When David Glod says Tour Edge Golf, the company he founded in his garage, is 29 years old, even he can hardly believe it. He rolled his eyes as he said it and a knowing smile graced his face. Arguably no equipment maker has defied the odds of a tough sales environment quite like Tour Edge.

After he pitched his latest and greatest products to a roomful of media on Jan. 19, one question from the audience seemed to address the elephant in the room: “How do you keep doing it as a lean, mean golf machine?”

Glod took a long thought-organizing pause before giving his answer. He agreed that the company benefits from being small and nimble while sticking to its conservative game. But to Glod, the chief reason his company has outlasted equipment makers with deeper pockets and glitzier marketing campaigns can be summarized in one word: product.

That, however, may be an over-simplification of the story. Establishing a reputation for value and affordability was a nearly 20-year process for Tour Edge. Glod displays unabashed pride when he explains that his company doesn’t pay endorsement contracts to pros and maintains a modest advertising budget. Increasingly, consumers looking for an alternative to higher-priced brands bought in. Tour Edge generated steady if not spectacular growth. But in the last decade, that model was severely tested as the bigger brands began a policy of introducing new products at break-neck speed. Consumers could suddenly buy discounted product that was touted as revolutionary just six months earlier. This took a toll on Tour Edge’s Bazooka franchise.

“The difficult side of value-priced clubs is the drop down in price with too much inventory in the field,” Glod explained.

Fortunately, Glod isn’t completely risk-averse and he took a big gamble in 2004. That’s when he informed his staff that the little company that could was going to slug it out with the industry behemoths in the super-premium category.

Glod’s decision put Tour Edge on its current path to become a multiple-brand company with the unusual pairing of super-premium and value. The Exotics name implies that the clubs are unique. so the company has been careful not to slap the moniker on just any product.

The new Exotics E8 adjustable Tour fairway wood is the first product in the U.S. marketplace to use a laser-beam bonding process to bond the cup face to the body and enhance the spring-like effect of the cup face to an unprecedented level.

The growth of TrackMan and other devices that measure ball speed have been a boon to the Exotics brand, allowing retailers to demonstrate to consumers some of the “invisible technology” in the product with numbers that validated retailers’ recommendations.

The success of the Exotics line along with high volume in boxed sets and golf bags (Glod’s brother, Gordon, the company’s vice president of sales, said Tour Edge was the top supplier in units for golf bags at PGA Tour Superstores) has kept Tour Edge trucking along in a down economy. Glod said his company’s business grew 5 percent in the U.S. last year. Better inventory management and less cascading down of prices by competitors could spark a turnaround for the Tour Edge side of the business.

“One more year of flush out of inventory,” Glod predicted.

If consumers searching for affordably priced clubs return to the Tour Edge name it won’t be under the Bazooka franchise this season. Glod said he’s giving that longtime stalwart “a rest,” and introduced an affordable line of easy-to-hit woods and irons called the Hot Launch.

With potentially its deepest and most complete launch of new equipment in years, the little company that could continues to show it still can.

 

From Golfweek.com

 

Game-changing innovation and expanded custom-fitting opportunities provided the inspiration for PING’s newest ladies line. The Rhapsody women’s products showcase PING’s primary point of difference: its ability to make measurable performance gains without sacrificing any important attributes.

Rhapsody clubs for women are engineered for slower swing speeds. Beginning today, the product line can be pre-ordered at PING-authorised golf shops around the world.

“Based on our studies of women’s swing dynamics, we engineered the Rhapsody Series with a lighter overall system mass, higher lofts and optimised lengths,” John Solheim said. “As a result, women will have an easier time getting the ball airborne and hitting it straight, and that’s going to improve performance and inspire confidence.”

 

Rhapsody Women’s Driver

To generate longer drives, the Rhapsody adjustable driver offers a lighter total system mass and a pearl-colored 460cc head that is centrifugally cast, which allowed us to optimise the CG and increase the MOI for greater accuracy. The thin face helps maximise ball speed for adding distance. Turbulators in the crown of the Ti 8-1-1 head reduce aerodynamic drag, leading to increased clubhead speed and ball velocity. Turbulators also help frame the ball at address for improved alignment. Heel weighting promotes head rotation to square the face for consistently solid impact.

  • Loft: 12° (5 loft settings: Standard, +0.6º, +1º, -0.6º, and -1º)
  • Stock graphite shafts: PING ULT 220 (Lite, 51g; Ultra Lite, 40g)
  • Std. length: 45″, Std. swingweight: C7, Head weight/size: 194g, 460cc
  • RRP £289

Rhapsody Women’s Fairway Woods

The high-MOI 3-, 5-, and 7-woods launch the ball easily from the tee or the turf for greater distance and accuracy. Heel weighting promotes rotation in the 17-4 stainless steel head to square the face at impact for longer, straighter results. A lighter overall system mass helps generate clubhead speed, and a thin face produces faster ball velocity for added distance. Turbulators on the crown help frame the ball at address to aid in aiming and aligning the clubface to inspire confidence.

  • Available 3W (18º), 5W (22º), 7W (26º)
  • Stock graphite shafts: PING ULT 220 (Lite, 49g; Ultra Lite, 39g)
  • RRP £165

Rhapsody Women’s Hybrid/Iron Set

This blended set combines easy-to-hit hybrids and high-launching, forgiving perimeter-weighted irons to optimise distance control and gapping. The stainless steel irons and hybrids offer lighter overall system mass for generating clubhead speed, ball velocity and distance, especially from slower swing speeds. In the irons, an elastomer cavity badge ensures a soft yet solid feel. Slightly longer shafts and stronger lofts optimise trajectory, distance, and gapping. In the hybrids, the face is thin to generate faster ball speeds for greater distance. A low-back centre of gravity promotes higher launch and elevates the MOI for increased forgiveness and accuracy.

  • Available irons 5-9, PW, UW, SW
  • Available hybrids 4H (22º), 5H (26º), 6H (30º)
  • Stock graphite shafts: PING ULT 220 Irons: (Lite, 51g; Ultra Lite, 44g) Hybrids: (Lite, 58g; Ultra Lite 50g)
  • RRP £95 per club

Rhapsody Women’s Putters

The Rhapsody putters feature the next-generation of True-Roll Technology grooves that vary in width and depth for unmatched distance control and predictable ball speeds, even when the putt is struck toward the heel or toe. Perimeter weighting in the 17-4 stainless steel heads and a well-balanced geometry have made the B60, Anser 2 and Craz-E models among the most successful, enduring designs in PING’s history.

  • Available in Anser 2 (Slight Arc), B60 (Slight Arc), and Craz-E (all stroke types)
  • RRP from £130 – £173

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