Bridgestone: The “Other” Big Golf Company
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Bridgestone: The “Other” Big Golf Company

Bridgestone: The “Other” Big Golf Company

Do me a favor, would you?

It won’t take long. It’ll be really easy and might be kinda fun.

First, grab yourself a pen and some paper. That’s part one.

And now for part two: Could you list for me the top 5 things you truly can’t stand about the big OEM’s in golf? I mean, what really pisses you off?

angry

You know what I’m talking about – the stuff that makes you fire up the ol’ laptop and let the world know you’re mad as hell, and you’re not going to take it anymore. It could be the promise of stupid-long distance, or maybe it’s this week’s driver of the decade.

Write ‘em down.

Is your blood boiling? Good.

Told you this would be fun.

Now hold on to that list as you continue to read. As you go, I want you to check off each one of your grievances as it comes up. I’m willing to wager that, if you’re completely honest, you’ll be surprised by how few you will have ticked off by the time we’re done here.

Now, with that as your mission, let’s look into the life and times of Bridgestone Golf.

Rubber Barons

Some quick facts for your consideration:

  • Bridgestone is really big – nearly $32.5 Billion in sales worldwide
  • That’s twice as big as adidas, and $2 Billion more in sales than Nike
  • Founded in 1931, made first golf balls in 1935, first clubs in 1972
  • World’s #1 tire manufacturer, surpassing Michelin in 2014
  • World’s #1 maker of all things rubber, and not by a little
  • Purchased Firestone in 1988
  • Produced first golf balls in the US in 1990, under Precept brand name
  • Bridgestone Golf brand established in the US in 2005
  • Tour Pros include Snedeker, Kuchar, Couples, Creamer, Webb and Lewis
  • Tires are 84% of worldwide sales
  • Remaining 16% is from Diversified Products – conveyor belts, hydraulic hoses, rubber tracks, automotive polyurethane foam, seismic isolators, bicycles and…
  • Golf balls and golf clubs

img_1931_01

But while Bridgestone corporate is approaching its 85th birthday, Bridgestone Golf in North America can be considered pre-pubescent at only 10 years old. Want a kicker? In Japan Bridgestone Golf is barely a toddler, only a 2 year old brand.

Say What? 

More on that later.

“Other”

If you were to look up Bridgestone’s market share for equipment in the US and Canada, you’d find it perpetually listed under “other.”

“Bridgestone views itself as a small, boutique brand in the US,” says Bridgestone’s Golf Club Marketing Manager, Josh Kinchen. “We offer high end, premium clubs with a focus on forged irons. We’re not for everyone, and we’re okay with that.”

So a $32.5 Billion company is okay with “other?”

“We’re never going to be a company that just releases product, with no real benefits over the previous product, just to hit specific sales goals. There are quite a few companies out there like that, but that’s not us. We want to grow year over year, and doing that slowly and steadily is more sustainable than making a big one-year splash. Too often that big spike is followed by a big loss. We don’t want to do that.” –Josh Kinchen

Well, there’s slow and steady, and then there’s glacier-like. But four years without releasing any new product? That kind of hiatus usually says “Nothing to see here. Move along.”

In Bridgestone’s case, the four year break meant something else entirely.

2011 – 2015: The Wonder Years

Back in 2011, Bridgestone gave us the very well-received J40 series of irons and woods (MyGolfspy loved them all, especially the driver). And then?

Crickets. Right up until 2015.

Those were the Wonder Years, as in “I wonder what the hell happened to Bridgestone?”

Well, they weren’t asleep at the wheel. Quite the opposite, in fact.

For years Bridgestone dominated the golf equipment market in Asia – Japan in particular – under the brand name Tour Stage. Japan is the 2nd largest golf market in the world, and Tour Stage was, year in and year out, a top 2 or 3 brand in both balls and equipment.

TourStage-705-Irons

In other words, it was a Golden Goose.

But in 2014 the Tour Stage name went away, a victim of Global Branding. The parent company killed off Tour Stage in order to unify its global golf business under a single brand name: Bridgestone Golf.

“It was at least 3 or 4 years in the making to change the Tour Stage name to Bridgestone Golf worldwide. It was a difficult decision but a strategic one. Bridgestone Golf globally is a very important piece of the Bridgestone business, mainly because we talk to a very premium consumer. We’re a $32.5 Billion organization and the #1 rubber manufacturer in the world. But having disjointed brands across the world is just not ideal in really telling our story.” – Corey Consuegra, Bridgestone Director of Marketing.

