You are listening to the Taps and Tees Show, weekly conversations for people passionate about marketing, golf and craft beer. Marty is the cofounder of Bad Rhino, an award-winning digital marketing agency helping golf and craft beer brands get real results in social media marketing. Here is your host, Marty McDonald. [00:21.7]
Marty: Hi everybody, welcome back to another episode of Taps and Tees. This is your host Marty McDonald and yeah, wild year, you know, ups and downs. We had a bunch of content out there with a bunch of episodes talking to my friends who are marketers out there. Now we finally have a string of golf and beer. Finally, finally, everybody. And today I have a great guest who I've gotten to know just through a couple of side projects that I have going on in the golf industry. And it’s got a really unique product out there, and I think we might know it and you might be seeing it out there. And I'll let Bob talk a little bit about his background, but the coolest thing is, is everyone everyone's looking for more distance these days, right? They're always looking for the science behind it and how do I swing faster? How do I get more power? And you see Bryson out there, crushing balls, see everybody out there trying to just crush everything, right? And part of that is interesting to watch when pros you're doing it, but how does the amateur do it? They have to understand some things. What I love about this company and what Bob's involved with is they're helping golfers not only get better balance and they can get distance, but they're also bringing people back into the game too, that might have some other injuries or some other things. And they're using science and talking about things that actually do. Just bring the distance, tt's not about the clubs, not about speed. It all comes from the bottom up from your feet up. So, without further ado, I'd like to bring Bob on here to introduce himself and his company Sqairz. Bob, are you there? [01:47.4]
Bob: I am Marty. Thank you very much. It's a pleasure to be on the show.
Marty: Awesome. So, Bob, before we get into like all your background, why done you just talk about Sqairz a little bit and how it got started and tell everybody about it.
Bob: Sure. So, what happened was I was always challenged with my setup and with balance and I found myself swaying quite a bit throughout the swing. And I just I felt as though there needed to be, or there could be a better way to approach balance and stability. And I looked at obviously, you know, at, at the feet and footwear. And one day I was visiting a friend at the course and I walked up from work and I had my square toe dress shoes on. And as I'm talking to him, I grabbed a nine iron of his and I started hitting balls and I found myself to really set up more properly, you know, parallel to the ball. But, but, but, also more importantly, I felt more balanced, more stable and you know, what stuck with me and I just thought maybe I was swinging a little more easy simply because I didn't have the connection, I had, you know, dress shoe on. But then I realized, you know, days, months later that that I was better balanced and stable and had better stability simply because my toes were sitting more naturally in the shoe as opposed to a rounded toe shoe that angle your toes to the center of the shoe. So, it all began there that day on the range where the pair of a square toe dress shoes. [03:23.9]
Marty: Wow. So that's interesting. So, you weren't even wearing golf shoes, you're just wearing dress shoes?
Bob: That's correct. I had come straight from work and again, just just saw the difference, the immediate difference in how balanced that felt. And again, I, I was I was hitting the shots right, right directly on target. So, like I said, that that thought stayed with me and hence the design of the shoe.
Marty: Cool. Very cool. So, we'll get back to sqairz in a minute, but let's just talk about a couple of things. Like how did you get into just the game of golf?
Bob: Yeah, so back at a very young age I used to caddy quite a bit and started because my father was a, was an avid golfer. And, you know, at the time he said, Hey, you want to make a few bucks and literally at that time it was a few bucks, but I caddied in and got involved and then started playing. And then my career, you know, my, my professional career went from the consumer goods industry into the golf industry. And back in the nineties, I worked from McGregor golf. And then I became a, then I took a job as the senior VP of sales and marketing for Arnold Palmer. So, I ran Arnold's golf company for a little over three and a half years. [04:39.3]
Marty: Oh, that's very cool. So, it's not like you're just putzing around. I mean, McGregor is still a great company too in the golf, you know the golf history, but as far as that, like just, you know, working, you know, with Arnold, did you get to interact at all?
Bob: Quite a bit.
Marty: Or how was that?
