The Grip Friend Story
I founded the Grip Friend company in 2013 in Salem, Oregon. I’m retired and started playing golf in my 50s. It began when I had the classic “aha” moment while playing by myself. Conditions were wet, and I had come up short of the green on an approach shot. I chipped on the green and holed my putt. As I walked off the green and went to pick up my wedge wrapped in a towel, I suddenly visualized the wedge in a plastic tube. I immediately thought that a plastic tube would be a simple and effective way to protect the grips of clubs you lay down when it’s wet. It would obviously be a big improvement over a using a towel.
After thinking about the plastic tube idea for a few months and doing some research, I decided to form a company to produce it and sell it. Early on I decided it would hold three clubs because that covered almost all situations when you lay clubs down. You also have the option of carrying a fourth club on the outside if it’s not raining.
I worked with an engineer for almost a year to come up with a functional, stylish design. An important part was the key ring and carabiner combination to make it easy to use with a cart. I came up with possible names and was happy to find that Grip Friend was available. I created the logo myself and really like it. From when I started, it took three years to obtain a patent and registered trademark.
I was committed to make Grip Friend in the US. I selected R&D Plastics in Hillsboro, Oregon, and worked with them to manufacture it. I was also committed to supporting a nonprofit that helped young people. I decided to donate 25% of profits to The First Tee because of the great work they do improving the lives of young people through golf.
I am proud of Grip Friend. It’s a golf accessory that does what it says. It’s easy to use, durable, lightweight, and offers complete grip protection. It definitely works better than a towel in wet conditions which was my original goal.