• PXG reveals its 12 tour staff players for 2016
• Zach Johnson and Billy Horschel among them
• Bob Parsons says they have the best irons in golf
Reigning Open champion Zach Johnson leads a new line-up of 12 golfers that will put Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG) clubs in play during the 2016 season.
Branded #PXGTroops, Johnson is joined by Billy Horschel, Chris Kirk, James Hahn, Charles Howell III, Cristie Kerr, Alison Lee and Gerina Pillar, while Ryan Moore will continue using the clubs he first put in play at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in 2015. Rocco Mediate, Beatriz Recari and Sadena Parks will also continue their association.
Founded by Bob Parsons, owner of website-hosting company GoDaddy with a net worth of around $2billion, PXG only launched in January 2015 but it has been in development for much longer.
One of the keys behind Baltimore-born Parsons quick route to success was the recruitment of two of Ping’s top designers, Mike Nicolette and Brad Schweigert, in August 2013.
Combined, the pair own almost 300 golf-related patents, but both men were reportedly bound by one-year non-compete clauses from Ping, so it wasn’t until late in the summer of 2014 they were able to begin work on realising Parsons vision of creating the best irons in golf.
How did they create 'the best irons in golf'?
With an unlimited budget and no deadline, Nicolette and Schweigert set about creating irons that looked like blades, but had the forgiveness of cavity backs. They also wanted them to feel soft but fly farther than any of their competitors.
How did they manage it? Nicolette has been quoted by top golf equipment website golfwrx.com as saying they tried everything from silicon, to foam, to rat glue before landing on the idea to injection mould thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) into their irons.
That gave the irons the feel required but, because the TPE material compresses at impact, it also gives hotter, thinner faces. Nicolette claims that they tested the irons with ball speeds reaching 165mph with no structural damage.
They then spread a series of tungsten screws around the perimeter of the clubs to improve their forgiveness, a property that has made PXG products instantly recognisable.
“By enabling PXG engineers to work without limitations of any kind we were able to achieve an unheard of level of performance,” said Parsons. “Now we’ve signed some of the best talent in the game to put our equipment in play because at the end of the day, it’s all about performance – and PXG clubs really perform.”
Where can you buy a set?
For now, the clubs are only available to buy in a select few outlets. Expanding into new markets appears to be the next logical step, but one thing is for certain, they won’t come cheap. PXG club sets are selling for up to $5,000 for a 14-club set and that doesn’t bother Parsons in the slightest.
“The people that we are targeting can stroke a $5,000 cheque and not blink an eye if it will help their game,” he told business news company Bloomberg in 2015. “I’m serving a segment of golf that isn’t being served by the other companies.”
PXG - what the players said
"The decision to put PXG clubs in play is not one I took lightly. My entire team, from caddie to coach, was part of the discernment process. We all agree that PXG is undeniably the best equipment to help me achieve my goals on the course." - Zach Johnson
"The technology is beyond anything else I've played. Putting PXG clubs in play has been a great decision." - Ryan Moore
"Being part of PXG is like being part of a very special movement in golf." - Billy Horschel
"I can't remember being this excited about putting new equipment into play." - Cristie Kerr
Find out more about PXG
For more information on PXG and its clubs, visit pxg.com