Pat Brady is an inventor. He has 13 U.S. Patents to this name with 6 more currently pending. Pat Brady is not a golfer. However after watching four golfers travel through an airport, Pat Brady instantly became a golfer’s best friend. Pat witnessed as four golfers tried to navigate themselves through a busy airport with their travel and golf bags in tow. He noticed their struggle to make it through the airport, how slow it took and how their patience was wearing thin. The genius inventor that he is, Pat knew there was conventional way golfers like this can avoid this type of travel headache.
So the question was: How could he make golf simpler to play, easier to travel with and fun to enjoy all at the same time?
The answer became DV8 Sports: Golf without obstacles.
On Wednesday, November 19, 2014, DV8 Sports had their NYC Media Launch the Golf and Body golf club in New York City. Bunkers Paradise was on hand for the launch and got to sit down with President and CEO, Richard Stamper, VP of Business Development, Charles Mclendon and PGA Tour Swing Coach/Brand Ambassador Rick Smith.
So what makes DV8 Sports different from recent Golf Startups?
DV8 Sports was founded by Pat Brady, Don Akerberg and Richard Stamper in 2009.
Back in August of 2014, DV8 sports became the most successful golf equipment campaign on Kickstarter, a global crowdfunding platform. Their initial goal on Kickstarter was to earn $50,000. This goal was achieved in just 16 days! In 35 days, they were able to secure close to $86,000 by 170 different backers from all over the world.
Now with the financial backing from Kickstarter, their goal is to make a product based on the theory of disruptive innovation, which means: a product that is typically less expensive, simpler and more convenient to use. This theory is one of the core values behind DV8 Sports.
“DV8’s patented, stainless steel coupler technology, which allows up to 14 titanium and stainless steel club heads to be interchanged on one or two custom shafts in less than three seconds, with no tools or torque wrenches required. The entire system is roughly one-third the weight and one-quarter the size of a traditional set. The DV8 bag also features a tablet compartment positioned to enable users to record their swing or practice while watching downloaded instructional videos” – DV8 Sports
How is it possible for a club to be interchanged?
There are two couplers located on the club. One located in the middle of the shaft which helps reduce the size of the club and one located at the top of the shaft which allows the head of the club to be changed. To make any changes to the club, it takes about 3-5 seconds. I watched as Rick Smith and I were in the middle of discussing his recent travel to China, he casually popped off the PW head to a 9i head in a manner of seconds without even needing to look down at the club. He then handed me the club to see if I could get the club head on and off. I’ll admit the first attempt to me a good minute because I was afraid I’d break the club. The second attempt took me a good 30 seconds. The third attempt took me under 10 seconds. It really was that easy.
It looks like a golf club, but does it feel like a golf club?
I took a good 30 swings on the simulator. I started my swing off at 50%, so I can get a feel for the club itself. Midway thru my test swings I was swinging at a full 100%. It’s a true flush impact. It weighs the same as any golf club would feel. Overtime it felt like I was swinging one of my own clubs. You really forget that this club has the ability to “break” apart. It really had a great feel.
Here are the specs for the irons:
I took these specs from PING for the G25 irons so you can see the comparison between a DV8 club and a regular golf brand. No big differences, except you know that you can take apart the club…
Aren’t you afraid that the club will fall off?
Unless you don’t follow instructions, then there is no way for these clubs to break apart. The couplers are locked in tight so that the strongest of swings speeds even have a hard attempting to make the club fall apart. Once your couplers are locked in, you are ready to grip and rip. My only concern about the couplers involved the lower coupler. It was black and not a flush steel color like the rest of the club. To the “core” golfers that could be distracting, but it really wasn’t a big deal. While I was testing out the club, I pretty much forgot that the black lock was there.
The only downside to the clubs?
These are non-conforming clubs, which means you could not use these clubs if you were trying to participate in a tournament that is USGA sanctioned. But the purpose of owning these clubs is really not meant for tournament style play. These are really your get up and go style clubs without the hassle of lugging around clubs back and forth. Which leads us to the DV8 golf bag…
The are three different sets of bags/club combos you can choose from. We were shown the “Player’s Bag” which included a full set of club heads including irons, woods and putter. Here are the different sets DV8 will be offering:
I was really impressed with how they made three styles of bags. I liked how you had the option to pick and choose what you wanted to play with. Also, each set is custom built to your specifications. DV8 will work with you to ensure you have a set that is designed for your style of play. Personally I would have to go with the full set. Aside from working for Bunkers Paradise, my day job forces me to be on the road alot. You know how many times I’ve kicked myself after passing a beautiful course in the middle of New England realized I had left my own clubs at home or at the country club?
How much does this weigh?
The bag (with a full set of clubs and tablet) weighs no more than about 20 pounds. And it’s very easy to travel with. Here’s Charles Mclendon and Richard Stamper walking with two “golf” bags into their next presentation:
I’m sorry did you say tablet?
Yes, this bag allows you to carry your tablet with you. Say your at the range or even at the course and want to record your swing, now you can. Plus DV8 is currently putting together an app that will allow you to send your swings for their swing coaches to critique. It’s a personal golf lesson on the go!
Breaking Down the Press Launch:
If you’re going to have a “Golf” press launch in the middle of New York City on the coldest day ever recorded in the month of November, then there’s no better place than Golf and Body NYC. If you haven’t heard of Golf and Body NYC, it is the perfect golfer’s man cave. A perfect spot for a launch as specific as this.
Upon arrival, (After casually walking by Tiger Woods’ former swing coach, Sean Foley) I was greeted by Lindsay Wagner, PR for DV8 Sports and Charles Mclendon, VP of Business Development. After a brief introduction of what will be taking place that afternoon, I was then escorted to a large golf simulation bay complimented with a some very fine leather couches and fine bar tables. And who happens to be sitting on one the couches? None other than legendary PGA Tour Swing Coach, Rick Smith!
This was DV8’s second session of the launch as there had been on that took place earlier in the day. I was part of the evening session which I thought was perfect. It was more intimate, more personable and we really got a true feeling for who DV8 was and how they were trying to revamp the golf industry.
After all the writers arrived and everyone had their chance at some drinks and snacks, Lindsay Wagner opened up the launch introducing Charles Mclendon who would be the host of the event. Charles analyzed the current state of the golf industry and market and how DV8 was created. He then introduced us to Richard Stamper, President and CEO of DV8 Sports, who literally broke down the product and gave us an in-depth look at the product’s design:
Charles Mclendon spoke a little bit more about their target markets before introducing Rick Smith. Rick spoke briefly on how easy it was to not only travel with the product, but how it easier it became to teach as well. After some closing remarks from Charles, it was then our turn to test try the new DV8 clubs. And not only were we given a chance to test them out, we were also given a free lesson by Rick Smith!
What intrigued me most about the presentation, was when Charles Mclendon spoke about the target markets. They understand that this is a big undertaking and they are now jumping into a market that is currently on the decline. Their goal is not only to attract your everyday golfer, but also hope to gain the attention of the next generation of golfers or those who have always wanted to play golf, but never really gave it a chance.
As mentioned in their presentation their goal is to “Challenge the traditional definition of what golf equipment IS. By offering flexible equipment solutions that adapt to demands ranging from space limitation to multiple users with financial advantages for every player.”
This was very important to me to hear. They weren’t out here to promote some golf product and then jump on to the next one unlike some golf brands; they are trying to make a difference. They are trying to help the golf community move forward into the next generation in hope to gain interest, not lose it. And as a “everyday” golfer, that’s the type of stuff you want to hear from a golf manufacturer, where it’s not so much about the profit it’s more about helping the industry.