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Are golf equipment companies falsely representing their products?

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From what I can remember, the biggest difference i heard between pros and amateurs back in the late 90s and 2000's was the shaft pros were using.  They were using prototype this and prototype that, different weighted shafts, shafts with different flex points, etc.  I dont remember there being that many shaft options outside of stock shafts back then.  Those fitting options are more available to consumers but companies still have special product lines or items just for pros.  That's probably simply because we are either not good enough to need them, or to be able to use them as intended, or even be able to feel or notice the difference.  

Look no further than golf balls to know companies have different products for pros.  I dont have an issue with companies having different specs for tour pros because incrementally the equipment has gotten better over time for amateurs and it doesnt make sense for them to cater to the individual.  They cater to blocks of consumers.  I think that's why you see the "tour" model, a more forgiving model, and a draw bias model for drivers for drivers as an example. 

Lastly with the fitting world coming to amatuers, if properly fitted, aren't we getting what the pros are getting in essence?  Something that is specific to each individual golfer?  Having clubs bent to a certain degree, lie angle adjustments, this shaft, and that shaft.  The paradigm shift from "playing" what the pros play to playing what's best for you is huge.

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9 hours ago, Chizzle said:

From what I can remember, the biggest difference i heard between pros and amateurs back in the late 90s and 2000's was the shaft pros were using.  They were using prototype this and prototype that, different weighted shafts, shafts with different flex points, etc.  I dont remember there being that many shaft options outside of stock shafts back then.  Those fitting options are more available to consumers but companies still have special product lines or items just for pros.  That's probably simply because we are either not good enough to need them, or to be able to use them as intended, or even be able to feel or notice the difference.  

Look no further than golf balls to know companies have different products for pros.  I dont have an issue with companies having different specs for tour pros because incrementally the equipment has gotten better over time for amateurs and it doesnt make sense for them to cater to the individual.  They cater to blocks of consumers.  I think that's why you see the "tour" model, a more forgiving model, and a draw bias model for drivers for drivers as an example. 

Lastly with the fitting world coming to amatuers, if properly fitted, aren't we getting what the pros are getting in essence?  Something that is specific to each individual golfer?  Having clubs bent to a certain degree, lie angle adjustments, this shaft, and that shaft.  The paradigm shift from "playing" what the pros play to playing what's best for you is huge.

I agree if you get custom fit them that is pretty much the only way to get the most out of clubs. 

Additionally, I agree the balls being prototype balls in tour is a big part of the misleading I am upset about. 

When I first heard of Tiger Wood's clubs being custom ground to include a pre-worn leading edge is when I really started wondering about how much clubs are modified for tour pros? 

Then MGS started talking "Made For" shafts falling short of the true upgrade shafts, doesn't it all start to sound like a bait and switch?

There was a time when PGA players who were endorsed would not be shown on television. Boy how times have changed. 

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13 minutes ago, TimoTe said:

I agree if you get custom fit them that is pretty much the only way to get the most out of clubs. 

Additionally, I agree the balls being prototype balls in tour is a big part of the misleading I am upset about. 

When I first heard of Tiger Wood's clubs being custom ground to include a pre-worn leading edge is when I really started wondering about how much clubs are modified for tour pros? 

Then MGS started talking "Made For" shafts falling short of the true upgrade shafts, doesn't it all start to sound like a bait and switch?

There was a time when PGA players who were endorsed would not be shown on television. Boy how times have changed. 

Proto balls on tour are what leads to future releases of retail balls and the number who play them are minimal. Titleist has proto balls that became the 2017 prov  lineup and 85% of their staff play the retail ball. Companies test balls then once they are ready for tour validation they go thru the Usga/r&a process for approval. Based on tour feedback the brands then make the final changes to a ball if there are any and they come out to retail if they may stay a tour only ball because the number of golfers that would benefit isn’t worth the cost to produce them.  But if you are really that hung up on proto balls titleist is still selling the exp-01 ball. 
 

custom grinds can be had by anyone if you have a grinder, the tour van staff will do.

There’s nothing shady going on by companies and what they have on tour compared to what they have at retail. 
 

edit: go to taylormades YouTube and social media and you can see how a tour van works and see the players testing clubs out for the first time

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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

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20 minutes ago, TimoTe said:

I agree if you get custom fit them that is pretty much the only way to get the most out of clubs. 

Additionally, I agree the balls being prototype balls in tour is a big part of the misleading I am upset about. 

When I first heard of Tiger Wood's clubs being custom ground to include a pre-worn leading edge is when I really started wondering about how much clubs are modified for tour pros? 

Then MGS started talking "Made For" shafts falling short of the true upgrade shafts, doesn't it all start to sound like a bait and switch?

