Bob Parsons: Innovation Personified

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Tête-à-Tête With Bob Parsons, Founder of PXG, Who Shares The Philosophy Behind Manufacturing The Best Customised Clubs On The Planet.

Bob Parsons needs no introduction in the golfing circuit. His equipment firm Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG) which sold their first club in 2015 has gone on to attract star professionals like Lydia Ko (a former World No. 1 on LPGA), 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa and the current CIMB Classic winner Pat Perez among others.

Parsons is best known as the founder of GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain name provider. He is widely recognized for his entrepreneurial and philanthropic efforts. Currently, Bob is a member of the GoDaddy Board of Directors and is the CEO and Founder of YAM Worldwide, which is home to his ventures in the fields of motorcycles, golf, real estate, marketing, production, innovation and philanthropy.

A U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Parsons attended college at the University of Baltimore on the G.I. bill and graduated magna cum laude. His alma mater presented him with an honorary doctorate in 2008 and named him Distinguished Entrepreneur in 2010.

From starting a software company (Parsons Technology) in his basement in 1984 to running the likes of GoDaddy, which is valued at US$2.3 billion, Parsons has earned respect the hard way. Parsons along with his wife Renee founded The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation in 2012 and the firm has awarded more than $133 million to charitable organizations till date.

The PXG founder spoke to Golf Digest India on a plethora of issues including the philosophy behind manufacturing the best customized clubs on the planet and the scope to improve equipment technology keeping in mind the R&A’s (Royal & Ancient Golf Club, St. Andrews – golf’s world governing rules body) guidelines. Excerpts:

Golf Digest India: With many golf equipment brands already present what prompted you to launch PXG?

Bob Parsons: I’m obsessed with golf equipment and how the right clubs can help improve anyone’s game. Before launching PXG, I spent a quarter of a million dollars annually trying the latest equipment. Irons, drivers, shafts, grips – you name it, I’ve played it! I knew what worked and what didn’t, what was real and what was just hype. PXG was born out of my desire to do things differently and design the best performing golf equipment on the planet.

GDI: What did you have to do by way of R&D to develop the new technology?

BP: I believed if the normal constraints of time and money were removed from equipment design, development and the manufacturing process, incredible advances were possible. Turns out I was right.

GDI: Who are some of the top players playing PXG and how have they fared?

BP: Tour validation is important. We have signed some of the best talent in the game to put our equipment in play because, at the end of the day, its all about performance. With wins on all three major US tours by our small professional staff, the message is clear, PXG is for real!

Our stellar roster includes James Hahn, Billy Horschel, Charles Howell III, Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore, Pat Perez, Charl Schwartzel, Austin Ernst, Christina Kim, Lydia Ko, Brittany Lang, Alison Lee, Ryann O’Toole, Sadena Parks, Gerina Piller and Beatriz Recari.

GDI: Do you think there is scope for equipment to be further improved given the R&A limitations on COR etc.?

BP: In 1899, Charles H Duell, the Commissioner of the U.S. patent office famously said, “everything that can be invented has been invented”. Clearly, he was wrong.

GDI: Is there room for further improvement to golf club technology?

BP: Absolutely! As far as PXG is concerned, what we’ve accomplished so far is just the tip of the iceberg.

 

(Read more in the December issue of Golf Digest India. Download here.)

(Read more in the December issue of Golf Digest India. Download here.)

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