Bob: Yeah. Yeah. Quite a bit. We had quarterly meetings; we’d talk about performance; we'd talk about new products. And, you know, just kind of interesting story when I worked for him, I'll never forget the first marketing presentation I made to him. We were presenting some new irons and woods and things of that nature. And after I got done, he leaned back in his chair and he said, well, what's in it for the golfer.
Bob: And you know, I kind of looked a starry-eyed at him you know, but, but he meant it. He was like, what's the, what's it gonna do for the golfer? How is it going to help him play better golf? And that thought never left me. So, when I started the design of Sqairz, obviously it started with a concept to providing better balance and stability, but that design change. And I, I use the analogy of when Carsten Solheim invented the, the ping iron. You know, he was after perimeter weighting and he didn't let the design of the club dictate. [05:52.2]
Bob: Perimeter weighting. It was the other way around perimeter weighting dictated the design of the first ping Zane. Same with big Bertha.
Bob: You know what, when they launched, they were deploying the very same technology perimeter weighting to recall, they had no hozzle at the time. And, and again, it was, you know, the, the performance benefits dictated the design. And that's exactly the same thing that happened with Sqairz is that I started with a concept, but then lo and behold, you know, I like to tell people I got lucky in, in, in terms of the square toe, because, because of the square toe, your toes can now sit naturally in the shoe. So, if you start angling your toes together, it starts reducing the range of motion for your feet, and it reduces balance and stability. It's like wearing a sandal versus wearing a, a tennis shoe. You know, you feel a lot more balanced, a lot more stable simply because you've got five touchpoints, really hitting the ground versus, you know, your toes really angled to the center. [06:59.0]
So, with that, the balance and the stability became a reality. And, but then, because we could start with a square toe, we were able to widen the base under the ball of your foot by four millimeters wider than any other golf shoe. Now, why? That important inherently gives you better balance and stability as well. So, it adds to the, the fact that, you know, anatomically, you feed a sitting in there naturally, and, and, and you get balanced. Now because you get the wider base, you've got enhanced balance and stability. Now, people in the golf, golf industry and footwear make it have been after that for a long-time. But the why do you make it, and if you have the rounded toe shoe, it becomes looking like a, like a clown shoe. [07:41.8]
Bob: You know, it doesn't look good, but whereas we started with a square toe, it looks symmetrical. Now the benefit that provides us, not only the balance and stability, but now if you think about it, when you flip the shoe over now, you've got more surface contact area with the ground. So that inherently means better energy exchange. So, when people ask me, you know, where does distance really come from? It really is a very simple answer. It comes from your connection to the ground, but it really comes from swing speed. Swing speed creates distance. That's it. Swing speed creates distance. Now where to swing speed come from? Swing speed comes from, it's boiled down to this, body mass gravity in the ground. So, what you're doing is you're exchanging of force or pressure with the ground. As you swing down yet, throw an energy into the ground and that energy is coming back up through you, up your body, into your arms, in your hands and into the clubhead. And I tell people the club is for all intents and purposes, it's all, it's merely an implement. It's merely the lightning rod. You create the lightning and you're sending energy to the ball through the club. And so that energy is really facilitated by your ground connection. It's like trying to hit a shot, sitting in a chair, sit in a chair, pick the feet up and try to hit a golf, it’s going nowhere. [09:09.3]
Bob: But it's that ground connection. So, the club cannot create swing speed. The ball cannot create swing speed. They're the recipient of the swing speed you create. So, the golf shoe facilitates that, or in some cases, it can detract from that. Now detracting from that are these lightweight sneaker like golf shoes. I have a saying is that if you can take a golf shoe and hold it by the heel and hold it by the toe and twist it, get rid of it. It's not doing you any favors. It lacks the structure to facilitate the energy exchange with the ground. The shoe needs to be, have that structure on the left and the right side of it. Now with those mesh lightweight shoes, what happens is in all the testing we've done, we see a tremendous amount of loss of energy. Why? Because what happens is the shoe is encouraging you to move to the right, it's called aversion. So, your foot is actually moving in the shoe to the right, to the outside of the midsole on your trail foot. And people say, well, I got stuck in my right side, or I supernate it. Well, that's the beginning of it. And so, a shoe that allows your foot to move within the shoe because of the lightweight structure, the mesh like material is not good for the game of golf. And I caution people all the time. You are promoting inefficiencies. And the golf swing really is about eliminating inefficiencies and promoting the efficiencies. [10:46.7]
