The Par Train Podcast Episode #109: Why We’re All Spending Too Much on Clubs


In this episode, Gabe Coyne joins us to talk about his company, Stix Golf. He shares how his frustrations with the current market led him to take the problem into his own hands. As a designer and problem-solver, Gabe knew that he was not alone in his dilemma. After several validations and market tests, Gabe created good looking and quality clubs at a reasonable price. Tune in to this episode to learn how simplicity can be a powerful disruption in overpriced markets!


Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

1. Find out why there is a need for disruption in overpriced commodities. 2. Learn why uncomplicated designs can stand out more. 3. Discover how simplicity can make golf more accessible to everyone.


Resources

1. Are you looking for a new golf club set? Head to Stix Golf for a beautiful sleek set. Their full set is currently on sale at only $639 from the original $799!

2. Want the best new golf and athleisure gear on the planet? Go to Rhoback and enter the code EARLY for 20% off. Be sure to check out their performance polos and long-sleeve tees!


Episode Highlights

Status Quo Of The Golf Industry

  1. Kirkland Signature was one of the first disruptors in the golf industry. 

  2. In recent years, people have become more comfortable with new brands.

  3. There are two types of consumers in the golf industry: those obsessed with data for performance and those who aren’t.

Handicaps And The Modern Golfer

  1. Close to 30 years, handicaps have not gone down. 

  2. Advancements in golf technology haven’t significantly impacted pro player performance.

  3. There is an image of a modern golfer that spends a lot of money to update their clubs. 

  4. Gabe points out that this need for updates can affect people’s mentality too. 

  5. Look better, play better — player confidence matters more than their gear!

The Current Market

  1. The current market for golf clubs uses the data approach – leveraging science and physics as their sales pitch. 

  2. The market keeps using designs based on performance. 

  3. Gabe shares that at the fundamental level, all golfers want to look better to play better. 

  4. Having confidence can make your swings better. 

The Need For Disruption

  1. Gabe shares his frustrations when shopping to update his golf set. 

  2. He notes how starter sets don’t look great, but the good-looking clubs are too expensive. 

  3. Disruption is common – like how the Dollar Shave Club disrupted the razor industry. 

  4. Markets with overpriced commodities are ripe for disruption, which is why Stix Golf was first conceptualized.  

  5. Listen to the full episode to learn more about overpriced commodities! 

Uniqueness And Minimalism

  1. Gabe notes that millennial consumers value uniqueness with a practical perspective on prices. 

  2. Younger demographics value Kickstarter brands focused on disruption and taking on new approaches. 

  3. He shares that valuing both disruption and the younger demographic is the new smart target for markets.  

Launching Stix Golf

  1. Gabe first needed to validate his perspective of overpriced clubs. 

  2. Once he confirmed that a potential market exists — 30% of a random audience — he focused on customization. 

  3. His demand test showed that 100% preferred the same customization – black on black on black.  

  4. He went on to work on his supply chain and made sure that prices were affordable. 

Existing Market Of Overdesign

  1. Gabe discusses how the current club market focuses on overdesign. 

  2. He hates how minimalist designs are expensive, while overdesigned clubs are cheaper.

  3. For him, this is counterintuitive since minimalist designs do not cost more to produce. 

  4. This condition of the market drives people to the more expensive sets. 

Differentiation As Disruption

  1. Through differentiation, the brand 5 Gum was able to distinguish itself from other gum brands. 

  2. 5 Gum used the bucktooth effect, being the only black brand in a sea of colorful brands. 

  3. In the golf industry, brands rarely have the same color scheme. They try to own different colors each year. 

  4. You can be different by being less complicated. 

  5. Less is more. 

Accessibility Of The Sport

  1. Stix Golf aims to be a direct consumer brand to keep its affordable price. 

  2. Gabe wants to activate consumers who are not shopping for golf clubs. 

  3. He notes that there is a sizable dormant audience that has never upgraded their clubs in many years. 

  4. By offering good looking and quality clubs at a reasonable price, the company helps keep the sport accessible for both new and experienced golfers.

5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode

“Golf technology – yes, it’s progressed in the last decade; but it’s way overhyped and overpriced like when over 50% of golfers still score over 100 so it’s not doing much for them.”


“I think that the millennial consumer loves Kickstarter brands that are just focused on disruption, doing things differently, and taking a new approach to any vertical.”


“We can afford design, we can afford to make it look great. Especially when our approach was: let’s just strip away everything. Let’s just strip away all the nonsense that we don’t believe in.”


“Design is not complete when there’s nothing left you can add, but when there’s nothing left that you can take away.”


“There is data if you’ve got a perfect swing, yes, different clubs will do different things; but as humans, there’s a lot of factors.”


About Gabe Coyne


Gabe is the CEO of Stix Golf. He’s disrupted golf club makers’ status quo and is continuously seeking new challenges and opportunities to give his best work. His extensive work involves software development, design, and entrepreneurship. Wherever his work takes him, Gabe is always passionate about problem-solving and efficiency. 

Have some questions? You can reach out to Gabe on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 

Enjoy this Podcast?


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For more episodes with PGA Tour Pros, CEOs, best-selling authors, and coaches – visit The Par Train, or you can tune in at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Spotify. 


Enjoy the ride,

Evan and Matt

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