The golf industry is a fickle business, with so much in your face all the time, it is easy to miss some great stories. One such example is most certainly that of Tour Edge Golf.
At first you might be a little confused at that statement, after all, if you are a consistent reader of our content here at THP then you know that Tour Edge releases often get the full treatment of our thorough and detailed review processes. However, this article is a bit different in that while most golfers are well aware of the quality equipment that the company is manufacturing and know that they are all-in on the PGA TOUR Champions circuit, you might not know just how important that area of focus has been for them.
The decision of a golf manufacturer to focus so hard on the PGA TOUR Champions is definitely an interesting one, and it has received an interesting assortment of feedback from golfers. However, the impact that the presence Tour Edge has established out there is proving to be priceless for the brand, not only in their ever increasing win totals, but for their direction as a whole.
While I could most certainly pound out a lengthy article detailing this for you all, it is way more fun to get the story directly from Tour Edge themselves. So, what better way than a Quick Six? We even have a bonus question for good measure.
THP: Some would say that Tour Edge took a gamble by focusing on the PGA Tour Champions more so than other avenues of play, while others would say you were betting on yourselves. What is the reality in why the Champions was the route chosen?
Tour Edge: The reality is that it was where we were meant to be, it is where we get the most cost-effective traction in the golf space on Tour and with names that are highly recognized as some of the best to ever play the game. But the crux of it is this: we wanted to have a level playing field. The PGA TOUR Champions is where we could experience that and prove our mettle.
THP: Clearly, the proof is in the pudding as Tour Edge continues to rack up wins with some major victories there as well, but what has that success brought to you as a brand?
Tour Edge: Yes, 25 wins on PGA TOUR Champions including 3 major wins so far! It’s a huge feather in our cap, something we are extremely proud of. We’ve streamlined that with our marketing, our TV spots, the presenting sponsorship of PGA TOUR Champions events and the Champions Learning Center on Golf Channel. To be able to tie it all together has been an amazing boost for our brand. As The Dude said, it really tied the room together.
THP: As time has gone on, have you seen more players on the PGA Tour Champions having interest in Tour Edge equipment, be it testing or potential staff relationships with the brand?
Tour Edge: We have an old school approach to the professional tours. We are searching for any spot that may be available in the bag with any of the players and it is much looser contractually on the Champions. It is up to the performance of the club to make it into the bag, even with our own staff players. Most are on two-club deals, so it’s up to us to fit them properly and improve their games to secure any club in play. That is the same mindset for any player on the tour and is why it’s so impressive that we’ve had over 165 different players put us into play over the last 5 seasons. That includes over 40 different players using an Exotics driver. The vast majority of those are without having any contract in place to play our clubs.
THP: On the topic of testing, how valuable has having constant feedback from some of the best to ever play the game been for Tour Edge?
Tour Edge: We’ve brought in players like Bernhard to work closely with David Glod and our R&D team on new launches, and we use the tour as a testing ground with almost every product now. It’s been invaluable to us. It is where the idea originated for a slightly larger and more forgiving forged iron that became the 723 Pro’s and it is where the BL Proto Irons came from. Not to mention, it is also where the new Wingman wedges came about with Bernhard being the inspiration after pitching our R&D team with a forged wedge that provided constant offset. He’s a true believer that every golfer will benefit from wedges with offset and when we put it to the test, he was 100% correct. We’re really excited about these forged Exotics Wingman wedges!
THP: So, looking at a product like those Exotics 723 Pro irons specifically, they filled a void in the lineup for you, sure, but how critical was the TOUR Champions feedback in making an iron of that profile becoming a reality?
Tour Edge: As mentioned above, yes 100%. Almost all the feedback we received from the Tour went into the design of these irons. We took notes on what the players were telling us they needed and lo and behold, the Pro 723’s have been the surprise product of the year for us. Not to mention, they are one of the fastest growing new iron models on the TOUR Champions. Mike Weir, Ken Duke (who recently won with them), and Tim Petrovic all put them into play and absolutely love them. None of those guys are obligated to play them. Plus, we have a handful of non-staffers who have put them into the bag this season. Really nice feedback from everyone who tries them!
THP: The groundwork of marketing with Bo Jackson as well as your Tour Champions staffers has been laid out brilliantly to this point, hammering home a clear message. Where do you all go from here?
Tour Edge: That’s a great question! We’re in the throes of that now, but Bo has been such an amazing spokesperson to have at our disposal. He was just a big fan of the brand over the years since Nike disbanded, and he became a good friend of the company due to his living here in the Chicago area. To bring him on this year for the TV spots with our staff players was a total coup. Here’s one of the greatest athletes of all time helping us raise our branding efforts because he loves what we are doing here. It’s been a ton of fun to work with Bo. He’s one of the most down to earth celebrities out there and it’s been a joy to have him help spread the good word on how we provide the best pound for pound performing and highest technology clubs in golf.
THP: As a bonus question for our readers, one thing that we constantly see discussed is where does Tour Edge go from here? Might we find Tour Edge working its way to the LPGA side of things?
Tour Edge: That would be the next natural step we believe. Again, it’s just an even level playing field contractually and plenty of space in bags to do some damage.
For more information on all things Tour Edge, be sure to check out their website at www.TourEdge.com, and if you haven’t already, give them a follow on all their social media platforms for more Tour feedback.