About this project
The idea started when I noticed how boring golf tees were and how compared to the rest of the golf products in the market, the tee has been mostly left behind from a functional and stylistic point of view. Even worse, wooden tees are notorious for breaking which creates an unsound sustainability situation with the litter/waste it leaves on the tee boxes. For example, golfers each year use about 2 billion golf tees per year and approximately 80% of those are made from Birch trees. This equates to 70,000 trees cut down each year so we can hit golf balls. The remaining 20% are made of plastic and since they break as well, the can become even more of a problem because they can take several years to finally break down in the open environment.
The SmartClaw addresses all of these problems as it's the last tee you'll ever need. It has a patented unbreakable design that enables it to claw counter clockwise through the ground on soft grass and literally ejects forward out of the ground when it is unable to claw through due to it being in either strong rooted grass or hard dirt. So no matter what type of turf it's in, it won't break! It truly is a SmartClaw!
It also addresses a major problem with plastic tees today which is when the ground is too hard, the plastic tee bends and then you can't place the ball on the tee without it falling off. The SmartClaw doesn't bend, therefore you'll never have that problem!
Another issue you typically will experience is running out of golf tees in the middle of the round. It is quite annoying as you're then left to borrowing a tee from one of your fellow players or you are looking around aimlessly on the tee boxes for an unbroken tee.
Lastly, we also looked at what could be done to a tee that creates less resistance to the golf club when coming in contact with the ball. So with the understanding that we wanted a more stylish tee that would never break and remove some of the resistance a standard tee creates, this is the first version we came up with.
Once we did come up with the final design, we listed it here on Kickstarter but unfortunately, it didn't make funding. There were many reasons for this but overall, we asked for too much funding and I forgot to include international buyers which really hurt the project. Since, we gained some time to see what else we could add to the tee as we felt it still needed some added features. That's when we came up with the idea to put an insert on the tee so it can be personalized. We also incorporated a lower drag on the golf ball with a newly designed cup (where the ball sits on the tee) that also makes it look a bit more organic.
You can see this version has much more of the "It" factor and gives it much more personality. Even better, you can match your personality to the tee by adding your own logo or picture to the tee.
So now that we feel very strongly about the product being ready for prime time, we need to get moving on the production. However, tooling can be quite expensive... The some of money raised will go to pay for tooling charges for the tee molds and a portion of the first runs that will be shipped to all individuals that support this effort! Any remaining funds will pay for for a portion of the attorney fees for filing several patents and trademarks to maintain protection for the long term success of the product.
Here is the production schedule:
6-8 weeks to fabricate the tooling (molds)
This takes a lot of time for the molds to be designed and built for the tees. The manufacturing company that builds these molds does nothing else but make molds for injection molding companies. They basically sculpt the tee cavity out of hardened steel. It's very expensive and time consuming. Once the molds have been fabricated, they'll be shipped to the injection molding company that we are using (Oklahoma Plastic).
1 Week to manufacture tees
Once the molds have been received, the injection molding company will insert the molds into there injection molding machines and start making SmartClaws!! You can learn more about this process by watching the main video as we talk with the owner of the company and discuss the manufacturing process!
1-2 Weeks to deliver to you!
After we pick up the tees, we'll package them and send them out to you. Depending on how many we ship and where you are in the world will determine when you get the product!
Lastly, if you are interested in an OEM offering or orders of more than one, that will definitely be available. We can't offer that through kickstarter due to their rules of only offering one item per person in the product design area. Go to my website and contact me there at www.mean18golf.com and we can discuss it further.
Thanks for your interest!
Risks and challenges
This project actually is not that difficult once tooling has been paid for as well as part of the first run of product and tooling is 80% of the cost! Thus, due to commitments from investments from a few friends and my my own money in combination with this success of meeting this funding are met, I'm very confident you can be sure that you will receive your product within the time frame provided. The only potential challenge that could occur is that the company providing the tooling delay (tee molds) delivery past it's usual 40-60 days turnaround time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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