Golf Club Faces

Objective: Improving the consistency of response off the face of a golf club, to increase the size of the "sweet spot" reducing the penalty of miss-hit balls.
Market: Golf club technology has focused on the evolution of materials for shafts (steel to graphite), and club head designs (forged blades to cast cavity back). This multi-billion dollar industry is highly regulated by the USGA through its approval process. In order to protect the real estate investment, the USGA limits performance of club and ball products.

In spite of constant new product introductions, even the best pro-line clubs lose 5-7% of their distance when hit as little as one half inch from the pin point center of the club. This makes the difference between landing in a trap and being on the green. A significant market opportunity exists to develop club faces which reduce this loss of energy transmission.

The target market is serious golfers with low handicaps (less than 10), approximately a $1.0 billion market. The technology can improve swings that are already good, not compensate for poor swing mechanics; thus, the serious golfer is the target market segment.
Technology: Standard clubs are monolithic and perform best only when hit exactly on center. Beta has developed a new architecture for the face which uses discreet pixels attached in a cavity of a club face. The result is a decoupling of shear and tensile forces which changes the vibration pattern for off-center hits. Initial tests indicate a 50% or more improvement in the performance with hits one-half inch off-center. In addition, technology is being developed to compensate for temperature differences as the day warms and cools.
Commercialization: With individual investors, we have formed HXL Technologies to commercialize Beta's new technology. The first customer, PING, uses it in their IsoForce putters, which have exceeded sales projections and are well ahead of where Odyssey was at a comparable point in time. We are working with leading club designers and companies for the development of irons, wedges, and woods, and additional customers are being sought to further commercialize the technology.
Patents: US Patent Numbers 5,807,190 and 5,899,818.
Contact: John Krumme