Anyone who would name his company Parsons Extreme Golf, or PXG, isn’t going to be subtle. And Bob Parsons believes he’s gone to the extreme to create the finest clubs money can buy—quite a lot of money—say $5,000.
After founding the Internet domain-name giant GoDaddy (Parsons sold most of the company for GoZillions in 2011) he got hooked on golf. Soon Parsons was spending $300,000 a year on golf clubs and decided to make his own. Now six years later, Parsons Extreme Golf turns out distinctive looking clubs that are custom-fitted through distinctive golf facilities across the United States and, he says, 30 countries around the globe. Parsons, who renders the final verdict on every club his designers come up with, knows who his audience is.
“We look at PXG as a luxury brand rather than a golf club brand,” says Parsons. “We don’t believe we compete with most golf club companies that cater to the entire market. We don’t go to the PGA show in Orlando, we don’t sell through discounters or big box stores because we believe that is not our customer. That’s maintaining the integrity and persona of the brand. Our clubs have to be eye-opening performers.”
Parsons irons have a forged appearance, but the forgiveness of cavity-backed clubs because a cavity is hidden inside the head. The head has a perimeter of shallow ports that allow for custom balance. The face of the irons is super-thin with a thermoplastic-elastomer behind it to prevent cave-ins and enhance feel.
“Our wedges are the only ones that are 100 percent milled,” says Parsons. “We use a machine that cuts each wedge out of an 11-pound block of steel. The milling process takes four and a half hours for each wedge. Our grooves conform to USGA requirement, but they are very precise, very close to what the limit is. The design is very appealing to the eye.” Drivers and fairway metals are complex and weighted to square the clubface at impact. Of course, he makes putters, 12 different models.
Parsons also wants you to have an “Experience.” For $17,500, “The Experience” lets you spend three days at the Scottsdale National Golf Club (which Parsons owns) being fitted for clubs and playing three rounds of golf. Two nights at the Four Seasons Resort, some meals and other amenities are included. Then there’s the “Ultimate Experience.” For $100,000, you get a four-day club fitting and playing experience for two people with private air transportation from anywhere in the United States.
Tour pro Billy Horschel, a winner of the AT&T Byron Nelson this season, plays and endorses PXG clubs, speaks of the Bob Parsons effect, “Bob wants to build the best product possible and use the latest, best materials to do that,” says Horschel. “So he built clubs that cost a lot more than the others out there, but they also perform really well. I think, even to his surprise, he found a market for them bigger than what he expected.”