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Customized Golf Balls

Customized Golf Balls

Customized Golf Balls

Custom and novelty golf balls and other items is big business.

Custom and novelty golf balls and other sporting goods items is big — and small — business.

The desire for more customized golf balls, clubs and apparel appears not to be letting down. Not at all, according to industry experts. Everyone from the corner print shop to major manufacturers such as Titleist and Bridgestone to Big Box stores all do custom orders — online and in minutes — to help you personalize a ball before you hook it into the drink. (2nd Swing focuses on precision club fitting and personalization through the Minnesota-based company’s master clubsmithing.)

Here’s how one small company does its own thing, or we should say, let’s you do it your way:

Tin Cup making a mark in golf

We are all very familiar with Rule 12-2 (even if we don’t know the actual rule number), which is placing upon each player’s shoulders the responsibility for playing the proper ball. Because of this notorious rule (That is, if it isn’t followed and who’s closer-to-the-cup arguments ensue.), most of us mark each ball we put into play with some form of identification mark.

Some people can get really creative marking their balls (We’re talking hieroglyphics here.), but most of us rely on something much simpler like a dot configuration or our initials. Beyond that, we don’t typically give it very much thought.

Well, luckily, Jim Millar does.

Back in 2009, feeling there had to be a more creative and personal way for golfers to make identification marks on their balls, Millar invented and patented Tin Cup, a Made in the USA stencil (from $19.95) that allows a golfers to mark their balls using a Sharpie or other permanent ink pen simply by placing the stainless steel “tin cup” on the ball and then coloring in the pattern (See photos and diagrams below.).

Pretty self explanatory and a way to avoid waiting on orders. At least for small ones.

Pretty self explanatory and a way to avoid waiting on orders. At least for small ones.

Headquartered in Falls Church, Va., Tin Cup currently boasts more than 1,500 accounts in the U.S. and took in about $1 million in revenues last year. The company offers a host of other products including fully customizable ball markers, towels, visors and divot repair tools. In addition to being able to create your own personalized stencil, there are more than 150 pre-made stencils to choose from, ranging from animals to flags to symbols to college logos and everything in between.

Go (Rainbow) Warriors!

Go University of Hawaii (Rainbow) Warriors!

While handling custom inquiries, corporate cups, managing wholesalers, international orders and the online business, things have been busy at Tin Cup… a good kind of busy.

“We have grown rapidly and are on our fourth space as the business continues to expand,” said Nick Green, Tin Cup’s marketing director. “The response has been amazing and people love it. It’s a fun and unique way to add some personality to your golf ball.”

Green said that the team at Tin Cup, whose leadership in addition to himself and Millar, includes Cabell Fooshe, president, and Scott Cunningham, sales manager, meets frequently to discuss new designs of cups.

“We are growing very nicely and our goal is to continue to execute to the best of our abilities, both for our wholesale customers and our online customers,” Green said.


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