We attended the PXG store opening in Dallas to get a glimpse of Bob Parsons’ evolving business strategy | Golf equipment: clubs, balls, bags

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When the PXG store opened last week in Dallas, there were seven Super Bowls, three Grammys, and nine major championships taking place in a crowd that looked like a room full of other people’s money. But everyone from silver-haired singles to Met Gala fashionistas were there to see the man whose baritone barks resonate more in the Golf Channel shows than Rich Lerner or Brandel Chamblee. PXG Founder and CEO (and Commercial Voice Over Specialist) Bob Parsons was there to christen the company’s 11th standalone store and celebrate what he called his company’s ‘overly simplistic’ game plan to succeed.

“The formula is just this: we are [blanked] in many ways, but our mantra is that we are going to be less [blanked] up tomorrow. So we’re working on it, ”said Parsons, before exchanging handshakes and hugs with Terry Bradshaw, Emmitt Smith, Darius Rucker and Gary Player, all proud of PXG-ers in town for the event, which also included a fashion show for ever – the expansion of the PXG line of upscale clothing curated by Parson’s wife, Renee, whom her husband said “is coming like a freight train.”

“We are focusing on two things. We focus on the product. And we focus on what people think about it. The last thing we focus on is what makes sense from a P&L point of view, because unless the first two are good, well, I can give you the answer to the other.

The story of the PXG golf company has been told in every media imaginable because, well, it’s Parsons’ unvarnished approach that intrigues even the most jaded columnist. This strategy is akin to a more calculated Crazy Eddie, an equally confident but stronger Ely Callaway, and that’s probably why PXG is opening so many standalone stores for its brand. Plans call for 24 by the end of next year, including possible additional international locations in Europe.

The change means that PXG clubs have gone from being the darling of high-end independent installers, which is how the brand initially established their good faith in luxury items, to a combination of limited but heavily external retailing. controlled with direct-to-consumer sales, leaving many top installers as well as large traditional golf retailers with little to no PXG activity.

It also means, oddly enough, that PXG clubs now sell at the high end (irons that can be priced at $ 400 a stick) as well as at prices less than half that of many competitors (pilots 0211 can now be purchased for $ 229 on PXG.com). Parsons said in an interview ahead of the start of last week’s festivities that the company has been operating since the early days of the pandemic. “We were closed for only five days, and when we saw early on where it was heading, we doubled and tripled our orders. [for grips and shafts]He said, later adding that PXG finally paid off an $ 8 million PPP loan because “other companies that couldn’t get it as easily as we could need it.”

It also helps that Parsons’ net worth is estimated at $ 2.7 billion and that among its “17 companies” is YAM Capital which is described as “the largest private lender in [Arizona, home of PXG headquarters and all of Parsons’ businesses]. “

While data on PXG’s current sales is not publicly available, and Golf Datatech’s tracking suggests its sales are a third of what they were four years ago, this does not include feeds from direct revenue to consumers and stand-alone stores from PXG. Unsurprisingly, Parsons suggests the numbers are significantly higher and make his brand a major player. The pricing philosophy is one of them, he said.

“Honestly, we shaped it after what Mercedes does with its AMG and also its E-Class,” he said without the slightest hint of hyperbole in his tone. “When you go from a high-end market to a low market, it’s much more achievable than if you try to go from a low market to a high market. It is almost impossible. I’ll give you the $ 100,000 Volkswagen.

“PXG’s business was good, so what I did to take advantage of it was cut prices. By lowering the prices, we’ve given more people a reason to try it and a reason to buy it, ”he said. “What happened was all the other guys moved to get closer to us, so we went right below them.”

Parsons likes to say that the awards and the commercials with him shouting “kaboom baby” are really about embracing a new audience, as is the trippy, hip hop version of the national anthem that kicked off the Dallas store opening celebration. in a business park in Plano (“We haven’t changed the words,” Parsons pointed out before introducing Kalvin Bishop’s interpretation. “We just added a little rhythm.”)

“The idea is that we do this to excite and recharge our customers. There’s an old saying: you can shear a sheep multiple times, but you can only skin it once. It’s not an original, by the way.

Is it that new hybrid PXG, playing forcefully in a way and distribution strategy that no other major golf brand has adopted? Parsons always has something up his sleeve (but the first reading here won’t just be another foray into the high end of the market as Parsons, like every other golf CEO, has read the latest participation reports detailing the influx. new golfers to the game). While he doesn’t think his business model marks the end of traditional golf retailing (“there is too much money at stake, and there are a lot of state-owned companies involved,” he said. he said), Parsons likes the positioning of PXG.

And then just when you think you’ve figured out Parsons, he leaves you with a quote from Scripture, Luke 9:49.

“This is the one where the apostles come to Jesus and say Jesus, there is a man on the road who heals people in your name but he is not one of us. Should we go and arrest him? And Jesus said to leave him alone. If he is not against us, he is for us. This is my philosophy.

“You didn’t think I would quote the Scriptures to you, did you? Well, in all honesty, this is the only one that I know of.

Parsons wasn’t necessarily suggesting he was the man on the road in this scenario. Or even Jesus.

But the symbolism in the context of the current atmosphere of the golf industry seems significant, at least as significant as a titanium driver at $ 229.

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