTX-3 CB 54° and 60°
:odyssey-small: Stroke Lab EXO Seven Mini, 34"
:srixon-small: Z-Star XV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely, why not.  While I did no end up buying Sub70 clubs, my interaction with them was nothing short of A+ customer service.  I suspect there will be be more and more golf equipment companies like this in the future.  I did not yet view the episode... how'd I do? 🙂

  • Like 1

:ping-small: G410 Plus, 9 Degree Driver | Official 2019 MGS Tester

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 16 Degree 3w

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 19 Degree 5w

:ping-small: G410 Irons 4-UW 

:ping-small: Glide 2.0 56 Degree SW   (removed from double secret probation 😍)

:ping-small: B61 Putter

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One major issue for most DTC clubs is that there are either no Left handed options, or only the SGI club is offered in LH. I am all for DTC companies, but it’s difficult to support them when they completely ignore an entire population of LH golfers. 

  • Like 3
  • Love 1

Lefties are always in their Right Mind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'M not a name brand guy. I have building golf clubs from components for years. I get to tweak my specs how I see fit. Last year I purchased a set of Ben Hogan Wedges in Black. They are better quality then any component company I have purchased to date. They came in exactly how I wanted them. Loft, Lie, swing weight. Perfect.
From what I can tell all the DTC club companies will build your clubs to any Spec you ask for. That is a great value if you already know what you want in a set of golf clubs.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Customer service is hit or miss depending on the DTC company.

 

The big guys maintain and set a big budget for customer service/warranties/etc.

 

If nothing goes wrong, DTCs are fine. If something does, it's a crapshoot.

 

Not necessarily the DTC's fault, you may be catching them 2 days before they have to pay 3 of their suppliers so the reaction may be not what you would expect.

We've seen spectacular smaller golf companies go a little sideways when the squeeze is on.

It's wonderful that with the forums and social media the DTCs and smaller companies have a better chance.

Edited by xxio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kor.A.Door said:

One major issue for most DTC clubs is that there are either no Left handed options, or only the SGI club is offered in LH. I am all for DTC companies, but it’s difficult to support them when they completely ignore an entire population of LH golfers. 

Are they ignoring lefties or realizing that the lefty population is a very small piece of the golf pie and the cost of offering lh versions doesn’t have the necessary roi?

  • Like 4

Driver: Titleist 917D3 9.5 with Graphite Design MAD Pro 65g S

Wood: Titleist 917F2 with UST Mamiya Helium 5F4

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 21 with Atmos Blue 85 S

Irons: Titleist 718 AP3 4i, 718 CB 5-6, MB 7-9 with KBS $ Taper 125

Wedges: Vokey SM7 46/50/54/60 with DG s200

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DTC is not an option for me, I will not purchase any golf club without getting fit.  I have been very happy with the clubs I was fit for 2 years ago except the 2 clubs I did not actually get to try out first (driving iron and putter).  Ordered both clubs to what the fitter and I thought should work for me but both clubs ended up left at home.  I have even found the weight of the grip makes a difference how I feel where the club head is during my swing.

This is where I see a big hurdle for the DTC companies.  People will be interested in the lower price but there will be more risk.  If I lived near Sub70 or Ben Hogan and I could get fit there or a trusted local fitter I would be interested in either brand.  As it stands now, even with the demo of a best guess trial club I am still not interested.  For me a proper fitting process keeps me from wondering if something else is better and that peace of mind is worth the extra cost.

  • Like 1

Driver - Callaway Rogue Draw

Woods - Callaway Rogue 5 wood

Hybrid - Titleist TS2 21 degree

Irons - Taylormade P790 5-PW

Wedges - Ping Glide 2.0 52-56-60

Putter - Mizuno Black Carbon BC3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The survey should have another option for each question (none of the above).  The only question that the options fit for me to answer was number 4.  The other questions options did not apply.  The survey does not seem to accept being submitted without all questions being answered.  This will either force people to pick an option even if it does not apply or limit the people who can submit it to those who have purchased DTC in the past due to question 1.  

  • Like 4

Driver - Callaway Rogue Draw

Woods - Callaway Rogue 5 wood

Hybrid - Titleist TS2 21 degree

Irons - Taylormade P790 5-PW

Wedges - Ping Glide 2.0 52-56-60

Putter - Mizuno Black Carbon BC3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, ED13 said:

This will ... limit the people who can submit it to those who have purchased DTC in the past due to question 1.  

