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Club endorsements that undid their Pro


Megakarl
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6 hours ago, Holy Moses said:

The ball is most likely the issue. Of those who play an OEM that makes balls and clubs (TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist, Wilson, Srixon), I'd have to imagine that apart from Wilson, Callaway has the highest number of players that don't use their ball. They clearly had quality control issues in years past and it will be interesting to see if Callaway gets more staffers to play it if those issues have been fixed. 

 

Yes. Now you mention it, the ball is the most plausible explanation. 

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Two players that were on upward trajectories at the same time, switched and fell off the map.

 

Tommy Tolles and Paul Stankowski. The both had great runs at Augusta and other events with PING,  Stanko switched to Callaway and Tolles went to Tommy Armour and Tommy Hilfiger ( Tommy complex???) and they were never even close to being the same.

 

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I think a lot of it is mental.  Ernie Els won majors with Taylormade, Callaway and Taylormade again and his ranking was pretty good throughout that period. I think he is fairly rare, though.   There aren’t many who have won majors with multiple manufacturers (I suspect there are many members of this community who will be able to list more than my one example).


Graham McDowell won a major with Callaway and then moved and arguably his game went down.  Phil M has done ok with Callaway as well.  So I don’t think there is a particular problem with Callaway.

 

I think there are times when the equipment for one OEM can gain an advantage for its players in the short term.  There were lots of stories that Tiger was tempted by the R7 driver and the M series woods have obviously been in many bags.   I don’t think though that there is one best manufacturer.  If it was measured in major success then everyone would still be playing Nike as they won a pretty large number over a short time period (obviously due to Tiger).

Callaway Mavrik Max Driver
Cobra Speedzone fairway
M6 hybrid
PXG 0211 irons (5 to G)
Callaway 56 and 60 PM grind 2.0
PXG Operator putter

Callaway Chrome Soft balls
 

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 Somewhat surprised at the amount of shaft experimentation that goes on with guys in the rankings. Tiger basically stayed with same setup for most all his career. Faldo in his prime used the same exact shafts for 11 seasons. He would re-head his clubs every year.

 

When a Rory, a Norman,  a Brooks , a Ricky  monkey with shaft changes, it's not a good sign. It's a canary that something is off or about to go off. Saw that Koepka was trying different shafts, this is after most solid major run from anybody since Tiger, so go figure.

 

Agree on ball thing too, Think it's more impactful than one suspects especially on the short game side.

 

Heard somewhere, long ago that Curtis Strange attempted swing changes after 2nd US Open win. He was trying to correct his head moving laterally back in the swing and that was what ruined his game.

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2 hours ago, mat562 said:

'Somewhat surprised at the amount of shaft experimentation that goes on with guys in the rankings'

 

I agree. I may be an outlier, but disregarding idle experimentation, I played the same shafts in my irons for nigh on 25 years. I've played the same shafts in my wedges since 1988, before recently making a change to the same shafts as I play in my irons. My 3-wood had the same shaft for nearly 15 years - it was the same club - and I've been playing a Grafalloy Blue in my driver since God was a lad.

 

It amazes me when I hear of top pros playing two, and three, shaft models, with vastly different playing characteristics, within a short space of time.

 

McIlroy switching from PX to DG is unfathomable to me. Like chalk and cheese. I played Dynamic Golds for donkey's years before switching to KBS Tours, and it took me an age to readjust due to the marked difference in feel. I wouldn't use Project X shafts as bean poles. Absolute junk, if you ask me. He played brilliantly with them, however. How he can go from those to DG X-whatevers is beyond me.

