Behind the Golf Brand Podcast with Paul Liberatore

#71 - Birdie Ball: John Breaker (Founder)

April 08, 2022 Paul Liberatore Season 3 Episode 71
Behind the Golf Brand Podcast with Paul Liberatore
#71 - Birdie Ball: John Breaker (Founder)
Show Notes Transcript

We made it to Episode 71 of the Behind the Golf Brand Podcast.  In this week's episode, I interview my good friend John Breake, founder of Birdie Ball. 

We have all seen the commercial, this is BirdieBall.  Not to be confused with the name of the company, the BirdieBalls are limited flight golf balls that simulate curvatures when impacted with golf clubs. BirdieBalls fly approximately 40-60 yards total when struck with drivers and they make fantastic practice tools in larger backyards or on shorter ranges. BirdieBalls are ideal for golfer that has an outdoor hitting space at their home. 

Over the past 20 years, BirdieBall continues to innovate with products that allow golfers to improve their game at their own pace. BirdieBalls are perfect for players that want to swing a club more often but do not have time to go back-and-forth from their local course. BirdieBalls can also be used as indoor chipping golf balls to help golfers practice strike and very short pitches. Golf can be a game that is limited because of price, weather, and real estate, thanks to BirdieBall, all of these can be overcome.

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Welcome to behind the golf brand podcast. I never missed with the seven iron a conversation with some of the most interesting innovators and entrepreneurs behind the biggest names in golf.

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Should learn something from each and every single round you

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Let me put the ball in

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A hole. This is behind the golf brand podcast with Paul liberatory.

Speaker 8:

What's up guys, Paul from golfers authority. Welcome to the behind the golf brand podcast. This week have my good friend John breaker from birdie ball . You guys all know birdie ball . You've all seen the commercial on YouTube. I know at least thousand times meet birdie ball and it's awesome. And I <laugh>, it's like the best commercial, like for reals, because like whoever had that idea for that commercial was a jeans . But I don't wanna get to that a second, but before I start welcome to the show

Speaker 9:

<laugh> thank you, Paul . Appreciate it. Really, really fun to finally see you face to face . And , uh, I know we've exchanged an email or two and , uh,

Speaker 8:

This guy's funny by the way. Wanna let you guys do that ?

Speaker 9:

It's really funny, but we've already,

Speaker 8:

What's the one thing we have in common. What ,

Speaker 9:

In common , we both went to law school for two months. Um ,

Speaker 8:

Yeah. And then what did I say back to you? You were the smart one.

Speaker 9:

<laugh> I was given an ultimatum. I was , uh, running a , uh , an oil and gas , uh , supply company back in , uh , 1983 and , uh , had two daughters both under 18 months. And , uh,

Speaker 8:

Was Amy one of them ?

Speaker 9:

Pardon me?

Speaker 8:

Was Amy one of them?

Speaker 9:

Yep . Elizabeth and Amy. So, you know, Amy really? Well, I know Amy Here, so I was going to night school and my , for law

Speaker 8:

School.

Speaker 9:

Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 8:

That's what I did.

Speaker 9:

Okay. Okay. Yep . Went to night school, like I say for two months, it really isn't a thing in my life, except for it's just as something that I thought was funny, we had in common , uh , for the first two months of it. Right. But , uh, yeah, so my boss said, you can either run my company or you can go to law school. And I kinda looked at my two little babies under 18 months and I said, okay, well I'll run your company. So really , and was good . Yeah. Wow. You know , he was a , he was a really, you know, amazing entrepreneur and he taught me a lot about, you know, small business and how to grow a it's not around a business. And so, you know, that was a blessing. I didn't see it at the time. I thought, you know, my success is really a function of, you know, me being, you know , a high powered lawyer someday . But , uh, you know, it turns out that I had some success, you know, not being a lawyer. So I'm , I'm

Speaker 8:

A little bit

Speaker 9:

Yeah.

Speaker 8:

Made a good commercial. Kidding .

Speaker 9:

<laugh> yeah . So yes , I like commercial and it's funny because people, people have , uh , said, you know, meet bird ball , meet bird ball , meet bird ball . Cause we are , we are , uh , you know, just drowning people in it, but, you know, and you said the

Speaker 8:

I'm telling you, I don't ever compliment anybody on a commercial that was brilliant, like for reals, because it's like, at least on YouTube, you know, because it's like, I don't know .

Speaker 9:

Yeah. And , and the most brilliant part of it and it wasn't my idea, but we had a , a , a kind of a genius marketing guy in and he said , uh , why don't you have the bird ball fly into the camera? And we were like, well, because you can't do that, how do you , how do you do that? He goes, no, no, we'll animate it . We'll fly. We'll have the bird ball fly into the camera. And, and that changed everything because for the first time ever people got to see how it worked, because it , you know , here before you hit a , you , you , you know , you're hitting away from the camera and you , you know, what's doing something neat, but you don't really know what it's doing. And so when you see that it's, you know, got reverse spin or at a horizontal axis and it flies into the camera, you see, oh, okay. That makes sense. I see how that works now that, you know, it is eating air, it's lifting it's at the same time, it's getting great elevation. And so, you know, that first five seconds where the , the ball comes into the camera for the first time ever people knew what a birdie ball did. And , uh, we just, you know, we just did this. I mean, and that's why we just sit on it right now. It's like, okay, you know, I get it that, you know, 10,000 people have already seen this one or a hundred thousand or a million or whatever it is, but you know, the , just, I wanna get that next guy that doesn't know what it is, cuz it is a, it's a game changer. I mean, it's, it's not just the greatest practice ball that ever happened. You know , it is , it is a, it's an alpha product that, you know, will be here for forever , that shape. I promise you we'll be here forever. The question is, you know, do we, do we own the brand forever? I mean, and that's, that's really our that's , that's why we run that commercial so much. <laugh> is that we wanna own that brand forever. Absolutely.

Speaker 8:

So where are you guys at? Are you guys in Colorado, right?

Speaker 9:

Yeah . So we are in a beautiful facility here in , uh , in evergreen, Colorado. Uh, you know, I should probably try to walk you over to the window and show you what I look at. I don't know if it's even possible to do this, but

Speaker 8:

Oh my God, you guys can't , that's gorgeous window

Speaker 9:

Here . So, you know , this is, this is where we hit fur balls. Can you see that? I can't, I can't see if I'm ,

Speaker 8:

Is that where the commercial was made? Is that the house? It

Speaker 9:

Is . Yeah . Yeah. So we, we call it the cha we're at a 15,000 square foot. We , it looks like a cha , but we actually make birdie balls here and putting greens and this is where we do

Speaker 8:

In , oh, really?

Speaker 9:

That's where we do the , the road game and we hit , you know, and that's where the commercial is filmed. Yeah, yeah,

Speaker 8:

Yeah. Facing towards the house. Right. And you guys are hit on that field .

Speaker 9:

Yeah . Yeah . So, yeah. So , so yeah , we , we are in a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful place.

Speaker 8:

Where's evergreen at, in Colorado.

Speaker 9:

So we're uh , about 25 miles due west of Denver. Uh , so, okay. So we, actually, everybody in the family still lives down in the Denver Metro area and we drive up every day . Uh , we do our workforce. We get really from around around this area, but the , the breaker family , uh , drives up

Speaker 8:

The breaker family , uh , compound it's your compound.

