Bob Winskowicz is no stranger to the business side of golf. The Windham, NH resident is a former Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Arnold Palmer Golf Company. Winskowicz also held an executive leadership position at MacGregor Golf.
He is now applying this ample golf experience to his own innovative golf shoe and accessory company called SQAIRZ (pronounced squares) and, like any good start-up, his goal is to improve your game, quite literally, from the ground up.
“The genesis of the company really began when a friend of mine told me that he went to the driving range wearing square-toed dress shoes,” explains Winskowicz. “He said that, with the square-toed shoes, he was better able to square his body to the target line.
“This really got me thinking. The idea behind our shoe is to have the golfer be able to move comfortably with stability and control in the swing.”
Winskowicz and his team of top industry shoe designers worked on the SQAIRZ shoe for 5 ½ years. He relates, “It is all about balance, stability, and being square to the shot. You can feel the ground in our shoes.
“The squared-toe shoes allow the toes to sit naturally and expand the base under the ball of the foot for better balance.”
A graduate of Husson University in Maine, Winskowicz has authored or co-authored over twenty patents. SQAIRZ combines his two loves of invention and golf. “We positioned four cleats on the bottom of the SQAIRZ shoe directly under the four pressure points on the bottom of a golfer’s foot.
“These are the areas where you need the most ground connection, which translates into more power and distance. We built an insole with added comfort in these four areas.”
Winskowicz’s shoes also have a heel stabilizer to center the foot in the shoe to promote proper biomechanics, and if you are one of those golfers who gets frustrated at having to re-tie your shoes multiple times during a round, Winskowicz has a nice surprise for you.
“We have added silicon squares on the laces,” he relates. “This keeps the shoes tied and forms the shoe to an individual golfer’s foot. They will not loosen up throughout the round.”
SQAIRZ is a performance-based golf shoe for the modern day swing. I tried on a pair myself and felt the difference. Some golf shoes are lightweight, but they don’t have enough support and structure. Winskowicz’s shoes have both.
He believes that this attention to detail in golf shoes is a long time coming. “Golf clubs are regulated so that distance can be maxed out. Golf balls are regulated so that one can’t fly more than the next.
“We feel that shoes are the last frontier of distance to help the golfer as well. This is not a sneaker. This is a golf shoe for the modern golf swing.”
In addition to men’s and women’s golf footwear, SQAIRZ also offers socks, hats, umbrellas, and footwear carry bags, all available at sqairz.com. According to Winskowicz, there are 24.5 million golfers in the U.S. and 50 million globally.
There are also 4.5 million avid core golfers who play over 19 rounds a year. So, given this potential customer list, how is Winskowicz marketing his new products?
He responds, “We are using databases to effectively reach the golf market. We partnered with Golf Channel for a direct marketing email campaign. We are also partnering with the PGA Tour and Golf Digest Digital.
“SQAIRZ is now the official golf shoe of the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, the world’s largest junior tour with over 280 events in 32 states and 4 countries. This gives us an exclusive partnership with 60,000 youngsters playing golf.
“We are also the official golf footwear of the International Association of Golf Administrators in the U.S. and Canada. They send direct mail marketing emails to their vast database twice a month.”
Winskowicz is also building a strong social media presence and plans to partner with 20 to 30 influencers to embrace influencer marketing. SQAIRZ was named Best Footwear at the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show and Charles Lightfoot’s Number One Innovative Pick at PGA Demo Day 2020.
All of this is helping Winskowicz and his team plant the seeds to eventually get SQAIRZ to PGA Tour players. He states, “Many companies don’t pay players to wear their shoes. They just provide free product. If players wear them and they win, they get compensated. The road to this point has been a labor of love.
“SQAIRZ provides balance and stability with a design that allows your toes to sit naturally and comfortably in the shoe. We are all about developing shoes that help you play better golf. Our goal from day one was to create the best golf shoe ever built.”
John Molori is an author and columnist for numerous publications. Like him on Facebook at John Molori, Twitter @MoloriMedia. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.