It was in Cleveland, Ohio, I think. It may have been Columbus. Or possibly even Detroit. I know it was January of 2009. In those day, my partners Pat and Tom Dugan and I traveled to a lot of consumer golf shows. For several years – from early January until mid-March, we traveled nearly every weekend. Since most of the shows were in the East, it was never an easy trip from our homes in Idaho and Oregon. But one Friday in some very cold place, our paths crossed one of the greatest golf instructors ever.
My partners and I had spoken many times about how great it would be to have an instructor take Gorilla Gold’s message of better control with less grip pressure. We knew that a few of the top pros were using our product, but instructors, we reasoned, knew better than most the importance of grip in golf. Not in our wildest imaginings, did envisioned that the swing coach of the world’s top player; a teacher who was listed by Golf Digest’s as the #2 instructor in the world, would become that messenger.
Hank Haney was the featured speaker at a show that was attended by thousands of already winter-weary golfers who needed to get a scent of what they’d missed since fall. At the time, Hank was Tiger Wood’s swing coach. As sponsor of the stage upon which he’d speak, Gorilla Gold was granted a meeting with him. “Tell me about this,” Hank said after arriving at our 10×10 booth and shaking hands.
I grabbed a Gorilla Gold towel. Hank watched as I wiped it lightly on a golf grip, and handing the grip to Hank, I spoke the same two words we’d repeat a couple thousand times during a golf show, “Feel this.”
Hank took the grip in his hands and said what we’d hear a thousand times, “Wow!”
I won’t repeat what he said next, but it related to how it would have made a difference in one player’s performance at a past, very wet major championship.
That day, Hank Haney became a friend, supporter and volunteer spokesperson for Gorilla Gold. He told us that Gorilla Gold “…should be in every golfer’s bag.”
Later, we made a more formal agreement with Hank, and so you’ll see “Recommended by Hank Haney” on our Gorilla Gold Golf packages, as well as his image on our counter boxes. We’re a long way from finding a home in every golfer’s bag, but with Hank on our team, we move a little bit closer every single day.