Jim McCarthy is the CEO of Cure Putters, the industry leader in High MOI putters. Since Cure Putters was launched, he has been the CEO responsible for capitalizing the company and providing the vision and strategic plans that has gotten them to where they are today. Working with the Cure founders and their talented team, Cure has risen from a start-up company to a major competitor in the golf business. McCarthy has helped build a global presence for Cure utilizing their High MOI technology and improving golfers from amateurs to tour professionals.
THE MCCARTHY STORY
Throughout my professional career, I have had the great fortune of starting and growing a number of companies. I started my first company when I was 26 and have gone on to a few more in my twenty-year career that have grown from startups to have a national or even global presence. Along the way I had many great successes and failures. While successes are wonderful, it is the failures that have provided so many meaningful lessons that have helped me in the work world and life as well.
One thing that has been constant throughout my whole life is my love for the game golf. I started when I was about 11 yrs old and played competitively off and on until my mid-late twenties. Work and family became my highest priorities and my golf game took a bit of a back seat. I would still play with friends and in my club tournaments from time to time so it never left me altogether.
Over the years the technology has changed so much in golf and I like to try to take advantage of what the manufacturers are bringing to market. One thing I noticed about five years ago was that there hadn’t been major advancements in putting like there had been in the woods, irons, and ball markets. When the Founders of Cure, Steve Davis and Jeff Ryan, approached me for help it was easy to see they were on to something great. Their focus on technology to improve putting was very clear and I could see this could change putting forever. The goal was to create a more reliable, more forgiving putter that would reduce or eliminate several variable that contribute to putting issues. Guided by the principle “form follows function,” we began by considering what attributes every golf golfer would benefit from.
Higher MOI: increased stability, forgiveness and distance control. Achieved by a larger face, light weight aircraft aluminum with extreme perimeter weighting allowing for dramatically Higher MOI, at any weight setting weight. Adjustable weight and lie angle to help custom fit all golfer within minutes and allow them to have a custom putter readily available for the first time. These strategies have allowed Cure to become the industry leader in High MOI putters.
You wake up in the morning — what’s the driving passion?
To spend every minute of the day with an awesome attitude regardless of what comes your way.
Selecting the proper putter is a big time decision for golfers — what separates Cure from your competition?
Our High MOI and customization options give putters of all levels the best chance to get fit and improve their putting. Golfers that have tested with a Cure in the lab have improved their stats by 50% effectively making the hole twice as big!
Many companies tout the importance of customer service. What’s your definition of the term?
Excellent customer service is critical for any company trying to break into a legacy market. We measure our customer service by tracking the speed and effort that we put into serving our customers. It is important to put out a great effort but the speed of that effort is critical as well. Customers need to be served quickly.
How much of a role does customer feedback influence your future club creation efforts?
Customer feedback plays a huge role in our product road map for the future. We are constantly working with golfers of all levels, including Tour Professionals, to learn about how we can improve our offering. Our extensive line of putters is a direct result of the feedback we have received.
Talk about the latest innovations Cure brought forward at this year’s PGA Show.
We had a great 2018 PGA Show rolling out a number of new models and showcasing our largest putter offering since our inception. This year we introduced our new Tour X Series which originated largely from the feedback we received from Tour professionals. This series has packed maximum amounts of MOI into a variety of very attractive blades and mallets. Most models having double the MOI of our competitors. We also introduced the Hybrid X Series which is basically a combination of our CX and RX series. We were able to bring the High MOI and customization features — lie angle and weight adjustability — of the RX Series and marry them up with the smaller and more classic looking CX series.
Describe who the Cure customer is.
Cure customers are represented by golfers of all skill levels. From beginners to Tour professionals and from juniors to seniors. The one constant we see is they are all looking to improve their putting and once they try a Cure they can see what our technology does for them. Finally, real science/technology that we have brought to market which can actually improve people’s putting dramatically.
Jerry Kelly endorses Cure via his participation on the Champions Tour. Are endorsements from touring professionals essential to a brand’s overall success in the marketplace?
We are thrilled to have Jerry playing a Cure and he has done quite well winning 3 out of his last 9 starts as well as Rookie of the Year honors on the PGA Tour Champions circuit. Endorsements are important because it gives us validation and credibility in the market. Tour Professionals have many options to choose from and can play anything they want so it’s great when they choose a Cure.
The major golf organizations — USGA, R&A, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, LPGA — have all spoken about the importance in growing the game. This is especially so for Millennials, women and minorities. If you were counseling them — what would you advise be done?
Growing the game is key and there are many ideas and options being tested and tried in the market. If I got the chance to contribute to this discussion I would focus on making the game shorter/faster for the amateur ranks. I believe we should leave the Tour golf the way it is for the most part but change the amateur experience by shortening the rounds and adding in a more fun/relaxed environment with music, interactive opportunities before and after your round, all in time frame that is shorter than what we are used to today. We can learn a lot from the things the European Tour has introduced as well the likes of Topgolf.
The putter category is a very competitive one — with plenty of competition from the likes of Odyssey, Titleist, Ping, to name just a few. Where is Cure’s focus? Brick and mortar, green grass shops, online?
The putting market is very competitive so we have to be careful how we manage the landscape. Cure putters are offered in green grass shops around the country, as well as PGA Tour Superstores, some brick and mortar specialty shops, club fitters, online, and we have distributor agreements around the world in many locations.
What’s the biggest challenge for Cure — short and long term?
The biggest challenge for Cure both in the short and long term is getting out our message to the masses as fast as possible. That is hard to manage in the golf world from a marketing/advertising perspective because of the high costs and small number of effective options.
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