Tour Edge Golf
One of the best of the Top Ten Golf Manufacturers
By: Dr. Barry Lotz
Amongst the giants of the golf manufacturers, such as PING, TaylorMade, Titleist Wilson and Callaway, sits Tour Edge Golf. David Glod established Tour Edge Golf in 1986. In the company’s first year, it generated revenues of $100,000. Fourteen years later, Tour Edge’s iron line was ranked as the third fastest growing brand by Golf Retailer magazine.
David Glod, president and founder of Tour Edge Golf, based in St. Charles, Illinois, has made significant contributions to improving the way the business of golf is conducted. Glod set Tour Edge apart from other equipment manufacturers with the mission of providing premium quality golf clubs with the latest technology, sold for an affordable price and backed by a lifetime warranty. Glod’s mission, commitment to making golf accessible to the public earned him the 2001 Industry Honors Business Achievement Award from the International Network of Golf.
From the day the company was launched, in his garage, Glod’s passion and commitment to bringing golfers quality products at affordable prices has continually driven company sales to new heights. His credo has always been, “Offer the golfer and the golf shop an exceptional value and everyone wins.” For 14 years, he has been right on target and continually increased the company’s market share with innovative and well-priced products.
Tour Edge’s U.S.P. – Unique Selling Proposition – has always been to raise the customer satisfaction bar in the industry. From the onset, Tour Edge has continually demonstrated its leadership role in providing unequalled customer service by offering an unprecedented lifetime warranty on all of its golf clubs. The blend of great prices, superior quality products and the lifetime warranty has proved to be a tasty elixir to consumers. Tour Edge nearly doubled its sales annually from 1986 to 1995. Further, during the volatile late 90’s, when other mid-size companies skyrocketed to spectacular heights only to see their profitability crash as a result of losing their focus, Tour Edge remained stable and continued to post record breaking growth. Glod has directed Tour Edge so consistently that the company has not experienced a decrease in sales volume since it was founded. A rarity in the golf industry. A rarity in any industry. According to Glod, “As long as we provide the golfing public with great products at great prices, Tour Edge will grow.”
Perhaps the most amazing facet of the Tour Edge story is how the company’s success was realized without the benefits, or perils, of multi-million-dollar marketing and advertising budgets. Keeping product prices at a minimum and quality at a maximum leaves little room for high-level sponsorship of Tour pros or massive television and print ad campaigns that can build a brand. Word of mouth, a loyal customer base, effective media relations and a lot of guts are the foundation upon which Tour Edge was built.
It takes more than guts to build a brand name club company. It requires great product. Hence, product development and innovative design has allowed Tour Edge to maintain and remain in the upper echelon of leading edge golf technology in recent years. At the 1999 PGA Merchandise Show, Glod introduced a revolutionary concept, the Iron-Wood. The Lift-Off Iron-Wood” launch coincided with the release of the PRGR Zoom 200i and the much heralded Taylor Made Rescue. The concept was easily the hottest technology of the year – perhaps of the late 90’s. Tour Edge positioned the club as a long iron replacement, helping to create a new category of golf club — the iron-wood — a category name that Tour Edge has trademarked. Since the Tour Edge introduction, more than a dozen companies have responded with similar club offerings.
The metamorphosis from a garage start-up to an industry player has been remarkable. Today, the company’s products are distributed worldwide. The company is currently leading the Darryl Survey utility club count on the Senior PGA Tour with its Iron-Wood. Collecting five victories in 2001 on the Senior PGA Tour, Tour Edge has definitely earned the admiration of the world’s top players.
I’ve seen the products in the bags of winners such as John Schroeder, Sammy Rachels, Gil Morgan and Allen Doyle, the Senior Tour’s leading money winner.
Jesse Patino, Miller Barber, Vicente Fernandez , Mike Smith and Stewart Ginn, also Senior Tour players, use Tour Edge equipment. What is interesting to note is that of all these players, only Vincente Fernandez is under contract to Tour Edge – an exceptional testimonial to the validity of a company’s products.
They can also be credited with growing the game of golf. When players are presented with affordable, high-quality equipment options, they get into the game more quickly, stay in the game longer and enjoy the game more.
The latest in the Tour Edge line are the J-Series fairway woods and the Lift-Off Hyper Steel driver and fairway woods that conform to USGA’s C.O.R. limitations, but barely. The clubs provide unprecedented distance for golfers looking for extra yardage from their metalwoods.
