Billionaire GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons has always bought the most expensive golf clubs he could find. Now he's started making them himself.
In April, Parsons launched Parsons Xtreme Golf, which sells high-performance clubs that come with a record price tag: $5,000 for a 14-club set, nearly twice the cost of the other priciest clubs on the market. Why so much?
Rather than go head-to-head with golf companies like Callaway, TaylorMade, and Titleist by introducing competitively priced clubs, Parsons took an unorthodox approach to product design: spare no expense to make the highest quality clubs possible, then worry about the price later.
Leading the design team at PXG are former Ping senior product designer Mike Nicolette and co-designer Brad Schweigert. A former PGA Tour player, Nicolette spent 23 years at Ping, while Schweigert had been Ping's director of engineering since 2001 when he joined PXG last August.
"Their only charter was to make the best clubs that have ever been made," Parsons tells Inc., adding that his decades-long search for the perfect set is what led him to start the company. "I've spent about a quarter of a million dollars on clubs, so I can tell you whose clubs seem to perform the best."
So what makes Parsons's sticks worth the price? They have what Parsons says is thinnest face in golf (58 thousandths of an inch), which helps increase ball speed. "We found a special [type of] steel that is very resilient, and we use that as the face," he says.
The clubs also include interchangeable tungsten screws on the sole of the drivers, allowing players to adjust the settings "for maximum distance and accuracy," according to the company. The heavier tungsten creates a lower center of gravity that gives the golf ball a consistent high launch off the club face.
While asking golfers to pay a serious premium might sound like a tough sell, Parsons is confident that the market for $5,000 clubs exists.
"I need to sell 1,000 sets per month to make a good profit," he says, adding that he thinks there are close to a million potential customers worldwide. So far, PXG has nearly $700,000 in total sales. The clubs are sold primarily at Scottsdale National, the private golf club Parsons owns in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Cool Clubs, an independent club fitting organization with 16 locations in six countries. Consumers can also contact PXG directly to order through the website.
Pro golfers who are already under contract with PXG include Ryan Moore, who has been using nine of the company's clubs on the PGA Tour and is ranked 33rd in the world. Parsons says he hopes to one day have a pro tournament sponsored by PXG.
Although some entrepreneurs might view PXG as a billionaire's passion project that has little chance of reaching profitability, Parsons says he has every intention of building the company into a successful enterprise.
"Everything I do is a passion project," he says.