Marty: So true. I just go back to the ping analogy and say, I remember when pings just started popping up on every golf course. And I remember the first time I saw I was young, first time I saw a set and was like, those look weird, right? Like I just remember that. And then I remember the one guy that I was playing with, I don’t know if it was my uncle or not or somebody with him had them. And he was like, yeah, he's like, but I can hit the ball well with these, great. And then the birth of the same thing, remember it just looked different. I felt different too. And one of the first brand new clubs actually bought a long time ago. And same thing, you know, but you felt it different from there. And it's so funny when you bring up the shoes, because my favorite pair of shoes, golf shoes were these really heavy black Callaway shoes that I had. I mean, they definitely were more on the dress side of golf and I wore those for a long time and they always felt good. And then I switched and I was bouncing back and forth and you're right. Like, I remember that and it's just this past spring when I was looking at shoes funny before, and I were talking, I was feeling the weight of them. And I was like, I want heavier shoes. I had no idea why and we had, but that's why I like about the product is that you talk about those things in a way I think people can understand. And then, you know, when you're talking about the design, you know, that part is interesting. And there's wanting to hear the story for that. It's like when you started pitching and started talking to people where people, you know, a little standoffish about having that square kind of toe and all that sort of thing. [12:21.9]
Bob: Yeah. You know, it's interesting when we start talking about the structure of the shoe and the square toe and why it is the way it is, you know, is, is we've been approached by people and say, well, it's just a gimmick. It's this it's that. No, it really is all about the science of it, the biomechanics. I think most people listening to this would, would call fowl if I said, if I said that hip rotation is facilitated by the feet. And most people don't get that, that it is facilitated by the feet. And I can give people a little exercise.
Bob: And that little exercise is if, if you were to stand up and pretend like you're going to take a swing and place all the weight you possibly can on your trail heel, and you try to take your, your, and rotate your hip back, you can rotate it back beautifully, but then put all the weight you possibly can on your big toe, on your trail side, and then try to turn your hip back. You can't do it.
Marty: Right. [13:23.8]
Bob: And it just shows you the importance of weight distribution. Now, a lot of people don't talk about this, but one of the things that a golf shoe can do and does is it can encourage your weight distribution at address. It can encourage it either forwards or backwards. So, we tested the top 20 bestselling golf shoes out there, and we found that most golf shoes, if you draw a line in the middle of the ball of your foot, most golf shoes encourage you between that point in the front of the shoe, which is not good. You want to have most of the weight from the midpoint of your ball of your foot, all the way back to your heel. That's where the golf swing should happen. So, on the heels of the accelerators and the toes of the brakes in the golf swing. So, what Sqairz does is we encourage the weight about an inch behind the middle point of the ball of your foot. So that gives you the starting point of where you should be. That gives you proper weight distribution. And it's like, Nick Faldo says you can't find balance and stability during the swing. It's got to start right from the beginning. And in my humble opinion is there is nothing more important in the game of golf than balance and stability. It affects distance, it affects accuracy. It affects pretty much every aspect of the golf swing. If you're swaying in the golf swing, you'll pull it. You'll, you'll slice it and you'll hook it. You won't hit it on the center. You know, again, you won't maximize the energy exchange because you've got the motion going laterally back and forth. You need that vertical energy to go into the ground and back up through you. So, balance and stability in the golf swing is so underrated, it's unbelievable. And, and it gets me to a conversation where I always, I like to debate the people in the club business. I say what's more important, the club or the shoes, you know, I can put most, any club in your hand and you'll play if I, if I match the shaft up with your swing, you know, cause the shaft is the energy. I mean the, the engine in a, in a golf club. [15:27.7]
Bob: I can pretty much put any club in your hand and you, you should play very close to your normal round of golf. But if I could change a golf shoe, I can prove to the changing your golf shoe can help you play better golf. And it provides the key fundamentals of the golf swing, the club doesn't. The club just follows your body and, and in your arms. So again, most people find it interesting that your hands only move at about 17, 18 miles an hour in the swing. And the club head is moving at a hundred plus miles an hour in this swing.
