A local startup is teed up for its next big step.
Salty Grips, which sells golf putter grips fashioned after the cork grips on fishing rods, this month launched an online store.
The company, founded last year by Mark Button and Whitfield Flowers, also recently landed another patent for its grips and is considering expanding the “salty” brand to other products.
“For individual sales, it’s huge,” said Button, 34, of the company’s new online sales capabilities.
A Richmond native, Button left his career as an attorney and legal recruiter and is running Salty Grips full time out of his house, where he prepares the shipments of cork grips from Portugal.
Flowers, 34, is also a Richmond native. He lives in Tampa, where he is still working a day job.
Button said custom orders, in which the company engraves logos or names into their grips, are fueling Salty Grips’ bulk orders.
“We’ve gotten a lot of custom orders for charity tournaments and country clubs,” he said. “If we want to take it to the next level, it’s going to be a matter of pounding the pavement and letting them see how good the customization is.”
The company uses a local engraver, K2 Trophy and Awards, to etch designs into the cork.
Custom grips sell for $44.95. Standard grips sell for $34.95.
Orders have come from across the country, Button said, including golf hotspots such as California, Arizona and Texas. But customers in colder climates have come calling as well.
“There seems to be a batch of people from Minnesota and some in upstate New York,” Button said. “People that do a lot of fishing in the winter.”
The next step is to take the brand beyond the putting green.
“We want to increase our options in terms of the grips and develop a lifestyle brand,” Button said. “Things like lightweight golf hats and golf shirts. It might be Salty Shirts.”
In fact, the company has trademarked the word “salty” as it pertains to putter grips.
Salty Grips also received its second patent for cork putter grip design. Button said the company plans to market multiple sizes of grips.
“There’s probably an appetite for smaller grips and certainly jumbo grips,” he said.
The company remains self-funded and will continue to spread the word about Salty Grips. Word of mouth, Button said, is still the best means of doing so.
“The golf community, despite being coast to coast, is pretty tight-knit,” he said.
I love my Salty Grip and I would highly recommend purchasing one.
I have to say my husband got a Salty Grip while in Orlando at the PGA show and he absolutely loves it. They make a phenomenal grip everyone should try one.
I gave one to my step-dad for his birthday – he loved it! An awesome gift for any golfer, especially with the ability to customize.
Any local retailers carrying the product?