(PJS)
Hey Cole, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. For those who don’t know you please tell us where you’re based and what you do?

(CY)
Hey, y’all! My name is Cole Young and I am based in Los Angeles, CA. Let’s see how many hot words I can use… I am the Founder and CEO of Metalwood Studio.


The idea of The Pro of Yesteryear is hilarious to us. Someone that shows all the signs of a golfer that used to know what they were doing and are now washed up: blades, cord grips (logo down), AJGA stickers on the bottom of their PING Hoofer Vintage bag, etc…

(PJS)
What exactly is Metalwood Studio? How did it all come about?

(CY)
Metalwood Studio is a bit of an inside joke about the nuances that go along with playing golf at a competitive level. I played golf in college (poorly) as well as a few of my close friends. The idea of The Pro of Yesteryear is hilarious to us. Someone that shows all the signs of a golfer that used to know what they were doing and are now washed up: blades, cord grips (logo down), AJGA stickers on the bottom of their PING Hoofer Vintage bag, etc… This time in golf was so important to me and it still is very much so my “costume.” So, I figured it’d be a great creative exercise to build a brand surrounding arguably the least fashionable era of the sport and the technology of the time.

I really just started posting pictures of obsolete golf clubs on Instagram. I hope that doesn’t discount the time and effort I put into Metalwood, but that’s it. The lightbulb moment was when all of my friends that were trying to get into golf were spending an arm and a leg on brand new equipment. Metalwood encourages people to build golf sets just as you might mix designer clothing with vintage bits. How creative can you get with a $250 budget for clubs? You just never know what gems are hiding in the used bins at your local golf shop.

 

Metalwood Studio




(PJS)
What’s been the proudest achievement for you at Metalwood so far? Not going to lie, the Beams JP feature was pretty big-time from where I’m sitting.

(CY)
Yes, very stoked on that! I’ve been super lucky to have developed awesome relationships with a few folks in Japan that are at the forefront of changing the sport. Shout out them <3

I’m pretty proud that I’ve made it this far with such remedial education in Adobe Creative Suite, lol. I purchased and started using Photoshop for the first time on Jan. 1, 2020. I still don’t even use Illustrator. The Instagram page is like a working archive or diary of me learning how to use Photoshop. From concept, to finding the necessary tutorial on the technique on YouTube, to tech pack, to sample, to bulk production and finally to a store like Manor in Phoenix, AZ or Clubhaus Golf Supply in Osaka, Japan… I’m having fun learning and that itself is fulfilling.


Metalwood Studio

(PJS)
Would you say there’s a guiding ethos to your work or your outlook in general? Or are you pretty casual about it all?

(CY)
VERY casual. If I wouldn’t wear it, I wouldn’t make it. That’s not to be a snob or braggadocious… But, I think the easiest thing to sell is yourself. That, in my opinion, is a huge part of, say, tapping into the subculture of a subculture. The apparel industry is massive. So is golf. I guess one layer deeper is “woke” golf? And then beneath that… I don’t even know. But your day one, early adopter, ride-or-die followers/fans are going to come from connecting with them on something they didn’t think they had in common with anyone. Like, I realize I’m not casting a wide net by making blade jokes or sexualizing Fred Couples’ swing, but the fact that there are fire emojis in the comments section has to mean I’m striking a chord with at least a couple people, right? Metalwood is pretty unapologetically me and that’s been a good North Star thus far.


Like, I realize I’m not casting a wide net by making blade jokes or sexualizing Fred Couples’ swing, but the fact that there are fire emojis in the comments section has to mean I’m striking a chord with at least a couple people, right?

(PJS)
Now looking at your feed it’s clear we grew up playing golf in the same era. Would you say you have a dislike for new technology or a strong liking to old technology? (and why).