Bob: You know, well, that's all this energy coming up and it's like snapping a towel, right? You need the braking, and that's what a shoe does. A shoe provides you the balance stability, but also the breaking. So, when you get the club back to the right side, your trail side, you break, and then you come through and before you hit the ball, you break again, which throws the club through the ball.
Bob: And that's the snapping of the towel. In order to do that, you need a good golf shoe. If you're wearing those lightweight sneaker, like shoes that breaking is off, that breaking is not efficient. [16:38.7]
Marty: So true. It sounds really good. And you know, the thing about squares is you've been able to connect with a couple of people that have been showcasing your product, Nick Faldo and John Daly. How did those relationships come about? Was that just because of the shoe or is it just pure marketing or both?
Bob: You know, it's I'm glad you asked. It's a very interesting story, particularly on both of those, but we've also got some of the iconic instructors out there, like Jim McClain, Rick Smith, that are wearing the shoes, endorsing them. Again, they found out about the shoe through their students. They decided to give it a try. And Jim McClain's words, he said, you know, look, I, I, I never would have believed that a golf shoe can help improve all the key fundamentals of the golf swing. He said, I suspected it, but, but this shoe actually does it. In terms of Nick Valdez. Quite interesting. We didn't reach out to Nick, Sir Nick. He reached out to us, he does a show it's on CBS sports net called a Faldo Formula and he does this thing, mind, body, and swing. And so, he was doing these balancing exercises and his bare feet and felt as though he really couldn't balance that well, well then, he went and he decided to put a pair of tennis shoes on and felt it balance a little better. So, it just led them to the thought about balance in golf shoes. So, he Googled, he Googled the most balanced, stable golf shoe and thank God for search engine optimization because, you know, he found Sqairz. Next thing you know, I get a call from his agent asking for a couple of pairs of shoes. Now I thought it was a joke. I thought somebody was playing a joke on me, you know and and, and I sent him a pair of shoes. About a month later, I get on a zoom call with Sir Nick. And he says, Bob, tell me a little about the shoe. And, and I got Donnie Lane's back full design. And he said, Bob, I gotta tell you what, these are the best golf shoes I've ever worn. I've been playing the game for 50 years and these things are great. I love them. And you know, John Daly was a very similar story. We met through his charity and I was going to donate. I wanted to donate some money to our veterans. So, when I launched this America's soul shoe, I was looking around for, for a charity to donate money and his charity, which is Heart of a Lion Charity.
Marty: Right. [18:54.9]
Bob: Donates to veterans. And so, we connected and John says, Hey, just send me a pair of shoes. I'd like to give him a try. And about two weeks later, my phone rings and it's John Daly. And John says, Hey brother, and this is the way he talks. He goes, brother, I love these shoes. He said, can you send me some more? And I did. And about two weeks later, he said, listen, I want to do a deal with you. It's a handshake deal. I don't like contracts. And we virtually shook hands and again, he wore the shoes, loved them before we even talked about endorsing or anything like that. And you know, I've had the pleasure of meeting with him and spending some time with him. And I can tell you, and everybody who's listening to this, that you're not going to make a more kind caring, considerate, empathetic person than John Daly. [19:45.1]
Marty: That's awesome. And a very amiss, but I didn't say if you need help having your products down online, you can contact me at Bad Rhino, Inc. Because that's awesome. Like we work with a ton of e-commerce companies and one of the things is like, how do you get noticed? You know, we didn't, we don't work with as many startups anymore as we used to, but we still do. And you know, it takes a bit of time to kind of build some of those things up. And you, you, you bought your stat with paid ads and we'll do other things, but that's awesome that Sir Nick came in that way, you had a conversation. [20:16.2]
Hey, if you're enjoying what you're hearing on the show and want more, head on over to TapsAndTees.info and get our free report with game-changing tips and strategies straight to your inbox. Just enter your info and stop being stuck with no marketing plan. [20:29.3]