Tour stage 1

So the 4-year product cycle here in the US was basically a byproduct of the Asian brand unification. The Japanese golf market may very well be in more of a decline than the US market, so growth there means taking a bite out of someone else’s apple. If you’re in a market share dogfight, it’s to your advantage to have the biggest dog in the fight.

And if your dog is named Bridgestone, you might as well let the big dog eat.

“We Sell The Truth Here”

So, we have one of the world’s largest companies holding the position of bit-player in the world’s largest golf market, while rebranding a leading seller in the world’s 2nd largest golf market.

And the same company just closed up shop in the world’s fourth largest golf market, the UK.

“Nothing we do here is simple,” says Kinchen, in what may be the understatement of the year. “In our ball fittings, we could fit everyone into one of our two premium priced balls. That’s simple. It’s not right, but it’s simple.”

Bridgestone Ball fitting -1

Doing right by the customer is a recurring theme with Bridgestone. Kinchen says Bridgestone’s mostly frequently recommended ball during its ball fittings is the $28/dozen E6, not the higher margin $45/dozen B330 series, because the E6 is what’s best for those particular customers. And in true money-where-their-mouth-is fashion, Bridgestone says they’re the only company that’ll let you hit any competitor’s ball during a fitting to see how it shakes out.

“If the competitor’s ball is better for you, we’ll tell you that. What we’ve found is we win 7 out of 10 times in getting the player more distance off the tee, while not losing any spin around the green. Go to any competitor’s ball fitting and see what they allow you to hit. I guarantee you there are no competitors’ balls there. In that regard, we sell the truth.” – Josh Kinchen

And serendipity, be thy name – I went to a Bridgestone ball fitting at the local golf show this past weekend and with my February-in-Minnesota Spinorama driver swing, Bridgestone sure enough fit me into the E6.

Golf blog readers have an innate ability to sniff out marketing bullshit, often when it isn’t even there. What’s undeniable, however, is that the OEM’s with the biggest market share (if that’s how you define success) or the biggest profits (if that’s how you define success), also have the most the most prolific marketing machines. Love it or hate it, those companies command your attention and, quite often, your money.

“We could make things up all day long, and it would be fun. But it’s not right. We’re not here to jade the consumer. Right now, my fear for the equipment category is that many major manufacturers are just looking for innovations that create a marketing story as opposed to innovations that directly impact the consumer. I feel like that’s wrong.” – Corey Consuegra

A Marketing Catch-22

I’m guessing “Outrageous Marketing Claims” and “Too Many/Too Frequent Product launches are somewhere near the top of your “Hate” list. Any good golf blog reader can recite chapter and verse their list of grievances against the BIG OEM’s like it was the Apostle’s Creed.

“They spend big money on marketing to tell consumers their stuff is new and great, when it really isn’t,” says Kinchen. “Some companies buy the Tour and TV. We don’t.”

The brands that don’t play marketing/product launch games to the same extent as the big boys – we’re talking the Wilsons, Hogans, Mizunos, Tour Edges and Bridgestones of the world – are like short-knockers forced to play from the tips: that second shot becomes a hell of a longer and getting home in 2 becomes a hell of a lot harder. And in this game you can’t really tee it forward.

It’s a marketing Catch-22.

catch 22

If you don’t aggressively market, you don’t have brand awareness. If you don’t have brand awareness, you don’t have distribution. If you don’t have distribution, you don’t have market share. And if you don’t have market share, you don’t have revenue to spend on marketing and you can’t market aggressively.

It doesn’t really matter much whether your reasoning not to play the marketing hype game is philosophical or budgetary – the challenge is the same. And while it can be a circular Catch-22 for the smaller guys, it becomes a self-feeding beast for the bigger guys.

“The big companies out there say they’re going to reign it in, but they never really do. More power to them if that’s what they want to be. That’s not what we want to be. I guess your path is determined by what your end of goal is. Our goal is to create loyalty and trust. For better or for worse, that’s who we are.” – Josh Kinchen

Bridgestone corporate will be a major sponsor of the Rio Olympics this year, and Bridgestone Golf markets balls with relative gusto in all the standard channels, basically because that’s what butters the bread. As the Olympics get closer, you’ll see Bridgestone Golf  evolving from “#1 in Ball Fitting” to “#1 Ball Expert.”

