Ep #27 - Behind the Golf Brand Podcast | Edison Wedges, Terry Koehler (CEO)
What's up guys, Paul from Golfers Authority. Welcome to Behind the Golf Brand Podcast. This week. I have my good friend, Terry Koehler from Edison Wedges, and I'm really excited to have him on the show. He's known for the wedges. He's the wedge man. I mean, he just, that's not his nickname, but I'm going to make that up for today, but he makes a phenomenal wedge, a phenomenal history of what he's gone through and invented and developed and worked with it just, it's amazing.
Like he, he probably is the most well-known wedge person that I know. Um, so I'm very excited to have him on the show. This is, I believe episode 27.
So I can't believe we're actually at 27 episodes this year. So welcome to the show. Well, thanks for having me, Paul, look forward to visiting and diving into what. I've been doing in my life to try to push the wedge envelope further along. I love wedges. I dunno. I feel like it's like the redheaded stepchild, right?
Like people don't give enough credit to the wedge cause the wedge is what really gets the ball next to the hole that I think so well, you know, the wedge or the game is, is really not gotten, I think, uh, a, a proportionate share of, of engineering and technology attention. I think there's a lot of reasons for that, but I haven't, as you might imagine, being a wedge guy, I've got wedges in my collection dating back, you know, into the late thirties when right after Sarazen was credited with, within winning the sandwich. And that's cool really amaze me is I can take wedges from as far back as the fifties and sixties into the eighties and nineties into the early two thousands and even into the last few years. And you really don't see much change in these golf clubs, but look at what's happened to drivers and irons and the advent of hybrid putter shapes. I mean, you've gone through radical radical redesigns of nearly in our golf bag. And wedges are still pretty much the same piece of molded metal that we've always had all the weights on the bottom. And yeah,
I just think it's time for golfers to realize that. And you know, you're, you're losing strokes with the, with the wedges in your bag. And these short, what I call tour design wedges, they all look alike and they're very volatile. I've put them on our environment for 20 years and the swim robot and you know, that, that high face impact that doesn't go anywhere. That toe shot that has no spin. These are your fault. That's built into the golf club. And I just wanted to.
No, don't know that right there, like what's your hole up my shot. I can't figure this out and then try to like compensate for it. Well, exactly. I mean, you know, I'm watching the masters this past weekend and looking at the magical short game that these tour players have. Um, when you realize that these guys are masters, I'm kind of skipping around here, but, but the reason I think wedges haven't changed is because the tour player. So if you look at the, the magical short game shots, these guys hit, I mean, it's, they, they control the trajectory, speed, distance spin.
They control those factors independently because they're so talented because they spent so many thousands of hours with wedges in her hand. Well, if you give one of them, a new driver that goes 10 yards further, and four degrees straighter it's in the bag immediately. It's pretty easy. But if you give him a wedge that launches a little different spins, a little different, you know, distances, a little different, used, screwed up thousands of hours of practice. His whole life has been built on a short game. Um, you know, the, the, the rank and file tour players out there shooting two or three under par hitting 11, 12, 13 grades.
So they've gotta be doing it with a magical short game and you can't afford to screw that up. And so I don't really worry about those guys. I got Bob Vokey and Roger, Cleveland's a brilliant people taking care of them, but I'm looking for the guy listening to your podcast, the guy that's a six or eight or a 12 or a 20, that's going, I just let my gap, which to go 105 yards every time. That's all I'm after, you know. Most players are like that, right? I mean, that's like a majority of golfers, no one. I mean, I would love to know the numbers of like how many people are just crappy at golf, right? Like I think almost everybody, I think there's probably like the few that get to play all the time. And they have like, you know, less than a 10 handicap or something, but then like everybody else out there play a couple of times a year and I just want to be like, not bad. You know what I mean?
Like they just want to have a consistent shot. Our whole industry revolves all around the, the pretty serious player the guys play in 2030 rounds a year. He really wants to be better. And to have to go spend six hours a week on short game practice on this, and he's going to hit some low in the face and some high in the face and some, a little on the toe, a little toward the heel. That's why he's playing a 460 CC driver. That's why he's playing a big mallet, putter this wise playing a cavity back, you know, permanent weighted iron twice Cary and hybrids instead of three arms.
And this kind of carrying the same wedge, a tour player carries. And why, because you, I mean, face it, the best short game you've ever seen at a country club in America is not as good as the worst short game of the guy on the Korn ferry tour. I mean, these guys are magical around the greens and they've done it strictly through time, time, time they spend thousands hours. I like to use a Justin Thomas. I think he seems like a really nice kid and he's wanting to be a tour player since he was eight years old. And since he was eight years old,
he's been screwing around this short and green hip flopped shops and these shops on these shots. And he's done it with essentially the same wedges for the last 15, 16 years of his life. So he's used to, but that ball will do off of that golf club. He doesn't want you to change the ball performance off that club.
Every time he turns around, because he'd have to relearn his short game every time. I mean, I guess the perfect example, I looked at that shot as soon as you am hit from behind 15 of Augusta on Sunday. I don't know if you watch that or not.
He flies it over the green he's backed by the pond. He's got a tip of up that slope into a green slope and away from him until the water. And he hits it with the perfect trajectory, perfect spin and perfect distance to two hopping onto the green and let it trickle over the collar. Now I'm guaranteed. The best short game guy at your club could hit that shot for a month and never get it that close. I mean, these guys are, and he gets one crack at it, right.
But they're so good. And they know what they're wedge will do, but the round is we don't have their skills. We don't need to play their golf clubs if we did everybody would. I mean, here,
here's a perfect example. I'm sorry. I kind of get on the soap box, but less than 2% of golfers play a pure forged blade because they know they're not good enough to play that, you know, eight out of 10 of the tour leaders in greens and regulation play a tour blade, forged iron tiger. And all these guys, they play a forged blade because they can make them all do what they want because it serves their skillset.
