BirTee-ing Up For Success

The season must be approaching quickly, because golf and tees are filling the news. A couple weeks ago, an inventor combined the golf tee and a pencil, creating the Teecil. Now an inventor has combined the birdie used in badminton with the idea behind tees, creating the BirTee, reports Ottawa Citizen.

After whacking badminton shuttlecocks with golf clubs -thus “BirTee” -[Mario] Caya realized they could be used to balance golf balls. The ball would always be at the same height, too.

He developed sets of eight tees from one-quarter to two inches, but hit a partial stumbling block: The USGA said only the two smallest tees conformed to the rules because “legs” on the sides of larger tees could be used for aiming.

Golfers wanting to play in tournaments or to maintain official handicaps for competitive reasons couldn’t use the non-conforming tees, so they probably wouldn’t buy the eight-tee sets.

Still, Caya, targeting seniors and casual golfers who didn’t care about official handicaps, got BirTees into a small number of pro shops and Golf Town outlets in Ottawa, Gatineau and Kingston in 2009.

The Golf Town agreement lasted only one year, though, as did a subsequent deal to distribute at Canadian Tire, assuming he’d negotiate with management of each outlet individually. He got deals done with 11 of them.

“I’m hoping, now that the USGA has approved them, they’ll be more open here to carrying the full pack and the single sizes,” says Caya. Last weekend, he did more than $2,000 business for the original BirTee and the new Bir-Tee Pro at the Toronto golf show.

Photo from BirTee

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