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Renegade Golf Prepared To Roll Off The Fringe And Into The Mainstream

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For Renegade Golf CEO Kenneth Duncan, growing-up with mother and father dwelling in distinction states created some challenges splitting his time between the Midwest and Southeast, however one stable plus was attending to expertise a few the nation’s peachiest golf locales. He discovered the basics on the First Tee at Atlanta’s famed John A. White Park golf course and would go on to play highschool golf at Nicolet, a college in Milwaukee’s north-shore suburbs whose alums embody PGA Tour professional Skip Kendall and hedge fund heavy hitter David Einhorn.

Duncan arrived on the College of Georgia simply as future tour execs Harris English and Hudson Swafford had been leaving, however regardless of the pedigree of participant, the finance main had the audacity to succeed in out to Bulldogs golf coach Chris Haack about making an attempt out for the squad.

“I believed that as a single digit handicap golfer I would be capable of probably entertain the thought of ​​walking-on,” Duncan says.

Haack politely responded, asking if Duncan had a report enjoying in American Junior Golf Affiliation tournaments which he didn’t. He followed-up asking about USGA occasion finishes earlier than recommending he maybe elect to affix the College’s membership group as an alternative.

The identical stage of gumption and fearlessness would serve him effectively in his concurrent roles as a administration guide for Accenture
acn extension
and the CEO of a golf startup seeking to defy the established order and make an impression within the sport and society.

Bootstrapped by himself and enterprise companion Drew McLeod, a fellow Bulldog, and fueled by a need to make golf extra inclusive of all demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds, Renegade Golf burst onto the scene in 2019. Renegade began as a D2C golf bag play, providing cart and stand luggage in customized shade schemes and embroidery.

Duncan is huge on shopping for used golf equipment and would not advocate new golfers go shell out $600 for a brand new driver or $2000 iron set, however luggage are important to lug your sticks across the course whereas additionally offering a big canvas to showcase your persona.

“A bag can actually exhibit your id and who you might be—like an artwork piece. Nearly all of our luggage are custom-made as a result of that is how the PGA Tour gamers do it. You could have your identify, a brand and one thing that represents you,” he says.

They constructed a grassroots following with Black Greek Organizations and Traditionally Black Schools and Universities, fast to embrace the flexibility to signify their fraternity affiliation amongst the early adopters. In fact, no product launch is all clean crusing. Renegade suffered an costly early hiccup on a presale of their now bestselling black and gold cart luggage heading into Christmas of 2020 when a container ship carrying $20,000 price of stock (half of that presold), that may have taken them cash-flow optimistic, misplaced its cargo at sea in a tropical storm.

“That was terrible. It was one of many largest studying classes we have had in entrepreneurship. At the moment, we weren’t conscious or abreast of freight insurance coverage and it is not costly in any respect. We simply did not find out about it,” Duncan admits of the massive setback. They took the hit in stride and ultimately had been in a position to fill that order and get again on monitor.

Luggage And Balls

Following a yr of design, growth and compliance grind, Renegade Golf’s three-piece Mbu golf ball, named after the Nigerian phrase “first of its line,” is now able to roll in competitors after being added to the USGA and R&A’s conforming ball listing earlier this month. Renegade is the primary black-owned gear firm to fabricate gear that complies with golf’s governing our bodies inflexible guidelines.

The corporate might have forgone leaping by all of the requisite hoops to deliver a brand new conforming ball to market by white-labeling an present ball and simply slapping their brand on it. Renegade contemplated the quick go route, fielding a proposal from a producer early on, however in the end determined towards it.

“That will have been engaging, however for us we have at all times tried to provide high quality first. We really feel you solely get one shot on this sport,” Duncan says, including that they wished to verify they did every little thing proper as a result of on this trade second probabilities do not come too typically.

“It took a little bit longer to do it however we ended up with a golf ball that compares favorably to different 3-piece balls available on the market and provides us a stamp of credibility for those that buy our product initially due to our story and who we’re and now they’ll say exterior of the story of Renegade this can be a high quality ball and that has given us lots of further factors,” he says.

Retailing at $33 per dozen, Mbu’s are purposely priced significantly decrease than different mid-to-high compression spheres to provide amateurs and aspiring execs alike a compelling purpose to take them out for a spin.

“The balls that we get in comparison with most by our clients are Bridgestone Tour B RX, Callaway Chrome Tender and your Titlelist Professional V1—all premium stage balls that every of the highest producers produce, however our worth is extra in-line with Vice or Lower,” Duncan says.

Whereas gaining a toe-hold on the golf ball leaderboard might take years, they don’t seem to be ready to begin giving again to the neighborhood. Philanthropy has been a part of Renegade’s mannequin from the second the model teed-up. They supply customized luggage to golf packages within the Atlanta public faculty system and earlier this yr kickstarted a junior golf scholarship program to equip promising youth in want of help, additionally supplying them with quarterly teaching credit and entry charges help.

Looking forward to 2023, Renegade Golf is happy to see how model partnerships within the works with NBC Sports activities and Invited (previously Clubcorp) pan out. Whereas widespread professional store distribution is definitely the aim, for Duncan seeing his balls behind the counter on the UGA golf course for the primary time can be a watershed second.

“That is a full circle second the place you might be an alumni at a college, you have performed the course that so many PGA legends have performed so many occasions and now you will have your crimson and black Mbu golf ball on the professional store sitting there for all alumni to see, really feel and play,” Duncan says.

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