But these 99% of golfers that won't play that forge blade are playing, trying to play this thing, wedge those guys play. No, I think you're right. I mean, you're seeing it a lot, especially what I like is like in putters too. Right? Cause putters has always been like the redheaded stepchild too.
And like only in the last, I dunno, 10 years putters have like been redesigned and they're starting to do with new shapes and waiting. And like, it's like fine. You know, it's like all the attention was spent on the driver, right. Or has been for 25 years, you know, before it was like pretty much everything was standard. And now it's like, it's kinda cool because you're seeing products being developed, made for the everyday player, right.
That is looking to get better that may or may not even get on the tour. But a lot of brands don't give a crap if it doesn't get on the tour because they're not trying to sell a tour players, you know, like you say, with balls to write letters to the look of balls in the last 15 years, right. Or not even that long, you know, with snow and Encore or some of these newer brands coming out with technology, that's, you know, as good as the best balls out there it's even better.
I think some, some instances. So it was a golf ball. I mean, and you know, in our industry revolves around a lot around the idea of, you know, number one on tour, I mean, timeless and give them credit.
They've dominated the tour and golf ball count for long as I've been in golf. And, and they, they make hay with that. But I was trying to think people look to the tour, but you have to temper that. I mean, you're not looking to play. And one of the things about wedges coming back to the tour player and, and the, and the comparison of the tour type wedge to the forged blade iron I'll put them on our environment.
I'll put them on the swing robot. I've measured all kinds of impact, a tour blade, muscle back non-owner and pitching, which is more forgiving than any of the wedges on the market today. So if you don't think your good arm, why are you playing the tour wedge? Because it's more volatile and you know, the measure of a wedge of smash factor, it's every golf club, every golf club has one pinpoint spot on the face that is these weak spot and what we've changed with big drivers with cavity back irons, with the big mallet putters, we have chased trying to not expand the sweet spot, cause there's always going to be one little pinpoint, but to mitigate the deterioration of impact quality as you make impact away from that center spot. So you can hit that driver a half inch for the toe, and you can get 98% of your distance out of it.
You can hit that big mallet cutter, a half inch off center, and you're still going to get a good roll on it. You can get that cavity back iron to half an inch off center, and you can still get a pretty functional shot, leave you on the fringe and instead of on the green, but when you missed the sweet spot in that wedge by half an inch, we've proven it. We've seen it on time. And again, you can lose 18 to 20% of your smash, which means that shot hit high on the face that ends up in the front bunker or worse that wasn't your fault. That's built into the golf club and it doesn't take him golf club guy like me, look at your wedge and look at where all the masses it's in the bottom of the golf club. And if you hit it down close to the bottom of the club,
you get a totally different shot than if you hit it in the middle of the club or even a little higher on the club. And my singular mission with the Edelson Ford's wedges ball was to say, I want you as an amateur to have at least the same amount of forgiveness in your wedges, as you have in your cavity, back iron in your driver, why should you settle for less than that? And most players want that, you know, they want to get better. Is it? That's why I think it's kind of interesting. This is why I like products, right? Because I feel like I am the typical golfer, right? I don't have a lot of time to play. I want to be good.
I just don't have the time to play. So I'd rather spend the money on equipment that will make me potentially better. Right. Or the technology may be potentially better to make up for all that time that I don't have. Right. So if I only can play one song once a week or four times a month or whatever it might be, I would rather purchase something that will help me be a little bit better because I don't have to go. I don't have time to go to the driving range every night or for the putting green, you know? And I think that's just kind of cool about what you're doing with Edison is that like no one has been doing that, right? Like you get these gimmicky wedges, right? Like a gimmicky wedge or whatever it might be. That's different.
That's like a gimmick, but it's almost like what you're doing is really taking the technology to another level and bringing that to players who need it, you know, does that make sense? I mean, and you know, gimmicky, I don't use that word in a derogatory standpoint, but you know, there was a, there was a category of wedges out there that have these huge wide soles on them, terrible out of the bunker and strikes, fear in you to walk into a bunker. Then you ought to have one of those in your bag, probably strictly for bunker shots. Cause you're not going to hit other, you know, delicate pit shots with that big sole. It's not going to work for you. But if you play soft sand and you have trouble, then by all means get one of those. It's kind of like if you don't like hitting long arms and middle arms play hybrids all the way up to 32 degrees. Cause your bag, it's.
Your bag. Build your bag to your strengths and your weaknesses. I mean, for example, I like a single piece for two blade because I like to work the golf bond, just like the field of that. Could I lower a shot or two off my scores with, with the perimeter weighted cavity back club, maybe, but it's not important to me as it, as the ability to hit shots. And I play a very small driver. I just don't like looking at these big 460 CC drivers.
I play 400 CC prototype. I developed about five years ago. So as long as anybody's so many that they're coming up with, but I can work the golf ball with it. I like to hit different golf shots. The next guy, he may just want to, I just want to hit it and go, we'll find, play something different than what I play. It's your bag. Like you said, it's your bag. And you know, it's kinda like a, like a football team, you know,
and you recruit the players for the, for the offense you like to run. And the defense you'll like to run, and that may be a different skillset from the next guy over here, who's runs a different offense. So I think it's very interesting. And I've referenced your golf bag is your team, uh, in my blog that I write every week and you know, it's like, you need to recruit your team with care and caution and forethought.
So what is it that you need to, you know, you've got a driver for your tea shops and a putter for your putts and you've got 12 other players. And it's very important to put that team together for the courses you play the skillsets. Okay. Including the ball. I mean, it's like, you're putting your T like,
I never really thought of that analogy. Like your bag is your team early, you know? And like you have to build that team for you. And you know that when you buy other products, you're just swapping out players. Right. And be like, well, this is not working for me, but it's because you don't know, it's not, it's not saying that that's a bad product. It just saying that that product, not the right product for you. You know what I mean? So here's my,
here's my, a big shocker moment. Like I don't like using the probie one, never been able to hit it ever in my entire life. I always feel like I'm cool and open up a new sleeve, like, Oh, look, I got the pro V one and it goes right into the desert or I under the tree line and I lose the ball. But if I use something else, like a Chrome soft or a snow MTB, like they hit straight. It's like, it's the same shot. So it was like, you have to find the right product for you. And it doesn't matter what the name brand on it is either. It doesn't matter.
