Usually when people purchase new golf clubs, they come with standard club head covers. Why shouldn’t they, you buy the clubs off the rack, of course they come with a standard package and style, obviously depending on what brand and particular model you went for. You can change club head loft, lie and shaft flex how much you want, as long as you don’t go crazy with the colour of the bag, a new set of golf clubs pretty much looks like the other. Isn’t it at least a bit strange that on the one hand we dress in fancy, colourful clothes, think twice what to wear on the course to look decent and show off a bit and then at the same time sport off-the-shelf clubs and standard club head covers?
For those who want to stand out a little more or have a distinct taste in terms of style, colour or appearance in general, Oliver Volkmuth and Matthias Schneider founded Knitcap, a Germany-based company producing trendy club head covers, which look very different from what you are used to: they created a fully customisable bobble hat for golf clubs.
Golficiency’s Alexander Rose had the chance to discuss some details around the product and the company with Oliver (35), co-founder and managing director of Knitcap.
Golficiency: Oliver, could you briefly describe what Knitcap actually is and what products you offer?
Oliver Volkmuth: Knitcap is a product and a brand at the same time and as the word already implies it’s more or less a “knitted cap” for golf clubs. We offer individually designed and hand knitted club head covers and clients can choose between three sizes (driver, fairway wood, hybrid), three patterns and 12 colours. So everyone who’s good at maths can calculate the possibilities you have.
What customizing options do you provide and what choices do the purchasers have?
We offer two different product lines, or editions—the “Silver Edition” and the “Gold Edition”. The Silver Edition is ready to order as we have produced our best sellers on stock. The Gold Edition offers the possibility to assemble colour combinations according to everyone’s wishes and taste. You may also have initials, numbers or labels attached to the club covers and in the end you will get your one of a kind.
What initially made you create knitted club head covers in the first place? A jolly mood or a concrete feel for demand?
It’s not the typical story about two guys getting drunk and come up with the idea to knit head covers for golf clubs—although it would be a cooler story to tell that we were bored of our daily jobs in the IT business, where you never have the satisfying feeling to hold “your produced product” in your hands after one day of work. We wanted to do something “real”. And it didn’t take long until we stumbled over all these silly and inconvenient head covers you can see on the golf courses all over Germany. We were fed up with these ridiculous plush animals! We are grown men and don’t want to be remembered as the dude on the course with the plush peacock on his driver! That’s definitely not cool at all.
Looking back at the recent months, what has been the customer feedback so far?
The feedback is great. People love our product. They are excited about the colours and also the quality. We often receive photos of their self-designed head cover compilations which is awesome. Many customers buy our head covers as a present and thank us afterwards for the real surprise. When you look at the negligible number of complaints you can see that we only have few related to the quality. Sometimes you can get a ladder but we offer a convenient repair service and this problem is quickly fixed again. The majority of our customers are really happy that they can get an individually designed head cover fitted to their needs and personal style.
As you say “handcrafted”, how should we picture the manufacturing process? A number of grannies in a room, sitting together, knitting golf club head covers according to customers’ orders?
Yes that’s not so far off. We employ some elderly ladies who love to knit and were more than happy when we offered them the opportunity to knit something else than the 50th pair of socks or a jumper which the grandkids won’t want to wear anyway, and to get paid for. So this is a win-win situation for all; the grannies, our customers and the grandkids now being freed from having to wear itchy knitted things.
What are your distribution channels and what is your main target group?
We have an online shop where customers can create own individual “knitcaps” with a configurator. That’s really fantastic as it’s possible to see how it will look like once finished. Regarding target group, there are different types of customers. Mainly we have the individual golfer who is not affected by the latest trends and wants to have equipment and accessories that are handy, stylish, from high quality and protect their clubs at the same time. But there are also some older golfers who get nostalgic feelings as they are reminded of the time when they started to play golf.
When you look back at what you have achieved so far, what is it you are most proud of?
It’s a fantastic feeling to see that our employed ladies are happy to feel needed again and to improve their pensions with one of their favourite activity—knitting. Also we are proud that we have established a sunstainable product in our “green” sport.
Last but not least, as an outlook, what do you think you could venture in as a next step, do you already have specific plans how to grow the business in 2016?
That’s a very good question. We want to expand our market share in the European countries. Germany only has 650,000 golfers and of course not every German golfer wants to have a knitcap, so we want to become known in England, France, Spain and Italy as well.
Oliver, thank you very much for the interview.
So, in case you want to stand out of the crowd, buy a neat present for a keen golfer or you want to match your own bobble hat, you might want to consider personalised Knitcaps in the future. And speaking of win-win situations, Golficiency readers are granted a special 10% discount for your Knitcap Gold Edition order via their online stores (valid until 15 Feb 2016).
Redeem your rebate with the code: golficiency