Q&A: Club Glove president Jeff Herold
Many golfers have been using Club Glove products for years without having a good grip on the story behind the company. I tracked down Jeff Herold, Club Glove president and founder, and got the interesting story behind the company.
Tell us about yourself and how Club Glove came to be?
When I was 25 years old I completely fell in love with the game of golf. Up until that point, surfing had been my primary source of recreation. One day I got the idea of cutting up the neoprene material from my wetsuit to cover and protect my clubs – literally creating a type of glove. That’s how it all started.
At the time, I was inexperienced and just looking to start a business I could call my own. The tattered wetsuit turned out to be the catalyst.
Do you find it difficult to balance your focus between the company’s golf and luggage products?
The golf bags and the golf travel gear go hand-in-hand, so it is natural to go back and forth between those products. Expanding our line to incorporate luggage outside of golf has been a little more difficult, as we’ve been a golf company since day one. However, we know the quality of our luggage and the Train Reaction system speaks for itself and we’ve done quite well in those markets.
How does Club Glove separate itself from other brands?
First off, we’re the only one made in the USA. The quality of the raw materials we use are much higher than every other brand out there, and we provide the highest quality to price available. Aside from the actual design and materials, our warranty and customer service are second-to- none.
How do you market your product and get it in the hands of professionals?
Our reputation is so good in the golf industry that most professionals actually contact us with most product requests. We do have a representative on Tour but are proud of the fact that we do not pay any Tour players to use our products. They use them because they know they work. More than 90 percent of PGA Tour players are using our gear.
Do any of the players contribute to the design process?
Generally speaking they don’t contribute directly to the design process. However, they do provide valuable feedback. In fact, our Last Bag originated from player feedback and the Rolling Duffle was created after one of the vice presidents at Ping came to us looking for a product to outfit the Solheim Cup team.
How did the company go from focusing on bags and luggage with Club Glove to introducing the Scheyden eyewear line?
Scheyden came along in 2000. In 1998 I was training to get my pilot license and was not happy with the quality of sunglasses available. There was nothing that seemed truly pilot-specific. Necessity is the mother of invention and we felt a better line of sunglasses was necessary. The Scheyden line filled this hole and is great for multiple activities, including golf.
Do you have plans to expand into other arenas?
Anything that involves sporting equipment, teams, gear and travel, we’re going to be a part of it. We want to be involved in all aspects of the broad spectrum that is travel equipment.
What new Club Glove products are coming soon?
In terms of the golf gear, we are currently launching two great carry bags, the Sunday Bag and Hotstepper II, which is a stand bag. Both are lightweight and extremely functional options that are ideal for those players that love to walk.
We also recently launched the Club Glove Back Pack, which shares the same “DNA” as the rest of our products. It is the perfect companion for taking to a golf event, the gym or to simply use as a carry-on bag when traveling.
What is the best part about being in the golf industry?
You cannot put a price on the fringe benefits and the wonderful people you meet in this industry. It’s absolutely wonderful being part of a respected company, in an industry that is respected, revolving around a game that is respected. I can’t imagine doing anything else.