It just matters if it works. That's all right. That's my opinion. And that's what I like exposing brands that don't have the, you know, they have that people don't know about yet, because I think that's where, you know, like this let's this past year, I got fitted for the first time, by a brand up in the Northwest that custom, you know, club maker. And like, I had never been fitted like that before I didn't this, the improvement, my game was like a hundred percent different, you know? And it's just because, you know, before that I had, you know, the $1,600 set of irons from titles, you know? So it's like, I still had that set of irons. I'm never gonna use ever again.
Cause I got these new clubs that actually helped me with my game. That's all it really comes down to. I want to be better, that's it? You know? And then, you know, one of the things that we talk a lot about, and the reason that Edelson is a custom company and we build every set to order, we have our standard shaft offerings. Most companies have one standard steel shaft and that's it, it's a heavy, stiff steel shaft. The vast majority of golfers replay a wider weight, steels are playing graphites are playing softer flexes.
So we offer a standard weight, steel shaft, and stiffen, regular flex. We offer a lightweight steel shaft and stiffen regular. We offer a graphite shaft and stiff regular in a flex because I'm a big believer. I've seen it for 30 years that I've been focused on wedges.
You want your wedges in the shaft to blend seamlessly to your irons. I call it the seamless transition. So if you have your get out of your cart with me and you walk over to your ball and you're somewhere around a hundred, 110 yards, you grab your laser or your GPS and you grab your step match, pitching wedge, and your aftermarket gap wedge. And you walk over to know what's going to be one of these two clubs. If those clubs are an ounce apart and wait, if they're, you know, I mean they can be 20 or 30 grams, different weight. They can be two flexors, different inflection. And you're not thinking of making a different screen.
It's either a pitching wedge or a gap weights for you. And you're thinking you're going to make the same swing depending on which club you choose. But yet one club is an entirely different animal than the other one. And so I think that the shaft is so important. Wedges is why we don't have stock wedges laying around with the heavy, stiff steel shaft and them, because I just don't think that's right for most people, if you're playing, you know, standard weight, stiff flex steel in your arms, then yeah, you're going to want that standard weight to flex your wedge. But I mean,
one of my examples, there was a young lady at our gloves playing collegiate golf. She's not very big, but she's really good. Blair. Doesn't hit it very far. And she was telling me about her new wedges from one of the major brands. And I looked at her and I said, you know, I'm looking at your arms and you're playing an, our flex 70 grand graphite chapter and your irons.
And you've got 130 gram stiff, flat steel shaft in your wedges, which is the same shaft. The tour players play. These guys were all Popeye's. They work out, they have big forms are strong as heck. You can't manage that golf club around the greens to hit the shots you want to hit. You don't have the handspring to manage that much golf club. It's just more club than you can handle. And I said, you know, you let me build you a set of wedges with the shaft. That's closer to what's in your arms.
You're going to be amazed at how good your wedge play gets because you're not trying to muscle this big, heavy golf club around. And you know, people don't think about that. Transition, right? Cause you're used to like hitting this flex. That's perfect for you and everything, your irons or whatever it might be. And then you go to a steel shaft, you know, wedge. And it's like, Whoa, Whoa.
You know? And like, now you have to like, your brain does not know what's going on at that point. It's like, Oh, do I hit this? How do I hit this? You know, because it's used to a lighter, you know, and more flags and whatever it might be. It's as fun to talk about that way. Seamless transition. We want that set of golf clubs from, from your long and middle arms, through your mid shore. Cause you go from, I never really thought about this. So like,
you go from like your, your driver, right. Tons depend on your flex is on your shaft and our driver to your irons. But, and then usually if you get fitted or you get, you know, a really high quality set of irons, like the shaft should be really good. Right. So you should be kind of like, but then you go back to your wedge.
Is it it's like the steel shaft, the wedge, that's it, you know, unless you get fitted or whatever it might be. I didn't think about that. That's true though. And that's what you want. Right? You want to see them to transition through all of your clubs until, you know, because it's, it's, it's messing with your mind and you don't realize that because you're not good enough to figure it out, nor do you have like the background, you know, because most guys was out there to play. They don't, they don't know. I would never know.
And um, so, you know, I mean the, you know, when you, one of my critique, the wedge category is, you know, it's, it's like nobody talks about anything, but grooves and grinds, I call it the GNG syndrome, But there's so much to the golf club head and a regional, they only talk about Roos and grinds just cause everybody's club head is essentially the same. I mean, if you're realistic and go into a store and go to the wedge display, and if you can make yourself, look at every wedge without looking at the graphics that the essential design of the wedge is unchanged, all the weights on the bottom it's fin in the upper two thirds, it's got a heavy, stiff steel shaft in it. And you know, it's got some nuance to grind in there that, that, I mean, the reality is I can, and I don't do this, but Bob bulky, Aaron dill, Roger Cleveland, thanks to now with the Mickelson or, uh, a woods or whatever. And they can tweak that that's the soul of that golf club. And that player can feel that you and I can't feel that I've worked with tour players their past, they can feel things you can barely measure, but you know, they were talking about this week that the gusta was so soft. The players were all going in and opting for wedges with more bounce. Well, that's fine for them. They walk into the trailer and they get free wedges.
