If you’re a golfer who spends well over the allotted five minutes — and it’s about to be cut to three minutes in 2019 — looking for lost balls, ClearSports’ golf ball offering probably won’t be up your alley.
Playing with a $4 golf ball is the norm for many golfers as practically all of the big boys in the golf ball space cap their price for a dozen golf balls at around $50. Clear, however, is raising the bar and stretching out your wallet in the process with their $90 per dozen offerings.
And that’s only the start of their unique business model. The $90 dozen of six Clear Red and six Clear Black golf balls is their “Intro Box.” What does that mean, exactly? It means that in order to purchase more golf balls from the company, you have to apply to be a regular consumer and should you be accepted, pay a $1,200 initiation fee.
So what makes Clear golf balls so much better than, say, the Titleist Pro V1 or Callaway Chrome Softs? ClearSports co-founder Garry Singer won’t say.
“It’s the secret sauce,” Singer told Golf.com equipment editor Jonathan Wall. “We don’t like to share that information with everyone. It’s sort of like a secret society for diehard golfers.”
Clear has two offerings: a softer three-piece Red ball and firmer four-piece Black ball.
While the company doesn’t boast many Tour pros on their roster — Skip Kendall (PGA Tour Champions) and Charlie Bull (PGA Tour Latinoamerica) — it does have a handful of interesting names putting their balls into play: movie star Sean Connery, former NHLer Jeremy Roenick, tennis legend Ivan Lendl and Irish billionaire Dermot Desmond at tee up Clear golf balls after passing the application and ponying up the $1,200 fee.
A golf ball with a membership process and $1,200 initiation fee? This isn’t an Onion headline. Meet Clear Sports. https://t.co/007pK2rzOY pic.twitter.com/NHhp5JBrMJ
— Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall) December 21, 2018
The balls are conforming and manufactured in a strict environment in China in which machinery is recalibrated on a weekly basis to ensure consistency throughout their balls.
While Clear’s footprint on Tour is minimal at this point, Singer is considering moving the ball production plant from China to Florida in an effort to get the ball in front of more Tour players.
“It’s tricky to make a cast urethane ball in the U.S., but the processes for injection molding balls is getting better and better, so if we can make it here, we will definitely move our facility,” Singer said. “What I’d love to do is build a prototyping facility in Florida where Tour guys could come by and get a prototype version to use.”
Signing a Tour player to an endorsement deal simply for exposure isn’t in Singer’s business model; he wants a player that’s invested in the company, literally.
“It’s tricky because I don’t want to have a paid endorser,” he said. “I want a guy to take an equity position in our company, so they’re only doing well and making money if our company is doing well.”
So, if you’re looking for a unique last-minute gift this holiday season and have a few bucks to shell out, you may want to consider heading over to Clear-Sports.com and picking up an intro box. Or, if you have even deeper pockets and an inquisitive mind, they are offering a 6-dozen package for the holidays that will run you $450.