That subtle change is to let you know that Bridgestone believes, after more than 300,000 in-person ball fittings, they know your golf swing and your golf ball needs better than anyone else. They’re the company that did, in fact, invent ball fitting, and I suppose that counts for something.

fred-couples-3

Unfortunately, Bridgestone’s equipment has seemingly been getting the short end of the marketing stick. That may be the very definition of irony since the lineup, from driver to wedge, is at the very least the equal of anything on the market today. As with many other so-called “challenger brands,” Bridgestone struggles with availability, brand awareness and what you might call “line clarity,” or who the targets are for each club in the offering.

Being satisfied with Other wouldn’t seem to be in Bridgestone’s DNA, and they tell us they’re most definitely not okay with the status quo. We reported on rumblings of Bridgestone’s plans for the US golf market over a year and a half ago. But even incremental changes in equipment market share are challenging, especially in a static golf market.

We’ll discuss those challenges, and how Bridgestone plans to address them, in Part 2 of this series.

 

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John Barba

John Barba

John Barba

John is an aging, yet avid golfer, writer, 6-point-something handicapper living back home in New England after a 22-year exile in Minnesota. He loves telling stories, writing about golf and golf travel, and enjoys classic golf equipment. “The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight.” - BenHogan

John Barba

John Barba

John Barba

John Barba

John Barba

John Barba





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      jas

      8 years ago

      I would gladly drive say 50 miles 2b ball fit`d & 2 hit sum Bridgestone woods & irons. I would luv 2c the numbers, 2 better understand the output. I`m N gainesville ga. thx

      Reply

      Steve Pitts

      8 years ago

      I really enjoyed the article. Great information. Thanks.

      Reply

      Marc

      8 years ago

      I have no problem with six month releases , I procrastinate so much about buying newer equipment that by the time I decide to go for it ,the price is at a point where it’s what the hell can’t go wrong at that price. I live in Winnipeg Canada and I get most of my equipment on kiijiji at bargain basement prices. It suits my wallet and appetite for new equipment just fine. Keep up the good work there bog boys !

      Reply

      secretagentman

      8 years ago

      I decided to take a shot on Bridgestone J15 CB’s after reading a lot of great reviews. I’m a self proclaimed club junkie so I looked on Ebay and found a set 4-w with the shaft that I’m fitted for $280 that had been hit maybe 5 times. I love them and when I took to my club and checked loft and lies they were spot on which is unusual. If I want to change the lie angle no problem. In my opinion they are an excellent iron, one of the best I’ve ever hit and for the price were worth the on course play to see if I liked them. Bridgestone does have a program on their website to try clubs which is good also.

      Reply

      Dilip Ghosh

      8 years ago

      I live in Singapore. Tried to find out where or who sells Bridgestone here. Web contact left the company 2 years ago and no one answers the phone. I buy at least 400 doz golf balls annually but if a company doesnt want to make it easy to buy then I am not going to spend long looking when I have lots of options.

      Reply

      BIG STU

      8 years ago

      Pretty good article John. I think sales of any club brand depends on the region. When we had the golf shop we were a Bridgestone dealer. The drawback was we had to under contract sell at the MSRP. They did try to market their clubs here 10 years or so ago. They had rental sets at many of the courses and a deal at some where if you rented a set of clubs you got dozen balls for free. They were mostly those Tour Tri U or something like that which was not a bad ball. I would have actually gamed that ball in competition on the minis if not for the fact I had a ball deal with Titleist we were also a dealer for them. Their balls sold well for us but for our customer base they were a little pricey. I remember when the courses cut a deal with other companies and Bridgestone pulled their stuff out of the green grass pro shops. We ended up on a jam up deal on bags and used clubs. Nice Precept black mini staff bags. I remember when we got those used rental sets all of the bags had balls in them left over from the rental days. We probably had 20 dozen or so. We were allowed to price that used stuff for what we wanted to and done really good. I think as a whole we made 25% on the stuff. I know we ran ads in the weekly golf papers and sold out quick.
      Last year by accident I discovered the Treo Soft Bridgestone ball and fell in love with it. Won some gift cards to crapsmith uggh Golfsmith so I ended up with about 5 dozen. Found out those balls have been discontinued.
      I think in this area price is the main thing but then again from what I have seen they are not more expensive than T-Mag or Cally. I know in the big box stores they do not have as many clubs as the other Big 3 brands. I do not know what their marketing stragety is or their business plan. Seems to me maybe their biggest promotion is their ball line maybe they feel that is where the profit is

      Reply

      Butch

      8 years ago

      I support those that believe that you do not have to use profanity to make a point. Seems childish to me.