You and I don't get to do that. If it rains last night and say, Hey, I want, I want three new wedges with a little higher bounce. Cause it rained last night and they're gonna laugh their off at three. Okay. It's going to $500. If you want to try them. Exactly. So, you know,
I'm a big believer in that's where my soul design came from is, is what we call the Caterpillar soul. It's got a high bounce in the first part of the club and the low bounce in the back part of the club. The ideal was, I don't know what my next lie looks like. I don't know what the turf conditions are going to be on that shot that day. That course I need a sole design that if it, if it calls for a high bounce, it's going to act like one, if it calls for a low bounce, it's going to act like one. And I created this on actually on a golf trip for St. Andrew's in 1990.
And I went in to octopus on these golf shop and ground around on the wedge because of the tight turf over there. It was killing me with my, you know, my conventional sandwich at the time. And I've been perfecting that soul design for 30 years now. And it just keeps getting better and better, but that's one aspect of the wedge you do need to consider, but I don't believe I can fit bounce to you or to anybody else because I'm going to fit turf conditions as they constantly change, I'm going to fit your swing path. But it constantly changes too. I mean, you're a recreational player. Sometime you take a deep divot sometime you don't. So how am I going to fit something that changes all the time? And so what I can do is I can give you a Colombian design that has the most consistent smash factor around the face.
You're going to get a consistent transfer of energy. So you're not going to see that big distance disparity. I can give you a soul that is more versatile than any other soul, a little handle, more turf, more turf types, more lies, more swing paths. I can put face texture in the golf load that will optimize your coefficient of friction and build a club to your spec. So at least it fits right shaft and you know, the right grip, right angles. And I mean, you're going to, you're going to hit 10 or 12, 15 Childs around with your wedges. They need to fit.
They need to be right for you. Yeah. I mean, I never really thought about that. I mean, that's why I was like, this is what the podcast, I talk to smart people that are way smarter than me in golf. And I was like, Oh, I didn't think about that. That's that's so true. All right.
So we're gonna play a game new game today. It's called, I made this up in my head. So this game's gonna be called time machine with Terry and Oregon to go back in time. And I want you to tell me, what was your first golf memory? My first golf memory is I grew up on a little nine hole course in South Texas.
And my dad was one of the best players in town and the little barbecue. We called it, the barbecue circuit. You know, every town had their little weekend, two men basketball tournament through the course of the summer. And we came out in the fifties and sixties to watch these good players.
And my dad just before really anybody had electric cars, my dad had a big old leather Burton golf bag on a bag boy pull card. I was probably, I guess I was two or three years old, but I remember being, it was a big treat for me to climb up on the straddle, the ball pocket, hold onto the handle of that bag. And have my dad pulled me around in that bag boy pull card, and my feet wouldn't touch the ground. So I couldn't have been over two or so, but I distinctly that's my earliest memory of golf. Um, and my earliest memory of playing golf is again, we were blessed to grow up on this little nine hole golf course, and we were out playing nine holes by ourself when we were six, seven, eight years old. I mean, we had, I had two would have 500 and a minor and a little brass blade putter. I wish I still had that thing. And they were all cut down in the
wrap right on until the shaft big from my little hands. And I remember that, you know, it was that I remember growing into that golf course when I first started playing the par fours were three good wood shots to get to that 310 or 15 yard far forward. And then it got to where you could get there with two wood shops on an honor. And, and then it was, I can get hold of one, some of them with a, with a, with a, to always hit a two, one off the tee as little kid. And, you know,
I got to hit that two wood and a, and a five iron to get home on that 300 yard hole. And then you just grew into the golf course and grew into my first set of irons and, and grew into my first pair of foot down a fuse. And you know, it just, it was fun thinking about, thank you for taking me back actually, but it was fun. Just thinking about the evolution of my golf from those little nine hole rounds and kicking it around to remember that. See, my dad did the same thing, man. He took like, you know, adult clubs, cut them down and put grips on it. And I was like three and four years old.
I remember that. I mean, it's funny cause I have a story too. One time I told this story, I should tell this story. Cause it's not a great story for me.
One time I was at the driving range with my dad and I was probably, and I got hit in the head with the iron, by my wife. Yeah. It was bad. Like by my friend, like my dad took my friend and me, but for us, it's your story. I'm gonna tell the story before I'll do my wife who knows this story. My mom will tell her though, because, but we went to the driving range at Kenny Mac, which is a pub public coarser in Tempe. And I was walking behind my friend and I was like four and he swung back and the club hit me in the head and chopped off like three quarters of my ear, like for reals. And it was like, all I remember is being, I w I'll I'm seriously. I'll remember as being in my mom and dad's car,
driving to the hospital with a towel wrapped around my head and it like, I guess it traumatized my parents out. I remember, but like they sold my ear back on and you would never know, you can brilliant see the scar, but like, yeah. And they're like, what? Like literally the iron wind in my head, it was crazy. But I freaking forgot that story until now. Holy crap. I can't let them know until I know it's like my mom's like, Oh, do you remember that? I'm like, barely I remember her getting stitches.
I remember that. But, but yeah, my dad has the same thing. That's cool. So how'd you get into golf? Like, so like what's your background? Did you go to college where you you're a college player or something, or did you dislike play and you got into it or what, like, what's your story? I mean, our household revolved around golf. My life revolve around golf on little nine old or so by the time I got out of high school, I was, you know, a scratch player and, and you know, maybe I lived on a little nine hole courses. It was a big treat to go to an 18 hole course where we would go play, you know, district and regional, you know, uh, golf.
But we had a really good golf environment in our little town. It was a big deal in our town and a town called where's it at South Texas. The name of the town is Cuero C U E R O. It's now Southeast of San Antonio. And I mean, just to give you an example of how Golfie our town was when I was a freshman in high school, we had 160 kids in a whole high school with 30 out for golf.
My freshman year I was shooting 70 eights and nines and I made the fifth spot on the BT 78. So 70 nines in the, in the sixties. So it was a very golf oriented down. Um, so I went off to Texas a and M got a degree in marketing, um, came back and, uh, went to San Antonio and went to work for an ad agency.
