202: Recruiting and Building a Team of Tour Players | Mike Dunphy | Srixon / Cleveland Golf

Today we’re talking with Mike Dunphy, Player Development Manager for Srixon / Cleaveland Golf.  Mike is in charge of finding, recruiting, and training all the new players that they bring in to the brand of Srixon / Cleveland Golf. From collegiate to WebDotCom, to PGA players using their equipment, Mikes is in charge of it all.

It was very cool to pick Mike’s brain and get an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes with player development in a brand like Srixon/Cleveland.  We also discussed what the difference maker is when these players choose Srixon over some of the other larger companies like Titleist, Callaway, etc.

Mike Dunphy & Srixon’s Background

  • Mike DunphyMike started coaching college golf at a very young age at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and soon after went to work with Cleveland Golf to create an opportunity for young kids to play golf.
  • Mike helped develop the Ambassador Program between Nextgengolf and Srixon/Cleveland Golf, which is designed to help celebrate collegiate club golf on a national scale.
  • CMike has worked with, recruited and developed some of the top players in the world that have chosen Srixon as their brand to represent.  Players like Keegan Bradley, Russell Knox, and Smylie Kauffman just to name a few.

Highlights from this Episode

  • Mike kicks the episode off talking about the expansive growth in collegiate club golf; not only how far spread it now reaches through colleges and universities, but the importance from a branding perspective. He also goes into his past with coaching and how he got in with Srixon / Cleveland Golf, and what his responsibilities are.
  • Mike and I go into the details of what exactly he is looking at when looking for new students to join the Srixon / Cleveland Golf roster, such as what handicaps they look for and between what ages they look for. Mike also talks on how he approaches these players and what is the difference maker that they have over golf companies like Titleist, Taylor Made, and Callaway.
  • When he’s looking for a new player, Mike talks about a “farm system.” (Educating and molding these younger players.) I talk to Mike about what this educating looks like to get collegiate players to work their way up to the PGA tour. We also talk about why Mike and Srixon / Cleveland Golf don’t make a habit of getting their product to the youngest of players due to an unpredictable and often lacking ROI.
  • Mike talks on what we can look at in a golf ball, and better yet the differences between golf balls, why we have to match the ball to our swing speed to dial in control on our swing, and what makes Srixon golf balls different.
Parting Questions:

Caddy Shack or Happy Gilmore?  CaddyShack (but his favorite golf movie of all time is Dead Solid Perfect)
What would be your walk-up song?  Black Cow by Steely Dan  or Stomp by The Brothers Johnson

If you could play 18 holes with anyone, who would it be and where would you play?
Too many people to name, but definitely playing at Oakmont

Any last advice to the 18Strong Audience?  Golf is a game that brings people together so we have to keep it going in the right direction.



Cleveland Golf


Episode 166 w/ Kris Hart from NextGen Golf

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SuperSpeed Golf