Golfer drained of hunting for dropped balls invents option and launches startup

Phil Jones, a Richmond salesman and avid golfer, invented the Golfing Ball Buoy. (Shots courtesy of Phil Jones)

Phil Jones and his golfing buddies have missing their share of golfing balls.

Now, Jones has made a business out of all all those hrs used wading as a result of the rough.

The Richmond salesman invented and not long ago started providing the Golf Ball Buoy, a vivid orange, weighted marker created of industrial canvas that’s employed to mark exactly where a player’s ball lands following an errant shot.

“The professionals don’t strike it into the grass, it is for the everyday golfer,” said Jones, who also works in national income for Richmond-centered ad firm NetSearch Digital Marketing and advertising.

“When you strike (the ball) outdoors of the fairway, you have to go glimpse for it. One particular male will issue to it and then roll off on the cart, and then you come up and say ‘Hey, where’d my ball go?’ You squander all this time looking for the very same ball you saw 5 minutes before,” Jones said. “It’s a enjoyable way to mark the ball and help your buddies coming powering you.”

Income of the Golfing Buoy commenced before this summer season, offering for $16.95 right before tax. Jones mentioned the price is considerably less than the value of goods he and his friends typically use as make-shift markers.

“Over time, we’d toss beer cans, golfing hats or towels,” he explained. “A awesome golfing hat is about $35, and when you have close friends like I do and you toss that hat on the floor, the first issue it sees is the base of the golf cart tire. A golf towel is like $30 and you don’t want to hold throwing it down.”

Jones reported he had beforehand pondered the idea but that it seriously obtained some momentum all through the pandemic, when he had time to give it extra assumed.

Soon after looking by distinctive resources like all those found in dog toys, juggling balls and cornhole baggage, Jones settled on a potential appear and truly feel for the Golfing Ball Buoy. The shiny orange golfing marker is produced in the U.S. by Allen Production in Lewiston, Maine. Jones explained that the corporation functions with industrial fabrics that are discovered in army gloves and lifejackets.

The Golf Ball Buoy is a vibrant orange, weighted marker built of industrial canvas.

Jones mentioned that the trademark for Golfing Ball Buoy is in its last stages after going through the course of action for 10 months. He has registered the title in the U.S. as properly as globally, way too. He reported that he hopes to get a patent for the products.

Jones has compensated for the startup completely out of his individual pocket, expressing that preliminary investigation, artwork, organization licensing and production price him about $5,000.

To date he’s marketed about 500 buoys, and previous month scored his initially bulk purchase: 130 transported off to a golf occasion place on by Palmer Brothers Portray and General Contracting in Silver Springs, Maryland.

All gross sales thus far have long gone through the Golf Ball Buoy web page, but Jones offers some away to family and pals in exchange for encouraging distribute the word. He now operates the business enterprise out of his home and is the only worker.

“Now, with the golf courses that we have performed at, we have left a several of them and individuals have started to recognize them,” he stated.

At 61, Jones has been actively playing golfing recreationally for much more than 30 several years and has worked in revenue and small business considering that he got out of university. He reported his beloved study course in the location is Independence Golf Club in Midlothian.

Jones mentioned he is also a serial sender of unsolicited tips.

“I’ve been carrying out it all my everyday living. I have 30 or so (strategies) a working day and just ship them out,” he mentioned. “I generally come up with options to points and it’s kind of a hobby to mail out letters or emails to providers for product or service tips or advancements.”

With the Golf Ball Buoy, he’s obtaining the likelihood to get one of his strategies into his possess palms.

“I’ve long gone by way of all of the correct ways to get a product out to the market that all arrived from an thought,” he said.