NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF
Founded in 1910 as a local farm equipment manufacturer in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Standard Golf Company is the world’s oldest continually-operated manufacturer and marketer of golf course accessories, providing products and services for golf course superintendents, pro shops and driving ranges. In-stock and customized accessories include flags and flagsticks, bunker rakes, ball washers, course signs, cups, litter receptacles and yardage markers. The company is also the manufacturer of the Magnum Pro Tool line of maintenance products that run the gamut from ball pickers for the driving range to machines that wash and dispense practice balls.
Golf wasn’t in Standard’s DNA at the start, originally producing items such as steel farm gates, cistern covers, wagon tongues and automatic hog waterers. It wasn’t until more than a decade later – in 1921 – that Cedar Falls built its first nine-hole golf facility, at which time Walter Voorhees, the company’s founder, realized that no company offered a complete a stardardized line of golf course accessories.
“The idea struck me that here was a field for an alert manufacturer,” said Vorhees. “Why not develop a complete line of needs in this field? A standard line. Why not develop a product so good that it would be in demand all over the United States?”
The local Iowa equipment manufacturer, first known as Standard Manufacturing Company, would eventually change golf. The company got rid of its agricultural line in 1971 and changed its name to Standard Golf three years later. It even drew on its history to create innovative new products, such as the automatic hog waterer that became the hand-crank ball washer that’s almost universal throughout the industry.
Standard Golf’s course accessories and products today are sold by more than 250 distributors on six continents.
The company’s products are ubiquitous at courses around the world, from the aforementioned flagsticks, rakes and ball-washers to hole whitening systems and the polyethylene containers on tee boxes that hold mixtures of seed and sand.
Walter Vorhees’ grandson, Peter, is now the president and CEO at the privately-held company, which has continued to grow and produce almost every possible golf course accessory.
With history that stretches back more than a century, Standard Golf has a strong reputation throughout the golf industry for its quality people and quality products. And much as Walter Vorhees shifted the company’s direction almost 100 years ago, Standard Golf today continues to produce new products that push the golf industry forward.
From the markers and signs on the first tee to the flag and cup on the 18th green, there are few companies in the entirety of the industry that have as extensive a reach in golf facilities around the U.S. as Standard Golf.