Speaker 9:

It is our compound. Can't believe how blessed we are that we actually get to come here every day . And, and , and that we pay for the

Speaker 8:

Lights and be with their family. And you've created an amazing product plural, because you have two big, yeah. I mean , um , the Verde ball was the first and then you guys have your greens, which was number two. So let me ask this questions to like , are you a golf professional at all? Oh God ,

Speaker 9:

No . The problem with being in the golf business and having a nice brand and being recognized and, you know, you wear your logo around and if you go to what happened to go to a golf course, you know, people expect you to, you know, to be a plus, you know, plus one or something,

Speaker 8:

Do I sell my

Speaker 9:

Fraternity , brother will tell you how bad I am. Um, you know , not bad. Okay. So, you know, I still kind of fold under pressure, but you know, as far as ball striking, you know , I'm pretty good. I'm still not the greatest putter in the world, even though, you know, you , you think I would be what,

Speaker 8:

Yeah . What

Speaker 9:

In

Speaker 8:

The world , I know a guy you could talk to about getting a, putting green in your house. That's custom. Yeah . Well ,

Speaker 9:

I done, but you know , you know , you not love golf, you know, play as much as I can play with the family, but , um, I've only broken 80 twice in my life. Just that kind of gives you a feel. Uh, and those were, you know, really big days. And I had to like make a 30 foot putt both times in the final hole to get there. So, so that's the , that's me and, you know, and I've been doing it since I was 14. And so , uh , but you know, I went on a , a golfing trip with my buddies to whistling straits a couple of months before they had Thery cup there. And , uh, you know, played, I'm gonna say great the first day, you know, like mid eighties, first day. And then, you know, we're playing twice a day and by day three, you know, I , I , she , I mean, I was just, it was everywhere left. Right. And the caddy was, the caddy was like, where's that game from day one. I was like, I know I've lost it.

Speaker 8:

You like crying, you know, I don't know . I'm just , God ,

Speaker 9:

It's so hard. I mean, it's such

Speaker 8:

A hard, so did you guys, did you grow up in Denver area, you from Colorado initially in Denver?

Speaker 9:

Uh , yep . And have lived in, you know, various place lived in Houston for years. I've lived in LA. Uh, my in-laws are from New Jersey, so I spent a lot of time in New York. So I'm familiar with, you know, the rest of the country, but always come back to Colorado. Uh, and , uh , Colorado is beautiful. It's kinda a secret, but I mean , not anymore , you know, it's , uh , it's, it's just blowing up. Um,

Speaker 8:

It's like Arizona.

Speaker 9:

Yeah. You , I , I was a , you know , I I'm a skier really. I much better skier than I am a golfer. Okay. Yeah . I went to golden high school, golden Colorados, right. You know, at the foothills here and , uh , my senior year of high school, you know, I skied a hundred days, you know, just to kinda give you a feel so, you know, and that was, that was in, you know, 1975. So that's a long time ago, but, you know, we could literally just, you know, get in the car and you're 35 minutes from , uh , you know, from Loveland skier. And, you know, we , we , we skied a hundred days that year. I just remember that,

Speaker 8:

But so did you say play golf, like growing up? I'm assuming like everybody else.

Speaker 9:

Yeah . Yeah . Or their mom or somebody ? My dad didn't really introduce it to me. I introduced it to my dad, but a friend of my family , uh, introduced it to me when I was 14. And then , uh, uh, you know, I was fortunate enough to play, you know, in the golden high school golf team and , you know , that sort of thing. So I've, I've always, you know, I've always could have been shooting about that same score, you know, kind of a mid eighties guy. And I even did that when I was, you know, in high school and it's just, you know, I parts of my game get better and parts get worse. So, you know, back in the day, I, you know, I couldn't hit it as well as I can hit it now. And I think that's a birdie ball thing, but , uh, but I could put it, you know, I could, you , I can hit it , drop it in from anywhere. Uh , now it's kind of just the opposite. I, I can get it on the green and then, you know, it's, I've got the Y so bad. I mean, it's, you know, it'll be four feet away and , uh ,

Speaker 8:

We all have that,

Speaker 9:

Oh God, you know , sometimes I can't even pull it back, you know, so, but I can, you know , I tell you , you know , the , the , the run up to of that , uh , whistling straits trip, I got , I spent five hours a day on our putting greens and I did putt better , much better up there, but you gotta practice. I mean, and you gotta get that muscle memory going. And the , unfortunately the older you get, you know, the brain says, pull it back. And , uh , there's a delay of some sort. So, you know, for all of us, the inner , mid sixties, you'll, you'll understand what that is someday . I , I , I , I don't wish about anybody though.

Speaker 8:

After high school, would you do school to college? I'm assuming. Yeah.

Speaker 9:

Yeah. So, yep . Uh , Colorado kid, right. My dad went to the university of Colorado. Um , I went to the university of Colorado. He studied engineering, I studied marketing and , uh, you know, that's a kid of an interesting segue to the birdie ball because , uh, you know, we were having a conversation in 1999. He started playing golf. He had retired, he was , uh , the president of a , a very , uh, uh , prestigious general contracting company here in Denver company called Gerald H FIS , Inc . And Gerald FIPs owned the Broncos. Okay. He a kinda let you know who Gerald fit

Speaker 8:

For . Oh , crap. Yeah. Yeah. You're talking about real deal stuff .

Speaker 9:

Jerry , Jerry owned the Broncos and sold them to Edgar Kaiser who sold them to the Bolens. Yeah. So I have the Broncos kind of in my DNA as well, but , uh ,

Speaker 8:

The Broncos were good

Speaker 9:

Back when the Broncos were good. Right . <laugh> they were bad for a lot of years. They did get good. And then they, yeah, they

Speaker 8:

Was doing bears fan. I've had a good year since 1985 . So

Speaker 9:

Yeah . So you're just, you're , you're still, you know , reminiscing about the really old days,

Speaker 8:

The good days, days . I actually have a bears jacket that I got when I was in like second grade and I gave it to my son. He's wearing it around now . No , like it's like an old school, like 19 84, 80 for 85 . Anyways , talking your dad, we're saying

Speaker 9:

I was at his house. He had retired. And , uh, Jerry FIPs had given him a , uh , membership to the Denver country club as his retirement. He , and , uh , and that was a , again, for those of you who are watching this in Denver, know that that's a prestigious golf course. And interesting. Another interesting fact is my, my wife's father-in-law was the director of golf there. Uh , you know, before I met her, but , uh , ed, my father-in-law's a tremendous golfer and men's champion several times. And , uh, you know, but my dad got a , got a membership there as his retirement, but really wasn't a good golfer. And wasn't, you know, he didn't, he's not, he wasn't a real gregarious guy, so kind of hard to meet people. And, and so the only guy he ever played with at the Denver col country club really was me. And so he would call me and

Speaker 8:

Say , and you were an invitation though person, right? Like , oh, you can come play or you a member.

Speaker 9:

No, I'm not a member. No , no, he ,

Speaker 8:

He , oh, they invite you to come play with the right . Cause

Speaker 9:

He had , yes . In fact , uh , you know, you could only, you could only play as an , as a guest once a month. Right. But my brothers really didn't play, I have two brothers who didn't play and so I would go as me and then I would go as, and then I would go as much

Speaker 8:

Hilarious. Yeah.

Speaker 9:

So if you're hearing this at Denver country club, I apologize. I ,

Speaker 8:

Oh , now you're gonna be blackballed.