Marty: No, it was funny. We were talking about a couple of buddies of mine that we’re talking about the shoes and a few other things. And we're talking about stability because, you know, obviously from the shoe and he was like, yeah, he's like my kid he’s what, Brian's like 12, I guess now. And he's like, he plays his best golf barefoot right now. And he's like, because his muscles, you know, he's an athlete, but his muscles and his balance has really good barefoot. And he was like, Hey, he's like, I tried it. And he was like, I was all off. He's like, I threw a pair of shoes on, it was like way better. So that whole like progress there Sir Nick described as he was doing it, that's really cool for our story for, for Sqiarz. I mean, that's, that's a really cool thing because it's the progression now, obviously Sir Nick’s got a couple of majors under his belt and a long career, but for anybody, I mean, that's kind of like the progression that you figure out. And that's why I love golf because it's like even the, the older I get, the more I play, the less I play, I learn more, a little nuances about how everything works, whether I'm taking a lesson or I'm not, I still learn every, almost every time about, oh, that's how that's supposed to work. Or, oh, that was a different feeling. And you know it changes and I think that's really cool. And that's why I love reading about Sqiarz and, you know, listening to you and talking to you before, you know, it's not based in BS, like there's a lot of gimmicky things. This is, you know, sound, you know, if you talk to a baseball player, they'll tell you, where does the swing start? [21:56.4]
Marty: Feet, you know, you talk to other people about that whole motion of anything, upper body, it starts with feet. On a quarterback play, they've taught, talk about your feet, their feet. When they're throwing the ball, they have their feet set. This is why they threw it errantly because their feet weren't set. So, it was a really interesting thing to talk about because it's set in something that, you know, is reality in science. And I think that's really cool. [22:18.7]
Bob: You know, you're, you're, you're exactly right. And we use a lot of the same analogies that a pitcher, you know, he, his arm speed comes from his plant foot.
Marty: Plant Foot.
Bob: You know, a quarterback, same thing. You know, that's why a guy can throw the ball as far as he does, a baseball player when he's hitting, you know, it's, it's, it's ground force. It's, it's how to use that ground in the energy. And, you know, I feel as though this is, this is a topic that's been so overlooked in the game of golf. You know, Ben Hogan, who arguably was one of the best ball strikers ever. You know, you talk to the best of the best instructors out there and they tell you this guy had pretty much close to a perfect swing. You know, if ever there is a perfect swing.
Bob: But he didn't get too many things wrong, but he realized about ground force and connection to the ground. Many people may not know this, but he had an extra cleat put in the bottom of the base of his right foot. He had the Maxwell shoe company added an extra cleat, not too many people knew about this for for many years, which in fact, the last time he played golf, he had 26 cleats on the bottom of his feet. [23:21.9]
Bob: 13 on each foot. And so, when you talk about the importance of ground connection, you still get a lot of these PGA tour pros that are aware of metal cleats. They're out there wear a metal cleats. Now, why would they do that? Why? Because they know they get better ground connection, better energy efficiency with the ground. And again, it's something that we as amateurs can't do. But again, you know, we actually did we were on a call a couple of weeks ago with the director of product development for, for Pride Sports. Pride Sports makes soft spikes and champs, spikes. And they did a very extensive research project that, that confirmed that if you are not wearing spikes on your golf shoes, you're losing six yards of distance on a driver. On a downhill lie, they tested amateurs and people who were like a scratch all the way up to like a 15. And on average, it was about a 10-yard distance loss. So, look, golf clubs today are regulated by the USGA and hence the great distance debate out there trying to roll back distance and the golf ball and the club. Well, you seen over the years, the club technology and ball technology really evolved to, to a commodity business into the point where the USGA stepped in and said, Hey, we can't allow you to be hitting 500-yard drives. You know, so they are regulated. [24:48.2]
Bob: Now I, I, that said, that said is where else should you look to get this news? It's the use of the ground. That's where Bryson really excelled is his understanding of the number one factor. The number one inherent characteristic of a guy who got the ball a long way is their ability to get the vertical force quickly from your trail side to the lead side.
