Casual golfers need not apply.
Every time the industry’s biggest players launch a new driver, or fairway wood, or hybrid, or iron, or wedge, or putter, or ball, they spend two tons of cash marketing them on every form of media available. This results in an ever-decreasing amount of space in golfers’ heads for the independent club-maker with no ad budget, the little guy who must seize every opportunity to make a sale.
So it’s always so gratifying then to hear of the minnow manufacturer whose unswerving perseverance and belief in his product, and his existing knowledge and expertise have been enough to build some sort of presence, and certainly one the serious golfer should know about.
Scott Petersen began tinkering with iron heads 15 years ago. Bored of his desk job, the engineer from Utah started his own contracting firm and gave up whatever spare time he had to his hobby.
By 2005, Petersen was confident he had a design that might prove popular. But it still needed four to five years of testing and refining before he could make it available. “The tests were outstanding,” he says. “So I went into production, and sold my first iron in October 2011.”
As you can imagine for a club-maker relying solely on word of mouth and without a website or any golf-course contacts, it wasn’t easy establishing his product. One thing that definitely worked in Petersen’s favor though was an unwillingness to make any concessions on quality.
“I’d been playing golf for 30 years and kept wondering why irons made in Japan were so expensive and just had a feel of their own,” he says. “I found the thing that set them apart was the softer carbon-steel they use, and also the forging process. After many failed attempts at getting an American company to try it—no one here wants to get into forging heads as it’s way too costly—I decided to have all my heads forged in Japan or Hong Kong. They’re put together here.”
Petersen goes a step further by using a mill to cut the head from the forged piece, “which gives me very tight tolerance levels. The precision of my irons is therefore unmatched by anyone.”
Fans of Miura, Honma and Epon irons might take issue with that last statement, but there’s no doubting ScottGolf irons are among the best-looking and best-made you’ll find in America.
Given the attention to detail, the level of craftsmanship, and the raw materials Petersen uses, it’s not surprising that ScottGolf clubs are a little pricey.
The company’s premium iron, the SG-01 Elite retails for $2,499. The best-selling iron—the SG-02—is aimed at anyone with a handicap between scratch and “about 17,” says Petersen, and sells for $1,399. “It’s a good-looking players’ club with a back cavity that provides a lot of forgiveness,” he adds.
With his engineering background and obvious flair for design, Scott Petersen has the tools to become a great club-maker. He needs good marketing though—some catchy slogans and sound-bites—if his clubs are to generate the interest they deserve. Seems he’s got that area covered too. “A new standard of excellence is now here,” he says without vacillation.
Check out a ScottGolf iron and you’ll discover he might actually be right. scottgolf.com