And the first sales call I ever made on my own was to the Ray cook putter company, which was in San Antonio, said, hell, I'm going to be an ad business. I'm going to go for accounts. That'll be fun. Yeah. You want it? You're interested not like a dentist. So I started, you know, learning the golf industry from that standpoint. And, and, but I was really drunk.
I was always the kid that took my toys apart to see how they worked. And my dad, we rebuilt our fishing reels and we built custom rifles and we reloaded ammunition when we did, we did things like that. And that was always, I was my daddy's boy.
I was always there at his elbow when he was into a project. And so I was always the kid that took my toys apart, see how they work, put them back together. And, um, so I was really drawn to the back end of the, of the, of the place where the putters were made. How are they doing that? How they design it, that how tooling work, you know, just cause that's what interests me. And I figured the more I knew about the product, the better market or I could be. And so through that, and this was, uh, uh,
right around 1980, uh, 40 years ago when the gal, and then I began to meet some other series like, Oh man, I'm old. What the heck? So a mother of small golf brands, Odie, Crispin putters, the fabulous secret shafted butter's made down in Alabama, Joe Powell, golf out of Florida, uh, Newman, leather made leather grips and gloves, and just began to meet some of these other small golf companies. And that's cool and built a little clientele of golf companies. And,
uh, in the mid eighties, I just decided I wanted to design a putter. And I designed my first putter in the mid eighties and kind of got really focused on that and, and designed the butters through the, through the late, mid to late eighties for my own company and then for merit golf. And then, uh, that took me to the Ben Hogan company in the nineties when they moved to Virginia design and a lot of putters for them. And then I was started fiddling with wedges. I told you about the story of 1990.
I was in St. Andrews Scott London. I began grinding on the sole of a wedge and starting my first golf company in the mid nineties called Reed Lockhart, making wedges and a beautiful blade iron that we did some persimmon woods with the very example, and that began and just kind of morphed into a wedge specific company called Isilon, which morphed into a wedge specific company called score, where I introduced for the first time, progressive waiting in wedges. And we built a great following at score and I got distracted and went off and the Ben Hogan company back into the golf industry and gave that my all for a couple of years and retired and was burned out. And, and, uh, but then I just started writing my blog again for golf WRX and as the which guy, which I had written many, many articles. I think I'm up to a thousand articles now and mostly on the short game. And I write about other things this week. It was musings on the masters,
but I'm just sharing 40 years in this industry. And people knock on wood. They've liked what I write sometime they skewer me if I get off off path a little bit, but that's, what's fun about a blog. So I had people saying, when are you going to do wedges again? Scores were the best ever.
And so I've turned my focus back into wedges as someone to pull out all the stops, I would eliminate the barriers. This is a wedge specific company we're going to do wedges the way I think they ought to be done with no real concern about how wedges have always been designed. I looked at and said, what should they be? Not what have they been, but I'm not going to improve on wedges. I'm going to start over, what should a high off the golf club do? And that's really what the ocean forge is all about. I just want to rewind something you guys okay. Cause you know, Tara's is very modest and he's like, Oh yeah, I did this. I did this.
Terry was the CEO of Ben Hogan and the founder and president of bento and golf. Like that's when he's like, Oh, I was there for a little bit. It wasn't like he was there like, you know, in accounting, like he helped run. He ran a company. All right. So like, I mean, this guy knows a lot of stuff,
you know, like he's very, very modest right now because I mean, that's, I mean, to bring a brand back to the, to the industry, right. A brand cause what happened? Like did they went away for a while? Didn't they? Or just like, cause they were around the nineties. I remember that. Um, and Ben Hogan was MATSOL to the guy to Lynn just to talk to me, you know, thrived at him forward for, for many years. And in the, um, early nineties it was purchased and taken out of Fort worth and moved to Richmond, Virginia. And I think, you know, they put Mr. Hogan out to pasture the company, I think lost its way, lost its soul a little bit.
And then that company sold the Ben Hogan brand or really, I mean they reduced the company by three fourths of the size and went off on different pathways that that proved, proved to be right. The company was then to Spalding Spalding, brought it back and really got a lot of interest in it. But then Spalding went into bankruptcy. Callaway bought all the assets out of bankruptcy and they really wanted the golf ball business. But you know, cause Spalding was number two ball in the world. And uh, but the bankruptcy court said, no, you have to take everything. And so Callaway ended up with a Ben Hogan brand and they gave it a little life.
And then, I mean, I don't understand their decision. How can we serve two premium brands? You know, we are Callaway golf, what are we doing with it? I don't do it on the shelf. And Ben Hogan stayed in the closet for seven, eight, nine years. Uh,
Perry Ellis company bought, bought the Ben Hogan brand primarily for a line of apparel. And then I went to them and said, this brand needs to be in hard goods and, and worked out a deal with them to bring the Ben Hogan brand back to hard goods. So we kind of rolled what I had been doing in score wedges. We rolled that into Ben Hogan and, and created a lot of our it's called a Fort or it's a, my design and a line of wedges called the TK 15 of my design and launched the company. And I mean, it was, it was bigger. It was,
it was too big. And I, you know, it was just, things were moving too fast. I made my share of mistakes and, and how I did it and let it go too fast. But you know, and then it, when I left the company after about six months, it went into bankruptcy and then it reemerged as a consumer direct company. Um, but I didn't have anything to do with that. And that's where it is now. I don't know how they're doing this. None of my business, but.
No, that's cool. I mean, it's cool to hear that, like, you know, Terry knows his stuff, you know, like that people, I don't think the best way though, about the podcast. I, people were like, don't know these people behind these brands, right. These stories. And like, and they're like, Holy crap. You know, like, I dunno,
like I'm new to this whole industry. I mean, I love golf, but I more, I learn about products and people as love it, right? Because this is the history of the stories, how things were developed, why they were developed. I had Dean Snell on the show. I learned more in that hour than other ever in my entire life about balls. And I think that that's really cool because you know, what you've learned over the course of your career is now you've moved into Edison wedges, which is phenomenal. Right.
