Tour Edge Golf is entering 30 years as a golf club manufacturer this year. I started the company in my father’s garage as a repair company in my college days. After college, I turned pro and played in some tournaments and also started teaching golf. I found out quickly that my passion for clubs outweighed my passion for instruction.
My repair business was growing quite easily, and I noticed golf club makers were decent at best. The designs were old and everything was about classics and using traditional golf clubs. That’s when I really saw the light and started building custom clubs from the very recently available component parts flowing into the market. I sat back and looked at what was available and thought, “wow if I can build clubs similar to or even better than all these for half the price,” — thus the Tour Edge philosophy was born.
Matt Ward: Tour Edge started as a company with a limited line — now has morphed into a comprehensive equipment offering. How are things progressing?
David Glod: Exotics has become a major focus of the brand and continues to be used on all Tours and win playability awards worldwide. Hot Launch products have successfully raised the bar in the middle price zone, and our box set growth has been very rapid especially in the Lady Edge category.
MW: What’s the percentage breakdown for Tour Edge in terms of sale between retail, on-line and green grass shops?
DG: About 50% retail, 30% on-line, and 20 % green grass.
MW: Can an equipment company of the size of Tour Edge compete against much larger rivals such as Nike, TaylorMade, Titleist and Callaway where each have much larger budgets for television advertising?
DG: We have the ability to reach and engage an enormous audience online. Consumers are more educated now, as well, about technology and performance of equipment. They’re not relying solely on what ads are telling them.
MW: Describe the Tour Edge customer?
DG: It varies quite a lot. Bazooka and Hot Launch customers tend to be middle-aged and above and are mid to high handicappers. Exotics is mostly men — but all age groups and better players overall.
MW: How do you solicit customer feedback and what roles does it play in the development of future equipment offerings?
DG: Mostly through social media — it plays a minor role.
MW: Do endorsements matter from PGA / LPGA tour stats and what role do they play with Tour Edge?
DG: At this time — we do not have any paid players — but the Tour Players that do play our equipment are very important to us to keep serving and gaining feedback.
MW: What’s the biggest challenge for Tour Edge — short and long term?
DG: Gaining market share.
MW: In years past there had been contentiousness between equipment companies and ruling bodies such as the USGA and R&A — how would you assess the relationship now?
DG: We work closely with the USGA to follow the rules. We don’t get into any rivalries there — we just accept the rules as the rules and have to design within that scope.
MW: Golf is facing a serious situation in terms of younger people gravitating to the game as past generations. What’s your take on this and what remedies would you employ?
DG: We work closely with junior organizations to grow the game with Tour Edge junior clubs. Also our junior sales keep growing so we still believe golf is growing at the beginning stages of life. The problem lies with so many adults leaving the game. There seems to be no real effective way to combat the trend.
MW: What trends do you see happening in golf club development — and what role will Tour Edge play?
DG: Lighter shafts — moving weight in heads and better materials sourcing — as well as better customer fitting. We are constantly watching, redesigning, and pushing the envelope limits on all of these trends — especially in the custom arena. Golf is very individualistic and we custom develop specific designs now for every style of player out there.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?