The Most Popular Tool May Not Be The Most Effective

Golf is a great game, but it’s not a normal game. It’s one of the few games where the lowest score wins. So, the winner of a tournament will not be the one with the highest score and is never the one to shoot a perfect round. No golfer is going to shoot an eagle in every single round.

Playing golf isn’t about perfection, unlike a pitcher in baseball who can pitch a perfect game. It often comes down to who can make the fewest mistakes. The winner of a tournament isn’t usually the one that makes the most spectacular shots; it’s usually the one who is the most consistent and avoids the big mistakes like shots into the water.

Golf is also a game of business and big business. A golf course is a favorite place for impromptu business meetings where deals are made and associations often become friendships. It’s the perfect mix of recreation, socialization, and business.

Let’s talk a little about the golf equipment business. The global golf equipment business is huge – and, according to grandviewresearch.com, estimated to reach nearly $7 billion in 2022. The big business of golf is why the world’s best golfers get paid big bucks to endorse manufacturers’ products. Everyone wants to fix or improve their games. Manufacturers know this and key in on reducing mistakes. “This club will cut down your slices, this ball will sail straighter… and so on.”

When selecting golf equipment, you’re probably like most golfers and want to know what the professionals are using. What balls do they use on tour? You think that it’s perhaps the best if everyone else uses it. But, the most popular ball or most used ball might not necessarily be the best.

Back in 2000, the most popular ball on the PGA tour and golf store shelves was the Titleist Professional (Titleist still makes the best-selling golf ball – the Pro V1). Like most golf balls at the time, the Titleist had a liquid-filled core and wound construction. Then Nike and Tiger Woods introduced a whole new golf ball. The Tour Accuracy was one of the first of its kind with a solid core instead of a liquid one. The Tour Accuracy consisted of a three-piece, solid construction ball with a molded rubber core and urethane cover. It was like nothing else on tour.

Tiger, who helped design the ball during its two-year development and engineering cycle, loved it because it was designed so well. He’d hit the shots he needed with more ease and more confidence for specifically what he wanted to do. Golf.com. The ball was so effective that Tiger grabbed three majors in 2000 – winning the U.S. Open with mind-blowing and record-shattering 15 strokes.

When it comes to investments, how do we gain an edge?

Take a cue from the Tiger Nike golf ball saga. While everyone else was zigging, Tiger zagged and went completely against tradition and what was popular and dominated the game. Just like Titleist atop the golf ball market share world, public stocks have always been and will always be the most popular investment option for most investors. However, the Tiger Woods of the investing world – the ones that zag when everyone else zigs – dominate investing returns.

Smart investors aren’t afraid to go against what’s popular. They’ll stick to boring and traditional (commercial real estate, private equity) or with cutting edge (NFTs) if the asset gives them an edge and helps them accomplish their investment goal of financial independence.

When it comes to investments, if you remember that sometimes the most popular or most mainstream tools aren’t necessarily the most effective for getting a job done, you just might steer towards the assets that will give you an edge and get you to your goal of financial freedom sooner and with fewer bumps.



Mike Ayala has owned and operated mobile home parks since 2007, and has been active in construction and management since he was 15 years old. He graduated from the Associated Builders and Contractors 4-year project management program at age 22 and then became a licensed instructor. He is also the host of the Investing for Freedom podcast.