And I think that's really cool because people don't know that they need new edges. Really. They just don't. Well, you know, my approach to golf clubs is, is I'm kind of a heretic, maybe in some respects in that I have a friend who's a long time, really high grade clubs that are, and he has this statement. I'm going to plagiarize it and he'll know if he's listening, but he says the golf ball doesn't know. And the golf ball doesn't know if you're a man or a woman, a senior, a junior, all the golf ball knows doesn't know what brand of irons.
Those are all the golf ball noses. You know, what were the conditions that impact, you know, club, head speed, angle of attack path, you know, where in relation to the, to the sweet spot of that golf club was impact made. And the ball's gonna react to this set of, of, of really inhuman parameters. It doesn't, I mean, you look at the swings on the tour, there's a lot of different ways to get the impact, but for a ball to go perfect. There's only one set of parameters that can be in place. And that is the path and the point of impact and the, and the, the swing, the club head path, the angle of attack all have to be perfect for a perfect not to happen.
And I'm a big believer that I love forge blades. I did, uh, towards blade with Rita Lockhart, early nineties, sort of the first one to ever put some weight out on the toe because that's where forged blades are weak. They're weak towards the toe. I did that with the, with the Fort wordplay that on Sunday when I brought Hogan back, but just to put a little bit of a depression in the back of the golf club, so, Oh, forgiveness into a forged blade, you don't have to go to a sin phase tungsten and all of that stuff. But what I want them to know golf glove is I want pinpoint accuracy. I look my best shots to be absolutely perfect. And I've got a friend of mine who just went off into a set of, of perimeter weighted cavity back RNTs experiment with one of the top brands.
And he says, you know, everyone, I catch a seven iron and it'll go 15 yards further than it than I thought it would. And I sit in real basket with Kevin. He backed off on state. There is a hotspot in that golf course, historically, and to me are in play is all about being pin high. If you're pin high, that you're not going to score the golf course too badly. And you know, if you leave open, it's going to the right perimeter waiting. We'll fix that. If you turn the face over through impact,
it's going to be a snap hook to the left and perimeter waiting. Isn't gonna fix that. Perimeter waiting cannot fix a swing flaw that cannot fix the face angle flaw.
What perimeter weighting can do is give you a, and if you're real forgiveness, if you square the face, the path is good. Everything's good. But you missed the sweet spot a little bit. That's all perimeter weighting and do, and be honest about that. And there's another wedge company that talks about chunks.
So skulls and all that, I'm sorry, I'm a wedge designer. And so are they, and you cannot fix a chunk by the design. You know, the golf club. I can't fix a skull by the design of the golf club. If you hit it, it really doesn't matter what kind of wedge you're playing. And if you lay the sod over the top of it, it really doesn't matter what kind of which are them, but I can help.
Is that okay, just get a little high on the face, a little toward the toe, a little, the heel, a little low. What I'm after is to give you the end result more like the good shot that's right. Really what I can do as a golf club designer. And I'm realistic about that, but, and I know that the Edison wedges do it better than anybody, and that's what they were designed to do. It's why they looked so different as they were designed to give you different performance. You know, it's the old definition of insanity of doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. I mean, you've bought, you know, brand aways, Rambi wedges, brand C wedges, and you think you're still a bad wedge player where you bought the same golf club with three different labels on it. I mean, for 40 years, don't pull,
don't pull the wedges out of your, out of your garage that are 40 years old. And they're not that much different than the ones you just bought last year. Well, you can't get different performance if you don't change the golf. And so that's, to me, you know, tailor made, wasn't afraid to make a, a wood out of metal instead of pursuing and Calloway. Wasn't afraid to double the size of the metal wood and then do it again and do it again. And Carsten, wasn't afraid to introduce the thing, answer in the world of [inaudible] and bullseyes. And you know,
most of the real radical innovations in our industry have come from upstart brands. When you think about it varied. Yeah. All of them, right. I mean, I mean, I don't know that somebody walked into it. It's like, I mean, to you, I can't think of anybody that just like, Oh, Hey man, like, you know, titles wanting to make a ball. Right. And then I don't know, like that's how it started. They wanted to make a better ball and they figured it out.
It's not a lot of time and a lot of money. And I had a lot of smart people and they figured it out. And then the minutes, I think, you know, what's tiles and upside brand. No, but they weren't a golf ball manufacturer. Right. So, you know, and that's what I think is cool about like now is that you can, it's so much easier to bring something to market than it was ever in history.
Right. And so. Because you now have the internet, you can find. Whatever you need. And there's like, you know, communication. And just like, I don't know. I think that's, what's so cool is like you see some of these more, these new innovative brands, whether it's, you know, hardware, you know, hardware, you know, golf clubs or whatever attack or even apparel, whatever it might be. It just kind of cool because now you're able to actually like do it and not spend, you know, and half the time, or, you know, 90% of less at a time.
Yeah. And there's such good quality manufacturing. And you know, we, you still have to know what you're doing, but you know, I think that the, the key is, is you have to set out to solve a problem that really is. And you know, there's a lot of products out there and not just in golf, but everywhere. It's like, well, that's an interesting product, but why would you need it? You know? And so you have to, you know, in my talk to so many people, I've been very blessed to analyze 40,000 golfer profiles in a wedge fitting and golfer share from Andy cap four to handicap 24, they share the same problems.
They don't get consistent distance that their spin is inconsistent. They get balloonings trajectories and their misses come up way short. And so it's like, if everybody has a, you know, 80% of the offers have exact same problems, why don't I go fix those forums? Yeah. Yeah. Because that's what matters, right. It's not like, Oh, we're gonna reinvent the same thing.
I don't like my wedges. That's fine. Nobody's ever made a golf club for everybody. It's never happened in history. Right? No. So tell me about like the different, like, tell me about the wedges.