Agreed, I had the same issue.

I don't mind the idea of DTC, but in general if I'm going to buy without getting fit I'd rather buy preowned clubs made by the major manufacturers.  Then I get cutting edge technology (which, I'll admit, is of minimal use to me, since I don't swing nearly fast enough to really get the benefit from it), but also a fantastic price.  If I was serious about purchasing an actually new set of clubs, I'd go to a fitter and spend the extra money to make sure that the product was best for me.  That being said, if I went to a fitter, and the choice was between a Callaway/TM/Ping/Cobra product or a DTC club that fit me equally well, I'd have no qualms with "sacrificing" the brand name to save some $$.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scalability will always be the biggest hurdle in maintaining a sustainable business.

 

I’m very pro DTC but I question how long they can continue as a successful and profitable business without relying upon indirect channels.

 

There is an exception. I believe golf balls are exempt from this logic; fewer SKU’s, longer life cycles and lower overhead costs allow them to sell their product without the burdens of growing business costs weighing them down.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

 

  • Like 1

  • PING G400 LST 8.5 Evenflow Black 65g 6.5
  • PING G 3W HZRDUS Yellow 75g 6.0
  • Mizuno HMB MP20 3i Nippon Modus 3 120S
  • Maltby TS1 4-G Nippon Modus3 120S
  • Maltby TSW 52 Nippon Modus Wedge
  • Maltby TSW 58 Nippon Modus Wedge
  • Bettinardi BB8 Wide 2020
  • Oncore Elixr

Currently testing the Ben Hogan PTx Combo irons https://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/38486-2020-official-member-review-ben-hogan-icon-ptx-proicon-combo-irons/

 

 

Rochester, NY

4.3 Index

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Kor.A.Door said:

One major issue for most DTC clubs is that there are either no Left handed options, or only the SGI club is offered in LH. I am all for DTC companies, but it’s difficult to support them when they completely ignore an entire population of LH golfers. 

While not big - 13% of the golfing population is still big enough to generate some interest. i do get annoyed at both the OEM's and retailers that ignore us. 

  • Like 2

Left Hand orientation

:ping-small: G410 SFT driver 

:cobra-small: F Max 5 wood

:ping-small:  9 wood
:ping-small:  410  Hybrids 22*, 26*
:wilson-small: C300 4i-GP
:cleveland-small:  Wedges RTX 3.0: 52*, 56*
:ping-small: EYE 2 Wedge 60*

:odyssey-small: O Works putter
:918457628_PrecisionPro:NX9-HD

:CaddyTek: - 4 Wheel 
:footjoy-small: - too many shoes to list and so many to buy

:1590477705_SunMountain:

:SuperSpeed: Official Tester 2020   Beginning Driver Speed  - 78

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Are they ignoring lefties or realizing that the lefty population is a very small piece of the golf pie and the cost of offering lh versions doesn’t have the necessary roi

we are a smaller pc of the pie, but we are still part of the pie. It’s awful nice that these DTC companies offer the RH golfer a huge discounted set of clubs. It is what it is and they aren’t going to change. It just sucks when you find something that looks great and then you search for it only to find out that it isn’t available in Lefty. That goes for DTC and many OEM’s. 

  • Like 1

Lefties are always in their Right Mind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, [email protected] said:

While not big - 13% of the golfing population is still big enough to generate some interest. i do get annoyed at both the OEM's and retailers that ignore us. 

Yes exactly. They don’t need to make everything in lefty. Check our sub 70’s set of black CB’s. I would seriously consider those for the next set I purchase, but no lefty available. Almost all DTC,  and small market companies are like that. There are also several OEM’s like that as well. 

  • Like 1

Lefties are always in their Right Mind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Kor.A.Door said:

Yes exactly. They don’t need to make everything in lefty. Check our sub 70’s set of black CB’s. I would seriously consider those for the next set I purchase, but no lefty available. Almost all DTC,  and small market companies are like that. There are also several OEM’s like that as well. 

from what I understand it is very expensive to make clubs - casting, molds, etc. - and that being the case an investment in left handed clubs has to realize a return to at least break even. For DTC companies this might take a while. Once they get established it is certainly possible but to be profitable they need to target the 87% of the market that is right handed. 