Bob: That is the most inherent, prominent characteristic of a long ball of his is creating that energy, that vertical force, but it's getting it from the trail side to the lead side quickly. So, you can break and flip the club through. [25:30.5]
Marty: Was just watching a video, Phil Mickelson talking about hitting bombs, right. And then you know, and you watch them during the PGA championship out driving Brooks and a couple other guys three times. Right. And it was interesting because everyone was talking about it. Here's a 50, 51-year-old guy doing it. And I just watched the video like a week before. And he said, very similar things to what you're saying. He's like, yeah. He's like, you know, it's all about where this energy is coming from. And he talks about, he's like, that's why I try and work on my lower body. And he was going through exercises and some other things, but it was an interesting short conversation because that's what he was talking about. And he even mentioned all the things that you just did. And it's really interesting to hear. And that's why it was fascinating when I did come across your product and I did start talking to you because you hear all these things, but it's hard to just kind of go, well, you need shoes, right? That's a simple way. I mean, you just said it here, Ben Hogan, who arguably wrote the best book on the golf swing as well, you know, talking about all these things and going through everything and where it comes from. And I think it's really fascinating there and it’s a fascinating product. [26:38.1]
Bob: Yeah. You know, and, and the science is out there to prove all this out. In fact, if you visit our website, we just get done, revising our performance page, where we had ground force expert, a gentleman by the name of Phil Stoddard, who is the head of science for for V1 sports. And we had Terry Hashimoto, who's a co-founder of Body Track. And he talks about pressure mapping, the swing, swing dynamics. And all of this has proven out that your feet are really the center point of the golf swing. And this is where distance really comes from is your connection. And so, your golf shoes are equally as important. And yet, like I said, they've been overlooked over the years as a source of the key fundamentals. And I would also say that, you know, people have of relegated them to more of a, an accessory or a fashion. And I would argue that they're probably one of the most important pieces of equipment out there that you use on every single shot. [27:36.8]
Bob: You know, even your practice shot. So when, when people say the golf is the only thing you use on every swing, I disagree. If you're taking practice swings, the only thing you'd do you've got on your is your golf shoe is the only thing that really got going on every single shot.
Bob: So so again, it's, it's something where I tell people all the time. You know, drivers right now, I don't think there's a bad one on the market. Golf balls, there's not a bad one out there, but golf shoes there's a lot of bad ones out there. [28:06.2]
Marty: Yeah. Yeah, and I think, you know, the other thing Bob is, and I'll put a link to the performance page and anybody that's into golf, like, and just learning to play better, especially, you know, it gets a little, I mean, I'm not going to lie here. I mean, the science in there, it gets a little, you know, weighty for the lack of a better term when you start reading through it, but encourage you to just keep going through and read through it. Because by the time you get to all the other tests and everything else that Bob and his team and Sqairz put everything together, it's really fascinating to read like the results and the distance and performance gains based off of all the technology, as well as the science behind it. And then there's a whole section on that, I can't remember how many there were, there's like six or seven, like key observations. And don't skip down to that. You have to kind of go through like, do your study is when you read those six observations, it really does peak your interest in the product. It’s one of the few times I'll I'll ever say that, just reading everything from beginning to end on the science, behind a product around golf anyway. And it is really, really interesting, you know, if you're really looking to get, you know, something different and it goes through just about everything that Bob just mentioned here on this podcast. So, it's really fascinating to read through. [29:21.5]
Bob: Yeah. You know, we spent a lot of time on that Marty. It’s, its and again, you know, we talk a lot about proof, not promise. And so, we provided all the data and it's all factual, it's all independent studies and testing and you know, we're very proud of it. And again, it, it really tells our message and, you know, it's, it's something that I think to your point, everybody should read to better understand, you know, the use of the ground and, and, and with distance really comes from.
