BACK STORY

Discovery

Our story commenced in early 2002 when our founder, Tom, was being hounded to play Golf with some friends. He was hesitant as he had never lifted a Golf club before, and after much badgering he conceded: “I dont even know how to hold it – is there a specific way?”

He soon discovered that there was indeed a very specific way – and that the correct execution of this grip was fundamental to becoming a good Golfer. So he searched for a product to help guide him.

Despite extensive searching of Pro shops and online, he could not find an aid that would help him achieve the correct grip. Frustrated by the lack of options, and being a Product Designer, he had the idea to design and develop one himself.

Inception

Tom began to theorise how a training aid like this might function, and what it might look like. While his very first sketches did not resemble the final product, the seed of the idea was sown. Within the text and scribbles were: “Golf grip” and “Helping beginners hold their club better + developing their game”.

Knowing very little about Golf, Tom approached the experts. Taking his sketchbook idea with him he obtained professional advice from multiple PGA’s at various Golf Courses and Driving Ranges. The interest and intrigue encourging him to pursue the concept further.

Prototyping

Understanding that the development of this idea would be literally hands-on. He returned to the PGA’s with various apparatus and moldable materials, like putty, to take impressions of their hand positions. These moldings became the foundation of the golf-grip™, establishing the various ergonomic shapes needed to help cradle and guide the hands, just like the Pros.

The first prototypes were very crude and rudimentary, but they allowed the PGA’s to provide valuable feedback and each development helped inform a new round of prototypes – of which there were many. Each one slowly evolving closer to an ergonomic form that would replicate the PGA grip.

Failure

After several rounds of testing, Tom returned to the PGAs, armed with a fully finalised prototype. Confident in the fact that the broad spectrum of PGA involvement would result in a successful final test. The prototype was fully molded rubber grip and was designed as a direct replacement for a standard rubber grip.

While the PGA’s agreed it helped achieve a good grip and ‘felt’ right, they complained that a full rubber grip would mean professional installation, and could therefore only function on a single club. They speculated that anyone purchasing it would likely only install it on an old club as they would not want this permanently on their everyday club. Being a beginner himself, Tom rectuantly conceeded that beginners would not likely have ‘old clubs’ – and as they would be the primary user, that posed a critcal problem.

The Pros were universal in their agreement – It was good, but a really ground-breaking grip trainer would be removable and transferable – available for use on any club in the Golfers bag.

Reset

Deflated, Tom returned to the drawing board, hoping that if he could evolve his molded aid to be removeable, it might overturn this setback and result in a viable product that would genuinely help Golfers.

He began with different attachments, and complicated mechanisms, followed by straps and fixtures, some that required holes to be drilled. All solutions proved to be problematic and unsatisfactory

Then he happened upon the tubular and tapered nature of Golf club handles. Narrower at the base and wider at the top, they allow grip to be maintained through the forces of the swing, without slipping. This presented a much simplier solution. Friction. If the product was created with the correct internal diameters, it would hold tighter the further up the taper it was pushed.

The first fully ergonomic removeable Golf grip training aid was born. 3D models of the new design were built and printed for testing, and as the project progressed more PGA feedback was taken onboard. This resulted in at least 4 more revised models, before a final 3D prinited prototype was ready to be presented to the World.

Pause

In 2003 Tom travelled to the British Open at The Royal St George’s Golf Club, with the sole purpose of demonstrating the final 3D printed sample to anyone who showed an interest. Tom met many Golf Industry insiders, Pro trainers and even Pro players. The golf-grip™ received an overwhelmingly positive response from everyone who saw it including unbelievably Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh & Sir Nick Faldo.

Convinced by the level of accolade the golf-grip™ had recieved, production seemed the next logical step. But while he had the enthusiasm and williness, Manufacters wanted tens of thousands to produce the product and Tom (still only 23) unfortunately lacked the funds, knowledge and resources to continue to progress. The realisation that he had taken the project as far as he could, hit home. For the next few years the project would lay dormant, on the back burner.

Development

During this time, Tom found his path as a Designer with one of the World’s largest Sportwear Brands. Here he unwittingly learnt skills and made contacts that would become essential in progressing the golf-grip™ project.

During a work trip in Taiwan, a chance discussion with Golf-mad colleague, Bob Bogarty, reignited the project. Bob showed great enthuiasm for the 3D printed prototypes and questioned: “you wanna get this made?”. This lead to a meeting with one of the top injection mold manufacturers in the Far East.

After several meetings the project began full production developement. More rounds of testing with new PGAs, and also with PGA Master Professionals to help finesse the details of the multiple 3D printed prototype revisions.

Mold

Tom had known for years that injection molds would cost a lot of money, and was aware that the complicated dual-injectioned form he had developed would likely cost him even more.

While most of his friends and peers saved for a holiday, a car or even a house, Tom saved for injection mold tooling. In 2009, approx. 7 years after his initial idea was first conceived, steel was cut to make the production tooling, and his dream of creating a Golf grip training aid product to help all Golfers was finally realised.

Now all he needed was a name for his product. In all communications the project had simply been refered to as ‘the Golf grip’. So Tom opted for simplicity and trademarked “golf-grip™” – The ergonomic and removeable golf-grip™ training aid was christened.

Production

Production started small, with orders initially through this very website (though much has changed here since). Tom operated from his home, posting each order himself, by hand, and as orders slowly grew beyond his capacity, he employed the services of his younger brother Jack for support. Orders increased consistently over the years as our golf-grip™ business advanced from it‘s humble beginnings and gradually different distribution agents in various regions were engaged – helping us to reach the Pro Golf shops, retail outlets and markets that were out of reach.

Today golf-grip™ has a Global reach, with our training aid available Worldwide, through various Pro Shops, large retailers, and multiple online outlets – including this website.

Patents, Awards & Reviews

In recognition of our uniqueness golf-grip™ has been granted multiple patents Worldwide. This allows us to protect our Intellectual property across US, Europe and Asia, and maintain our position as the leading golf grip training aid.

We have also been acknowledged for excellence in design, becoming an “A’ Design Award Winner” in the Sports Equipment Design catagory – A’ Design Award is the World’s largest, most prestigious and influential design accolade and the highest achievement in design.

While we have never paid anyone to endorse our product, quite regularly the Pros do, and golf-grip™ also ranks highly in indepent product reviews and features – regulary receiving A+ / 5 stars / 10 out-of 10 (see our testimonials page for more)