As the New Year begins, we take a look back at the year that was. 2012 was a year of great growth for Golf Balls Unlimited. We went from being one of the top recycled (used) golf ball sellers on eBay to becoming one of the fastest growing used golf ball companies on the internet. In March, we launched the GBU blog and over the past nine months, we held two contests, gave out tips for new players interested in golf and reviewed the technology behind various golf balls. The following is the “best of 2012”.
- How to choose a used golf ball: Being in the used ball business, it was only natural for us to discuss the factors and details consumers should consider before purchasing recycled golf balls. Thus, our opening post was born. The most important aspect of a used golf ball is the quality of the ball (rated on a A to AAAAA scale with AAA considered the best value). That being said, it is crucial for consumers to choose the right ball for their game. Companies manufacture golf balls for different players and different feels – players should find the ball that best suits their game.
- Contests: GBU held two contests this year. The “#YourBeautifulSwing” contest was held from May to the end of June. Contestants were challenged to photograph and submit their “Most Beautiful Swing” with the proper hashtag (#). This contest was won by Tim Halberg from Santa Barbara, who submitted his mid-flight shot from the beach. Then, we announced #BirdieWatching in August. The contest, that ran into early November pitted not only playing skills but storytelling abilities. B. Stanton, playing the 12th hole at Beth Page Red (with the famed Titleist Pro V1 – more on that later) took home first place in that contest with Justus Becks a close second. Both GBU contests used Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as main platforms. This is truly the social media age.
- Get Into Golf Series (GIGS): As we got to know our customers, we realized that many of our peers who golf were recent converts to the game. The transition to golf typically happens in the late 20’s and early 30’s. The body doesn’t respond to fast paced sports like basketball anymore, not to mention the risk of injury. Our first post on this topic laid the foundation for this series – have fun and learn. The dreams of being a pro athlete have passed. Yes, people are competitive, but frustration at this age and level only inhibits progress. The joy is in learning and incremental improvement. We then discussed how to build and improve your game on a budget. We noted that one of the best places to save money is by purchasing recycled golf balls. There is no good reason for most golfers to waste money on new golf balls. The third lesson was for those interested in a professional’s input, extolling some of the advantages of taking lessons. All in all, the main message is clear: have fun, and play.
- Business Etiquette on the Course: There are many more reasons to get into golf than the ones listed above. Business and networking are a welcome side effect of this beautiful game. We broke down how to behave, as well as how to conduct business on the course.
- Titleist Pro V1: The Pro V1 deserves its own bullet point. It simply revolutionized golf balls since its introduction over 10 years ago. Even now, it remains the most popular ball on tour. We wait patiently for the next big breakthrough.
- The Companies That Could Do It: We covered the construction of several top of the line golf balls. From the Callaway Black Hex, the Bridgestone B330, the Nike 20XI, every company puts millions of dollars in research in trying to catch up to the Pro V1. The big idea is trying to balance distance with control, spin with a low trajectory. Many players have their own preferences – or endorsement deals. And yes, all these balls can be found in the GBU store.
- Interviews – We interviewed people like us, who are using social media and digital means to spread their message. We started with professional long driver Maurice Allen as he took us on his journey from being a world class athlete, to competitive long driver, to trying to translate his skills on the PGA tour. We then talked to PGA.com coordinating producer John Kim. Kim has been working for PGA.com since 2006 and has seen firsthand how social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube disrupted the web. If Kim was on one side, then Callaway social media guru Chad Coleman is a product of the post-social internet. It was another great interview about trying to navigate this new online world.
- Brandt Snedeker and Practice – Brandt Snedeker’s victory at the Fed Ex Cup brought up a larger idea of practice – is it better to be great at one aspect (like putting), or should you practice a well rounded game? This conversation will certainly continue into the new year.
We ended the year with a 2013 golf ball preview and look forward to bringing more informative and engaging content to our valued blog readers and customers. Thank you for your continued support and we wish you the very best in 2013.