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Update as of May 6th 2021
Simon Moore _ New Zealand _ firstname.lastname@example.org
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Urquhart v6 (May 2021)
The 2022 Urquhart adjustable golf club will be a premium titanium and tungsten hybrid iron - adjustable from 5 to 60 degrees in seconds, sharing the same design care and tech DNA as premium drivers
This club will enable golfers to play a entire round of golf with one club
There are 4 why questions well worth asking ...
1. Why bother?
Golf is great game but has got too complicated.
This development will restore a little simplicity to the 600 year old game, and make it more fun to play!
After all in it's beginning golf was ... one stick and one "ball"
We don't quite want that ... but one adjustable club and one ball is a nice simplification
2. Why Me? About the founder
Whilst I run a very successful modular roofing business, before that my history included some golf club design/technology work, perhaps most notably developing and selling to Nike the loft / lie / face-angle adjuster they used in their Covert range
Video description link here
After almost a decade I have returned to some work on golf tech, and am now well on the way in developing a new golf brand ...... oddly called Urquhart ..... the reason why is explained below
The image above right, and in this video is v4 Urquhart, but I am counting Robert Urquhart's 1896 and 1904 models as v1 and v2
3. Why "Urquhart"?
Last year I bought an antique adjustable club designed and patented by a Robert Lish Urquhart & his brother (earlier patent 1896) & wife (later patent 1904)
The club I have is the 1904 version of which I believe 3,000 odd were made.
Basically I am continuing Urquhart's 1896-1904 mission! - a single adjustable club that can be used for an entire round of golf, and indeed this is progressing very well.
Robert Urquhart used the best technology and materials that he could at the time and his adjustable golf club is amazing ... but has many issues, as indeed do the 100 attempts since his groundbreaking development
Urquhart's club is accepted as the very first adjustable club in golf
Below is a video featuring the club
It even features on the cover of this book
4. Why now?
The timing is right for a fantastic adjustable loft golf club
Adjustability is now a normal part of premium golf club design
Modern materials allow better club design and performance
Golf is too slow and complicated
Design goals here
An absolutely premium club
Featuring titanium with strategic tungsten
5 to 60 degrees - 12 lofts - 5 degrees apart
5 to 55 degrees - 6 lofts - 10 degrees apart - for speed golf
Very easy to adjust - here is a video
no tools required
simple and intuitive adjustment interface
The ability to alter swing weight and balance
Incorporating a longer grip (wedge grip-down opportunity)
Sales most likely via B2C sales
Marketing mainly by using social media
So to be clear here the goal here is (1) to be a fantastic club, and (2) be adjustable - in that order, and the club needs to meet the play expectations of a tour player. They will not use it of course - other than for fun - but I want them to love it all the same !
How big is the opportunity?
Surprisingly ...... quite big ...... as this could change golf, making it more fun, faster!!!!, social, accessible, environmentally friendly, walk-friendly (USA), and give a choice. Will it replace 14 clubs? Not for most! .....
Let's look at cricket
The introduction of a shorter and more accessible form of the game has been a revolution: T20 cricket is bigger now than 1-day cricket - which itself is bigger than test cricket ...
So I would say that this is not about just a new adjustable loft golf club but rather potentially about making this great game greater! ...... and bringing into golf a raft of people who like the simplicity of wandering around the course with a club and a couple of golf balls in a waist bag/pocket
But the Urquhart club may not just be a new and simpler way to enjoy social golf, as it certainly possible that in time there will be significant tournaments for one club play - even professional!
Trust me if you have a single adjustable loft club that works it is fun!