(CY)
Awesome question. I look forward to answering this again when we buy TaylorMade SIM 2s 15 years from now ;)

For a gearhead like me that really wants to try anything and everything, the best part about the new golf product cycle is that nothing holds its value for too long. The TaylorMade r7 425 TP retailed for $899 when it made its debut in 2006. Now I bet you could find one in immaculate shape for under $100 on eBay. It’s the revisitation of these forgotten clubs that’s so fun to me. I kinda think fins and weight ports and trying too hard to be good at golf is corny but again, I might be super interested in this year’s tech a few years down the road, so… we’ll see.

Metalwood Studio


(PJS)
What does your current setup look like? What are you gaming?

(CY)
The perfect set up is fleeting but here’s what’s been working as of late:

Driver: Titleist 905R 8.5* w/ UST Proforce V2 66S
Fairway Wood: Adams Golf Redline RPM 5050 Prototype 13* w/ Fujikura Motore F3 80S
Irons: TaylorMade rac Coin Forged MBs (3-PW) w/ Rifle Flighted Precision 6.0
Wedges: Nike VR Pro Satin 55* & 60* w/ Dynamic Gold S400
Putter: GoodWood G7 Custom in Raw Finish
Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS
Bag: MacKenzie Leather Sunday Walker

Air Jordan golf shoes are going to catch the attention of an alternative demographic and pull them into golf. I’m fine with that. The more the merrier. Am I that demographic? No


(PJS)
If I was to draw a common thread between Metalwood Studio & Porter James Sports it would be the heritage, or timeless appeal of golf. Do you think this has been lost over the years? Do you feel the game has progressed or gone backwards since we were younger?

(CY)
The heritage and timeless appeal of golf from a style and design perspective definitely needs to be more present in today’s game. Double edged sword, really. Air Jordan golf shoes are going to catch the attention of an alternative demographic and pull them into golf. I’m fine with that. The more the merrier. Am I that demographic? No... Also, what the fuck does a hat with a massive, vowel-less word on the crown do for the game of golf? I don’t know.

The second question requires such a delicate answer. The game has progressed and is getting more inclusive, but there is still SO much work to be done. Why is it that we denounce elitist, country club life and exclusivity all day long but, the second we get invited to the club, it’s like Heaven’s gates open up and cherubs start singing? I’m guilty of it, too!

The bit that really saddens me and why I’m embarrassed to tell people that I’m a golfer is the comments section on some of these golf Instagrams. Just go back and look at the comments where Cameron Champ is talking about the Black Lives Matter movement or whatever outlet that posted about Ralph Lauren dropping Justin Thomas following his homophobic slur and you’ll see what’s wrong with golf. If you are a bald, gas station sunglass-wearing man that’s written “stick to posting about golf” next to your car selfie, please do not buy any of my stuff. It’s not for you.

 

Metalwood Studio


(PJS)
Second to last question, what can we expect out of Metalwood Studio over the next year or two?

(CY)
Metalwood Studio will continue to be more of the same just (hopefully) on a bigger stage. I mean that like, the ethos will not change and it will still be unapologetically me. Over the holiday break I was able to sit down and put together what I think is a pretty strong and expansive offering for this Summer (in the Northern Hemisphere, that is) that will start delivering in April. I’m really excited at the thought of using wholesale as a marketing tool all over the World and eventually becoming a four-season brand. Also, some really awesome and unexpected collaborations are just on the horizon ;)

(PJS)
And finally, what does a life well-designed look like to you?

(CY)
Beyond good design being able to stand the test of time and trends, I think a life well-designed is accomplished through patience. I think most people reading this can relate to such a rudimentary example of this in Justin Saunders’ brand, JJJJound. Notice how everything he produces is just right? It’s so thoughtful. I think he does this just by not prescribing to the standard fashion or ready-to-wear schedule/calendar. In order to release something to the public (not to mention, something that’s a direct extension of yourself that you put your heart and soul into) it has to make sense and it has to be just right. When you rush to meet deadlines and cut corners, bad things happen. I’ve never felt rushed in anything that I’ve done in building Metalwood Studio and I intend to keep it that way. That’s life well-designed in my opinion.


Metalwood Studio

In Conversation with Cole Young of Metalwood Studio