US Marine Bob Parsons made his billions selling internet domains, then founded Parsons Xtreme Golf, bought his own golf club and set about rewiring the game.
A self-proclaimed golf nut who couldn’t find clubs he really wanted, Bob Parsons founded Parsons Xtreme Golf to “design and develop the finest golf clubs ever played”. He’s done pretty well, too, first offering super-premium clubs with super-premium price tags and now selling individual clubs for less than mainstream brands.
He’s just opened his first shipping centre outside the USA, in Surrey, saying: “The opening of PXG UK is not only a testament to how far we’ve come, but also a statement about where we are heading. As we grow, we want our customers to have the best possible experience end to end. That means their clubs are built right and ship fast. The new centre enables us to do both.”
That’s the now, then, but here’s the story of how he got here – in his own words.
My road into golf hasn’t been quick or easy. I set up Parsons Xtreme Golf in 2014, but my involvement in golf goes back to my childhood. I grew up as poor as a church mouse in a blue-collar neighbourhood of Baltimore. My parents were gamblers – cards, horses, bingo, you name it. So that meant we had nothing. As I got older, if I wanted anything I had to hustle for it. From the earliest days I was running errands, mowing lawns, shovelling snow, serving newspapers, construction work… all sorts.
At school, I wasn’t a very good student. I barely passed every year. If I was at school today, I’d probably be pumped full of Ritalin (a stimulant used to treat ADHD). Back then, I was mostly a pain in the ass. I failed fifth grade but because of a clerical mistake I still went to sixth grade, so I went into sixth grade with fourth-grade skills. I had trouble every year after that and as a senior in high school I was failing most everything.
At that point, some buddies said: “We’re going to talk to the Marine Corps recruiter today, do you want to go with us?” I said “sure” and we all joined the Marine Corps together in 1968, during the height of the Vietnam War…
Read the full interview on the Today’s Golfer Members’ Website.