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I felt cheated about buying from Club Champions after hearing this ... I'm calling it SHAFTGATE!!!


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Posted (edited)

***Update***

There are over 50 comments so far and I feel a lot of those comments didn't read the post fully. I don't blame you ... it's a long a** rant. So I'm putting a TLDR version so this thread doesn't get too off topic.

 

----------TLDR ----------

When you buy a golf club with upgraded shaft from an OEM, they're cheaper than retail. Ventus w/ Velocore has an upcharge of $250 when retail is $350. This is because OEM's discount the cost of stock shaft which is baked into the original driver cost.

 

Club Champions charges full retail for the driver, which I'm told from a former fitter comes with a stock shaft, then charges full retail for aftermarket shaft. Then they keep the stock shaft without telling the customer and resells it. 

 

Supposedly, they do the same with irons where they order a full set which comes with shafts, then charge the customer a separate set of shafts that they are fit with. Then they keep the stock shaft and resells them.

 

I find this practice infuriating and feel the stock shafts that come with the full retail price of the clubs be given to the customer.

 

-----FULL VERSION-----

BACKGROUND:

I had a really great fitting experience at Club Champions and stayed in touch with my fitter who is now a club pro at a local country club. During our last round after some beers, he started telling us all these weird practices at Club Champions which left me feeling cheated ... I'm still heated about them which is why I wanted to share what I found here. 

 

DISCLAIMER:

I do understand that this is one former fitter's word, but he ended his relationship with Club Champions on good terms and still refer people there. I don't see a reason he'd lie. This also may be just this one Club Champions' shadiness; I didn't investigate this enough to check other locations, but maybe members can share their experiences.

 

MY EXPERIENCE:

I got a driver from them 2 years ago and got fit for an aftermarket shaft. I received my quote and paid the full premium for it since I needed a driver ASAP and didn't want to wait for the shaft to come available on BST. What he told me is that I got billed for the full price of the driver as I would've paid anywhere like PGA Superstore plus the aftermarket shaft. Club Champions doesn't have a deal to buy just the driver head from major OEMs so they get a stock shaft that comes with the driver that they just keep. A lot of the time they will sell them to customers who come in with their own club heads. Supposedly a stock shaft like a Tensei Orange retails for a little over $100.

 

I felt cheated out of a shaft ... thus Shaftgate! If you were to buy a driver at say PGA Superstore, you'd get the full driver with stock shaft then you'd pay extra for aftermarket shaft. I could have a backup shaft or could've sold it. Even if I don't get the full retail price, it's still money I could've used.

 

FURTHER INVESTIGATION:

The former fitter said it becomes a larger deal when it comes to irons. Even if you were to get a standard shaft that an OEM offers, they still charge you a full separate set of shafts. I couldn't believe it so I asked a friend of mine who did a whole bag fitting with them to send me his quote and saw that they did indeed charge full retail price for the irons, then another separate fee for ProjectX 6.5s which Mizuno offers as a no up-charge option. They even charged in the quote grips. I guess if they are ordering an entire set of shafts, they need to put grips on them too. They quoted an extra $656 for an 8-piece set of JPX919s which should come with shafts and grips already.

 

IMG_5858.jpg.029606e3a03d6e37349cee1a540e37ff.jpg

 

I've ordered from Mizuno and I was able to give them loft/lie adjustments and they're the rare OEM that also will take in swingweight info and try their best to make it work. When I received then, I got them measured and they were built to spec. Does it really make sense to pay an extra $656 to have Club Champions build it instead of OEM?

 

CONCLUSION:

All in all, I got really heated about the fact that they're getting free shafts from your order and reselling them for pure profit. Maybe this is their business model and how they stay profitable? I don't know, but it's shady to me. Those that better understand the business, please let me know why what Club Champions is doing makes sense. But from a thousand foot view, they charge for fitting, they charge build fees, and I'm sure there is at least a 40% markup from their cost for the clubs ... I don't know why they need to resort to this type of business practice. SHAFTGATE!!!

Edited by smrtchar
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Driver: Taylormade SIM2 8.0* - Fujikura Ventus Black w/ Velocore 6x

3-Wood: Cobra King F9 Speedback 13.5* - Accra FX 2.0 300F M5

5-Wood: Cobra King F9 Speedback Tour 16.5* - Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited Edition 80 X

3-Iron: Mizuno MP-20 HMB - Project X 6.5

4-PW: Mizuno JPX 919 Tour - Project X 6.5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 F-Grind 52*, S-Grind 56*; Taylormade Hi-Toe ATV 60* - Project X 6.5

Putter: Sik Pro Armlock - LAGolf Shaft

Ball: 2021 ProV1 (just switched from Bridgestone Tour BX)

Bag: Nike Air Hybrid

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Ouch.  I'm not going to talk bad about CC as they are a sponsor here, but their prices can get a bit steep.  Don't get me wrong they do a good job of fitting but that spec sheet can be had for a quite a bit less, you just have to know where to look. 

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27 minutes ago, smrtchar said:

BACKGROUND:

I had a really great fitting experience at Club Champions and stayed in touch with my fitter who is now a club pro at a local country club. During our last round after some beers, he started telling us all these weird practices at Club Champions which left me feeling cheated ... I'm still heated about them which is why I wanted to share what I found here. 

 

DISCLAIMER:

I do understand that this is one former fitter's word, but he ended his relationship with Club Champions on good terms and still refer people there. I don't see a reason he'd lie. This also may be just this one Club Champions' shadiness; I didn't investigate this enough to check other locations, but maybe members can share their experiences.

 

MY EXPERIENCE:

I got a driver from them 2 years ago and got fit for an aftermarket shaft. I received my quote and paid the full premium for it since I needed a driver ASAP and didn't want to wait for the shaft to come available on BST. What he told me is that I got billed for the full price of the driver as I would've paid anywhere like PGA Superstore plus the aftermarket shaft. Club Champions doesn't have a deal to buy just the driver head from major OEMs so they get a stock shaft that comes with the driver that they just keep. A lot of the time they will sell them to customers who come in with their own club heads. Supposedly a stock shaft like a Tensei Orange retails for a little over $100.

 

I felt cheated out of a shaft ... thus Shaftgate! If you were to buy a driver at say PGA Superstore, you'd get the full driver with stock shaft then you'd pay extra for aftermarket shaft. I could have a backup shaft or could've sold it. Even if I don't get the full retail price, it's still money I could've used.

 

FURTHER INVESTIGATION:

The former fitter said it becomes a larger deal when it comes to irons. Even if you were to get a standard shaft that an OEM offers, they still charge you a full separate set of shafts. I couldn't believe it so I asked a friend of mine who did a whole bag fitting with them to send me his quote and saw that they did indeed charge full retail price for the irons, then another separate fee for ProjectX 6.5s which Mizuno offers as a no up-charge option. They even charged in the quote grips. I guess if they are ordering an entire set of shafts, they need to put grips on them too. They quoted an extra $656 for an 8-iron set of JPX919s.

 

IMG_5858.jpg.029606e3a03d6e37349cee1a540e37ff.jpg

 

I've ordered from Mizuno and I was able to give them loft/lie adjustments and they're the rare OEM that also will take in swingweight info and try their best to make it work. When I received then, I got them measured and they were built to spec. Does it really make sense to pay an extra $656 to have Club Champions build it instead of OEM?

 

CONCLUSION:

All in all, I got really heated and decided to share this on here. Maybe this is their business model and how they stay profitable? I don't know. Those that better understand the business, please let me know why what Club Champions is doing makes sense. But from a thousand foot view, they charge for fitting, they charge build fees, and I'm sure there is at least a 40% markup from their cost for the clubs ... I don't know why they need to resort to this type of business practice. SHAFTGATE!!!

Do you think/believe CC did the assembly? 

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1 hour ago, smrtchar said:

BACKGROUND:

I had a really great fitting experience at Club Champions and stayed in touch with my fitter who is now a club pro at a local country club. During our last round after some beers, he started telling us all these weird practices at Club Champions which left me feeling cheated ... I'm still heated about them which is why I wanted to share what I found here. 

 

DISCLAIMER:

I do understand that this is one former fitter's word, but he ended his relationship with Club Champions on good terms and still refer people there. I don't see a reason he'd lie. This also may be just this one Club Champions' shadiness; I didn't investigate this enough to check other locations, but maybe members can share their experiences.