There was a time when PGA players who were endorsed would not be shown on television. Boy how times have changed. 

Unfortunately I think something that has to be factored into the equation is that it doesnt make sense for OEM to make multiple sku's for a single product.  I think I heard there are at least 24 million golfers give or take?  That's creating competition for yourself in a super competitive market where not too many people purchase clubs every year.  They make exceptions to tour players that are under contract.  As far as a ball goes, take titleist for example.  i dont think we are good enough to 1)feel the difference between a AVX,a ball in between AVX and proV1, ProV1, a ball inbetween ProV1 and ProV1x, and proV1x

2) our swing, strike, and overall game isn't consistent enough to know the difference or see gains. 

Quick question.  If there were 2 balls only marked with number #1 and #2, one being a proV1 and the other being a prov1x, on a 60 yard shot, how many amateur golfers would be able to tell the difference?  I'm pretty sure I wont.  The guys on TV hit soo many more balls than we do. 

Although I understand the frustration or angst, it's a none issue to me.  It will be an issue if I'm playing for millions of dollars, but then again if I were, I'd probably get a chance to use special tour equipment.

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12 hours ago, Chizzle said:

Unfortunately I think something that has to be factored into the equation is that it doesnt make sense for OEM to make multiple sku's for a single product.  I think I heard there are at least 24 million golfers give or take?  That's creating competition for yourself in a super competitive market where not too many people purchase clubs every year.  They make exceptions to tour players that are under contract.  As far as a ball goes, take titleist for example.  i dont think we are good enough to 1)feel the difference between a AVX,a ball in between AVX and proV1, ProV1, a ball inbetween ProV1 and ProV1x, and proV1x

2) our swing, strike, and overall game isn't consistent enough to know the difference or see gains. 

Quick question.  If there were 2 balls only marked with number #1 and #2, one being a proV1 and the other being a prov1x, on a 60 yard shot, how many amateur golfers would be able to tell the difference?  I'm pretty sure I wont.  The guys on TV hit soo many more balls than we do. 

Although I understand the frustration or angst, it's a none issue to me.  It will be an issue if I'm playing for millions of dollars, but then again if I were, I'd probably get a chance to use special tour equipment.

Exactly to the bolder part. Look at the number of mavrik driver heads on the confirming list. It oils make no sense for Callaway to release each one to sell a handful at most of some of them. There’s a few lefty versions and the percentage of golfers that are lefty is small and those that would benefit from a Phil Mickelson design is even smaller segment of that small segment

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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

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The only thing misleading about club companies claims is the every new driver the release gives you 10-15 yards more.

Other than that, nah.

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... Tour Pro's have no Pixie Dust sprinkled on their clubs to make them superior to what is offered retail off the rack. OEMs do a ton of research, testing and changing shaft specs on "made for" shafts, not to find a cheap way to make them, but to fit the average golfer. Better players with repeatable swings will most likely upgrade shafts anyway I was told by a Cobra VP, so we need to offer a shaft that the average guy hits at the range and likes. Too stiff a tip, too little torque or to stiff an over all profile will produce poor results. The average player hitting a new driver has zero knowledge about shafts and head combos. They just pick up the new TM/Cally/Cobra and hit it. If it is too strong a shaft and they hit it low and left they don't think "Hmmm, maybe I need a little more torque and a softer tip" instead they think "this driver sucks". So it is imperative for OEMs to offer a club head and shaft combo that fit the widest range of players. 

... Instead of bait and switch, most OEMs do the opposite, designing clubs for the average golfer to meet their swing needs. Even as a + index I am playing a stock Tensei Orange shaft instead of the Tensei Pro Orange that many of the guys on tour play. Too stiff tipped and too strong an overall profile for a 100 mph swinger but excellent for 115+ strong hitting guys on tour.

... The last part of this conspiracy theory is if any Am is serious about their game, they get fit. No Tour Player tells their OEM they need a new driver and say "just grab one from the trailer with stock specs". They get fit for their swing. Am's have the same option of getting shaft length, exact head weight/loft or add hot melt if needed by going to a reputable fitter and fine tuning their selection.   

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3 hours ago, beelzeberto said:

The only thing misleading about club companies claims is the every new driver the release gives you 10-15 yards more.

Other than that, nah.

Except most don’t say that and if they do they list over which models and how it was tested. 

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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

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You’re more likely to run into a juiced launch monitor than a misrepresented club.  

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3 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Except most don’t say that and if they do they list over which models and how it was tested. 

Yeah but how many golfers actually read the rest of that? They see the 10-15 in large print and don't bother reading the rest of the smaller print.