So is there a different lines of wedges or is it one main wedge design, and then you have different, like, can you tell me more about the Edison? So we created as soon as a forge golf club, I believe that's the right way to make a golf club hit high quality. We make, uh, we introduce lofts, um, from 49 to 59 degrees this year, uh, odd numbers. The reason we do odd numbers is because our club is launching the ball lower it's, it's going further. It's been in more. So, you know, our 51 degree wedge is going to perform out, perform your 50. Um, so, and, and pitching wedges settled in at 45 degrees, it's an odd number loss, or they are the F the old 52 56 60 emerged from 48 degree pitching wedges. Well, yeah, it made sense when pitching wedges for 48 degrees, but they're not 45.
So 52, 56, 60 in wedge loss doesn't make sense anymore. So we do odd numbers. Um, in the spring, we're going to be expanding that line downward. We've already tooled it up and tested them. They're phenomenal pitching wedges of 45 and 47 degrees.
We've added higher loft, lob wedges, 61 to 63, which you know, and, um, I'm personally, I'm not a lob wedge guy. I don't carry high loft wedges, but you know, I've, I've hit them and I've hit them against the yellers. I've had testers that we rely on that are telling me we've done something really special because high loft wedges are hard to handle. I mean,
wedges in general give people trouble all because you know, the head is raped back 45, 50, 55, 60 degrees. You're going to hit a glancing blow with the wedge because of all that long. So, you know, wedges or excuse me, they're very demanding on the golfer that your quality of impact be proper. And I think the number one way to improve your distance, your consistency and everything with your wedge plays to slow down, you know, think of every way, just kind of a soft touch shot and not, it's not like a full ADA hit as hard as you possibly can make there. It's interesting when you look back and, you know, a reference been Ogilvy because he taught me so much through his writing in his book powered off in 1949, he listed all of his yard and just no golf club. The clubs were shorter,
lighter. The ball didn't go as far, but he lifted his, his regular yardage as minimum in this maximum. And, and he showed maximum yards for sandwich of 50. But maximum yards for driver was 300. So the man could have not hit a sandwich over 50 yards. It wasn't like that was the problem. But he wrote in that book,
that around the greens on certain shots, the sandwich can be a very valuable tool. But back then they pitched the ball with a pitching wedge because the pitching wedge was 51 or two degrees. It was about like a gap wedge today. And so the big flange sandwich was a wonderful bunker glove, but there were other shots you could hit with it around the greens, but the modern golfer just instinctively grabs the same words or language for every shot winning Mr. Green. And the sandwich has changed to become a full swing golf club, but the club design didn't change to accommodate full swing performance. It's still very volatile of, you know, low shots hit high on the face that pop up and go into the bunker and in the Creek, the Lake and those kinds of things. So, you know, I think you have to look at what edges is. Again,
we'll go back to that team concept. This is the money and have your set, your wedges, and your butter are going to account for three fists, two thirds of your shots in a round of golf and for play. So you really have to give a lot of attention to those clubs. So what are the price points on? We're $179 was steel shaft, one 94 with graphite we're used at all, uh, KBS shafts. Uh, we use the KBS tour for standard, which deal the KBS tour one Oh five for lightweight steel, uh, KBS two rainy graphite. We build on custom shouts to anybody. If you have a shaft in your orange and your honestly love it, and you want your wedges to match, we'll do that. And we're accustomed company.
So we're about 20 bucks, more than a cached golf club off the rack that was assembled in China from one of the major brands. But you're going to get a forge golf club that is built to your order, your specifications, premium shaft premium grip. If you went to one of the major brands and custom ordered a wedge with our shaft, aren't ripped, you're going to go well over 200, you're still going to get a cast golf club bed. Um, and which we think is inferior. And we know the performance is inferior. That's main thing. You're trying to buy performance. And, and, and we backed everything with a guarantee. If you put them in your bag,
you blamed three or four rounds. If they're not doing what you think that will do, if they're not better than what you've had by all means, send them back. And we'll either try a different chapter. We'll take them back and give you a refund.
I don't want anybody out there with a medicine wedge in their bag. It's not deliriously happy. It's your brand, right? It's not like you're, it's just, you don't want that. Like. And we know the golf love outperforms, the other gloves.
We've proven it on the robot. We've proven it with live golfer testing on multiple monitors. You're going to, if you get the right shaft in it, you're going to see a more penetrating trajectory. You're going to see greatly enhanced. And you're going to see the biggest thing you're going to see. Paul is in that two or three or four rounds of golf, you're going to get away with some shots that you're going to go, wow.
I didn't think that was going to get there. And it really is what wedge play is all about. If you're 94 yards or 114, whatever the number is, you want it to go as close to that distance as possible. Whether you hit it a little thin, a little high on the face, a little of a toe, it's all about distance. At that point, if you pull it or push it, I'm a wedge guy. I can't fix that.
But when I'm out here is to fix your distance so that if you, if you really believe a gap, wedge is a hundred, five yard golf club, then this one's going to go 105 across a bigger area of the face than anybody else's wedge. I mean, I mean, you're right. Point is like teensy weensy, like more than, you know, the SMA or something like just barely estimates, like 160 to 170 bucks. So it's like, it's a little bit more, but then it's like, if you go buy that straight off the rack, you don't have to pick your shaft.
Right? Like, or if you don't like the shaft that's in there and I have to go, it's like, I don't know. I think that's an excellent price point because there's almost like in some, in some ways, almost like semi custom, you know what I mean? Because the person gets to choose what they want. I mean, you have your standard, right. And if they want some other shabby, didn't need to tell you like, Hey, I don't want that shaft. I want this shop. Okay, cool. No worries.