Speaker 9:

Should have . So my dad, he , he loved the game. He wanted to get better. You know, he was shy really. Uh, you know, he never, you know, if we went to Denver country club, he didn't ever wanna be with another twosome. You know, he, you say , no , no , you just, you and me, you know , just you and me and, you know, but it was great. And my , and my dad and I got started , didn't really get close really for the first time in our lives. Right. I mean, cuz he just was a workaholic and you know, it's kind of that, that field of dreams thing where all of us, you know, who really anybody with a dad and that's everybody, right ? <laugh>

Speaker 8:

No really

Speaker 9:

Watch the field of dreams and do that . Let's go have a tos and just go, oh my God ,

Speaker 8:

Let's go ahead a bucket.

Speaker 9:

And just the , just the tears . Right. So, so that was kind of our con our connection was not great. And then golf helped us get that connection so much so that, you know, again, in 1999 and he had been retired for several years, we were over at his house watching the mass gusts . And , uh, they were saying, they're gonna have to lengthen, you know, Augusta national to contain tiger woods. I mean, this young phenom is coming and he's killing, you know, he is just killing the course and they're gonna have to make these holes longer to contain him. And, and it was really weird. We both kinda looked each other at the same time. We were like, okay, that's how magical Augusta is. They could snap their fingers and make more real estate it's you know, so, and , and , but then you start to understand kind of the constraint, right. Which is, you know, you can't make golf courses bigger really. I mean, at the end of the day, they're constrained by, you know, roads and, and uh , property lines where

Speaker 8:

They're at. Yeah . Now they're all surrounded by, they're not by themselves. Middle of nowhere.

Speaker 9:

Yeah. Yeah. Well , yeah. Yeah. Because , well, and this is like Nicholas made the point, right? Which is the golf ball will ultimately kill the game or mean , this may be not a direct quote, but I mean, he made a , he made a comment about the golf ball going too far. Okay. If the golf ball goes too far, then you , the golf courses just have to get bigger. And if the golf courses get bigger, then that's more real estate. And if you have more real estate, then you have to pay more taxes and you gotta spend more fertilizer and you gotta water it and mow it. And you know, the bigger it is, the more expensive it is to maintain. And so the further the golf ball goes, the further golf will get away for , from the average person being able to play it. And I think that was theoretically where he was going. And , uh, so my dad and I both thought, you know, well, we had to try to figure out how to limit the flight of a golf ball. You know, how would you do that? I mean, if you, so if your mission was to limit the flight of a golf ball , what would your approach be? Right. And , um, I was in , I , I , and I think I meant , you know , that I worked for this guy who was a great entrepreneur. Well, one of the things that he did was he was one of the inventors of Telon. So he was in a, you know, a team of people at DuPont that helped invent Telon. And , uh, so I learned a lot about plastics. Okay. Cuz Telon is one of the Kings of plastics. I mean, if you can, you know, it's a sort of a predo list of, you know, they only get less, less , uh , uh , technical from Teflon. And, and so, you know, we, I learned a lot about plastic. What plastic can do, the applications, strengths, weakness, weaknesses, the places you use, different PLA plastics. And , uh, and so, but , you know, we decided we were gonna drill holes in golf balls. So we actually drill, we actually drilled a five, eight inch hole , uh, in about 30 or 40 different golf ball brands. And the reason was that we were gonna ADI analyze the, you know, poly beta dying core and see, you know, what really is, you know, what does create Theis of the rebound and the coefficient restitution. And we , what , what is the trick to making all that happen? And I have some people that were gonna , you know, gonna run some mass spectra, mass . Okay . Yeah . Anyway , a spectroscope if you math say the word to tell me what it was all about. And , uh, we, you know, we thought that was a fun thing to try, but it was gonna be about five grand and we decided, well, you know what? That was a nice conversation, but we're not gonna go down that runway. That was stupid. So I went to go throw the balls away, right. So I had about 40 balls with a hole in the middle of them . And , uh, you know, they were in a bucket in the garage and it's, you know, it's probably a year later. There's not a , there's not a guy in the world that can throw a bucket of golf balls in the trash can, because what you have to do is hit 'em . And I had an open space behind me and I was like, well, I'm just gonna go hit these into the open space. I mean, that's 40, you know, good swings out of a golf club. And I don't, you know, I , I don't need to see these things anymore. So I went out in the backyard and dropped one down and, and , uh, it was kind of oriented left to right with the hole and I hit it and it literally took a left hand turn into my neighbor's yard. And I was like, oh, sorry. You know , uh , yeah . So , uh , threw the next one down and it kind of went, you know , right. To left over the fence, you know, into the open space and like, okay, that's two swings, two completely different results. I mean, what's going on here and put one whole up. Right . So then I put it whole up and, you know, it hit a nice high, you know, right to left. And I'm thinking, I just nutted that thing all the way into the middle of the open space. And it falls short of my fence. I was like, wow, that was, that was interesting, you know, and then went through the rest of the 40 balls. It , uh , but said, you know , there's something there and there , you know, didn't know exactly what it was. It was like, there's something going on there. What is that? Everybody knows now that a golf ball in order to get up in the air has reversed spin around a horizontal axis . I mean, it flies through the air like this. And, you know, we create air pressure by the, you know, the difference in the aerodynamics of the air, going up over the dimple on , uh , of the ball on one side versus the other to create eight lift. So everybody knows that now. And in fact that's how all launch monitors work. Right. They measure spin off of the face of the golf club. And , uh, yeah , everybody knows now that every golf ball that's ever gotten off the ground in the history of the world has reverse spin around a horizontal axis . So it's flying like this, right. It's flying just with back spin. Every ball has back spin and , uh, you know, it's not left to right spin that makes a golf ball draw, fade it's left to right tilt. So the ball just tilts off its horizontal axes one way or the other. And we learned that, you know, by going to the library, right . Because, you know, we didn't have Google, you know, this is, you know , 2004. I mean , it was there, but I don't think we knew how to get there. Right. So, you know, yeah . Google two , I don't know , actually 2002 , 2002 . So 2002, Google, Google may not have been there, but Eddie rate , we went to the , uh , library and we , uh, you know, bought a book on how golf balls fly or Brent or checked one out. And , uh , you know, it described, you know , the got up percha and the , and the , you know , and the leathery and the do da da , but it had this description of how they fly and they all have reverse men around horizontal axis . So to us, that was a revolution and a revelation, I should say. So, so that's what the Verde ball does, right? So its raw form . How do you make something go as short as, as possible? And so that's what this design does. It , it allows you to compress it. So we compress it and it compresses the lower part of the ball more than the top part of the ball because of the loft of the club face , the club face , compresses this lower quad trial more than the upper quad trial . So as it compresses, it compresses the , which throws it into a very high rate of reverse spin. So that's what you hear when you compress a ball , you hear this, you feel the impact, you feel it heavy on your hands because it's in its non-I dynamic shape when you compress it. And then it's thrown into this high rate of reverse spin as it leaves the club. And you'll, you'll hear it right. I mean, you hear that , you know , this fun, zip sound,

Speaker 8:

The , the high pitch like that high the world or the wine, or

Speaker 9:

Whatever's ring through the air. But that, so this is, this is lift and this is stop. And it does that with really about same ball speed as a golf ball, you know, which can be, you know , uh , four to , you know , 8,000 RPM. And , um, and the , and then the axis , if you leave your club face, open it it'll , it it's tilted a little bit, which makes it, which , which makes it leak or fade. And if you , it closed over closed , it makes it draw that club face at impact is the all important, you know , uh , thing. And just like your club face and impact is the all important thing with the golf ball. But moreover, what makes us so great for learners is that because we have a flat bottom, you learn not to try to cast your club under the ball. Okay. So everybody, you know, think beginners think, you know, that the golf club goes under the golf ball. You know, they, they don't when they see the divot and it'll be a beaver pelt , divot , you know, that somebody takes, you know, if you take , if somebody hasn't had this explained to 'em they'll they think that the ball that the golf club went , you know, that part of that divot was under the golf ball that some of that divot must have been under the golf ball when in reality, none of that di was under the golf ball that all of that di happens after the golf ball. Okay. So the golf ball is gone when the DIT happens and the same is so the bird ball accentuates that. So, so it , your brain says, well, there's, you know, there's no bottom, so I'm gonna compress the side of the birdie ball. And that's exactly what you do with the golf ball. You compress the side of a golf ball below the equator and with, with really all of your irons, your hands are slightly in front of the ball that impact, right? So your it , and when you see a pro hit a golf ball, you know, that's pronounced. So they'll take, you know, the re one of the reasons they hit, you know, hit so much further than an average golfer with a seven iron, is that they turn the seven iron into a five iron in terms of its loft, because they have deloft at the club so much to make a descending blow on that ball so that they, you know, the big ball second at being the earth. Um, you know, that's, it , it happens sort of naturally with this, you sort , you learn that in order to compress that you have to push your hands slightly in front of the ball, which, which gives you the ability to compress that cylinder properly. And it's one of the great reason , great things about us , uh , growing the game. You know, we , uh , we partnered years ago with the PGA on their , on their golf and schools programs. And , uh, you know, we're in thousands of, of high school rules now , uh , all over the country and , uh, and , uh, have done a lot on our own part, I guess, a little bit to grow the game, but we'll take a little credit for growing the game. COVID can take a big credit for growing the game and we'll take a baby credit for growing the game. But , uh , but we ,

Speaker 8:

Yeah , in 1999, but on that timeframe, you and your dad have this idea like, oh, when you were talking about making a new ball, you were trying to make a ball, you could practice with, you were making a ball that you could possibly not hit as far. Right. Right. So

Speaker 9:

We were thinking you , it would be a tour tour, like ball, like, you know, these guys are gonna ruin golf courses. You know, we need to have, 'em all play the same ball so that , you know , we don't have to length and golf courses anymore, but we're gonna , we're gonna , you know , make,

Speaker 8:

Play a harder ball. It's a harder ball to play essentially

Speaker 9:

A shorter ball. Yeah. A shorter ball. Yeah.

Speaker 8:

But then you act , but then you Stu then , but then you like stumble on the opposite side. Like, oh my God, we made a ball that could be as a training aid . They won't go as far. So you're not gonna be like hitting it over your neighbor's yard or whatever. Right . So then how did you come up with the idea, like, what, I mean, I , not with what you're saying before, but like , yeah . So the actual design. Right , right ,

Speaker 9:

Right . So, so I had access to a machine shop , um, and , uh, you know, we , he had the ability to take billets of material and start making shapes. And , uh, and you know, what is the most optimum shape? And, you know, we have two years of shapes, right? So 1999 was kind of the conversation. They , you know, the ball stayed in the bucket for a while . And then, you know, we kind of came back to it and I'm gonna say, you know, that's 2000, 2001 ish, and then I'm gonna say late 2002, we sort of had locked in on, on this. And, and, and primarily because it's the perfect marriage of shape and , uh, and polymer. And my like, like we talked about, my background is plastics. And , uh, the , this plastic is, is, is the result of years and years of understanding plastic. So

Speaker 8:

Like if you had not worked in plastics and not had like those earlier interactions in your life yeah . You, would've never gotten, we've never been able to design that. We've

Speaker 9:

Gotten that because , and this is, you know, this is, we have , we have some people that have tried to do bird ball hack, which is make this out of PVC P hype . And just note to everybody out there do not do that. Um , because that's just shrapnel in your face. And , uh, you know, we don't want you to have shrapnel in your face. Um, so, you know, don't, don't hack that , uh, you know, that's just dangerous. <laugh> so it's not just the shape, but it's the polymer , uh , that, that make it, that makes it work.

Speaker 8:

And how strong is the birdie ball? Is this super strong? Yeah.

Speaker 9:

Yeah. So super strong. It would be an understatement, but , uh , if you see it in slow motion, you know, and let's just say somebody with 120 mile an hour swing , uh, in slow motion, that diameter gets compressed almost at half. Okay. So in slow motion, holy crap. You see it , you see it turn flat, you see it literally lay up against the face of the club and then you see it explode away. So this is one of the attributes of the Verde ball. That's so remarkable, which is , is on a launch monitor. It has close to the same ball speed, leaving the face of the club as a, as a golf ball. And that's why it's so rewarding when you do it. Okay. Because your brain actually appreciates that. It's like it was there. And then it was gone just like a golf ball. And we've all had that, but hitting a golf ball where you just feel like you didn't feel anything and that's that just perfect compression and rebound as it , as it leaves the club face. Uh , and , uh, and the , you know , so, so the, the , the ball speed is so rewarding and that's why it makes that jet sound, but it's trying to stop the minute it leaves. Okay. So, you know, so a foot, you know , a drag . Yeah. Yeah . So just, they won't work on launch monitors because they start slowing down so fast, you know, you,

Speaker 8:

Oh , you get the initial strike and then it starts slowing down almost instantaneously. And then

Speaker 9:

You see it , uh , hover. Okay. So it, it , it there's a point at which it just hangs in the air for a, and then it falls to the ground, right? So it's in the air over that flight distance longer than a golf ball. Right? So for the equivalent , uh , ball flight, pretty ball hangs in the air incrementally longer. But, but you, you it's satisfying. Right. So where , you know , we just showed you the backyard here in the summer. We have a , a , a contest every Friday night and the whole neighborhood comes over. And , uh, we play a thing called the road game. And the road game is basically a grid that has a, an eight yard by eight yard box, stacked up, you know, five of them. And , uh , the first one's 10 points, 20 points, 30 points, 40 points, 50 points. And , uh, we , we , we have this on a , on an iPad where we, we load up the iPad. You hit three balls is , is equivalent to one hole. We play nine holes. So you play 27 shots. And those 20 sh seven shots go in that grid somewhere, you know, but you either have to hit the grid or to score points. And this is gonna sound crazy , but there are some afternoons where a foursome male , they get it in the grid between 'em , you know, 15 times, you know , it's crazy. Like they're , it's a function of, of reward, right? So, so at 50 yards out then bird balls travel, you know, 40 to 60 yards, depending on, you know, your , your swing speed, but at 50 yards out in that, in that 16 square yards, if you will , um, hitting it is , is a challenge. And it's, it's, you know, it's wind, it's, clubface it's know it's tilt on the ball, but it's not a joke, right? If you are a good ball striker , you just, can't not do it. And it's so subtle that your ball striking just becomes amazing. And, and you start to see it in slow motion. I mean, you actually, if you hit enough Verde balls, like I have you actually start to see the CLO face , compressed the golf. And I don't know what that is. No ,

Speaker 8:

I didn't know anything about that. That's so funny, cuz like you're telling me how like how balls work. Like I've seen like high , like slow motion video of like, you know, title, setting a ball or whatever. Yeah . But I didn't really realize like the force and the air dynamics of what's really happening. Cuz you as a golfer, you think, oh, I hit the ball, goes up in the air cause I fast and it scooped it, but it has nothing to do with any of that

Speaker 9:

Ages of shape golf ball is not even close to being round if you're hitting it right when you hit it. Um, you know, there's a , I think there's a , you know, a multimillion view of somebody shooting a golf ball out an air gun or something. And I don't know how , what the ball speed is coming out of it, but they're showing it hit in the little on a plate and it literally turns it into an egg. Right. And then it comes back and rebounds off of it. It's it's unbelievable. Yeah. So it's slow motion, you know , but yes . So you ask the question about durability. So the, the polymer has to be able to survive that right over and over and over without a core. And that's a challenge.

