Taking on the club manufacturers...

This is a foolish idea but I would value opinions please. I am not a business man so feel free to shout crazy…

How much would it cost to build a new set of forged muscleback irons? Independent of the big company stuff…

What are the stages in doing this? I’m guessing at …

1. Design

CAD designed concept - Resin model - master - Tooling - prototypes

2. Production

Forging -grinding - chrome - decorative finishing

3. Distribution

So , from design computer to factory to doorstep…

1. Design

A) I imagine that you can spend unlimited amounts at each and every step… but keeping it simple… limit design to copying an old classic forged model… pick your favourite 1950/60s MacGregor or Hogan or Wilson… maybe use the computer to updtae the COG location a little …I am assuming that the designs are no longer under patent?? I am not a lawyer either so forgive me if I am wrong on that… but there must be a time limit to the patent on design - no??

I can’t believe that it is too costly to reverse-engineer a design from these classics - 3 D scan …convert to CAD model… 3D print a resin model…

B) Then use CAD program to CNC mill your forging dyes… this seems to be the most expensive bit in development… in 2009 Tom Wishon quoted:

“The other thing that killed forging houses in the US was the cost of US made forging dies. US toolmakers asked more than 2x the money to make the dies vs what the off shore toolmakers would charge. For even the big companies, who are all faced with the reality that their forged irons are not going to sell nearly as many units as their cast models, looking at $100+K vs $45K for your tooling and then 25% lower per piece costs made that a fairly easy decision - especially when the off shore forging houses developed the production quality too.”

2. Production

A run of 1000 forged sets… I have no idea how much profit is made at each stage…but given a new set of forged irons might retail at $900… i guess there has to be enough profit for the retailer and manufacturer…maybe about 100% at each stage??

So manufacturing cost is $250 per set of 9 irons…sells to retailer at $500…who sells to Joe Public at $900-1000

Sorry if those figures are way off …I am looking for help here :slight_smile:

3. Distribution

Well - to get the Wishon prices we got to use the same forging house he does in Taiwan ( I think it moved from West China to Taiwan)…so we have to get product to doorsteps… might not be to hard if we use a few centralised hubs on each continent and all clubs are pre- sold to the investing stock-holders… BUt it is going to be $50-100 per set max??

[size=150]Costs [/size]

1. Design

I am guessing at $10,000 to get CAD design?? and $50,000 for the forging dyes (inflation post Wishon quote) = $60,000

2. Production

1000 sets at $250 each = $250,000

3. Distribution

1000 sets at $100 each = $100,000

Sub-Total = $410,000

Additional (unexpected) costs = $90,000

$500,000 total.

[size=150]HOW do we pay for it…[/size]

250 investors ($400 dollars each) = $100,000 - covers design / creation of forging dyes / downpayment with forging house in Taiwan…

Each investor buys 4 sets of irons at $250 = $1000 and with 250 investors = $250,000

SO total raised so far = $350,000 and we have 4 sets of new irons sitting in the factory in taiwan.

Assuming the remaining costs are transport and emergency fund …each investor needs to find another $600 (250x$600 = $150,000 hence making our cool half million $) …some of which they might get back if transport and additional expenses are not incurred…

SO total investment for each investor = $2000 - for which they receive 4 sets of irons delivered to their doorstep.

It would not be unreasonable for an investor to keep 1 set and sell the other 3 sets…

If they sold at $500 each (heads only… still less than retail) then each investor would get to keep a set of 1 in a 1000 limited edition classic blades for final cost of $500 heads only…

…add in your shaft and ferrule and grips = $700… we are talking alot less than Miura!! and still alot less than retail Callaway/ mizuno…

shop.pgatoursuperstore.com/clubs … .aspx?gd=1

Possible people to make this happen:

endo-mfg.co.jp/en/contents/t … index.html

I saw somebody post a similar breakdown of how they might create a wound balata ball…and the costs just did not work out no matter how many balls you requested…

BUT creating a a few TRGA approved classic irons seems to be not unreasonable…

[size=150]What might be tricky…?
… (but not impossible)

FInding 250 investors who can agree on :

  • Which design to go for… which classic to copy
  • Which garde of metal to forge with …1020…1035 etc
  • What finish - chrome , satin…

Any thoughts? Thanks :slight_smile:

I think the CAD part is the easy part. The rest could be really difficult, especially getting 250 people to throw that much money at it and agree on how to spend it.

