As a scratch golfer working for companies such as Callaway, Odyssey, and True Temper, Rob Lang has helped to set up fitting plans, designed loft optimization plans, developed market-leading innovations across irons, wedges, and putters, and served on expert test panels. Lang has been a thought leader in the golf industry for decades and is driven by a passion for improving the experience. He takes pride in providing the best golf clubs possible. As one of the Founders and a Partner at Indi Golf, his goal is to offer individual golfers top-tier, quality products that will help them to not only perform at their best but enjoy the game at their best.
THE LANG STORY —
I met a gentleman at a consumer golf show that was very curious about our wedges. He decided to hit one to check it out. He said he had played golf for 50 years and has had various brands through the years from Ping to Mizuno and mostly Vokey, which he had the longest and was his current wedge brand. When he picked the wedge up, he said that the balance felt amazing and the first strike felt like butter, and never stopped. After he hit about 20 balls, I told him that I hadn’t seen him miss one yet. He said the weight and balance felt perfect in his hands and he was amazed. And then he walked away. He said he didn’t want to buy on impulse. After the way he had hit the wedges, I figured he’d be back.
Sure enough, he came back and hit them again and walked away again. When he came back the third time, I told him if he didn’t like them, I would refund his money. He bought a 54 and 58-degree StingRay TT wedge. After he had time to try the clubs when he got home, he sent me a note saying, “These clubs are going to change my game. I had so much control, it was hard to believe. I could make them check or run out so easily. I can’t wait to hit full shots into greens. The balance and the feel of these in your hands is the big thing for me. It took a little getting used to looking at the grooves all over the face, but the confidence after those first few chips took care of that. I love these wedges. Rob and his company are really on to something.”
It was great for me to hear first-hand that our customers are seeing the performance results we have spent countless hours trying to achieve. Our customer took a chance on a new wedge design and he was able to increase his confidence and gain more control around the greens. We love to hear stories like this!
You’ve been at the forefront in creating wedges. What’s the most important aspect — from a business perspective and a technology/club perspective — you’ve learned now from when you started?
Mainly that people need to be educated about the ideal spin and launch conditions for wedges. Most consumers know what good driver numbers are but do not have any understanding of what makes for an optimal wedge shot. Also, that consumers don’t know how often they need to replace or regroove their wedges to make sure they play their best.
Fitting has become the key word in golf equipment discussions. What’s your best estimate in terms of golfers fitted properly for wedges specifically?
Maybe 5%. People just don’t think about getting fit for wedges or put much value in this. Even though this will have a greater effect on their score than a properly fit driver.
Most misunderstood aspect by golfers when making decision concerning wedges is what?
What loft and loft increments between wedges they should have. I see too many golf bags with a 56 and 54-degree wedge in them. Pros have 4 degrees of loft between their wedges to optimize distance separation and versatility. This is what the average golfer should have too.
How many wedges should players generally carry?
I always recommend four (4) wedges. This includes the PW in their set, a gap wedge, sand wedge, and a lob wedge. This will allow a player to hit all their short game shots with consistency without having to manipulate the wedge too much.
How does Indi Golf differ from your competition?
We are focus on a player’s enjoyment of the game and only release products we know will make the game more enjoyable. We are not here to just make a sale, we want our customers to be our friends and value their thoughts and needs.
Curious to know — what’s the reason in offering non-conforming box grooves?
There are two things. First, a player can grab our nonconforming wedges and immediately see how a pro hits and controls their wedges. Second and probably the most important to us, they are super fun to play with. There are 3 things in golf that put a smile on everyone’s face every time – Hitting a long straight drive, making a snake of a putt, and hitting a great wedge shot that spins. That’s where Indi Golf comes in.
There’s been a recent inclusion for 64-degree wedges in golfer’s bags — especially those at the most proficient skill level. How much of a plus or minus is it to have such higher lofted clubs in one’s bag?
It takes a lot of practice and understanding of the wedge game to really benefit from a 64-degree wedge. I don’t typically recommend such a high lofted wedge but we do offer a 62-degree now.
One of your pledges is to take back clubs — no questions asked. How many times has that happened and if so were you able to discern the reasons why?
We’ve sold a few thousand wedges now and we have only had 2 orders returned. One reason was that the player spun the ball too much and could not get used to them. As for the other, we were not told and, as we state, we didn’t ask.
On your Website you recommend avid golfers change wedges every year. How can most players do that given the realities of a limited personal budget and what other alternatives can you suggest given that limitation?
We offer a trade-in program where we give money towards new wedges, so if last season’s wedges are worn out, we will take them and give our customer credit towards new Indi wedges. We will even take any other club they want to trade in and give them credit. If they end up with more credit than we have wedges, then we send them a check for cash. New wedges and cash for greens fees, what more would any golfer want!
Biggest challenges facing Indi Golf as a company — short and long term?
Short term is getting our brand out there, and we are grateful for opportunities like this to share our brand promise and company ideas. Long term we see the typical growing pains of any new company and are trying to make sure we think ahead to avoid any pitfalls.
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