 

MY EXPERIENCE:

I got a driver from them 2 years ago and got fit for an aftermarket shaft. I received my quote and paid the full premium for it since I needed a driver ASAP and didn't want to wait for the shaft to come available on BST. What he told me is that I got billed for the full price of the driver as I would've paid anywhere like PGA Superstore plus the aftermarket shaft. Club Champions doesn't have a deal to buy just the driver head from major OEMs so they get a stock shaft that comes with the driver that they just keep. A lot of the time they will sell them to customers who come in with their own club heads. Supposedly a stock shaft like a Tensei Orange retails for a little over $100.

 

I felt cheated out of a shaft ... thus Shaftgate! If you were to buy a driver at say PGA Superstore, you'd get the full driver with stock shaft then you'd pay extra for aftermarket shaft. I could have a backup shaft or could've sold it. Even if I don't get the full retail price, it's still money I could've used.

 

FURTHER INVESTIGATION:

The former fitter said it becomes a larger deal when it comes to irons. Even if you were to get a standard shaft that an OEM offers, they still charge you a full separate set of shafts. I couldn't believe it so I asked a friend of mine who did a whole bag fitting with them to send me his quote and saw that they did indeed charge full retail price for the irons, then another separate fee for ProjectX 6.5s which Mizuno offers as a no up-charge option. They even charged in the quote grips. I guess if they are ordering an entire set of shafts, they need to put grips on them too. They quoted an extra $656 for an 8-iron set of JPX919s.

 

IMG_5858.jpg.029606e3a03d6e37349cee1a540e37ff.jpg

 

I've ordered from Mizuno and I was able to give them loft/lie adjustments and they're the rare OEM that also will take in swingweight info and try their best to make it work. When I received then, I got them measured and they were built to spec. Does it really make sense to pay an extra $656 to have Club Champions build it instead of OEM?

 

CONCLUSION:

All in all, I got really heated and decided to share this on here. Maybe this is their business model and how they stay profitable? I don't know. Those that better understand the business, please let me know why what Club Champions is doing makes sense. But from a thousand foot view, they charge for fitting, they charge build fees, and I'm sure there is at least a 40% markup from their cost for the clubs ... I don't know why they need to resort to this type of business practice. SHAFTGATE!!!

at least 100% with the heads and the PX shafts

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2 hours ago, animalgolfs said:

Do you think/believe CC did the assembly? 

Yes, I was told by them that they do it. The location I went to had a build area where they said they assembled all their clubs there ... do they not do the assembly themselves?

Driver: Taylormade SIM2 8.0* - Fujikura Ventus Black w/ Velocore 6x

3-Wood: Cobra King F9 Speedback 13.5* - Accra FX 2.0 300F M5

5-Wood: Cobra King F9 Speedback Tour 16.5* - Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited Edition 80 X

3-Iron: Mizuno MP-20 HMB - Project X 6.5

4-PW: Mizuno JPX 919 Tour - Project X 6.5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 F-Grind 52*, S-Grind 56*; Taylormade Hi-Toe ATV 60* - Project X 6.5

Putter: Sik Pro Armlock - LAGolf Shaft

Ball: 2021 ProV1 (just switched from Bridgestone Tour BX)

Bag: Nike Air Hybrid

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2 hours ago, farmer said:

I have heard from deep undercover operatives that you can get fit at CC and then buy from another source.  Could be a rumor, but many people have told me this works.

Sarcasm much?  If not this is actually old news that one doesn't have buy their clubs from CC after a fitting. The CC website states as much. If not sarcasm my old decrepit sarcasm director is on the fritz. Again. May need to change the batteries.  😉

 

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Posted (edited)

IMHO you shouldn't be charge for a fitting, if you buy the clubs from them. Even more true at this price.

 

That's how they do it in all the places I went. I agree with that practice 100%.

 

Edit: As for the dbl charging shaft gimmick this is just sad. I feel shafted !

Edited by Dmartica
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When you order clubs with upgraded shafts directly from the OEM you don.t get the stock shafts either although the price is often less.

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TXG Custom Mizuno CLK 23*, Tensei Red CK 60 R
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Read CC's response. They claim the reason people are double charged - stock shaft plus aftermarket replacement is because the OEM's require them to sell the clubheads at MSRP. The whole practice appears to be completely scummy. How can they not purchase equipment at better margins than me, a nobody garage tinkerer? CC can't just blame it on the OEM's, they are the ones providing the absurd pricing. It's not the OEM's providing a $3500 price for $2000 worth of equipment.

 

They're is so much double counting it's absurd. SST pure is added on to a shaft with $30 in installation fees baked into the MSRP price (which $40 is the absolute highest PX should sell for). Clubhead price has the shaft price baked into it. I bet if all the double counting is removed their price would be in line with industry standards.

