The more I have discussions with entrepreneurs, a continuous commonality appears. Especially when talking about the decision to venture out on your own. Recognizing an opportunity and taking action.
This theme became the platform for Patrick Kraft’s launch into the entrepreneurial world of golf. His creation, Sphera Golf. A golf ball company with plans to join the movement of disrupting the 1.5 billion dollar golf ball industry.
Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Pat is homegrown through and through. He attended the University of Washington where he received a degree in finance and began his career trading equities. That was until his mindset for entrepreneurialism took over.
He saw his first opportunity. The rise of e-commerce. Queue up the web development and coding classes, coupled with recognizing a chance in a market around something he loved. Golf.
Believe it or not, that inspiration was Costco. Their release of the Kirkland golf ball was making waves. A ball as good as a Pro V1 at 15 dollars a dozen? That can’t be true. But it was and there are test to prove it. Many people started seeing that you could play a high-quality ball for cheap.
“In my head, I was thinking wait a second here. The price of golf balls can’t be 50 dollars there has to be something in the market that is allowing this to happen. It was almost like the Dollar Shave Club. Those guys came out and they realized that people were paying 20 dollars for a razor blade when the razor blade cost a dollar to make.”
Any avid golfer is constantly in the search to improve their game. That desire can hurt your wallet. Especially when purchasing quite possibly your most important piece of equipment. The one item in your bag that is involved in every shot. The golf ball.
“It Was Kind of Like a Divine Intervention”
Because of this red flag in the golf ball market that Costco exposed, Pat got to work on his new vision. He started reaching out to manufacturers and had a stroke of luck. A major company in golf had dropped out of the industry. Pat reached out to their golf ball manufacturer.
“It was kind of like a divine intervention of things that just lined up and were able to happen. They said they were happy to do business with me, so here I am starting a golf ball company.”
How Sphera Golf is Creating a High-Quality Ball for Cheap
Another character trait that continually appears in my talks with entrepreneurs, is jumping in. That fear of entering a domain of which you have zero knowledge can paralyze people. You never start when it is so important to.
“I got some advice from a college professor a long time ago. He said, “You just have to get started and then keep the ball rolling. If you always have the idea and never take action, nothing is ever going to happen. So for the people who are always thinking about it, take the risk and go for it. You have to go out and do it.”
Pat took this kind of leap and went all in learning the ins and outs of making a great ball. His main discovery, there are two dominant cover types. Surlyn, which is cheaper but lacks feel, and urethane, which is more expensive but provides the touch good players demand.
“The quality of the golf ball is as good as anything on the market these days. Basically, what we are competing on is price. We’re half the price of big name brands and the quality is there… Were just trying to get that quality out there in a more affordable way.”
Sphera has the test results to prove their ball is of this caliber:
These days, you can find a cheaper ball with surlyn covers for 20 – 25 dollars a dozen. If you’re serious about improving your game and your scores, you will eventually opt for a better ball. When you are over your Top Flite days, Sphera Golf is giving you the chance to play a high-quality ball around the same price. Check them out and enjoy.
Episode 15 of G&E The Podcast is incredibly insightful. Patrick Kraft gives us the rundown on how he made the decision to start his own company in golf and what it has been like since. Pat has big plans for his future and it will be exciting to see how far he can take Sphera Golf. Give this weeks episode a listen to hear us talk about the decision to go out on your own, the details behind starting a brand, lessons learned when starting a new business, and so much more!