      Reply

      Joseph Dreitler

      8 years ago

      Enjoyed it. Thanks. And your comments on the decline of golf journalism is spot on. Justin Timberlake and Mark Wahlberg. Not in my house thanks.

      Reply

      JL

      8 years ago

      I just got the following message from Bridgestone. Quick communication, but I don’t need long irons in my set, so Bridgestone irons are out for me.

      “Good Evening! All of our sets of clubs are stocked and sold as complete sets. We do not offer partial or combo sets.”

      Reply

      Paul Kielwasser

      8 years ago

      Fantastic! Good on Bridgestone and Consuegra and Kinchen were amazing at customer service years back before their new titles. Great service!!!!

      Reply

      gunmetal

      8 years ago

      “…many major manufacturers are just looking for innovations that create a marketing story as opposed to innovations that directly impact the consumer. ”

      About as honest a statement you will ever find. I’m in a relationship with Mizuno right now but use a Bridgestone ball. When I get bored with Mizzy, I’ll be looking at Bridgestone for sure.

      Reply

      McaseyM

      8 years ago

      I won some Bidgestone e7 balls and love them, we use them for our charity tourney gift ball. I’ve liked the designs of their stuff, the clean look if the irons and wedges of the J40 line were sweet. I think they need to advertise their rental trials more, get their stuff in more hands.

      Reply

      Johnson

      8 years ago

      When the major brands started to steepen their new model intro cycle at the expense of innovation, I changed to Japanese Domestic brands. It takes a while to get used to playing your new club and it’s already so yesterday for major brands. It took the fun and pride of buying your club.

      Reply

      Justin

      8 years ago

      As a lefty, I have no personal interest in Bridgestone clubs. Right or wrong, that breeds a disinterest in their golf balls, though if I find one on the course I’ll gladly lose it in a different part of said course!

      I used to get angsty about what the OEMs do… but what’s the point? I look at other things in this world- cellphones, cars, washing machines, canned peas- and say “there’s something for everyone, regardless of price point”. If someone wants a set of Honma’s, so be it. If all someone wants is a box set from Wal-Mart, so be it. Either way, it’s their money, they can spend it how they want.

      What Bridgestone’s doing isn’t ground-breaking. Maybe it is for the golf equipment niche… I think it speaks more to the state of business that honesty is being used as a marketing tool. Shouldn’t that be the focus all the time?

      Reply

      Alan Larson

      8 years ago

      Nice job, JB! Interested to read Part two.

      Reply

      Mark Garvey

      8 years ago

      Very informative article about Bridgestone.
      The play program seems similar to Warrior golf but I am sure it is better. Warrior puts the hard press on you to try their clubs.

      Reply

      Kevin Unterreiner

      8 years ago

      I think that’s the best golf company article I’ve ever read in my life – and I’ve been doing golf media marketing online since 1998. Kudos MyGolf Spy

      Reply

      Sam

      8 years ago

      I guess at the end of the day, the equipment manufacturers can be devided up into two camps, marketing and engineering, the marketers tend to win the short race but often the product does not live up to the hype, and over time they rise and fall. PING are a true engineering company who make and sell golf clubs, Bridgetsone are an engineering company who make and sell golf balls, in my opinion their product beats all comers if your driver swing speed is below 100mph, ball fitting arms them with the science to make better product for the weekend warrior, and as they say 7 out of 10 times they win – that’s not marketing speak – that’s engineer speak.

      Reply

      Steve

      8 years ago

      As a Canadian Bridgestone junkie my only comment is….

      ….where is the JGR driver review?????

      Reply

      Dave

      8 years ago

      Unfortunately, the majority of Bridgestone’s products are RH only. Just checked there website and even the cast clubs are RH.

      Reply

      Jake Kims

      8 years ago

      You LEFT handed players do realize that Bridgestone makes and sells LH equipment now don’t you? They don’t offer the full line in every loft option, but do offer their 715 Driver, FWY, Hybrid, CB irons and select wedges in LH configurations.

      Reply

      Dave

      8 years ago

      I checked their website. It looked like just one set of irons was available in LH and the site had probably 10 different sets. I am in the market for irons this year, but it most likely will not be Bridgestone. Shame

      Reply

      Andrew

      8 years ago

      This article rings true. I had ball fitting with Bridgestone, at the end of the fitting they guy recommended a Pro VIx for me.

      Reply

      Uhit

      8 years ago

      I’m looking forward to the ball fitting in april…

      …and hope that the Bridgestone guy asks, whether I like to play in windy conditions, and how the putting feels.

