There aren’t many guaranties in life, are there? Risk is constantly lurking and buyer’s remorse – even if it’s only fleeting – always checks in to see how you’re doing.
That set of universal truths is why we think this week’s announcement by the Edison Wedge company is sorta-kinda newsworthy. The Edison Wedge guaranty is as risk-free of a demo program as you’ll find in golf.
In essence, Edison’s Terry Koehler is channeling his inner Don Corleone and is making you an offer you can’t refuse.
Play Until You Know
Edison is Koehler’s newest venture. Over the past 30 years, with stints at Reid Lockhart and his own companies at Eidelon, Score and Ben Hogan, Koehler has become known as the “Wedge Guy.” Edison launched its forged wedges earlier this year and to get the enterprise moving, Koehler is keeping the Edison Wedge guaranty simple: Order a set of Edison wedges custom-built to your specs and try them at your home club for as long as it takes.* If you like ‘em, keep ‘em. If you don’t, send them back for a full refund.
What’s the catch?
Koehler says there isn’t one.
“First of all, you cannot demo wedges in a hitting bay,” he explains. “You need to take them to your home course, with the turf you know, with the shots you face every round. You need to put them through the paces for four, five, six rounds – long enough to find out if they’re going to make a difference.”
If the Edison Wedge guaranty sounds a wee bit open-ended and non-specific, that’s because it is.
“We don’t have a stated time limit, because every golfer’s different,” adds Koehler. “You need to play them long enough to determine if you’re seeing a difference. Obviously, we don’t want you to keep them for six months and wear them out. But play them long enough to get six rounds under your belt. By then, you’ll have hit some shots that will make you go, ‘Wow!’”
OK, There Are Some Catches
Not sure if this qualifies as a catch but you do actually have to buy the wedges first. This isn’t a no-money-down trial or even one of those $20 two-week demos many direct-to-consumer companies are doing. You’re giving Edison your exact specs – and your money – and they’re building you a set of wedges.
The difference? The Edison Wedge guaranty is like the Costco guaranty. Don’t like them? Send them back and Edison will refund your money.
“I want to put the full set of wedges in your hands that you should be playing and show you the difference it will make in your game,” says Koehler. “Those other guys will send you some demos but it may not be the club you ought to play. If you’re a half-inch long, two-degrees up with an 80-gram regular-flex graphite shaft and I send you standard length and lie wedges with 105-gram steel shafts, how are you going to know whether it’s right or not? That defies everything we know about club fitting.”
The other catch, if you can call it that, is Edison won’t build demos with non-standard shafts or grips. But even that catch has a catch. Edison’s standard shafts are KBS Tour Steel and KBS Tour Graphite. If your shaft of choice is, say, a Steelfiber i95, Edison will build your set with a KBS Tour 80 Graphite to try.
“If you like them, send them back and we’ll build you the Steelfibers,” says Koehler.
Why doesn’t Edison just place a temporary hold on your credit card instead of making you paying in full? Koehler says credit card holds are only good for 30 days which may not be enough time. “It may take me six to eight days to get them built and another two or three more to get them to you. I’ve just used up almost half your 30 days right there. I want you to have them in your hands long enough to get five or six rounds under your belt.”
If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…
…it probably is.
As a lifelong cynic, that is tattooed on my psyche. There are a few nits to pick but the idea of a lengthy trial with a money-back-if-you don’t-like-it clause isn’t original. Nor is it unusual. It’s all the rage in direct-to-consumer mattresses, for instance. (I’m looking at you, Puffy.com). Many golf retailers offer playability guarantees but once they have your money, the most you’ll get is store credit.
Of course, the true cynic might say this sounds an awful lot like the Warrior model. But “sounds like” isn’t the same as “is.” And it just feels different when there’s a real person attached to it. Does anyone out there know the guy behind Warrior Golf?
The other question, of course, is: Are the wedges any good? My experience shows very good performance with full shots but the V-Soles do take some getting used to on partial shots around the green (hence the free-floating trial period). We went into Edison’s design philosophy previously, so we won’t belabor it here.
Edison Forged wedges aren’t cheap ($179 each in steel, $194 in graphite) but the price does include all customization. As mentioned, KBS Tour in steel (90-, 105- and 120-gram in R or S) and graphite (60-gram in A and R, 80-gram in S and R) are standard, along with the MCC +4 grip. Edison has non-standard shafts available at various upcharges. Although Koehler told us the demo time period is flexible, the website does say 45 days. The company is small enough, however, to be able to handle each situation on a case-by-case basis.
Ultimately, if you’re legitimately interested in trying an upstart wedge, a certain leap of faith is required. Are you willing to let Edison hold on to $537 of your money while you try their wedges for a month-and-a-half, knowing you can get that money back if you don’t like them? Koehler has a long history in golf and he’s made plenty of friends and a few enemies along the way but one thing he’s never lacked is confidence.
“I don’t care how big Edison Golf gets. I don’t care if we stay an itty-bitty hole-in-the-wall company for the rest of my life,” he says. “I’m just offering an opportunity to give us a chance to show this is the right way to do wedges. I’m 100-percent convinced we’re doing it the right way.”
For more information, visit Edisonwedges.com.