While at the PGA Show a few weeks ago, I was working on a freelance golf writing gig for my local golf association’s quarterly magazine (Fairways Magazine). The focus was Utah companies on display at the show. I found a very cool new company called Switch Belt. Switch is a one year old company which makes very unique plastic golf belts. Yes plastic.
Switch belts are made out of a thermoplastic resin (TPR). (Now this is starting to sound like a golf ball review. No the core of the belt doesn’t decrease spin and increase carry. Nor does the ultra thin cover of the belt produce high spin around the greens.) But, the thermoplastic resin is an Eco-friendly plastic which is biodegradable.
The buckles are made of a polycarbonate (PC) plastic. (No, the buckle doesn’t launch with a mid-high angle and produce drop-and-stop biting action on the greens…) Polycarbonate is a high performance plastic though, and transparent. This plastic is good in temps from -40″F to 280″F. So if you are exploring the arctic glaciers or flying too close to the sun, the buckle will retain its shape.
The benefits of using plastics to make Switch belts are many. First, the belt does not absorb moisture. Think how many times you’ve played in the summer of Atlanta or Florida, and your sweat has soaked through your leather belt. Not pleasant. Won’t happen with a Switch belt. And think about how those leather belts crack, fray and wear over time. Won’t happen with a Switch belt.
Perhaps the coolest benefit is how the belt is cleaned. How hard is it to clean leather belts when they become dirty? They soak in the moisture and dirt, and it seems nearly impossible to get that dirt out. With Switch belts, you can wipe them down with water or even better, run them in the dish washer with last night’s lasagna dishes.
Switch belts are all 44 inches out of the box. The user cuts the belt to his/her own size. I can’t tell you how great this is. I have many belts which have holes seemingly in the perfectly wrong place. One hole is too tight and the other too loose. With my Switch belts, I’ve cut them to the perfect size and perfect comfort level. Well played.
There are 14 different colors of belt and 14 colors of buckles. The belts and buckles can be interchanged.
After getting my calculator out, I figured that makes a total of 196 color combinations between belt and buckle.
For those of you who work on the retail side in golf pro shops or apparel stores, Switch’s packaging is eye catching and unique. Each belt comes in a clear plastic stack-able box. They display quite nicely. As an added bonus, the boxes stack like Lego blocks. So if business is slow, merchandisers can play around with the boxes and stack them into neat configurations to keep themselves busy.
Below is a video interview I shot at the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show with Switch Belt co-founder Daniel Clayton.
While you might not wear a Switch belt at a black tie affair, they’re certainly fantastic for golf. I’ve got two Switch belts and I need about 12 more (the rest of the colors). I’m interchanging my gray and white belts and buckles, which is a lot of fun. I can actually pretend that I know how to match colors and accessorize my golf apparel get ups. My belts fit perfect since I cut them to my custom size. Keeping them clean is almost as easy as making a one foot putt.