Agree on the CAD bit - I am guessing that it would be far cheaper to achieve the production stage in a cast club rather than forged - but then you would miss out on the real concept (even though it might be hard to tell the difference according to most cast versus forged tests)…

In the age of internet there are alot more people out there in touch with each other than ever before… I don’t think we should run from the 250 number too much…

It doesn’t work out expensive if each investor can find 3 others who will buy the finished product… or have a low risk means of disposing of the extra sets at cost prices…

Even within just the USA - 50 states… so just need 5 people in each state to act as investors…

Some guy on Yahoo answers stated in 2006
"As of December 31, 2005, there were 16,052 facilities, 11,680 of which were open to the public. A facility is a complex containing at least one golf course.
The states with the most golf facilities are as follows:
Florida (1,075)
California (928)
Texas (848)
Michigan (843)
New York (824) "

1 investor for every 5 courses in FLorida
1 Investor for every 5 courses in California

…or that means that with a mean of 300 courses in each state (approx)… we need 5 people in each state…1 crazy person out of 60 golf clubs …and they would need a means of selling to 3 equally crazy people … that may not be too hard…I mean you could find 500 people happy to give a dollar for a raffle ticket… winner gets one of the 3 extra sets of irons… you could sell one to your local pro shop as a classic set of irons to attract a bit of attention in the shop window… you could organise a tournament at your course with the clubs as a prize (small entry fee to cover your costs) etc…you could use ebay… alot of means of disposing of the extra iron sets…

It is possible with those numbers… if the club design chosen were iconic enough… such that the original 250 investors had less to argue about… so there lies the problem… what club??

… maybe…

  • The exact irons Hogan used for his 1953 triple Major winning year

  • Classic Nicklaus MacGregor irons (the ones he actually used rather than the ones with his name on them)

  • Tiger’s old Mizunos

  • Some universally reverred beautiful design which is rare to find …and even those sets you see are usually in collectors “non-playing” displays… ie. develop a set of something that we should be playing with but they are all currently kept behind glass display cases…

Any thoughts on iconic clubs for this experiment?

Any comments on the numbers?

If you wanted something totally custom like this, Scratch Golf would be the place. Could get the grind done by Don White too.

Thanks - I know about Scratch… but they are still part of the system… confused marketing claims from what I have heard about the type of metal they do or don’t use in their forgings…

golftoimpress.com/scratch-go … t-results/

…admittedly there may be commercial interests on both sides for that argument…so hard to tell where the truth lies…

and they are still involved in the payment of endorsements…

What I am proposing is different… I am talking truly independent…never been done before…by the people …for the people…

It would be a fun undertaking. I don’t think it is coincidence that the greatest strikers evolved from an age when the finest gear was made. The feel aspect and the physics of mass have been overlooked for a long time. I don’t know of any modern head designs that are putting enough weight into the heads. Light shafts should just be moving the mass into the head, not making the overall club lighter. Assuming you want to hit the ball straight, properly setting up your gear can be very advantageous to good ball striking.

That’s what I’m talking about…fun and better golf clubs!

Just to show the big corporation guys that it can be done… keep them on their toes… :slight_smile: …fun

But to be involved in resurrecting an apparent golfing design dinosaur …priceless.

i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt26 … ter001.jpg

In 2013, it will be 60 years since this letter was written… I’m not sure any current big manufacturer CEO would or could write such an open and honest letter nowadays…