I got this reply to an earlier post about the expense of new golf clubs. In that post, I suggested the only real way to get discount clubs was to build your own. Eric Barzeski over at The Sand Trap wrote that:
You’re going to have a heck of a time convincing people, including me, that a Snake Eyes anything is as good as a Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway, Nike, etc. anything.
The real question is: are the mainline manufacturers twice as good? Because you’re paying twice the amount as component companies.
For the better component companies, the materials are the same. They are manufactured in some of the same Chinese foundries that make the OEMs. Some of the designers are the same. Ralph Maltby designs the Golfworks clubheads. He also is the designer of the Armour 845s. You can buy the exact shaft that goes into oem heads. Component company Peerless also designed and made the Palmer line.
It’s true that there are some cheap knockoff companies out there. I do not believe that Golfworks, Golfsmith and Tom Wishon Golf (and a couple of others whose names I can’t remember at 5:00 am) are among those.
The difference in price, I believe, is the difference in marketing. If you’re paying tens of millions to tour players and in advertising each year, your prices are going to be higher.
I really believe that my Snake Eyes forged irons are are good as anything out there. And that’s been the conclusion of anyone who has hit them, including my teaching pro friend—who gets paid to hawk Titleist to his clients. The difference: I paid around $300 for my set, including the Rifle Graphite shafts—far less than half an equivalent Titleist.
I realize that I’m never going to convince the Titleist//Taylor-Made/Callaway Kool Aide drinkers. But others may want to give it a try.
The only caveat is that to really do well in the do-it-yourself business, you ‘ve got to invest some time in learning the ins and outs of clubmaking and fitting. But hey, I can’t play golf right now in the frozen north, so what else do I have to do?