Well, and, and you know, that golf ball is going to have a generic steel shaft in it, you know, a lower grade golf bride grip than what we use the golf, Brian MCC plus four, which is the number one grip in the aftermarket. It costs three times as much as that. But. Yeah, you can't, you're comparing a Ford to a Ferrari, right? Like $10. I mean, the literally it's like, I mean, that's, what's kind of cool. It's like, people don't understand why. Cause I know I didn't like the difference between a more fitted club than a non morbidity club. Right. They think, Oh,
I walk into golf galaxy or I walk into PGA Superstore and you say, Oh, there's a new wedges over there. There's a new driver. And they don't Jack. They don't, they can't tell you anything about it. Like, Oh yeah, that's a new one just came out. It's really great. But they don't, can't tell you anything. I mean, that's why I started my website. I'm like, they don't give you any information, make a decision. He doesn't buy it cause you go, Oh, that's the newest one.
It must be the best one they ever made. So. The biggest difference between the Edison wedges and everybody else's beside performance is if you buy brand a brand B brand C you'll end up the store and buy them and you take them out and play them three or four rounds, and you say, you know, this really isn't doing it for me. Your answer is God, that's got a tough luck. With $600 on something you're never.
Going to use. Let's rework these to get them right for you. If we need to swap the shaft out, you know, because we have people that will order a weds with a certain champ, but they didn't really think about it. And, and what we do, we have a, uh, an experience on our website called wedge fit. That takes you through it in a derogation of fortune and exchange of information. So we will learn about your balls light. What kind of orange,
a plan, what kind of Shafter plan we want you to get the right. Some wedges, not just a, some wedges. They need to be the right, which you know, the ones that are right for you may not be right for me at all.
And loft and Shap and link them aligned goal. And you know, we think all those things are, we know for a fact, all those things have to be right. If we're going to optimize performance. No, I think it's just cool. I mean, I really do, like, I mean, to be able,
like I said, in the beginning of the podcast, people would just forget about the wedge, right? It's just, when you go by like a set of club, let's say, you go, you know, here it is, you go, you go to the store, you buy a set of clubs. It's like, it's like a, it's all a cart. Right? You buy the irons you buy, which may or may not come with a wedge. Right. You buy a driver and now you're like, what else do I buy? Right. And like, Oh, it's one of these, okay. That's actually that's scenario one,
scenario two is you get fitted, but they don't come with wedges, but they do. It's like, Oh yeah, these are the wedge that kind of come with these fitted clubs. But you know, it's like, it's such a big difference getting the right fit for you because every everybody's different. We're not all role. You all don't play the same. We're all on the same handicap, you know, good, bad and different. Doesn't matter really what it is. But it's like being able to actually find the right product that actually helps your game is what it comes down to. Right. And that's like,
I think it was one of the problems with the industry is that there's a lot of noise and a lot of money sort of marketing. And then people will just buy because they think it's the right one and they don't know any better. And they only play four times a month and they think they're cool because they have a cool branded, you know, they think right. And then next year something new comes out. Oh, so our, I just,
that's what I like what you guys are doing. I don't really know of any other brands that are doing this right now, to be honest. I mean, that's, that's, what's so cool because people can actually get a wedge that can help their game. And that's, that's all, it really matters at this point. You know, I've been around tour players in my life.
I work with tour players in my life and you know, I just, that's not what motivates me, what motivates me and really makes all of this worthwhile starting a new company, being in the West business is when somebody writes us back and says, Holy cow, my wedge game is better than ever. You know, I went down from a 12 to a nine, you know, and I mean, to me, that's the core of our whole golf population is we want to get better and we're willing to go spend the time and the money to pursue getting better. I want to deliver a golf club. That's going to help you in that pursuit. And if it doesn't help in the pursuit,
send it back. I don't want to be in your bag going. I wish I wouldn't have bought those. I don't want that with anybody. And I have the luxury of both patients and we're small. And if anybody wants to talk to me, they can call and talk to me and, you know, write my blog every week. They want to interact with me on my blog. We can do that. We have several thousand people, we read my blog and I'm always sharing things. I've learned in this 40 years,
adventure in the golf industry. And I've been a student of the game. My dad was real big on encouraging us all to, if you're going to get into something and be a student of it, whether it's bird hunting or saltwater, fishing, fly fishing, you know, golf balls, if you're going to get into something and be a student of it. And so I, you know, had the opportunity to augment my love of playing the game of golf with a knowledge of how the industry works and how the golf clubs work and what they can and can't do. I mean, I, you know, I mean I'm 68 going on 40. I feel like.
And, and I just thoroughly enjoying this ride and being able to do this for golfers and whisk offers. Oh, that's really cool. I'm going to have to, like, I like what you guys are doing. It's, it's very, it's, what's needed, you know, and I think that's, what's important right now is people understand that there are other options out there that actually can help their game and that they don't have to listen to the hype. You know what I mean? And, uh, so I just wanna say thank you for being on the show today. I really appreciate it. Um, I know we've been talking back and forth, actually.
We're going to be reviewing some Edison wedges. He's in the process of building a home for, um, both Damon and I, so I can't wait to play those bad boys. Um, so be sure to look out, you know, really a boxing video and the review in the coming months. And, uh, I just wanna say, thank you again, Terry, for being on the show and, uh, you guys can please check out Edison wedges. And like you said,
you can contact Terry too. Like Terry will talk to you. They'll help you figure out the right wedge for you. And if you want, I mean, really think about strokes. You can save, right. I mean it's needed in the marketplace right now.
So thank you again for being on the show. Well, thank you for the, always a pleasure talking about what we're doing and talking about dolphin. Thanks for taking me back on that little history of how I got started this crazy game. That's I'm gonna start naming that segment time machine with Terry. I like it. You take care. Thank you. Thank you, Paul. Appreciate it. Thanks for listening to another episode of behind the golf brand podcast, you're going to beat me like stay connected on and off the show by visiting golfers authority.com. Don't forget to like subscribe and leave a comment.
Golf is always more fun when you're winning, stay out of the beach and see you on the green.