If you were asked to name the fastest growing golf ball in Ireland over the past couple of years, you may be surprised to learn the answer. Carlow’s own Seed Golf reckons they’ve locked down that title, announcing recently that the company is on track to double sales again this year, and now boasts customers in 38 countries. Covid, clearly, has been good for online golf ball sales.
The more amazing part of the story is how this self-described ‘scrappy little start-up’ has managed to go toe-to-toe with the industry heavyweights and prosper.
“Well, it hasn’t been easy”, said Seed founder Dean Klatt. “There’s plenty of competition in the golf ball market but what sets Seed apart is simply value for money. The balls perform on par with the big boys and they’re the best value on the market. It’s a simple strategy really.”
The combination of that performance with a Subscription buying option is proving more and more popular also, with over 60% of Seed customers now regular subscribers.
“There was a little bit of skepticism when we first launch the subscription program,” said Klatt “It was very new for golf, I think we’re the only company that does it in golf, so people weren’t quite sure about it. As we’ve gone along, particularly through the lockdown periods, more and more people became aware of just how easy it was to pause & restart whenever they need balls again & still get access to our lowest prices.”
- Choose your Seed
The company also took the time over lockdown to work on areas of the business that wouldn’t normally get that much attention.
“We’ve been growing so quickly, you often get caught up in the day to day and don’t get the chance to work on the good stuff. We decided to look at the lockdown as an opportunity to finish all the ideas we’d been banging on about but hadn’t got around to completing.”
The results? A revamped ball range, a new golf bag range, direct-distribution facilities in the US and the UK, and a new website.
Seed says the upgrades to the ball design are subtle, but noticeable in performance. Each ball is different, but predominantly the upgrades are based around the Core and Mantle formulations. Each has been tweaked to offer improved performance all round.
Klatt explains: “The SD-01 is our most popular seller, feedback has been great so we were reluctant to change it to be honest. However, the designers got together with the chemical engineers here in Carlow and began tweaking the formulas. In layman’s terms, we ended up increasing the size of the core, and making the mantle layer more elastic. The urethane cover was made a little thinner also, which results in more power and feedback.”
According to the company’s testing, improvements in launch speeds, total carry, spin rate and fee have followed.
The company has also developed two new ball models, the SD-X1 targeted at ‘bombers’ according to Klatt, and ‘The Jack’ alignment ball similar to the Triple Track or TruVis concept. Both are due for release later this year, along with a new golf bag range.
Seeds lead product designer Kevin Hannafin said:
“The golf bags have been designed from our experiences playing in Ireland, and looking at ways to improve overall bag design and our sustainability. The material used to make the bags is waterproof, but made from single use plastic bottles. 27 waste bottles are recycled to make the yarn for each bag and there’s a bunch of interesting features built in to make the bag really work when you’re out there on the course.”
Apart from the sales growth, what makes a lot of this expansion possible is the company’s recent ‘Join The Club’ crowdfunding campaign. That’s provided a boost of funding to ‘turbo charge our growth’, as Klatt puts it:
“The campaign was designed for the golf community, and to give Seed fans a chance to invest directly in the business and be part of the story. I wasn’t 100% sure how it would go, but the results were beyond our wildest expectations… we achieved our funding goal within 48 hours of launching.”
So, the future’s looking rosy for Carlow’s very own golf brand. And there’s probably not too many people outside of Ireland who would have predicted that.
- Company: seedgolf.com
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