Growth takes hold for golf club grip maker. By: SHEA, BILL, Crain's Detroit Business, 08821992, 6/9/2014, Vol. 30, Issue 23
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Growth takes hold for golf club grip maker
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SuperStroke sales soar from $700,000 to $15M
Golfers, as a breed, are sometimes known to buy the latest gadgets in desperation to shave strokes from their game, while equipment makers come and go.
If the weekend duffer sees a PGA Tour pro using something new to win tournaments, odds are that equipment manufacturer will see a payday.
That's held true for Wixom-based SuperStroke, a maker of patented oversized rubber grips for putters. A quarter of PGA players in a given week's tournament are using SuperStroke grips.
Several high-profile PGA Tour victories and strong finishes by pros using SuperStroke grips have turned owner Dean Dingman's $750,000 purchase of the brand in 2009 into a business forecast to post revenue of $30 million this year.
In 2009, SuperStroke sold 5,000 grips for $700,000. Last year, it sold 1.5 million grips for $15 million.
The success has Dingman, the company's co-owner and president, planning to move into grips for other clubs.
SuperStroke isn't Dingman's first foray into golf equipment.
In the late 1990s, Dingman and his brother, Darin, launched a line of low-priced golf clubs called Techniques, and later expanded into upscale custom putters in the $300 range.
They bought the Tiger Shark golf club brand in 2000 from Japanese-owned Allied Holdings Inc. in California for $350,000, and for years marketed the clubs in the U.S., Asia and Europe.
Dean Dingman, 47, said he bought the SuperStroke brand, then based in Wisconsin and advertising on infomercials, after getting into a squabble over trademark names for a grip.
After talks to resolve the issue, the former owner expressed interest in buying Tiger Shark so that it would have a putter to sell...