Ronan Galvin saw a marvelous opportunity and jumped right in with a solution that’s resonating with golfers who enjoy the sport via walking.
The category creating Loma bag set a new precedent for par-3 bags in a sleek, easy-to-carry build that encouraged play with fewer clubs while embodying the spirit of casual weekend golf. Sunday Golf is committed to providing high-quality golf gear that is functional, well-designed and made “Fore the Weekend.
Prior to starting Sunday Golf, Ronan Galvin was closely involved in the golf industry working in golf bag product development. Not being a golfer growing up, Ronan learned to play golf at a local par-3 course in San Diego called the Loma club just a few years ago.
It was here that the idea for a bag specifically for the par-3 course was born. He was able to use his experience in product development to design a prototype of the flagship product, the Loma Bag, inspiring him to create the Sunday Golf brand with his friends, Casey Mathews and Galen Brunelle. Born in Ireland, Ronan grew up in North County San Diego and graduated from Gonzaga University.
The Ronan Galvin Story:
When I first launched Sunday Golf with my business partner Casey Mathews, we had one golf bag that we were shipping from a storage unit around the corner from our shared office. A little over two years later, we have five different bag designs, dozens of accessories and are selling our bags in major retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods and PGA Tour Superstore.
I picture golf as a sport that should be enjoyed with friends and family above all else. Whether you’re playing well or having a terrible round, it’s about enjoying the people in your group to go along with the game. I’ve taken that same mindset and used it as a foundation to build Sunday Golf with our employees, products and brand message. Golf should be fun and I hope we can help people experience the game differently and enjoy it more.
What was the genesis for Sunday Golf?
I recently picked up golf a few years ago, actually. Prior to Sunday Golf, I spent several years working overseas in golf bag product development, but I was never a “golfer” growing up. When I came back to the U.S., I started to play more at a local par-3 course called the Loma Club in San Diego.
I saw player after player lug around their full set when you really only use four or five clubs to play the course. This started the initial idea, and when I didn’t see any products on the market that fit this need, I decided to create a prototype of our Loma bag. I brought it to the course afterwards and everyone was asking where they could buy one. The lightbulb went off then.
How does Sunday Golf differentiate itself from your competition?
If you look at a lot of the older/more traditional golf brands, they are very performance based and focus on being the best golfer you can be.
We say we like to be more relatable than aspirational. Sure, everyone wants to go low each time they play a round, but at the end of the day, it’s more about having a good time with your friends.
Golf bags straddle the line between durability and overall appearance / fashion. How does Sunday Golf handle such a fine balancing line?
We meticulously developed our Loma bag and tried a few different configurations before landing on the current design. We’ve worked extremely closely with our manufacturing partner to implement the same approach on our latest Ryder, El Camino and Loma XL bags as well. We also listen very closely to what our customers want and then build the bags from there. They kind of give us the answers to the test.
What’s the biggest mistake people often make when shopping for a golf bag and how does Sunday Golf provide the best result?
That there’s a one-size-fits-all solution. A majority of golfers don’t use all the clubs in their bag over a round of golf, but most play with a standard carry bag. If you’re just beginning you really don’t need every club, much less extra baggage, too.
We have four different bag sizes that are designed based on how many clubs you play with — 6, 8, 10, etc. So, whether you prefer to walk, ride or something in between, we have a bag for you.
Are there differences between how men and women shop for golf bags and how does Sunday Golf handle each?
Definitely. We’ve noticed that our female customers gravitate towards our neutral color bags (Toasted Almond, Seafoam, Heather Gray) and also opt to add personalization more frequently. Everyone wants lighter golf bags though.
In approximate percentage terms – what are the sales numbers for green grass shops, brick and mortar retail outlets and online via your Website?
Two-thirds of our sales this year have been from our online channels, and then the rest is evenly distributed through green grass and brick and mortar retailers, and it continues to grow.
Companies routinely tout the important of customer service. Define the term and the approach taken by Sunday Golf.
Customer experience is our top priority. We want to create a totally unique experience before, during and after a golfer purchases one of our items. Our lifetime product warranty, free returns policy and 24/7 customer support are specific additions we’ve made to strive for that.
From our standpoint, the customer is at the very center of our business and we have the mindset that all of our customers should be treated like VIPs. As a small brand, developing one-on-one customer relationships is something the bigger guys have a hard time competing with.
You can change one thing in golf unilaterally — what would it be and why?
Make it more affordable. It shouldn’t cost people thousands of dollars to play or learn the game. You’re starting to see the golfing culture loosen up quite a bit over the last few years with a new generation of players who want to have fun on the course.
It’s a beautifully frustrating game that everyone should have a chance to play and hopefully the narrative starts to shift in the opposite direction.
Best advice you ever received — what was it and who was it from?
Growing up my dad always said, “choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I’d have to agree.
The biggest future challenges — short and long-term facing the company — and what strategies are being contemplated to deal with both situations?
Short term: making sure we have enough inventory for the holiday season. Demand has been incredible this year and we expect to double our holiday sales. We should be well-positioned as we’ve been preparing for several months now.
Long term: Building a larger golf brand. Golf bags will always be our main and staple product, but we’re already beginning to look at other game changing items that we can share with Sunday Golfers. We’re getting the ball rolling on product development and it will be the same nuanced approach we’ve taken with our bags to make unique and refreshing golf gear.
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