Dollar Driver Club – Key Takeaways:
- Dollar Driver Club is a different way to buy your next driver.
- For $30 per month, you can test drive up to three new drivers a year.
- If you like one, you can buy it for the difference between full retail and your 12-month membership fee.
The Dollar Driver Club is the answer to a question you probably never thought to ask.
It could also be a solution to a problem you never knew you had.
The Dollar Driver Club is the brainchild of Tyler Mycoskie, a self-proclaimed golf club junkie. And it’s taken Tyler’s unique blend of business sense and good old-fashioned chutzpah to get it off the ground. As you read this, you may scratch your head or you may roll your eyes. Or you may reach for your credit card. At the very least, the Dollar Driver Club just might make you rethink the way you buy drivers.
Or it might not. But if you think this idea is just a flash in the pan, you’re very sadly mistaken.
The Dollar Driver Club: What Is It?
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could actually play a driver for a year before buying it?
And after that year, if you didn’t like it, you could just give it back to the store and try a different one?
I know. Crazy talk, right?
“For years, I’d buy a driver based on mass marketing,” says Mycoskie, the owner, founder, head honcho and driving force behind Dollar Driver Club. “I’d go to the store and buy the new TaylorMade every year. Some years it would work well for me and some years it wouldn’t.”
Sure, we cynics love kvetching about new drivers and all the marketing hype. But don’t count Mycocski among our ranks. Every year he’s like a kid in a candy store. “I like new stuff. I like getting new stuff and I like going to the range and working on my game with shiny new toys.”
The problem? All those shiny new toys were getting expensive.
“I come from a family of entrepreneurs and I had some money from a previous business. So, I decided to put my money where I thought the golf industry needed to be. And that’s allowing golfers the ability to always have the latest and greatest equipment without a price tag that breaks the bank.”
That’s when Mycoskie decided to kick the old golf club-buying paradigm right in the ol’ ham and eggs and offer up something different.
How Does Dollar Driver Club Work?
The idea behind Dollar Driver Club is simple. For $30 and change a month or for a one-time annual fee of $365, you get to try up to three brand-new drivers over the course of 12 months.
Say you decide to take the plunge this afternoon and you pay your full fee. You go to the Dollar Driver Club website and pick the 2021 driver you want. Let’s say it’s MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Callaway Epic Max LS with a stiff HZRDUS Smoke IM 60 shaft.
In a couple of days, it shows up at your door. Then you go play golf.
After three months, maybe you start thinking the LS isn’t working for you. This is where being part of the “club” kicks in. You go back to the Dollar Driver Club website and pick the COBRA RADSPEED XD with a Fujikura Motore X F1 shaft.
In two days, that driver shows up along with a pre-paid shipping label to send the Callaway back.
“With your membership fee, you have access to three brand-new drivers over the course of your 12-month membership,” says Mycoskie. “And you also have the ability for unlimited shaft swaps (from the OEM no-upcharge shaft stable) at no additional charge.”
At the end of the year, if you really dig the driver you’ve wound up with, you can buy it at full retail price. However, since you’ve already paid $365, you’d just pay the balance between that and the driver’s original retail price.
For example, if you like the RADSPEED, you’d pay the balance of $84 at the end of your 12-month membership.
So, what’s the catch? There’s gotta be a catch, right?
If It Sounds Too Good to Be True…
Yeah, we know, we know—it probably is.
“In our first six months of business, the No. 1 hurdle we had was legitimacy,” admits Mycoskie. “It was literally people thinking this was too good to be true.”
He cites one skeptic who saw a Dollar Driver Club ad on Facebook and was convinced it was a scam. That skeptic has now been a member for four years.
“It’s something that hasn’t been offered in the golf space before and it really needed to be,” says Mycoskie. “It’s really just a new way of doing things.”
Therein may lie the rub. We’ve tried—believe me, we’ve tried—to find a catch, downside, doubletalk or angle. The only one we can come up with is that it’s a new and very, very different way to buy a driver. And, as a subspecies, golfers are notoriously open-minded and willing to try anything new.
As long as their fathers or grandfathers tried it first.
COVID, however, altered those rules a bit.
“We were lucky,” says Mycoskie. “We had inventory last spring when many retailers didn’t. We purchase directly from the manufacturer, warehouse it and send it out ourselves.”
Dollar Driver Club manages its own supply chain and never sends out used equipment. Even when you send back a used driver, you get a new, unhit and fully warrantied one back. In fact, Dollar Driver Club carries no used inventory at all.
“We partner with a secondhand retailer,” says Mycoskie. “They purchase all our used equipment. When you decide to turn in a driver, we send you a prepaid shipping label that sends the used driver directly to our secondhand retailer. They pay us for that.”
“In the past, I’ve been bit by marketing. I’d go buy a new driver without getting custom fit and, all of a sudden, I’d be hitting it 10 yards shorter because it wasn’t right for me. But I’d hold on to it for the season because I’d already spent that money.”
