Serge Gauvin is building a better golf tee. And he’s doing it from his home in Knowlton.
It took a door closing to open the window of his current passion for bringing more fun into what can be an infuriating game for the average golfer. It began when he was downsized from his job of 27 years in the pulp and paper business. Rather than accept another position in the same industry, he went back to school and earned an MBA at the Université de Sherbrooke.
The experience convinced Gauvin there was another way to make a living. His love of golf and frustration with his performance off the tee, led him to design a tee that has been scientifically proven to reduce a duffer’s gaffs by up to 30 per cent. He calls it the RecTeeFier, and it will be available through his website: recteefier.com in time for this year’s season.
I have been playing for years, trying to fix my slice,” he said over coffee recently. His Eureka! moment came on the golf course with a friend. “He had a horrible slice, yet some drives were perfect. It got me thinking.”
Gauvin did his research. “I focussed on the 1.5 million U.S. golfers in the millennial generation, aged 18-34, who have busy lives, and tend to take a relaxed approach to the rules. My motivation was “how can I help them improve their golfing experience, with something easy to use, cheap, and well designed?”
Gauvin started doodling, and came up with a sleek black and white tee that is higher at the front end, to encourage elevation He did his first 3d printing here, went to the Golf Laboratories facility in California to perfect the design and invented a product that could modify trajectory and backspin, in a good way.
Thanks to a Kickstarter program to fund initial production and support from the Quebec government, he is now going commercial. And he’s doing it all in Quebec, from patent through production. A first run of 15,000 is expected in May, available only through his website, at $9.95U.S. each. They are not cheap and not approved for professional use, but he says they are nearly indestructible and geared to the average golfer.
“I always wanted to come up with the equivalent of the paper clip, something simple and ubiquitous. Today’s life is stressful enough. Golf does not need to make it worse.”