StrokerAce
:tour-edge: EXS 220 HZRDUS Smoke
:cobra-small:  King F7 3w Fujikara 
:callaway-small:  Apex 20 Catalyst 6.0
:callaway-small:  Apex 23 Catalyst 6.0
--------------------------
:srixon-small: Z785 KBS CTaper lite
:cleveland-small:  RTX Zipcore 54/58 
:ping-small: Sigma G Kinloch C 
--------------------------
:918457628_PrecisionPro: nx7 pro rangefinder
:1590477705_SunMountain:  C130 cart bag
Franklin, MA; Right Handed; 10
"the club face sends it, the path bends it..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kor.A.Door said:

we are a smaller pc of the pie, but we are still part of the pie. It’s awful nice that these DTC companies offer the RH golfer a huge discounted set of clubs. It is what it is and they aren’t going to change. It just sucks when you find something that looks great and then you search for it only to find out that it isn’t available in Lefty. That goes for DTC and many OEM’s. 

Outside of scotty cameron putters having very limited options in left handed clubs the vast majority of oems offer close to their entire line in lh. 
 

I understand the frustration but let say based on the reporting that of pxg costs to make a set of irons. It’s $8-10k for one mold of 1 head. So for a set of 8 molds that’s $64-80k. If they forged it 2x that’s another $64-80k for 1 iron line. They would need to sell a full set to nearly all of the left handed golfers in the world to break even.


Driver: Titleist 917D3 9.5 with Graphite Design MAD Pro 65g S

Wood: Titleist 917F2 with UST Mamiya Helium 5F4

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 21 with Atmos Blue 85 S

Irons: Titleist 718 AP3 4i, 718 CB 5-6, MB 7-9 with KBS $ Taper 125

Wedges: Vokey SM7 46/50/54/60 with DG s200

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive bought from Pinemeadow before and the  clubs were just fine.  Im currently thinking about picking up a couple Lynx wedges and have no concerns about that either.  Sure, its nice to be able to hit a club before you buy it but honestly, all clubs nowdays are so good that Im not sure its such a huge deal and Ive bought plenty of clubs off the rack from DSG/GG that I didnt hit before I bought them and they were fine too.

IMO, DTC for clubs is just the next step and as long as you know what you want/need, the fitting process shouldnt be much different.


Whats in my Top-Flite Gamer 2019 cart bag?:

Woods: Tommy Armour Atomic 10.5* and Top-Flite Gamer 2020 18*

Hybrid: Top-Flite Gamer 2020 22*

Irons: Pinemeadow ZR 3.0 5-PW

Wedges: Wilson Harmonized Black Chrome 52*, Tommy Armour VCG 56*, Wilson Harmonized 60* and Wilson Harmonized chipper

Putter: Pinemeadow PGX SL

Ball: Maxfli Tour X

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

I understand the frustration but let say based on the reporting that of pxg costs to make a set of irons. It’s $8-10k for one mold of 1 head. So for a set of 8 molds that’s $64-80k. If they forged it 2x that’s another $64-80k for 1 iron line. They would need to sell a full set to nearly all of the left handed golfers in the world to break even.

Yes, but are the DTC's making their own molds?  I thought their whole business model was to use open designs.  I don't think I'm the one to come up with this, but the Sub70 699 and the Haywood look awfully similar.

699back2_1_1.jpg

 

Haywood_Golf_Clubs_3-297_1024x1024.jpg?v

Not the same, but awfully similar.  Especially the channel above the muscle.  And if the open heads are decent designs, then let the DTC's compete on looks and price and customer service.

 

13 hours ago, bens197 said:

I’m very pro DTC but I question how long they can continue as a successful and profitable business without relying upon indirect channels.

They've got to get themselves into the Club Champions / True Specs / Cool Clubs if they're going to make it to the next level.  I wonder what their cost is for a set, and if they could afford to make the investment of selling through some of these channels on consignment, just for a little while to show that there's a market for their stuff.

  • Like 1

What's in the bag:
Driver - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
3 Wood (16*) - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
2 Iron - :mizuno-small: FliHi (18*) - Recoil 760 ( S )
4i - GW - :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged - Recoil 760 ( S )
SW - LW - :cobra-small: F8 - N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour105 ( S )
Putter - :ping-small: Craz-e
Bag - :1590477705_SunMountain: 2.5 (Black)
Ball -  :srixon-small: Z-Star XV
Instagram - @hardcorelooper
Twitter - @meovino
Facebook - mike.eovino
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

Yes, but are the DTC's making their own molds?  I thought their whole business model was to use open designs.  I don't think I'm the one to come up with this, but the Sub70 699 and the Haywood look awfully similar.

