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 .
In April of 2012, a man by the name of Rob Zimmerman suffered a mild heart attack from a severe arterial blockage.
The Nashua, N.H., resident survived. And, what Zimmerman did next might surprise you. With a new lease life, the certified golf-aholic, who plays to a 2-handicap and enjoys competing in amateur events, launched a company called 3 Up Golf with his wife, Danielle.
While it offers some accessories, 3 UP Golf's primary product is a golf ball -- the 3F12. Can you think of a golf ball on the market today that's not made by a huge corporation?
We didn't think so.
But Zimmerman's vision wasn't simply to create a golf product. He wanted to merge his love of the game and desire to grow the game with helping others after his big health scare. That's why 3 Up Golf is actually a vehicle that drives charitable contributions to golf-related charities.
To that end, every dozen balls sold equates to $3 going directly to a charity, which 3 Up Golf has built into its cost structure. Every time the company reaches a 333rd dozen sold, the Zimmermans write out a check for $1,000 to the current charity that's on their radar -- causes like cancer research, junior golf programs, golf environmental charities, military support and children's hospitals.
Here's how the witty Zimmerman describes his plan, which he calls, "Rob's simple guide to making golf balls for fun and profit":
1. Create a product that he'd be proud to put his name on
2. Charge a reasonable price
3. Pay 3 Up's bills from step 2
4. Give the rest back to charity
5. Create an even better product and repeat!
We are all so fortunate to be able to play golf. I'm sure a lot of you out there feel the same way that I do and personally give back to charities that are near and dear to your heart. I want 3 Up to be a brand you can be proud to purchase from not only for our high quality products but for what we do above and beyond our product offerings.
With that kind of plan, Zimmerman has created a golf ball that not only can you feel good about purchasing, but one you ultimately won't feel bad about inevitably losing on the golf course. It's a win-win!
Or, as Zimmerman eloquently puts it, "So the next time you hit a 3F12 into a pond, just remember you donated 25 cents to charity! Losing balls isn't so bad now, is it?"
And about the golf ball -- the 3F12 is a premium 3-piece golf ball built for the amateur golfer who doesn't want to compromise distance or feel. Zimmerman started from the putting green and worked his way backwards to the tee to create a great sense of feel to help your performance.
In this video, Zimmerman describes the 3F12 ball:
Here are the details on the ball:
- Cast Urethane cover provides maximum spin and feel
- Ionomer mantle layer
- Polybutadiene core for maximum distance off the tee, regardless of your swing speed
- 318 dimple count
- Player preferred alignment aid
- Conforms with USGA rules
As if all that weren't enough, the Zimmermans also include a special and useful packaging. Instead of the standard box, each dozen of 3 Up Golf balls comes in a pouch -- one you can use as a valuables pouch for your watch, wallet and phone. Also in the pouch are a few branded accessories, which Zimmerman calls, "our thank you for joining the 3 Up family."
A dozen of the 3F12 golf balls retail for $39.99.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair .