iGen Golf: Cast for Juniors?

iGen Golf: Forged for Juniors?

iGen Golf is asking you a query you in all probability thought you’d by no means thought you’d need to reply. In reality, we’re fairly damned certain it’s a query you by no means thought you’d even be requested.

Ought to your junior golfer recreation a $1,200 set of solid irons and wedges?

Now, earlier than your head explodes and also you begin pounding the keys with righteous indignation, you need to at the least hear out Patrick Dempsey, iGen’s proprietor and founder.

No, iGen’s solid irons and wedges for juniors aren’t for each child. However if in case you have a junior who’s severe concerning the recreation and has superior past the boxed starter set, there’s a path that claims a set of iGen solid irons and wedges may truly be a money-saver in the long term.

There are a couple of ifs and maybes behind that assertion however the math, in principle, does work. And it’s all of the work of a man who can legitimately problem Miguel Angel Jimenez as The Most Interesting Man in Golf.

A Actual-Life Crash Davis …

The extra you study Patrick Dempsey, the extra fascinating his life’s journey turns into. Dempsey, you see, is (deep breath …) a profession minor-league catcher turned long-drive Corridor of Famer turned PGA TOUR rep turned customized membership builder turned junior golf membership OEM.

And he can sing, too.

“I performed professional ball for 12 years, all within the minors. I truly made the Oakland A’s in 1981 when Billy Martin was managing however damned if I didn’t damage my arm between the time they advised me I made the membership and the time we left spring coaching.”

A baseball card with Patrick Dempsey, owner of iGen Golf, forged golf clubs for junior golfers.

That damage turned out to be a continual rotator cuff downside.

“I by no means did go get surgical procedure and went from prospect to suspect. I used to be a great catcher however had extra worth in Triple A, instructing prospect pitchers the right way to pitch. So I by no means did get to the occasion.”

If “Dempsey” and “catcher” sound acquainted, you may be remembering Pat’s older brother Rick, a longtime catcher with the Baltimore Orioles and a 1983 World Collection champion.

“I wished to be within the large leagues like my brother Rick however it simply didn’t work out.”

Turned Unintended Lengthy Driver …

A number of years later, Dempsey was hitting golf balls at a driving vary for enjoyable when some random man advised him he was hitting the ball fairly far and will attempt long-drive competitions.

“I didn’t know what ‘far’ was. I’d simply go to the driving vary and pound some balls. I didn’t know something about golf however labored onerous at it.”

Dempsey was ranked within the prime 10 on this planet by 1998 and wound up successful 4 world titles within the Senior Division. He was inducted into the Lengthy Drive Corridor of Fame in 2012.

a picture of Long Drive Hall of Famer Pat Dempsey, owner of iGen Golf.

It was throughout his long-drive days that Golfsmith employed Dempsey to work on the Killer Bee driver with designer Jeff Sheets. And that have led to his profession as a PGA TOUR rep for UST Mamiya. Nevertheless it was his affiliation with Sheets that introduced Dempsey to the customized membership enterprise and, finally, to iGen Golf.

“I’d work the Tour after which come house and work on my customized membership enterprise. And I’d begin getting all these high-end juniors with swing coaches and placing coaches. They’re taking part in in junior tournaments everywhere and so they began having me construct golf equipment as a result of they couldn’t get good golf equipment wherever.”

Dempsey sourced lighter heads from Asia and shafted them with UST Mamiya Recoils in AA or AAA flex.

“I’d construct them these irons and was discounting them as a result of I’d be embarrassed. Their dad and mom have been spending $1,500 for a set of irons that will final possibly a 12 months to a year-and-a-half.

“And other people have been thanking me. So I needed to look into this as a result of the junior golf business is the final enterprise I ever thought I’d be in.”

… Turned iGen Golf Proprietor

“To not bash anyone’s product however the junior golf membership enterprise is shit,” says Dempsey. “I began to consider what dad and mom cope with and what I might do to assist.”

To be clear, Dempsey isn’t speaking a couple of run-of-the-mill boxed starter set to see in case your child likes golf. These, he says, play an essential position. However Dempsey is providing top-quality solid irons and wedges for teenagers with a ardour for the sport and for individuals who compete at superior ranges. The American Junior Golf Affiliation, for instance, runs as much as 60 tournaments yearly for girls and boys ages 12 to fifteen. Sponsors embrace execs equivalent to Billy Horschel, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. Company sponsors embrace Wyndham, Underneath Armour and Rolex.

“I went solid for bendability, not really feel. I need to bend the lie angle and lofts as a result of each child is totally different. And as they develop and their trajectory modifications, dad and mom can go to their native membership builder and have their lofts and lies adjusted.

“Or they will simply ship them to me and I’ll do it.”

a picture of iGen Golf forged irons for junior golfers.

The iGen idea is to have one set of heads for the whole lot of your junior’s profession. Cast permits for bendability, whereas shafts could be prolonged and finally changed. And iGen Golf’s distinctive weight ports enable the swing weight to be adjusted because the junior will get stronger.

“Most corporations simply supply totally different lengths based mostly in your child’s peak. And it varies each three inches of peak. However they don’t do something about swing weight which is particularly essential for youthful youngsters.

“The weights value three bucks every and I ship you the wrench. In a matter of minutes, you may add some weight, have your child hit some photographs and see what they suppose. If it feels heavy, you may dial it again.”

