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SERIES – “How I Started My Golf Company” (TourStriker)

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Today, is (Part 2) of a new series we think your really going to enjoy.  Ever thought of starting your own golf company or launching your own golf product?  Well that's what this series is all about.  We're going to have the guys that have started their own tell their stories about what it takes and what you will need to know to start a golf business.  I think you'll find it amazing how much work goes into launching a brand and all the things that happen between the initial "cool idea" and the first actual sale.

Why did you decide to start this business?

The Tour Striker was not my (Martin Chuck) first idea to help golfers. I have been a tinkerer regarding training aids throughout twenty seven years of coaching people. When you coach a lot, you are always thinking, "boy, if I just had something that could..." That is basically how the idea of the Tour Striker Training Club came about. I was teaching a scooper and realized that if he couldn't depend on the bottom of the club face to scoop with, he would be better off. Off to the cart barn I went and started grinding! My lovely wife, Stacey, really believed in the idea and was the driving force to seeing the the project to completion.

tourstriker original sketch

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?

I was pretty fortunate how things fell into place for me. After I have created a workable prototype on my own, I needed a club designer to actually make the product look nice. I sent an e-mail to Tom Wishon, who is a club designer and manufacturer, and he was kind enough to refer me to Mark Myrhum, who was a contract designer for many top OEM's. Mark helped me with the design and early models but the biggest thing that he did for me was connect me to the manufacturers in China. SCON manufacturers have been fantastic.

What was the most rewarding moment in this process?

I love hearing all of the success stories from the golfers who have improved using the Tour Striker. I've received at least a thousand e-mails from people who have began to strike the ball better after practicing with the Tour Striker. I believe I have changed the intent of how golfers swing the club. That is very pleasing to me.

Explain the process of going from idea to having a finished product for sale.  How long did it take?

The idea came from a student. I wanted to remove what could be construed as positive feedback by scooping at the ball. People can scoop their entire career and never really learn how to compress the ball properly. The idea came to me in the Fall of 2006. I made a usable prototype on my own. I did a patent search. Once I realized that I had an opportunity to patent the idea, I proceeded. I found a designer to help me create a commercial version and started on a marketing plan. We didn't have a lot of money, but we did fund the project all on our own initially. I had product for sale in December 2008. My wife and I decided to display the Tour Striker at the 2009 PGA Show and it was met with a lot of excitement from PGA Members.

We sold Tour Strikers via my website, www.tourstriker.com from our home in Bend, Oregon. We were selling anywhere from 1 to 10 units per day with zero paid advertising. We used social media, YouTube and Facebook, to help expose the product. There are a lot of unsavory people in business and I felt threatened by some of the golf companies out there and felt the need to expand the Tour Striker brand so it would be more identifiable. My wife and I partnered with a marketing company for 50% of the proceeds and we created an infomercial with Gary McCord that aired in May 2010. Since the infomercial, we have sold more than 100,000 Tour Strikers around the World and now have other products in the brand.

What unexpected challenges did you face?

The expense of patents throughout the World is very expensive. We have paid a boatload in attorney's fees.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting a golf business?

There are some necessary steps for sure. If you have a product idea be sure to get a patent search done. There are thousands of viable products and great ideas that never make it to market. It is well worth the expense to pay an attorney to search to see if your product won't infringe on someone else's idea. Starting a business begins with a good plan. You need to know how you will sell your product or services, who your market is and how you will fulfill and service your customers.

Related Articles:

SERIES – “How I Started My Golf Company” (MAS PUTTERS)

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Comments

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Cornelius Murphy August 23, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Hi,

I live in the United Kingdom ( Great Britain) and I have been interested in the Tour Striker for over 2 years ( this also applies to all the various products that are sold by Justin Tuppers company Revolution Golf) , however there is no retail seller in Great Britain so I cannot purchase it here and the cost of buying it from the USA tends to be very expensive once you add the USA state taxes and shipping plush the cost of import duty ( British Taxes on imports) are there any plans to set up a United Kingdom or UK seller that the British golfing public can have access to?

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Drew June 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I’m also curious to know if anyone has tried the Tour Stricker Educator – looks like a new training aid to help you get your wrist flat at the top of your back swing.

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Golfspy Matt June 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Look for an official MyGolfSpy review in 3-4 weeks.

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Drew July 30, 2012 at 7:28 am

You guys look busy, hopefully a review is in progress. :)

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Adam November 17, 2016 at 1:41 pm

Buy it! The educator is the best aid for feeling how to get a flat left wrist. You inquired about the top of the swing which it would accomplish but for me it finally gave me the ability to get the wrist flat at impact. I’ve had mine for almost a year and it has done great things for my game.

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mygolfspy June 19, 2012 at 7:10 am

Well thanks for the compliment Craig 😉

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Craig June 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Man I am slowly beginning to love this Site. In a sea of different golf sites your unique reviews, articles and now cool stories like this are making me a fan. And I just might snag a tour striker too. I don’t compress well. Inspiring story. Great job!

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Drew June 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I dont have time to go to the range but hit plastic balls off a mat in my backyard. Wonder if this product would work just as well with that setup?

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Bignose June 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Drew, I use both of mine (7 iron & wedge) with foam balls in the backyard. The feedback is the same — you can thin a practice ball as well as a real ball if you don’t have the hands forward. While it isn’t perfect — you need to be cognizant of a possibility of cheating the club a little with a mat, or the typically ‘fluffier’ lie you get in a typical backyard — it beats not swinging a club at all. And to echo R. P.’s comments above, it is a real deal. Very few training aids out there truly give you the immediate feedback this one does.

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Drew June 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Good to hear. Thanks.

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R. P. Jacobs II June 18, 2012 at 8:58 am

First, great article..Second, exceptional product…I have the 7i Pro & use it consistently(twice/month) just to keep the proper lag & more often if needed…There is so much “garbage” out there, it really is refreshing when a product, if used correctly & diligently, achieves the stated outcome…You have such a product..

Anyone reading this, regardless of hdcp(mine is 2.4), should have this in their bag…Regardless of which model you get(8i, Pro 7i, Pro X 7i, Pro 5i, 56* W & Ladie/Junior) it’s great quality & will improve &/or maintain the proper lag for a successful swing…..Nothing else does it nearly as effectively as the Tour Striker…

Again, congrats to Martin Chuck on well deserved success & kudos to MGS for a nice article….

Fairways & Greens 4ever…..

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