Tuesday, April 13, 2010

BEAVER GOLF is open for business!

Today is a day that I will long remember in my life, it is the day I opened my first business...Beaver Golf! Yes, of course, I have been writing the blog with purpose for going on a year now, and I did make a very small amount of money via Affiliate Marketing and Google Ads, but the brand new online store supporting my growing community of fans on Facebook and Twitter is a real honest-to-goodness business venture, and I intend to make sure it succeeds.

Success, of course is not an easy thing to achieve in the business world. I believe the odds are more in favor of my failing than succeeding, but that is just a statistic. I have already, and will continue to put a ton of effort into ensuring that my store delights my fellow Beaver Golfers on a regular basis. The satisfaction that I am able to bring to my customers will ultimately determine how long this little store of mine will thrive, so I am counting on all of you to keep me up to speed with just how satisfied you are with the site, and what you would like to see from it.

To that end, I'd like to give you a brief tour of the store and what we have to offer, without dwelling too long on any specific items, saving those in depth product reviews for the near future. No good business begins without a mission, and ours is this - Beaver Golf strives to be your virtual clubhouse, complete with comfort, conversation, and a store in which you will find stylish, unique, and innovative products all designed to enhance your enjoyment of the game of golf. I am very pleased with the simple and pleasing aesthetic of our site design, and I love our logos. I hope that you all share this sentiment, and that the clean and simple design makes your shopping with us more pleasing.

This blog will continue, and even expand, creating one of the several "rooms" where conversations about all aspects of the game will take place. I have always, and will continue to encourage interaction and participation from all who choose to read the blog, follow our Facebook Fan Page, or keep up with us on Twitter (I like hearing myself talk, but I like hearing all of you talk much more). On the blog, I will continue to write course reviews, but will begin to feature more significant product reviews, and eventually service reviews as well. Talk is cheap, so I can only hope that you will all come to trust that despite my product reviews often being intended to drive a sale, I will always be honest and forthright about my real feelings about a product or service. If I haven't "experienced" the product or service myself, I will not write about it - and if I don't like something, I will tell you so. I ask that you all will share your experiences as well, with courses and the like on my various Social media portals, and with products by posting reviews right on the product pages of my store. Please be honest, I will not remove bad reviews, but will remove any that include profanity or distasteful commentary.

As for the store proper, I'd be lying if I said I have used every product I sell - I do sell women's apparel after all, and I have yet to play the game as a cross-dresser (though if it'll get me onto the forward tees without shame, perhaps I should give it a try!). I have made an effort to ensure that I carry products that are high quality, innovative in design, and more often than not, have aspects that will help you to play better golf, or at least look and feel better while playing. I, and my ad hoc assistant, Brad, spent the better part of two plus days at the PGA Merchandise Show back at the end of January scouring all that the world had to offer in the business of golf. At that show I learned quite a bit about the industry of golf, and where my biggest challenges would be. I also saw some of the most interesting apparel and equipment there was to see, and from the hundreds of vendors, chose a select few to begin my store with. More selection will continue to make its way into the store, and some may work its way out based on the feedback, both direct and indirect, that I receive from all of you.

You will notice, for instance, that my store is heavy in apparel right now. While there are several reasons for this, the biggest reason is that this is an area where there is a great deal of innovation, and much of this innovation can not be found at your local Pro Shop or big box retailer. On Beaver Golf, you will find some familiar clothing brands like Antigua, who utilize a great feeling performance fabric that they call Desert Dry, but also some lesser known brands that I hope you will give a try. 

Beyond The Links is a small apparel company owned by Joe Skovron, who also happens to caddy for one of the PGA Tour's young guns, Rickie Fowler. The clothing from Beyond The Links is slightly edgy, but very clean, and is constructed from performance fabrics to aid with your comfort on the course. Check out his shirts, caps, and a sweet belt featuring their great logo!

Hawke & Co. is a company with a history in the apparel business, but very new to the golf world. Hawke initially caught my eye with the colors they presented, and was the very first booth we visited at the show in Orlando. All of their apparel is designed with comfort in mind, and features technologies that wick moisture, move and stretch with your swing, utilize recycled materials, and resist odor as well as UV rays. Hawke also caught the eye of PGA Tour Pro Jim Furyk who wears their shirts on tour...take a closer look at Jim next time you watch him play.

Puma has been around in the athletic apparel industry for a long time, though their foray into golf has come more recently, they are really making a splash. With Golf Digest cover boy Rickie Fowler sporting seemingly everything that the Puma designers can think up, they may be around for many years to come. With some fresh designs, and quality fabrics, Puma will surely catch your eye, and if you like it, hopefully a few of your dollars! Puma is currently my only brand of shoe offered, though both the Puma shoe selection, and overall golf shoe collection should expand throughout the year. I am particularly fond of the women's shoes on the store, so check them out ladies!

Straight Down is not new to the golf scene, but may be new to you. I first discovered Straight Down on the very same trip to Bandon Dunes that helped launch the original idea for Beaver Golf. I still wear a fleece vest by Straight Down with the Bandon Dunes logo that I purchased out there on a subsequent trip. Straight Down has some excellent tops and bottoms, but really excels at making some stylish outer wear for those post-round drinks out on the clubhouse porch evenings - a nightly occurrence at Bandon Dunes!