The other day I was under a tree after my tee shot on a par 5 and after reviewing the less the ideal options ... I hit a 140 meter shot with the PUTTER setting (5 degrees) which rose no more than half a meter to sneak under low branches about 30m away! ... and then I wedged from the fairway to 3 meters and sunk the putt for a birdie
Last month I was explaining to my cousin and his non-golfing wife, and they agreed it would be great for their motor home (RV), but when I said to Laura that she would lose her caddie job she paused and said "but if it were one club I think I would want to play"
The very first 9 holes played with prototype clubs was by my son and I and on finishing I noted we had taken just 1 1/4 hours for nine holes, and we had not even talked about time but merely wandered around chatting
When we go to play golf we don't have to put the "clubs" in the car as a couple of Urquhart clubs can live there!, and then at the course you walk to the tee.
Even better as you play you always have the club you need and there is no walking here and there to your cart!
Too simple: Putt and walk straight off the green towards the next tee
Then after the round your can go straight to the bar pretending your Urquhart club is a designer walking stick!
Why 12 lofts?
12 clubs is ideal, as it allows a player to add a driver and a putter to a tiny "Sunday golf bag" if they want - and be within the 14 club limit rule
12 loft settings also delivers a full putter to lob wedge range at nice 5 degree increments
That noted it seems most people just want one club after they have tried an Urquhart adjustable loft club, and enjoyed the simplicity of walking a golf course hold a single club
USGA and R&A
We will submit this adjustable golf club to the USGA and R&A, requesting a rule variation so that the club is legal for play ...
Some reasons which would support a Rules of Golf change allowing this 1 club to count as 12 clubs include:
One club counting as 12 clubs would not make the game easier in any way, but would make it simpler, faster and more fun
All 12 loft settings would be legal if they were epoxy glued in place of course, something that has no merit here. But this observation highlights that all this development is doing is allowing golfers to play golf more conveniently and quicker!
Golf has become more complicated, and this club returns the game to something more similar to it's origin 600 years ago
The game has become slow and this would speed up golf
A new group of people would find the game of golf attractive, and current golfers may play more
Adjustability of clubs (before playing) has become the norm for drivers and some other clubs
The first adjustable club was in 1896 so it is not something new
Only 12 setttings would be available, and the design locks automatically!
The design is 100% secure by design and default. Indeed it is pretty easy to argue that the Urquhart club in use is more secure than current adjustable drivers as the locking force of the Urquhart club is not determined by a person correctly operating a T25 torque wrench.
(Fundamentally it is safer for the engineering design to define the locking force - as opposed to the intent and/or skill of the golfer)
For absolute clarity the club could have cast into it an approved phrase such as: "Conforming to the Rules of Golf | Counting as 12 clubs"
A rule change may seem at first thought a bit unlikely but 15+ years ago I got the governing bodies to accept adjustable length.
The USGA and R&A both care deeply about the health and perception of the game. They certainly would see merit in a simple technical development that makes golf faster and with a lower carbon footprint
Returning golf to a simpler and faster form - one closer to the game's origin 600 years ago - may also appeal?
Patent and development steps
A patent is already filed, which is a complete departure from anything done previously. As a designer and businessman I always seek simple ideas that are not incremental, but game changing in character
I have a Kiwi mechanical engineer on the case and we are refining the mechanism
Last week I engaged a USA based ex Titleist designer who has also worked with Wilson, Taylormade and others
We already have a club which plays quite well, so refinement is where we sit in the design process now. Time will tell but the signs are excellent for a club tooled up by years end
Jan 2022 launch
Our expectation is that around September, we will be ready to tool up, and therefore may launch at Orlando PGA Show in late January 2022 - if that event occurs of course. The purpose of attending this event would be publicity
In 2022 Urquhart clubs will be available worldwide, most likely distributed via Amazon warehouses in the USA, Australia, Asia and Europe
Business reasons not to do this:
For 127 years people have been trying to make money in this area ... and I suspect 95% have lost money
The USGA and R&A may not agree to make this conforming
The market is currently tiny and fringe
See 1 above
See 4 above
Thanks for reading
Suggestions, comments and enquiry welcome
Simon Moore _ New Zealand
For purchasing and investor enquiry, or to share suggestions ... please send an email to email@example.com
Appendix 1: 4 clubs are on the market now
Appendix 2: Selected patents
Urquhart and others