Recently, someone asked a question on Quora about Tommy Armour golf clubs, and if they’re any good.
Dear gawd, I hate answering these kinds of questions… but I did, anyway. I’m a glutton for punishment, I suppose.
Anyway, this was my response:
Tommy Armour’s are just as good as any of the “big names” available. We can say that about any other brands:
- Ben Hogan
- and all the others I’ve mentioned before
Do you know what really separates the Nike’s, Titleist’s, Callaway’s, etc., from the Tommy Armour’s, Ben Hogan’s, Tom Wishon’s, etc.?
Advertising and Sponsorship money.
Companies with a lot of cash can afford to tell you how good they are. They can do it so many times a day that, eventually, you’ll start to believe it. It’s simple marketing.
Tommy Armour, like Lynx, Strata, Spaulding, Top-Flite, etc., was a big name on Tour back in the day. Once the companies like Taylormade and Callaway decided to go all-in with ads and sponsorships (and all the cash it requires to make those machines run), those companies couldn’t keep up.
Here’s an anecdotal story:
Years ago, I met an older man that owned a popcorn-making facility. His company made popcorn for Orville Redenbacher, Act One, Indian Trails (what the Boy Scouts sold), among others.
He got into selling his own brand of popcorn, Magic Pop… but it failed.
This is the exact same popcorn that you, me, and everyone else buys in stores- just with a different name attached to it.
I asked him that exact question: how did his popcorn not sell?!
His response: he couldn’t pay that kind of money to get his name out past the surrounding area. He couldn’t pay that kind of money to condition people to think “man, I need some MagicPop popcorn, like, yesterday”.
That, in a nutshell, is what happened to Tommy Armour. They’re still good clubs. If they’re properly-fitted to your body type and swing they’ll be fantastic clubs.
They just couldn’t continue to pay enough money to make you think they were the best clubs on the market.
That’s really it. If you see a nice set of TA’s (or any other brand) on Ebay, and they’re at a price you just can’t pass up… don’t. Go for it. Just remember to get them fitted!
I’ve mentioned before that the “big boys” say a lot to try to convince you to buy their stuff. It’s common practice. It doesn’t mean you have to listen to it, though!