Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit a golf ball into a series of holes on a golf course using as few strokes as possible. Not only is golf a major spectator sport around the world, but it is also a popular recreational sport in many countries. Golf, unlike most ball games, cannot and does not utilize a standardized playing area. Navigating the varied terrains of the courses is a key part of the game.
Most golf courses consist of 18 holes with a total score at 70, 71, or 72 shots needed to complete the round in regulation. Professional golfers maintain a high degree of proficiency and can regularly complete the course in less than the required strokes.
As of 2017, the number of golf participants in the U.S. stood at approximately 23.83 million. Around 8.8 million of these participants are said to be avid golfers. Americans aged 30-49 years are the most likely age group to play golf.
Golf is quite an expensive hobby, with players needing to purchase all the equipment necessary to play such as clubs, balls and special apparel. Players may also need to pay an annual membership fee to be part of a club. Those golfers that are not part of a local golf club use semi-private or open to the public courses. Currently, there are over 16,000 courses in the U.S.
Golf Training Aids
Improving one’s golf game requires patience and commitment to practice. For many weekend golfers, spending large sums of money and countless hours on the practice range is simply not an option. They have a desire to improve their game but need practice devices that are the most efficient and effective to achieve their goals.
The Golf game breakdown
The golf game can be broken apart in two basic areas: The long game and the scoring game.
The Long Game: This is the part of the game where the tee and approach shots to the green are made. Many consider this the glamour part of the game as illustrated by the large gasps of ooh’s and ah’s when a Pro hits a booming 300+ yard drive down the fairway, and again when they hit that perfect shot with an iron 3 feet from the hole from the fairway. Indeed, fully half of shots taken in golf are from over 100 yards from the green.
When you break down those shots however you find that at most the booming driver is only used 14 times. Iron shots are used 18 to 22 times if the golfer plays every round in regulation (meaning par 3’s they use one shot to hit the green, par 4’s they use 2 shots to hit the green and par 5’s they use 3 shots to hit the green). Adding all the long shots up, the best golfers in the world are only using approximately 36 shots to reach the green.
The Scoring Game: Once the player is close to or has reached the green, the second part of the golf game begins. If the player missed hitting the green in regulation, they need to chip or pitch the ball onto the green. The golfer chips or pitches, usually with the shorter distance clubs, to minimize the distance the ball travels, trying to get the ball to stop as close as possible to the hole. If the golfer did hit the green in regulation, they now must putt the ball into the hole in two strokes or less.
The short game, ‘the scoring game,’ is the most important part of golf. One of the most repeated phases in golf is “You drive for Show, but you Putt for Dough.” This is the part of the game that takes place 80 yards and closer to the green. Indeed, even if you have a perfect long game, you will still need to use your putter 36 times to shoot an even par round of golf. No other club in at the players disposal will they use 36 times in a round.
To complicate matters even more, the best golfers in the world only average hitting greens in regulation around 60 – 70% of the time. They rely on their close game, the scoring game, to get them up and down (take the regulation, or less, strokes for that hole).
To achieve the best scoring game possible, most professional golfers will spend 50% or more of their time practicing that aspect of their game. Many put hours and hours into the scoring game with drill after drill of different scenarios they may face in a real time event. The average amateur golfer simply does not have the time to set up for the drill, execute the drill, get the necessary feedback from the drill and set up for that drill or a new drill.
The “Golf Short Game Solution” product is a training aid to help the golf enthusiast master their short game with as little time as possible yet still supply the needed feedback to achieve improvements.
The “Golf Short Game Solution”
The Golf Short Game Solution training aid is designed to help the golfer improve all aspects of their short game. The training aid allows the user to quickly set up and run through ingrained time tested and proven short game drills. These drills in turn build confidence and muscle memory the golfer needs to achieve the highest level of proficiency enjoyed by the game’s top players.
The training aid is composed of 2 major parts: the base unit (fig. 1) and the Practice Tube (fig. 2).
The practice tube can be used independently from the base unit, but the base unit must be used with the practice tube. By inserting the practice tube into the base unit, the assembly is complete and ready for use (fig. 3 and 4). After the 2 units are together, all that the user needs to do is push the completed unit forward and squeeze the handle at the top of the practice tube. Golf balls will then be release at a 22-inch interval as the base unit is moved forward.
Short Game Practice Device Features
1) Ball Drops at 22-inch intervals (can be used in a straight line, to practice lag putting distances, or a circular pattern around a hole, at distances the user needs to work on, see Figure 6)
2) Speed ramp (designed for golfers not hitting the ball firm enough to get the ball to the hole) is placed in front of the hole while striking putts and placed behind the hole for golfers who are having trouble hitting the ball to hard and having a long putt left for their second putt.
3) Practice golf hole and pin (designed to allow the golfer to set up hole conditions they need the most practice with, such as side hill, downhill, and uphill directions.
4) A tape measurer, with the ability to lock in distance, to allow the golfer to practice putts and chips they are having the most difficulty with (fig. 5 and 6)
There are three possible market segments for this device: 1) the teaching professional, 2) the avid golfer, and 3) Private and Semi-Private country clubs. Currently there are more than 35,000 golf teaching professionals world-wide and over 16,000 golf courses in the US. Although the teaching professionals and private and simi-private country clubs will offer a large market segment, they are not addressed in this white paper.
For the third straight year, the National Golf Federation (NGF) reports the number of golfers in 2017 was near 25 million. This number (24.7 million) matches the figure for 2013. According to the report, that number has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 875,000 golfers.
Among other highlights of the NGF study:
-- The highest percentage of core golfers came in the 30-39 age group (18.8%), followed by the 40-49 group (17.6%). There was a larger percentage of golfers under the age of 40 than there were over the age of 50 (47% to 35%).
-- The household income for the average golfer is $93,000, but nearly 40% have a household income less than $75,000. Still, the largest percentage of all golfers (27%) have a household income over $125,000.
-- 8.8 million of these participants are said to be avid golfers.
Using just the 8.8 million avid golfers as the base number, a 1% market share would be 88,000: and 0.1% equals 8,800. Using 0.3% as the first-year market capture, the product would sell 26,400 units. Using the profit margin estimate for each device sold (see supporting data below), $106, that suggests the first year in ‘profits’ for this product to be $2.8 million.