A Mother or father’s Dilemma

Any dad or mum of a child in aggressive sports activities is aware of the excessive worth of participation. It’s a bundle to take part and a bundle extra for tools. Ask a touring hockey, lacrosse or baseball/softball dad or mum and so they’ll let you know they’re fortunate to get a full season out of all that gear. Youngsters, it appears, develop.

“As an expert baseball participant, I understand how essential good tools is,” says Dempsey. “Catcher’s mitts, sneakers, issues like that. If a dad or mum isn’t a golfer, maintaining with tools could be a nightmare. How do you keep in entrance of it?”

iGen Golf, says Dempsey, is a one-man band. However each dad or mum has Dempsey’s private cellphone quantity and he’s very happy to stroll them via the right way to change the weights, the right way to add shaft extensions and the right way to have loft and lie adjusted.

a picture of iGen Golf forged junior golf clubs.

“There’s no such factor as giving somebody info over the cellphone and that’s it,” he says. “As soon as their child has their golf equipment, we go to work on making it proper.

“Is he hitting them left? Is he hitting them proper? Do they really feel heavy? They name me again and we will dial them in. They will have their native man do it or ship them again to me and I’ll do it free of charge.”

iGen Golf has been in enterprise for 3 years now and Dempsey nonetheless talks with each buyer and provides them the identical deal: If we will’t make it work, he’ll give them their a refund.

“Folks go, ‘Actually?’ And you already know what? In three years, I’ve by no means had a set despatched again to me. And up to now two or three weeks, we’ve had 12 to fifteen youngsters win their junior tournaments with this stuff.”

So, About That Math …

There are many youngsters’ starter units on the market and Dempsey says these are important to get youngsters to attempt golf and see in the event that they prefer it. But when a child begins taking the sport severely, it’s time to get severe about tools.

And $1,200 for a set of solid iGen Golf irons and wedges is fairly severe.

“It appears like rather a lot however it’s truly cheaper in the long term,” Dempsey explains. “A junior set may be $300 and yearly or so you must eliminate them as a result of the child grows. They haven’t any trade-in worth.”

A forged wedge from iGen Golf.

By that math, after 4 or 5 seasons, you may offset the acquisition worth in comparison with shopping for 4 or 5 starter units. The offset is even faster if you happen to take into account junior golf equipment made by main OEMs equivalent to PING, TaylorMade or Callaway. And also you’re getting top-quality solid heads with real-deal UST Mamiya Recoil shafts.

As talked about, iGen Golf irons and wedges aren’t some off-the-shelf open fashions from China. Dempsey labored with longtime membership designer Jeff Sheets – the person who designed the enduring 1999 Ben Hogan Apex and Apex Plus irons, amongst others.

 “You’re not going to have to do that for an additional 5 – 6 years. There’s some worth to that. Dad and mom who play golf get it. For the dad and mom that don’t, it’ll work out if I can get them on the cellphone and speak with them. Only a few youngsters don’t get larger and stronger over the summer season.”

Is There a Marketplace for iGen Golf?

It might seem so.

We’ve stated it many occasions however worth is nothing greater than a quantity. It’s how one appears to be like at that quantity that issues. Any dad or mum with a child in any journey sport is aware of the payments for good tools by no means cease or go down. And what could also be outrageous to 1 dad or mum might, actually, be a discount to a different.  

“I’m not the brightest bulb within the tree in terms of advertising and marketing,” Dempsey admits. “Folks inform me I can’t speak to that many individuals every single day and nonetheless promote sufficient irons. I’ll cross that bridge after I come to it however I don’t ever need to outgrow that.”

an iGen Golf seven iron for junior golfers.

So whereas iGen Golf is a enterprise, it’s one Dempsey plans to run his method with no apologies. So, yeah, $1,200 for seven irons and three wedges for a 12-year-old might sound loopy to some however the outdated adage applies: For those who ever need unsolicited recommendation, simply begin a enterprise.

“Folks say these are type of costly and they’re. However not in the long term. We’re going to achieve success as a result of we actually care. I can’t afford to not care as a result of I’m not that slick of a businessman.”

iGen Golf: Serving a Area of interest

Right here we’re on the finish of the article and we nonetheless haven’t talked about Dempsey’s different expertise: singing. A positive crooner, Dempsey opened the 2002 ReMax World Lengthy Drive Championship with the nationwide anthem adopted by God Bless the USA. And in 2006, he sang each the U.S. and Canadian nationwide anthems at an Orioles-Blue Jays recreation in Baltimore.

The catcher for Toronto that evening? Greg Zaun, who occurs to be Dempsey’s nephew.

Singing, baseball and lengthy driving apart, Dempsey has been across the golf enterprise lengthy sufficient to know there’s a large and underserved market of gifted junior golfers. And the very fact a junior can play his or her iGen Golf irons from adolescence via their teen years and past (at 66, Dempsey video games totally weighted iGen irons) has confirmed to be a worth proposition.

And if the worth tag does restrict gross sales quantity, that’s OK, too.

“There are extra essential issues within the sports activities enterprise than what number of units you promote a day or what number of units you get out the door,” says Dempsey. “If we can assist these youngsters, the returns will come on the again aspect.

“Folks name me too old style to achieve success however that’s what I’m going to carry on to for so long as I can.”

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