Speaker 8:

Oh I bet

Speaker 9:

It gives the ball. Its strength is the core. And so we have to do, we create the strength and there are a couple of trade secrets and, and , and one not very, not obvious at all. And I can't show you what it is, but the polymer is one of those secrets and the other is, is , well, the other is the other secret.

Speaker 8:

<laugh> the other one I tell you have to kill you. So I'm not gonna tell you .

Speaker 9:

Yeah. Yes, exactly. Exactly.

Speaker 8:

What year did birdie ball come out? Cause you guys didn't, you guys get like best in show or something like that. Yeah .

Speaker 9:

I'm so glad you asked. I've never done this before, but I was cleaning my office, so I brought it out. Okay. There's our 2005 best

Speaker 8:

In that is a big deal. That really is a , you know , I , people they'll understand like if you're not in the industry and you don't have a brand, like that's a huge deal that

Speaker 9:

It is a huge deal. It is.

Speaker 8:

It opens the doors, essentially. It's saying you are welcome and we're going to , and now you have this stamp of approval, but better , more than a stamp of approval. It's almost like when you get that, you're you're going to , you've done it. I mean, that's what everyone's buying for. Right. Essentially when they go to PGA, O

Speaker 9:

Honestly we had gone to the PGA. So, you know, that's 2002 ish. We start to do the patents. And then , uh , 2003, we formed a company and we opened a store first. Right. Okay. So we opened a store at the Colorado mills , um, here in Colorado, that was serendipitous because I opened a kiosk. Right. So I couldn't afford a store or I didn't think I could afford a store, but you know, a , a kiosk was like $1,500 a month and then 10% of your sales over $15,000, you know, given. Okay. So that that's essentially, basically you're paying 10% rent on your kiosk. And uh, I had just opened my kiosks day one and I had the birdie balls had like onion bags, you know, I had 'em in , we had their machine, by the way. They, we , they weren't bowl that . I mean, they're molded now, but we've machined about a solid billets of material. Okay. Solid billets. Yeah . So Each one was made, you know, as , from a machine that we would , you know , we would Bo it out and then we would final machine it and then we'd part it off and deeper. It that's

Speaker 8:

A lot of work,

Speaker 9:

A lot of work, a lot of, lot of work, but, but you

Speaker 8:

Know , you , right . So probably a thousand dollars each,

Speaker 9:

Well, they were expensive. I guarantee we didn't make any money on 'em and the reason, reason , you know, you , but you have to prove that they work. Right. I mean, you , yeah . You know , cause you don't wanna sink , you know , a couple of hundred thousand dollars into a , into a tool if it didn't gonna work. Right. So, you know, let's make expensive bird balls and see if they sell and if they sell, then, you know, we'll, we will ,

Speaker 8:

We'll retool and we'll figure out how to make this at scale.

Speaker 9:

Yeah . So we made 'em all by, you know, all by hand, if you will. But uh, and uh, you know , they were in onion bags kind of hanging on the , on the kiosk and it , you know , it , it , it wasn't my proudest moment, honestly. Um ,

Speaker 8:

But you did, it cares, you know , that's , that's the first step .

Speaker 9:

Yeah. And so, you know, and we had a little thing called what I think is almost equally good. An invention is the , is the strike pad, which is, you know, that's a , that's a cam polymer pad that we hit bird balls off of. And , and I was forming those in my oven at home. And so we had a white strike pad and white bird balls, neither one of 'em logoed. And I had contract with a box making company here in Denver to gimme a nice box that 16 birdie balls would go into and a strike pad. And , uh, so we had those stacked up on the kiosk and we had , uh , you know, this onion bag looking thing, hanging off the kiosk. And , uh, and the general manager of the mall came by and he said, how you doing? I said, you know , I mean , fine, you know , probably gonna be doing this for a month. And then I'm probably outta here. And he goes, you know what? He said, I , you know, people should try those. I mean, you know , that's a pure demonstration product. I mean, you're not gonna sell, 'em just sitting on your butt, you know, in a kiosk. And , uh , you know , I don't care. We had an animation and again, same problem animation. I , the , even the animation flew away from, you know, ball flew away. It's like, what is that doing? Which is getting back to the, how genius that fly into the camera is so genius.

Speaker 8:

But seriously, it was,

Speaker 9:

You know, the, the guy said, okay, listen, I'm having a hard time getting some of these stores leased. It was brand new. It , it , it was brand new mall, brand new mall, Colorado mills. And , uh, and , uh, how about if I give you this 3000 square foot store that you're in front of that was empty for the same price as you're or kiosk and same deal as your kiosk. And I will put a putting green in there and I'll put the nets in and we'll put some graphics up, cuz I need traffic. And I need an interactive experience here at the mall.

Speaker 8:

And I was like, seriously, like , like I just walked into this. Yeah.

Speaker 9:

And he , and he , and , and uh, he , he and I had , we got to be really good friends . They really good friends, but he , uh , he did that for me. And , uh , it was about a $30,000 build out .

Speaker 8:

Oh my God . And

Speaker 9:

He , he , he thought enough of the product and I had given him some to take home and hit. And he was like, you gotta demonstrate that. I mean, people have to hit that. And so , uh , he put three bays in and we started selling birdie balls out that store, you know, in long story short, you know , we couldn't make 'em fast enough. I mean, truly we , because we were making,

Speaker 8:

We were making 'em by hand making by hand forever.

Speaker 9:

So, so we made 'em by hand for about a year and we were probably, you know, losing money on every single one of them , but we were , are proving that people liked it and that people were glued to it. And that people were just amazed by it. And we got all of that back and knew that, you know, we need , we had something here and , uh, you know, so we were a year or so in the store. And then we went to the, you know, this 2005 PGA merchandise show, you know, that one you , they had just started a thing called demo day.

Speaker 8:

It's huge. Now it's one of the biggest days there it's huge.

Speaker 9:

It was , it was brand new brand new concept, you know? So they started that And we held court. I mean, you know, we were, we were standing room only. I mean, we brought three or 4,000 Verde balls and , uh, and we had a little target set up , you know, we didn't even have our targeting, you know, we had hula hoops and that kind of thing. And <laugh> actually, I just re I just remembered one of our targets. We had, we went to home Depot and we bought a water fountain that had a little boy peeing in the water as, as a kind of, let's see if you can hit it in that. Right. And , uh, <laugh>

Speaker 8:

I remember it worked

Speaker 9:

So came to me and they were like, you know, this is unbeliev, like the amount of traffic you have, but can you cover up the kid that's peeing? And because it was a , it was literally one of these reciprocal, reciprocating, you know, water fountains that was just, we filled it with water water , and , you know, it was a battery driven , you know, cut. It was, yeah. So we had to , we took the , we took the kid down, we couldn't have him , uh , go into the bathroom and the water anymore, but , uh , that was what people were shooting at. And it , you know, it was, it was, I was on the golf channel , uh, you know, with , uh , Adam, gosh, Adam, he was a pioneer in the TV, golf business, Adam, I'm trying to remember his name.

