Ocean Tee is an exciting new company that is changing the way that golfers and golf clubs think about plastic tees.
The company, which manufactures sustainable, bamboo golf tees, was founded by former marine conservationist and passionate golfer Ed Sandison.
His intent was to create a product that would spark conversations on the tee box about golf and our responsibility to preserving the habitats we play golf in. The result has been a business model that has seen golf clubs banning plastic tees, retailers switching to Ocean Tee bamboo tees, Tours partnering with the company and European Tour events ordering bespoke branded tees and tee matchboxes for their tournament.
“This is such an exciting time for us because we can feel that a change is coming. The enquiries we get on a daily basis range from an individual golfer who wants to make a small change by switching to bamboo, to golf organisations who want to engage Ocean Tee as part of their wider sustainability strategy. We are diversifying all the time to cater for the interest so now offer a range of solutions including loose tees and retail displays for pro shops as well as custom tees and matchboxes for events.”
A source of regular surprise for the Ocean Tee team is that people seem to have overlooked the fact that plastic tees do not biodegrade. Golfers are so accustomed to teeing up with plastic tees that they never even consider what they are made of or where they end up when they go missing. Ed continues, “When plastic tees are lost during play, they either have an immediate effect on the local ecology - particularly birds who like picking up coloured plastic tees - or they get washed into waterways and ultimately the ocean.
“It’s so interesting to see the lightbulb moment people have when we start talking to them. Plastic has become such a normal part of life, but golf can lead the way in pushing back against this growing problem.”
Ed chose to make tees from bamboo because it is strong and flexible, producing a durable tee that is less prone to snapping than traditional hardwood. From an environmental perspective, bamboo is a grass species, growing at an astonishing rate - stocks replenish within months of harvesting compared to the decades taken for hardwood forests.
Golf, as we all know, can be slow to change so to make the switch from plastic to bamboo even easier for golf clubs Ed has come up with a Crowd initiative. Ed is offering 25 spots in the crowd for golf clubs to join together and use their combined buying power to purchase Ocean Tee tees at a massively reduced rate. Any club taking part in the Crowd will be able to choose from 100,000 loose tees to be gifted to members and guests or 560 packs that can be sold through the shop – all for just £850.
The innovative idea is a great indication of the approach Ed takes to his business, which also donates 25% of its profits to charities dedicated to addressing the impact of our plastic epidemic on the environment. He concludes, “I love golf and I love marine life. I want Ocean Tee to be a force for change for both of my passions. If we can help to showcase golf as a modern, forward-thinking sport by substituting plastic tees for a sustainable alternative maybe we can also widen golf’s appeal?”
For more information about Ocean Tee, follow them @oceanteegolf or visit their website www.oceanteegolf.com