      …windy conditions distracted me from the Pro V1x, and made me look elsewhere…

      …considering Brandt -Sned’s tournament win in windy conditions, I expect the latest Bridgestone balls being the best, when the wind blows.

      Reply

      Al

      8 years ago

      What’s funny is that the brands he lists as having lower marketing budgets/spend and less campaign’s happen to be some of priciest manufacturers. The big OEM’s charge us for their marketing, these guys have less marketing but still charge an equivalent amount or in some cases (hogan, mizuno irons) charge more? The run around sucks…. Whomever it’s coming from.

      Reply

      BK in Texas

      8 years ago

      It’s not that big OEMs charge you for marketing, they SPEND that revenue on marketing. The smaller guys might have to spend more money on production, R&D, overhead and a host of other things the big guys make up for in volume. They simply don’t have as much left over for marketing.

      Reply

      John Barba

      8 years ago

      Good point BK, and it goes even deeper than that — say OEM C and OEM X each budget 10% of their annual sales towards marketing – and OEM C has sales of $840 million and OEM X has sales of $84 million. Some simple math says OEM C has a potential marketing budget of $84 million, while OEM X has a potential marketing budget of $8.4 million. Both will impact the Cost of Good Sold and, ultimately, the price you pay, in pretty much the same manner. The marketing budgets as a percentage for both may very well be the same, but the bigger dog has a bigger dish.

      Al

      8 years ago

      Solid points! I stand corrected, should spend a little more time thinking about this before shooting from hip…

      John Barba

      8 years ago

      No worries Al – thanks for reading and contributing!

      Joe

      8 years ago

      I would like to know what is the compression of the e6 Bridgestone ball and can I use it since am a senior and don’t hit a long distance off the tee.

      Reply

      Troy

      8 years ago

      I have nothing against Bridgestone and their products, however I’ve tested and used their golf balls and found I lost considerable distance off the tee. I immediately went back to Titleist and have never changed again.

      Reply

      tiger168

      8 years ago

      I am sure Bridgestone will love for you to bring your Titlist to their ball fitting session and show you the proper numbers.

      Reply

      Aaron Thompson

      8 years ago

      Lets get this straight

      The worlds largest tire manufacturer is not bridgestone..

      Its LEGO! Lol :P

      Reply

      Brandon Wooley

      8 years ago

      Way better article than that piece of trash about the AT&T Pebble Beach and the condescending pseudo clarification response from the other day. Hope that writer got fired.

      Reply

      MyGolfSpy

      8 years ago

      Tony Covey’s article?

      I actually gave him a raise. He’s the best writer in golf.

      Reply

      Aaron Thompson

      8 years ago

      Lol that was one of my favorite golf articles ever.

      Called it how it truly is

      Reply

      Brandon Wooley

      8 years ago

      So you would rather watch the AT&T Compton Pro-am with random dudes off the street?

      Reply

      Kenny B

      8 years ago

      “We could make things up all day long, and it would be fun. But it’s not right. We’re not here to jade the consumer. Right now, my fear for the equipment category is that many major manufacturers are just looking for innovations that create a marketing story as opposed to innovations that directly impact the consumer. I feel like that’s wrong.” – Corey Consuegra

      Now there’s a truthful statement. I like this guy!!

      Bridgestone clubs are high on my list to try this year.

      Reply

      Sam

      8 years ago

      Corey is a guru, if he worked for TM or CAL you would see him in billboards, they guy seriously knows his stuff

      Reply

      Don

      8 years ago

      I am sure I will come across as somewhat closed-minded but I will not buy any Bridgestone golf product. Nothing is available for a left handed golfer in terms of their clubs (unless something has drastically changed recently). Out of reach. Out of mind.

      Reply

      Dan

      8 years ago

      Don, maybe check the website.
      The J15 range has the CB Iron, J715 Driver, J15 Fairways, Hybrids and Black Oxide Wedges all in Left Hand.
      Something drastically changed – 12 months ago.

      Reply

      Kurt M Dombrowski

      8 years ago

      YOU, are the reason, I am pursuing golf instruction after a 32 year law enforcement career in New Jersey, and why I continue to read your emails. You tell it like it is, you don’t sugar coat anything, and that is how I handled my former career.
      I look forward to instructing first responders in my area as well as the wounded warriors returning home, it’s all so good for releasing excess stress in these very special lives.

      I’m a Hugh fan of yours, keep on keeping on.
      KMD

      Reply

      Kenny B

      8 years ago

      Thank you KMD for your service! We need more like you, and I hope you stress golf etiquette to your new players without sugar coating it!

