How it all Started:
Back in April 2018, my 2 year-old son and I were watching the Masters Par 3 contest and I loved seeing the kids in their white caddie outfits. We were sitting on the couch and I asked him if he wanted to dress up like a golf caddie for Halloween. He could care less about the idea but I was super excited so that’s where our internet searching began. After several hours of effort, it was clear that there was literally nothing out there online.
My search continued for months and out of desperation, I called the Augusta National caddie office to ask where the players get their kids uniforms and they told me that players use their own individual seamstresses for the uniforms. If you look at pictures of the Par 3 Contest prior to 2019, all of the kids uniforms were different styles.
As a result, I quickly concluded that if I wanted a uniform, I needed to create it myself. I called several seamstresses and no one showed any interest in creating a uniform, due to the effort and complexity.
The next step was to reach out to a clothing manufacturer and see if they could make it for me according to my son’s sizing specs. They told me that the minimum order would be 100 uniforms so I said “lets go for it”, driven by desperate need for that one uniform for my son’s Halloween outfit.
After about 6 weeks of back and forth with the clothing manufacturer, 100 white caddie uniforms arrived on our doorstep. I kept one for my son, but suddenly my wife began questioning: “how are you going to unload the other 99 uniforms?”
I reached out to my whopping 600 friends on Instagram and asked if there was any interest for them to buy a uniform from me or invest in my new business. Everyone told me that I was crazy and didn’t understand the concept or how the extra uniforms would even sell…
My dad suggested that we market to sell the uniforms for Halloween. The idea was that Dad and Mom could dress as the golfers and the kids would dress as the caddies. I knew there would be other people out there searching for kids caddie uniforms so I decided to throw it on Etsy with pictures of my son in his uniform. Sure enough, after roughly 4 months on Etsy, the extra 99 uniforms were sold and I actually had to sell my sons uniform because I was waiting for another batch of uniforms to arrive to keep up with the demand for Halloween. Our social media went crazy as parents and kids were dressing up for Halloween and posting pictures.
The Ultimate Dream - The Masters
After our initial success, I told my wife that the ultimate dream would be to one day supply them to the players’ children for the Par 3 Contest but never thought it would actually happen. She didn’t take me seriously because she knows that I’m a “big dreamer!”
I knew it was a long shot, but I reached out to Augusta National and asked if I could send a few kids caddie uniforms to them and be their official supplier for the Par 3 Contest. They responded quickly and asked me to send some samples for them to check out. I shipped a few sizes and they loved what they saw, but wanted me to make a few adjustments. They wanted the players to buy directly from me but they would be happy to recommend our company, if the players ask.
Augusta told us that they wanted to create the name badges for the back of the uniform and the Masters logo for the front chest pocket on the uniform. We agreed and thought that it would make the uniforms look extremely sharp with the exact coloring, stitching, etc as the adult uniforms.
Now came the hard part… How would we get the Masters’ players to find out about the kids caddie uniforms?
I ran the idea by my parents who attended the same church as Webb Simpson and his wife. They have a mutual friend that also attends the same church. My parents asked her if she would share pictures of the caddie uniforms with the Simpson family. The Simpson family loved what they saw and when the 2019 PGA Tour season got started, they started referring us to several players on tour when they would qualify for the Masters. Word started spreading fast among the PGA Tour community and from December 2018-April 2019, we created over 40 uniforms for kids that would be worn in the Par 3 Contest. That was roughly 80% of the uniforms that were worn by the Masters’ players children in 2019.
As we prepared to head to Augusta, my grandfather (90 years old) had a great idea. Pack a ton of extra uniforms and leave them with the caddie master and let the players kids wear them if their kids arrive without a uniform at the Par 3 Contest. We implemented the idea, and sure enough Jack Nicklaus’ grandkids and a few other golfers kids used the uniforms because they showed up to the Par 3 contest with no uniforms in hand.
As emails, texts, Instagram messages, and phone calls rolled in from many of the top 100 golfers in the world, it seemed like a dream come true. How could these PGA Tour families be reaching out to a guy that struggles to break 100 on the golf course? After the uniforms were delivered and the kids tried the uniforms on, I was receiving texts about the pure delight of how these players were in awe of the quality and how much they looked like the adult uniforms that the caddies were wearing.
I headed to Augusta, GA on Monday of Masters week in 2019. This was time to get to work, as many of the European Tour players families were coming in from overseas and were waiting for me to hand deliver the uniforms. We booked a local seamstress for the day and we had the players wives bring their kids to get fitted and make adjustments to the uniforms.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 was a day that I will never forget. I was standing outside the gates of Augusta National around 11 am just hoping and praying that I could get my hands on a ticket. I received a text from Marc Leishman’s wife, Audrey, and she was asking me some final logistical questions about the uniforms. She then proceeds to ask me if I will be there to see the kids in their uniforms. I told her that I was hoping to make it in but I don’t have a ticket yet. She promptly says that she has 1 extra ticket and tells me to go pick it up at her rental house, which was a few miles from the course. I sprinted to my car, drove as fast as possible, and just kept telling Audrey “thank you” over and over via text.
I arrived inside the gates on Wednesday and got to the Par 3 course at roughly 12:00 pm which is exactly when the Par 3 contest began. I was sitting by the #1 tee box, amazed and watching as the kids proudly strolled around in their uniforms, without a care in the world. I never thought in a million years that I would develop a piece of clothing that would be displayed on the national golf scene at the biggest tournament in the world. As I was sitting there reflecting back on the last 12 months, my goal had quickly changed from needing one uniform for my son to having these uniforms worn by the kids at the Par 3 contest.
The funniest part about being in the golf apparel industry, is that my wife still shops for my clothes because I don’t have a clue as to how to dress myself well and my style is TERRIBLE.
– 80% of the players kids dressed at the Par 3 contest in our uniforms that we had supplied, as a result of our dream one year prior.
– A photo at the16th hole at the Waste Management Open in Phoenix, where an adult men’s hockey team of 25 guys were outfitted in our caddie uniforms.
– Started with only kids uniforms and now 40% of our total sales are adult uniforms.
– A Par 3 contest at a country club in California, where all of the country club’s children were outfitted in our uniforms.
– Tony Romo’s order for 4 uniforms for his kids.
In summary, with only 80-100 players participating in the masters and of those players, only 40 have kids that are of age to participate in the par 3. Of those 40 players, only 30 of them usually bring their kids to the par 3. Of those 30 players, there were roughly 60 kids that participate and we created over 40 of those uniforms. As a result, I realized that the business wouldn’t grow if I only had Augusta so I had to be creative and realize how to sell the other uniforms. The business grew organically and spread like wild fire on social media. It will be exciting to watch how the business continues to grow into the future.