The seed for Matchstick Golf ball markers was planted years ago, when I found a great shuttlecock ball marker by my guys over at Jones Sports Co. The item itself felt premium, was eminently playable, and had a great design. A shuttlecock, after all, is a birdie.
But why I purchased that ball marker from Jones — the marker I would eventually lose a couple years later, spurring my futile search for the right one to replace it — was more than just that I liked how it looked. As Nick from GolfLink recently pointed out, custom golf ball markers are also about the confidence you instill in yourself and what you project toward your playing partners.
If you've read Dr. Bob Rotella's Golf is Not a Game of Perfect or Joseph Parent's Zen Golf then you have some idea how important mental factors play in your game. Golf ball markers, much like cool club head covers or well-designed golf bags, are an object of joy that sparks relaxation, happiness, and hopefully, confidence.
I think that's probably why our Cash Stack has been the most popular ball marker we sell — the adage "Putt for Dough" is not just a turn of phrase, it's also something that people want to believe about themselves and grow their confidence with. Whether you're a competitive player or not, everyone's trying to get better at golf. We're trying to find a way to turn belief into reality, and that we are good enough to make a putt with money on the line.
Perhaps this is all projection, and I'm telling my own story instead of yours. That's OK, too. But the scoring part of the game for most amateurs happens in two places, on the tee box and on the green. When you step on the short carpet, glove in your back pocket and your right hand in your front, you want to pull out something that makes you smile, puts your mind at ease, and makes you feel like the coolest cat out there.
I don't think there's anything to be ashamed of admitting that's what a lot of this stuff is about. Whether it's ball markers, hats, golf bags, custom gloves, or wild shoes, the customization of your golf game from both a playability and aesthetic standpoint has a real impact on how you feel when you step on the course. And as any golfer knows, starting off right and keeping level through a round is what helps you play better, score better, and for many of us, have more fun.
For me, golf ball markers meet at this intersection between performance — as silly as that may sound — and personal enjoyment. Every time I put down the Floppy Disk, I think of my fiancée, who came up with the original concept. That puts a smile on my face. And then, with the marker next to the ball and those thoughts running in my head, I feel more confident in my line, my read, and my speed. Without those, nobody's hitting a putt that drops into the cup.
People have asked me what other items Matchstick might venture out into, and there's a few coming. But for now, I'm focusing on the core part of our business because that's what I'm most passionate about and I think it matters. Unless golf changes drastically, I don't see that changing any time soon.