      Reply

      MX-20

      8 years ago

      I love Bridgestone, but they really need to improve their website. It is so bland and not a good PR agent for them. People go to websites to gain information about clubs, and I always think that Bridgestones is always so stale.

      Reply

      tiger168

      8 years ago

      what does the web site has to do with their clubs? The real commitment is to go try out Bridgestone’s clubs in a proper environment and look at the numbers. Bring your own equipment to compare.

      Reply

      MX-20

      8 years ago

      I love their clubs. You are not getting it…you need a strong website presence to be relevant in today’s crowded club field. It’s marketing 101. I wouldn’t even think of buying a club without getting properly fitted. I am in the minority. Most consumers will go to a website to check out clubs. Bridgestone website is pathetic compared to most manufacturers. I appreciate that they they don’t have any outrageous marketing claims, but they need to sell their brand better.

      Josh

      8 years ago

      My club switched exclusively to Bridgestone Golf products last year and I would recommend them to anyone. I understand the criticism, but they offer the best quality for the best price out there. Their gloves are second to none, their balls perform extremely well, and I just purchased a set of J15 cavity back irons and wedges. These irons feel like a dream when you hit them. If you want to talk forgiveness in a player’s iron, the conversation should start at the J15s. I would love to see bridgestone products become more popular in the near future.

      Reply

      Tom D

      8 years ago

      Bridgestone also has one of the most unique methods of letting potential customers try their clubs. For a very small shipping charge, you can “rent” selected clubs or combinations of clubs. The rentals run about a month. You get 2-4 clubs shipped to you along with a prepaid UPS return label. They put a reserve on your credit card during the trial period. When they get the clubs back, they release the reserve. I tried one of their demo configurations consisting of two J15CB clubs and two J15DF clubs (a 7-iron and 5-iron from each set). After hitting the J15DFs on my range and my course for several days, I was totally convinced. After returning the demos, I ended up buying a set of J15DF irons.

      I’m not consistent enough to hit a club in the demo area of a golf store and know how it’s going to play in real life. Having a couple of demo clubs in my bag for a week or so made it possible to know if I liked the club or not.

      Reply

      Justin

      8 years ago

      Why don’t more people know about this? If this is available to everyone, it seems like a great option, especially because you can see how the clubs perform out on the course

      Reply

      Kenny B

      8 years ago

      If all OEM’s did this, then we could go back to the time long, long ago when all clubs were sold out of green grass pro shops and the big box stores would be gone.

      Rob

      8 years ago

      I loved reading this article. I have a more affectionate feeling towards Bridgestone Golf now. I have been getting the feeling the last few years that TaylorMade, Callaway, and Nike are going the way of some other golf company’s who started offering an inferior product, ended up in department stores and then kind of faded into the darkness. I guess I don’t like too much change too fast. You can’t even figure out how to adjust a new driver from these three company’s and “Bang” there are six new drivers on the shelves. I liked the old days when you purchased a new driver in the spring you had the bestest, newest, driver for the whole year, not anymore. Again, I kind of get the feeling with some of these company’s who are supposed to be selling high end equipment are on their way to WalMart soon.

      Reply

      Jake Kims

      8 years ago

      Bridgestone demos are the easiest to find and try out. They will actually ship them to your door to trial for 21 days if you live in continental US.

      http://testdrive.bridgestonegolf.com/

      Reply

      Guy Crawford

      8 years ago

      Definitely interesting information!

      Reply

      Justin

      8 years ago

      The new DF irons are basically a much cheaper version of what PXG is currently offering. I was blown away the first time I hit them… It’s has the distance of a game improvement iron with the compact look of a muscleback. Sure, the “ping” sound it makes due to the inner pocket takes getting used to, and it doesn’t quite have the feel of their new buttery blades, but it’s damn close! if you are a 0 handicap or a 30, I’d recommend you give these a shot. I myself am working on an order for a combo set with these irons in the 4-6 and the rest blades

      Reply

      bossman

      8 years ago

      Hard to have any sympathy for Bridgestone. If you want to sell then you have to advertise and have open days where potential customers can see and feel. There is no bigger shopper than a golfer looking for the “magic fix”.
      I don’t think i’ve ever seen Bridgestone clubs. I did use their ball, but no longer. I’m in Scotland but they are not – anymore.
      It’s all self inflicted – on their part.

      Reply

      DJ

      8 years ago

      We all wonder “what’s the real difference from the 2015 to the 2016 version of this club/that ball/etc.” (or in the case of Taylormade, what’s the difference from the June version to the December version), but we all still clamor for the extra yard or two, don’t we? Perhaps Bridgestone would be well served by an anti-marketing campaign: “excuse us for getting it right a few years ago!” A skeptic would if what the big guys are actually holding certain features/benefits back just to have another version to release in a few months.

      Reply

      James Harding

      8 years ago

      they have always been one of my favorite club and ball companies i could just never find their equipment anywhere so i never played their equipment but i have hit their irons many times and they are some of the best feeling clubs i have hit

      Reply

      Sam Derence

      8 years ago

      Other than a few malcontents, I don’t know anyone pi$$ed off that any manufacturer of anything in America are over hyping their product. From McDonalds showing beautiful farms and cows in a pasture when they actually use Cafo deceased cows, injected with hormones, antibiotics and filled with GMO feed. Does anyone think McDonalds is good for you? Beer companies using only the best ingredients to produce a superior taste? Cars, sunglasses and clothing companies used by golfers all use max hype to sell their products. Why is golf equipment supposed to be any different?

      Product cycle is a different animal and while I think the OEMs killed the golden goose it didn’t make my blood boil. Good piece on Bridgestone, a company I really like, but who is engaged in Hype now? Ohhhhh, you were just trying to get our attention with the hype? Should I list the 5 things I hate about this piece?

      This just might be a a vessel, usually made of metal and with a handle, used for boiling liquids or cooking foods … calling the container, typically rounded or cylindrical and of ceramic ware or metal, used for storage or cooking, the opposite of white.

      Reply

      Bryan Larsen

      8 years ago

      Always a fan of Bridgestone Golf back to the Precept ball for these exact reasons. They were all about the quality of the product. Had a full Bridgestone bag at one point. Still play and live the B330

      Reply

      Garry

      8 years ago

      Bridgestone makes excellent golf balls & equipment. I carried close to full of products that sold well. My problem with Bridgestone was how they would ship my orders. I would order several custom sets of irons(shafts) 4-PW. They would ship me 5-PW and send me 4 irons a month later. Goofy stuff like this drove me nuts. Maybe if Josh Kitchens would correct this PROBLEM then more shops would carry them. In return they might not be a boutique brand. Calling in an order was like sitting thru a root canal… but I do recommend their products.

      Reply

      Heath

      8 years ago

      I have always loved the look of Bridgestone clubs and often play their balls but I don’t see myself playing their clubs until they offer them in left handed. In my books that’s the metric that makes them an established brand like Titleist, Callaway, Tmade,etc.

      Reply

      D.S. Graybeal

      8 years ago

      Clean up your language and you may get more credibility.

      Reply

      MyGolfSpy

      8 years ago

      Our language is real. It’s grown up talk.

      We don’t strive for credibility as much as we do honesty, and with honesty comes words some are not comfortable hearing. We are more than ok with losing credibility/readers in return for being true to ourselves and our readers.

      Reply

      Sam Derence

      8 years ago

      You have stated this before and of course it is certainly your right to do so. But “grown up talk” is disingenuous at best. Most grown ups I know talk this way in private but do not talk this way in a business environment. I use this language but I don’t in front of my 87 yr old Mom who dislikes profanity. I still stay true to who I am but make a slight adjustment so I can still reach my audience. I just don’t see Bridgestone saying the B330RXS is a “Great Fu*king Ball!” even if that is exactly how they feel. So why would you alienate those that need to hear your message just because of colorful words that can easily be replaced and do nothing to further any given piece?

      MyGolfSpy

      8 years ago

      So, you admit most grown people speak this way in “private”. Well, consider what we do as bringing some “private” and real talk to the “public” sector. We think it’s needed. You do not.

      It obviously sounds like we are going to have to agree to disagree on that. But let’s be “grown up” and deal with it as such. We are ok with your commentary and hope you can look past a word and read the rest and appreciate the 99.999% of the article for what it is.

      A great article.

      Sam Derence

      8 years ago

      I don’t know about “most” but certainly enough. I have no problem with artistic content. I do find profanity a little lazy when the English language is filled with less offensive to some alternatives, but it certainly doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of reading your articles in any way. I am of the opinion that the reason to write an article is to reach an audience that needs to see/read the message and sometimes MyGolfSpy seems to go out of it’s way to alienate that very audience and I just wondered why.

      And if it is OK with you assholes (gratuitous point being made) I as the reader, will decide if the article is great or not because I am not in the everyone gets a trophy camp. Even if I don’t always agree with your methods, I am a big fan of MyGolfSpy with the best pictures and information in the game today and look forward to every one written. As always, thanks for your honest response.