 

The relentless changes in pros' bags to lower spin by 200 rpm and raise launch angle by whatever faction of a degree amazes me. I get the notion of optimising performance, but if your current kit is pretty much dialed in, it's a rare event to find something that truly delivers a paradigm-shifting step up in performance. The amount you gain by messing around is tiny, and often fleeting. Why players don't find something they like and then stick with it is perplexing to me. The marquee names are a special case, of course, but for most players on tour one win or a consistently solid season can net you a significant chunk of the cash you'd get for switching to another brand, and a bag of clubs that you're happy with and which you can perform decently will net you more money - particularly if other endorsement contracts are factored in - than you'll get from signing on the dotted line to use kit that won't suit you and which will hamstring your game.

 

Sure....but for Rory he’s getting estimated 100m over 10 years to play the latest and greatest Taylor made kit. That’s a tough deal to turn down unless they’re making an absolute clunker of a set. Put another way, you’d have to win a lot of tournaments to make up that payoff, even at the PGA level. The benefit of TM is they have a lot of different design philosophies to choose from and are very clearly willing to make clubs to suit their contract players.

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On 3/17/2021 at 10:28 PM, Lefty_13 said:

Bubba to Volvik almost ended his career 

 

This is the one I think was the worst cause to many it was obviously a mistake when he did it.  The ball is a big deal when you are trying to hit a number, especially for someone shaping it like he does.  Such a gimmick move too.

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The earlier quote from Johnny Miller perfectly demonstrates how golf is a confidence game.  It also shows that really good players chase phantoms like the rest of us.  I honestly don’t know how some pros switch gear so much and expect to play consistently well.  I own way too many putters but truth be told I end up using the same ones when I compete because you have trust what the club will do. And these guys have much smaller margins of error than I do.

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8 hours ago, mat562 said:

'Somewhat surprised at the amount of shaft experimentation that goes on with guys in the rankings'

 

I agree. I may be an outlier, but disregarding idle experimentation, I played the same shafts in my irons for nigh on 25 years. I've played the same shafts in my wedges since 1988, before recently making a change to the same shafts as I play in my irons. My 3-wood had the same shaft for nearly 15 years - it was the same club - and I've been playing a Grafalloy Blue in my driver since God was a lad.

 

It amazes me when I hear of top pros playing two, and three, shaft models, with vastly different playing characteristics, within a short space of time.

 

McIlroy switching from PX to DG is unfathomable to me. Like chalk and cheese. I played Dynamic Golds for donkey's years before switching to KBS Tours, and it took me an age to readjust due to the marked difference in feel. I wouldn't use Project X shafts as bean poles. Absolute junk, if you ask me. He played brilliantly with them, however. How he can go from those to DG X-whatevers is beyond me.

 

The relentless changes in pros' bags to lower spin by 200 rpm and raise launch angle by whatever faction of a degree amazes me. I get the notion of optimising performance, but if your current kit is pretty much dialed in, it's a rare event to find something that truly delivers a paradigm-shifting step up in performance. The amount you gain by messing around is tiny, and often fleeting. Why players don't find something they like and then stick with it is perplexing to me. The marquee names are a special case, of course, but for most players on tour one win or a consistently solid season can net you a significant chunk of the cash you'd get for switching to another brand, and a bag of clubs that you're happy with and which you can perform decently will net you more money - particularly if other endorsement contracts are factored in - than you'll get from signing on the dotted line to use kit that won't suit you and which will hamstring your game.

 

tour pros want two things from their shafts

 

1. keep the ball from going left (assuming they are right handed)

2. control consistent  trajectory from one club to the next

 

what feels good to you may not feel good to them and vice versa. I once watched Ben Crenshaw show up at the range with about two dozen Cleveland irons in assorted lofts and shaft combos, he spent the better part of two hours culling a set to put in his bag, and this was before the days of launch monitors at the range. He was looking for a certain feel, and you could tell he had DG and Brunswick Rifle shafts in that set

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It's really amazing all of the equipment changing that goes on. I can understand testing and trying to find something longer and more accurate. Or if you have worn something out. Or if you are trying to get a desired ball flight. However when a guy changes for the money and it doesn't workout I have one thing to say. “Poor workmen blame their tools.”