Speaker 8:

Yeah. I

Speaker 9:

Don and , uh, you know, and , um, you know, the world beat a path or door , every retailer put it in and , um, you'd say, oh, well, the that's the end of the story. And that must have really turned out well, well, the truth is that it didn't turn out well, because we just said it's a pure demonstration product. Right. So the retailers that put it in all called back six months , months later, and wanted to send it back because it wasn't selling on the shelves. And , um, you know, smartly packaged mean the packaging really hasn't changed much in the years. I mean, this is, you know, this is , this is what it does. And birdie balls comes like , and, you know , it's got a nice box and kinda looks like a dozen golf balls and, you know, tells a little bit of the story on the back of it. But , uh, but , uh, nobody can, nobody can under , or could at the time understand how that worked. And , uh, and , uh , sports authority showed me a video of somebody checking out , uh, and they were asking the , uh, you know, the , uh , the, the checkout person, you know, how this worked , you could see him going, you know, is this any good? And, you know , you can kind of see the checkout person going, you know , I have no , uh , and , uh , you know , and the guy took him back and put him , you know , like he left and then came back and he didn't have him anymore. So they were like, you know , that's why , you know , see, I mean , and , and they were right. I mean, the reality is, you know, that was up to us, you know, to communicate how that worked. And so we're gonna go back to this commercial, which is for the, really, for the first time ever people now see how it works. And we're just, I mean, we're blowing up. Right. And , uh, and now, you know, as in , and why, because people know what they are when they walk in the store. And why is that? Because we're just cause

Speaker 8:

A commercial

Speaker 9:

Because Uber bombing the internet with the commercial. That's why. And , uh , I'm sorry, if you get

Speaker 8:

Brilliant genius . Okay. So like in 2005, you go to the PGA show. What award is that one? Is that best new product? What is it? Yeah .

Speaker 9:

Best new product. Yep . Mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah .

Speaker 8:

Okay . So , I mean , that's what I figured. So like that opens doors, all the retailers, right? Cause they're like, oh, it's best new product . It's excellent for marketing purposes. Cause you've been , you've got the seal of approval. We

Speaker 9:

Even have it . Yeah . There it is. There it is an , the box.

Speaker 8:

That's a big deal. Like usually whoever gets best new product is gonna be around for a long time. I mean, generally,

Speaker 9:

Generally, generally, you know, I, I would, you would generally think so, but I'm gonna tell you that if over the last 18 years, you know, I've got , we , we went to the PJ show, you know, for the , you know , for 15 to the last 18 years, we haven't gotten a lot out of it in recent years, so we kinda stopped going. But , uh,

Speaker 8:

Yeah ,

Speaker 9:

I've forgotten the last 15 new product winners, to be honest with you , it is, it , it , it is a initial Bo and then if you don't have any, if you don't have any , you know,

Speaker 8:

Follow up

Speaker 9:

Your gravity, then you're , you're , you're , you're screwed. Um, and

Speaker 8:

You know , cause I got Bo only lasts for like a couple months.

Speaker 9:

It really does. I mean , it's , it's not a , you know, you might get a few articles written about you and uh,

Speaker 8:

But you get those anyways,

Speaker 9:

You know , which is super good. But , um, you know, at the end of the day, you know, best new product is initially good, but um, very few products, You know, make it, I

Speaker 8:

Cool of the level of Verde ball ,

Speaker 9:

God, I, you know, and honestly, alpha products. And those are the things that we're proudest of is that, you know, this is off a clean sheet of paper. Find me something in the golf business that looked at that looked like that the day before that looked like that. Nothing. Nah , okay, this isn't a derivative of a ball. It's not even a derivative. All it is its own thing and golf doesn't have those things very often. I can't say, you know, I can't come up with many off the top of my head. You know, it's a derivative of a golf club. It's a derivative of a putter, it's a derivative derivative of a , you know, golf bag, golf hat, golf shoes, you know, they're, they're improved, but they're not alpha. They're not, it started here. I'm gonna say we're proudest of that for that reason. And we're also proudest of that for our putting greens because our putting greens are also an alpha in they're the only foam derived putting green in the world are , uh , most like a natural putting green in the sense that when you step onto a natural putting green, your footprint will be noticed. That's why we don't step in people's lines, the golf ball rides on that spy sub base . And so if you don't have a putting green with a spongey sub, you don't have anything, our putting greens with that fundamental principle, it gives us the ability, you know, because they are thick to not have to go up a ramp, a contrived ramp to go uphill, have it fall into a hole. And then we create this grass like surface out of rupturing, a bubble that we create in the foaming process to create this grass knob or , or nodule. And that grass like blade is oriented at an angle, just like a natural fiber so that we have down grain where the fiber falls over as the ball rolls over it and into the grain where the ball fiber stands up. As you roll into it, you know, both alpha products, both, you know, green, both literally white sheets of paper, you know, that's our fundamental principle here. We copy anybody in any way, shape or form. We just tear it up and throw it in the trash. Can , you know, we don't wanna be that. We now, the challenges with that are that we have to educate the consumer from the get go . And so what

Speaker 8:

You learn from birdie ball , which we from bird ball , right? Like that was a good , that was the learning. Because once you learn that you're like, you have a really great product, but no one else how to use it. Then now it's like, that's the other half of a coin, right? Like it's like, okay, well, how do you how's it used,

Speaker 9:

Yeah . How do you use that? The , the same is sort of true with the putting greens is that, you know, we can't sell them through the mass merchandise merchandisers because it's possible, You know , well, first of all , we make em any size you want, so the size is an issue. And so, you know, you know, we ship refrigerator boxes outta here, you know, so, so , um, but uh, you know, people aren't used to seeing that product, they are used to seeing turf or they're used to seeing felt , or they're used to seeing woven synthetic carpet like material, but you know, a spongey , you know, material, that's like a natural pedigree that has, you know, these fibers and, and the , but truest rolling , putting green on the planet. And , uh , and it's for all of the engineering reasons , uh , behind it, we can make 'em dead flat. We roll them dead flat. So when you see, you know, a PGA tour getting ready for the guys to come through that morning, they'll roll the putting greens flat. And that, that doesn't have anything to do with the grass. It has to do with the spy sub base . They are , they're literally flat the spongey sub base of that putting green. So the ball will ride on that. Spongey sub base perfectly, the grass changes the speed. It , you know, and that's why you walk up to a putting green you look, is it shiny? Okay, shiny that putt is. And if you're, you know, where they're going, you know, straight down grain , whether you're going into the grain, you know, if you're seeing you darker green walking up to the green. Okay. And you're below, and your putt is, is , uh , you know, below the hole, you'll see you you'll be going into the grain . So you start to learn those kind of things.

Speaker 8:

When did you start coming up? The idea for the putting green,

Speaker 9:

Right. So that was sort of a necessity. Um, we were really early at the opt to Google. I mean, having said, you know, I didn't, couldn't find the stuff on Google, you know, we didn't, after, after we I'm gonna say failed at retail and everybody sent all their stuff back, you know, we still had the store.

Speaker 8:

Oh, they did. I didn't know . I thought they going to do it . Yeah .

Speaker 9:

Yeah. We were, we were, we were essentially goodnight nurse . I mean, it was like,

Speaker 8:

Oh my gosh, I

Speaker 9:

Know that. Oh yeah, yeah. The people, you know, if the stuff sits on the shelf, they, you know, they send it back to you. You know? I mean that , so , uh , yeah , I guess you could not take it back if you, you know, if you were out of business, but you know , we accepted it back. All right . Well, this is still a great product. It just requires demonstrating it. You know, what are we gonna do? Well, we kept the store, you know, we did F ASEC outta the store, but we decided launch a splash page that did have a nice animation and a nice shopping card . Again, remember, this is 2005, you know, the internet, isn't what it is. We started, you know, I had , I had the guy who created the splash page, tell me, oh, you gotta look into this thing called Google. You know , you can buy ads and, and so people are searching for the stuff you're doing and they'll come into your website. I mean, that's how you're gonna drive traffic. Sure enough. We started doing Google paper , click and Google paper click , uh , at the time, you know, wasn't super, so , you know , we could buy a click, you know, on golf training aid , because again, remember people aren't looking for the word birdie ball . I mean, we gotta get 'em to our site. How do we get 'em to the site? Well,

Speaker 8:

How do you exist?