      Robert

      8 years ago

      What bad language. I only saw pissed once and hell twice.

      Joe Golfer

      8 years ago

      It’s also a reference to another recent article about the Pebble Beach Pro Am, in which the author, Tony Covey, editor of MGS, called it a “shit show” and used profanity more than once.
      I have a nephew who used to talk that way when he was around 21 years old. He said it was just the way people talk nowadays, so folks should get out of the 20th century and wise up. Even his parents talking to him was considered by him to be “preaching at him”, and he had a condescending view that nobody could tell him anything. Eventually he finished college and entered the business world and found out that the language doesn’t fly there, outside of private conversations with his friends.
      Tony is the guy running the show at MGS, so asking him to change isn’t going to help.
      He’s pretty much said that to be so in the forums, so folks shouldn’t really expect a change.
      If he had a boss to answer to, he likely would, as we don’t see that sort of language in newspapers.
      Just because one is writing to an adult audience doesn’t mean one has to use “adult”, i.e. profane, language.
      The Pebble Beach article drew a lot of ire on the forum, as it seemed to be written as a venting rant rather than informative. The content wasn’t all bad, but it was the type of thing where the author should have waited until the next day before printing, so that he could read his own words and re-write it in a more palatable way. Same info, different words.
      If the MGS boss (Tony) had an editor with the power to override things (like a newspaper or magazine), an article that had to be submitted for approval, then the writing would be different, unless the new editor were sycophantic to the boss or afraid of repercussions.
      Most of us curse once in a while. Things happen, we get upset, etc. But for most of us, it is a spur of the moment thing. We can’t put the words back into our mouth after it happens. When one has time to submit an article for print, one does have time to write the article without things that offend many readers, even if the profanity doesn’t offend the writer himself.

      MyGolfSpy

      8 years ago

      Joe,

      I am Tony’s boss and I do have the power to override things as you say. And I approve of his message and language used.

      Adam Beach
      Owner // MyGolfSpy

      blackhole

      8 years ago

      Oh…..for……..f….ks……….sake………

      Scott Romines

      8 years ago

      good read….i’m in the market for new irons this year, BStone has a couple models i’d like to try out, but there are no retailers that carry their clubs within 2 hours of me….that’s a problem

      Reply

      MyGolf Spy

      8 years ago

      Very true.

      Reply

      DawgDaddy

      8 years ago

      Scott, you really do need to test their clubs. I have met both Corey and Josh and can valiate that everything they are saying is true. They both have a passion for Bridgestone Golf and it is obvious they love their jobs and believe everything they say.

      Bridgestone has an excellent Test Drive program for those of us who have no where close to try out their offerings.

      http://testdrive.bridgestonegolf.com/

      Give them a try, you will be pleasantly surprised.

      Reply

      Andy Williams

      8 years ago

      You can go to http://testdrive.bridgestonegolf.com/ and we will ship them to you. You hit them and send them back!

      Reply

      Scott Romines

      8 years ago

      thanks Andy, I did see that on the website….will probably do that this spring when I look to demo some different irons….only problem is, not having someone to ‘fit’ me for shaft/lie/length/etc…

      Reply

      Andy Williams

      8 years ago

      Any local professional should be able to do a fitting…then you order the clubs through them…they make a little money, you get fit…it’s a win win! Let me know if I can help. I’m in GA and don’t know where you are…but we will get you set up with someone if you don’t have a place in mind!

      Reply

      Scott Romines

      8 years ago

      good point..I live in Indiana, there’s a couple reputable fitters around here….just no BStone dealers that actually stock clubs…thanks for your help

      Reply

      adan

      8 years ago

      I never buy any club I can’t hit first. I’d love to try Bridgestone clubs but they just don’t have a space at my local Dicks or Golf Galaxy or Golfsmiths.

      Reply

      RAT

      8 years ago

      Sounds like they are crying foul but expect everyone to love them because of their size in other backgrounds. ” You should love me because I’m soooo big.” I can admire an honest approach but —- I have tried their balls and don’t like them, their equipment looks good but it’s not accessible for trial. To see, touch and feel is the way to sell. Good Luck to them but being big doesn’t mean anything other than “I’m big ” and you should love me. “TRUMP SYNDROME”

      Reply

      Nick

      8 years ago

      Of course Bridgestone will struggle with availability if it pulls out of the UK market. how can i continue to buy their products if they wont sell them to me.

      Reply

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