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On 3/18/2021 at 9:34 AM, Ironman_32 said:

I think about this in two ways (1) what did we really expect from players going forward (2) at the end of the day, its about getting paid, doesn't matter if its from playing or from a club deal ( to most).

 

Meaning, for all the guys who have held a tour card, not many have won multiple majors. So if thats the barometer, and if someone wins one, its not a like a puzzle that once its figured out they have the "code". Do we really expect some of these guys to go a on a tear, or have sustained greatness? I think of guys who've switched, like Zach Johnson or Rose, but then there are guys similar to them who haven't switched like a Jason Day who also fell off. Think of a guy like Jim Furyk, really good, switched a couple times, when he was ranked three in the world I don't think the equipment was holding him back from over taking Tiger and Phil.

 

Take Corey Pavin, wins the '95 Us Open, made $350K. Speculating here, but maybe he thinks he's not really going to win another major, this might be the height of his career, so why not take millions in endorsement money. Maybe he'll win another major, but may he's looking around on the range at events and thinking, I was lucky to win one. 

 

That said, it can affect guys in some ways. Bubba with volvik was a bad move, margins are so thin out there if you don't have the highest level of confidence in your equipment you're slamming your trunk. 

If you think Pavin made millions in endorsement money back when an Open win was $350k you seriously need to reconsider what these guys make even now on endorsements.  

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On 3/17/2021 at 9:32 PM, Christen_The_Sloop said:

The bleacher report article is interesting. It's hard to know in some cases whether it's the clubs or whether desire, in the case of Strange, is the biggest factor. Look at a guy like Faldo. He did little wrong between 87 and 92, caught fire again in 96 and after that nothing. We know it wasn't clubs. 

 

Funny that guys like Price and Pavin also nosedived around the year 1997. 

 

 

That Eldrick kid came along around that time too.  The game started to be approached a little differently.

 

I think you could also start a thread "the chase for distance that undid the pro."

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On 3/19/2021 at 8:30 PM, Loki said:

Rory’s problem isn’t clubs or chicks or ball or whatever. His problem is passion. After he got enough money to make sure his parents were fine and then him, his desire to win went to zero. He is out collecting a check.

 

I say this as a fan of his. I like how he carries himself, how he speaks his mind, kind of like an anti-Tiger. Maybe the most talented swinger of a club in today’s game, but lacking desire.

 

If he had the passion of Spieth, he might have 10 majors by now. I will be extremely surprised if he every wins The Masters.

On the flip side, I always wonder what these guys have on the side/what they are invested in. 

 

It's kind of like Aston Kuchar, guy is worth a 1/4 billion from his invested in AirBnB and Uber (i think). Jessica Alba, George Clooney too. By all accounts, all have made some bad movies. At the end of the day, does it really matter once you get to a certain level of money. Not that money is everything, but sometimes your initial goal changes. It's like, Jeff Bezos could not have adapted Amazon, and just continued to try and build the best bookstore ever, might have made a couple million, but not billions. Same with Rory, he might have stuff going on we don't know about in like VCs or angel investing that is making him tons of money. His goals may have changed. We all love golf, and would probably want to win a major, but Rory did all of that. 

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50 minutes ago, Ironman_32 said:

On the flip side, I always wonder what these guys have on the side/what they are invested in. 

 

It's kind of like Aston Kuchar, guy is worth a 1/4 billion from his invested in AirBnB and Uber (i think). Jessica Alba, George Clooney too. By all accounts, all have made some bad movies. At the end of the day, does it really matter once you get to a certain level of money. Not that money is everything, but sometimes your initial goal changes. It's like, Jeff Bezos could not have adapted Amazon, and just continued to try and build the best bookstore ever, might have made a couple million, but not billions. Same with Rory, he might have stuff going on we don't know about in like VCs or angel investing that is making him tons of money. His goals may have changed. We all love golf, and would probably want to win a major, but Rory did all of that. 

 

Money makes more money.

