Clutch Golf: Changing The Perception of Golf's Image
If we were to rewind time and experience what life was like fifty years ago, it would be a stark contrast to the world that we live in today. Naturally, the concept of life evolves and as time passes, our behaviour and culture aligns with contemporary times; the same can be said about the development of sport.
During the 1966 FIFA World Cup, the journalists who covered the game were paid more than the footballers - we can no longer say the same. Golf itself isn’t immune to change either; if we were to experience the game fifty years ago it would be drastically different. Women would not have been allowed at many golf clubs, there was limited junior allocation and the majority of country clubs were filled with wealthier residents.
Thankfully, over time, golf has started to alter the perception that it once exuded and more women and children are not only being introduced to the game, but also receiving a wide and warm welcome. Nevertheless, more could be done and there are certain endeavours from individuals that are helping to contribute to long-term change.
We recently told the story of Chloe Gallacher and her immense work with exposing the female game further. Recently, three friends banded together as they were fed up with the lack of innovative golf accessories that were on the market. Moreover, they’re also frustrated with the ‘stuffy’ image that golf occasionally emanates too: I’d like to introduce you to Clutch Golf.
Clutch Golf are a company who specialise in golf accessories, with an emphasis placed on design and the vibrant use of bright colours. The team at Clutch Golf are Alex Taylor, Harry Chatfield and Fraser Grant - three lifelong friends who formed their relationship during their school years. The idea for the company came off the back of Alex losing his headcover before realising that there aren’t too many options available on the market.
“Alex was looking for a replacement and noticed the options were limited to either very expensive or uninspiring headcovers from the major equipment manufacturers that weren’t based on the game at all,” Fraser tells me.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw the operation of businesses and workplaces brought to a halt and thus, many employees were put on furlough due to the inability to operate efficiently. “With golf courses closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, our weekends were quiet and we missed the game that we love,” revealed Fraser.
“Alex was on furlough and had even more time (aside from practicing his swing in the garden) on his hands, so he suggested we fill our time to explore the idea of designing our own unique headcovers.”
The boys ventured into unknown territory and after working closely with an independent female UK-based designer, they had a vision of what direction they would like to take their headcovers in. “Not being a golfer herself, she gave us a unique perspective as well as being familiar with the traditionally ‘stuffy’ image of golf that we are on a mission to change,” said Fraser.
The end result are three colourful and loud headcover designs that will brighten up any golf bag. Clutch are currently offering three products that are available for purchase via their website; currently they are stocking two putter headcovers and one driver - all exquisitely designed to stand out and introduce colour and personality to the golfer’s bag.
The putter headcovers are priced at £27, while the driver protection is £30. Each cover has a theme in addition to the word Clutch spawled across the material. There aren’t too many similar products on the market and with the surging popularity that the team have already seen, it won’t be long before new goods are unveiled.
Despite being early into the company’s history, the boys will be donating 5% of all profits to The Golf Foundation, a charity that introduces children to the wonders of golf and encourage both early exposure and growth into the sport.
“We’re very excited by what we’re doing with The Golf Foundation,” said Fraser, beaming with delight. “We have upcoming charity days scheduled so we are keen to strengthen that relationship as far as possible - to keep supporting grassroots golf as best as we can.”
Clutch Snake Avoidance headcover really brightening up the game ?? pic.twitter.com/SDfMSQrw15— Clutch Golf | Bright Golf Headcovers (@clutchgolfuk) August 28, 2021
While playing golf is a wholesome experience, there is no doubt that it is further bolstered, from an enjoyment perspective, when you can share it with friends. For the trio, having known each other for 15 years and using golf as a tool of strengthening the relationship, the golf course provided the perfect summer escapism.
“We were lucky to spend pretty much every single day of our school holidays at the golf club! That was until we were old enough to work,” disclosed Alex. Their love for golf continued to grow and as a result, the sport provided the perfect common ground for the relationships to continue to flourish.
“Since school, golf has been the main way for us to hang out and keep our friendship tight. Fraser and Harry will both be best men for my [Alex] wedding next summer, so naturally we’re seeing that as another excuse to get on the course to celebrate!”
While the boys enjoy participating in golf, they understand why newcomers can be deterred from exploring the sport deeper, due to its historical connotations with dress code and previous inaccessibility. “Challenging the stuffy image of golf is what we want to do,” said Fraser confidently. “Our message is that golf doesn’t have to be a serious competition only for wealthy middle-aged men in chinos and diamond patterned jumpers.
“That’s why it is important to us that our accessories are affordable compared to some offered by the major equipment manufacturers.” However, for change to take place, it must start with the next generation and how they perceive the future of the sport. Through their excellent partnership with The Golf Foundation, the team at Clutch Golf hope that they can help inspire the next crop of golfers coming through the ranks.
“We know there’s still a long way to go, to break down barriers to golf,” Harry revealed optimistically. “That’s also why we are committed to donating 5% of any profits to The Golf Foundation to support the amazing work they are doing for introducing children into golf - from all backgrounds!”
However, while the vision for Clutch Golf’s future is yet to be decided, the team hope they can become a longstanding fixture in the industry. “The dream would be to become synonymous with the ‘new age’ of golf that we think is brewing! With the sport booming after COVID lockdowns and more women and younger people involved within the game, we want to be at the forefront of challenging the traditionally held view of golf; appealing to anyone who shares our view that this is the most fun and enjoyable game in the entire world!”
As players of this sport, we know that golf is expensive and on some occasions, still traditional in areas too. The growth of the game and the changing of perceptions starts directly with the next generation of golfers and thanks to charity movements such as Golf Foundation - and their amazing supporters like Clutch Golf - the future looks a little brighter for the longevity of the game of golf.
To learn more about Golf Foundation, please visit their website: https://www.golf-foundation.org/
If you are interested in the amazing collection of headcovers that Clutch Golf are currently stocking, you can find their full range at https://www.clutchgolf.co.uk/
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