MyGolfSpy’s “bump” is validation for some smaller, newer golf brands
Kerry Moher, the founder of premium golf gloves Red Rooster, was attending a one-day workshop on a golf course in Ottawa earlier this year when he heard the news. Briefly walking out of meetings, he saw that his phone had “exploded” with missed calls and text messages. His immediate thought: what’s wrong? Obviously, there had to be some sort of production, supply, or shipping problem.
Concern turned to surprise and satisfaction when Moher called the office.
Sales were skyrocketing.
It turned out that the year-old direct-to-consumer company had just won the top of them spots in MyGolfSpy’s “Best Performance Golf Gloves 2022” review. The Cape model was the clear winner, topping a range of 30 gloves by finishing first in comfort and grip, and second in fit and feel. If that wasn’t enough, the brand’s Range Rooster model secured second place overall, beating out other well-known names in the industry.
“These aren’t two of our most popular gloves, but since then they’ve been our 1-2 sellers within a mile of the country. There’s not an order that doesn’t have one,” says Moher, who started the business just a year ago with professional golfer Brad Fritsch, a longtime friend and fellow Canadian. “They are selling like hotcakes. The public (MyGolfSpy) is the type to give reviews and comments. Not only do they buy things that have been verified, but they are incredibly responsive. What’s really special is that it helped validate our early supporters. There is a sense of pride.
Red Rooster is part of a line of smaller, newer brands that have gained a breakthrough from MyGolfSpy, which is basically Consumer Reports for golf when it comes to equipment, apparel, accessories and more. The popular website has around 17 million unique readers a year, creating a loyal and passionate following in one of the nation’s leading participatory sports. It doesn’t hurt that this pool of participants is driven by the relentless pursuit of improvement.
New Level (clubs), Vessel (bags) and Payntr (shoes) also saw the MyGolfSpy lift in 2022, their big breaks made possible by a platform that prioritizes merit over marketing.
New Level’s 623-CB forged irons topped the Most Wanted Players Irons category, beating well-known names such as PING, Callaway and Titleist. Website visits immediately jumped and the company generated more revenue in a single month than its dealerships produced in 2020.
When Vessel’s Players III DXR was named Best Overall Golf Bag of 2022, the company sold its inventory within 29 days of the review and immediately achieved the largest revenue month in company history, up 134% over the previous year.
Payntr set day, weekend and month revenue records after its 002X was selected as the best spikeless golf shoe. Its inventory vanished within five days of the review, which also saw its 003X model rank third, just behind one of the biggest names in gaming in FootJoy. It was a “huge” recognition for a new brand, said co-founder and president Mike Forsey.
“Overall, this validates why we created the Payntr Golf brand – to provide golfers with a performance-enhancing edge through our footwear technology,” Forsey said. “Specifically, because of the unbiased, data-driven method used by MyGolfSpy, it shows us that we can compete with the established big boys in golf shoes when the playing field is level.”
This last point is precisely why Adam Beach founded the MyGolfSpy website over a decade ago. Profound equipment debates in forums and chat rooms have resulted in a dedicated facility for rigorous independent testing of all golfer-purchased equipment (sleeves, heads, grips, putters, balls, etc.) as well as game practices (lines on golf balls, hot versus cold golf balls, putting with the flag in or out, etc.). For 12 hours a day, MyGolfSpy brings hundreds of golfers through its facilities to test products. Protocols are rigorous, variables are reduced, and statistical significance is essential.
“We needed to create a performance-driven platform, not marketing, pure and simple. I wanted to flip it,” says Beach, who originally started one of the first Internet golf trading sites in the late 1990s before selling and launching MyGolfSpy. “I wanted to bring the crème de la crème to the top and all the other bullshit that had been peddled at golfers for decades goes away. Someone needed to clean this up and say, ‘Okay, what exactly is my money worth?’ »
Beyond this year, it’s clear that recognition for some has meant the difference between working in obscurity and being propelled into relevance.
When Snell was widely introduced to MyGolfSpy readers in the company’s first bullet report, Snell’s website crashed due to the volume of orders. Evnroll immediately generated $2 million in revenue after his putters were honored and grossed over $20 million in total. Precision Pro saw a surge in its distance measuring devices after one of its rangefinders got a “best value” nod.
“Some of these people make the best products in the world, but no one had ever heard of them, and no one would have ever heard of them if there hadn’t been a platform similar to MyGolfSpy that evened out rules of the game,” Beach said. “These companies couldn’t afford to put their name in front of people, serious golfers, 365 days a year, and keep their name on the tip of golfers’ tongues without going bankrupt because it was too expensive to buy ads.”
Consider that just over a year ago, Red Rooster had just launched its Kickstarter campaign to fund its direct-to-consumer subscription golf glove model. But Moher and the Red Rooster team worked hard to start their business, initially meeting more than a dozen factories in Indonesia. As Moher says, they weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel (or the golf glove), but differentiating themselves where they could, especially with the quality of the leather and the stitching process. This involved questioning and changing long-standing practices in some cases.
“There’s so much we can put our mark on with a glove in terms of fit and style,” adds Moher.
And when it comes to MyGolfSpy’s assessment of efforts like these, the equation, ultimately, is relatively simple.
“The thing you’re about to buy: does it help your game or hurt your game?” Beach says. “Simple as that.”