Marty: Yeah, absolutely. So, as we got to wrap this up, I always have like a quick few questions for all my guests Bob. So, I’m gonna throw some of these out at you.
Marty: And I think we talked about this before, so you're a beer drinker, right?
Marty: And this podcast is called Taps and Tees. So wanted to ask you, like, what's the best beer you've had in like the past six months or a year, one that just stood out. And I know where you live, there's a lot of good ones. [30:15.3]
Bob: There is, we have a lot of craft bears up here, but I'm you know, I, I'm embarrassed to tell you I'm really, a course, like guy, but I also like Sam, Sam, 76.
Marty: There you go. That's okay. We don't judge here. I mean, this is just, we talking you know, I mean.
Marty: I went to a craft beer conference a couple of years ago, and then I heard at the tail end of it. You know, I was going on vacation a little bit and took a couple of days off and couldn’t wait, just to have a Miller ligh. You know it was just like.
Bob: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Marty: I was like I'm tired of IPA's right now, as far as that, like what it's like not business wise and it could be business wise, cause your background in business has tied golf into it you know as well. But what's your favorite golf memory? [30:57.1]
Bob: You know, my favorite golf memory was the first day that I met Arnold Palmer.
Marty: I would say that
Bob: And it, it wasn't out at course, you know, it was more of a business environment and he reminds me a lot of or John Daly reminds me a lot of, of Arnold Palmer in a sense that Arnold was so good at making new field like you were the only one there when he was talking to you. And you know, I think he was one of those guys that were generally interested in the other person that he was talking to.
Bob: And, you know, I think he dismissed all his fame and fortune, you know, it wasn't important to him anymore. It was just, you know, connecting with people and and I'll never forget that. And I will, I will add one quick story. I was at Augusta and Otto was playing and he comes up about the T 10 tee box and I'm standing there and he's standing around, leaning on his club, looking around, he notices me and he says, Bob, how you doing? And you know, I pulled my shoulders back and I'm looking around like, you know, everybody's looking at me like who the heck is this guy? And I said, you know, Hi Boss how you doing? He says, good Bob. You know and that was a special moment as well. [32:08.7]
Marty: Everybody, I think has an Arnold Palmer story. I never met the man, but I did in a couple of different ways that I just want to tell you this. And I don't think we talked about it. So, when I was a kid, I got into golf through my grandfather and my grandfather was at the beginning of the senior tour, now the champions tour is what they call it. And Arnold, was just playing in one of the first events, this was the early eighties, right. And he was like, yeah, he's like pay attention to this guy. And he started to explain to me things and the biggest thing I took away from that little conversation was that Arnold Palmer flew his own plane. That's the only thing I remember.
Marty: It wasn't anything about golf. And that's my grandfather saying is like, he's like, you know, he, during that conversation and couple of conversations subsequently over the years before he passed, it was interesting because he was like, yeah, he was like, I want you to learn about Arnold Palmer not because of the golf, but because of all the business stuff that he was in and the other things that he was doing, it was fascinating.But that was the only thing I could remember was he was golfing or flying a plane, you know. And I was like, man, how do you fly a plane? He's a golfer. And like my little, my little brain at the time couldn't comprehend both so. [33:18.3]
Bob: Yeah, yeah.
Marty: Its interesting. And then later on, when we started golfing fanatics, we had a gentlemen connect us to Mr. Palmer. And he's like, look, I want to see them tomorrow or the next day it was two days. And he's like, if you can get stuff down to me and he's like, I'll, you know, more than asking the sign these, we can't guarantee anything. So, I was like, man, if you can get one thing signed, I'd be greatly appreciative. He's like, yeah. He's like send a flag with your logo. At the time I didn't even have a logo or a flag. And I had a logo created in about 20 minutes. And then we sent that out overnight and did everything, cost me a fortune. And Arnold Palmer signed every single thing that sent down. Cause I was like, Hey man. I'm like, I can't just take whatever I'm like, but you're gaining it direct from the manufacturer. I'm like, I can't control that. So, there's like 15 flags in there. There's pictures in there. There's everything in there. And I was like, whatever, take one thing. I don't care. I'm like, I'm not looking for it all. Sure enough, man, we got six flags signed and like 12 or 15 pictures sent back. I didn't expect that. [34:19.6]
Bob: Yeah. You know, that's him, you know, I think the one thing that he didn't care for is people trying to make money off his signature.