MyGolfSpy is a staunch advocate of custom fitting and Mycoskie says his first driver fitting was both eye-opening and game-changing. However, most golfers still buy “off the rack.” Short of custom-fitting, a several-month-long on-course trial might be the next best thing.
And you can try every shaft in the OEM’s no-upcharge lineup if you want.
“The golfer is getting the chance to try three different drivers and multiple shaft options over the course of 12 months,” Mycoskie says. “At the end of the year, he can buy it and winds up paying no more than what he would have paid for the driver if he had bought it 12 months ago.”
Dollar Driver Club doesn’t offer exotic shaft upgrades—that’s something they’re looking into—but if you have been fitted into a high-end aftermarket shaft, you’re not S.O.L.
“We do offer the ability to receive just the driver head from us,” Mycoskie says. “If you’ve been playing TaylorMade and you have the shaft you’ve been using, we can just send you the new SIM2 head.”
Dollar Driver Club doesn’t offer every driver under the sun but it does have all the Big Five’s current hits. That covers a good 90 percent of the market.
“We have the product that has demand,” says Mycoskie. “We might bring back Mizuno this year and we’ve been in talks with PXG.”
“Yeah, But What About….”
Yep, this is different. And you no doubt have questions.
For example, what happens if the driver breaks?
According to Mycoskie, that’s where membership has its advantages. The Dollar Driver Club takes care of everything.
“We had a member who was in Hilton Head last summer. He broke his driver on a Friday so we overnighted him a new driver with a prepaid shipping label. He got his new driver on Saturday and we dealt directly with TaylorMade.”
If you lose the driver or it gets stolen, well, it’s the same as if it had been your own driver. You have to replace it.
OK, what if 12 months go by and you don’t like any of the drivers you’ve tried?
The good news is you’re not stuck with any of them. You’ve spent $365 to basically lease three different drivers. After 12 months, you’re free and clear. You won’t have a driver but you won’t have any obligations, either.
If you traditionally trade in your old driver to help pay for a new one, the math works out to be pretty much a wash.
Instead of buying an Epic Max for $530 this spring and then getting maybe $165 trade-in next spring, you pay $365 to use the Epic Max for the year. Twelve months later, if you want to keep it, pay $165 and it’s yours. If you don’t, send it back.
Do you like selling your stuff on eBay or Craigslist to fund your next go-round? You can still buy the club at the end of the year and do what you want with it.
Maybe the only catch is if an OEM discounts a current model driver for some reason, you’re still responsible for the full, original retail price.
The Youngest Child Syndrome
Tyler Mycoskie is 37 and, if you studied psychology, it should come as no surprise that he’s the youngest sibling in his entrepreneurial family (older brother Blake is the founder of Tom’s Shoes).
Psychologists have known for decades that birth order affects personality and behavior. Specifically, the youngest child is often highly confident, creative and unafraid to try risky things.
Like, oh, start the Dollar Driver Club.
“Everybody has hit a driver at the store, bought it and then taken it out on the course only to find it doesn’t perform the same,” says Mycoskie. “That buyer’s remorse is one of the worst feelings in the world and there’s no need for anyone to feel that way when it comes to golf.”
Coincidently, psychologists also say the youngest child is also quite persuasive and very good at problem-solving.
Dollar Driver Club: Worth a Try?
Now that you’ve read this piece, how are you feeling about the Dollar Driver Club? Any paradigm-shifting initiative—or, in this case, paradigm-blasting initiative—is sure to have its detractors. Armchair critics, however, have the luxury of criticizing from the comfort of those armchairs. The pioneers, as Teddy Roosevelt might say, are the ones “in the arena.”
Tyler Mycoskie and his Dollar Driver Club are in their fourth year in the arena, and so far, so good. There certainly appears to be an appetite for it.
There are three types of golfers who probably aren’t Dollar Driver Club candidates. First is the golfer who refuses to buy clubs through anything but traditional channels, be that a retail store or through a local fitter. This internet thing? Get off my grass.
Next is the golfer who prides himself on buying at a discount during year-end liquidations. But even that golfer has a decision to make.
“The truth of the matter is that product is going to be marked down to maybe $399 at best,” says Mycoskie. “And you have to wait till the end of the product’s life cycle. With us, you get it at the start of your golf season and you’re paying less upfront ($365 versus $399).”
If you keep the club, you will wind up paying original retail but at least you’ve had the luxury of playing it for an entire season to make sure it’s right for you.
And, finally, there’s the golfer who is perfectly happy buying drivers the way he always has and sees no reason to change. For that golfer, the status quo remains.
So now it’s your turn, GolfSpies. What do you think of Dollar Driver Club? Is this something you’ll consider when it’s time to get a new driver?
For more information, visit DollarDriverClub.com.
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