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David Graham shows off a selection of Hockey Stick Putters.
Sticky Business
Hockey Stick Putters Scoring Big in Licensed Marketplace
September 2, 2008

You drive for show, but you putt for dough. So said Lee Trevino, and hockey star-turned-golfer Happy Gilmore confirmed it. Now, inventor David Graham has taken the concept to the next level. He’s the owner of Hockey Stick Putters, a company that makes exactly what its name says.

“I wanted to get my dad and brother a hockey stick putter for Christmas one year,” Graham recalls. “I searched the Internet for days and couldn't find anything close to what I wanted. It was at that time that I started to carve a putter out of a hunk of wood in my brother's basement that resembled a hockey stick. The problem was that it wasn't functional. I then began designing the Hockey Stick Putter you see today—a real precision weighted putter. I took no short cuts. I wanted the putter to be something you could actually use on the golf course.”

And something that retailers can’t keep on their shelves. Graham launched Hockey Stick Putters last December, and the reaction has been overwhelming. “It’s hard to sell on paper when consumers can’t see and feel the putter,” he says. “Once we moved into brick and mortar, we saw instant, explosive growth.”

Graham’s favorite stick, a Minnesota Wild putter.

Indeed, golfers in both the U.S. and Canada have realized that Hockey Stick Putters are more than a novelty—though Graham doesn’t quibble with anyone who wants one simply as a conversation piece. Each putter features a compression molded graphite shaft, cast aluminum alloy blade and moisture proof grip. “The weight and balance is that of a real golf putter,” says Graham.

He put an equal amount of time into marketing, securing an NHL license with all 30 teams. Graham has also moved into the collegiate marketplace with schools such as Minnesota and Wisconsin. “I grew up in Minnesota where hockey is a way of life,” he adds. “I have a Wild Hockey Stick Putter in my bag.”

Graham’s message to retailers and buyers is simple. Try just a minimum order, and you’ll be amazed at the sell-through. “There are consumers out there buying three and four at a pop,” he says.

Graham will debut Hockey Stick Putters at the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show in January of 2008. By then, he may even have a model for the newest market he’s targeting—kids ages six to 10.

“The demand out there is high,” Graham adds. “A lot of people equate Hockey Stick Putters to ‘Happy Gilmore,’ which is great. But we’re not pigeonholed to hockey fans. People always ask, ‘Can you actually use a Hockey Stick Putter?’ Of course, you can.”

 

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