CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, "Revolutions are not trifles, but spring from trifles." There is a quiet, peaceful revolution underway in the golf course beverage industry, but the only thing springing will be cold beer from your golf bag.
Or at least this is how Hidden Golf Bag Beverage Cooler inventor Scott Wells sees the future of liquid consumption on golf courses around the U.S. Wells and his Windsor, Colorado based Trifi Sports company have crafted a 18" by 7" by 4" flexible cooler that holds ten, 12-ounce cans and two ice packs.
The cooler fits deftly inside the large zipper pocket of a normal sized golf bag, and retails for $19.95 (including the two ice packs and a limitless supply of self satisfaction for having subverted the system).
"The whole thing behind this that you go out there with your family, and you pay so much to play that you don't want to pay $4 for beers or sodas," says Wells. "I guess this is something like sneaking candy into the movies."
This movie, unlike Spiderman, hasn't gained unanimously favorable following.
The Hidden Golf Bag Beverage Cooler has actually created quite a brew-ha-ha in a number of towns where local papers have broadcast Well's desire to topple golf courses' seemingly monopolistic beverage system. Wells says he has been contacted by a number of golf course officials, most of which admonish him for his rebellious inventions.
"I can see their side of the argument," Wells says. "They purchase a liquor license and they need to cover their costs. But some pro shops actually like the cooler. They buy it at discount and they put their name and logo on it and they can use it for whatever they want. Some courses offer beverage discounts if you bring and use the cooler."
One Stephen Nichols developed the original Hidden Beverage Cooler concept, but Wells says that Nichols never aggressively marketed the product. Wells had a plan to market the cooler using the Internet and mass emailings, and Nichols eventually agreed to hand over the cooler concept in return for a cut of the profits.
"I just started marketing it on the Internet, and took the design overseas and had it made in China," Wells says. "It is starting to become full time gig for me, because it is doing so well. I am actually thinking about quitting my job."
In fact, Wells is selling so many of the coolers, he had to turn the shipping duties over to a private contractor. This, in turn, has allowed Wells to dream up new additions to the revolution. On the horizon are matching "coozie" cups that attach to the golf bag, and a six-pack version of the cooler for moderate drinkers.
"There's an initial perception that the cooler was designed for beer, but I don't necessarily want to market it that way," Wells says. "Soda fits in there just as easily and it could just as well be for non alcoholic drinks."
And the Audubon could just as easily be for Kia's, but it doesn't mean you'll find any on it.
With his coolers selling faster than Pabst Blue Ribbon at a biker rally, Wells is turning his attention to the next big market. No place in the world do golf and beer go together like in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and you can bet your last Schlitz (if you even have one around, shame on you) the cooler will make an appearance in the Grand Strand soon.
"I have some convenient stores in the area interested in the bag, especially ones located near golf courses," Wells says. "That is the beer guzzling and golf capitol. I see it as a huge potential market."
Myrtle Beach-area course operators don't appear to be shaking in their soft spikes just yet. An informal poll of head pros and golf directors revealed a total lack of awareness of the eminent onslaught of the Hidden Golf Bag Beverage Cooler.
"I haven't heard of it, and I haven't seen any out here," one golf director replied when told about the cooler.
If the rest of the Grand Strand's 100-some-odd golf directors are anything like this chap (thinking they'll see the hidden beverage cooler), then Wells should make a killing.
Shane Sharp is vice president of Buffalo Communications, a golf and lifestyle media agency. He was a writer, senior writer and managing editor of TravelGolf.com from 1997 to 2003.
We all love golf course rankings, but there's quite a bias involved, huh? Host a major championship and you're basically guaranteed a spot on the list. What about the average duffer who's more impressed with the beer list than the slope/rating - or prefers friendliness over the fine, imported lotion in the locker room? Where's our list, hackers? Answer: Right here.
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