This new technology trend is based on stretching the limits of coefficient of restitution [C.O.R./spring-like effect] to increase driving distances by up to 15 yards for the everyday golfer. The C.O.R. is the ratio of rebound velocity to initial velocity. For instance, a golf ball fired at 125 feet-per-second at a clubface and rebounds at 100 feet-per-second will have a coefficient of restitution of 100/125 or .8. The USGA’s limit for metal woods is .83.
Like the Bazooka 320 J driver, Tour Edge’s new J-Series titanium fairway woods increase the clubface’s spring-like effect by combining a four-piece, forged, beta titanium head with an extremely thin clubface. The forged titanium minimizes air pockets and impurities in the metal allowing for an extremely thin crown and face for increased flex. The more the face and crown flex at impact, the greater the spring-like effect created.
The face stores energy, like a spring, so it can efficiently transfer the energy back to the ball. To further enhance the rebound effect of the J-Series metalwoods, the clubfaces are progressively thinner from the 3-wood to the 9-wood. This progressive technology produces the highest possible rebound rate for each wood in the set.
The design goal for the J-Series fairway woods was to approach the USGA’s limit on spring-like effect without crossing the threshold. In an independent test, the C.O.R. of the Bazooka J-Series exceeded the C.O.R. of the best-selling fairway woods of the top golf manufacturers — by as much as six percent.
To review the comparative results visit their website, www.touredge.com/productpages/jseries.htm
“The Bazooka J-Series is the longest hitting fairway wood on the market,” reports Glod. “We refined the technology variables necessary to make the J-Series an extremely hot-faced but legal fairway wood.”
Developing hot-faced, long-hitting clubs wasn’t the only challenge presented to the Tour Edge engineers. They were also charged with producing clubs at affordable prices.
Exhaustive research and testing led to the development of Tour Edge’s proprietary X-88 Hyper Steel. The superlative strength of X-88 allowed the club designers to create an oversized, steel clubhead with thinner walls than those found in past models. The result is a two-piece, 255cc driver, appropriately named Lift-Off, which produces a spring-like effect not ordinarily possible in stainless steel designs. In the fairway woods, the X-88 Hyper Steel also allowed for a shallower face for exceptional control, feel and sound.
The X-88 forged Lift-Off Hyper Steel metalwoods use the same progressive face thickness technology as the J-Series [from a 2.4 mm clubface in the driver, to a 2.0 mm clubface in the 5-, 7- and 9-woods] for optimum spring-like effect.
During our testing of the Lift-Off fairway woods at Torrey Pines Golf Course and Aviara Golf Club, our panel of 25 testers were all unanimous in their conclusion of how each immediately noticed how the ball rocketed off the face of these clubs and of the extremely positive feed back they received. Our testers were enamored with the beautiful aesthetics of the woods and the great set-up at address.
Due to the increase of the sole weight and lowering the center of gravity, getting the ball airborne from any lie — fairway, thick rough or hardpan seemed to impress our testers as did the price of these fairway woods.
Similarly, Tour Edge’s new DG4 Super Spin Wedge series also delighted our testers. As with putters, wedges are highly individual and weight and feel are essential. The majority of our test panel found the wedges to be highly effective and playable. The wedges set up well and the aesthetics are excellent.
Finally, Tour Edge also offers numerous sets of irons and putters for all types of players.
The future looks even brighter for them as the company continues to take bigger bites of the market-share pie with its progressive club designs that give players the playability benefits they demand at a price they can afford. Glod and Tour Edge aren’t about flash, hype or a high profile. They’re about smart business, stability, growth, quality and innovation. Simply stated, Tour Edge is one of the most solid and consistent growth producers in the golf industry based upon a solid commitment to consumers and the game.
Tour Edge clubs are distributed throughout the world. Availability ranges from some of the finest green-grass locations in the country to the largest discount golf shops.
Bazooka 320 J: $450.00
Prices do vary and can be found for less than suggested retail.
For more information on the entire line of Tour Edge products: 800.515.3343 www.touredge.com
Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America, the California Golf Writers Association, and serves both as a Consultant and Mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers” and his current book, “How to Build Business Relationships Through Golf” is in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s best seller list.