699back2_1_1.jpg

 

Haywood_Golf_Clubs_3-297_1024x1024.jpg?v

Not the same, but awfully similar.  Especially the channel above the muscle.  And if the open heads are decent designs, then let the DTC's compete on looks and price and customer service.

 

They've got to get themselves into the Club Champions / True Specs / Cool Clubs if they're going to make it to the next level.  I wonder what their cost is for a set, and if they could afford to make the investment of selling through some of these channels on consignment, just for a little while to show that there's a market for their stuff.

It depends on the dtc. Depends on how you read past posts in social media from new level but they use some sort of mold that that is more for them than just a blank generic one. Even so somebody has to pay for them plus the rest of this materials. The cost to sell an extremely small amount of sets isn’t worth it for the smaller brands. Let’s say for sub 70 they sell 1000 sets in a year how many of those could/would be lefties? The chances are the lefties might even cost a bit more to make up the costs now that brand is competing with all the well known names and other dtc brands.

Scotty Cameron who is doing pretty well financially doesn’t make a lot of lefty options with the otr putters because of costs. Him and titleist combined have the resources to make them and take a chance but they know they will probably end up with too much stock laying around


Driver: Titleist 917D3 9.5 with Graphite Design MAD Pro 65g S

Wood: Titleist 917F2 with UST Mamiya Helium 5F4

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 21 with Atmos Blue 85 S

Irons: Titleist 718 AP3 4i, 718 CB 5-6, MB 7-9 with KBS $ Taper 125

Wedges: Vokey SM7 46/50/54/60 with DG s200

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the performance is there and the price is right, why not? I'm already buying DTC balls from Vice and had great experience with DiamondTour's customer service. The clubs worked pretty well for a beginner, but once you are hooked on the game, you want more and more and unfortunately, only OEM offer fittings in Europe.

I would also like to try Sub70 if the demo program was offered in Europe as well.


:cobra-small: SpeedZone 9* w/ Aldila Rogue Silver 60 S
:callaway-small: X2 Hot 3 Deep 14.5* w/ Aldila Tour Green 75 S
:taylormade-small: JetSpeed 5W 19* w/ Matrix Velox T 69 S OR :adams-small: Super LS 3H 19* w/ Kuro Kage Black 80 S
:mizuno-small: JPX919 Forged 4-PW w/ Modus3 105 S
:titelist-small: Vokey SM7 50/08F, 54/14F & 58/08M w/ Modus3 115 Wedge
:EVNROLL: ER1 34" w/ SuperStroke Fatso 2.0
MfleKCg.jpg Pro / 9dZCgaF.jpgH2NO Lite Cart Bag / :Clicgear: 3.0 / :918457628_PrecisionPro: NX7 Pro LRF

My reviews: MLA Putter // Titleist SM7 // PING i500 // PuttOUT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kanoito said:

If the performance is there and the price is right, why not? I'm already buying DTC balls from Vice and had great experience with DiamondTour's customer service. The clubs worked pretty well for a beginner, but once you are hooked on the game, you want more and more and unfortunately, only OEM offer fittings in Europe.

I would also like to try Sub70 if the demo program was offered in Europe as well.

The cost of making golf balls isn’t anywhere near the cost of golf clubs.

The dtc golf club brands tend to keep lower inventory and have a lot less sales than a larger brand. Even if there are brands that share the same molds (some will call them blanks) they still have to pay out a price for that. There probably a minimum order as well. Let’s say it’s 100 sets. Does sub 70 as an example think they can sell 100 sets of a particular iron? They have 5 different iron lines iirc with some different options for finishes. They have to pick which one of those lines they are going to make in lh and if they pick tem he wrong one they are left with lots of inventory and wasted money. Which then has impacts on other project they may be thinking of or have in the works. 
 

The risk is too great for them. 


Driver: Titleist 917D3 9.5 with Graphite Design MAD Pro 65g S

Wood: Titleist 917F2 with UST Mamiya Helium 5F4

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 21 with Atmos Blue 85 S

Irons: Titleist 718 AP3 4i, 718 CB 5-6, MB 7-9 with KBS $ Taper 125

Wedges: Vokey SM7 46/50/54/60 with DG s200

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...