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accomplished by rows of tungsten alloy screws. Those screws are what increase forgiveness and give the clubs a distinctive look. Even more screws, which are

adjustable, are used in the driver and fairway woods to minimize twisting on off-center hits and improve accuracy. The screws alone, Nicolette said, cost more than all of the materials used in some other club heads, which accounts for part of PXG’s lofty price tag. Parsons said PXG isn’t trying to

compete with the top name brands in the industry, which “would be suicide.” Instead, he wants to satisfy an underserved market of golfers who are so passionate they are willing to pay a lot more to play a lot better. “They’re all really good companies

and they have their market share,” Parsons said. “The only way we were going to get traction and the only reason we’re having success is because we’re doing something they are not doing. I believe that the segment of the market PXG serves has been starved for something new and innovative that really performs.” The brand has bolstered its image

by signing 12 tour pros to play the equipment in the past year, and Parsons is quick to point out that virtually all of them came to PXG rather than being recruited. The one exception is Ryan Moore,

who was the first to try PXG prototypes late in 2014. He liked the clubs so much he wanted to put them in play before the USGA had completed approval testing. “As soon as I hit them, I put them

in the bag and said, ‘You’re not getting them back,’ ” Moore said. “They have a great combination of look, feel, control, distance, everything you want, but probably the biggest thing is forgiveness. That is a huge thing for us as tour pros.” Moore was the first to sign with

PXG. Others now in its stable are Zach Johnson, Billy Horschel, James Hahn, Chris Kirk, Charles Howell III, Cristie Kerr, Gerina Piller, Alison Lee, Beatriz Recari, Sadena Parks, Anna Rawson and Rocco Mediate. Many signed for less money than they were getting from another club maker. Signing Johnson, who won the British

Open last year and had been with Titleist his entire pro career, was a major coup. “The decision to put PXG clubs in

play was not one I took lightly,” Johnson said after making the switch. “My entire team, from caddie to coach, was part of the discernment process. “They are a new old company, that’s

the best way I can explain it. You have individuals that want to grow the game and I would say even transform the game and give me resources that are essentially unlimited. That’s a pretty awesome formula.” Hahn said during this year’s Waste

Management Phoenix Open that “about 99 percent” of tour pros have asked to try his clubs. “You always think that with the first

go-round there might be a few tweaks, but they got it right the first time,” Horschel said. “Right away I could tell the difference.” The response from players has been meaningful to Parsons.

“I’ll tell you something my dad used

to tell me and I repeat it all the time because it’s true,” Parsons said. “When I started dating, he told me the No. 1 thing to look for in a girlfriend is one who likes you. “That’s what we had with Ryan

Moore, someone who liked us. The same is true with all the players we’ve signed to date. They came to us not for prestige or a paycheck; they came because PXG clubs really perform.” During this year’s AT&T Pebble

Beach Pro-Am, PXG clubs were the third-most popular among the amateur players, who consist largely of celebrities and deep-pocketed enthusiasts. That suggests that the buzz is quickly reaching PXG’s consumer target. As for the next generation of PXG

clubs, Nicolette said, “I can kind of see it, but I don’t see it coming out for years.” Bentley recently introduced new

clubs that also start in the $5,000 range, and can cost as much as $100,000 with options like alligator-skin grips. But PXG doesn’t have a true competitor with its golf product. “There are luxury clubs in the

marketplace that are gold plated or have sapphires stuck in them or whatever, and people who can afford them buy them, but they’re not performance clubs,” Nicolette said. “Bob Parsons is all about

performance and what you’re paying for with PXG is performance. Based on the price, ours might be a luxury brand, but it’s a performance-luxury brand. It’s the Ferrari.” n

SPRING 2016 | AZ GOLF Insider | 19


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