Golfers’ Mate

Golfers’ Mate is the essential golfers’ multi-tool. It combines four golf tools in one handy gadget, including a ball-marker a pitchfork, club rest and pencil sharpener.

Entrepreneurs:
Dennis Fuller
Initial offer:
£100,000 for 12.5%
Investors:
James
Deal:
£100,000 for 25% (reducing to 10% if Dennis achieves his targets)

Since Dragons’ Den, Golfers’ Mate has continued to push forward with production. Now, all parts of the product are made locally, including the packaging. Paint methods are being investigated and, next year, the product will be available in a wider range of colours and materials, opening up a potentially lucrative market in bespoke orders i.e. gold or silver plated versions of the product. Golfers’ Mate has started working with large corporate clients including Barclays Bank and Paddy Power redesigning their packaging to appeal to an executive audience. Golfers’ Mate aims to be a brand that is recognised for quality but with an affordable price tag.

Golfers’ Mate combines four essential items in one tool. Currently, it is made of zinc alloy (za3) but it can be produced in virtually any material. The product contains a uniquely shaped ball marker made of stainless steel and held in place by a magnet inserted in the tool. The ball marker can carry company logos, making it an in-expensive corporate gift.

Dennis had the idea for Golfers’ Mate while he was captain of Tidworth Golf Club in 2009. After realising a gap in the market Dennis came up with the multi-task golf tool to provide golfers with a pitch repairer, a club rest, a ball marker and a pencil sharpener all in one. Within months Dennis was surprised that no item combining all of these tools already existed on the market, and began to investigate its viability. Soon, Dennis had not only developed the tooling involved but had the capability to produce several thousand of the products each week. Dennis appeared on Dragons’ Den with plans to expand the distribution of Golfers’ Mate beyond golf shops and retailers and into the business sector as corporate gifts.

The Den

As an experienced businessman, the owners of a recruitment business, and a one-time stand up comic, Dennis was well versed in giving presentations and being in front of cynical audiences. However, he claims nothing could have prepared him for his experience in the Den. Fortunately, Dennis’ faith in his product and sound financial knowledge helped him deliver his pitch.

“I was directed to walk in semi darkness and total silence to find ‘the mark’ – which is basically a black cross on a black floor! Having found it I squinted into the bright lights at five astute business people who all appeared to be scowling at me. Thank goodness I had great faith in my product and was confident about my numbers.”

Deborah and Theo seemed impressed by the pitch but chose not to invest, whilst criticism from Duncan and Peter didn’t distract Dennis. Dennis was thrilled that James was the dragon who chose to invest in him, especially given their shared expertise and background in the recruitment industry.

“I always felt that at least one of the dragons would invest in me and my company– I am delighted it was James.” Dennis Fuller “As an investor, it is extremely important to be able to spot a good opportunity, but also to spot people who can really make a difference to a business. Golfers’ Mate not only shows creativity but also innovative thinking which completes the product. But it’s not just about the product, I invested in Dennis because he demonstrated the fundamental skills of scaling up businesses.” James Caan