Speaker 9:

You know , how do I exist? How do I exist? So we, we literally, if, if it had anything to do with golf, we bought a click on it, golf, golf, training, aids , golf, practice, golf instruction, you know, anything, if golf was in the word, we, we bid the be seen and again, but the clicks were cheap. Right. So the clicks are in nickel back

Speaker 8:

Then. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 9:

Back then .

Speaker 8:

So,

Speaker 9:

So you could, you could afford to not have a very high conversion rate, right . So you could throw it out there and you know, we're selling these for 1999 or whatever we were selling it for back then we started to, you know, okay. Sold one, sold one, sold one. Okay. So people were like, okay, take a risk. That looks kind of interesting. Not a terrible landing page, you know? Um , communicating it.

Speaker 8:

It's an accessory . Yeah. Yeah. It's easy. It's easy to buy. It's the prices ride .

Speaker 9:

Yeah . So we start growing on Google and you know, that was our business and we sold , sold direct consumer. And I just mentioned that we got these back from the, from the retailer. One of the really great things about bird ball is that in our 19 years of existence, 19 years selling this, we've only had literally about a dozen returns, a do I mean, wrap your mind around that

Speaker 8:

Insane .

Speaker 9:

Like a do like, and

Speaker 8:

You've probably sold like a million birdie balls at this point. We ,

Speaker 9:

Yeah . We've sold many, many millions of birdie balls and you do the math on that and it might be the least return product in the history of the world. I mean, you know, it , it's, it's up there. I mean, it's, it's, you know , nobody returns, nobody returns Bernie balls and the reason is cuz they exceed your expectations, you know ? So again, once you've done it once you've experienced it, once you've hit 'em, you know, you just can't believe it very many. I don't know. I don't wanna exaggerate to the point of ridiculous, but it's, it's so low that it doesn't even measure. Right. Wow. But , um, yeah, so, so we started to, you know , sell 'em and then word of mouth and uh , and you know , nice stories and, you know, Newsweek did a story and business week and you know, we were in the wall street journal and USA today and da , da , da , da we're in the journal. I'm not sure if we were in the journal maybe were in the journal, but we're USA today and you know, some nice words. And then we start growing the game in schools and the PGA starts putting it in this book , golf and schools program. And we're doing pretty well. But you asked the question, you know , what made you get into putting grades ? Well, over time that click went from a nickel to $5. Okay. So, you know, to, to pay, to be in the top three golf training aids right now, you're gonna pay about $5. Okay. So if you're selling a product for $20, you literally have to close everybody that clicks on that. Okay. Because that's five,

Speaker 8:

You have for four clicks, you break even , and Google made all the money.

Speaker 9:

Anything , you know, you're , you're done, even though it's a great product. And let's just say, you're you , you're some ridiculous conversion rate on that, you know, and a $5 click you're out of business again. And so we literally sat down and said, we need a $200 product. And it really is a function of, of the sales price. Because if, you know, I just noticed the ,

Speaker 8:

And more wiggle room

Speaker 9:

Training aid space that were kicking my butt, they were selling $200 things, you know, and they could afford, you know, to get

Speaker 8:

10 clips , a 20% conversion rate or something. Yeah . Like ,

Speaker 9:

So, so yeah, so you need, we need to get there. And so , um, that was the impetus for, you know, and it was like, I , I noticed these putting greens and it's like, that's crap, you know, and what you roll it out and you go uphill. I , I don't even get that. I mean, why would I go uphill? I , you know, I need to know what my speed is, you know? So we just , uh , started a brainstorm. And

Speaker 8:

So what year was that?

Speaker 9:

So we've been doing that about 10 years. So, so 12, yeah, 12 or 13, 12 or 13 , uh , is when we started doing that. So we've been doing, putting greens for about 10 years and , uh, we, we think we're, you know , it's hard to know, but we we're in the top one or two or three in the world doing it. Um, you know, and I don't know exactly what everybody's numbers are, but you know, we're right in there, you know, and improving and getting better every day and , uh, and uh , building factories and , uh, you know, employing people and,

Speaker 8:

And , uh , where are the , where are the greens made?

Speaker 9:

We make them here in evergreen as well, not in this building, but I have a building , uh , you know, about a half a mile up the street. That is a , it's more a warehouse looking building, but it, it , uh, it serves the purpose. Yeah .

Speaker 8:

And then what's cool about the putting into what I like about it is like you have all those like added features, I guess you could , you know, like, yes, the ,

Speaker 9:

You know what , well , the shim contour , the shimming , I mean is unbelievable. So I was at the Denver golf expo and it's really something we don't talk enough about. It's just your , your ability to shim this in, in unlimited number of ways. Right? So we sell you a shim kit and you use a magazine or, you know, really

Speaker 8:

A book or whatever you want

Speaker 9:

Book and , you know , create a nice loft of contour because, you know, the , the green is thick enough that it , it creates that nice loft of contour. And , uh, and so, you know, you've got an unlimited number of putts to try. If you get sick, it just, you know, put in a straight line, but you know, all putts are essentially a straight line anyway, just, it is what it does after it leaves the putter face. Right. So is it straight? Yeah .

Speaker 8:

When you came out with the Puting green , what was the initial response? Was it like another thing you had to kind of explain, like not normal pudding green , like the crappy one you get on Amazon,

Speaker 9:

So, yep . So crazily again. And I guess this is my advice to entrepreneurs is , you know, make sure, make sure you have a customer, make sure you have a market, make sure you have a product and you're gonna have to do

Speaker 8:

Make sure you have a more margin . Yeah . Because

Speaker 9:

Thank you , make sure you have a margin

Speaker 8:

And she goes , you gotta be able to do all that other stuff and still make money. Yes.

Speaker 9:

Yes. So going back to kind of the polymer experiences, I knew where I could source some of this material in a low enough volume and do our process to it, which is you , there's a , it's a multi multi-step process to treat the surface. And we didn't come up with that overnight. I mean, that took us some time too, but we knew we needed to have an aerated polymer material that would expand it , allow us to create this grass like surface. And so I could buy it in , in a small enough batch quantity to try it, but I couldn't get the color. So the, the very first ever birdie ball putting greens were blue really? Yep . Because I couldn't get it green. I couldn't, I couldn't buy enough of the polymer for them to give it to me green. And so we had to experiment with the product blue and we put it up online blue. And when we sold out of our first 50 blue in one day, I was like, okay, we might have something there. Okay. If we

Speaker 8:

That's blue.

Speaker 9:

Yeah. If we make it green, hell , maybe we'll sell some more of 'em and , uh , sure enough , uh , we've sold more of 'em .

Speaker 8:

Well, then you guys took us on our level too, because then you can custom print the green too . If somebody wants to cost and print it , which is cool . It's not just , it's not just there. And yeah.

Speaker 9:

And we're , we're ratcheting that game up. We, we , uh , just invented some invested in some technology that's going to allow us to put in inset , inset, logos. Okay. So we'll be able to have a logo that will last forever. So one of the , one of the things that, you know, when you print on something, you walk across it enough and it starts to fade, right? Yeah . So this would be, you know, so we're trying to create some extra durability, but they will be inlay. We'll actually have inlay logo and it may not be right in the middle of the putting green, but we'll be able to do it in places where the ball really doesn't roll that , that predominantly, but it'll be permanent.