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On 6/5/2020 at 6:46 AM, TimoTe said:

Great response. 

I guess I forgot to mention/question custom specs like loft (strong/weak) and even maybe a different sole grind. 

I just have to think that without publishing the specs the pros play there could be a bait and switch. 

Clubs the big box stores have to offer also have to fit the largest segments of the target golfing population based on the head design category (players/game improvement etc). 

If specs were published then it would reveal what manufacturer has clubs being played closest to standard specs. This would seem to equate to the company also having more integrity and better engineering. 

Conversely, a result of the most altered from stock spec would reveal the poorest engineering and a less honest company.

Obviously, only knowing the specs would we even be able to really figure all this out for sure. 

I think you have that backwards. As putting a club on the shelf that was 100% to the pro spec would then make that off the shelf club only be suited the the top 1% of players. If people arnt going to get fit for a club then they have to make there best guess for the shelf spec club as whats going to fit the average golfer.  Wtach these scratch, golf teachers struggle with a pro spec club 

 

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On 6/4/2020 at 4:13 PM, TimoTe said:

Are PGA/LPGA sponsored players playing clubs that are markedly different than what is for sale to consumers as "stock" offerings?

 

No.

I wish amateur golfers (like us) would stop worrying about the Pros by comparing their equipment or game. 99% of golfers are amateurs. Who cares what 3-clubs Justin Thomas uses. They will always be better than you. And they will be better than you even if they're playing a boxed set of Pine Meadows and a Sponge Bob golf ball. I've known a few tour players in my time and none of them had any special - secret forgings for example. They might use a proto shaft we can't get but that doesn't mean you're getting jipped. They do however have the advantage (although not so much any more) of having their club heads hand selected and superbly fit. But mostly it's their ability. If you're really all worked up due to suspecting you're not getting tour equipment - schedule a private fitting at the headquarters of Titleist, TM, Callaway, Ping, Cobra, etc. etc. I bet they can fix you up just like Joe Pro. Then you can get back home and shoot and 88.

 

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I haven't seen a company use that advertising in at least 5 years. None of them are advertising yards anymore. Just that it's faster than last year's.

Yeah but how many golfers actually read the rest of that? They see the 10-15 in large print and don't bother reading the rest of the smaller print.


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6 hours ago, beelzeberto said:

Yeah but how many golfers actually read the rest of that? They see the 10-15 in large print and don't bother reading the rest of the smaller print.

The amount that read it is probably the same amount of companies actually claiming it. The only brand I’ve seen make any claims was srixon and the small print wasn’t so small.  I don’t recall where it was advertised but somebody had posted here on mgs in another thread.

Im curious if you can show me a company that’s advertising it and what their small print says.


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

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My thoughts:

 

1. Most agree that changing lofts and lies for pros is not bait and switch. Ditto for adding lead tape or rat glue, anyone can do that.

 

2. Hand sorting of heads for pros to ensure maximum CT and oddball lofts is a little shoddy if the end consumer can’t get the same. Ditto for hand sorting for roundness in shafts.

 

3. Where it crosses a line to me is if a player is playing a 1-off prototype shaft or wood head painted to look like it’s in the same product line as an off the shelf shaft, when it’s really something else at that point. I don’t think that is what’s happening today, but that would be deceptive.

 

 

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58 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

The amount that read it is probably the same amount of companies actually claiming it. The only brand I’ve seen make any claims was srixon and the small print wasn’t so small.  I don’t recall where it was advertised but somebody had posted here on mgs in another thread.

Im curious if you can show me a company that’s advertising it and what their small print says.

Taylormade was the culpruit. I can't remember what driver started it. They stopped using that distance line and went with more forgiveness and added in for the their sim +/- 20 yards on the draw/fade bias.
Now after looking it's mostly "reviewers" saying they're gaining so much distance.


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M5 - Hzrdus Smoke Green
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So yeah, I guess it's not the OEM but more so the "influencers" who are leading the marketing campaigns and "possible" misleading.


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M5 - Hzrdus Smoke Green
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Posted (edited)

Blows my mind when a High H/C Golfer knows everything about clubs and equipment. I guess it's possible.....😲

Edited by GaDawg
correct spelling
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On 6/4/2020 at 4:13 PM, TimoTe said:

Are PGA/LPGA sponsored players playing clubs that are markedly different than what is for sale to consumers as "stock" offerings?

If yes, then does that mean golf companies are falsely advertising their equipment, basically lying to consumers?

It has been a question I have been contemplating for some time that I wonder if anyone really knows the answer to?

My assumption is that tour pros are often playing clubs that are either not using shafts available without a huge upcharge, if available at all, and/or not standard length and lie (and grips too even).

