Interview with Matt Ward
Bob Winskowicz is an accomplished business executive with vast experience that spans from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies in the consumer goods, high technology, and golf industries. Prior to starting SQAIRZ, Bob was the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Arnold Palmer Golf Company and also held an executive leadership position at MacGregor Golf.
You wake up in the morning — what’s the driving passion?
To change the narrative in golf footwear; “the golf shoe is as important as the club you swing” and SQAIRZ golf footwear can actually help golfers play better golf.”
What was the genesis for SQAIRZ?
While driving home from work, I stopped at a driving range to meet a friend and began hitting a few golf balls with my square toe dress shoes. I had always been challenged with set-up and squaring up to the target and noticed that the square toe gave me a great visual for proper set-up. I also felt more balanced and stable as my toes were not forced toward the center shoes unlike rounded toe shoes. The idea hit me … why do golf shoes have to be round?
How long from prototypes to actual mass production?
How does SQAIRZ differentiate itself from your competition?
The patented square toe is the cornerstone of the shoe that allows the toes to sit naturally in the shoe to facilitate balance and stability. The hybrid traction system positions cleats directly under the four regionalized pressure points exerted on the bottom of the feet throughout the swing for better ground connection. The aforementioned design characteristics translate to an increase in distance.
SQAIRZ also features a heel stabilizer to center the foot in the shoe to promote proper bio-mechanics. The sta-put lace has printed silicone squares on the lace which comfortably brings the upper material down on the top of the foot and locks it in place. No need to re-tie the laces throughout the round.
Who is your customer?
Golfers of all skill levels. As it relates to a specific target market, avid and core golfers
From the standpoint of marketing and sales what is the rough percentage of your areas of emphasis via online sales, green grass chops and brick and mortar retail outlets?
We are a “direct to the consumer brand” and therefore 100% online sales
What kind of education process are you implementing since many people make golf shoe purchases primarily because of the fashion connection?
We are educating people that a performance golf shoe (not a sneaker with nubs) can facilitate the key fundamentals in the golf swing (balance/stability, set-up, and ground connection – distance). Golf footwear is the source for distance and as important as the club you swing. Golf footwear should be viewed as equipment. In a recent independent test by Golf Laboratories, SQAIRZ provided an average increase of 2.2mph in club head speed and 8.8 in distance vs the leading brands.
Endorsements are a way for companies to demonstrate overall credibility and validity. SQAIRZ recently bought on board six-time major champion Nick Faldo as the lead spokesperson in this regard. Why Faldo and will the company look to expand to other high-profile professional golfers in the years ahead?
Sir Nick Faldo is an accomplished golf professional with 6 majors and over 40 tour wins. He was known as a fierce competitor and someone who was very technical. Today, he is the voice of golf and has a solid reputation and brand. All of this is consistent with the SQAIRZ brand image and a perfect match of ideals. On a side note, Sir Nick Faldo reached out to us to inquire about the shoes.
We sent him a couple of pairs and three weeks later received a call from his agent to arrange a Zoom call. During the call he stated that “these are the best golf shoes he’s ever worn, and agrees with our narrative that the golf swing is built from the ground up. SQAIRZ will always be on the lookout for tour partnerships.
Companies routinely tout the importance of customer service. Define the term and the approach followed at SQAIRZ?
We strive to provide the customer with an honest and personable one-on-one information exchange between the company and the customer before, during and after the purchase. Our customer service personnel are golfers, some PGA professionals who can speak to footwear design and talk golf. We make it as easy for someone to return a product as it is with purchasing.
If you could change one thing in golf unilaterally — what would it be and why?
A unified golf equipment manufacturers association focused on promoting the game in high schools.
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