Bob: You know, like he loved to sign it for anybody. Anything a hat.
Bob: Anything you name it. And I've got a bunch of signs, autographs stuff from him as well. And you know.
Bob: I cherish it and he was a real deal.
Marty: And that was the one promise I made when I got it back and it was like you’re not going to sell this. So, I'm like, hell no. I'm like we donated some to a charity auction. Then we took the rest of it. We gave it away to people that really were in golf. And I have a couple of still a couple of things still here signed and that was about it. That was really cool. Favorite golf course. Well, so you've been to Augusta so. I mean, let's talk about one you played, maybe you have played Augusta. I don't know. [35:05.8]
Bob: I haven't, I haven't that that's on the bucket list. I'd love to play there. I would say that the most challenging and interesting course I played was Oakmont.
Bob I will never forget that as long as I live. Somebody before, we started said, it's like putting on the hood of your car and you know, they, weren't kidding, you know, Greenbriar, Oakmont. And the course I play now at Brookline Country Club is, is really it's, it's one of my favorites. It's a great course. So yeah, those are three of my favorites.
Marty: Awesome. And then as far as I have last question here is like, what's like your favorite like golf memory on TV or on otherwise that maybe involved a couple of pros and we already talked about Arnold Palmer, but was there anything that really stood out like, man, this is why I love this game. [35:53.0]
Bob: You know, I happen to be a huge fan of the Ryder cup.
Marty: Oh Yeah.
Bob: Just and when they wanted here at Brookline country club at the country club here in Massachusetts, well, I'm in New Hampshire, but I grew up in Massachusetts. I'm a big fan of the Masters the Ryder cup in the U S open. Those are my three favorites. And I happen to love the Ryder cup. I love that. I love the individual competition, but I really do like that team effort. And, and, and the fact that these guys who are out there as an individual day in and day out now have to consider the members of the team and, and, and bring a sport that's really individualized together as a team. So, you know, the Ryder cups are probably my most favorite, you know, I could go back to when Jack won the masters, but again, the Ryder cups were ones that stand out in my mind.
Marty: Awesome. So last question here, as we wrap it up, you know, outside of Sqairz in your company, is there anything in golf right now? Like the actual game, the profession, you know, where it's going just as a whole, that gets you really excited at this moment in time. [36:59.1]
Bob: Yeah. So, you know, the participation rates are up in golf. I am excited to finally see the growth in the women golf because you know, it's, it's hovering right around 24, 25% of the industry. And what excites me about that is that you know, I think manufacturers now are starting to look at this, this area of golf and, and the anatomical differences between men and women and what they require like a golf shoe, their feet, are far different structurally than a men's foot. So historically in the game of golf, they took a golf shoe and they just took a men's size and kept shrinking it down to a smallest size, through a couple of feminine colors on it. We used to call it pink and shrink.
Bob: And you know, so, so now the designing footwear and other products to help women enjoy the game more. I see a lot more younger kids getting involved. You know, the social distancing went through COVID was inherent in the game. It brought a lot of people back to the game.
Bob: So that's the exciting thing is the health of the game right now. [38:04.1]
Marty: No, couldn't agree more. Bob, I really appreciate your time today. And thanks for talking about golf, a little bit of beer, talking about Sqiarz obviously, I want to have all the links and everything down below. So, if you've gotten this far in the podcast, definitely check it out, take a look at it. We have a couple of other guests, both a mix of golf and beer coming up over the next few weeks as we go into summer. And these are going to get a heck of a lot more consistent. We've got one other club maker. He's got some interesting products. And the person that launched a golf brand and I find it pretty fascinating. So, until next time, I’ll see you soon, hopefully on the golf course or hanging out having a beer. So, talk to you soon and thanks for listening to Taps and Tees. [38:43.1]
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