Over the past several months I have placed perhaps 3 orders from Golfsmith.
In each case, I was able to place my order (either on line or by phone) and
received everything I ordered in a prompt and timely fashion. To sum up my
experience so far, I'm very happy with Golfsmith, and I think that their
present level of customer service (at least to me) has equalled or exceeded
Dynacraft's, and certainly equalled Diamondtour's too.
To illustrate their level of service, I placed an order online in the
afternoon. I wanted to get a putter cover for my new wood and brass putter,
and they offer a nice black leather cover. When I read about it online, the
description read "vinyl, leather-like material", but the catalog read
"genuine leather". I decided not to get it and closed out the order. A few
hours later, I called Golfsmith to ask about the putter cover (should have
done that first - doh!). The rep was very helpful and checked with his
supervisor about what it was made out of. He assured me it was real
leather, but told me that once an online order is placed, they can't add too
it. I was about to tell him to forget it, since I didn't want to pay
through the nose for shipping a separate package, when he said that they'd
waive the shipping charges for the putter cover. Needless to say I was very
pleased and agreed to get it.
Now we'll see when and what arrives in a few days. I hope and expect that
they'll both get here about the same time. UPS sometimes messes up and
delivers one package one day and the other the next, but I've had it happen
where they both come on the same day too.
Another example of their customer service had to do with part of yesterday's
order. I have a friend who is interested in new irons (so am I, but I can't
justify new ones - yet). He's a high handicapper, so I suggested the new
Golfsmith TGI 560 or the 400 CM irons. Based on the information in the
catalog and on the website these irons are very similar to each other (both
are sub $11/head), the only (minorly) significant differences being the
hosel offset (relative difference of only 1mm) and the fabrication
technique. Both heads have a deep cavity with a lower perimeter "hood" that
pulls weight down and behind the clubface. The "hood" creates a little
pocket when the club is at address. With the TGI irons, the head is cast in
one piece; the 400 CM has the hood welded on after the body of the head is
cast. Both heads are all 431 stainless steel.
I called Golfsmith to find out what the significant differences were (from a
player's standpoint). The customer service guy gave me an honest answer:
there's no real significant difference, and since the Golfsmith R&D dept has
recently lost one of it's guiding members, there's not much info going out
to the cust. service reps. on the design "philosophy" (as I interpreted his
comments). Since the clubs are too new, there's very little feedback from
clubmakers, so it's really buy blind and find out on your own. He did tell
me (and it's not really mentioned in the catalog or on the website) that the
400 CM has more material in the heel of the club to help square up the face
and therefore make it more forgiving. I somehow suspect (although I could
be quite wrong here) that the guy who left designed one of the heads, and
someone else (who stayed) did the other. How both came to be introduced
simultaneously (and on opposing pages in the catalog) I don't know. It
seems silly to offer two very similar looking heads that are both geared for
high handicappers. At least make one *look* different. I guess it's like
GM having several nearly identical cars marketed under different "brands",
but are nearly the same once you look behind the nameplate.
Anyway, I decided on the 400 CM simply because it had the heel weight
distribution and it offered a 2 iron too (not that I'd want to get it, but
it could make for a dandy rescue or under-the-tree-punch-out club). I
decided to match it with a True Temper TX-90 superlite steel shaft in a
regular flex. I'll grip it with my favorite Lamkin crossline grip.
I want to try the club too, and to compare it with my Tommy Armour 845
silver scots. To test the forgiveness of the head, I selected a 3 iron,
since these are more difficult to hit well than say a 7 or 9 iron.
I'll soon have an idea of how forgiving these irons are and if I can justify
a new set of clubs for myself (and if I want these heads).