Meet value innovators the Drury brothers of 1StrokeClub.com. The Value Innovators Show is a webisode series featuring company founders that have launched or run companies that exhibit numerous qualities of blue ocean strategy. Some of these founders have a clue that they’ve done something related to blue ocean strategy. Most do not.
I met one of the founding brothers, Brian Drury via a great Nashville connector, Todd Bowman of Insperity. Brian and I struck up a business relationship that has served to keep us connected and aware of what’s going on in our professional lives.
Brian mentioned on a recent call that he and his brothers, Grant and Kyle, had launched a business. I immediately inquired as to the nature of the venture and was truly impressed.
Brian explained that in Japanese culture there are huge expectations of a massive celebration when a recreational golfer aces a par three hole in a round of golf. In the states, our expectation and the norm is that the golfer who makes the hole in one will buy all those in the foursome and likely those at the club bar a round of drinks to celebrate. The scorecard gets witnessed and the ball is retired with the general understanding that all of this fanfare will be documented and put in a box frame of some kind for hanging in the golfer’s den or office.
Aces are a big deal.
In 2019 there were an estimated 24 million recreational golfers in the US. It’s a decent measurable, reachable market. The golf economy is affluent, loyal, and all in all, passionate about their sport.
The Drury brothers recognized something was missing without knowing it was blue ocean thinking.
In the six paths framework, one of the tools used by blue ocean strategists, there are a couple of applicable methodologies.
When the Drurys started thinking through their model, they were solidly in the six paths framework. Path two suggests one look across strategic groups in the industry. There is a big difference between the way a professional golfer approaches a par three in tournament play compared to an amateur. The pro will approach the ball on the tee and think of her stance, swing, the elements, i.e. wind, condition of the green, hole location, sand traps, water, etc. The amateur stands over the ball and thinks, I really see myself in that car. In most tournaments, the par 3s will have some form of sponsored prize. A car, a truck, cash, etc.
In path two, the guys were understanding this distinction without knowing it was a solid part of the six paths framework. The strategic differences between the way the two golfers approach the game plays well for 1StrokeClub.
This is very applicable to path five as well. With 1StrokeClub membership in place, every recreational golfer now has the “tournament” feeling with every par three played. There is something at stake every time. The functional orientation that recreational golfers currently have is turned on its head when they know that $1000 to $2000 is at stake on every par three.
As we continue to meet value innovators the Drury brothers of 1StrokeClub.com, we see they also hit upon path number three. In path three of the six paths framework, they redefined the buyer group. In Japan, recreational golfers are going so far as to buy riders on their homeowner insurance policies to pay off in the event of a hole in one. Why? The expected party approaches five figures in cost.
While this hasn’t been the case in the US, there was and is an expectation of some form of celebration. In tournament play, the tournament organizer finds a sponsor for the par-three prizes and it is generally incumbent upon the sponsor to buy a specialized policy that pays off in the rare event a hole in one is hit.
In the US, the market for hole in one “coverage” like this has been largely focused on tournament organizers and sponsors. The 20 million-plus recreational golfers have never been targeted with this option. Path three says, look across the industry and redefine the buyer group. 20 million or so golfers now constitute a new buyer group with this blue ocean strategy innovation. That’s a great niche-oriented addressable market.
1StrokeClub.com is a great example of how innovative thinking can be translated into product offerings. If you have golfers in your family, I encourage you to gift them membership into the 1StrokeClub hole in one club. It will be a gift that leads that golfer to think of you during every round and especially as they approach every par three. Hit their site here.
When you’re ready to start viewing your business as one that could use growth, product innovation, or new thinking, reach out to Sherman Mohr, The Blue Ocean Strategist for a complimentary 30 minute chat about blue ocean strategy’s possible contribution to your bottom line. Click here for that call.