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1 hour ago, rgk5 said:

When you order clubs with upgraded shafts directly from the OEM you don.t get the stock shafts either although the price is often less.

Absolutely.  e.g. Ventus Velocore is $350 retail, but $250 as an upgrade shaft when you run through taylormadegolf.com custom shop.  If you need different spec like tipping or swing weight, find a place that will order it for you from the manufacturer.

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Yes, they are expensive and there is no way I would ever go there.  But, I do think they stock everything and build out of their inventory instead of placing custom orders with the manufactures like a lot of fitters do.  

 

The question I pose to anyone, what is worse; a business that stocks inventory and builds out of that inventory but charges for all extras, or a business that drop ships from a manufacturer and doesn't stock anything?

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4w: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero

Hybrid:  Apex 19 3h 20*

Irons: Callaway Apex CF 19 4i-AW

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W2: Vokey SM8 60* L

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Fitting is one thing, suspect business practices is obviously another. The thrill of properly fit clubs is unquestionable, but really, at what cost, literally? Changing grips, cutting and installing shafts is easy, and the only challenge without a reliable swingweight scale is that, getting the correct SW and balance. With a scale and some weights, if necessary, the whole job just doesn’t take that long. Absent those tools, paying someone to do the work should not nearly double the price. Reputable fitters will waive the fitting fee if one buys the clubs. If CC doesn’t, what fitting magic are they offering? 

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If I paid for a full driver and ordered an upgraded shaft, when I picked up my order I would expect the driver and the original stock shaft too. They never gave you a credit on the shafts so they're clearly yours. Where do they think they have the right to keep a shaft that you paid for?  Same with the irons.  All their other pricing is for the customer to evaluate.  If they charge a fair price so be it. If they gouge they will lose business eventually.

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There are so many of these posts.  I've always thought CC was pretty upfront about their business practices and costs, it's just up to the consumer if they want to spend that much money.  I don't think they're hiding anything if you get a price breakdown and it shows full MSRP for the club and the aftermarket shaft and whatever other components/services are included.  And to be clear:  I have never and will never order a club through them.

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Definitely a challenging topic. 
 

I can only speak to my experiences at TXG. Absolutely incredible fitting experience. If you order (can even do it online now) you will see full retail pricing for club head, shaft, and grip.  That’s what you pay for their build/standards. 


It certainly is tough to see OEM no-charge options (iron shafts in particular) with full retail price attached, but that’s the customers choice to have them build from components or take your specs and order through an OEM at your favourite retailer.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Good luck sourcing the head you want and the shaft you want, with the tip you need.

If you were to order from the OEM with an exotic shaft, you'd be paying close to what CC charges, and the OEM would essentially be putting the stock shaft in another stock head = profit.

It's business....

 Disclaimer: I just did a driver fitting with CC and did order form them. 

Price was a little high, but I had planned for that.

6 weeks out for the build. 

It will be the only time I pay that much for a club, I'll tell you that much.

But if it stays in the bag a long time, it will be a good investment.

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People love to get heated about CC, so I'm not looking to change anybody's mind... BUT, the premium CC is charging for is not fitting "magic", it's not even a superior fit, it's proximity, availability, and reliability, at scale. 

 

A quick check of their website shows 83 locations, all exclusively dedicated to fitting.  They're presumably staffed by people with some actual qualifications and skill, and I'm guessing for the clientele they're in nicer parts of town in a reasonably nice shopping center or standalone building. 

 

Other club retailers 1) generally don't have those costs, and 2) have other revenue streams like retail, lessons, etc.  What Club Champion is offering is a standalone bay with trackman near you, a fitter with most of the OEM products currently on the market that has a spot in the next few weeks, and build that's guaranteed to be at spec with lifetime work on the club to make sure it's in good shape.  

 

Demo Days, discount websites, big box retailers all have their benefits, but they don't have the cost structure of paying for all three at the same time, & without a subsidy of some kind. 

 

I've had mixed experiences with CC personally, and don't have the budget to pay the premium for everything I buy, but they're aboveboard with their pricing, stand behind the clubs they make (both build quality and fit), and offering a particular service that fits the market right now.  That's not to say CC is a superior service or product to anything else, but the indignance at expecting them to offer the same services at the discount economics can just get out of control here.  

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