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3 hours ago, smashdn said:

 

That Eldrick kid came along around that time too.  The game started to be approached a little differently.

 

I think you could also start a thread "the chase for distance that undid the pro."

for a lot of the older pros the writing was on the wall, wasn't it?

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5 hours ago, Ironman_32 said:

On the flip side, I always wonder what these guys have on the side/what they are invested in. 

 

It's kind of like Aston Kuchar, guy is worth a 1/4 billion from his invested in AirBnB and Uber (i think). Jessica Alba, George Clooney too. By all accounts, all have made some bad movies. At the end of the day, does it really matter once you get to a certain level of money. Not that money is everything, but sometimes your initial goal changes. It's like, Jeff Bezos could not have adapted Amazon, and just continued to try and build the best bookstore ever, might have made a couple million, but not billions. Same with Rory, he might have stuff going on we don't know about in like VCs or angel investing that is making him tons of money. His goals may have changed. We all love golf, and would probably want to win a major, but Rory did all of that. 

So? I don't care what his side hustles are. As a fan, I want someone to step up. He hasn't/doesn't. As a fan, I wanted someone or a couple players to step up and challenge Tiger because that makes for even more entertainment.

 

Imagine the local late news mentioning...as an after thought...that Tiger was leading that weeks tourney, but they don't bother to mention that the local guy, Steve Stricker was right there with him. WTF?

 

I don't  know if there is too much money in the game but let's see some GOLF! Let's see guys consistently step up and grab the bull by the horns and DO SOMETHING, like Jack and Tiger did.

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12 hours ago, Loki said:

So? I don't care what his side hustles are. As a fan, I want someone to step up. He hasn't/doesn't. As a fan, I wanted someone or a couple players to step up and challenge Tiger because that makes for even more entertainment.

 

Imagine the local late news mentioning...as an after thought...that Tiger was leading that weeks tourney, but they don't bother to mention that the local guy, Steve Stricker was right there with him. WTF?

 

I don't  know if there is too much money in the game but let's see some GOLF! Let's see guys consistently step up and grab the bull by the horns and DO SOMETHING, like Jack and Tiger did.

I agree, I would rather see heavyweights in matches and guys chasing majors. 

 

My point is, sometimes its not club deals that makes games go south, its lack of motivation. Its like Mick in Rocky III (second best Rocky) "worst thing to happen to a fighter is to get domesticated".

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Charles Howell III killed it in college (OK State) with PING and immediately switched to Callaway for a big $ deal.  To this day, never fulfilled a remote percentage of his talent.

 

Same as Harris English.  Used PING in college, got a big Callaway deal on tour.  At least he went back to PING and is doing much better.

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On 3/18/2021 at 1:07 PM, 3whacker said:

Curtis Strange went from playing MacGregor VIP's to Maruman and never won again

He suffered from Bells Palsy, major inner ear issue for a few years.  Not the clubs.

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TM 300 Mini Driver

PING G15 4 wood

PING Anser 3 Hybrid
Callaway 18 MB irons
Mizuno Forged wedges
Wilson 8802 (modern)

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11 hours ago, dbleag said:

Charles Howell III killed it in college (OK State) with PING and immediately switched to Callaway for a big $ deal.  To this day, never fulfilled a remote percentage of his talent.

 

Same as Harris English.  Used PING in college, got a big Callaway deal on tour.  At least he went back to PING and is doing much better.

For Harris English, isn't his recent resurgence from working with a new instructor? Said that at the TOC this year

 

For Charles Howell, Idk, I feel I ride for this guy just because he's been on tour for so long, so on one hand, that's gotten be something fulfilling for Callaway. He was like discount Rickie Fowler for a minute, not a household name, but fans follow him. Plus, he's been on the PGA tour his whole career, so at least he hasn't bounced back to the KF.

 

On the other hand, guy has 1 top ten in a major (which was a T-10) and two wins. Just think of how many guys have more than that, that was like BrendonTodd's year last year 

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