AGG: Who is 3 UP Golf?
RZ: 3 Up Golf is a three person show. My wife, Danielle, is our operations manager. Chances are, if you ordered something from us – she lovingly packed it up for you! I’m truly lucky to have such a great business partner. My other business partner and good friend, Chris Mader, joined our team earlier this year. He handles a lot of our media exposure as well as finding new sales opportunities as we grow. Lastly, there’s myself – Rob Zimmerman. I handle all the customer interaction, social media, website, product development (the list never ends) and am responsible for keeping the 3 Up train rolling.
AGG: How long has 3 Up Golf been in business?
RZ: After much deliberation, Danielle and I took a good chunk of our savings and started the prototype process last year. After six months of prototyping we shipped our first order through our website in February of 2013. In May of this year we entered into our first pro-shop and have been selling extremely well there. We’re actually almost sold out of our first production run and have initiated a second run.
AGG: Your ball is referred to as the 3F12, what does that stand for?
3 – 3 Piece ball
F – Feel
12 – the year we started the design work
AGG: What made 3 Up Golf, venture into the golf ball market?
RZ: 3 Up Golf started last year when I had the misfortune of suffering from a heart attack. I’m doing great now, thankfully. It was one of those moments in life that gave me pause and I contemplated what I was going to do with my second chance. I love the game of golf. Even the word “love” isn’t strong enough (just ask Danielle) – I have a deep passion for the game. I knew that I wanted to get involved with the game of golf and build a company that people could get behind not only from a product standpoint but for a cause. A few months later is when we took the plunge and ran the first prototype.
AGG: Did you have many prototypes before you came up with the 3F12?
RZ: Although it would have been great to hit gold on the first strike it actually took many prototypes until we settled on the final version of the 3F12. We put together a panel of amateur golfers from around the country to test each prototype. Handicaps ranged from 18 all the way to +2 and the process worked out beautifully. When we create another ball down the road we’ll use the same process as we did for the 3F12.
AGG: You donate $3 of every dozen sold to a golf charity, Whose idea was this and how have those charities reacted to such a great promotion?
RZ: I actually came up with the idea while walking through the grocery store. I saw a bottle of Newman’s Own salad dressing and thought, “We need to do that”. Earmarking a set dollar amount for each dozen sold is not only a commitment from us but it’s something I’m very proud to say we do. The charities we’ve engaged with thus far have been delighted to hear of our efforts and obviously appreciate the contributions as well.
AGG: Does this ball conform to USGA Rules? Could a PGA tour player put this ball in play and have nothing to worry about?
RZ: Absolutely! We were placed onto the USGA conforming list as of March 2013. Since Chris and I both play in New Hampshire state events we had a vested interest to ensure that the 3F12 was USGA conforming.
AGG: Do any mini-tour players or any PGA players currently use 3 UP Golf ?
RZ: Jim Thorpe from the Senior PGA Tour tested our ball and gave us some feedback when we first started. He said it felt like a modern version of a balata ball. We have a couple of amateurs who are going to be turning pro next year and will be playing the 3F12 in competition. Additionally, we have had a couple other “off the record” professionals try out the 3F12 but we aren’t in a position to sponsor them. Honestly, we’ve made a conscious effort to focus more on amateur golf than professionals. While it would be nice to get the endorsement of a professional, our amateur players are more important to us.
AGG: Does the 3F12 fit all swing speeds, will this ball work for all golfer?
RZ: Yes! We have players everywhere from 75 MPH swing speeds all the way up to long drive competitors with swing speeds around 135 MPH. Our three piece design offers players of all swing speeds the ability to engage the core of the ball on their driver and maximize spin with their short irons and wedges. Truly the best of both worlds.