Speaker 8:

So what's like the biggest putting green you guys make, how big is that?

Speaker 9:

Right. So we could make it, we could make you, if you were gonna come pick it up, we could make you 125 foot long putting green eight feet wide by 125 feet long. If you wanted to come up to evergreen or you could

Speaker 8:

Picked it up. Yeah. Like,

Speaker 9:

Yeah .

Speaker 8:

Big .

Speaker 9:

Yeah . The in terms of our, you know, shipping capability , um , it's , uh , 30 feet, 30 feet is, is the maximum. We can roll up into a , a box to make it go into something that we can ship. So, but 30 feet.

Speaker 8:

So when it comes out, when you guys make it, like, I'm assuming you probably have, like, it comes out in big rolls . Right. And then you just cut it down to,

Speaker 9:

We process it in long rolls . Yes . And then we cut it. We, we it's, so it's, it's like burger king. We, you know, how do you all on it? And so you go to our site and it's the green builder and you specify first, the width, then you specify the length. Then you specify the whole configurations, then you specify bumper configuration, and then you specify the speed. And so every day, you know, we have a whole, you know, every green we make is print than the greens we made the day before. And , uh, you know, and you know , when you walk into our facility, you , you production facility, you know , there's a board that tells us, you know, how many this width, how many, this length, how many with this whole configure , you know, how they look, it looks like, you know, you're ordering fast food and then, and then that's how, that's what we produce. And so now we, you know, and we produce it, we're producing it, the , you know, in the right size, length whole . So, you know, we essentially have no inventory of putting greens. They essentially are all built. They're

Speaker 8:

All custom

Speaker 9:

For that day. Yep .

Speaker 8:

Right. They're custom for whatever the order comes in. Yep . Yeah . It's kind of crazy though. You went from birdie balls, right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> of putting greens. Is there anything like, are you gonna , are you guys working on anything new or is that like your bread and butter?

Speaker 9:

Well, yes. Okay. So the biggest dream, the biggest dream, and it's been the dream really since the beginning. And it's just, you know, time and money, right. Is the only reason we have an X executed this dream, but , um, we've always wanted birdie ball place, right. A place to do birdie ball and

Speaker 8:

Like an event, right. To like , not an event, but you know what I mean, like a place to go do

Speaker 9:

It. Right. So literally the entertainment component and again, kind of going back to how fun this really is to do and how sticky it is for people when they're doing it. You know, we just know it works. And , uh, you know, I was fortunate enough to meet the guys at top golf before it was top golf . I met them in 2010 at the PGA merchandise show. And we had a conversation about bird ball being a fallback position. If they didn't get their big, big, top golf built and , uh, you know, what sounded great and, you know , long story short, you know, they never needed us because they

Speaker 8:

<laugh> what really,

Speaker 9:

Yeah, yeah. Turns out they didn't, they didn't need Verde ball , but sounded like a great idea, RFI chip and a golf ball. And it, you know, it measures , uh , you know, the targeting and it , you know, kind of a fun concept. And, but we, we had a Verde ball concept like that and their success is only, buttres my belief that a boutique. And I'm gonna say, you know , T top golf would be amazing and

Speaker 8:

Well, like tiger woods has that, like, he's opening up, I think in Scottsdale, like the Mitch golf place, right .

Speaker 9:

It's , it's called boom put or something, zoom putt , or,

Speaker 8:

And there's that place in, is there a place in Vegas or somewhere,

Speaker 9:

And they're grow , they're growing, they're growing like leaps and bounds. And so, you know, it's one of those, gosh, you know, I should have done it 19 years ago , 15 years.

Speaker 8:

No , you should know . We built .

Speaker 9:

Yeah . So, but I'm, I've , I'm, I'm , uh , having conversation with some very meaningful people and , uh, I'm praying we can , uh , I'm praying we can get , uh , place. So, and, you know , little, you know , maybe a little more focused for family, less expensive , um, you know, boots like say smaller, maybe

Speaker 8:

50 now is the time. Right. Because there's so many new golfers coming to the market. It's like, if I don't know , I went , we went the top golf on Sunday, my family. And , uh , it was man . It was packed every day .

Speaker 9:

Yeah . Yeah. I mean, you know, we, we , we partner with , uh , the Korn ferry tour on a couple of their, you know , premium events , uh , one in Savannah and one here in col in Colorado , um , Colorado championships. And we, you know, we'll take birdie ball and have a family fun area and we'll, we'll take you , I don't , you've seen are inflatable animals and things that will blow up, but you know , we have hippo and alligators and sharks and golf , you know , and , and , uh , golf reels and dinosaurs. And we put, you know, you're hitting birdie balls at them and it's standing , it's actually standing room only. I mean, you can't, you know, and then we have an adult area where we play the road game and we raise money for charity. The , you know , the entertainment piece is so sticky it's so you

Speaker 8:

Have it. You're so close. Yeah . It's like , it's

Speaker 9:

We are , we we're ,

Speaker 8:

It's more the training a it's more than that.

Speaker 9:

Yeah . We need the liquor license. <laugh> we need the food, we need the space and we need the creativity.

Speaker 8:

Well, look at , I mean, look at brands like X golf , right? Ex golf is, but like they're building, you know, it's franchised out SIM places that are , uh, with liquor and all food. It's like, those are all they're pop up everywhere. It's like people wanna have fun.

Speaker 9:

I love this new generation because they aren't thing oriented. They're their experience oriented. What they want is memories, you know? And they understand after seeing their parents, you know, slave over things their whole life and not have any good memories, you know, that memories are everything. And, you know, and I am learning that. And I, I think that place to create memories and fun and, and , you know, spend your money on things. You're gonna remember, not things you're gonna , you know, that are gonna rot, you know ? So, so I am all about that. So we're, we're committed to it. You know, what , where, when, how, I don't know, but you know , I've been saying it for a little while now, and people are probably getting sick and me saying, I'm gonna do it, but I am gonna do it. It

Speaker 8:

It's cause you

Speaker 9:

That's the next thing

Speaker 8:

You want to do it. It's fun. I mean, look at the fun you guys have out in the , out, in the yard, out front. Yeah . Right . You guys are like,

Speaker 9:

I mean , yeah , if you're in , if you're ever in evergreen on a Friday afternoon , uh , you know, stop by cuz there's usually a party going on in the back deck and uh , you know, we're wagering a dollar, you know , a dollar a , uh , a round. So it's

Speaker 8:

Not, I wanna be in the next birdie ball , commercial,

Speaker 9:

You know, the ideas please I'd love for people to send the idea.

Speaker 8:

Well, anyways , um , I don't know if John's coming back on my boss amount signal, but you guys need to check out birdie ball . It is one of , of the coolest , uh , training aids out there. Um, he's been around for 15 years or actually 17 years. Um, I have some birdie balls that I've been using. He sent me a couple years ago. Uh, they're great. The other thing too is a putting green. I set my putting green. Uh , they sent me about two years ago. The custom ability you can do with it is really cool. So you definitely need to check that out as well. Um, I love my , I love my putty green . You guys need check out birdie ball on their website. It's birdie ball.com . Hope to see you guys in the next episode.

Speaker 3:

Thanks for listening to another episode of behind the golf brand podcast. You're gonna beat me a golf stay connected on and off the show by visiting golfers authority.com. Don't forget to like subscribe and leave a comment. Golf is always more fun when you win, stay out of the beach and see you on the green.