GOLF EQUIPMENT

arizona golf arizona golf arizona golfMacGregor's VIP
Line Propels Company
into the Limelight

By Shane Sharp,
Contributing Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Remember walking down the isles of the sporting goods department at K-Mart, drooling over that $100 set of MacGregor golf clubs and praying they showed up under the tree come Christmas?

No worries – you can still pine for MacGregor golf equipment post Y2K, but that $100 won’t get you quite as far as it did back in the time of the blue light special. After two decades spent catering to the bargain level golfer, MacGregor is taking its game to the next level and beyond with the introduction of the VIP line of forged irons and metal woods.

Two years ago, MacGregor pulled a major policy coup and removed its products from the shelves of K-Marts and Wal-Mart’s around the country. Owner and CEO Barry Schneider decided it was time for the company to compete with the Callaway’s and Pings to the world, and they couldn’t fight the good fight with bargain cast irons and woods.

Could they pull it off?

You better believe it. What many younger golfers don’t know, and what older golfers may not remember is that MacGregor was all the rage back in the 1950’s and 60’s when Jack Nicklaus was banging 300-yard drives and collecting Tour wins like baseball cards with the clubs, and master clubmaker Don White was crafting some of the best forged irons in the land. All told, a record 59 majors have been won on the PGA Tour with MacGregor clubs in the bag.

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Schneider purchased the 105-year-old company in 1998, and immediately decided to target the hard-core golfer over the occasional weekend warrior. He put his faith in incumbent designer Jim Bode and also brought in Dave Wood of the 1970’s Wood brother fame as chief club designer. This meeting of great minds produced the V-Foil technology and ultimately the VIP line of irons and woods endorsed by Tour players Jose Maria Olazabal and Lee Janzen.

"Our exclusive V-Technologies adds greater mass deep and behind the hitting area where golfers need it the most," says Schneider. "Jose Maria Olazabal has already won with V-FOIL forged irons, and our V-Technology prototypes have found their way into the bags of many PGA Tour Professionals."

V-Foil stands for “vectored force of impact localization,” and in layman’s terms means that the mass of the iron is directed towards the point of impact with the golf ball, thus creating more direct force behind the ball for increased power, forgiveness and overall control.

arizona golf arizona golf arizona golf Also, the V-Foil moves weight away from the face, which slows the rotation of the clubface as it moves through the hitting area. That keeps the force moving forward with less twisting on off-center hits. The new line of irons come in both muscle back (1025M) and cavity back (1025C) models, catering to low and mid handicappers, respectively. High handicappers will find the clubhead size on the 1025C model to be a slightly smaller than “game improvement” models such as the Callaway Hawkeye irons.

Golfers who purchase MacGregor’s VIP wedges will be pleasantly surprised to find a club that looks and behaves much like Cleveland’s vaunted 588 Tour Action line, or Titleist’s Vokey wedges. MacGregor insists, quite accurately, that its wedges are not spins offs of these wildly successful designs.

In fact, the company has simply retained the classic lines of its older model wedges, designed by masters such as Tony Penna, and moved the center of gravity further back from the face (hence V-FOIL). This enhances feel and performance of the club, and in our opinion makes it one of the best line of wedges on the market today.

The VIP Driver is one of the more elegant looking clubs on the market today, and is recognizable because of its unique V-Cavity weighting on the bottom of the clubhead. The driver also utilizes the V-Foil technology and sports a 340cc Beta Titanium design for more power and less shot dispersion. The 1025C irons with steel shafts will sell for $799, the 1025M for $899, and the wedges are available separately for a suggested retail of $99. Custom ground sets from Don White can be ordered for about $2,000. The VIP driver retails for $350 and fairway woods are available for $240.

"I’ve said during the past several months that we were committed to the Tour, and here you see our plan unfolding," says Schneider. "Our strategy is to develop a diverse tour advisory staff that demonstrates the performance enhancing desirability of our V-Technologies equipment, and assists our continuing product development efforts.”

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