One of the things that fascinates me the most about the golf business, and there is a lot, is that even golf teachers and golf professionals don’t understand the avenues available through the big name original equipment manufacturers to acquire the correct equipment without buying thousands of dollars of poorly matched equipment. It is an established fact that, through years of research by many different research firms, that the average golf consumer has a ”golf budget”: greens fees, lessons, and equipment. Golf teaching professionals that do not help their students get the right equipment are unwittingly hurting their own business. How? Very simple. When the average golfer buys a mass-produced golf club that doesn’t work with their swing and ball flight, they are wasting a good chunk of their golf budget. Once again, through research, we know that these “off-the-rack golfers” don’t take that many lessons. So, the answer is very simple, and most long-term teachers know this. If they don’t buy the right equipment, they buy more clubs. Hooray for the massive corporations; bad news for the teaching professional. That fourth driver in the last year that Joe Golfer bought could have been spent on instruction. Now, not everyone would spend that on lessons, but a surprising majority would. Personally, I can tell you honestly there were hundreds of times over the years students would pay for a series a lessons after a club fitting session with me, relieved at finding the correct equipment and the specs that worked with their swing and ball flight. They spent that extra golf money with ME! Not for the third set of irons in six months at the mammoth golf retail store. It’s the same as you may have heard about the large casinos in Vegas. How do you think they got so big? The most pressing problem is that even golf professionals don’t know that every OEM has a custom department in their assembly facility. Two companies, Ping and Mizuno, generate 80% of their sales through their custom department. Basically, iron sets, drivers, wedges, hybrids, and even putters are assembled two ways, not counting the tour department that takes care of the obvious. One of the components, and the most profitable one, for all companies is the component of the company that produces one type of shaft, one lie angle, one length, one static weight, one swing weight, one loft, one grip size and one set makeup – the dreaded “off-the-rack” set: mass-produced, boxed up and sent to the large big box stores to sell off the shelf to the uneducated golfer by the uneducated retail clerk. Or, even worse, by the uninformed golf professional. One of the worst things about these clubs is the inexpensive and poorly designed “stock” shafts used. Of course, among other things, they just have one-size-fits-all specifications. Let me ask you something. Have you ever seen two identical golf swings? Same path and face angle? Same angle of attack, same tempo? Same club head speed? Same toe deflection? Take all of those variables and mix them up. Are you serious? Do you really think there are two golfers that have all of those variables exactly the same? The other component of the OEMs’ manufacturing occurs in the custom department. To the average golfer, this sounds expensive, right? Wrong. Most OEMs offer no-charge shaft upgrades on many shafts. For example, one of the largest companies in the history of the golf equipment industry offers five different aftermarket shafts on all of their iron sets for FREE. You could fit you your students to a different lie, different loft, upgraded aftermarket shafts that fits them better (and better quality, by the way), different size grip, and the cost would be…FREE! Yes, that’s right, for those that don’t know. All the OEMs offer no-extra-charge custom-made clubs, woods, irons, putters, and hybrids through their CUSTOM department. Some OEMs charge a minimal amount for some shafts, $3 to $10 per club. All other specs, including grip size, are FREE. Do they make the same profit on the custom department sets? Of course not. That’s why they don’t advertise it. Even the sales reps push off-the-rack clubs at demo days. Educate yourself. Educated your golfer. Sell more series, and at the same time, make your golfer better by helping them get better-fit equipment. They will be grateful, and you will be a better teaching professional. The massive-size conglomerates will make a little less profit. So, the star tour player gets 8 mil this year instead of 9 mil. Do you really care? I know your student won’t.