Shortly before I took over the company as CEO Natural Golf launched its first new line of Irons in nearly four years – the ST Hybrids, now called the True Blues. In August, I lead the group that acquired Natural Golf. At the time of the acquisition, the management team I was leading felt like the Natural Golf club line was good and that our new team could get on board and enhance the products gradually over the coming years in search of excellence.
Within thirty days under new ownership we decided to go full speed ahead on reinventing Natural Golf’s entire club line, from Driver, to Irons, to Putters, to Fairway Woods all with a goal of offering you tremendous quality products befitting the players of the best swing in golf, the Natural Golf Single Plane Swing. Gradual enhancement was not going to work. The company goal was not to be the biggest, but simply to pursue the goal to be the best company in golf.
No More Beryllium Copper
The change was much faster than planned both because of problems at the foundry that casts our heads, and business plan opportunities that demanded that we do more, better and faster than most other golf companies, especially companies of our size.
Natural Golf has won many awards through the years for club designs, and several of the award winners were cast of a technically challenging material called Beryllium Copper – a soft dense metal with great looks and better performance characteristics. The Fairway Woods, the PLUS Club Hybrids and even Natural Golf’s wedges were made out of this metal alloy. Beryllium copper had come under new governmental regulations and the foundries were discontinuing casting in Beryllium Copper. We had four months to redesign and replace a third of the products we were selling.
Solution – All New ST 110 Fairway Woods and Moe Signature Wedges
We charged head club designer Bob Lukasiewicz to set to work on replacement designs for all of these clubs. Utilizing successful innovation of the Thin Face Technology in the ST 110 Irons, Bob combined design elements of the multiple award winning Beryllium Copper Fairway Woods with thin face stainless to create a classic pear shaped fairway wood for golfers of all abilities.
Natural Golf has offered a better player’s wedge, but never in forged steel with spin milled face for the ultimate in ball control. In development tests the replacement to the Beryllium Copper wedges performed so well that the clubs were named in honor of Moe Norman as the first in a new signature series of clubs. Look for more for better players in the future.
Opportunity – More Clubs for More Golfers
In our strategic planning sessions we saw opportunities that are not available to other golf club companies. Most club companies are interested in selling either custom built, high-end, high-priced clubs or selling lower quality, mass marketed, off the shelf clubs. Natural Golf philosophy is that golfers must always play with quality equipment if they are going to enjoy success on the course, but we recognized that not all golfers are able to afford the ultimate in quality golf clubs.
Moreover, with Natural Golf’s mission to grow the game and help to bring new people into golf, a high priced set of clubs is not usually appropriate purchase for a beginner. But, they need something a whole lot better than Dad’s old steel irons and persimmon woods or a $199 set of irons and woods from the local discount store.
Hot Peppers – Quality Fun for Novice Golfers
More work for Bob and his team – designing a quality set of irons and woods that would be semi-custom fit, and could be adjusted for lie angle when needed at an affordable price.
Modeled on the original Pipeline irons and woods, Bob and his design team reduced and adjusted the weight and helped to drive down production costs to offer Natural Golfers an affordable line of clubs that would provide game improvement for the novice golfer, but playability for golfers to mid-handicap levels. 17-4 Steel allows for adjustable lie angles for better fit while maintaining an affordable price point in a quality material.
Improvements All Across the Line
Natural Golf has made a total commitment to providing quality clubs for golfers of all abilities and all financial means, without compromising quality. Some of the other clubs that have been enhanced, redesigned or modified include:
* ST 110 Irons – now available in Premier Version with GrafalloyTM Shafts
* New, Improved Natural Groove Mallet Putter with Soft Square Grip (maybe this will replace my original Mallet Thing Putter)
* Updated Moe Norman Sand Wedge – now named “Sandy”
* ST 460 Hammer Driver – with hotter titanium face and Pro- Launch Grafalloy(TM) Shaft
* New Assembled in USA Golf Bags are here now – logoed with Natural Golf
* New Natural Golf logoed high quality shirts from Ahead will be here in the next thirty days too.
It is not just what but how… It is Time to Treat the Customer Right
Natural Golf felt it was time to take the lead in the golf industry in customer care. With all Natural Golf’s new clubs coming to market and with the firm’s reputation on the line a clear statement of integrity in sales and pricing needed to be made. In weeks and months of discussion Natural Golf formulated the 30-60-90-Lifetime Guarantee Policy that costs a us little more but allows you to buy with confidence, and to make sure you play your best golf and love Natural Golf.