Valley Patriot’s “Puppy Girl” markets multi-national company to help your golf Swing-Rite!
While Boxford resident Kate Whitey may be best known as the author of our Puppy Love column, what most people may not know is that the 24 year old UNH graduate runs the SwingRite Corporation, marketing, manufacturing and shipping golf training aids all over the world.
Her product, the SwingRite, was invented by a fighter pilot in Great Britain in 1960 and was purchased by Whitney’s father Charles, who owns and operates Whitney Development.
“When my dad bought the SwingRite company, we bought the rights, the corporation and all the former owner’s inventory,” Kate says. “So for about 11 years my dad sold them, filling on line orders until we finally sent out his entire inventory. Last year I started running the company and when we ran out of inventory we were at a crossroads with the company. We had to decide whether to manufacture SwingRite ourselves or get out of the business so, I told my dad to go for it and we started manufacturing the product in Salisbury.”
Whitney says that SwingRite is an invaluable tool for golfers to improve their swing and achieve a better golf game. “It tells you when your hands release and instructs you with a clicking sound that should happen at the ‘impact zone,’ or bottom of the swing, where the imaginary ball would be. Lots of golfers release too soon or too late, SwingRite helps you determine your swing and lets you adjust your release for a better golf game. The SwingRite club has settings for Easy or difficult and you can use it all year long. You can use it indoors, when you travel, in hotel rooms, and you can continue to work on your golf swing in the wintertime because there is no club on the end. It really is the perfect warm up tool and training aid.”
Whitney says that when she and her father began to manufacture SwingRite they decided to make a few improvements to the original design. The new and improved SwingRite is custom made with different grips choices available. Customers can choose the standard grip, training grip, junior version, or WINN grips.
“Before then, we weren’t in any retail stores,” Kate continued. Now we’ve landed the national golf chain, Edwin Watts Golf. We are now one of the official training aids for the USGTF (United States Golf Teachers Federation), a golf teachers’ certification course. Since the instructors use this, after their students graduate many of them want one of their own so they buy one as well. “I get emails all the time from students and former students saying how much they love this product and we even have people emailing us from all over the world. It’s great to hear from our customers!”
Kate says SwingRite is also sold on line at Swingrite.com and is shipped all over the world. “We are not only expanding in the U.S. but overseas as well. We fill orders in the Netherlands, Brazil, Australia, all over. In China and Japan they don’t have the type of training aids we have here in the US so we are capitalizing on that market which is very exciting.”
Whitney says manufacturing SwingRite is “very expensive. It’s all custom made in Massachusetts, if we were to make these in China it would be much cheaper in every way. SwingRite is assembled by hand and all of our printing, packaging and machined parts are from companies in Massachusetts with a few exceptions. We really believe in helping out local companies but when we can’t find a local company we make sure all of our products are produced in the U.S. Supporting companies in the United States is something that is very important to us.”
“Considering SwingRite is a product that’s been around since the 60’s, which proves what a great product it is, I am really excited to see its continued success. It’s so great to have some of the original customers ordering the new product and helping us expand it to new customers.” Kate concluded.
Asked how she finds time to rescue puppies, write a column and run an international company in Boxford, Kate replied “when you love what you do, you make time.”
(C) copyright, 2008 Valley Patriot, Inc., 2008