Some behind the scenes at BirdieBall
OK, so you may know that BirdieBall is a family business that has been providing innovative products to the golf industry for 12 years. What you don't know are some of the things that make the business tick.
First, we believe that nothing happens until something gets sold. We also believe that once it is sold it has to be loved by the customer in order for us to stay in business and have the treasured referred customer. Our philosophy on staying ahead of the curve is to do continual product development and product improvement. Second, we want to supply products that are unique, inventive and solve a real problem. "Problem" is probably not the right word. Can there really be a "problem" in golf? Let's just say our products solve an issue in golf that has not been resolved before.
To that end, we believe we have two core products that do both of the above. They make our customers happy and create referral business and are unique enough to solve golfing related issues worthy of two US patents.
The BirdieBall is now 12 years old and we have sold over 7,000,000 of them. We can only remember two unhappy customer in that 12 years. One was today! A man emailed me to tell me he did not think the Velocity Tee and BirdieBall worked to help his swing. He can always hit the BirdieBall well off of the velocity tee but can't make contact with his golf ball while teeing off on the golf course. Answer there: Hit the BirdieBall when you tee off! (kidding). OK. That one falls into the X-File. The only other return I remember is a woman who gave a dozen to her husband and he would not even try them. He said it would hurt his swing. Really. I have to believe that 2 in 7,000,0000 is about as low a number as there has ever been in the history of product returns. If I am missing an unhappy BirdieBall customer please let me know, I really am keeping track.
The BirdieBall Putting Green is equally as innovative. It is made of an advanced aerated polymer, it is thick to allow the ball to fall into a cup with an extraction flag, without going uphill and even though it is homogeneous (made of just one material) we are able to draw a perfect grass like blade out of the surface to create the most authentic and accurate putting surface in the world. Unlike the BirdieBall we do get some returns. It is so different from what they are accustomed to that some may not even try it. If the customer is not even willing to try it we might get it returned. The expectation of stiff, wobbly artificial turf is the perceived "normal". Would you practice putting on an artificial turf football or soccer field? Of course not, yet that is what the outdoor putting green (and some indoor putting green) people are selling to you. Wooven, synthetic, artificial turf grass is not remotely like a natural grass putting green. It can be fun and it is durable, but is it a representation of a natural grass putting green? No. In fact, practice on that and you will always leave your putt on the "amateur" side of the hole. Natural grass breaks more than artificial turf, it is as simple as that. Artificial turf is woven in a pattern, it does not let gravity do its work. This on top of the fact that the shortest that the blade can be manufactured is 1/2" tall means the balls rolls on top of the blade, not on the spongy sub-base. BirdieBall putting greens have a nub of grass, .090" to .125" (1/8") tall like a natural green, oriented at an angle, into and down grain, like a natural green, with a soft spongy sub-base that will leave a footprint, like a natural green. As a result it needs to be treated like a natural green but if treated properly it will last for years and years, rolling putts as true as the day it was set up.
Here is a peak behind the scenes. We make thousand of indoor putting greens each year. There are 22 discrete steps to make a BirdieBall Putting Green. Here is step 4, polymer conversion.