Assuming I am right, I propose that any sponsored player must meet two requirements in order to be sponsored: (1) publish the complete specs they are using, and (2) the manufacturer must offer those specs to the consumer (I'm OK if it is for additional cost). 

My opinion is that this will paint a complete picture of the equipment used by pro golfers and might have another intentional ripple: some pros might not want their specs floating around because they might think there is an advantage they might be giving away. I say that if they are wearing advertising then they have already sold out, so disclose all the details. 

The real ripple could be, if I'm right, that people will see how different from stock the clubs really are which will encourage more people to see the need to get fit properly. 

What do you think?

Does anyone know any specs that either are nearly stock or are they super customised?

Are PGA/LPGA sponsored players playing clubs that are markedly different than what is for sale to consumers as "stock" offerings?

***Yes they are different regarding specs and possibly components that make the total club (Shaft and Grip). 

If yes, then does that mean golf companies are falsely advertising their equipment, basically lying to consumers?

***There was a time I would say yes but with the trend in custom fitting and unique custom fitting centers gaining in popularity, I don’t think there is total false advertising. I believe today it is understood that if you are serious about your game you most likely are aware of custom fitting of some type. (note I don’t want to deviate to far but I have a strong opinion or two regarding quality of fitting — another topic/another day perhaps)

It has been a question I have been contemplating for some time that I wonder if anyone really knows the answer to? 

****Very good question and a opportunity to grow ones knowledge base regarding their equipment and industry trends.

My assumption is that tour pros are often playing clubs that are either not using shafts available without a huge upcharge, if available at all, and/or not standard length and lie (and grips too even).

****I view these professional men/women as making a living through competitive golf. They will play the best clubs (components and fit specs) to maximize their potential to win/earn a living. It is no different than a skilled professional that invest in the best tools of his/her trade, profession. The professional golfer most likely has invested substantial time regarding club fitting and testing multiple brands of golf equipment so they can compete. I do not expect them to play what I would buy off the shelf — retail. I do think I could get close (ie. same club head, same shaft (maybe), same grip) through custom fitting from say a Club Champion/Cool Clubs, etc. Close but not exact. 

***Maybe the grips and putters are about as close to identical as we can get but definitely not the woods, irons. 

Assuming I am right, I propose that any sponsored player must meet two requirements in order to be sponsored: (1) publish the complete specs they are using, and (2) the manufacturer must offer those specs to the consumer (I'm OK if it is for additional cost). 

****So this one is tricky to me. I will attempt to make sense. First let me reference Tom Wishon. In one of his books he speaks of a time long ago when an amateur like you or me would go to a golf course and take a lesson from the golf pro. The same golf pro would build you one club at a time for what fit you based on your ability, etc. The game began to grow in popularity and club pro’s could not keep up with demand. Club companies develop concept that they would make x number of clubs in  a set  (think 3-9, pw) — make that set with two shaft offerings (reg and stiff) with one grip model at same set lengths. So everyone that goes to a retail golf shop pretty much got either a reg or stiff set of clubs in their set. Like a lottery ticket, some people hit their clubs well, some hit half the clubs in the set well, and some got mad and quit (ok that might be extreme but you get the point).  For the longest no one talked about what the pro winning  a major played regarding shaft flex or grip or sole grinds, etc only the “brand name”. 

My opinion is that this will paint a complete picture of the equipment used by pro golfers and might have another intentional ripple: some pros might not want their specs floating around because they might think there is an advantage they might be giving away. I say that if they are wearing advertising then they have already sold out, so disclose all the details. 

**** I am not disputing what you say but I will say that while I absolutely love watching a pro like B. Langer  hit his lasers on the driving range of a Champions Tour event, I don’t want his club specs. I want my swing to have exact rhythm and tempo like his. IMO, the specs the pro’s use are not what is important, rather it would be what fits me. 

The real ripple could be, if I'm right, that people will see how different from stock the clubs really are which will encourage more people to see the need to get fit properly. 

What do you think? 

**Thankful for MGS testing and reviews.

Does anyone know any specs that either are nearly stock or are they super customised? 

**fully customized to my fitting. I gave up off the rack clubs ~1995 when I began listening to Tom Wishon and his views regarding off the rack clubs. 

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9 hours ago, beelzeberto said:

Taylormade was the culpruit. I can't remember what driver started it. They stopped using that distance line and went with more forgiveness and added in for the their sim +/- 20 yards on the draw/fade bias.
Now after looking it's mostly "reviewers" saying they're gaining so much distance.

And Callaway did the same with irons but that hasn’t been done by either company in several years and some of the ones that did at Taylormade were the also the ones who did it a Callaway. 


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

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