T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
CRU Golf leather headcovers add an 'affordable luxury' to your bag
Golf is in the mainstream. It's been that way for a while now. With its popularity come loads of items you can purchase to stand out in the crowd. Whether it's apparel, shoes, accessories, the color of your golf ball, whatever -- you can be unique.
One of the cooler accessories I've seen in recent years is what seems to be a headcover explosion. While the headcovers that come with your expensive driver, fairway woods and hybrids are great, the fact remains anyone who purchased that same club has that same headcover.
Why not change it up?
That's exactly what Adam Blake, co-founder of CRU Golf is doing.
CRU Golf specializes in 100 percent leather headcovers. The vintage designs fit all 460CC drivers and are made to ensure a proper fit on all clubheads that require headcovers. A moisture-wicking interior allows the headcover to slip on and off your club in dry or wet conditions. And, finally, perhaps the coolest thing about CRU Golf: custom leather headcover options are available to ALL golfers... not just the pros, although they love them too (see the photos above of Rickie Fowler's one-of-a-kind Masters headcover, as well as his usual OSU headcover).
Recently, we had a chance to chat with Blake about his idea behind starting up CRU Golf.
PGA.com: What was the inspiration to create these headcovers?
Blake: I truly wanted to create a headcover that was superior in functionality and design. I felt that the market for leather headcovers was lacking in this area. My appreciation and respect for the history of the game was further fueled in 2008 while I was recovering from knee surgery. During this time I caddied at BallyNeal, which is an amazing walking-only course located in Colorado. I looped there part-time for the summer and the idea was planted.
PGA.com: So when did you officially start your business?
Blake: We opened our first account with Shady Oaks Golf Club in Fort Worth, Texas in 2011. Our research and development began in 2010. It was quite a learning curve and an adventure to start Cru Golf -- sourcing of materials; location of production; quality craftsmanship. These were all challenges that we faced when building the brand.
PGA.com: Tell our readers about the turnaround time on your products. It's pretty impressive how quickly orders are delivered considering they're all handmade.
Blake: Yes, they are all handmade from start to finish right here in Texas. Our Reserve Cru Custom headcover is delivered in 4-6 weeks. This is the style that lets you design your own headcover, just like the pros. We've got a really cool designer tool online that lets the user design their own unique headcover. Our online Retail Headcover options all ship within 5-7 business days.
PGA.com: Tell me a little about you. Avid golfer?
Blake: I absolutely love the game! I grew up in a small town in Colorado playing on the local public course. I actually still hold the course record there with an 11-under 61.
I played collegiate golf and then I was a PGA golf professional at Dallas National Golf Club before joining the mini tour scene in South Florida. For five years I played everywhere but where I really wanted to play on the PGA Tour. These days, I take my son out to the course and we work on our short game and hit some balls about once a week.
Cru Golf provides me with the challenges to do something competitive and I still have my fingers in the golf industry. There's no better feeling than having a product made in the USA and available to the masses. Oh, and it sure beats trying to make 4-footers for the mortgage!
PGA.com: Where can people buy your products?
Blake: Cru Golf is uniquely positioned so that our variety of styles allows us to be found in many places. I like to call it an "Affordable Luxury." We are located in the finest golf shops across the states as well as in every Edwin Watts golf store.
You can shop our online store too, but you will find many more styles/options of headcovers within our distribution network.
PGA.com: Can you talk a little about how you're able to personalize your products for customers?
Blake: We're able to personalize our headcovers with initials, logos, and phrases. If you can dream it, we can usually do it. We do many events for our buyers looking for a unique golf event tee prize. Tournament coordinators are looking for something different than a polo shirt, towel or hat. That's where we flourish; giving players something they will appreciate.
I'd just like to thank all the Cru Fans that have helped us achieve the level of success we have had in our short journey. It's great to know that people still notice and appreciate quality products made in the USA.
CRU Golf's beautiful headcovers start out at around $39 and go up from there. If you're still looking, they make for a great Father's Day gift, or... well, a gift for yourself!
To learn more about CRU Golf, visit www.crugolf.com.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.