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A visit to the PGA Merchandise Show would not be complete without spending time with Steve Pelisek of Titleist Golf. Steve was kind enough to meet with us this year to discuss everything new from Titleist, the importance of being custom fit for clubs and and answers our “5 Questions in 50 Seconds.”
Tom Brassell: This is the fun one. 2017 PGA Merchandise Show at the Titleist booth with Steve Pelisek. Our ratings were so high last year-
Steve Pelisek: Oh yeah.
Tom Brassell: We had to come back.
Steve Pelisek: Thanks for coming back, we appreciate it.
Tom Brassell: Well, let’s talk about important things first, 917, what’s going on there? That’s fantastic.
Steve Pelisek: It’s very cool. Great driver, great 3 wood, very excited. There’s little things that happen when you introduce a product, when you know you’ve got a winner. One of the things that we were so pleased with, with 917 was the adoption rate on tour happened so fast.
Tom Brassell: Yeah.
Steve Pelisek: 80% of our players within about three weeks. You like to get wins, but we can’t totally control wins, it’s why we don’t count them too closely. A bigger thing to us is just how quickly do guys put it in the bag.
Tom Brassell: Yeah.
Steve Pelisek: That’s when you know you got a winner. It’s a great driver. It’s fast. Most folks want, they want more ball speed and if I can get more forgiveness while I’m getting more ball speed, I’ll take it.
Tom Brassell: When you have that many players that quick, has it ever been that fast before?
Steve Pelisek: No, it’s the fastest we’ve ever had. Again, little things happen. Jimmy goes and wins the PGA … I was there at WGC event at Akron when we fit him to it. Right after that he’s in it and he’s winning. Justin Thomas hits the longest drive on the PGA tour at that event, at Akron.
Tom Brassell: Yeah.
Steve Pelisek: You just think, “Wow, this thing’s pretty good.” You knew it, it’s like you’re kids, you knew all along, “I think this is really good,” and then you let it go and let it go out, and it proves to be. It’s very cool. We’re excited. This is the first big spring. One thing I would add is please, it’s a $500 driver, get fit for it. Just take a minute, go see somebody you trust who knows what they’re doing. We go to great lengths to make sure that we got a network of fitters around the country who have good knowledge, they have good tools, use them, because there’s a huge difference between off the rack and customized for what you need. That’s why all that adjustability is there. Take advantage of it. The difference between 917 being a really good driver and being a great driver for you, is you working with a good fitter who can tweak it and really extract every ounce of its potential out of it for you.
Tom Brassell: Let’s talk about the rockstar around the corner, Mr. Cameron. Let’s talk about Scotty, what he has new coming out, because that’s always exciting when this time of year comes around.
Steve Pelisek: Cameron’s fired up right now. Had a great year and he loves this future project. Basically, the line is now two main families. Selects are his classics, that’s the Newport family really. Then Selects, he calls them wings n’ things at times.
Steve Pelisek: Sorry, yeah, sorry. Futuras. That’s his baby where he gets to go play with . He doesn’t have to be too concerned with whether the thing looks radical. That’s what it is. That’s his playground to go play in futuristic stuff. He’s got a new lineup of seven new models. Very cool, all have been kind of tour tested. That’s another one of his babies is, I don’t want to get ahead of the tour, I do want that tour validation. It’s an important part of who he is and what his brand’s all about. Encourage everybody, that’s the family you migrate to if you’re a little bit maybe more forgiveness conscious, maybe a little bit more mechanical in your approach, a little more scientific in your approach. Very high moment of inertia, big heads, long sight lines. It’s a terrific lineup.
Steve Pelisek: Yeah, it’s awesome. We just had a record year in wedges. SM6 is such a cool product. I wish people knew even more. It’s popular in the marketplace, but I wish they knew even more about just how good it is. The progressive CG thing is off the charts and the … It does things, it helps you control flight in maybe some ways you don’t even recognize and just dialing in the right flight for every particular shot and feel. Getting the CG in the right spot, it just feels really good. Then of course, you’ve got all his grinds. The grinds all come from the tour. They’re outstanding. They’ve been refined over years. Then the whole groove thing’s a big deal now.
Steve Pelisek: Grooves wear and one of the things we want to try to make people realize, it’s not for everybody, but you play 75 rounds with a wedge, you really ought to start paying attention to … Watch what happens. If you notice the ball’s flying a little higher, ball’s rolling out a little bit more, what’s happening is your grooves are wearing out and they’re not grabbing the ball the way they could or should, and the ball starts to roll up the face a little bit. When it rolls up the face, it goes a little higher in the air, with a little less spin it’s going to go a little shorter. These are subtle things, but you start noticing three, four, five yards and for certain players, that’s a ton. What we’re trying to get folks to understand a little bit more this year is, if you’re playing a lot of golf, you really ought to take a look at your grooves and try some of the new stuff. Just go try some demo product, we’ve got it all over the country and see if you notice a difference. If it is, you either got to change your game, or you need to freshen up your product.
Tom Brassell: That’s awesome. Good stuff with grooves. Let’s go to irrelevant stuff. Five questions, 50 seconds, we’re going to put Peli on the clock.
Steve Pelisek: All right.
Tom Brassell: re you ready? We’re going to go. First question, Steve Pelisek, number one, your breakout player this year from Titleist?
Steve Pelisek: Well, he already broke out, Justin Thomas.
Tom Brassell: Number two, your number one place to play and with who that you haven’t done?
Steve Pelisek: Little place in the north of Scotland. I’m a member at Royal Dornoch Golf Club. I think it’s the greatest place on earth to play golf and I’d love to play with my kids.
Tom Brassell: Question number three, the newest stick you just put in your bag?
Tom Brassell: Question number four for Pelisek, Chargers to LA, is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Steve Pelisek: That’s a sore subject. It’s a bad thing and I think the toughest thing about that are people don’t realize just how many people in the community are connected with the team. It hurts.
Tom Brassell: Yeah, yeah. Question number five, you got to buy stock in one of these two players for the Masters, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas?
Steve Pelisek: Oh God, can I buy the initial IPO and buy the mutual fund with both?
Tom Brassell: It’s a public offering. Yeah, yeah, diversify, you get them both.
Steve Pelisek: Honestly, Justin’s had a monster year, Jordan’s going to have a monster year, and so is Jimmy. That’s a tough one to pick. I’m not picking those. I think they’re both going to have tremendous years. They’re still rising, they haven’t reached their potential yet, this is a process.
Tom Brassell: Absolutely.
Steve Pelisek: They’ve been great players all their lives and they ain’t at the pinnacle yet.
Tom Brassell: That’s awesome. Steve, thanks so much for the time as always. Hopefully, we can do it again next year.
Steve Pelisek: Thanks, thanks for all you do guys.
Tom Brassell: Thank you.