I had a great time at dinner in Orlando on the Friday night of the PGA Show this year. I was privileged to sit down with GRIP (Golf Research In Play) founder Rob Blumberg. GRIP is a fairly new golf club company which is filling a niche market. That market would be one which has high quality golf clubs, great R&D, and priced way below the big club companies. For instance you can get hybrids with movable weights and great components for $49.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect or what Rob had in mind with inviting me to dinner. I suspected he had some kind of business offer, wanted to place some ads, wanted me to review some clubs, or wanted to buy out The Golf Space or something. None of the above.
The first thing you notice about Rob is his energy. He’s always thinking, he’s passionate about golf and his company, and he’s a very expressive cat. We also sat down with two of his business associates as well and seeing the interaction of these friends/associates was refreshing. Bob and his pals were entertaining, energetic and yet extremely well versed on the golf business, manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, sales etc. They brainstormed their golf ventures with me around steaks and sushi.
Bob’s pal Michael Blair has an amazing entrepreneurial story. He sells clubs on EBAY which he manufactures in China. Big deal eh? Yeah, to the tune of over $1,000,000 per year. Michael and I had some good conversation and I’ll be checking out some of his clubs soon. I got the feeling Michael had some other business he wanted to address with me, but we never got to that point.
Quote of the year
When the waiter let us know the night’s special Bob came up with a quote that was so “entrepreneurial” and hillarioius that I got the biggest laugh: “If anyone orders the special we won’t be releasing our new driver next month.”
So why the dinner?
What was the reason Bob invited me to dinner? He had a simple question for me since I’ve played some of his clubs and learned a bit about GRIP as a company. His question, “What can I do better?” Woa. Bob really put me on the spot because it seems to me like he’s really got “it” going already. He’s making great clubs, cheap. He’s using grass roots (blogs and other sites) and inexpensive marketing techniques to get the word out about his products. Hopefully I did do all my fellow bloggers a favor and suggested that Bob get clubs in all the golf bloggers hands to create a blog buzz about GRIP.
Despite ordering the dinner special, the new GRIP driver IS on the way
I’ve got a prototype of the new GRIP driver sitting in my lap. It’s a beauty for sure.
Tom Gov of Point1Golf hit it and LAUNCHED it on the range at Mystic Dunes when we played there. I didn’t know he was hitting it and when I heard the loud sound I instantly looked up. I knew he’d just hit a bomb. But unfortunately the temporary test shaft on the club (not the final version) loosened before I had the chance to hit it. Soon I’ll have a report.
I’ve got a review of the GRIP Hypersteel Hybrid coming up shortly so stay tuned.
There are lots of images of GRIP clubs in the HOG Photo Gallery GRIP Gallery.
Looks pretty good there Tony. I don’t like the BETA graphic on the face, it reminds me of a cheap $20 walmart driver. The alignment aid is kinda funky looking too. Cool color
I don’t know if that’s simply a beta version so they can note performance on testing, or if that’s really going to stay there.
The alignment aid hopefully will be changed. When I looked at it, I instantly thought it was a skymark. I told them that.
Sorry about the head slip. I know Tony was looking forward to testing it on the course as well. Despite the minor problem this club felt, looked and flew great.
I think this might be company worth keeping an eye on.
The final color will be our dark blue color that we used on the Hybrids and that we are using on the Fairway Woods. Funny thing about our little GRIP bolt on top, when I first saw it I was against it. Our club developer insisted that it stay (even my wife thought it was scratched). Since then, the little bolt has become more controversial than the new Square Callaway driver. Buzz creates interest. Now I love the bolt. Love it!
I used the driver today – If it does for everyone else what it does for my tee shots we can replace the little bolt with a picture of Michael Jackson and still have some customers for the driver. This driver is a monster. The usual low GRIP prices will apply. We are going to send one back to Tony followed shortly after by a Fairway wood and the new GRIP OWT new Wide Sole Irons. I love the way the irons came out I am very excited about the new products launching in April.
FW W AND the GRIP OWT?? OHH…
Can’t get that Wal-Mart driver comment off my mind. It is like soneone saying, “Your wife seems pertty cool. She reminds me a lot of Mary Joe Buttafuco.” Harsh.
Anything about shipping or selling internationally? I’ve checked the web site, but couldn’t find a mention of it.
Sorry dude, didn’t mean it in harsh way, just my dodgy way of describing something. It’s nothing against the club itself. Just the way the BETA logo looks to me. I’m fussy
No harm no foul on the beta comment. For international guy – call us direct +1-508-631-1800. We can take care of it.