Andrew Rice belongs to the best golf teachers in America and has been ranked among „The 50 Best Teachers in America“. His open-minded character and his in-depth knowledge about golf have made him a brilliant ambassador for Vice Golf.
In his interview with Vice Golf, he shares his opinion on the development of the golf ball industry and the golf industry in general.
Vice Golf: Andrew, the golf industry has been shaken up over the past years with shortened product lifecycles and the constant presentation of “the latest products” – how do you see this development?
Andrew: The golf industry has made a habit of making things difficult to understand for the regular golfer and golf ball fitting is no different.
Vice Golf: How do you help your students make smart decisions and – diving into the ball business right away – how do they choose the right golf ball for their game?
Andrew: The first question I ask any golfer is how they rate performance vs. price. There will always people who value performance at any cost and the opposite side where people are concerned with costs and less is better for them. Once you decide where you fall, then seek out the best performing golf ball at the lowest price. This is a combination that seems to work very for most people.
Vice Golf: Are more pricey golf balls automatically better?
Andrew: The perception is that increased cost equates to increased performance, and maybe that used to be the case. High performance levels are now attainable at a significantly lower cost than before thanks to smart business models and new approaches. Once they learn that they can have high performance along with low cost then the decision becomes so much easier.
Vice Golf: The complexity of golf balls continues to increase in the industry – what is your opinion on multi-layer golf balls and the different covers used?
Andrew: I want golfers to know that a cast urethane cover and an increased number of layers typically add to the performance levels of the golf ball. Manufacturers typically add cost with multilayer golf balls, with Vice that is not the case!
Vice Golf: Speaking of performance at an affordable price – does it have to be a “tour-level” ball for everyone? What are the key characteristics of a “tour golf ball”?
Andrew: Not every golfer needs a high performance golf ball. Many are simply looking for an inexpensive ‘distance’ option. A ‘tour’ golf ball plays two games – it goes far and the cover responds well on the softer, finesse shots that require spin.
Vice Golf: Many golfers want to play a premium golf ball but don´t want to pay a premium price. This often ends up with them buying lakeballs – is that something you´d recommend doing?
Andrew: Using lakeballs is a crap shoot. If you care about your results on the course then there’s no way a lake ball should ever make it into the starting line-up!
Vice Golf: Many ball manufacturers place clubhead speed over spin rates when offering golf ball fittings – do you believe that clubhead speed is still of major importance in times of today´s technology?
Andrew: To a certain degree clubhead should play a role in the type of golf ball you buy, but it doesn’t need to be nearly as complex a process as some companies make it out to be. I find that spin generation could be easily replace club speed as the primary factor in selecting a golf ball.
Vice Golf: What are the key factors to finding the right golf ball for your game in your opinion?
Andrew: The two big factors when selecting a golf ball for a student are going to be typical spin rate along with clubhead speed.
Vice Golf: Thanks for taking the time and sharing your thoughts on the golf (ball) business!