With all due respect to the other great brands we carry, Sunice might be the one that makes me stop and stare the longest. Sunice specializes in outerwear, and makes some of the best use of Gore-Tex fabric in the world. While their Gore products are unbelievable, they feature a stepped selection of products with varied features and degrees of water and wind resistance so that they have a solution for almost any weather condition that ails you. I am particularly intrigued by their use of silver fibers woven directly into the fabric of their X-Static products. The silver fibers contain some "big word" properties such as thermal conduction and reflection, moisture transfer, anti-microbial, anti-static, and visible technology...altogether they mean you will feel great and odor will never be a problem! Guys and gals, check out the Bowen and the Evelyn respectively for two of the more exciting pieces in my opinion. I'll be personally reviewing the Bowen as soon as I can!

After doing some pre-show research back in January, Tattoo Golf was a company I sought out at the show. If you haven't seen their styles, you are missing out. I am one who likes to bend the traditions a bit when it comes to apparel (after all, my store is called Beaver Golf), so one look at Tattoo Golf, and I knew I had to offer them a home in my store. If you like to make a statement, but still want the high-performance fabrics and design in your shirts and accessories, take a good look at the Tattoo Golf section on the store. I am even selling their bottle opener and Koozies for those who like to sneak a tasty adult beverage or two onto the course!

An important part of our mission at Beaver Golf is to embrace the women -- y'know as part of the golf community! I hear often from the women in our group how limited the selection is for good women's apparel, so want to remedy that on the store. We are nowhere close to that goal as we open our doors, but our selection from Tracey Lynn is an excellent peg in the ground (again, no pun intended there). Tracey Blake, the founder and CEO of Tracey Lynn has an inspiring story of her own after recovering from a rare and serious illness, she dedicated herself to making women's golf apparel that used high-performance fabrics and did a better job of flattering a woman's figure. Take a look and see for yourself.

My club selection for "off the green" strokes is limited to be sure as this is easily one of the toughest nuts to crack in this world of handshakes, longtime relationships, and old-school rules, but do not let that take away from the quality I was able to find and offer from my hometown of Chicago's own Wilson Golf. Wilson is one of the oldest and most experienced club-makers in the world, and is showing no signs of letting age get to them. Their equipment is played by many pros including 3-time major Champion Padraig Harrington, and PGA Pro Ricky Barnes who had himself quite a Masters tournament after finishing 2nd in the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. Their clubs are highlighted by their FG Tour Irons for better players, and their new Hybrid-shafted D-FY Irons which will benefit anyone trying to hit the ball straighter, higher, and longer. Along with their world class irons, we carry their FYbrid club system designed to help you better optimize the fourteen clubs in your bag, their Smooth Driver, their TW9 Tour Milled Wedges, 88 Series Putters, balls, gloves, bags, you name it! We have some exciting surprises on the way to help expand our club selection, but trust me, you can't go wrong with Wilson, and our prices through April are incredible!

Putting is a BIG part of the game, and is all too often overlooked. How many people do you see carrying a $400 Driver that they will swing at most 14 times per round, then pull out a cruddy old stick with a steel block on the bottom that they found at a garage sale somewhere with which they play a third of their strokes? Beaver Golf believes in bringing technology to putting, and very proudly features three brands who do as well. Along with the aforementioned Wilson, please take a good look at the putter selection from Rife and Yes! Both Rife and Yes! use different methods to achieve the same result...immediate forward roll on your putts, eliminating the initial hop and backspin to create a more consistently accurate result. Both of these are world-class brands and have very notable Tour wins among them on many of the major Tours.

Practice makes perfect, and arguably the most successful and well-known swing trainers available today is the Medicus Dual-Hinge club. The patented design of the dual hinge clubs helps you to quickly determine where the flaws in your swing path are, and correct them...AND you can hit balls with them! Along with the dual hinge, Medicus offers several other helpful aids that you should explore and purchase to help keep your game in shape.

Though Asher Gloves are a small part of our store, I'd hate for them to be overlooked. Asher makes premium golf gloves with exciting and uniques designs. I am particularly fond of The Birdie with a subtly effective placement of a bird graphic on a certain finger! Buy one of these gloves for the fun factor, and you will not be disappointed in the quality, which together could help you play a more relaxed and better round.

Last, but by no means least, is the ruletwentyone from RuleGolf. The r21 is a durable terrycloth towel with a waterproof back side that easily folds over itself and fits in your pocket keeping your pocket dry while the towel side stays wet and allows you to clean your clubs and ball no matter where you are on the course. A clean club face and ball has been shown to deliver a more consistently accurate shot time and time again. With this little beauty available to you, why play another dirty shot again!

That rounds out our initial list of brand partners. Though I am very pleased with and proud of the products we have already brought to you, there is more variety on the horizon, and with it more opportunities for exciting specials and savings! Of course, we will have a selection of products with our own Beaver Golf logo as well, as some of you are already wearing. These products will be a mix of store essentials such as tees and gloves, but also limited edition designs on shirts, hats, and much more.

I hope you will make the time to browse our store, and fill up that shopping cart. My intent is to stick around for a long, long time, but without your patronage, that simply won't materialize. So please let me know what you like, AND what you don't like whenever you have the chance so we can make this the comfortable virtual clubhouse it is intended to be.

Thank you!

Fairways and Greens!

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